Chronological History of the American Civil War

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Thursday, January 30, 1862 : The ‘USS Monitor’ (pictured) was launched from Green Point, Long Island – a revolutionary new vessel designed by John Ericsson. The ‘Monitor’ marked a new stage in the development of ironclads and would change naval warfare forever. General Grant’s (U.S.) command boarded gunboats to make their progress up the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers in Kentucky. This was not so much to enable the men to move in comfort as it was to enable them to move at all; the roads were pure mud and marching

would have been impossible. Confederate diplomats, Mason and Slidell finally arrived in Great Britain. Friday, January 31, 1862 : Lincoln issues a supplement to his General War Order Number One of January 27, 1862. In his Special War Order Number One , Lincoln directs Major General George B. McClellan (U.S.) to take action against Manassas before February 22nd. He could take his army if he liked. McClellan ignores the order. Lincoln approves act authorizing President of U.S. in certain cases to take possession of railroad and telegraph lines, and for other purposes. Saturday, February 1, 1862 : In Cairo, Illinois, Union General Grant prepares to attack Fort Henry on the Tennessee River. Julia Howe publishes "Battle Hymn of Republic" in the Atlantic Monthly and soon becomes the Union’s favorite song. Sunday, February 2, 1862 : Reports of military encounters, now including a naval skirmish near Savannah, Georgia come in and from Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, and other places. Union forces fire at Fort Henry; Fort Donelson is considered impregnable, but the Memphis Avalanche predicts that Fort Henry will fall. First recorded Civil War skirmish in Tennessee occurs in Morgan County. A Confederate cavalry unit under Lt. Col. White kills seven Federal soldiers, and the Union forces withdraw. This seems to be the first event of the Union’s southward movement from Kentucky into Tennessee. Monday, February 3, 1862 : Lincoln declines an offer of war elephants from the King of Siam on the grounds that the climate is not right for elephants. The Union decides that captured privateers will be treated as prisoners of war and not as pirates. The Union river fleet departs to attack Fort Henry on the Tennessee River. Tuesday, February 4, 1862 : Confederate forces in Kentucky’s Fort Heiman withdraw across the Tennessee River to Fort Henry. At Fort Henry, Confederate Brigadier General Lloyd Tilghman warns General John B. Floyd (CSA) that an enemy force, General Grant's (U.S.) infantry, has landed five miles below the fort. While the Union troops land, Flag Officer Foote (U.S.) and General Grant (U.S.), aboard the U.S.S. Cincinnati , lead the four gunboats up the river to scout and to fire at Confederate gunners. In Richmond, the Virginia House of Delegates considers enlisting free Negros in the Confederate forces, because many terms of enlistment have expired. The Richmond newspaper Examiner asks the citizenry to support the Southern cause by re-enlisting in the army. Early enlistments were for only 6 months or a year in the South. Wednesday, February 5, 1862 : General Grant (U.S.) concentrated his forces for an

attack on Fort Henry. He had 15,000 men under his command while General Tilghman’s (CSA) (pictured) Confederate defenders at the fort numbered 3,200. General Charles Smith's (U.S.) troops take over evacuated Fort Heiman near Fort Henry. Queen Victoria lifts all restrictions against shipping gun powder, arms, and ammunition from Britain, which encourages profiteers. Thursday, February 6, 1862 : Union gunboats on the Tennessee River bombarded Fort Henry. The fort commander, General Tilghman withdrew as many men as he could to Fort Donelson but ensured that gunners remained in Fort Henry. By mid-

afternoon the walls of Fort Henry were broken and Tilghman decided to surrender. Only he and 63 men were left in the fort. Over 3,000 made it to the relative safety of Fort Donelson, which prepared itself for an attack. However, the control of the Tennessee River at that point was very important to the Unionists as it allowed them to make river patrols up to northern Alabama. (If Grant's attack had been delayed by two days, the battle would have never occurred because the fort was by then entirely underwater.) In

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