Chronological History of the American Civil War

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battle with the U.S.S. Monitor . Today, they sank her again. After the loss of the Norfolk, Virginia's navial yards, she had nowhere to go but up the James River towards Richmond, and it was discovered that the river was too shallow. A good load of gunpowder assured that she would not be refloated again. Monday, May 12, 1862 : Lincoln announced that as ports Beaufort, North Carolina, Port Royal, South Carolina, and New Orleans were now in Federal hands. The blockade that they had been under would be lifted. Unionist forces occupied Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Tuesday, May 13, 1862 : Many citizens in Richmond fled the city as Unionist forces approached. The captain of the steamship Planter thought he was a smart and crafty fellow. To keep his expenses down, he crewed the vessel entirely with Negroes. Today, he docked in Charleston, South Carolina, and went ashore to do some business. He stayed overnight. At about 4 a.m. his crew hoisted anchor and chugged out into the bay. Reaching the Union blockade ships, they raised a white flag and surrendered the ship and cargo--including themselves. Wednesday, May 14, 1862 : In the Shenandoah Valley region near Harrisonburg, Virginia, General “Stonewall” Jackson's orders were solely to keep Union forces occupied and away from Richmond, this build up was making President Lincoln nervous. Thursday, May 15, 1862 : A fleet of five Union ironclads, including the U.S.S. Monitor , steamed up the James River towards Richmond, today. Since taking the naval base at Norfolk the lower end of the river was undefended. The ships got within eight miles of the Confederate capital when they came to Fort Darling, the defensive station on Drewry’s Bluff. Obstructions in the river slowed them, and the cannons blasted them. They retreated. Drewry’s Bluff was never taken. In New Orleans, after the rude behavior by a number of women in the dumping of a chamber pot’s contents on naval commander David Farragut’s head, Major General, Benjamin Butler, (U.S.) the occupation commander, issues General Order #28. This states,“When any female shall, by word, gesture or movement insult or show contempt for any officer or soldier of the United States, she shall be regarded and held liable to be treated as a woman of the town plying her avocation.” Outrage sweeps through the South all the way to Britain’s House of Commons in England. Hardeman County plantation owner/planter, merchant, and civic leader, John Houston Bills (The Pillars) wrote in his diary: “Very dry hot dusty day. 1000 Cavalry left today for Chewalla. Several companies remain: no news of great import today.” Friday, May 16, 1862 : U.S. General Benjamin Butler had a habit of making friends wherever he went. His current assignment was as commander of the military occupation of New Orleans. Yesterday, he had issued his infamous “woman order”, directing that ladies who were disrespectful to Union soldiers would be treated as common prostitutes were treated. Today, he merely closed one of the city’s newspapers (the "Bee") and put the other, the "Delta" under new management, his own. Saturday, May 17, 1862 : Memphis Appeal: “Military Nurses! $50 Bounty! This corps, now organizing, by order of Gen. Beauregard, offers the greatest inducements to those who wish to enter the Confederate States' service. A bounty of $50 will be paid immediately to each man, and the highest monthly pay throughout the term of service. Marked preference will be shown to those having some knowledge of medicine, or who know how to cure the sick and wounded. Apply immediately, from 8 to 11 A.M. and from 2 to 5 P.M. at the Gayoso House, room No. 211 - Maj. Frank. F. Barclay.”

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