Chronological History of the American Civil War

P a g e | 82

Christi, and Sabine City, Texas were in Union possession, a statement which turned out to be somewhat premature. Thursday, October 16, 1862 : A Union force arrived at Auxvasse Creek, Missouri, and discovered a Confederate guerrilla camp nearby. The Federals attacked the camp and forced the guerrillas to flee. After receiving another letter from President Lincoln, General George McClellan (U.S.) sends out two reconnaissance parties, one to western Virginia to Smithfield, the other to Charles Town, also in western Virginia, an area which was heavily Union in sympathy, but still officially a part of the Confederacy. Friday, October 17, 1862 : Col. William Quantrill and his Confederate guerrillas charged across the prairie towards Shawneetown, Kansas. Just outside the town, they encountered a Union wagon train that was heading towards Kansas City. The Confederates circled the wagon train and opened fire on them. Some 15 of the escorts and drivers were killed and the rest of them ran away. The Confederates burned the wagons. Quantrill's men entered Shawneetown and killed 10 civilians. They then looted the stores,

and then burned the stores and houses. The town was virtually erased from the map. Saturday, October 18, 1862 : John Hunt Morgan (pictured) belonged to that class of Confederate horsemen known as “cavalry raiders.” His mission, essentially, was to ride around Tennessee and Kentucky wreaking havoc with Union activities, breaking communications, isolating advance forces, and confiscating supplies. Today, Mogan and a force of Confederate raiders circled eastward and came to Lexington, Kentucky. They soon skirmish with a portion of the 3rd Ohio Cavalry (U.S.) before the Confederates captured the town. The Union garrison were composed of the 3rd and 4th Ohio Cavalry. The Confederates left before the end of the day. Major General, Gordon Granger (U.S.) gathered his cavalry force and pursued Morgan's men.

Sunday, October 19, 1862 : The battle of Perryville, Kentucky, had been over a week ago, but armies were still being repositioned in the aftermath of it. General Braxton Bragg’s Army of Tennessee (CSA) was endeavoring to pass through the Cumberland Gap, in company with a very large quantity of supplies confiscated from the countryside. The Cumberland Gap, is a fairly narrow passage, and getting all this through there was a considerable logistical challenge. Several regiments were ordered to pack up, and be ready to march, only to wait all day for their turn, which never came. Then, they were ordered to unpack again and camp for the night, where they were. The movement wound up taking five days to complete. In New Orleans, where the Unionists held power, General Butler (U.S.) passed two important pieces of legislation. The first, was to raise three regiments of “free colored men” and the second, was to introduce

the legal precedent that ‘blacks were equal to whites’ in the eyes of the law. Monday, October 20, 1862 : Major General John Alexander McClernand (U.S.) (pictured) used his political influence to obtain a leave of absence to visit Washington, D.C. and President Lincoln, hoping to receive an important independent command. McClernand was given permission to recruit a force to conduct an operation against Vicksburg, Mississippi, which would rival the effort of General Grant, his department commander. Not sure if Lincoln forgot or was just trying to keep his commanders happy, but he had already given this job to General Grant. This was to lead to no end of conflicts, confusion and eventually hostility between Grant and McClernand, since each quite honestly believed himself to be the rightful commander of the project.

Tuesday, October 21, 1862 : Two days earlier the mail boat Gladiator , had been steaming peacefully along the Mississippi River, when suddenly gunfire broke out from the Arkansas shore. Guerilla activity of this sort was hardly uncommon, whether by actual secessionists or merely armed bandits, and Admiral David D. Porter (U.S.) was thoroughly sick of it. Today, he sent the gunboat U.S.S. Louisville , along with the transport steamer Meteor loaded with troops, to the closest towns, where the attack had taken place. Under command of Lt. Commander Meade, (U.S.) the villages of Bledsoe’s Landing and Hamblin’s

Made with FlippingBook Online newsletter