Chronological History of the American Civil War
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mines, which were the residues of salt from ancient evaporated ocean beds. The alternative method involved taking water from whatever ocean was currently available, putting it in large kettles over fires to evaporate the water and leave the salt and sea minerals behind. One such salt works, was in operation at New Topsail Inlet, North Carolina. At least it was until today, when Lt. Cushing (U.S.) landed a party from the USS Ellis in the inlet, as they destroyed the works. “It could have furnished all Wilmington with salt,” Cushing said in his report. Thursday, October 30, 1862 : Based on a seed planter that he had invented earlier, Dr Richard Gatling patents a machine gun. Only a few of these guns would ever see action in the Civil War. Near Petersburg, West Virginia, a Union force was chasing a Confederate force with 200 heads of stolen cattle, taken earlier in a cavalry raid by Major General J.E.B. Stuart. Slowed by the cattle, they had stolen, the Federals overtook the Confederates and recaptured all of the cattle.
Friday, October 31, 1862 : The Confederate Secret Service authorized a new department -The Torpedo Bureau headed by Brigadier General Gabriel Rains (CSA) (pictured). Rains was charged with the production of various explosive devices, including land mines, naval mines and "coal torpedos." Coal torpedos were made to “look like” a lump of coal, but intended to do harm to Union steam transportation. When shoveled into the firebox amongst the coal, the resulting explosion would at the very least damage the boiler and render the engines inoperable. At worst, a catastrophic boiler explosion would kill crewmen, plus passengers, start a fire, perhaps, even sink the vessel. General Grant (U.S.) returns to Bolivar, Tennessee. Operations along the Mississippi Central Railroad from Bolivar to Coffeeville, Mississippi start. Saturday, November 1, 1862 : It was one of the most unfortunate mistakes,
made by Lincoln, and his Union's high command in this, the second year of the war. It was the issue of duplicate orders, one placing Ulysses S. Grant in overall command of the U.S. Army operations on the Mississippi River campaign, and the other apparently giving this same command, to the Illinois politician now turned U.S. General John McClernand. Both sets of orders were delivered, and by the time the confusion was straightened out there had been bitter recriminations on both sides, especially as McClernand supporters, revived the accusations of drunkenness against General Grant. General Grant is trying to plan and launch an overland campaign against Vicksburg, but was not getting all the cooperation he should have. Units, he was designating for this attack kept turning out to have been transferred without his knowledge to other operations.
Sunday, November 2, 1862 : Mary Ann Todd Lincoln (pictured) was the wife of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, and was First Lady of the United States, today, she wrote a letter to her husband. In it, she writes: “All the distinguished in the land… would almost worship you if you would put a fighting general in the place of McClellan.” McClellan had defeated the Confederates at the Battle of Antietam on September 17, but disappointed the President and the people of the Union by failing to take advantage of the victory by pursuing Robert E. Lee's (CSA) weakened army. General Grant is now leaving Bolivar, Tennessee, starts his campaign against Vicksburg. However, he faced a major problem in that his lines of communication were too extended. He needed to ‘drop off’ troops along his route to defend them. This meant that, his force was weakened the nearer Grant got to Vicksburg.
Monday, November 3,1862 : Captain Edward W. Fuller of the gunboat CSS Cotton, had a particularly enjoyable day in Berwick Bay, Louisiana, today. He seemed to be in a thoroughly dreadful situation, being the only Confederate ship in the bay, and being confronted by no less than four Union vessels, the U.S.S. Calhoun, Kinsman, Estella and Diana. The odds were not as uneven as they may have seemed, however: what the U.S. captains did not know was that there were Confederate shore batteries concealed on the banks of the waterway. Between the batteries, and the Cotton’s own guns, considerable damage
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