Chronological History of the American Civil War
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Lee's (U.S.) column moving down a parallel route on the east. General Grant sent Dickey encouragement to press the Confederates as far as possible. Today, the Little Rock, Arkansas “ True Democrat ” reported: “Nothing in the history of this war or indeed of any war conducted by a civilized people can equal the atrocities committed by the abolition troops on the march from Corinth to Grand Junction, during the first week of November. We have the statements of their own army correspondents, admitting the most horrible crimes to have been committed. The track of the army was marked by fire and blood.—Every fence, house, barn and church was burnt; buildings were robbed and set fire to, while screaming women and children were pursued to the woods by a drunken and licentious soldiery, and deeds, at the thought of which humanity shudders, were perpetrated by the light of blazing homes. What they could not steal, they destroyed, and in the language of one of their correspondents, they "spared not age and showed no mercy to sex." The black flag war is coming fast upon us.” Thursday, December 4, 1862 : Col. T. Lyle Dickey (U.S.) still in pursuit of Confederates, rejoins his other commands at Water Valley, Mississippi and continues toward Coffeeville. At Prestonsburg, Kentucky, a group of Confederates attacked and captured some Union supply boats. The boats contained weapons, ammunition, and uniforms. Friday, December 5, 1862 : Col. Dickey's (U.S.) men crossed the Otuckalofa River south of Water Valley pressing down the Coffeeville Road now as one column. They hit General Van Dorn's (CSA) army skirmishers at 2:00 p.m. and the fight continues until dark. The engagement is called off, and Dickey's cavalry returned to Grant's line unmolested. The pursuit from the Tallahatchie netted them 750 prisoners, 200 horses, 4 wagons, and $7,000 in Confederate money. General Van Dorn (CSA) summed up the engagement in a 2-sentence report, saying Federals had learned a lesson about pursuit. “The Battle of Coffeeville” brought Grant's Mississippi invasion via Tennessee to a halt. He pulled his army back to Oxford. Saturday, December 6, 1862 : Not all the actions of the Civil War took part between the powers of the Union and the Confederacy. The Sioux confined to a reservation in southwestern Minnesota were severely short of food and left the reservation to get some. Things soon got out of hand and it turned into a massacre over a period of several weeks. The number of dead is estimated at 400-600 whites. After the Sioux was defeated, 1,000 were arrested. Today, Abraham Lincoln writes to General Henry H. Sibley, (U.S.) who heads a military commission that sentenced 303 Dakota Indians, to death for killing military personnel and civilians in Minnesota. After evaluating the testimony, Lincoln recommended that only thirty-nine of the accused merited execution. Lincoln issues an order listing the names of the thirty-nine "Indians and Half-breeds . . . to be executed on Friday, the nineteenth day of December." Sunday, December 7 1862 : In south Nashville, Union soldiers and conscripted (drafted) black workers,
free and slave, build Fort Negley (pictured) in 3 months, probably the first large-scale use of contraband labor in Tennessee during the war. With little food, shelter, or clothing, many workers die; most are never paid. Fort Negley is a model for future projects; Union officers would conscript black men and work them mercilessly. Battle occurred today, about 12 miles south of Fayetteville, Arkansas, on the Illinois Creek in another attempt to recapture territory lost during the Pea Ridge campaign of early 1862. Union
General Francis Herron had moved 7,000 reinforcements more than 110 miles in three and a half days to support General James G. Blunt. After 2 attacks and counter attacks, the Union holds off the forces of Confederates under General Thomas Hindman (CSA). Darkness ended the engagement with the Confederates still holding the high ground at Prairie Grove. The battle was a tactical draw, but the Hindman's army was running low on ammunition. Confederate losses amounted to more than 1,400 killed and wounded, while the Yankees lost more than 1,200. Hindman retreated back to Fort Smith, and the region was assured for the Union.
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