Chronological History of the American Civil War

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The Cumberland River Crossing at Hartsville, Tennessee was Union held to prevent the Confederate cavalry from raiding. However, under the cover of darkness, Confederate Brigadier General John H. Morgan (CSA) crossed the river in the early morning. Morgan's advance cavalrymen wore Union blue uniforms, which got them passed the mounted sentinels. After a short battle, the Union garrison surrendered, but not before Morgan and his men either killed or wounded 1,000 soldiers. 1,800 Union men surrendered. Monday, December 8, 1862 : In Virginia, General Robert E. Lee ask for more troops to be sent to his command. President Davis (CSA) replies if he had surplus soldiers, they would most likely be sent to the Western Theater, where the need was becoming dire. “In Tennessee and Mississippi the disparity between our armies and those of the enemy is so great as to fill me with apprehension.” He also mentioned that he was leaving immediately on a trip West, to see what could be done about the situation. Tuesday, December 9,1862 : In Fredericksburg, Virginia orders were issued today to Union division commanders, to supply their men with 60 rounds of ammunition apiece, and to prepare three days’ supply of cooked-in-advance rations. They are now still waiting on on the arrival of pontoon bridges, which were on the way from Washington, but moving slowly. The water of the Rappahannock River was too deep and cold for across without them. Major-General Van Dorn (CSA) is now temporarily in command of the Army of the Mississippi. Wednesday, December 10, 1862 : The Army of the Potomac was making its final preparations today for the assault across the Rappahannock River tomorrow. Rations were being cooked, weapons checked, and ammunition issued. Most importantly, the pontoon rafts which would be used to build temporary bridges across the waterway were checked over and readied. In Washington, the House of Representatives passed a bill to create the state of West Virginia. Thursday, December 11, 1862 : Burnside's engineers finally began to assemble the bridges. Confederate snipers in Fredericksburg picked away at the builders, so Yankee artillery began a barrage that reduced to rubble many of the buildings along the river. Three regiments ran the sharpshooters out of the town, and the bridge was completed soon after. By evening, the Union army was crossing the Rappahannock. Confederate General Robert E. Lee had posted the bulk of his Army of Northern Virginia (CSA) along Marye's Heights above Fredericksburg and still waiting for the next move. Friday, December 12, 1862 : When morning came, it was hard to tell--a thick fog had risen from the river overnight and filled the valley, lasting until noon. Troops continued to move in the limited visibility, but slowly, and when the fog finally broke up it was far too late in the day to launch an assault. The major activity on the Union side was to move as many men as possible as far up the hill as possible. Looking down on the action, General Lee (CSA) sent orders to Stonewall Jackson, guarding another ford (river crossing) farther downstream, to rejoin the main force. Union forces out of Corinth, Mississippi, skirmish at Cherokee Station, just a few miles over the Alabama line. While clearing mines from the river in advance of the attack on Haines Bluff, Mississippi, the U.S.S. Cairo struck a torpedo (a self-contained explosive device placed in water to destroy surface ships) detonated by volunteers hidden behind the river bank and sank in 12 minutes; there were no casualties. The USS Cairo became the first armored warship sunk by an electrically detonated mine . (Today the U.S.S. Cairo can be seen with it's artifacts at the Vicksburg National Military Park, in Vicksburg, Mississippi.) Saturday, December 13, 1862 : Union General Burnside starts his major attack against Fredericksburg and Marye’s Heights hills surrounding it. All attacks were repulsed. An attack on Confederate troops dug in on Marye’s Heights led to many Unionist deaths. By the end of the day the Army of the Potomac (U.S.) had lost 1,200 killed, 9,000 wounded and 2,145 missing. Many of these were at Marye’s Heights. The Confederates had lost 570 killed, 3,870 wounded and 127 missing. Many of the wounded left out on the battlefield died of the cold during the night. Lee was heard to say: “It is well that war is so terrible; we should grow too fond of it.” Sunday, December 14 1862 : Just the day before, the Army of the Potomac (U.S.) under General Burnside suffers a costly defeat at Fredericksburg in Virginia; with a loss of 12,653 men after 14 frontal

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