Chronological History of the American Civil War
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assaults on well entrenched Rebels. "We might as well have tried to take Hell," a Union soldier remarks. Confederate losses are 5,309. Today, Burnside calls for another attack. His officers almost munity, and the orders are changed. Both North & South went about collecting the dead and wounded. Monday, December 15, 1862 : War has their “Monday morning quarterbacks,” too. In the South, some criticized Robert E. Lee for not following his successful defense of the heights with a counterattack. These critics seemed unaware that even after the bloodletting, the Confederate army was considerably outnumbered, and Federal artillery was undamaged across the river. In Washington, the rage against Burnside rained in from all directions. Only Lincoln was unable to criticize; having fired McClellan for failing to fight, he could not very well crucify Burnside for having done so. In Tennessee, crossing the Tennessee River at Clifton using 2 flatboats, is General Nathan B. Forrest's (CSA) 2,100-man cavalry brigade heading into western Tennessee. Their mission was to interrupt the rail supply line to Major General Ulysses S. Grant's army. This will further slow Grant drive southward to Vicksburg. Tuesday, December 16, 1862 : In the aftermath of Fredericksburg, the defeated Union army completed its withdrawal across the pontoon bridges erected at such a tremendous cost, just a few days earlier. President approves change in date for execution of the 38 Minnesota Indians from December 19, to December 26, 1862. Confederate Major General Forrest finally has his men and horses across the river and now heading toward Lexington, Tennessee. Wednesday, December 17, 1862 : Cotton supplies were very short in the North, and cotton speculators most were of the Jewish descent, could buy bales in the captured territories and sell it quickly for a good profit, so they would follow behind troops buying up cotton. Grant was furious and fired off his notorious Order No. 11: "The Jews, as a class violating every regulation of trade established by the Treasury Department and also department orders, are hereby expelled from the department within twenty-four hours from receipt of this order." 30 affluent Jewish families were expelled from Paducah, Kentucky. President Abraham Lincoln ordered Grant to rescind the order. Thursday, December 18, 1862 : In West Tennessee, Union Colonel Robert Ingersoll sent his troops to destroy a bridge over the Beech Creek to keep the Confederate army from moving into the area. However, Ingersoll's troops did not destroy the bridge and General Nathan Bedford Forrest's (CSA) troops headed into Lexington Tennessee. This would be Forrest’s second attack on Lexington, since the war began. Forrest's troops overtook the Union soldiers, taking Colonel Ingersoll and over 140 men prisoners, and collected artillery and supplies left behind by Union soldiers. Friday, December 19, 1862 : After the Battle of Lexington, General Forrest continued his advance in West Tennessee. Colonel Adolph Engelmann (U.S.) took a small force northeast of Jackson and at Old Salem Cemetery, acting on the defensive, Englemann’s two infantry regiments repulsed a Confederate mounted attack and then withdrew a mile closer to town. To Forrest, the fight amounted to no more than a ploy and show of force intended to hold Jackson’s Union defenders in place, while two mounted columns destroyed railroad tracks north and south of the town and returned. It was a small southern victory with only 6 Union soldiers dead; his mission accomplished, Forrest withdrew from the Jackson area to attack Trenton, Tennessee.
Saturday, December 20, 1862 : Meanwhile, Lt. Col. John S. Griffith, (CSA) (pictured) commander of the Texas Cavalry Brigade, had an idea—a solution to a problem to stop Grant’s push southward. He suggested attacking Grant's supply line at Holly Springs, Mississippi and Grand Junction, Tennessee. Confederate General Earl Van Dorn led the force. After the Battle of Jackson, Tennessee, General Nathan B. Forrest led his troops next to Humboldt and Trenton, Tennessee. After putting up a brief fight in the depot area, Union defenders surrendered, rather than face destruction by Forrest’s artillery. The Confederates then ransacked the courthouse and destroyed military supplies in the towns. The Confederates took about 700 Union prisoners.
Sunday, December 21 1862 : After gathering all of the supplies that they could carry with them, Brig. General Nathan B. Forrest and his Confederate raiders leave Trenton, Tennessee and head northward.
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