This Day in the Civil War

Friday, Jan. 24, 1862

Large numbers of Union ships have been waiting for weeks now off Cape Hatteras, N.C. for the weather to clear to launch an attack. The waiting had become tedious, as Pvt. D.L. Day, 25th Mass. Vol. Inf., wrote in one of his many letters home: “..Mr. Milligan says fair weather has been known here, and taking that as a precedent, we may naturally conclude it perhaps _may_ be again......I..never read of but one [storm] that exceeded this. That was the one Old Noah got caught out in...”

Saturday, Jan. 24, 1863

Rear Adm. D. D. Porter’s forces today trapped 11 Confederate steamers loaded with supplies and headed for Vicksburg. Despite this success, he wrote his superior, Secretary of the Navy Welles: ..”I am guarding the Yazoo River. The heavily fortified. Unless we can get troops in the rear of the city I see no chance of taking it...though we cut off all their supplies.”

Sunday, Jan. 24, 1864

The major fronts were all quiet on this day. Some Union pickets failed to remain alert near Love’s Hill, Tenn., and were captured. Operations and skirmishes occurred near Nachez, Miss. and Tazewell, Tenn. A Federal expedition left today on a trip up the James River in Virginia.

Tuesday, Jan. 24, 1865

The Confederate Congress proposed yet again that the exchange of prisoners-of-war should be resumed. On this day, quite unexpectedly, Gen. Grant accepted the proposal. It had been his decision originally to discontinue the exchanges, on the grounds that the loss of trained soldiers, even in equal numbers, was much more damaging to the South than it was to his armies, due to the great superiority the North had in manpower availability.

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