This Day in the Civil War

Saturday, Feb. 1, 1862

Union forces began preparations for the actual assault on Ft. Henry and Donelson. As the Confederate navy had no forces to speak of on the rivers of Tennessee, the effort would be unopposed. Flag Officer Foote wrote to Washington that the cooperative command with the Army was working smoothly, a fairly amazing development in itself.

Sunday, Feb. 1, 1863

The mortar schooner C.P. Williams, Commander Worden in charge, set out today to assault Ft. McAllister on the Ogeechee River, not far from Savannah, Ga. He had tried earlier and been thwarted by mines and other obstacles in the river. This time, with three gunboats in support, he got close enough to damage a parapet and several guns. The remaining fire, however, was accurate and dangerous enough to drive his forces off.

Monday, Feb. 1, 1864

President Lincoln today issued an order that another half-million men be drafted on or before March 10. The period of enlistment was to be three years, or the duration of the war. Pressure was also used to encourage troops whose time was nearly up to re-enlist on the same basis. At the beginning of the war, enlistments of nine, six, and even three months had been permitted.

Wednesday, Feb. 1, 1865

After weeks of preparation, Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman set out on his next mission. He moved wings of his armies to seem to threaten either Charleston, S.C, or Augusta, Ga--but his actual target was Columbia, S.C., capital of the Secession State. Defenders attempted to slow the Federals by felling trees across roads and burning bridges, but the only real threat was the flooded Savannah River, which slowed the advance of Gen. Henry Slocum on the left wing.

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