This Day in the Civil War

Saturday, March 15 1862

Armies and generals were being shifted around today like pieces on a chessboard. Sherman and Hurlburt’s divisions arrived at Pittsburg Landing, on the Tennessee River. At the same time, Gen. Buell was being ordered by his boss, Gen. Halleck, to proceed away from Nashville and towards Savannah, Tenn. Buell, being a good officer, would have been more than happy to comply, were it not for the problem of the Duck River. It was between him and Savannah, and it had no bridges.

Sunday, March 15 1863

Few Civil War actions are reported from the West Coast, but there was one today. The USS Cyane, under command of Lt. Cmdr. Paul Shirley, got suspicions about the imminent sailing of the schooner J.P. Chapman. He sent a boarding party to the ship and talked with the crew of four. This led to the discovery belowdecks of an additional crew of seventeen Confederate sailors, numerous guns, ammunition and other military stores not suitable for civilian sailing.

Tuesday, March 15 1864

Celebrations for the capture of Ft. DeRussy, on the Red River, by the gunboats of Admiral Porter, were brief. Captured yesterday, the fort was being destroyed today by the ironclads USS Benton and Essex. Three of the remaining boats were headed upriver at the highest speed they could manage, in hopes of cutting off the Confederate boats before they could ready the rapids at Alexandria. The Rebels escaped by half an hour, with one ship burned to avoid capture.

Wednesday, March 15 1865

William Tecumseh Sherman moved out from Fayetteville, N.C. and the Cape Fear River area today in full stride, his men supplied and organized and coordinated with other forces. Kilpatrick’s cavalry was leading the way for Slocum’s men on the left wing of the march, which proved to be the right place for them: there was considerable skirmishing on that side, as the Confederate defenders concentrated their last efforts at resistance in that direction.

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