This Day in the Civil War

Friday, March 28 1862

Little is talked about Civil War actions much west of the Mississippi River. Even less is known about battles in the Far West, but one such occurred today at La Glorieta Pass, in New Mexico Territory. This area was but sparsely settled by white folks, but they nonetheless found something to argue about. A Confederate command under Col. W. R. Scurry was camped at Pigeon’s Ranch. They were attacked head-on by Federals under command of Col. John P. Slough. The Federal attack, although valiant, was both outnumbered and unsuccessful and was slowly falling back. However, their comrades from Colorado had worked their way over mountains into the Confederate rear and swooped down on the supply trains left at Johnsons Ranch. Scurry, hearing about this, broke off the fight and left for Santa Fe.

Saturday March 28 1863

There were no large-scale battles conducted today, if you overlook the burning of Jacksonville, Fla. by the forces of Commander Duncan and the U.S.S. Norwich. This was a part of a campaign to reduce the efforts of the Floridians to continue to supply salt and beef and other supplies to the rest of the Confederacy. Elsewhere, the river war continued in the Western Theater at Pattersonville, LA. Southern land forces battled Union gunboats out in the river. The U.S.S. Diana was captured in the engagement.

Monday March 28 1864

Possibly the only recorded Civil War battle to take place in Illinois occurred today in Charleston in the east-central part of the state. A number of Illinois regiments had been given leave to return home. When they got there they discovered that not all of their compatriots were as staunchly Unionist as they were, in fact they sided heavily with the secessionists. A street fight (or possibly a bar brawl, accounts differ) broke out which escalated quickly into a full-scale riot. “A Dreadful Affair Took Place In Our Town”, the newspaper headline proclaimed the next day. Five persons were reported killed, and more than 20 wounded. Federal reinforcements moved in the next day and restored order.

Tuesday March 28 1865

City Point, Va., was the home of the decisive decisions of the end-phase of the War today. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, Gen. William T. Sherman, Admiral D.D. Porter were met in consultation with President Abraham Lincoln aboard the USS River Queen. Lincoln showed little interest in the military details of what was obviously the conclusion of the conflict. Instead he spent the conference detailing how he wanted the South to be treated afterwards. Lincoln emphasized that there was to be as little loss of life as possible. He then went into his desire that a policy of leniency would be followed afterwards.

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