This Day in the Civil War

Sunday, April 14 1861

Parades, celebrations and a general holiday occurred in Charleston, South Carolina today as the defeated Union garrison of Fort Sumter packed up and left. They boarded the ships which had been standing offshore, unknown to them, bringing the supplies which might have allowed them to hold out longer against attack. In Charleston special services of thanksgiving were held in churches. Gov. Pickens said, perhaps prematurely, “We have met them and we have conquered."

Monday, April 14 1862

Nathan Bedford Forrest had, in a lightning strike, taken possession of the Federal Ft. Pillow in Tennessee yesterday. Today Union gunboats on the Tennessee River pounded the installation unmercifully with mortars and other weaponry. The only other actions in the war were skirmishes and reconnaissances in various parts of the country.

Tuesday, April 14 1863

There had been a considerable battle begun yesterday in the vicinity of Suffolk, Va. involving Confederate forces in rifle pits on one side of the river, and Union forces on the other, as well as Union ships offshore. The ships had kept up a steady fire to keep the Rebels from crossing the river. USS Washington today became disabled, and ran around, and had to be rescued by the USS Stepping Stones.

Thursday, April 14 1864

The Red River was low and getting lower, and it was getting help in this effort from unnatural sources. This caused unpleasantness for Admiral D.D. Porter and his ships. Two of his best ironclads were stuck above a sandbar and others were threatened. “If nature does not change her laws there will be a rise of water” Porter wrote in a rare attack of wishful thinking. “The rebels are cutting off the supply by diverting different sources of water into other channels, all of which would have been stopped had our Army arrived as far as Shreveport.”

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