Wednesday April 17 1861
SECESSIONIST STATES SET STAKES
Like ominous dominoes falling in a row, states lined up to refuse
Lincoln’s call for militia, then secede from the Union altogether.
Virginia’s governor said that since in his opinion Lincoln
“inaugurated the war” they would send no troops, since “the people
of this Commonwealth are free men, not
slaves.” (He was, of course, only 3/5ths correct.) The governor of
Missouri, also a secessionist, called the militia request “illegal,
unconstitutional, revolutionary, inhuman, diabolical and cannot be
complied with.” Kentucky was not amused either.
Thursday, April 17 1862
FARRAGUT FACES FLOODED FORTS
Flag Officer Farragut was preparing for the attack on New Orleans.
This preparation included amassing Union troops at Ship Island,
Miss, and in the area below Ft. Jackson and Ft. St. Phillip. These
latter's efforts involved not just preparation but rescue--they were
severely flooded, and the troops stationed there had to spend more
time bailing and moving guns and ammunition above the water’s reach
than they did getting ready for battle.
Friday April 17 1863
COINCIDENTALLY COORDINATED CAVALRY CHASES COMMENCE
A Union cavalry force led by Col. Benjamin Grierson set off today on
an extended raid through Louisiana and Mississippi. The 1700-man
expedition’s main purpose was to support Grant’s final push on
Vicksburg by tying up any Confederate forces that might be sent to
the city’s aid. Conversely, Brig. Gen. John S. Marmaduke led a
Confederate cavalry group into attacks on Union posts in Missouri.
Both forces continued operating until May 2.
Sunday April 17 1864
EXECUTIVE EXCLUDES EXACT EXCHANGES
Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, head of all Union military forces, issued an
order today that he felt would shorten the war, although inflicting
hideous suffering. He ordered an end to prisoner exchanges, which up
till now had sometimes seemed like a revolving door, as men captured
in one battle were often back in time for the next. Grant also
ordered that there would be no distinction between exchanges of
white and colored soldiers, which infuriated the South even though
it was rather a moot point.
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