This Day in the Civil War

Sunday April 28 1861

As Union military units continued to pour in for the defense of Washington D.C. it began to be a real problem to find places to put them. Since their major function was to guard government buildings, that was precisely where many of them were put. President Lincoln came to visit and express his gratitude to the Seventh New York today. He met them on familiar turf, the House of Representatives’ chamber of the still-unfinished Capitol Building.

Monday April 28 1862

Four small forts below New Orleans had surrendered yesterday. Today came the recognition of the inevitable at Fort Jackson and Fort St. Phillip. These were the big ones, which had defended the lower Mississippi River from Admiral Farragut’s fleet with barricades and chains as well as artillery. Farragut had attacked them repeatedly to no avail, and finally had simply run past them at night.

Tuesday April 28 1863

The Armies of Northern Virginia and of the Potomac had sat for most of the winter facing each other across the Rappahannock River at Fredericksburg, Va. Today the faceoff continued, with the twist that about half of Hooker’s army had split off and headed upriver. They crossed at the ford in the Wilderness area, and both armies braced themselves for the contemplated flank attack.

Thursday April 28, 1864

Admiral D. D. Porter was in deep trouble over shallow water. He had taken a fleet up the Red River in triumph and was now trying to get a rapidly shrinking number of ships back down and was failing. “I find myself blockaded by the fall of 3 feet of feet being required to get over; no amount of lightening will accomplish the the meantime the enemy are splitting up into parties...and bringing in artillery.”

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