This Day in the Civil War

Friday July 26 1861

It is often forgotten that Civil War battles occurred far from Virginia, Georgia and even the Mississippi River. One such action took place today in the wild and barely explored area near Texas then known as Indian Territory. Fort Fillmore, as this outpost was known, was under threat by about 250 Confederate forces under Capt. John R. Baylor. Despite having twice as many soldiers, and a fortified position, Major Isaac Lynde of the 7th US Infantry decided the position was indefensible and pulled out for Ft. Stanton overnight. There were those in Washington who would feel he should have put up a bit more resistance.

Saturday July 26 1862

Orange Court House, Virginia was the scene of a minor activity today. Other small disturbances of the peace took place at Tazewell, Tenn.; Mill Creek, near Pollocksville, N.C., and Spangler’s Mill near Jonesbrough, Ala. An “operation”, which was more of an exploration expedition than an excursion intended to lead to battle, began today in southeastern Missouri.

Sunday July 26 1863

Today was the end of the road for John Hunt Morgan. He had set forth with 1200 troopers on July 8 on a raid into southern Indiana and Ohio, hoping to be supported by Confederate sympathizers, and raise morale in the South after the fall of Vicksburg and loss at Gettysburg. Support did not materialize, his retreat was blocked by Union gunboats, and he had had to flee, losing men every day. Finally trapped near Salineville, Ohio, he and his remaining 364 officers and men surrendered today.

Tuesday July 26 1864

The effort to bring the realities of war home to the civilians of the South continued in full force today. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman sent Gen. George Stoneman on an expedition which would become known to history as Stoneman’s Raid. His assignment was to tear up railroad tracks and otherwise wreak whatever havoc on the transportation system he could. He was pointed in the direction of Macon and turned loose.

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