This Day in the Civil War

Tuesday August 27, 1861

Hatteras Inlet, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, was made to order for blockade runners of the Confederacy. With the addition of some fortifications it was perfect, for which reason the US Navy moved in to remove these today. A joint expedition, with Commodore Silas H. Stringham commanding eight ships and Gen. B.F. Butler commanding the 900-man landing force, swept in and conquered Fort Clark. This effort was simplified by the fact that it was made of sand and wood and had been abandoned. Fort Hatteras nearby was still manned and shots were exchanged to little effect. Part of the landing force landed under fire. Meanwhile, King Kamehameha IV announced that his nation, Hawaii, would observe neutrality in the hostilities. This simplified matters for Pacific naval operations of both sides, but had little diplomatic effect.

Wednesday August 27 1862

Gen. John Pope was in deep, deep trouble and didn’t know it. He did know that he had suddenly lost communication with Washington because Fitzhugh Lee had cut the telegraph wires in Manassas Junction. Since he was in town waiting for his father (Robert E. Lee) Fitz decided he might as well send the tons of supplies he had captured at the railroad depot south instead of north, and burn what couldn’t be carried. Pope today moved north, thinking he had the younger Lee trapped at the old Bull Run battlefield, and that George McClellan would soon be arriving to help. Other generals would be arriving, all right, but their names were Lee, Longstreet, and Jackson.

Thursday August 27 1863

Gen. John Buchanan Floyd had not had a distinguished war career. He was commander of Ft. Donelson on the Cumberland River when the Yankees came, and he fled on a steamer, leaving Simon Bolivar Buckner to surrender in his place. After that he had led the defenses of Nashville and repeated his prior performance. Even Jefferson Davis, who was so loyal to his friends that he kept many in command long after their time of usefulness had passed, became disgusted and sacked Floyd. Switching to the Virginia Militia he had tried to form a partisan company, where he spent most of his time fighting Confederate recruiters who were trying to get the same men for the regular army. This effort was so stressful that his health failed, and today he retreated for the last time. He died.

Saturday August 27 1864

The project to completely surround Atlanta, Ga., was nearing completion today. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman had pretty much had his way with the city since the Battle of Atlanta more than a month ago. With every step from Peachtree Creek to Ezra Church to today, the Federal Armies of the Cumberland, the Ohio, and the Tennessee would attack, the defenders would retreat, and Gen. Hood would blame Gen. Hardee for one lapse or another. The final assault was nearing today as Sherman launched the assault on the Macon & Western Railroad lines. The loss of the final supply route would force Hood to surrender, die--or evacuate.

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