Sunday Sept. 15 1861
FRANTIC FREMONT FLAILS, FUTILELY
Gen. Charles Fremont, commander of Union forces in St. Louis, Mo.
was under pressure on two fronts. He was supposed to be organizing a
march of 38,000 troops to Lexington, Mo., where a Federal force was
holding out against a siege of Sterling Price. Fremont was also
under pressure from President Lincoln, who was furious about
Fremont’s orders freeing all the slaves in Missouri, and Lincoln’s
friend, the politician-colonel Frank Blair Jr. who was furious about
a recent audit of Fremont’s books. Fremont’s response: he put Blair
under arrest, and cancelled the march to Lexington.
Monday Sept. 15 1862
MILES’ MORTALITY MOTIVATES MCCLELLAN MOVEMENT
Stonewall Jackson pounced on Harpers Ferry today. As the Federal
garrison there was small, and the intended reinforcements under
Franklin had failed to arrive, the battle didn’t take long, although
it was long enough for the defending commander, Dixon Miles, to be
mortally wounded. Meanwhile Gen. Lee was becoming at least mildly
concerned that his forces were spread out so widely. The Potomac
River and safety were not far away, but instead Lee sent orders to
the outlying elements to begin to concentrate at the tiny Maryland
village of Sharpsburg, on Antietam Creek.
Tuesday Sept. 15 1863
CONFLICT CAUSES CONSTITUTIONAL CRUNCH
The “writ of habeas corpus” is a fairly simple concept, despite its
Latin name. It refers to the right of an arrested person to know
what charges are being brought, and of the obligation of the state
to produce evidence that the person charged was the one who
committed the offense. It was one of the shining lights of the
United States Constitution, and it went right out the window today.
Due to the existence of a “state of rebellion”, wrote Abraham
Lincoln, the right would be suspended in cases of people arrested by
military authorities whenever they deemed fit.
Thursday Sept. 15 1864
FATIGUED FARRAGUT FACES FURTHER FIGHTING
Admiral David Farragut had had a busy war. Right at the moment he
was probably wishing for greater haste from the US postal
authorities, because he had sent a letter Aug. 27 to Navy Secretary
Gideon Welles asking for a little time off. Secretary Welles just
received the letter today and it rather ruined his plans. Despite
the fact that, as Farragut pointed out, he had been on duty for more
than five years, with only one short furlough during that time,
Welles had planned to assign him to command of the assault on
Wilmington, North Carolina. In view of Farragut’s request Welles
changed his plans. He assigned Admiral D. D. Porter to the
job--Farragut’s adoptive brother.
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