This Day in the Civil War

Monday Sept. 30 1861

As the month of September came to a close there was little action on any of the fronts of the War. Fremont was too busy fighting with his ostensible ally Francis Blair Jr. in St. Louis to put any Federals in the field against the strong incursion of Sterling Price out of Arkansas. Price was not entirely thrilled either, since he had anticipated large numbers of Missourians to rally to his side, and they weren’t. In Virginia McClellan likewise seemed to be sitting on his hands. Even the embarrassment of being castigated by the entire Lincoln cabinet a couple of days ago did not seem to motivate him to battle. Training was his major concern these days.

Tuesday Sept. 30 1862

As in the previous year, the month of September came to an end in relative peace, at least in the major theaters of operations. The peacefulness was elusive in a few areas however: skirmishing occurred in Glasgow, Russellville and the vicinity of Louisville in Kentucky; at Newtonia, Missouri; Goodlettsville, Tennessee, and Glenville in western (not yet West) Virginia. There departed a Federal amphibious operation from Hilton Head, South Carolina, for an expedition on Saint John’s Bluff, Fla.

Wednesday Sept. 30 1863

The Battle of Chickamauga was long over with, and the Confederates had won..on points at least, since the Federal army was driven in disorder from the field into the sheltering streets of nearby Chattanooga. They were still there, though, and the conquering hero Braxton Bragg was still sitting outside of town. His accomplishment of today was to detach most of his cavalry, under Gen. Joseph Wheeler, and send it on an expedition to cut Federal communications lines. Bragg had no idea that two corps of the Union Army of the Potomac were only two days away. He knew they were coming but not how fast.

Friday Sept. 30 1864

The Battle of Peebles Farm, as it came to be known, continued where it left off yesterday on the south end of the Petersburg lines. Warren’s Fifth Corps did well at first and headed for Poplar Spring Church with the Ninth Corps close behind. Progress stalled when they encountered A. P. Hill’s men, and the Federals entrenched at the charmingly named Squirrel Level Road. At the other end of the line the Federals had taken Fort Harrison yesterday and turned it into a Union establishment. Robert E. Lee ordered a desperate attempt to retake the fort, but it could not be done. The Southerners withdrew to new lines, closer to Richmond.

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