This Day in the Civil War

Thursday Oct. 3 1861

Supplies of many products were beginning to get a little tight here and there in the Confederate States of America. Cotton, however, bales and thousands of bales of it, was available in abundance. The problem was that with the Federal blockade of shipping there was no place to send it, and in fact there was a terrible shortage of places to even store the stuff. Gov. Thomas O. Moore of Louisiana took action today, issuing an order forbidding people to ship any more cotton into New Orleans, on the grounds that every available warehouse was full. The underlying hope was to pressure England and France, the biggest markets for the commodity, to pressure the Union to lift the blockade.

Friday Oct. 3 1862

Gen. George McClellan, commander of the Army of the Potomac, had been under considerable pressure of late to possibly take under advisement contemplating the idea of maybe possibly thinking about using the said Army for something along the idea of actually fighting somebody, preferably the Army of Northern Virginia. Intending to impress, McClellan invited Abraham Lincoln to visit the field for the day, to look things over and inspect the troops. At his headquarters Lincoln was entertained with parades. Demonstrations of various maneuvers were performed. Lincoln, unimpressed, called the army “Gen. McClellan’s bodyguard.”

Saturday Oct. 3 1863

Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks set off today on yet another attempt to secure Texas for the Union once and for all. As he was leaving from the vicinity of New Orleans, and as he had already tried once and failed at going through Sabine Pass, he decided on a different route this time. Orders were issued to the men of Maj. Gen. William B. Franklin to move westward, and today they departed from their bases at Berwick Bay and New Iberia, both in Louisiana. Their target was a waterway known as Bayou Teche. The ultimate goal, again, was to reach the Sabine. The campaign would last for more than a month.

Monday Oct. 3 1864

Gen. William T. Sherman had planned his campaign “from Atlanta to the sea” on the assumption that his army would live largely off the land and not be too dependent on supply from the rear. However, he had not expected to be cut off entirely, as was very close to happening today. The Army of Tennessee was sitting rudely on the rails of the Chattanooga-Atlanta railroad line, and they were proceeding to demolish it further. Hood’s forces also took possession of the hamlets of Big Shanty and Kennessaw Water Tank, which in theory were supposed to be firmly in Union hands. Vexed, Sherman finally ordered Gen. George H. Thomas back to Nashville to defend against this harassment in his rear.

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