Thursday Oct. 31 1861
SCOTT SHUFFLED SUDDENLY SLOTHWARD
Gen. Winfield Scott had been a hero of the
Mexican War, and had risen after that until he was not only the
commander of the United States Army but almost the embodiment of it.
It was nearly impossible to imagine anyone
else at the head of the nation’s military in the worst crisis in its
history. Today, however, Scott formally submitted his resignation to
President Abraham Lincoln. As beloved as Scott was, he was also by
now quite elderly, and so fat he was unable to mount his horse for
parades without assistance. In addition, Scott felt the hot breath
of one George McClellan on his neck. McClellan was young, vigorous
and very ambitious, and felt Scott was no longer fit for command.
Friday Oct. 31 1862
NEW NAVAL NASTINESS NOTED
For all the dedication of the Confederate States of America to a
conservative approach to government and social structure, the
military high command of the country was often surprisingly open to
innovative approaches to weaponry and warfare. Some of this was by
necessity, as the South lacked the massive industrial capacity that
the North could gear up to produce conventional weapons. Today, for
example the Congress of the Confederacy passed a bill authorizing
two new divisions of the Navy Department. Brig. Gen. Gabriel J.
Rains was placed in charge of the Torpedo Bureau, and Lt. Hunter
Davidson was named to command the Naval Submarine Battery Service.
The purpose of both bureaus was to
investigate, organize and improve creative methods of “torpedo”
warfare, what would today be described as mines.
Saturday Oct. 31 1863
ACADEMY ACHIEVES ANCHORING ACTION
As grim in many ways as the summer fighting season of 1863 had been
for the Confederacy, the new nation still had plans for the future.
In witness thereof, improvements were being made to the Confederate
Naval Academy, where the new generation of Southern patriots could
be trained in the arts of the sea. As important as academic
classroom work was, in mathematics, navigation and the like, there
is no way to learn about the sea without a ship to practice on. One
was acquired today, and the CSS Patrick Henry was brought to her
moorings at Drewry’s Bluff on the James River. Many of the dreams
begun here would not come to fruition: the Patrick Henry would later
be moved closer to Richmond for safety.
Monday Oct. 31 1864
TUSCUMBIA, TENESSEE TRICKERY TRIED
Any parent who has ever fooled a stubborn child into following by
turning one’s back and walking away from the brat, will understand
the move Gen. John Bell Hood engaged in today. Arriving in
Tuscumbia, Alabama, he began to vigorously fortify the place and
send reinforcements across the Tennessee River to the town of
Florence, who also gave every appearance of preparing to be attacked
by Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman. It was well known to one and all
that Sherman, having taken Atlanta long since, was gearing up for a
large-scale march, most probably a campaign of destruction heading
for the coast. Hood’s last chance to deter or at least delay Sherman
was to sucker him into chasing Hood’s army. Sherman, however, was
not buying this plan. He was already headed back for Atlanta.
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