This Day in the Civil War

Thursday Nov. 28 1861
MISSOURI MILITARISM MOMENTARILY MARKED

None of the border states had an easy time of it during the War of Southern Independence, but the problems of Missouri were even more complicated than most. For one thing, there was no generally understood agreement on its status in the rebellion. The last meeting of the regularly elected legislature had voted against secession. The Governor, Claiborne Jackson, was pro-secession, but before the matter could be resolved the St. Louis Riots and subsequent pursuit of Jackson and his followers by Gen. Nathaniel Lyon threw the entire state into chaos. The Confederate Legislature “accepted” the admission of Missouri into the Confederacy today and ordered a star added to the flag in her honor, but in fact the major cities and Mississippi River banks were firmly in control of the Union.



Friday Nov. 28 1862
MARMADUKE MAINTAINS MOMENTARY MILITARY MOMENTUM

A year later the situation in Missouri was no nearer to resolution. The fighting ranged back and forth across the Arkansas border. Today there was an engagement at either Cane Hill or Boston Mountains, Ark., depending on whose name you prefer. In this encounter, Union troops under James Blunt attacked Confederate forces under John Marmaduke. On this occasion it was Marmaduke’s men who were driven back, losing quite a few men to wounding and capture. In other actions there were ongoing skirmishes near Holly Springs, Mississippi, where Union Gen. U.S. Grant was hoping to establish a major supply depot. This would provide provisions for an anticipated attack on Vicksburg, the last Confederate city of consequence on the Mississippi River.



Saturday Nov. 28 1863
BUMBLING BRAGG BEARS BLAME

It was only three days since the Battle of Missionary Ridge had made the Union hold on Tennessee complete. The magnificent fighting force known as the Army of Tennessee, which had smashed the Union armies at Chickamauga and bottled them up in Chattanooga, had been left sitting ever since. Atop Missionary Ridge east of the city they had been given no orders to fortify properly, and when the attack came the cannon could not be properly aimed, and were swept away. Today the man responsible for this sorry situation, Gen. Braxton Bragg, finally seemed to see where the problem lay--in his own hands. With this he wrote to Jefferson Davis asking to be relieved of command, and requesting “an investigation” into the causes of the defeat. This was tantamount to requesting his own court-martial.



Monday Nov. 28 1864
TENNESSEE TRIBULATIONS TAKING TIME

Once again, a situation that had seemed settled a year earlier was once again a scene of fighting. The Army of Tennessee, which had seemed broken and doomed in the aftermath of Missionary Ridge, was again on the march. Today elements of the army, now commanded by Gen. John Bell Hood, entered the town of Columbia, Tenn. They did not do so very loudly, however, as most of the city was occupied by Union troops under John Schofield. The true commander of the Army of Tennessee, however, was in the process of arriving on the scene as well. Gen. Nathan B. Forrest was leading his horsemen across the Duck River to prepare for an attack on Schofield’s forces from the north. All of this action was motivated as much by a hope of forcing a recall of Gen. Sherman’s troops who were currently heading for Savannah, as by any military importance that Columbia might have held.

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