This Day in the Civil War

Saturday Dec. 28, 1861

As most armies on both sides settled into winter quarters, only a few skirmishes took place today. Mount Zion Church, Missouri; Sacramento, Ky; and Grider’s Ferry, on the Cumberland River in Kentucky, were a few of the places where the peace was disturbed. Most soldiers were happy enough to stay in such shelters from winter weather as they had managed to contrive, or else to have time to work on improvements to same.

Sunday Dec. 28 1862

The town of Dripping Springs, Ark., which we can give thanks was never developed into a popular honeymoon resort, was the scene of battle today for the Federal Army of the Frontier. Commanded by James Blunt, the Federals drove the Confederates back as far as the next hamlet of Van Buren, capturing in the process some forty wagons and other equipment.

Monday Dec. 28, 1863

On this date the Congress of the Confederacy faced up to the fact that the struggling new nation was basically broke, and also increasingly short of manpower. To correct the former, there was passed what was called the “tax in kind”, taking from every state one-tenth of all agricultural produce. To correct the manpower shortage, the system whereby a man could purchase a substitute to take his place in the army was abolished. This accomplished little as virtually every white man who could serve was either already doing so, engaged in vital industry or agriculture, or exercising passive resistance to the draft by taking to the hills if a recruiter entered the area.

Wednesday Dec. 28 1864

President Lincoln, who had been disappointed so often by other generals, wrote to Gen. Grant asking rather gently “what you now understand of the Wilmington expedition, present & prospective.” Grant replied, forthrightly, "The Wilmington expedition has proven a gross and culpable failure.” He added "Who is to blame will hopefully be known," possibly while gazing in the direction of Gen. Benjamin Butler, whose project it had been.

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