P.G.T. Beauregard

This tag is associated with 10 posts

150 Years Ago: Brief Recap of Sunday, June 2, 1861 to Monday, July 8, 1861

  • The Little Giant – Stephen A. Douglas, Senator from Illinois – dies from typhoid fever in Chicago on June 3. This is a blow to the Union cause, as Douglas was a strong supporter of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and the Union, despite the fact he had always worked for compromise on the issue of slavery. Lincoln orders to have the White House and government buildings draped in mourning for thirty days.
  • The Battle of Philippi takes place in western Virginia on June 3. A Confederate sympathizer, Mrs. Thomas Humphreys, starts the attack prematurely when she fires a pistol at Union soldiers after they capture her son, who had been on a mission to warn the Confederate Army. The result is a Union victory. Since Major General George McClellan had ordered the successful attack, he becomes a prominent hero in the North.
  • The state of Virginia turns its military over to the Confederacy.
  • On June 11, thirty-two western Virginia counties meet for a second time; it is referred to as the Second Wheeling Convention. Throughout the rest of June, the eighty-eight delegates work towards creating a new state, which they call the Restored Government of Virginia. Francis Pierpont is elected as Governor and the Convention is adjourned until August 6.
  • On June 12, U.S. Captain Nathaniel Lyon continues to take matters into his own hands and declares war against Missouri Governor Claiborne Jackson and his Missouri State Guard. Jackson and his key military leader, Major General Sterling Price, flee from the Missouri capital and head to the southwest corner of the state. They still have a chance to regain control if they can get Confederate supplies and troops. Claiborne also puts out a call for 50,000 volunteers to help him keep prevent Union control of the state.
  • Brigadier General Joseph E. Johnston takes control of Harpers Ferry & relieves Colonel Thomas J. Jackson from command. On June 14, Johnston starts to withdraw troops from the city and blows up an 800-foot Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) Railroad trestle over the Potomac River.
  • President Abraham Lincoln receives an anonymous note that states “If he (William S. Wood) continues as Commissioner, he will stab you in your most vital part.” In the Spring, Mary Lincoln had persuaded her husband to give Wood the position after she locked herself in her room until he gave into her demand. Wood had been showering Mary with fine gifts and was accompanying her on trips. After receiving the note, Abe confronts Mary and they rarely speak to each other for several days. Wood eventually resigns his post, but Mary will continue to surround herself with questionable men.
  • William Tecumseh Sherman travels from St. Louis to Washington City and assumes command of the Third Brigade of the First Division.
  • By a vote of 108,339 to 47,233, Tennessee secedes from the Union on June 24. It is the last state to join the Confederate States of America.
  • The 2nd Rhode Island Volunteer Infantry makes its way to Washington City; it includes Governor William Spague, Colonel John S. Slocum and Private Elisha Hunt Rhodes. For Rhodes, it is his first time away from home. On June 24 he sees President Lincoln for the first time and thinks he is “a good honest man.”
  • George Armstrong Custer graduates last in his class at West Point. The thirty-four graduates were pushed through a year early because the U.S. army needs trained officers. Custer is made Second Lieutenant in the 2nd U.S. Cavalry.
  • Virginian native George Pickett resigns his commission as U.S. Captain and joins the Confederate army as a Colonel.
  • U.S. General Irvin McDowell presents a plan for attacking Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard and his troops at Manassas, Virginia.
  • U.S. General Winfield Scott wants to send a military expedition down the Mississippi River to establish a blockage in hopes of starving the South. He believes the Union troops are too new and untrained for a major battle. He disagrees with McDowell’s plan, but President Lincoln and his cabinet believe that the northern citizens want action. If they wait too long, they fear their support will dissipate.
  • 10,000 U.S. troops and artillery cross the Potomac River into Virginia on July 8. More troops are expected in the following days; they will wait to move further into the state until they have enough troops & supplies for a large-scale military campaign.

150 Years Ago: Friday, May 31, 1861

Ellen Sherman is packing up her St. Louis home; she and the children are moving back to her father’s home in Lancaster, Ohio. Today is her husband William Tecumseh (Cump) Sherman’s last day as President of the Fifth Street Railroad; he has served just two out the twelve months he had originally agreed to. Though it took some persuasion on the part of Sherman’s brother John and Ellen’s own political-involved Ewing family, Cump had accepted the command of Colonel of the Thirteenth Regular Infantry which he was appointed to on May 14. Though Cump had requested to raise this new Regiment at Jefferson Barracks in Missouri, General Winfield Scott had denied the request; he wants Sherman in Washington City. Knowing that Washington is not a safe place for his wife and five children – with a sixth child on the way – Cump had made arrangements with Thomas Ewing, Ellen’s father. Ellen prefers to be as close to her parents as possible, so she is very agreeable to the arrangement.

Also in St. Louis, two Union officers are reacting to two very different letters received from Washington that are dated May 16. U.S. Brigadier General William S. Harney is in shock to learn that he has been relieved of command after only a few weeks. He writes to Adjutant General Lorenzo Thomas, acknowledging that he received the instructions and officially relinquishes command, but at the same time is convinced that President Lincoln could not have approved this action. He believes this is all a mistake and informs Thomas that news from Missouri over the past few weeks was more animated and blown out of proportion than what politicians in Washington may think. Harney believes that things are best left in his capable command, but leaves his fate at the hands of the President.

But one man’s loss is another man’s gain. With Harney’s removal, this now puts Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon in charge. Lyon immediately assumes command of Union troops in Missouri. It’s the position he has been aiming for over the last several months as he recruited volunteers, secured the St. Louis Arsenal and weapons, and captured rebel Camp Jackson, all on his own initiative.

In Washington, U.S. Postmaster General Montgomery Blair suspends all mail to the states that have seceded from the Union and closes accounts of secessionist postmasters. All remaining postmasters must take an oath of allegiance to the Union if they wish to retain their positions.

The Confederate government continues to make military appointments now that the government has been moved to Richmond. Today General P.G.T. Beauregard is given command of the “Alexandria Line” which includes all of northern Virginia.

From her home in New Brunswick, Canada, Betsy Edmonds writes a letter to her daughter Sarah Emma Edmonds. Sarah is better known as Private Frank Thompson to her comrades in the Second Michigan Infantry and she is now at Fort Wayne in Detroit after being mustered into service six days ago. Betsy is confused over her daughter’s behavior to pose as a young man and join a war in another country. She’s hoping that her words will reach Sarah and get her to change her course of action:

My dear child:

I take time to write you to let you know that your family is well. I received a letter from you today and I was much displeased. I implore you to give up this ruse and come home at once. This war is not yours, my child. Leave it to the Americans who fight each other, most foolishly, in my opinion.

If you will not leave the war, at least then leave that which causes you the most danger, and which must surely be your most constant trouble–that of seeming to be what you are not. Cast off the Yankee uniform and take back your skirts, Emma. Or if you must stay in this war, at least stay as the woman you are.

I pray daily for your safety. And I pray for the swift resolution to this foolish war which is ripping your adopted country apart.

Your loving mother,

Betsy Edmonds

Betsy closes with a final afterthought, telling her daughter not to bother writing her again until she can sign her “own rightful name” to the letter.

150 Years Ago: Sunday, April 14, 1861

The day after Major Anderson’s (USA) surrender, a hundred gun salute was a part of the generous terms offered by Brigadier General Beauregard (CSA). The salute, along with the raising of the U.S. flag, would take place exactly 24 hours after the surrender at 2pm. Beauregard, likely due to his friendship with Anderson, showed great respect for Anderson and his men, and allowed them to leave with dignity and at their own pace. In the middle of the ceremony there was an accidental cannon explosion, which caused the first official fatalities of the Civil War.  Private Daniel Hough was killed instantly. Four were wounded, with one – Private Edward Gallway – dying at Gibbes Hospital in Charleston on April 19. The salute was cut short to just 50 guns.

Beauregard showed great concern over the injured soldiers. Since they were on enemy territory the Union troops were not allowed to take the soldiers with them. But Beauregard promised Anderson the injured soldiers would receive the best of care. In regards to Private Hough, Beauregard issued an order to his military personnel who would now occupy the Fort: “The commanding general directs that the commanding officer of the garrison of Fort Sumter will bury the unfortunate soldier who has been accidentally killed by explosion of misplaced powder while saluting his flag. He will be buried with all the honors of war in the parade of the fort.

As soon as U.S. troops took down their flag, the victorious Confederacy raised their new flag inside Fort Sumter. This was the first official Confederate flag design, with seven stars (one to represent each Confederate State) and three bars. Commonly referred to as the “Stars and Bars” and was designed to “not abandon” the old U.S. flag design at the request of many citizens. It’s use was approved on March 4, 1861, a little more than a month prior to the first battle.

Fort Sumter, April 14, 1861

Fort Sumter, Confederate Flag is Hoisted to Celebrate Victory (Source: National Archives)

Anderson and his command boarded a ship and headed to New York. With him, he brought the damaged U.S. flag that had once flown inside the Fort.

In Washington D.C., President Lincoln met with his cabinet and military officers and drafted a proclamation calling for a militia to suppress the rebellion. This was a call for 75,000 troops from the various states still in the Union, including states that had been debating whether or not to secede. Most states rallied around the cause after the surrender of Fort Sumter. For four states, this would be the issue that eventually pushed them over the edge and into the Confederacy. The new militia would serve just ninety days, and a special meeting of Congress was set for July 4 at noon to determine what special actions needed to be taken for this “extraordinary occasion.”

The ninety day time frame, in hindsight, was extremely short. But at the time most experienced political and military leaders on both sides felt that defeat of the opposition would easily occur within that time frame.

Daily Civil War Calendar

September 2019
S M T W T F S
« Apr    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930  

Enter your email address to follow the TCWP blog and receive notifications of new posts by email!

TCWP Twitter Feed

Flickr Photos

The Civil War Project is now on Tumblr

Copyright Notice

Copyright © 2011-2013 TheCivilWarProject.com - All Rights Reserved

SiteMeter