Civil War

The Schreiner University Department of History is honoring the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War with a series of short vignettes, focusing on events from 1861 through 1865.  The Civil War was the most destructive conflict in American history, but it was also one of our most defining moments as a people and as a nation.

This Week in the Civil War - #981

Dec 11, 2014

  With Sherman’s Union invaders in near proximity to the sea, strong Confederate defenses outside of Savannah, Georgia presented his army with a real dilemma.  Without quickly making physical contact with the Federal fleet, the insufficiency of supplies, especially forage for his horses, would soon cripple his own army.  And, a stationary army surviving off the land would quickly consume all local resources.  Confronted by eighteen thousand men guarding five causeways into Savannah, Sherman on December 10, 1864 ordered his cavalry to reconnoiter Fort McAllister on the Ogeechee River, which

This Week in the Civil War - #980

Dec 10, 2014

  After issuing an order to replace George Thomas at Nashville with John Scofield, on Friday, December 9, 1864 Grant suspended the order when informed that Union forces at Nashville would attack Hood’s Confederates on the 10th, but freezing rain would make an attack impossible.  Thomas argued that he lacked sufficient concentrations of men, horses, and supplies but dutifully promised to attack as soon as the weather cooperated.  It would not be until Wednesday, December 14, that the ice storm ended, allowing Thomas the opportunity to advance against Hood’s forces.  By that day, Grant had or

This Week in the Civil War - #979

Dec 9, 2014

  William Tecumseh Sherman’s army could virtually smell the sea.  The changing terrain and vegetation as they neared Savannah suggested that they were fast approaching their goal.  After skirmishing with William Hardee’s Confederates at Jenks’ Bridge on the Ogeechee River and at Buck Creek and Cypress Swamp near Sister’s Ferry, Georgia, on Friday, December 9, 1864 Sherman’s army drove Confederate skirmishers from the Ogeechee Canal and Monteith Swamp.  With Federal troops to the south of the city almost in sight of the Atlantic Ocean, Sherman cautiously approached Savannah, although Hardee’

This Week in the Civil War - #978

Dec 8, 2014

  Despite John Bell Hood’s defeat at the Battle of Franklin, his advance to the outskirts of Nashville, Tennessee panicked the Union War Department.  Ordering General George Thomas at Nashville to immediately attack Hood, both the War Department and Ulysses Grant believed that Hood ultimately might attempt to bypass Nashville and push to the Ohio River.  Grant encouraged Thomas not to wait to reorganize his cavalry and threatened to replace him if he (Thomas) did not quickly attack Hood’s army.  With Thomas agreeing to attack but informing Grant that his cavalry would not be ready to take t

This Week in the Civil War - #977

Dec 5, 2014

  On December 6, 1864, the same day that President Abraham Lincoln sent his annual address to be read in Congress, he named former Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase to become Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, succeeding the recently deceased Roger B. Taney.