This Week in the 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.  Let us know what you think about "This Week in the Civil War."  E-mail your comments to Dr. John Huddleston at jhuddles@schreiner.edu.

Airs:  Weekdays at 5:19 a.m., 8:19 a.m., 4:19 p.m. on KTXI and 4:49 a.m., 9:29 p.m. on KSTX.

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Week of December 21 to December 27
2:49 pm
Fri December 26, 2014

This Week in the Civil War - #992

  In Tennessee, by late December 1864 things were not well in John Bell Hood’s Confederate army.  Marching southward from Columbia toward Pulaski, Tennessee, Hood essentially sacrificed his rear guard to cover his retreat.  Reaching Bainbridge on Christmas Day, Hood could ill afford to give his pursued and exhausted Confederates a day to celebrate.  On Monday, December 26, the remains of his army began crossing the Tennessee River, essentially bringing his invasion of Tennessee to a close.  A once proud army that confidently had invaded Tennessee finished retreating across the Tennessee Riv

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Week of December 21 to December 27
2:49 pm
Thu December 25, 2014

This Week in the Civil War - #991

  On Christmas Eve, Saturday, December 24, 1864 David Porter’s formidable fleet opened an artillery barrage against Fort Fisher and its approximate 500 Confederate defenders.  For months Fort Fisher’ guns had effectively assisted many blockade runners to enter Wilmington, the last major Confederate port even partially open.  Despite the artillery barrage, very little damage with done to either the fort or its stubborn defenders.  The only alternative open to Benjamin Butler after this failed attempt was to execute a landing above the fortification and attempt to take the structure by land;

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Week of December 21 to December 27
2:49 pm
Wed December 24, 2014

This Week in the Civil War - #990

  On Friday, December 23, 1864 a Federal fleet from Fortress Monroe, Virginia on the way to attack Fort Fisher near Wilmington, North Carolina, after encountering heavy storms off Cape Hatteras, regrouped near Beaufort.  With Admiral David Porter in charge of the fleet, Union ships carried 6500 troops under the command of General Benjamin Butler.

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Week of December 21 to December 27
2:49 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

This Week in the Civil War - #989

  From Savannah, Georgia on Thursday, December 22, 1864 William Tecumseh Sherman sent his famous message to President Abraham Lincoln: “I beg to present to you, as a Christmas present, the city of Savannah, with 150 heavy guns and plenty of ammunition, and also about 25,000 bales of cotton.”  Sherman had reason to celebrate.  After seven months of surviving in the enemy’s heartland, he had taken Savannah with minimal losses to his army.  Sherman’s invaders had an estimated 103 killed, 428 wounded, and 278 captured or missing; those figures constituted slightly more than one percent of his f

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Week of December 21 to December 27
2:49 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

This Week in the Civil War - #988

  Sherman’s triumphant army marched into Savannah, Georgia on Wednesday, December 21, 1864.  The Twentieth Corps became the first Union troops to enter the city; Sherman was not present.  He had journeyed up the coastline to a strategy session to block the potential escape of Savannah’s defenders-- on the very route which they used to escape while the conference was being held.  Sherman was extremely disappointed in Hardee’s escape, but little could have been done to stop his evacuation.  Hardee had been planning such a move since Jefferson Davis advised him to see to the preservation of hi

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Week of December 14 to December 20
2:49 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

This Week in the Civil War - #987

  At Savannah, Georgia during the early morning hours of Tuesday, December 20, 1864 Hardee’s Confederates who had unsuccessfully prevented Sherman from establishing valuable lines of communication and resupply with the Union Atlantic fleet withdrew from the city.  When Federal forces realized that Hardee had evacuated, they quickly moved to cut off his escape route across the Savannah River.  Union pursuers were unsuccessful, and Hardee’s Confederates moved into the southern part of South Carolina to concentrate with other Confederate forces.  Hardee left behind 250 heavy guns and stores of

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Week of December 14 to December 20
2:49 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

This Week in the Civil War - #986

On Monday, December 19, 1864 in an effort to “rachet up” military pressure on the Confederate war effort and prevent Confederate reinforcements to Hood in Tennessee or to Hardee in Georgia, in accordance with Ulysses Grant’s orders Philip Sheridan, Union commander in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, sent 8000 cavalry under the command of A.T.

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Week of December 14 to December 20
2:49 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

This Week in the Civil War - #985

Saturday, December 17, 1864 was a bad day for the Confederacy.  Federal cavalry operating in southwest Virginia destroyed several lead mines critical to the Confederate war effort.  In Tennessee, only a heroic stand by Hood’s rear guard at Hollow Tree Gap and on the West Harpeth River enabled the rest of his defeated army to withdraw through Franklin, Tennessee, as James Wilson’s Union cavalry attempted to cut off Hood’s line of retreat.  And at Savannah, Georgia, General William Hardee received a message from President Jefferson Davis, informing his general that Robert E.

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Week of December 14 to December 20
2:49 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

This Week in the Civil War - #984

 In the early morning hours of Friday, December 16, 1864 Union forces under George Thomas renewed their attack against John Bell Hood’s Confederates, assaulting Hood’s right flank which guarded the road to Franklin.  While S.D.

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Week of December 14 to December 20
1:49 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

This Week in the Civil War - #983

  At Nashville, Tennessee after days of waiting for the weather to clear George Thomas’ Union forces struck John Bell Hood’s Confederates a devastating blow.  After successfully demonstrating against the Confederate right flank, some 35,000 Union troops attacked the Confederate left flank, driving the enemy toward the rear for approximately one mile.  Even though Hood had been decisively defeated, by nightfall he still held the key road to Franklin and thus assumed new, and shorter, defensive positions.  While Thomas no doubt expected Hood to withdraw, Union forces soon learned that Hood ha

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