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

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.


Week of July 21 - July 27
2:03 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

This Week in the Civil War - 618

The leaders of both the North and the South continued their substantial body of writing by July 21, 1863.  While lamenting George Meade’s lack of pursuit of Lee’s army after Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln in a letter to General O.O. Howard nevertheless described George Meade as “a brave and skillful officer, and a true man.” 

Writing his Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, the president encouraged the continuing recruitment of Negro troops along the Mississippi River. 

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Week of July 14 - July 20
1:57 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

This Week in the Civil War - 617

By Monday, July 20, one week after New York’s draft riot  merchants began collecting relief measures for that city’s Negro victims. 

Poor white laborers who did not wish to be drafted and risk their lives on the battlefield for the purpose of ending the institution of slavery had taken out their frustrations on the city’s blacks.  Many innocent Negroes had been beaten or lynched, and the city’s Colored Orphan Asylum had been sacked and burned.  Black owned or operated businesses also had been looted.

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Week of July 14 - July 20
1:52 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

This Week in the Civil War - 616

On Saturday July 18, 1863 six thousand Union troops, led by the Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts Colored Infantry, frontally assaulted Battery Wagner on Morris Island in Charlestown Harbor and its 1785 Confederate defenders. 

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Week of July 14 - July 20
1:45 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

This Week in the Civil War - 615

One of the strangest battles of the American Civil War period occurred on July 16, 1863 near Japan in the Straits of Shimonoseki. 

The U.S.S. Wyoming, commanded by Captain David McDougal, was searching for the Confederate raider Alabama, when the Wyoming visited Yokohama and learned that the Choshu clan was determined to expel all foreigners from Japan.  In fact, Japanese ships in June had already attacked an American merchant ship.  McDougal took the Wyoming in the Straits and attacked the Japanese fleet and shore batteries. 

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Week of July 14 - July 20
1:41 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

This Week in the Civil War - 614

By July 18, 1863 Confederate General John Hunt Morgan was about to complete the first week of his abortive raid into the American North.  Hunt and approximately 2500 cavalry left Kentucky on July 11, crossing the Ohio River into Indiana where his troopers plundered Corydon, the former capital.

Hunt’s 1000 mile raid spread great fear throughout the American North; martial law was declared in Cincinnati and other Northern cities.  Yet Union forces successfully prevented Morgan from re-crossing the Ohio River, constantly forcing him toward the northeast. 

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Week of July 14 - July 20
1:36 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

This Week in the Civil War - 613

On July 14, 1863, as George Meade’s Union troops occupied empty Confederate entrenchments north of the Potomac, Abraham Lincoln wrote Meade a letter noting “…I am very-very grateful to you for the magnificent success you gave the cause of the country at Gettysburg; and I am sorry now to be the author of the slightest pain to you.  But I was in such deep distress myself that I could not restrain some expression of it….Your golden opportunity is gone, and I am distressed immeasureably [sic]….” 

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Week of July 7 - July 13
3:02 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

This Week in the Civil War - 612

On Monday, July 13, 1863 rioting broke out in New York City.  A new Federal draft law had just taken effect, and there was great resentment over its provisions for substitutions and the purchase of exemptions.  A mob of Irish and other foreign laborers stormed the draft headquarters and quickly began to loot many business establishments. 

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Week of July 7 - July 13
2:58 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

This Week in the Civil War - 611

By Monday, July 13, 1863 with Lee fortifying his position north of the Potomac River it seemed that the Union Army of the Potomac was finally moving into position to attack him. However, during the night Lee crossed the Potomac into the safety of Northern Virginia. 

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Week of July 7 - July 13
2:55 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

This Week in the Civil War - 610

On Friday, July 10, 1863 Union troops landed on the south end of Morris Island near Charlestown, South Carolina.  This constituted the first step of a siege that would last until September; Federal troops first had to subdue Fort Wagner, one of the main defenses protecting Charlestown Harbor, if Charlestown was to be taken. 

A concerned Jefferson Davis, writing earlier to General Joseph Johnston, urged that the enemy “may yet be crushed and the late disaster be repaired by a concentration of all forces.” 

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Week of July 7 - July 13
2:51 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

This Week in the Civil War - 609

On July 8, 1863 when news of Vicksburg’s surrender reached Port Hudson, Louisiana, the last Confederate garrison on the Mississippi, Confederate General Franklin Gardner realized that further resistance was futile and, after receiving terms from Union General Nathaniel Banks, surrendered unconditionally his force of approximately 7000 Confederate troops.

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