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 28 to January 3
2:49 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

This Week in the Civil War - #997

  On Monday, January 2, 1865 the regular New Year’s reception was held at the White House in Washington, D.C. for the diplomatic corps, Cabinet officers, federal judges and military officers invited to attend.  Many complained that individual members of Congress were not invited; some alleged that Abraham Lincoln was purposely snubbing Congress to drive home the point that, due to his recent re-election, he would be in charge of reuniting the postwar nation.  Regardless, this event in Washington, D.C.

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Week of December 28 to January 3
2:49 pm
Thu January 1, 2015

This Week in the Civil War - #996

  A usually tolerate and understanding President Abraham Lincoln on Monday, January 2, 1865 gruffly informed a group of Kentucky citizens who asked to have controversial General Benjamin Butler transferred to their state, “You howled when Butler went to New Orleans.  Others howled when he was removed from that command.  Somebody has been howling ever since at his assignment to military command.  How long will it be before you, who are howling for his assignment to rule Kentucky, will be howling to me to remove him?”  After years of supporting Benjamin Butler for purely political reasons, th

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Week of December 28 to January 3
2:49 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

This Week in the Civil War - #995

  Desperate to retain his command of the Union Army of the James in the aftermath of the failed Wilmington, North Carolina invasion, General Benjamin Butler had ordered a canal cut to bypass a large bend in the James River at Dutch Gap, Virginia, hoping to move his forces closer to Richmond.  On Sunday, January 1, 1865 he ordered a massive powder blast to complete the excavation.  The powder was ignited, but with no significant results.

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Week of December 28 to January 3
2:49 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

This Week in the Civil War - #994

  New Year’s Day, January 1, 1865.  For just short of four years the American people at war had torn at the very political bonds that for better or worse initially bound them together as one nation.  Both in the North and South there were calls for a negotiated peace and increasing criticism of both the Lincoln and Davis governments.  Uncertainty was in the air, even with the Confederacy nearing its end.  The North’s economic and military might was slowly but surely wearing down the Confederate military and civilian population by attacking in strength even into the very heartland of the Sou

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Week of December 28 to January 3
2:49 pm
Mon December 29, 2014

This Week in the Civil War - #993

  On Wednesday, December 28, 1864 in a conference at Washington, D.C., President Abraham Lincoln asked Union General Ulysses Grant “what you now understand of the Wilmington expedition, present and prospective.”  Grant immediately replied, “The Wilmington expedition has proven a gross and culpable failure….Who is to blame I hope will be known.”  In truth, Admiral David Porter, Grant, and most army officers squarely fixed the blame for the failed expedition on General Benjamin Butler.  Convinced also, President Lincoln at a Cabinet meeting two days later announced that Butler would be remove

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History
10:07 am
Sun December 28, 2014

Fleeing To Dismal Swamp, Slaves And Outcasts Found Freedom

Great Dismal Swamp, in Virginia and North Carolina, was once thought to be haunted. For generations of escaped slaves, says archaeologist Dan Sayers, the swamp was a haven.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Originally published on Sun December 28, 2014 2:50 pm

Most Americans know about the Underground Railroad, the route that allowed Southern slaves to escape North. Some slaves found freedom by hiding closer to home, however — in Great Dismal Swamp.

The swamp is a vast wetland in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. In George Washington's time, it was a million acres of trees, dark water, bears, bobcats, snakes and stinging insects. British settlers, who first arrived in 1607, believed the swamp was haunted.

By 1620, some of their slaves may have overcome that fear to find freedom there.

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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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