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 June 23 - June 29
12:51 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

This Week in the Civil War - 598

The Union Army of the Cumberland, commanded by General William Rosecrans, advanced from Murfreesboro, Tennessee in a series of strategic maneuvers against Confederate forces at Tullahoma, commanded by General Braxton Bragg. 

For weeks the War Department, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, and President Lincoln had urged Rosecrans to take to the field.  Lincoln had written Rosecrans, pleading “I would not push you to any rashness, but I am very anxious that you do your utmost…. to keep Bragg from getting lost to help Johnston against Grant." 

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Week of June 16 - June 22
3:48 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

This Week in the Civil War - 597

On Saturday, June 20, 1863 by virtue of a presidential proclamation West Virginia officially joined the Union as the thirty-fifth state, and at Wheeling, Arthur Boreman was inaugurated as West Virginia's first state governor. 

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Week of June 16 - June 22
3:44 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

This Week in the Civil War - 596

By mid-June 1863 the Union siege of Vicksburg worsened.  A Confederate major noted, “One day is like another in a besieged city—all you can hear is the rattle of the Enemy’s guns, with the sharp crack of the rifles of their sharp-shooters going from early dawn to dark and then at night the roaring of the terrible mortars is kept up sometimes all this time.” 

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Week of June 16 - June 22
3:40 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

This Week in the Civil War - 595

On Friday, June 19, 1863 in the eastern theatre of war General Richard Ewell’s Confederates moved north of the Potomac River.  With Southern troops on Northern soil, many Northerners panicked as major urban areas such as Baltimore continued to construct defensive breastworks. 

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Week of June 16 - June 22
3:37 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

This Week in the Civil War - 594

On Thursday, June 18, 1863 at Vicksburg Ulysses Grant removed General John McClernand from command of the Union’s Thirteenth Army Corps. At Champion’s Hill in late May 1863, McClernand had not followed Grant’s orders to attack with his entire corps. 

After the battle, Grant deemed McClernand’s report on the battle to be “inaccurate” as well as “pretentious and egotistical.”  After futilely assaulting Vicksburg’s defenses in late May, McClernand then issued a congratulatory order to his troops, praising his corps while casting aspersions on both Sherman’s and McPherson’s troops. 

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Week of June 16 - June 22
3:28 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

This Week in the Civil War - 593

On Monday, June 15, 1863 after decisively routing Union forces at Winchester and Stephenson’s Depot approximately four miles north of Winchester, Confederate troops began crossing the Potomac River near Williamsport. 

Federal losses were high with 95 killed, 348 wounded, and approximately 4,000 reported captured or missing. The victorious Confederates in these battles seized 23 artillery pieces, 300 loaded wagons, over 300 horses, and large quantities of commissary and quartermaster’s stores.  

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Week of June 9 - June 15
2:48 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

This Week in the Civil War - 592

The vanguard of Lee’s army—Ewell’s corps—crossed the Blue Ridge mountains into the Shenandoah Valley toward Winchester and skirmished with Union forces at Newtown, Cedarville, and Middletown, Virginia on Friday, June 12, 1863. 

The following day, Saturday the 13th of June, Ewell’s forces occupied Berryville, Virginia.  On the same day, Joseph Hooker with his Union Army of the Potomac finally started to move northward toward the Potomac River, leaving his headquarters at Falmouth on the Rappahannock River where he had been for nearly seven months.

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Week of June 9 - June 15
2:44 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

This Week in the Civil War - 591

On Friday, June 12, 1863 Confederate Vice-President Alexander Stephens at home in Crawfordville, Georgia offered by letter to President Jefferson Davis to undertake a mission to Washington, D. C. to effect “a correct understanding and agreement between the two Governments.” 

Stephens acknowledged that no adjustment could be made that did not admit the right of each state “to determine its own destiny.”  The Vice-President, disenchanted with the Confederate national government he helped to create, had publicly criticized the Davis government over the issue of states’ rights. 

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Week of June 9 - June 15
2:42 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

This Week in the Civil War - 590

With the North bracing in anticipation of Lee’s invasion, on Thursday, June 11, 1863 in Ohio Clement Vallandigham was nominated in absentia for governor by a 411-11 vote by a convention of Peace Democrats who also demanded that Lincoln allow Vallandigham to return to the United States from Canada.

After being expelled from the North, Vallandigham had arrived in the South only to be declared an enemy alien by Jefferson Davis and subsequently expelled from the Confederacy.  Vallandigham had been sent to Bermuda via a blockade runner and then had journeyed to Canada. 

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Week of June 9 - June 15
2:38 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

This Week in the Civil War - 589

As Lee’s forces headed northwest in a steady advance, Union General Joseph Hooker on June 10, 1863 wrote Abraham Lincoln and advocated that he be allowed to move on Richmond, which would force Lee to abandon his invasion of the American North.

Lincoln replied, “I think Lee’s army, and not Richmond, is your true objective point. . . Fight him when opportunity offers.  If he stays where he is, fret him, and fret him.”  Clearly the citizens of the North were alarmed. 

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