This Day in the War: 10/4/10

Friday Oct. 4 1861

The USS South Carolina was on patrol in the Gulf of Mexico this morning. More specifically she was on blockade duty, charged with the task of assisting Union vessels and impeding those of the Confederacy, or anyone attempting to do business with them. She fulfilled that mission admirable today when she caught sight of the schooners Ezilda and Joseph R. Toone making for New Orleans. The warship gave chase below Southwest Pass and in short order captured both vessels. They proved excellent prey, carrying as they did between 4000 and 5000 stands of arms.

Saturday Oct. 4 1862

Actually, calling the Battle of Corinth a victory for either side would be questionable. In an action which had started yesterday in the important Mississippi railroad junction, the Confederate forces under Gen. Van Dorn had attacked the Federal army northwest of the town. They made progress for awhile, forcing the Union men back into fortifications. Today the assault was renewed, since part of the urgency of the attack was to encourage U. S. Grant to pull back to Tennessee. The fighting was fierce for the two days, with casualties estimated at 2500 Union dead and around 4200 for the Southerners. And the conclusion of hostilities Van Dorn pulled his battered force back to Chewalla, Miss.

Sunday Oct. 4 1863

After the battle of Gettysburg, as after all battles, parties were detailed to bury the dead, usually where they fell. As the dead were many and the burial parties few these efforts were often sketchy, and the armies had barely moved out of town before the “resurrections” began. Some of these body removals were done by grieving relatives wishing to take their kinfolk home for proper funerals. Other reappearances resulted from weather washing the dirt off the rude graves. The organized effort to disinter all the corpses for relocation to the National Cemetery then in the planning stages did not begin until much later. A problem promptly arose from the fact that the July heat had not been kind to the corpses. It was decided today that due to the advanced state of decomposition, reburials could not be done until after the first frost stabilized the ground. The first frost did not come to Gettysburg in 1863 until October 25.

Tuesday Oct. 4 1864

Gen. John Bell Hood, CSA, had had his difficulties with pitched battles, either losing most of them or withdrawing from outflanked positions before battle even began. He was finally having success with his mission to slow Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s march across the South by attacking his garrisons in the rear. Hood’s men were in firm control of the Chattanooga-Atlanta Railroad lines, and skirmishing was taking place at Moon’s Station, Lost Mountain and Acworth. Sherman was getting reports pleading for relief, and today he decided to provide it. Leaving only one corps to hold Atlanta, he started back up the line to deal with Hood. He established headquarters at Kennesaw Mountain and got to work.

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