This Day in the War: 2/24/09

thisdayMonday, Feb. 24 1862

Gen. Don Carlos Buell commanded the Union forces that reached the Cumberland River opposite Nashville today. Up the river itself came the troops transports of Grant’s army, and they began to unload and prepare to occupy the town. The departing Confederates, removing to Murfreesboro, did so under the rear-guard protection of Nathan Bedford Forrest’s cavalry. In the streets of the town piles of supplies continued to emit clouds of smoke, alternately mouth-watering as hams were burned and nauseating when bales of cotton were torched.

Tuesday, Feb. 24 1863

The Queen of the West, former Union ramship on the Mississippi which had been damaged and partly sunk earlier in the month, was raised and put to work by the Confederacy. Her assignment was to abate the nuisance posed by the USS Indianola. One attempt at ramming was fended off by a coal barge. On the second ramming attempt the ram simply bounced off Indianola’s armor plating. But the third shattered her starboard wheelhouse. Taking on water, Indianola limped to shore where her commander, Lt. Cmdr. Brown, surrendered.

Wednesday, Feb. 24 1864

President Lincoln today signed a bill passed by Congress that offered up to $300 compensation for any Union master whose slaves volunteered to join the Army. The slave would be freed at the end of his service. The act also offered increased compensation for volunteers, increased penalties for draft resistance, allowed blacks to be subject to the draft, and ordered alternative service in non-combat roles for those who would not bear arms for religions reasons.

Friday, Feb. 24 1865

Up the PeeDee River today proceeded two ships of the squadron of Capt. J.S. Stellwagen to receive the surrender of the town of Georgetown, S.C. With the USS Catalpa and Mingoe, Ensign Allen Noyes took a small party to do the officiating, and run the Stars and Stripes up a flagpole from which it had long been vacant. A group of Confederate horsemen objected to this, and the US Navy had to be summoned to restore decorum. The town was later garrisoned by Marines.

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