This Day in the War: 1/26/11

Sunday, Jan. 26, 1862
BEAUREGARD BLITHELY BOUNCES BATTLEFIELDS

Gen. Pierre G.T. Beauregard, CSA, known as the “Creole” for his Louisiana origins, was reassigned today. The hero of Sumter and Manassas had been commanding forces in Virginia under Joseph E. Johnston. He was now ordered to Tennessee to be second in command to Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston.

Monday, Jan. 26, 1863
HOOKER HEIGHTENED, HARDLY HUMBLED

On this day Gen. Hooker assumed command of the Army of the Potomac, and he received a letter from President Lincoln. While praising Hooker’s abilities, Lincoln warned him against becoming a victim of the same sort of backstabbing that Hooker himself had practiced against Burnside. Hooker had reportedly said that the country needed a dictator. Lincoln wrote: “Only generals who gain success can set up as dictators. What I ask of you is military success, and I will risk the dictatorship.”

Tuesday, Jan. 26, 1864
TENTATIVE TRADE TRANSITIONS TOLD

President Lincoln on this day issued new regulations on the ticklish issue of “trading with the enemy.” The practice had, needless to say, been prohibited; however, as Union forces moved into larger areas of the South, many areas were no longer considered enemy territory. More liberal rules were therefore needed, and plans were to extend them as practicable as new areas were liberated.

Thursday, Jan. 26, 1865
SHERMAN’S SHADOWY SABER SEEN

Although Gen. Sherman remained aboard ship at Hilton Head, his orders caused bedevilment to Confederate forces. His intention was to make it seem that his attack was going to be directed at Charleston. This would, it was hoped, seem logical to the defenders, considering that this was the scene of Fort Sumter and the beginning of the war. In pursuit of this, he sent skirmishers to Pocotaligo, SC and as far as Paint Rock, Ala.

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