This Day in the War: 1/27/11

Monday, Jan. 27, 1862
LINCOLN LASHES LAGGARDS

Utterly fed up with the inactivity of his generals and their armies, President Lincoln today issued the extraordinary General War Order No. 1. This order directed that all Union forces, on land as well as at sea, were to advance upon the insurgents and attack them on Feb. 22. Specifically included were the armies of the Potomac, Kentucky, Western Virginia, and Ft. Monroe, and the naval forces in the Gulf of Mexico, just in case any of the commanders of these bodies might have wanted to sit still and claim that the order must have been directed toward somebody else.

Tuesday, Jan. 27, 1863
PHILADELPHIA PUBLISHER POSTS PROPAGANDA

A. D. Boileau, proprietor of the Philadelphia _Journal_, had been a thorn in the side of Union leaders for some time. His paper did not support the war effort in the least. On this day Mr. Boileau was arrested and shipped off to Washington to answer charges of publishing pro-secessionist and anti-war propaganda.

Wednesday, Jan. 27, 1864
ARKANSAS ACTIVITIES AUTHORIZED

President Lincoln today issued orders to Gen. Steele in Arkansas regarding the reestablishment of civil authority. In some states it had been necessary to appoint a formal military government; however, in this case, Lincoln told Steele that the civil authorities could be allowed to remain in charge. There was one provision, though: the new government was required to keep the new constitution abolishing slavery.

Friday, Jan. 27, 1865
CONFEDERATE COMMISSARY CONTRIBUTIONS CRITIQUED

Gen. Robert E. Lee wrote a rather despondent letter today to Richmond. In it he pointed out that absenteeism, and frequently outright desertion, from his Army of Northern Virginia was reaching critical proportions. While it was hardly unknown on either side for men to go absent with or without leave to deal with family emergencies, the problem now was that they were neglecting to come back. Lee stated “the ration is too small for men who have to undergo so much exposure and labor as ours”, and suggested the Commissary Department be encouraged to provide more and better food.

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