This Day in the War: 1/9/09

Thursday Jan. 9 1862

Some weeks ago Abraham Lincoln had started sending letters and telegrams to his two senior commanding generals in the Western Theater, Don Carlos Buell and Henry Halleck, asking when, in their opinions, they would be ready to carry the battle against the enemy. Specifically he was looking at them to carry out the Western half of the Anaconda Plan to strangle the Confederacy by recapturing the Mississippi River. To Lincoln’s increasing annoyance, he wasn’t getting dates far in the future, because he wasn’t getting any response at all. Today he complained about this during a meeting with General of the Army George McClellan. This was ironic, because McClellan would prove to be the worst procrastinator of them all.

Friday Jan. 9 1863

There was little of a particularly aggressive nature going on today. In the Federal West, the Army of the Cumberland, Gen. Rosecrans commanding, was reorganized into three corps, one each for George Thomas, Alexander McCook and Thomas Crittenden. None of the three corps was in a position to do anything about the Union garrison at Hartville, Mo, which was compelled to surrender to the Confederate forces of Gen. Marmaduke. Considerably further South, there was a to-do in the area south of St. Joseph’s, Fla., when the USS “Ethan Allen” sailed up. There was little fighting but much destruction: the “Allen” was on a mission to destroy the salt manufacturers and all their equipment and reserves. The one they got today was said to be producing 75 bushels of salt per day and selling it all at a good price in Richmond.

Saturday Jan. 9 1864

There was little hostile action on any front today (with the exception of a very tiny skirmish at the equally tiny Terman’s Ferry, Ky.) but the rumors were vast and numerous. They were also mostly naval: in Washington, Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles received a disturbing telegram from Admiral C.H. Bell in California. According to Bell, he had himself just received word that the Confederates were constructing a large new raider in an unexpected place, Vancouver, British Columbia. Welles’ agents had largely blocked Southern attempts to get ships in Europe, but had overlooked the Canadian option. In Richmond, Jefferson Davis was sending notice to commanders in Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia that Admiral Farragut was preparing to attack Mobile.

Monday Jan. 9 1865

In Washington the debate on the 13th Amendment to outlaw slavery everywhere in America was heating up. The bill had already passed the Senate easily but was having a harder time in the more volatile House. Lincoln was putting pressure everywhere he could to move the matter along, and day by day more Congressmen signed on in support. In Tennessee, the state’s control by Union forces was considered strong enough that a Constitutional Convention was allowed to be held, and today they too adopted an amendment abolishing slavery in the state. It next had to be put to a vote of the people, or at least male people.


One Response to “This Day in the War: 1/9/09”

  1. Pam C. says:

    I love all the short topics in this section of “This Day,” but I really like the alliterative titles! Guess that’s the English teacher in me!


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