This Day in the Civil War

Saturday, Feb. 8 1862
ROANOKE RAID REWARDS RIGORS

Gen. Ambrose Burnside attacked Roanoke Island today and captured it from Confederate forces. He collected some 2000 prisoners and 30 pieces of artillery from shore batteries. Although little remembered in later years, this battle was of considerable importance at the time. Following the capture of Fort Henry in the west the day before, news that the Federals now commanded the important approaches to Pamlico Sound and a back door to Richmond caused much gloom and doom in the South.



Sunday, Feb. 8 1863
CHICAGO CIRCULATION CRUELLY CURTAILED

Respect for the First Amendment was not considered absolute in these times. There were quite a number of cases in which newspapers, magazines and other periodicals were threatened, harassed, fined, arrested or otherwise aggravated in their pursuit of truth, justice, and their right to editorialize. On this day, circulation of the Chicago Times was suspended by military order. The offense was the publication of disloyal statements. Abraham Lincoln had first authorized the suspension of the right of habeas corpus, despite the fact that the Constitution allows only Congress to do so.



Monday, Feb. 8 1864
ROTATION REVELATION RATTLES REBELS

Commander Catesby ap R. Jones, of the Confederate Naval Gun Factory at Selma, Ala., wrote today to Admiral Buchanan at Mobile about the technological innovations the Federals were bringing to marine warfare. “The revolving turret enables the monitor class to bring their guns to bear without reference to the movements or turning of the vessel. You who fought the Virginia know well how to appreciate that great advantage....”



Wednesday, Feb. 8 1865
ELECTORAL EXCLUSIONS EASILY ENACTED

The Federal House of Representatives today passed a resolution declaring that the states of the Confederacy were not entitled to representation in the Electoral College. There is no record of excessive grief being expressed about this development in the South. In the North, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts today ratified the Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery throughout the land.

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