This Day in the Civil War

Saturday, Feb. 22 1862
INAUGURATION INDICATES INDEPENDENCE IDEAL

Jefferson Davis, former member of the United States Senate from the state of Mississippi, was sworn into office on this day as the President of the Confederate States of America. A man who had once sworn to “preserve, protect and defend” the Constitution of the United States said in his inauguration speech that “Civil war there cannot be between States held together by their volition only.”



Sunday, Feb. 22, 1863
DISEASE DEPLORABLY DEPOPULATES DOUGLAS

While much has been made of dreadful conditions in prisoner-of-war camps in the South, such as the brutality of Andersonville, it is less often reported that the situation was little better in the North. One example is that of Camp Douglas, Illinois. The death rate reported for the month of February was 387--out of a total population of 3884! This amounted to 10 per cent of the entire inmate body. The cause in this case was a smallpox epidemic.



Monday, Feb. 22 1864
POMEROY PETITION PROMOTES PERNICIOUS PRESIDENCY PLANS

Salmon P. Chase, Lincoln’s Secretary of the Treasury, had managed to stay out of trouble for nearly two months. Now there appeared on the political scene a document promoting Chase for President. It was known as the “Pomeroy Circular” for its author, Sen. Samuel Pomeroy of Kansas. Chase vigorously claimed to know nothing about it, although he finally admitted having talked to the authors. Lincoln pulled Chase’s resignation out of his drawer...but did not use it.



Tuesday, Feb. 22, 1865
WHIPPED WILMINGTON WRETCHEDLY WASTED

The last major port of the Confederate States of America was effectively lost today as Wilmington, North Carolina was evacuated. Every available railroad car and engine was pressed into service as the Confederate forces removed every scrap of military material that could be hauled. Finally, burning the stores that could not be removed, Gen. Bragg and his soldiers abandoned the town. As fast as they were leaving, Federal forces under Brig. Gen. Terry began occupying the city.

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