This Day in the Civil War

Tuesday, Feb. 25 1862

Nashville, Tennessee, today changed hands without a shot being fired. As a result of Gen. U.S. Grant’s armies’ capture of Ft. Donelson and Ft. Henry, the city had basically become militarily indefensible. Confederate governor Isham Harris had packed up his office records and left town a week ago, following in the footsteps of Gen. Hardee’s troops, which had come to town only to pass through. Andrew Johnson was assigned by Lincoln to be military governor in place of Harris.

Wednesday, Feb. 25 1863

Acting Rear Admiral Charles Wilkes had precipitated one international crisis already in the war, by seizing two Confederate agents off a British ship on the high seas. He was at it again today, ordering the taking of a British merchantman carrying mail and cargo bound for Mexico. His logic: much cargo to Mexico wound up smuggled into the Confederacy. British logic: up with this they would not put. They demanded the mail be returned, unopened. It (eventually) was.

Thursday, Feb. 25 1864

Brig. Gen. George Henry Thomas continued to demonstrate around Dalton, Ga. Today, on his orders, Federal troops under Maj. Gen. J.M. Palmer approached greater metropolitan Buzzard’s Roost, Ga. and attempted an encroachment. The Confederate defenders were already there in sufficient force, and in a strong position, so the Union men returned to their previous position with the Army of the Cumberland without offering hostilities.

Saturday, Feb. 25 1865

The CSS Chickamauga had had a fairly brief career. After her completion in Wilmington port, the army commander had opposed her going to sea, on the basis that the ironclad would only cause the Federals to increase the number of blockade ships. Today the ironclad was scuttled to block the Cape Fear River at Indian Wells. Before she could be completely grounded she was caught by the current and swung around to the bank. She was no impediment to traffic at all.

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