This Day in the Civil War

Friday, March 7 1862

The Battle of Pea Ridge proceeded today. Gen. Earl Van Dorn, CSA, had spent the night marching his men north to the Federal rear. Attacked from the opposite direction than expected, the battle quickly became one of frontier-style hand-to-hand combat, rather than the Eastern Theater unit-against-unit approach. The deaths of two Confederate generals-Benjamin McCulloch and James McIntosh--threw the Southern forces into great confusion. The day ended with the battle unfinished.

Saturday, March 7 1863

Admiral S. P. Lee, commander of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, had a problem necessitating writing his boss. His difficulty? The blockade ships were capturing blockade runners at a tremendous pace. Every time a blockade runner was captured, an officer from the capturing ship had to be put aboard in command of the confiscated vessel until legalities could be worked out. Lee was running out of officers and had to write for more.

Monday, March 7 1864

President Jefferson Davis sometimes had as much trouble getting his generals to do what he wanted as Lincoln did. Today he wrote to Gen. James Longstreet, based in Greenville, Tenn., pressing him to get a move on into Kentucky. He implored, he pleaded, he did everything but send reinforcements. Longstreet had asked for them repeatedly, and simply refused to budge without them.

Tuesday, March 7 1865

President Abraham Lincoln had signed orders early in the war strictly forbidding any trade between US citizens and those of “insurrectionary states.” Now, though, he was suddenly signing increasing numbers of orders permitting just such trade--as long as it was Southern produce being sold to Northerners. This did the already critical Confederate economy no good whatsoever.

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