This Day in the Civil War

Friday March 14 1862

Gen. John Pope, USA, was in charge of the Union offensive on the Mississippi River which was working its way from Confederate base to base. Today Pope was resolved to take possession of the facilities at New Madrid, Mo. All available men were gathered, and attacked--and won. Gen. John P. McCown, CSA, had evacuated the Southern forces the night before, moving some to Island No. 10 in the middle of the river and the rest to the eastern bank.

Saturday, March 14 1863

Admiral Farragut was having a distinct difficulty with the shore batteries of Port Hudson, on the Mississippi River. He sent off a squadron of seven ships. The first, the flagship Hartford, sailed past quite unscathed. After that, things deteriorated. Richmond was hit by a shell in her steam boilers and lost power. Monongahela went next, got stuck on a mud bar and was hit by so many shots that eight of them went entirely through the ship. She was eventually pulled off by another ship, but was little use thereafter.

Monday, March 14 1864

Ft. DeRussy, on the Red River, was one of the first stops of Admiral Porter’s expedition. His ships bombed from the river, Gen. Andrew Jackson Smith’s troops assaulted by land, and the fort was promptly surrendered. The Army-Navy cooperation yielded some surprising results. As Porter said in his report: “The rebels had depended on that point to stop any advance of army or navy into rebeldom. Large quantities of ammunition, best engineers and best troops sent there..”

Tuesday, March 14 1865

All the paperwork was in order as the schooner Champanero left the customs station at St. Mary’s and sailed into Chesapeake Bay. A suspicious US Navy commander stopped her for inspection anyway, and was shocked, shocked to discover that more than half her cargo was not listed on the paperwork, including large quantities of gunpowder, $4000 worth of liquor and miscellaneous other merchandise. There was soon a job opening at the Customs Department.

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