This Day in the Civil War

Tuesday, April 8 1862
ISLAND INCIDENT INCREASES INSECURITY

The big news in the newspapers of both countries today was the results of two battles: the tragic losses at Pittsburg Landing and New Madrid Bend if you were reading in Richmond. Of course, if you were reading the news in Philadelphia, New York or Washington, you were overjoyed to hear of great victories at Shiloh Church and Island No. 10 . The latter was a small island in the Mississippi River which was one of the few defenses left above Vicksburg.



Wednesday, April 8 1863
CANOE CONCEALMENT CARRIES CURIOUS CARGO

An extremely unusual craft made rendezvous with the USS Richmond below Port Hudson today. Edward C. Gabaudan, secretary to Admiral Farragut, needed to get a message to the captain of the Richmond, but no communications were available. So a canoe was decorated with sticks, branches and other rubbish until it resembled a floating log. The messenger, armed with a paddle and a pistol, lay down any time he felt he might be observed.



Friday, April 8 1864
BANKS’ BOYS BADLY BATTERED

Gen. Nathaniel Banks, USA, was moving a large force across Louisiana towards Shreveport, with little in the way of opposition. Maj. Gen. Richard Taylor, CSA, decided that this was something up with which he would not put, and put together a force large enough to oppose it. Banks aided this by letting his lines get intermingled with supply wagons, and when Taylor attacked, all was chaos. The attack was finally driven off, but many Union men were captured.



Saturday, April 8 1865
INCAPACITY INCHES INEVITABLY INWARD

Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia was endeavoring to get to its next goal, Lynchburg Va. This required them to pass the area of Appomattox. Close behind them were the Army of the Potomac, under Meade, with commanding Gen. Grant in accompaniment. In front of them was a large force of Union cavalry under Phil Sheridan, who were already in possession of the railroad to Lynchburg and was capturing every supply train. Lee responded to Grant’s letter today, declining to surrender but offering a truce.

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