This Day in the Civil War

Sunday, April 21 1861
JUVENILES JOIN JACKSON JOURNEY

Thomas J. Jackson was a professor at Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Va. A devoutly religious man, his first concern for the cadets in his charge was to see that they attended chapel this Sunday morning. In the afternoon they turned to other matters and summoned stagecoaches. These they took to the nearest train station, as virtually the entire school was off to enlist for the defense of Virginia and the Confederacy.



Monday April 21 1862
CONFEDERATE CONSCRIPTION CONCESSIONS CITED

Last week the Confederate Congress had passed the young nation’s first draft law. It provided for buying substitutes, but had no exemptions except for physical disability. Today this oversight was corrected. Excused from military service were hospital employees, druggists, ministers, miners and foundrymen, boat pilots, educators and (needless to say) government officials.



Tuesday April 21 1863
RATIONS RATED RATHER ROUGHLY

General Robert E. Lee filed periodic reports to the Confederate Department of War as well as writing regularly to President Davis directly. One of his War Department reports today stated that the men of the Army of Northern Virginia were being supplied with a daily ration of one pound of flour and a quarter-pound of meat. There were increasing reports of typhoid fever and scurvy among the troops.



Thursday April 21 1864
RED RIVER ROUGHNESS RUDELY REDUCED

Lt. Commander Phelps was having an exceedingly difficult time with his contribution to the Red River Expedition. His ship, the USS Eastport, had taken a torpedo nearly a week ago. Refusing to abandon his command, his carpenters had been working night and day to repair the damage. Today they succeeded in refloating their ship and headed triumphantly downriver. They hung up on snags eight times in sixty miles.

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