This Day in the Civil War

Wednesday, April 24 1861

These were very nervous days in the capital of the United States. Virginia had seceded on one side; if Maryland did the same the capital was defenseless. A gunboat kept steam up at all times in case the President and Cabinet should need to flee. Only a few units had arrived from Pennsylvania and New York, and Lincoln spoke to them today: “I don’t believe there is any North,” he said morosely. “The Seventh Regiment is a are the only Northern realities.”

Thursday, April 24 1862

Admiral Farragut had been trying to bomb the Confederates out of the forts below New Orleans for a week now, without success. On this night he set out to run past them anyway. The barricades, chains stretched across the river, had been damaged enough that ships could slip past, and they did until the moon rose and they were discovered. All but three small vessels got through anyway.

Friday April 24 1863

Like all governments, that of the Confederate States of America was faced with the obligation of raising funds to support its operations. When the operations included fighting a war for independence, it became a case of desperate times calling for desperate measures. Today a “tax in kind” was enacted, requiring a one-tenth contribution of all produce of the land.

Sunday, April 24 1864

Gen. W.T. Sherman was getting ready for quite a hike, and part of his preparation was to strip the army. Orders were issued today that when time came to march, tents would be left behind. Each man was to carry bacon for five days, bread for twenty, and a months’ worth of salt, sugar and coffee, besides the usual arms and ammunition. Each regiment was limited to one supply wagon. The rules applied to Sherman as well--he had one wagon for his entire headquarters staff, clerks and aides.

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