This Day in the Civil War

Saturday April 27 1861

Thomas J. Jackson had brought his cadets from Virginia Military Institute to Richmond to report for duty. The boys had been assigned to units, and Jackson had been given a desk job, Major of Engineers. Considering that he was a West Point graduate and veteran of the Mexican War, it seemed to many a misuse of his talents. Today he was reassigned to command the Confederate forces in Harper’s Ferry and the lower Shenandoah Valley. This was a good deal more to his liking.

Sunday April 27 1862

Admiral Farragut’s night run past the Mississippi forts had taken him to the gates of New Orleans, where negotiations were in progress to surrender the town without further damage or loss of life or face. Meanwhile, the occupants of the forts found themselves in similarly embarrassing states. They were still armed to the teeth, quite undamaged...and thoroughly unemployed and surrounded. Four of them, Forts Wood, Pike, Quitman and Livingston, surrendered today.

Monday April 27 1863

President Lincoln became agitated every spring as the weather warmed and battle season approached. He was constantly urging the current commander of the Army of the Potomac to go further and faster, to fight instead of constant maneuvering. Today he wrote to Gen. Joseph Hooker, “How does it look now?” Hooker did not immediately respond, as he was moving his army up the Rappahannock, from Falmouth towards the fords across the river.

Wednesday April 27 1864

One Jacob Thompson was issued curious orders today by President Jefferson Davis. He was also issued a title of “special commissioner” along with the orders, which were to proceed at once to Canada. He was joined a few days later by C.C. Clay Jr. Written orders to the men have never been found, but it is believed that Davis sent the men to attempt to find cooperative Canadians to initiate discussions with the United States to achieve a truce or ceasefire.

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