Thursday Aug. 15 1861
CUMBERLAND COMMAND CHANGES CONFIRMED
Robert Anderson had been a major when he was ordered to Fort Sumter.
Although he did little there except endure a bombardment and then
surrender his command to open the active part of the War of Southern
Rebellion, he was promptly promoted to Brigadier General. Today he
got his new assignment: command of the Department of the Cumberland.
This consisted of Kentucky, Anderson’s native state, and Tennessee.
Due to somewhat unsettled conditions in both places, Anderson
established his headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio
Friday Aug. 15 1862
COMMODORE COVERS CHICKAHOMINY CROSSING
In the aftermath of the Seven Days’ battles on the Peninsula, both
sides had been preoccupied with tending the wounded and burying the
dead. Movement was finally beginning, and took the usual form of
this stage of the war: a Union withdrawal. Even this was not without
hazard. Commodore Wilkes sent three gunboats, the USS Galena,
Satellite and Port Royal, up the James River to the Chickahominy.
Their assignment was to cover the withdrawal of McClellan’s left
wing as it crossed the waterway.
Saturday Aug. 15 1863
BOAT BETRAYS BEAUREGARD’S BOASTS
A a very odd seagoing vessel was delivered by two covered railroad
flatcars to Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard today. Commander of the defenses
of Charleston Harbor, Beauregard had decided this contraption was
his secret weapon against the Union fleet. The former boiler was now
the CSS Hunley, one of the first submarines to be used for war.
Propelled by seven men turning a crank to drive her propeller, and
steered by a eighth, the Hunley had so far proved far more lethal to
her crews than to Union warships. She killed nearly everyone who set
foot in her, including H.L Hunley, the financier who had put up the
money for her construction and may have contributed some ideas for
Monday Aug. 15 1864
WOOD WREAKS WATERY WOES
While Raphael Semmes may have been the most famous of the
Confederate commerce raiders, he was far from the only one.
Commodore John Taylor Wood was in the middle of a reign of terror
off the coast of New England. Today his CSS Tallahassee took six
ships. He burned five after loading all personnel onto the sixth,
which he released on bond. The New York insurance industry was
furious at the toll being taken on their profits and deluged Navy
Secretary Gideon Welles with requests to abate the nuisance.
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