This Day in the Civil War

Wednesday Aug. 28 1861
Fort Clark had fallen yesterday, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. As it was deserted anyway, the military significance was questionable. Not so the effort of today, in which the eight ships and 900 soldiers of Commodore Stringham and Gen. Butler captured the other, Fort Hatteras. This had genuine military importance in that it closed a major route for blockade runners, but its propaganda value was vastly greater. It was the first Federal incursion of Confederate soil in the Carolinas since secession, and caused rejoicing in the North, and corresponding despondency in the South, all out of proportion to its true value.

Thursday Aug. 28 1862
Not far from Groveton, Va., was a farm owned by a man named Brawner. It was on this unfortunate fellow’s land that the equally unfortunate Gen. John “Headquarters in the Saddle” Pope ventured today, under the impression that he was chasing the fleeing forces of Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson. When Rufus King’s men ran into Jackson’s, a fierce battle broke out at the Brawner place. Pope, hearing of this, ordered the rest of his men to move there. He had no idea that Lee and Longstreet had arrived, conferred with Stonewall, and were now moving around the entire battle into Pope’s rear. Tomorrow would not be a good day for Pope.

Friday Aug. 28 1863
No major battles occurred on this day, but that, as usual, did not mean that cleanup was not still going on from the last one, nor preparations for the next. Confederate Naval Lt. George W. Gift paid a visit to the shipyard above Mobile Bay, Alabama, to observe the progress in construction of the two vessels Tennessee and Nashville. The Tennessee was nice enough, but Gift was in awe of the immense Nashville. “She is tremendous!” he wrote. “The six staterooms and a pantry long, and about as broad between the rooms as the whole Chattahoochee. Her engines are tremendous, and it requires all her width, fifty feet, to place her boilers. The Tennessee is insignificant alongside her.”

Sunday Aug. 28 1864
The end was nearing for the siege of Atlanta. Gen. William Tecumseh “Cump” Sherman was directing three armies today. Gen. O. O. Howard with his Army of The Tennessee was in possession of the railroad near Fairburn. Mount Gilead Church saw the progress of Schofield and the Army of the Ohio. While all this was going on, the 20th Corps under Henry Slocum guarded the city limits, keeping Hood and company from interfering much with the Union lines. What little fighting there was took place around Red Oak and Sandtown.

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