This Day in the Civil War

Monday Sept. 2 1861
FRANKFORT FRENZY FEARED FOLLOWING FREMONT FOOLISHNESS

Maj. Gen. John Fremont, in command of Union forces in Missouri, had done a bad, bad thing a couple of days ago: he announced his own little Emancipation Proclamation for the area under his control, and as a side note promised death and property confiscation for Southern sympathizers. Lincoln was working frantically to get these measures rescinded. His motive was not any concern for Show-me State secessionists, but rather the effect this would have on Kentucky. Lincoln’s birth state was still officially neutral, and in the Union. The legislature voted today to fly the Stars and Stripes over the State House, and Lincoln had high hopes as well as great fears for the state.



Wednesday Sept. 2 1862
MCCLELLAN MADE MILITARY MASTER

The logic at the time had seemed impeccable: create a new Union army, the Army of Virginia, and bring John Pope in from the west, where he had won important battles and otherwise shown promise, to command it. Its job was to fight Stonewall Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley, while the Army of the Potomac guarded Washington and attacked Richmond. Pope had fought so well that the Army of Virginia was now skirmishing in the suburbs of Washington, Falls Church and Vienna. Somehow George McClellan had converted seven losses on the Peninsula into a victory, while Pope’s three days of 2nd Bull Run were a blatant defeat. Pope was therefore relieved of command and both armies were now under McClellan.



Thursday Sept. 2 1863
CONFEDERATES CONCEDE CHATTANOOGA CONTROL

Union Gen. A. E. Burnside’s men occupied Knoxville, Tennessee today There wasn’t even a battle first, as the city had been essentially conceded to the opposition, and Burnside’s men just walked in. The major military consequence of this was the fact that Knoxville held the connection for the railroad link from Virginia to points further West, principally Chattanooga. Henceforth when supplies, troops, or even communications were to be sent to Gen. Braxton Bragg, a roundabout route would have to be used from Virginia, down the Atlantic coast into Atlanta, then into Tennessee. Union Gen. William Rosecrans, Bragg’s opposition, was the major beneficiary of today’s move.



Saturday, Sept. 2 1864
SOUTHERN CITY SUCCUMBS TO SHERMAN

The first part of a song began to come together today as the armies of Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman moved into Atlanta, Ga. on the heels of the retreating Hood. Yesterday had been the climactic battle, with actions at Jonesborough, Rough and Ready, and Lovejoy’s Station. Unfortunately, Hood had delayed the inevitable so long that today large amounts of stores had to be abandoned to the enemy, and even more destroyed to prevent capture. Huge fires and explosions testified to the quantities of ammunition as well as railroad equipment lost to all. Hood’s only hope at this point was to save his army for another day. He was allowed to do this as Sherman halted pursuit to consolidate his hold on the city as well as rest his hard-fought troopers.

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