Friday Sept. 27 1861
MILITARY MISTAKES MENTIONED; MCCLELLAN MORTIFIED
A rather rancorous meeting of Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet was held
today. As was frequently the case, after the usual business was
taken care of, the topic of the gathering turned to the latest
activities in the War. As was frequently the case as well, there
really wasn’t all that much to talk about, so that’s what they
talked about--the notable lack of aggressive moves on the part of
the Army of the Potomac and its commander, Gen. George McClellan.
There was a widespread feeling that the war should have been long
over with by now, and demands were loud to know why it was not. The
questions had to be more than a little embarrassing for the guest of
honor at the meeting: Gen. George McClellan.
Saturday Sept. 27 1862
BUTLER BACKS BLACKS, BRAVELY
Although it it widely believed that the first regiment of what would
become known as the United States Colored Troops was the famed 54th
Massachusetts (from the movie “Glory”), in fact the first regiment
of free blacks was mustered in New Orleans, Louisiana on this date.
Gen. Benjamin Butler, who had a rather direct way of dealing with
things sometimes, had been the first to force the issue of what to
do with black refugees and escaped slaves in the early days of the
War. Then, he had persuaded Secretary of War Stanton to designate
these displaced blacks as “contraband of war”, to prevent them from
being returned to their owners. Now, he enlisted men in the Union
Army as the First Regiment, Louisiana Native Guards. The men called
themselves the “Chasseurs d’Afrique”, the African Hunters.
Sunday Sept. 27 1863
SHELBY’S SKIRMISHERS SMASH STATION
There existed in the Confederate military a class of operators for
whom no good descriptive term exists. They were classified as
cavalrymen, but they did not perform the usual functions of cavalry
in the military sense of the day--scouting ahead of, and screening
the movements of, an army of infantry. These men were usually
referred to as “raiders”, and their role was to move quickly to
harass, cut lines of communication, pick off stragglers from Union
marches, and gather supplies. One of these raiders, Jo Shelby,
worked in the Trans-Mississippi so is even less known than some like
Moseby and Forrest. Today Shelby attacked Moffat’s Station in
Franklin County, Arkansas.
Tuesday Sept. 27 1864
MASSIVE MISSOURI MILITARY MOVEMENTS
There was fighting in quite a few places in Missouri today. Sterling
Price’s invasion out of Arkansas, one of a number of attempts to
“reclaim” the state for the Confederacy, was rolling along quite
nicely. Today he launched an all-out assault on Fort Davidson, at
Pilot Knob, Mo. Twelve hundred Federal troops withstood the charge
during the day; after nightfall their commander, Brig. Gen. Thomas
Ewing Jr. decided the position was untenable and evacuated secretly.
Further west, the “raider” William Anderson led an attack on
Centralia, Mo. He looted, burned, and shot 24 unarmed Union
soldiers. Anderson was known as “Bloody Bill”, and two of the 30 men
in his band were the James Brothers, so it was perhaps not
surprising that strict attention to military rules was not observed.
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