This Day in the Civil War

Saturday Sept. 28 1861

An uneasy calm was the order of the day in most of the theaters of the war. In northern Virginia, Confederate forces pulled back from what was then known as Munson’s Hill (better known in these later days as Bailey’s Crossroads.) In Missouri, Fremont was still more heavily engaged in political machinations against Francis Blair Jr. than he was in military moves against Sterling Price. Kentucky was in an uproar, but no real fighting was going on yet.

Sunday Sept. 28 1862

It was just over a year ago that Gen. Gideon Pillow, CSA, ordered Confederate troops into avowedly neutral Kentucky, ostensibly to forestall a similar intrusion by Union forces. A year later the situation was not noticeably improved. No major battles today, but skirmishing at Lebanon Junction, Ky. Other nastiness of a similar low-grade nature occurred in Friar’s Point, Miss. and Standing Stone in western (not yet West) Virginia. An expedition left Columbus, Ky., to make a pass through Covington, Durhamville and Fort Randolph, Tenn., and back to Columbus.

Monday Sept. 28 1863

It had been decided to send the 11th and 12 Corps from the Army of the Potomac to reinforce Gen. William Rosecrans, who was safe but somewhat besieged in Chattanooga following the Battle of Chickamauga. There was no way to do this big a move in secrecy, even considering that they were travelling by rail rather than foot. Word of the move reached the ear of the besieger, Gen. Braxton Bragg, in the form of a telegram from Jefferson Davis. The only assistance Bragg was receiving was from the Federal side, as two Union generals (McCook and Crittenden) were relieved of their commands and sent back to Indianapolis to face courts of inquiry for their conduct in the battle.

Wednesday Sept. 28 1864

Admiral David Dixon Porter had not wanted to command the Union “brown-water” forces on the Mississippi River and its tributaries. Like most regular Navy men, his great preference was for “blue-water”, ocean warfare. Today he finally got his wish to transfer to command of the blockade and attack forces off Wilmington, N.C. He gave a farewell message to the men he was leaving: “When I first assumed command of this squadron the Mississippi was in possession of the rebels from Memphis to New Orleans, a distance of 800 miles, and over 1,000 miles of tributaries were closed to us, embracing a territory larger than some of the kingdoms of Europe. Our commerce is now successfully, if not quietly, transported on the broad Mississippi from one end to the other.” Porter was greatly admired by his men.

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