Thursday Oct. 10 1861
DETERMINED DAVIS DETAILS DEFENSES
Jefferson Davis took seriously his title of “commander in chief” of
his nation’s military forces. In fact he often practiced what a
later day would call micromanagement, as shown today by a letter he
wrote to Maj. Gen. Gustavus Woodson Smith as a follow-up to their
conference in Centerville on the first of the month. In the letter
Davis discussed his concerns about the Southern railroad network,
the organization of troops and the need for efficiency in staff
officers. Davis went so far as to discuss the use of Negro laborers
for the army, then wound up with further comment on the ultimate
objectives: the Union army around Washington.
Friday Oct. 10 1862
PERRYVILLE POSTSCRIPT PROCEDING
The biggest battle of the Civil War to occur in Kentucky had been
over for two days now. Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg, although
heavily outnumbered, had fought well enough that the Union forces
had pulled back. Realizing that the numbers still left the odds
against him, Bragg began to withdraw towards Tennessee as well.
Today fighting still went on around the edges of both forces.
Skirmishing took place in Harrodsburg and Danville Cross Roads, Ky.
Bragg was attempting to move south and east, and having a difficult
time of it.
Saturday Oct. 10 1863
WESTERN WATER WOES WEAKEN WAR WORK
Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman had a job to do and was anxious to get
on with it. His assignment: march through Tennessee to Chattanooga,
and secure it for the Union. His problem: the campaign was designed
in such a way that support and supply was required to be provided by
gunboats on the Tennessee River, and the water just wasn’t there to
do it. It had been a very dry year and the level of the rivers was
low all over. Admiral David D. Porter apologized to Gen. Sherman’s
boss Gen. U. S. Grant for the situation. Porter, conceding that
there was nothing he could do about the river, offered to find
shallow-draft boats if necessary, as it was the heavily-armored
ironclads that were having the difficulties.
Monday Oct. 10 1864
WATERY WARFARE WOES WIDEN
A year to the day after Sherman had his difficulties on the waters
of the Western theater, another group of Union men found themselves
in an even more dire situation. A group of
gunboats were offloading troops at Eastport, Mississippi, on the
Tennessee River. Suddenly there was the sound of cannon fire and the
men and ships were under a blistering crossfire from hidden
Confederate shore batteries. The transports Aurora and Kenton were
hit almost at once and began to drift downstream out of control. Lt.
King, captain of the USS Key West and commander of the expedition,
ordered another vessel, the Undine, to follow and corral the stray
ships. King remained behind to evacuate the men who had already gone
ashore, and to cover the escape of the lightly-armed and armored USS
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