There were several movements across the Western Theater in conjunction with Sherman's advance on Meridian, Mississippi in February, 1864. One of these was in Dalton, Georgia, where George Thomas advanced against the lines of Joseph Johnston to see if his position on Rocky Face Ridge was weakened by sending off reinforcements to resist Sherman. From February 22-27 the Federals probed the Confederate positions, but after some heavy skirmishing they found no weaknesses. The Yankees lost about 300 men, the Confederates, 150. Johnston had chosen his position well.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Thursday, February 20, 2014
One issue that loomed large in the mind of Northern politicians in 1864 was the presidential election that would be held later that year. It would be the test of whether people wanted to continue to follow the policies pursued by President Abraham Lincoln the previous four years. But there were some in the Republican party that did not even want Lincoln to get a chance at reelection. 150 years ago today a document called the Pomeroy Circular was published. It was written by Samuel Pomeroy, a Republican senator from Kansas. In this document titled, “The Next Presidential Election,” Pomeroy proposed a new Republican candidate to replace Lincoln – Samuel P. Chase. Chase was the Secretary of the Treasury. Chase was aware of the plans of men like Pomeroy and would have welcomed the opportunity to become President, but he also did not want to publicly come out against Lincoln unless he was sure the people would back him. This document was sent to many Republicans, to help build support for Chase.
Unsurprisingly, it was not long before it fell into Lincoln's hands and was published in the newspapers. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy, predicted that “it will be more dangerous in its recoil than its projectile,” meaning that it would do more damage to Chase than to Lincoln, at whom it was aimed. Chase wrote to Lincoln that he was not involved in writing the document, and submitted his resignation, which Lincoln refused. In the long run, Welles proved to be right. The people did not rally behind the idea of Chase for president, and even the Republicans of his own state, Ohio, responded by endorsing Lincoln for president in 1864.
|Map of the battle|
Monday, February 17, 2014
|James McClintock, one of the boat's designers|
|Plan of the Hunley|
|The Hunley underwater|
But many questions still remain. Why did they sink? Did they intentionally dive to wait for the incoming tide and for some reason not surface? Or did the Hunley sink immediately and the wreck gradually move the 1000 feet? Whatever the Hunley's fate, it was unique. Safe and usable submarines were far in the future, and the next successful military use occurred in 1914, during World War I. With the Hunley's sinking, the war was almost over for Charleston. New weapons had been developed and used successfully, but none were powerful enough to break the blockade and turn the war around.
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Friday, February 14, 2014
However, Smith would not be coming. The Confederate resistance was led by Nathan Bedford Forrest, and this capable commander forced Smith to turn back. On February 22 he met Forrest in the Battle of Okolona. The Confederate troopers overran the Union barricades and drove them back in a more than ten mile long running battle. The rebel pursuit was eventually halted for lack of ammunition.