Sunday, December 4, 2022

Today in History (general history)/ On This Day in Confederate History/ Confederate General Birthdays, Dec. 4.

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1861: Confederate General John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky is expelled from the U.S. Senate for joining the Confederate Army. Breckinridge had some military experience in the Mexican-American War and he proved a be a competent battlefield commander initially leading a brigade of Kentucky infantry that gained fame as the "Orphan Brigade."

Maj. Gen. John C. Breckinridge

In St. Louis, Missouri, Federal General Henry Halleck authorizes the arrest of anyone speaking in support of secession.

In Great Britain, Queen Victoria, during the Trent Crisis, bans exports to the United States including armaments.

1862: Clashes near Fredericksburg, Virginia between Confederates and Federals occur along the Rappahannock River, Stone's River near Stewart's Ferry.

Also, on this day in 1862, Nathan Bedford Forrest was appointed a major general. With no prewar military training or experience, he bewildered and amazed his Northern opponents and revolutionized cavalry tactics.

1864: Confederate Cavalry and Federal Cavalry clashed near Waynesborough, Georgia. Other clashes with Sherman's bummers occur along the Georgia Central Railroad at Statesboro and Lumpkin Station, as well as on the Ogeechee River.

In Tennessee, Confederate cavalry hit Federal outposts around Nashville at Whites Station and Bell's Mills.


Major General William Wing Loring was born on this day in 1818, in Wilmington, North Carolina. He gained military experience as a teenager in the Florida Militia in the Seminole Wars. In the Mexican-American War, he served as a major with two brevets to colonel. He was wounded three times and lost an arm. In the War for Southern Independence, he served as a major general in the Confederate Army. His battles included the Western Virginia Campaign, the Vicksburg Campaign, Champions Hill, Ezra Church, Franklin, Nashville, and the Carolina Campaign. Following the war, Loring continued his military career in the Egyptian War and was in the Battle of Gura. He returned to the United States after nine years he wrote two books, lived in New York City where died on Dec. 30, 1886, and was buried in Loring Park in St. Augustine, Florida but his ashes were moved to Craig Funeral Home Memorial Park on Aug. 24, 2020.

Maj. Gen. William W. Loring

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Today in History (general history)/ On This Day in Confederate History/ Confederate General Birthday's, Dec. 12.

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1861: Federal forces arrive at Ship Island off the coast of Mississippi, in preparation for the invasion of Confederate Louisiana. Louisiana was building up its military but the Louisiana regiments were being quickly ordered to the active fighting fronts like Virginia, Pensacola, Fla., Arkansas, Missouri, and Kentucky. New Orleans had several old forts in the vicinity, as well as the old defenses at Chalmette where the Battle of New Orleans was fought in 1815.

Louisiana Confederate soldier
(Liljenquist Collection, Library of Congress)

1862: Confederates raid a Federal outpost on the Hardin Pike at Nashville, Tennessee.

A Federal army numbering some 20,000 men occupy Grenada, Mississippi.

1863: General Longstreet moves his army away from Knoxville, Tennessee to winter quarters at Greenville, Tennessee. However, part of Sherman's Federal Army was sent to confront Longstreet.

1864: Confederates delay Sherman's bummers' "March to the Sea" at Thomas Station, Georgia.


Brigadier General Henry Alexander Wise, in 1806, Accomack, Virginia. Before the war, he had a long and prominent career in politics, including serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, as the Governor of Virginia, and as the U.S. Minister to Brazil. He was also governor of Virginia during the trial of John Brown in 1859. Wise was a supper of secession. During the war, Wise was a brigadier general and took part in the Peninsula Campaign, the Siege of Petersburg, and the Appomattox Campaign. Wise died Sept. 12, 1876, and was buried in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Va.

Brig. Gen. Henry A. Wise

Friday, December 2, 2022

Today in History (general history)/ On This Day in Confederate History/ Confederate General Birthdays, Dec. 2.

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1861: Naval battle off Newport News, Virginia between the C.S.S. Patrick Henry and four Federal gunboats. The Patrick Henry is heavily damaged.

1863: General Braxton Bragg resigns and turns over command of the Army of Tennessee to Lieutenant General William Hardee. After the disaster at the Battle of Missionary Ridge, both the officers and men of the Army of Tennessee had largely lost confidence in Bragg.

1864: Confederate cavalry and infantry stages raids on Federal railroads and defense lines around Nashville, Tennessee. 

Also, on this day Brig. Archibald Gracie III was killed in action during the Petersburg Campaign in Virginia. Gracie had just turned 32 years old the day before and was observing Federal lines through a telescope when he was struck and instantly killed by Federal artillery fire. His daughter, Adeline, was born the day before he was killed. His son, Archibald Gracie IV, would gain some fame as a survivor of the Titanic sinking in 1912.


Brigadier General Rufus Clay Barringer was born on this day in 1821, in Cabarrus County, North Carolina. He was a prewar lawyer and politician who served in the N.C. House of Commons. He led the 1st North Carolina Cavalry Regiment under Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, and then a North Carolina cavalry brigade when he was made a brigadier general in 1864. His battles and campaigns included the Peninsula Campaign, Seven Days Battles, Second Manassas, Maryland Campaign, Gettysburg Campaign, Battle of Brandy Station, and the Battle of Namozine Church., where he was captured on June 6, 1864. Following the war, Barringer resumed his practice of law and engaged in Republican politics, and wrote a history of the 9th N.C. Cavalry. He died Feb. 3, 1895, and is buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Charlotte, N.C.

Brig. Gen. Rufus C. Barringer

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Today in History (general history)/ On This Day in Confederate History/ Confederate General Birthdays, Dec. 1.

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1862: There was skirmishing between North and South on this day in Hudsonville, Oxford, and near Mitchell's Cross-Roads, Miss. also there was fighting on this day were Nolensville, Tenn., and Beaver Day Church in Virginia.

1863: General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia retired into its prepared fortifications behind Mine Run, Virginia, and awaits any further attacks by Maj. Gen. George G. Meade's Army of the Potomac. Meade planned to have Maj. Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren's II Corps and Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick's VI Corps to attack the Confederate defenses. But when Meade saw for himself how strong Lee's defenses are, he calls off the attack and withdraws back into his own fortifications that night and went into winter quarters, thus ending the Mine Run Campaign.

1864: General Hood's Army of Tennessee arrives at a position southeast of Nashville, Tennessee and begins digging in. Hood hoped to get reinforcements from the Trans-Mississippi and planned a defensive strategy. In spite of being greatly outnumbered, Hood felt his army could defeat any attacks from his fortifications.


Major General William Mahone was born in 1826, in Southampton, Virginia. He graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in 1847, became a civil engineer, a teacher at the Rappahannock Academy, did engineer work on railroads, and in the War for Southern Independence became a major general in the Confederate Army. His battles included the Peninsula Campaign, Second Manassas, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Overland Campaign, the Crater, and Appomattox Campaign. Following the war, Mahone worked on railroads, was active in politics as a Republican, and died on Oct. 8, 1895, in Washington, D.C., and was buried in Blandford Cemetery in Petersburg, Va.

Major General William Mahone

Brigadier General Archibald Gracie Jr. was born in 1832, in New York City, New York. He graduated from West Point in 1854, resigned from the army in 1857, and settled in Mobile, Ala. He became active in the Alabama State Militia as a captain in the Washington Light Infantry. During the War for Southern Independence, he became a brigadier general. His battles included Yorktown, Perryville, Tullahoma, Chickamauga, and Bean's Station. He was killed in action during the Siege of Petersburg, Va. on Dec. 2, 1864. Gracie was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx, New York City, N.Y.

Brig. Gen. Archibald Gracie, Jr.

Brigadier General Micah Jenkins was born in 1835, on Edisto, Island, South Carolina. He graduated from the South Carolina Military Academy in 1854 and organized the King's Mount Military School where he taught from 1855 to 1861. Jenkins was elected colonel of the 5th South Carolina Infantry on April 13, 1861, and was promoted to brigadier general on July 22, 1862. His battles include First Manassas, Seven Pines, Second Manassas, Chickamauga, and Knoxville. He was killed in action on May 6, 1864, at the Wilderness, Virginia by friendly fire. He was buried in Magnolia Cemetery in Charleston, S.C.

Brig. Gen. Micah Jenkins

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Today in History (general history)/ On This Day in Confederate History/ Confederate General Birthdays, Nov. 30.

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1862: Near the Leeward Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, the CSS Alabama under the legendary Captain Raphael Semmes, masterfully evades the Federal warship USS Vanderbilt and then captured the 136-ton Boston bark Parker Cook with a cargo that included butter, cheese, pork, dried fruit, and ship's bread.

1863: Fighting continued in the Mine Run Campaign in Virginia on this day with skirmishes between North and South at Licking Run Bridge, along Mine Run, and near Raccoon Ford.

Fort Esperanza on the northeastern tip of Matagorda Island in Texas was attacked by a strong Federal force under Maj. General C.C. Washburn from the XIII Army Corps. The fort was garrisoned by 500 men under Col. W.R. Bradfute with 7 24-pounders, one 128-pounder Columbiad on a pivot mounting. After holding out against the overwhelming force of bluecoats four days, the Confederates evacuated the fort and retreated. The Federals then occupied the fort.

1864: Gen. John Bell Hood's Confederate Army of Tennesse and Maj. Gen. John Schofield's XXIII Corps and the XIV Corps, both numbering about 27,000 men each, fought the extremely bloody BATTLE OF FRANKLIN, TENNESSEE. The Federals were strongly entrenched and the Confederates would have to make a frontal assault over an open field. Hood's generals advised against a frontal assault but the commanding general was determined to make the attack. The fighting was close and the Confederates gallantly gave it their all, but the fortifications were too strong and too well manned for a frontal attack to succeed. Schofield began withdrawing his army at 11 o'clock that night and by the next morning the Confederates found empty entrenchments. The casualties were staggering for the Confederates with five generals killed, including Patrick Cleburne, John Adams, Hiram B. Granbury, States Right Gist, and Otto Strahl, and John C. Carter mortally wounded. Hood reported a total of 4,500 men killed, wounded and missing or captured. The Federal's lost 189 killed, 1,033 wounded, 1,104 missing or captured for a total of 2,326 casualties.

Brig. Gen. Hiram B. Granbury
Killed in action at the Battle of Franklin, Tenn.

Confederate General Birthdays, Nov. 30.

Major General Gustavus Woodson Smith was born on this day in 1821 at Georgetown, Kentucky. He graduated from West Point in 1842, served in the Mexican-American War, and was brevetted a first lieutenant, and captain for service at the Battle of Contreras. He resigned from the U.S. Army in 1854 and became the Commissioner of Streets in New York city from 1858 to 1861. Smith joined the Confederate Army and and was commissioned a major general. At the Battle of Seven Pines, Va., on May 31, 1862, he became temporary commander of the Army of the Potomac (soon to be renamed Army of Northern Virginia, when Gen. J.E. Johnston was wounded. Gen. Robert E. Lee took command of the army on June 1, 1862 and Smith went on sick leave. In August 1862, he returned to duty in August 1862 and was assigned to command the Dept. of the Dept. of N.C.. and Southern Va. and in November became the interim Confederate Secretary of War. He resigned from the army Feb. 17, 1863 and subsequently served as a volunteer aid to Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard, as superintendent of the Edowah Iron Works, and as a major general in the Georgia Militia. Following the war, Smith served as the Kentucky Insurance Commissioner and wrote several books on the War for Southern Independence and on the Mexican War. He died  ib June 24, 1896 in New York City, N.Y., and was buried in Cedar Grove Cemetery, New London, Connecticut.

Maj. Gen. Gustavus W. Smith

Today in History (general history)/ On This Day in Confederate History/ Confederate General Birthdays, Nov. 29/

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1863, General Longstreet's Confederate assault Nov. 29 on Federal Fort Sanders is the climax of the partial Siege of Knoxville, Tenn. Confederate Gen. James Longstreet decided Fort Sanders was the key to victory at Knoxville. The fort consisted of a line of earthworks with a ditch 12 ft. wide and 8 ft. deep. It was manned by 440 Federals of the 79th New York Infantry with 12 artillery pieces. Longstreet tasked 3,000 men in three brigades led by Brig. Gen. Benjamin G. Humpries, Brig. Gen. Goode Bryan, and Col. Solon Z. Ruff (Wofford's Brigade) with the assault. Longstreet planned a surprise attack at dawn with no bombardment. The men faced extensive obstacles before that could even reach the fort. The assault was a bloody failure for the Confederates.  Confederate losses were 129 killed, 458 wounded, and 226 captured for a total of 813. The Federals lost 8 men killed and 5 wounded. Among the Confederate dead was Colonel Ruff leading Wofford's Brigade.

Col. Solon Z. Ruff
18th Ga. Inf.
Killed leading Wofford's Brigade

1864, Federal General Scofield's Federal Army was in danger of being cut off from its destination of Nashville, Tenn. on this day by General John Bell Hood's Confederate Army of Tennessee at Springhill, Tenn. Confederate Maj. Gen. Patrick Cleburne's Division was moving toward the Springhill Road but was blocked by Gen. George D. Wagner's Federal division. That night, incredibly, with the Confederates bivouacked within eyesight of the road, five Federal divisions marched right past Hood's army without a challenge. It would go down in history as one of the great mysteries and lost opportunities of the war for the Confederates. 

Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood



Monday, November 28, 2022

Today in History (general history)/ On This Day in Confederate History/ Confederate General Birthdays, Nov. 28.

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1861: The State of Missouri is admitted to the Confederate States of America as the 13th state. Missouri Gov. Claiborne Fox Jackson was solid with the South. He died in exile on Dec. 6, 1862, in Little Rock, Arkansas.

1862: In the BATTLE OF CANE HILL, ARKANSAS, 2000 Confederates under General John Marmaduke held off 5000 Federals under General James G. Blunt for 15 hours in a rearguard action. The Southrons then made a successful withdrawal to Van Buren, Arkansas ending the Federal pursuit. 

1864: Confederate General Stephen D. Lee's Corps of the Army of Tennessee demonstrate before the Federals dug in at the Duck River in Columbia, Tennessee while General Hood takes the rest of the army outflanks the Yankees army in an attempt to cut off its retreat at Spring Hill, Tennessee.


Brigadier General Lawrence O'Brien Branch was born in 1828, in Enfield, North Carolina. Prior to the war, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and served in the 34th, 35th, and 36th Congresses. In 1859, he challenged Rep. Galusha Grow after an argument on the House floor. However, both men were arrested before the duel could take place. Branch joined the Confederate Army in May 1861 and in September was elected colonel of the 33rd North Carolina Infantry. The North Carolinian was appointed brigadier general and led this brigade at the Battle of Hanover Courthouse, the Seven Days Battles, Cedar Mountain, Second Manassas, Chantilly, and Harper's Ferry. At the Battle of Sharpsburg, Md., he and his brigade arrived at the battle arrived with A.P. Hill's Division in time to stop a Federal breakthrough. After the fighting stopped, while talking with other Confederate generals, he was hit in the head by a bullet from a Federal sharpshooter, which killed him instantly and mortally wounded Brig. Gen. Maxcy Gregg. Branch was buried in Raleigh, North Carolina at Old City Cemetery. 

Brig. Gen. Lawrence O. Branch