Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Union and Confederate Forces Win at the Wilderness

In a confrontation as dramatic as some Civil War conflicts, historians, preservationists and local residents defeated retail giant Wal-Mart. On January 26, 2011 Wal-Mart dropped plans to build a store near the Wilderness Battlefield in northern Virginia.

We congratulate the residents of Locust Grove, VA and the many preservationists who fought the 2009 local decision that approved the project. We would especially like to recognize the efforts of the Civil War Preservation Trust.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Battle of Mill Springs

On January 19, 1862 Union forces under Major General George B. Thomas defeated Confederate forces led by Major General George B. Crittenden troops at Mill Springs, KY. This battlefield is maintained by the Mill Springs Battlefield Association. There will be a short ceremony commemorating the battle at 1:00 pm on January 22, 2011 in Nancy at the Zollicoffer Park. No reenactment is planned for the 149th anniversary.

Please check the events list for the future programs.

For more information on the battle, please visit the Civil War Journeys page for Mill Springs.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Fort Fisher

After Major General Benjamin Butler's was relieved of command of the Army of the James, he was assigned to lead an expedition against the Confederate fort at Fort Fisher, NC. The fort protected Wilmington, NC which was the Confederacy's last open port on the Atlantic Coast. The fort was shelled by a Union fleet under the command of Rear Admiral David D. Porter. An infantry division of Union soldiers was landed to test the fort's defenses. The timely arrival of Confederate troops under Major General Robert Hoke caused Butler to stop the attack and return to Fort Monroe. For more information, please see Fort Fisher, NC I for additional pictures of the fort.
Following his failure to take the fort, Butler was relieved of command and replaced by General Alfred Terry. Terry was placed in charge of a "Provisional Corps" including General Paine's division of Colored Troops. He was supported by a fleet of 60 ships under command of Admiral Porter.

A second attempt to capture the fort began on January 13, 1865 with an artillery bombardment by Porter's fleet. Union forces landed and prepared for an attack on Hoke's infantry line. On January 15th a select force attacked the fort from the rear. A naval force was repulsed with high casualties. However, a courageous attack late in the afternoon captured the parapet and the garrison was forced to surrender. For more information, please see Fort Fisher, NC II.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Citadel Cadets Fire First Shots in Civil War

The Civil War started on January 9, 1861 when Cadets from The Citadel fired on the Union steam-powered supply ship, Star of the West. Cannon fire from the Cadets on Morris Island and batteries at Fort Moultrie forced the Star of the West to abandon her mission to resupply Major Robert Anderson's garrison at Fort Sumter. The Star of the West was given a warning shot across her bow, turned around and left the mouth of the harbor. She was hit three times and returned to her home port of New York Harbor.

The Star of the West Medal is awarded annually to the "best drilled cadet" at The Citadel. Each medal awarded has a small piece of wood salvaged from the original Star of the West ship. Please see Recognizing the 149th anniversary of the "Star of the West."