History 101: This Week in the Civil War

This Week in The Civil War, for week of Sunday, Jan. 19: Fighting in Tennessee.

Union forces intent on better securing eastern Tennessee for the federal government march in mid-January 1864 on Dandridge, Tenn., not far from a vital rail supply line linking eastern Tennessee and Virginia. The Union advance forced Confederate Lt. Gen. James Longstreet to fall back. But on Jan. 17, 1864, fighting erupted between the opposing forces. Confederates backed by artillery and Cavalry forced the Union fighters under Brig. Gen. Samuel D. Sturgis into retreat by nightfall. But for lack of more shoes, supplies and ammunition the Confederates were unable to destroy the federal forces outright.

civilwar_small History 101: This Week in the Civil War

This Week in The Civil War, for week of Sunday, Jan. 26: More fighting in Tennessee.

The Union forces pushed back from Dandridge, Tenn., were still in the area 150 years ago this week in the Civil War. For the time being, they disrupted Confederate attempts to capture Union supply wagons and restock their troops in need of shoes, further weapons and additional ammunition. On Jan. 27, 1864, a Confederate force smashed into a Union cavalry brigade. Hard fighting erupted and Union forces took advantage of dense fog to drive back sharply. Union troops swiftly routed Confederates in the area of Fair Garden Road and pursued many of the rebels, capturing and killing several. Union troops attacked another Confederate unit before withdrawing, weary from combat and running short of ammunition.


This Week in The Civil War, for week of Sunday, Feb. 2: New Union campaign ramps up in Mississippi.

Union Maj. Gen William Sherman began moving thousands of federal troops toward Meridian, Miss., this week 150 years ago in the Civil War, aiming to occupy and destroy the vital railroad junction there — a supply route for the Confederacy. The advance on the region from Union-controlled Vicksburg was part of ongoing federal war efforts to split the Confederacy. On Feb. 3, 1864, Sherman began sending his troops toward Meridian, a move that prompted Confederate President Jefferson Davis to scramble his forces from neighboring areas. Some early skirmishes erupted, but the main fighting would not come until mid-February 1864.


This Week in The Civil War, for week of Sunday, Feb. 2: Skirmishes in Virginia.

Union forces kept up harassing tactics against Confederate forces in Virginia this week 150 years ago in the Civil War. On Feb. 6, 1864, Federal cavalry made several swift crossings of Virginia’s Rapidan River north of Richmond, seat of the Confederacy. The crossings at the time, near Morton’s Ford, Va., and elsewhere, were intended as feints as Union forces mulled unleashing a large-scale raid elsewhere up Virginia’s peninsula region toward that city. Neither side gained an advantage in the skirmishes that accompanied the crossings. But the worst fighting broke out at Morton’s Ford before Union cavalry withdrew the following day, Feb. 7, 1864. Large-scale fighting in Virginia was still months ahead in the Shenandoahs and when Union’s “Overland Campaign” would ramp up in the late spring of 1864.