********* WORST MARITIME DISASTER IN U.S. HISTORY **********
On April 27, 1865, the worst maritime disaster in the history of the United States occurred when the sidewheel steamboat Sultana burst her boilers on the Mississippi River seven miles above Memphis while carrying a load of 2,400 passengers, most of whom were Union prisoners recently released from Rebel prison pens. Of the total number, over 1,700 would lose their lives.
*** Read all about the Sultana disaster in "Reminiscenses of the Sultana" by Pam Newhouse, found in our "Articles" section at: http://www.ehistory.com/uscw/features/articles/index.cfm
******* THE STUBBORN SIDE OF "OLD ROSY" **************
" In replacing Buell, "Old Rosy" Rosecrans knew what was expected of him after receiving these stern words from Halleck: "Neither the country nor the Government will much longer put up with the inactivity of some of our armies and generals." Described as a hard drinker, yet devoutly religious man, the 43-year-old Rosecrans was said to be quick to anger but just as quick to forgive. Under Rosecrans, the Army of the Cumberland was created.
Before his removal, Buell had already started his army towards Nashville, and Rosecrans did not change these orders. Arriving on November 7, Rosecrans set about solving the supply problems for his army. Despite Halleck's threats of removal in early December, the stubborn Rosecrans refused to budge from Nashville until he felt his army was ready for the upcoming campaign, replying: "I need no other stimulus to make me do my duty than the knowledge of what it is. To threats of removal or the like I must be permitted to say that I am insensible." *Excerpt taken from "Battle of Stones River." Our battle summaries are now complete, including maps, timelines and an overview of 300 additional battles searchable by state. To find out more, see our "Battles" area, or follow this URL:http://www.ehistory.com/uscw/features/battles/states/index.cfm
************ YOU WERE RIGHT, AND I WAS WRONG ***************
Executive Mansion, Washington, July 13, 1863.
My dear General:
I do not remember that you and I ever met personally. I write this now as a grateful acknowledgment for the almost inestimable service you have done the country. I wish to say a word further. When you first reached the vicinity of Vicksburg, I thought you should do what you finally did -- march the troops across the neck, run the batteries with the transports, and thus go below; and I never had any faith, except a general hope that you knew better than I, that the Yazoo Pass expedition and the like could succeed. When you got below and took Port Gibson, Grand Gulf, and vicinity, I thought you should go down the river and join General Banks, and when you turned northward, east of the Big Black, I feared it was a mistake. I now wish to make the personal acknowledgment that you were right and I was wrong.
Yours very truly, A. Lincoln. [July 27, 1863.]
Excerpt from "Life and Works of Abraham Lincoln Centenary Edition," edited by Marion Mills Miller.
*** Read more about from this book about Lincoln, which is online in its entirety at: http://www.ehistory.com/uscw/library/books/index.cfm
********************* THE GREY GHOST ***********************
John Singleton Mosby, CSA General, 1833-1916, was one of Jeb Stuart's staff who later became famous after one of his independent raids on Union territory.
A lawyer before the war, John Mosby enlisted as a private in the 1st Virginia Cavalry. He couldn’t get along with the Colonel (William “Grumble” Jones) and side-stepped onto Stonewall Jackson’s staff, still a private but now a scout. He was useful in the Valley Campaign, but vital for JEB Stuart’s ride around McClellan’s army in the Peninsular Campaign.
He was captured in 1862, held prisoner only briefly, and when released worked an unusual deal with his superiors. Stuart released him from service on the staff to raise a partisan unit in his native Loudon County. At first a battalion, his prowess and charisma allowed him to recruit it up to a regiment. They seldom fought, preferring to cut telegraph lines, ambush couriers or small parties, start fires at supply depots and harass rail transport. He was also a vital element in the Confederate secret service, moving spies into and out of Washington; he frequently rode himself in disguise into the capital. In early 1863 he grabbed his highest ranking prisoner, Brigadier General Edwin Stoughton. It helped that Stoughton was fuddled by drink, but Mosby had still managed to walk into Stoughton’s bedroom, waking the general with a slap on the rump. He came close to intercepting Grant’s train, but most of his missions were minor.
They did distract many Union troops from pressing Lee’s army, but the inflated claims that Mosby lengthened the war are dubious. Mosby’s men were far more effective, and under much better control, than most partisan units. Their work was romantic and exciting, ambushes and individualistic skullduggery rather than the sort of things that win wars.
Mosby never surrendered, preferring to disband his unit in April 1865. Arrested after the fighting, he wasn’t pardoned until 1866. He returned to the law, but dabbled in politics too supporting U.S. Grant. This cost him a lot of support among Southerners, but won him government jobs.
*** Read more from our "Biographies" section at: http://www.ehistory.com/uscw/features/people/list.cfm
***REENACTORS: The producer of the movie "Gods and Generals" has announced it will continue filming as scheduled.