Civil-War - Page 15

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Stone's River National Battlefield, TN (7-23-14) : The Battle of Stone's River (also known as the Battle of Murphreesboro) was one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War and yet, it remains relatively unknown to all but serious Civil War buffs.  I have to admit, though I had heard about the battle, I knew little of its cause or how it was carried out or the magnitude of the casualties left in its wake.  Stone's River ranks as the 7th bloodiest battle of the Civil War...slightly less so than Shiloh but more so than Antietam.  However, if you consider the number of total casualties of 24,615 against the total number of men engaged (~76,000) you get a staggering casualty rate of <i>32%</i>, the highest of any battle during the Civil War!
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The stage was set for the battle at Stone's River many months prior.  Following his abortive campaign into Kentucky, Confederate General Braxton Bragg had fallen back south to middle Tennessee near the town of Murphreesboro.  There, in late November 1862, Bragg and his Army of the Tennessee dug in and awaited the next move from the Federals.  On the Union side, Major General Don Carlos Buell had done little to capitalize on his success in freeing Kentucky of a Confederate threat, letting the Rebel army slip away unmolested.  Lincoln could not stand for this and quickly replaced Buell with Major General William S. Rosecrans.  Rosecrans first move with his soon-to-be-named Army of the Cumberland was south to Nashville, Tennessee where he set about reorganizing and refitting it.  Rosecrans dallied to long however and by the middle of December Washington was making it very clear to him that they expected a move against the Confederates immediately...to wait further would mean his replacement.  Rosecrans got the hint.  On December 26, 1862 he set out with his army of 41,000 men to meet the waiting Confederates.  The three day march was miserable for the soldiers in blue.  Rain, sleet, and cold (which would be present  throughout the campaign), along with frequent raids by Confederate cavalry were ever-present.  By December 30 the two armies faced each other across the fields outside Murphreesboro.  Settling down for a cold night, the soldiers on each side had no illusions about what would occur come the first light of dawn...
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<i><b>Battle Statistics</b></i>
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<b>United States of America</b><br>
<b>Armies Engaged:</b>  Army of the Cumberland<br>
<b>Commanding Officer:</b>  Major General William Rosecrans<br>
<b>Strength:</b>  41,400<br>
<b>Casualties:</b>  12,906 <i>or 31.2%</i> (1,677 killed, 7,543 wounded, 3,686 captured/missing)
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<b>Confederate States</b><br>
<b>Armies Engaged:</b>  Army of Tennessee<br>
<b>Commanding Officer:</b>  General Braxton Bragg<br>
<b>Strength:</b>  35,000<br>
<b>Casualties:</b>  11,739 <i>or 33.5%</i> (1,294 killed, 7,945 wounded, 2,500 captured/missing)

Stone's River National Battlefield, T...

Dan Weemhoff (dwhike)

The Battle of Stone's River (also known as the Battle of Murphreesboro ...

Updated: Dec 26, 2014 8:18am PST

Shiloh National Military Park, TN (7-22-14) : The spring of 1862 found the war going very badly for the Confederacy in the west.  Kentucky had been lost to the Union Army, Fort Henry on the Tennessee River had fallen opening the interior south to federal gunboats, and most disastrously Fort Donelson had surrendered on February 12th along with one-third of the Confederate forces between the Mississippi and the Appalachians.  The interior south seemed wide open for invasion by the northern hordes.
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The general tasked with the defense of these southern states was General Albert Sidney Johnson, a former U.S. soldier considered by many to be one of its most promising future officers.  Johnson's allegiance was firmly with the south, however, and in his mind at this crucial juncture it was critical to maintain the only remaining communications and supply link between east and west, the Memphis &amp; Charleston Railroad.  His widely scattered forces also would need to be concentrated if he were to have any hope of threatening the Union army.  To accomplish these tasks he set up his base of operations in Corinth, Mississippi.  During March of that year scattered units of his army converged on Corinth as well as reinforcements from wherever they could be spared.  By the end of March, General Johnson had around 45,000 soldiers ready to stand against whatever next move the Union Army might make.
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Moving against Johnson was the supremely confident 48,000-man force under Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant.  After the capture of Fort Donelson Grant quickly pushed south and invested the Tennessee capitol of Nashville.  From there it was his intent to keep pushing south through the Mississippi Valley with the goal of splitting the Confederacy in two and, if possible, bringing Johnson's army to a decisive battle in the process.  Learning that Johnson was concentrating at Corinth Grant moved his army south along the Tennessee River to a ford known as Pittsburg Landing.  Setting up camp on the west bank of the river, Grant intended to gather the rest of his forces in the region before advancing further.  He was quite confident that in the interim Johnson's Confederates would stay safely behind their defenses at Corinth.
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General Johnson wasn't planning on playing by Grant's rules.  First off he could do the math.  By the end of March he had near parity in numbers with Grant, but he knew that wouldn't last as Grant had more reinforcements on the way.  Also, he regarded Grant's choice of camp sites, with the river at his back, as a serious blunder.  Therefore it was Johnson's intent not to wait for Grant but to make the first move and catch the Union Army unawares.  His plan was simple, catch the Union Army by surprise with overwhelming force driving against the enemy's left flank and cutting off his route of supply and escape across the river.  Thus cut off Grant would be virtually surrounded and forced to surrender.  Such was the plan...
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The Confederate Army began the 20-mile march north from Corinth on April 3rd.  The march quickly deteriorated into an almost comical mess.  Weather hampered the movement of men and artillery, green troops tired easily and slowed the march, and believe it or not <i>one whole division</i> got off track and went missing for the better part of a day!  The attack that should have commenced the morning of the 4th had now been pushed back to the morning of the 6th.  Johnson was sure his most crucial advantage, the element of surprise, had been lost.
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He should have been right.  Though General Grant and most of his subordinates confidently stated that the Confederates were still camped at Corinth, the 4th and 5th of April had brought numerous reports of minor skirmishes and cavalry raids to the south.  One battalion of Ohio cavalry on April 4, in hot pursuit of Confederate raiders, crested a hill and were astounded to see long lines of Confederate infantry backed by artillery and immediately came under heavy fire.  When this information was brought to General Sherman he dismissed what the cavalry had seen as a Confederate reconnaissance mission.  A good glimpse into the mindset of the Union high command can be seen in a missive sent from General Grant to his superior General Halleck on April 5th when he stated, <i>"I have scarcely the faintest idea of an attack (general one) being made upon us, but will be prepared should such a thing take place."</i>  Unfortunately, these preparations didn't include building any earthworks or strengthening picket lines.  As the light faded on April the 5th, 1862 Johnson's 45,000-man army, despite two days of delay, were about to collide with a Union Army which didn't think there was a Confederate soldier within 20-miles.  Over the next two days a titanic struggle the likes of which the nation had never seen before would bring into startling clarity that the war had entered a new and much bloodier stage...
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<i><b>Battle Statistics</b></i>
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<b>United States of America</b><br>
<b>Armies Engaged:</b>  Army of the Tennessee, Army of the Ohio<br>
<b>Commanding Officer:</b>  Major General Ulysses S. Grant<br>
<b>Strength:</b>  66,812<br>
<b>Casualties:</b>  13,047 <i>or 19.5%</i> (1,754 killed, 8,408 wounded, 2,885 captured/missing)
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<b>Confederate States</b><br>
<b>Armies Engaged:</b>  Army of the Mississippi<br>
<b>Commanding Officer:</b>  General Albert Sidney Johnston (killed), General P.G.T. Beauregard<br>
<b>Strength:</b>  44,699<br>
<b>Casualties:</b>  10,699 <i>or 23.9%</i> (1,728 killed, 8,012 wounded, 959 captured/missing)

Shiloh National Military Park, TN (7-...

Dan Weemhoff (dwhike)

The spring of 1862 found the war going very badly for the Confederacy ...

Updated: Dec 26, 2014 8:16am PST

New Market Battlefield, VA (6-23-09) : The Battle of New Market was the result of General Ulysses S. Grant's desire, late in the Civil War, to gain control of the Confederacy's breadbasket...the Shenandoah Valley.  In spring 1864 Union Major General Franz Sigel's army of 10,000 began there trek south to subdue the valley.  Opposing them was a much smaller Confederate force of about 5,000 under the command of General John C. Breckenridge.  Among the rebel force was a regiment of cadets from the nearby Virginia Military Institute.  The battle took place on on a stormy day; May 15, 1864.  Reluctant to use the cadets as cannon fodder, General Breckenridge at first held them back.  It soon became clear however that, to break the Union lines, the cadets must be put in...
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The following series of photos sets you in the footsteps of the cadets as they marched into battle that day...
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<i><b>Battle Statistics</b></i>
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<b>United States of America</b><br>
<b>Commanding Officer:</b>  Major General Franz Sigel<br>
<b>Strength:</b>  6,275<br>
<b>Casualties:</b>  841 <i>or 13.4%</i> 
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<b>Confederate States</b><br>
<b>Commanding Officer:</b>  Major General John C. Breckenridge<br>
<b>Strength:</b>  4,087<br>
<b>Casualties:</b>  531 <i>or 13.0%</i>

New Market Battlefield, VA (6-23-09)

Dan Weemhoff (dwhike)

The Battle of New Market was the result of General Ulysses S. Grant's ...

Updated: Dec 26, 2014 8:13am PST

Lincoln's New Salem, IL (8-22-09) : Arguably our nation's greatest president, Abraham Lincoln came from very humble beginnings.  Moving to New Salem from his native Kentucky in 1831 Lincoln quickly became involved in the local community.  During his time here he served as a clerk in the local store, a volunteer soldier, a rail splitter, river-boatman, postmaster, surveyor, and finally a twice elected member of the Illinois General Assembly which launched his political career.  It was here, at New Salem, that Lincoln honed his skills as a public representative.  In 1837 he moved to nearby Springfield and the rest is better known history.

New Salem the town was founded in 1828 by two men who located a small grist mill here, near the Sangamon River.  Unfortunately, the location just off the river was less than ideal and the town enjoyed a very short lifespan.  As you'll read in the album, very few families stayed for more than a few years, and by 1840 the town was abandoned.  During the Great Depression the CCC reconstructed 22 of the old structures and moved one original back to the original town site.  Due to the fact that the structures are now some 80-years old, the site has a very authentic feel and is extremely well presented.  For a Lincoln/Civil War buff like I, Lincoln's New Salem was a must-visit and it didn't disappoint...

Lincoln's New Salem, IL (8-22-09)

Dan Weemhoff (dwhike)

Arguably our nation's greatest president, Abraham Lincoln came from ve ...

Updated: Dec 26, 2014 8:07am PST

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, GA (1-14-14) : <center><i>"All that has gone before is mere skirmishing--The War now begins..."</i></center><br><br>

These words, uttered by Union Major General Tecumseh Sherman 10 days before the opening of the battle at Kennesaw Mountain, gives soul-stirring insight into the type of campaign that he intended to launch in Georgia in the coming months of 1864.  With the Civil War slaughter-grounds the likes of Shiloh, Gaines Mill, Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Gettysburg still vivid in the country's memory, anyone who heard these words must have shuddered down to the very fiber of their being.
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General Sherman and his 100,000-man army had departed Chattanooga, Tennessee on May 7th, 1864 with the objective of both destroying the opposing Confederate force under General Joseph E. Johnson, and capturing the major southern city and rail hub of Atlanta.  The month or so prior to the battle at Kennesaw saw the two armies engage in numerous small actions while Sherman moved inexorably South by performing a series of flanking movements around Johnson, forcing his withdrawal closer and closer to Atlanta itself.  By June 15, Sherman's advance had stalled out 15 miles short of Atlanta, however, as Johnson's army took up positions along the steep ridgetop of Kennesaw Mountain and three neighboring peaks known as Little Kennesaw, Pigeon Hill, and Cheatham Hill.  Due to the dominating position these peaks offered the Confederates, astride Sherman's intended railroad supply line, the Union army could not afford to simply bypass the Rebel army.  Kennesaw Mountain <i>had</i> to be taken.
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Sherman's plan was a simple one.  His Army of the Cumberland, under Major General George Thomas, would make a general assault on the center of Johnson's line at Pigeon and Cheatham Hills, while the remainder of his force would make strong demonstrations against Johnson's flanks at Kennesaw Mountain and the Kolb Farm preventing Johnson from sending reinforcements to the point he intended to break through.  At 8:00am on June 27, 1864, 200 Union cannon opened up along the 8-mile front signaling the start of the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain...
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<i><b>Battle Statistics</b></i>
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<b>United States of America</b><br>
<b>Armies Engaged:</b>  Army of the Tennessee, Army of the Ohio, Army of the Cumberland<br>
<b>Commanding Officer:</b>  Major General William T. Sherman<br>
<b>Strength:</b>  100,000<br>
<b>Casualties:</b>  3,000 <i>or 3.0%</i> (unknown killed, wounded, or captured/missing)
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<b>Confederate States</b><br>
<b>Armies Engaged:</b>  Army of Tennessee
<b>Commanding Officer:</b>  General Joseph E. Johnston<br>
<b>Strength:</b>  50,000<br>
<b>Casualties:</b>  1,000 <i>or 2.0%</i> (unknown killed, wounded, or captured/missing)

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefiel...

Dan Weemhoff (dwhike)

"All that has gone before is mere skirmishing--The War now begins..." ...

Updated: Dec 26, 2014 8:04am PST

Gettysburg National Military Park, PA (11-22-06) : A quick half-day tour of the battlefield I took near Thanksgiving. I can't really describe the feelings I had as I wandered over this sacred ground. The pictures are in chronological order according to the events of the battle. At the end are a few pics of the Gettysburg National Cemetery, established after the battle, and the site of the famous address by President Lincoln...
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<i><b>Battle Statistics</b></i>
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<b>United States of America</b><br>
<b>Armies Engaged:</b>  Army of the Potomac<br>
<b>Commanding Officer:</b>  Major General George Meade<br>
<b>Strength:</b>  93,921<br>
<b>Casualties:</b>  23,055 <i>or 24.6%</i> (3,155 killed, 14,531 wounded, 5,369 captured/missing)<br><br>

<b>Confederate States</b><br>
<b>Armies Engaged:</b>  Army of Northern Virginia<br>
<b>Commanding Officer:</b>  General Robert E. Lee<br>
<b>Strength:</b>  71,699<br>
<b>Casualties:</b>  23,231 <i>or 32.4%</i> (4,708 killed, 12,693 wounded, 5,830 captured/missing)

Gettysburg National Military Park, PA...

Dan Weemhoff (dwhike)

A quick half-day tour of the battlefield I took near Thanksgiving. I c ...

Updated: Dec 26, 2014 8:01am PST

Fort Sumter National Monument, SC (9-8-13) : The predawn stillness of April 12, 1861 belied a nervous tension that enshrouded the harbor at Charleston, South Carolina.  In numerous batteries and battlements ringing the harbor soldiers from the surrounding region sat quietly near their guns waiting, and in many cases hoping, for the order to strike out at those who would defy their home state.  Arguably the most nervous men in Charleston that morning were those who huddled within the walls of Fort Sumter, men who had been caught up in a sudden whirlwind of historic events, men who occupied the last federal outpost in a state that had, at least in their minds, gone suddenly and terribly mad.
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Three months earlier, in response to the election of President Lincoln and the subsequent succession of South Carolina, U.S. Major Robert Anderson, had moved this small garrison from the nearby but indefensible Fort Moultrie to the isolated and as-yet unfinished Fort Sumter in the middle of the harbor.  Tactically, this was a good move as Fort Sumter's 50-foot high, 5-foot thick walls would offer a good deal more protection against any violent attempt to take the fort.  Sumter was built to house 135 cannon which, when properly manned, could certainly repel any attempt by the upstart rebels to take it.  Unfortunately, Major Anderson commanded only 127 men, far short of the fort's 650-man full compliment, and only about 60 cannon.  As such, the troops inside Fort Sumter were acutely aware that they were at the mercy of the ever-increasing forces surrounding them.  Knowing that any aggressive action on their part would likely spark a war, Major Anderson wisely resolved to hold his position as long as his dwindling supplies would allow.
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Brigadier General P.G.T. Beauregard, commander of the South Carolina forces, was also acutely aware that time was running out for Anderson and he was under increasing pressure to force the issue.  He had made repeated attempts over the previous weeks to achieve the surrender of the fort through negotiation.  Without resupply, he knew, the fort could not hold out much longer.  Though many in the south wanted him to take the fort by force of arms Beauregard also knew that blame for starting the war would rest upon the South and, more specifically, on him.  President Lincoln, however, forced his hand.
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Lat on the evening of April 11, 1861 Union resupply ships began to arrive off the entrance to Charleston Harbor not far from Fort Sumter.  If the supplies contained within those ships were allowed to reach Fort Sumter Major Anderson and his forces would be able to hold out indefinitely.  That same evening Beauregard sent a small delegation of men with the message that this would be the last chance for Anderson to surrender the fort peaceably.  Major Anderson flatly refused.  At 4:30am on the morning of April 12, 1861 a loud report pierced the morning sky as a single mortar round ascended from Fort Johnson towards Fort Sumter.  Within minutes, at this signal, batteries on all sides of the harbor opened up and Fort Sumter was bathed in a ring of fire.  The conflict so long anticipated and feared had arrived.  The U.S. Civil War had begun.
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Major Anderson and his small band of beleaguered troops held out for 34 hours, but it was a futile resistance.  Realizing the hopelessness of his situation, Anderson surrendered the fort on April 13th.  The flag of the Confederacy flew over the fort without incident for the next two years when, in 1863 the Union finally began efforts to retake the facility.  The various Union attempts to force the surrender of the fort followed a simple strategy...pummel the fort into submission.  From 1863 to 1865 Fort Sumter underwent no less than --- periods of bombardment  by the end of which Fort Sumter was little more than a giant pile of bricks, but still it defiantly stood.  It wasn't until February 17, 1865 as General Sherman's army occupied Charleston itself that the fort was abandoned and the Stars and Stripes once again flew over its battered ramparts.
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After the war the rubble was cleared and walls were partially repaired but the fort was left unmanned.  It wasn't until 1897, with the commencement of the Spanish-American War that the government was prompted to garrison the fort once again and construction was begun on a huge concrete battery which would bisect the old parade grounds.  Named Battery Huger, the fort served as a lookout and coastline defense post off and on for the next 50 years though it never saw action.  After World War 2 the fort was officially decommissioned and was handed over to the National Park Service as a National Monument in 1948.
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Today, any visit to Fort Sumter should begin at the visitor center located on the west shore of the Cooper River in Liberty Square in downtown Charleston.  Numerous displays tell the history of the fort and on display are many period artifacts, including the flag which flew so defiantly during those furious 34 hours in the spring of 1861.  After the visitor center two ferry's are available to take visitors out to the fort itself, one from the docks adjacent to the center and one from across the river at Patriots Point Park.  This album represents my third visit to the fort and I haven't tired of going back.  Walking along the walls still marked and gouged by shot and shell from 150 years ago bring those momentous events back in a very tangible way.  As the ignition point for the greatest conflagration this nation has ever endured, Fort Sumter is a must-see for any enthusiast of American History...
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<center>
<i>"Our Southern brethren have done grievously; they have rebelled and have attacked their father's house and their loyal brothers. They must be punished and brought back, but this necessity breaks my heart." </i>       <br>- Major Robert Anderson</center><br><br>

Fort Sumter National Monument, SC (9-...

Dan Weemhoff (dwhike)

The predawn stillness of April 12, 1861 belied a nervous tension that ...

Updated: Dec 26, 2014 7:59am PST

Fort Donelson National Battlefield, TN (7-22-14) : The conquest of Fort Donelson on February 16, 1862 marked the first major Union victory of the Civil War.  Up until early that year everything seemed to be going the Confederates way.  Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia had chased the Federal Army out of Virginia and in the Western Theater little had been done to break the Southern defensive line stretching from Arkansas across Kentucky.  To Union planners the soft spot along that line, however, seemed to be along the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers, two waterways that would provide an open highway into the interior south if only they could be brought under U.S. control.
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Protecting these waterways were two newly constructed Confederate forts, situated a dozen or so miles apart.  Fort Henry was built to protect the Tennessee River while to the east the much more imposing Fort Donelson protected the Cumberland.  In early 1862 a joint army/navy task force was sent out down the Tennessee to capture Fort Henry.  Commanding the naval squadron was Flag Officer Andrew H. Foote while the Army expedition would be led by a new-to-command and relatively unknown Brigadier General by the name of Ulysses S. Grant.  Due to it's poor location, the reduction of Fort Henry was a relative cake-walk.  While Grant was approaching with his army on February 6th, Foote attacked the fort with four of his ironclads.  In a ferocious artillery battle which lasted about an hour, the Confederate commander at Henry determined he couldn't hold out against the oncoming force and abandoned the stronghold before Grant even arrived.  Over 2,500 soldiers from Fort Henry escaped towards the next objective on Grant's list, Fort Donelson.
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In contrast to Fort Henry, Fort Donelson was very well-planned and situated amongst high hills which dominated the Cumberland River.  The fort itself was some 15-acres in size and was surrounded by 10-foot earthen walls and abatis.  Facing the river were three batteries containing over a dozen heavy guns.  In addition, with the expectation of a land attack, nearly 3-miles of earthworks were constructed in a ring a half mile to a mile outside the fort.  To man these defenses were nearly 17,000 determined Confederate soldiers under the combined commands of Generals John B. Floyd, Gideon J. Pillow, and Simon B. Buckner.  Pleased with the ease at which Fort Henry was reduced Grant's plan for the bigger prize of Donelson was initially the same as his earlier victory.  He would approach with his army by land and surround the fort while Foote and his gunboats approached via the Cumberland.  Foote's ships would pummel the fort's heavy guns and force the then all-but-defenseless fort to capitulate.  As it turned out Fort Donelson would be a bit tougher nut to crack.
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In the following album I take a tour around the National Battlefield as it is today.  As with other albums I tried, at least in part, to arrange this album as events took place at Donelson.  Because the landscape (particularly the thick forest) has changed so much since the time of the battle it was quite hard at times to keep myself oriented to how different positions correlated to one another.  Otherwise, it was wonderful to have the opportunity to walk amongst the earthworks and gun emplacements where a relatively unknown general became "Unconditional Surrender" Grant and the tide was irreversibly turned in the Western Theater of the war...
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<i><b>Battle Statistics</b></i><br><br>

<b>United States of America</b><br>
<b>Armies Engaged:</b>  District of Cairo, Western Flotilla<br>
<b>Commanding Officer:</b>  Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant<br>
<b>Strength:</b>  24,531<br>
<b>Casualties:</b>  2,691 <i>or 11.0%</i> (507 killed, 1,976 wounded, 208 captured/missing)
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<b>Confederate States</b><br>
<b>Armies Engaged:</b>  Fort Donelson Garrison<br>
<b>Commanding Officer:</b>  Brigadier General John B. Floyd, Brigadier General Gideon J. Pillow, Brigadier General Simon B. Buckner<br>
<b>Strength:</b>  16,171<br>
<b>Casualties:</b>  13,846 <i>or 85.6%</i> (327 killed, 1,127 wounded, 12,392 captured/missing)

Fort Donelson National Battlefield, T...

Dan Weemhoff (dwhike)

The conquest of Fort Donelson on February 16, 1862 marked the first ma ...

Updated: Dec 26, 2014 7:56am PST

Chickamauga National Military Park, GA (2-21-07) : The Battle of Chickamauga was the culmination of weeks of fighting between Major General Rosecrans Army of the Cumberland and the rebel Army of the Tennessee under General Braxton Bragg.  The Union forces had forced the Confederates steadily backwards before, on September 19, 1863, Bragg decided to make a stand near the West Chickamauga Creek.  The battle raged for two long days.  The Confederates slowly pushed the Union back before, on the second day, a fatal blunder by the Union command opened a gap in the center of their lines just as the Confederates under James Longstreet attacked.  Half the Union army promptly fled the scene, along with their commanding general, William Rosecrans.  Fortunately for the Union army another general by the name of George Thomas made a defiant stand at Snodgrass Hill which stemmed the Confederate tide preventing the Army of the Cumberland from total annihilation.  Chickamauga was one of the bloodiest battles of the war with combined casualties numbering over 34,000 men.
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Unfortunately, we didn't have much time to explore the area in detail so we made a quick loop along the auto tour route.  Additionally, I didn't resurrect these photos until nearly two years after I took them.  This combination means that making a linear story of the battle, like I am fond of doing in my other albums, was impossible.  I've done my best to match my shots with reports from others and maps I carried home with me.  I always welcome comments if you notice that something isn't quite right.  Anyway, enough of me...please, enjoy the album!!
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<i><b>Battle Statistics</b></i>
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<b>United States of America</b><br>
<b>Armies Engaged:</b>  Army of the Cumberland<br>
<b>Commanding Officer:</b>  Major General William Rosecrans<br>
<b>Strength:</b>  60,000<br>
<b>Casualties:</b>  16,170 <i>or 27.0%</i> (1,657 killed, 9,756 wounded, 4,757 captured/missing)<br><br>

<b>Confederate States</b><br>
<b>Armies Engaged:</b>  Army of Tennessee<br>
<b>Commanding Officer:</b>  General Braxton Bragg<br>
<b>Strength:</b>  65,000<br>
<b>Casualties:</b>  18,454 <i>or 28.4%</i> (2,312 killed, 14,674 wounded, 1,468 captured/missing)

Chickamauga National Military Park, G...

Dan Weemhoff (dwhike)

The Battle of Chickamauga was the culmination of weeks of fighting bet ...

Updated: Dec 26, 2014 7:53am PST

Battle of Athens State Historic Park, MO (1-3-11) : Today's Athens, Missouri is nothing more than a loosely clustered mix of farms and riverfront homes, with nothing but a small, virtually unknown, state park bearing its name to draw anyone's Attention to it on a map.  At the outbreak of the Civil War the town was a bit larger and was a fairly important town in the region.  A small but growing town in 1861, Athens was home to a large grist mill and the only ferry to allow passage across the Des Moines River for quite a distance in either direction.  Like the rest of Missouri, loyalties at the outbreak of war were sharply divided and it became a target for Union loyalists in neighboring Iowa.  Seeking to suppress southern sympathies in the region and gain control of the ferry, which provided the most direct line of supply from nearby Keokuk, a small band of some 500 local militia under command of Colonel David Moore moved in and occupied the town on  July 22, 1861.
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A secessionist force of around 2,000 had already been assembled under Colonel Martin Green and soon moved out to dislodge the Yankees from Missouri.  They arrived on the outskirts of Athens on August 4, 1861 with three cannon.  The federals were surrounded in the town on three sides with the Des Moines River to their backs.  The attack came with first light on the 5th.  Though outnumbered nearly 4 to 1, the federal militia managed to repel the two hour rebel attack, largely due to their superiority in firearms.  The federals held the town and, as such, northeastern Missouri remained in Union hands for the entirety of the Civil War.
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Today, a small Historic State Park preserves the surviving buildings that existed at the time of the battle.  This park is much different from more well-known parks farther east.  A small room at the main office holds a few artifacts and important info on the battle and the only other displays to be found are at the Thome-Benning, or Cannonball House, which still bears a large scar from the battle.  Aside from this the grounds are open and quiet, at least when I visited, which contrasts pleasantly with larger, busier battlefields.  Here's the tour...
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<i><b>Battle Statistics</b></i>
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<b>United States of America</b><br>
<b>Armies Engaged:</b>  Missouri Home Guard<br>
<b>Commanding Officer:</b>  Colonel David Moore<br>
<b>Strength:</b>  500<br>
<b>Casualties:</b>  23 <i>or 4.5%</i> (3 killed, 20 wounded)<br><br>

<b>Confederate States</b><br>
<b>Armies Engaged:</b>  Missouri State Guard<br>
<b>Commanding Officer:</b>  Colonel Martin E. Green<br>
<b>Strength:</b>  ~2,000<br>
<b>Casualties:</b>  31 <i>or 1.6%</i>

Battle of Athens State Historic Park,...

Dan Weemhoff (dwhike)

Today's Athens, Missouri is nothing more than a loosely clustered mix ...

Updated: Dec 26, 2014 7:49am PST