March 1863

Both sides were preparing for another battle season, and concern was growing in the South. The Federal naval blockade was slowly strangling the Confederate economy, and the Federal armies continued pushing deeper into southern territory. People were awaiting the coming spring with both hope and dread.

Vicksburg: Federals Clear Yazoo Pass

2 Mar – After nearly a month, the last Federal transport finally cleared Yazoo Pass in the effort to approach Vicksburg from the north.

The Enrollment Act

3 Mar – The most controversial bill that President Abraham Lincoln signed into law during this congressional session was “An Act for enrolling and calling out the National Forces, and for other purposes,” also known as the Enrollment or Federal Military Draft Act.

Final Legislation of the 37th U.S. Congress

3 Mar – President Abraham Lincoln reviewed several bills and signed many into law as the lame-duck session of the Thirty-seventh U.S. Congress ended.

Middle Tennessee: The Spring Hill Engagement

5 Mar – As the Armies of Tennessee and the Cumberland remained relatively stationary in Middle Tennessee, smaller forces clashed in an engagement at nearby Spring Hill.

Mosby’s Fairfax Raid

8 Mar – Captain John S. Mosby and his Confederate partisans conducted a daring raid that included capturing a general who had been tasked to capture them.

Farragut Runs the Port Hudson Batteries

14 Mar – Acting Rear Admiral David G. Farragut tried running his naval squadron past the Confederate batteries at Port Hudson in an effort to move up the Mississippi River to Vicksburg.

The Battle of Kelly’s Ford

17 Mar – A battle between opposing horsemen in northern Virginia served as a test for the new Federal Cavalry Corps within the Army of the Potomac.

The Erlanger Loan

18 Mar – Confederate commissioner John Slidell and representatives of Emile Erlanger, head of France’s most influential bank, negotiated a loan to the Confederacy for $15 million to help finance the war.

Vicksburg: Federals Abandon Yazoo Pass

20 Mar – The Federal vessels comprising the Yazoo Pass expedition began steaming back down the Tallahatchie River after failing to neutralize Fort Pemberton near Greenwood, Mississippi.

Vicksburg: The Steele’s Bayou Expedition

22 Mar – Federal Rear Admiral David D. Porter conceded that yet another effort to reach Vicksburg using the vast network of waterways to the north had failed.


Last Updated: 3/24/2018


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