M35-SEPTEMBER 1863

Federals in the Trans-Mississippi targeted Little Rock, Arkansas while Federals in eastern Tennessee targeted Knoxville. The Lincoln administration discussed launching an operation on the Texas-Louisiana coasts. Another major Confederate city fell, and the Western Theater’s most terrible battle took place.

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Charleston: The Bombardment Continues

1 Sep – Federal forces continued bombarding the fortifications in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, in preparation for another infantry attack.

The Fall of Knoxville

2 Sep – Leading elements of the Federal Army of the Ohio entered Knoxville, the key city of eastern Tennessee. This cut Virginia’s direct railroad line to the west.

The Springfield National Union Rally

3 Sep – At least 50,000 people attended a rally in President Abraham Lincoln’s hometown of Springfield, Illinois, in support of Lincoln and his war policies.

Grant’s Wild Ride

4 Sep – Major General Ulysses S. Grant suffered a serious riding accident while witnesses claimed he was drunk.

The Laird Rams

5 Sep – Charles Francis Adams, U.S. minister to Great Britain, threatened war unless the British stopped clandestinely building warships for the Confederacy.

The Confederacy Looks to France

5 Sep – Confederate Lieutenant General Edmund Kirby Smith urged foreign envoy John Slidell to get France to intervene on the Confederacy’s behalf so that the French puppet regime in Mexico would have a friendly neighbor to the north.

Charleston: Morris Island Abandoned

6 Sep – Confederate forces finally abandoned Morris Island in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, after enduring relentless pressure for nearly two months. The Federals then looked to capture Fort Sumter.

The Richmond Strategy Conference

7 Sep – As Major General William S. Rosecrans’s Federals closed in on Chattanooga, participants at the high-level conference in Richmond decided to reinforce General Braxton Bragg’s Confederate Army of Tennessee.

From William Nugent, 28th Mississippi Cavalry

7 Sep – Letter from Captain William Nugent of the 28th Mississippi Cavalry to his wife.

The Battle of Sabine Pass

8 Sep – A Federal army-navy expedition to the Texas-Louisiana border met with embarrassing defeat by less than 50 Confederates defending Sabine Pass.

The Fall of Chattanooga

9 Sep – Major General William S. Rosecrans’s Federal Army of the Cumberland captured the important city of Chattanooga, Tennessee, without firing a shot.

The Fall of Little Rock

10 Sep – Major General Frederick Steele’s Federal Army of Arkansas entered the state capital after Confederates retreated.

Bragg Looks to Attack in Northern Georgia

12 Sep – Confederate reinforcements began heading to the Army of Tennessee, while General Braxton Bragg missed two prime opportunities to defeat the Federal Army of the Cumberland outside Chattanooga.

Meade Looks to Advance in Northern Virginia

15 Sep – Major General George G. Meade planned to advance against General Robert E. Lee’s weakened Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, but only as part of a probing action.

Armies Concentrate in Northern Georgia

18 Sep – Major General William S. Rosecrans began concentrating his Federal Army of the Cumberland, and General Braxton Bragg continued looking for any opportunity to attack.

The Battle of Chickamauga

19 Sep – A terrible battle began in northwestern Georgia between General Braxton Bragg’s Confederate Army of Tennessee and Major General William S. Rosecrans’s Federal Army of the Cumberland.

The Battle of Chickamauga: Day Two

20 Sep – The terrible battle in northwestern Georgia entered its second day and threatened to result in Federal disaster.

The Battle of Chickamauga: Aftermath

21 Sep – The Federal Army of the Cumberland retreated into Chattanooga after its disastrous defeat at Chickamauga, and the Confederate Army of Tennessee cautiously pursued.

The Siege of Chattanooga Begins

23 Sep – Major General William S. Rosecrans’s Federal Army of the Cumberland continued building defenses in Chattanooga while General Braxton Bragg’s Confederate Army of Tennessee began laying siege.

Eastern Tennessee: Burnside Refuses to Move

25 Sep – President Abraham Lincoln wrote an irate message to Major General Ambrose E. Burnside after Burnside’s repeated refusals to reinforce Major General William S. Rosecrans’s Federal Army of the Cumberland under siege in Chattanooga.

Chattanooga: Federal Reinforcements Move West

27 Sep – Federal troops from the Army of the Potomac began heading west in a remarkable display of logistics, while the Federal high command looked to possibly change the command structure in the Army of the Cumberland.

Lee Mobilizes in Northern Virginia

29 Sep – General Robert E. Lee began planning to attack after receiving confirmation that Major General George G. Meade’s Federal Army of the Potomac was weakened.

Confederate Dissension at Chattanooga

30 Sep – Tensions reached a boiling point among the Confederate Army of Tennessee commanders. This led to a command change, a call for Richmond to help, and even a death threat.

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Last Updated: 9/30/2018

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