M40-FEBRUARY 1864

In Washington, President Abraham Lincoln faced opposition from Radical Republicans, Peace Democrats, and even members of his own cabinet. Federals advanced on Meridian, and a major battle took place in Florida. A raid on Richmond was planned, and Federals plotted to escape from a notorious prison camp. Confederates turned to increasingly desperate measures to stem the Federal momentum.

The H.L. Hunley | Image Credit: Wikipedia.org

Sherman’s Meridian Campaign Begins

1 Feb – Major General William T. Sherman’s campaign to advance from Vicksburg to Meridian in Mississippi began.

Pickett’s New Bern Campaign

2 Feb – Confederates captured one of the largest Federal ships on the North Carolina coast, but their main mission was more difficult to accomplish.

Davis Urges Suspension of Habeas Corpus

3 Feb – President Jefferson Davis delivered a message to Congress asking for the authority to suspend the writ of habeas corpus.

Sherman Targets Jackson Again

5 Feb – Major General William T. Sherman’s Federal Army of the Tennessee continued its drive through central Mississippi and approached the state capital of Jackson, which had been captured and ransacked twice before.

The Pomeroy Circular and Other Political Intrigues

6 Feb – President Abraham Lincoln learned that a pamphlet was being circulated urging Republicans to replace him with another candidate in the upcoming presidential election.

Federals Move Out of Jackson

7 Feb – Major General William T. Sherman’s Federal Army of the Tennessee began marching out of war-torn Jackson, heading east toward the last Confederate-controlled railroad center in Mississippi.

The Daring Escape from Libby Prison

9 Feb – Colonel Thomas E. Rose of the 77th Pennsylvania plotted a remarkable escape from disease-ridden Libby Prison in Richmond.

Meridian: Federals Continue Moving East

11 Feb – Federal cavalry finally began moving out of Tennessee to support Major General William T. Sherman’s Federals moving east through central Mississippi.

The Proposed Dalton Demonstration

12 Feb – Major General Ulysses S. Grant asked Major General George H. Thomas, commanding the Federal Army of the Cumberland, to feign an attack on Dalton to divert Confederate attention from the Federal offensive in Mississippi.

The Fall of Meridian

14 Feb – Major General William T. Sherman’s Federal Army of the Tennessee completed its destructive march through central Mississippi by arriving at the last Confederate-controlled railroad center in the state.

North Carolina: Confederate Deserters Executed

15 Feb – Thirteen men who deserted the North Carolina militia to join the Federal army were executed by Confederate officials, even though they had never officially belonged to the Confederate army.

The Hunley Attack

17 Feb – One of the first submarine attacks in history occurred when a “submersible” Confederate vessel confronted a Federal warship on blockade duty at Charleston Harbor.

Federals Begin Operations in Florida

19 Feb – Federal forces launched an expedition to conquer Florida, while Confederates scrambled to put up a defense.

The Battle of Olustee

20 Feb – A major confrontation occurred in Florida, as Federal forces tried restoring the state to the Union but ran up against strong Confederate defenses.

Northern Mississippi: Smith’s Incursion

21 Feb – Brigadier General William Sooy Smith’s Federal cavalry troopers experienced trouble reaching the main Federal army in Mississippi due to opposition from Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Confederates.

The Battle of Okolona

22 Feb – Confederate horsemen caught up to withdrawing Federal cavalry and clashed in northern Mississippi.

The Dalton Demonstration

24 Feb – Skirmishing intensified in northern Georgia, as Major General John M. Palmer sought to unite his Federals at Rocky Face Ridge and drive the Confederates out of Dalton.

From Frederick Bartleson, 100th Illinois

26 Feb – Letter from Col. Frederick Bartleson of the 100th Illinois Volunteer Infantry to his wife while captive at Libby Prison in Richmond.

Andersonville Prison Opens

27 Feb – Confederate officials opened a new prisoner of war camp in Georgia that soon became notorious for its inhumane living conditions.

The Kilpatrick-Dahlgren Raid

28 Feb – Brigadier General H. Judson Kilpatrick led a Federal cavalry force on a mission to raid the Confederate capital of Richmond.

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Last Updated:  2/16/2019

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