January 2, 1863 in Jonesville, Virginia – On January 2, Brig. Gen. Samuel P. Carter’s Union force were riding towards Jonesville. They were heading to the foot of the Cumberland Mountains. Brig. Gen. Humphrey Marshall had 2 Confederate companies near Jonesville and attempted to block Carter’s advance. The 2nd Michigan Cavalry drove the Confederates from their position and the Union march continued.
January 7, 1863 in Ozark, Missouri – On January 7, Brig. Gen. John S. Marmaduke and his Confederate force captured the town of Ozark.
January 9, 1863 in St. Joseph’s, Florida – On January 9, several Union boat crews from the USS Ethan Allen went ashore at the salt works near St. Josephs. Once ashore, the Union soldiers proceeded to destroy the salt works and all of the salt supplies. Once they finished, they went back to the ship and sailed off.
January 11, 1863 in Galveston, Texas – On January 11, near Galveston, the cruiser CSS Alabama, commanded by Capt. Raphael Semmes, encountered the schooner USS Hatteras, commanded by Lt. Cmdr. Homer C. Blake. The Hatteras had spotted a peculiar ship and closed inon it to investigate. When Blake got close enough, he recognized that it was the famed Alabama. The two ships clashed, with the Alabama coming out on top.
January 13, 1863 in Harpeth Shoals, Tennessee – On January 13, at the Harpeth Shoals on the Cumberland River, the Union gunboat, USS Sidell, surrendered to Confederate troops, commanded by Brig. Gen. Joseph Wheeler. There were also 3 Union transports with wounded troops also seized. The wounded Union soldiers were put on board one ship and allowed to go on, while the other 3 ships were burned in place.
January 13, 1863 in ??, North Carolina – On January 13, the USS Columbia ran aground off the coast in North Carolina. The crew made several efforts to float the ship, but all of them failed to do so. The crew abandoned the ship and some time later, a group of Confederate troops discovered the Columbia. They easily captured it, took whatever they could, and then burned the ship in place.
January 14, 1863 in Bayou Teche, Louisiana – On January 14, a Union flotilla comprising of the USS Kinsman, USS Estrella, USS Calhoun, and the USS Diana joined with the Union land forces to attack the Confederate defenses at Bayou Teche. The naval gunfire was so intense that the Confederate artillerymen on the shore were forced to withdraw. The Confederates was able to send the CSS Cotton to help the land troops. The Cotton engaged the Union flotilla but was forced to withdraw from its position. It was set on fire by the Union ships and soon sank.
January 15, 1863 in Mound City, Arkansas – On January 15, a group of Union soldiers and sailors landed at Mound City. At the time, Mound City was a center of Confederate guerrilla activity. The Federals captured and burned the town.
January 16, 1863 in Devall’s Bluff, Arkansas – On January 16, the Union gunboat USS Baron de Kalb arrived at Devall’s Bluff. Once there, the ship’s crew seized the Confederate guns and ammunition there. They then reboarded the ship and left.
January 21, 1863 in Sabine Pass, Texas – On January 21, the Confederate steamers CSS Josiah Bell and CSS Uncle Ben were in the area of Sabine Pass. They spotted 2 Union blockading ships, the USS Morning Light and USS Velocity, and managed to capture them.
January 21, 1863 near Murfreesboro, Tennessee – On January 21, a Union forage train was travelling near Murfreesboro. A group of Confederate raiders surprised and attacked the forage train. After a very brief skirmish, the Confederates captured the train.
January 27, 1863 in Fort McAllister, Georgia – On January 27, a Union naval force led by the moniter-type USS Montauk, attacked the Confederate position at Fort McAllister. The fort was a strongly-built earthwork on the Ogeechee River just south of Savannah. The Union boats fired their cannon on the fort for several hours.
After not making any progress, the Union boats decided to withdraw. Without any land forces to support the naval bombardment, the Union was once again unable to secure a victory.
January 28-29, 1863 in Chantilly, Virginia – On January 28, Col. John S. Mosby and his Confederate raiders neared the town of Chantilly. Ahead of them were a party of Union vendettes, the mounted pickets of the 18th Pennsylvania Cavalry. Mosby deployed his men and, at a signal, the Confederates charged forward into the Federals. The Confederates grabbed 9 Federals, including their horses and weapons. They just as quickly disappeared back into the woods.
January 29, 1863 in Middleburg, Virginia – On January 29, word of the Confederate attack at Chantilly reached the nearby Union command. They ordered a pursuit of Col. John S. Mosby’s Confederate raiders. Col. Percy Wyndham and 200 Union cavalrymen of the 5th New Jersey Cavalry rode to Middleburg. They looked around town and upon not seeing any Confederates, started to leave town. Mosby and 7 other troops had attacked the rear of the Union column. After a brief clash, both sides left the area. Union suffered 1 killed and 3 captured. The Confederates suffered 3 captured
January 30, 1863 in Charleston, South Carolina – On January 30, the USS Issac Smith was reconnoiterring in the Stono River near Charleston. The Confederates spotted the boat and fired on it with their shore batteries. After several hits on the boat, The Issac Smith ran aground and was quickly captured by the Confederate ground forces.
January 31, 1863 in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina – On January 31, the gunboats CSS Chicora and CSS Palmetto State slipped out of Charleston Harbor unoticed by the Union naval blockade ships. They were concealed by an early morning haze and fog. The gunboats quickly attacked the Union blockade boats. The Confederates inflicted severe damage to two Union ships and some minimal damage to a few other Union boats before withdrawing back to the harbor. The Confederate gunboats did not suffer any damage. The USS Keystone State was crippled, and then the USS Memphis began towing the Keystone State as it began to sink; the USS Mercedita was rammed and quickly sank, the USS Quaker City was badly damaged, and the USS Augusta was hit near the boiler.
After this naval victory, the Confederate government announced to the foriegn powers, mainly England and France, that the Confederate Navy physically stopped the naval blockade surrounding the Charleston Harbor area. In reality, the Union blockade was only temporarily disrupted. It would soon be back in place.
February 1, 1863 in Fort McAllister, Georgia – On February 1, the ironclad gunboat USS Montauk, commanded by Cmdr. John L. Worden, opened fire on the Confederate works at Fort McAllister, commanded by Col. Robert H. Anderson. The Montauk was assisted by the USS Seneca, USS Wissahickon, USS Dawn, and the mortar-schooner USS C.P. Williams. The Confederates were able to send out the CSS Rattlesnake to engage the Union ships. The battle would last for 4 hours without a conclusive result.
February 2, 1863 in Wales Head, North Carolina – On February 2, the Union force entered Wales Head and proceeded to destroy the Confederate salt works in the area. They soon left after finishing the destruction.
February 12, 1863 on the White River, Arkansas – On February 12, the USS Conestoga was sailing on the White River when it spotted a couple of ships in the area. Upon closing in on the unknown vessels, the Conestoga noticed that they were two Confederate steamers. The Conestoga opened fire on the steamers and soon they surrendered.
February 12, 1863 on the Red River, Louisiana – On February 12, the USS Queen of the West was sailing up the Red River. The ship spotted some Confederate activity near the shore and moved to the shoreline. The ship saw and destroyed a train of 12 army wagons. Also destroyed was 70 barrels of beef, ammunition, and some military stores from another wagon train.
February 12, 1863 in West Indes – On February 12, in the West Indes, the CSS Florida captured the USS Jacob Bell. The Confederates found that the Jacob Bell contained more than $2,000,000 worth of cargo. After unloading the Union cargo, the Confederates proceeded to destroy the Union ship.
February 14, 1863 on the Red River, Louisiana – On February 14, the USS Queen of the West was traveling on the Red River when it spotted the CSS Era No. 5. The Queen of the West moved in and captured the Confederate ship.
February 14, 1863 on the Red River, Louisiana – On February 14, the USS Queen of the West was travelling along the Red River. It engaged the Confederate shore batteries when it was hit and ran ashore. The ship had its steam pipe severed.
The crew managed to escape by floating on cotton bales and was picked up by the USS De Soto.
The Confederate soldiers went to the ship and captured it. They would soon repair the boat and make it into a Confederate ship.
February 17, 1863 in Hopefield, Arkansas – On February 17, a group of Confederate guerrillas attacked the USS Hercules. The local Union command quickly learned of this attack and ordered a retalliation against the attack on the Hercules. A detachment was sent out and arrived at Hopefield. All of the townspeople were ordered out of the town and the detachment then proceeded to burn the town to the ground.
February 21, 1863 in Ware’s Point, Virginia – On February 21, a couple of Union gunboats arrived at Ware’s Point, located on the Rappahannock River. They opened fire on the Confederate batteries, inflicting little damage. The batteries returned fire , and after a brief exchange of gunfire, the gunships left the area.
February 24, 1863 on the Mississippi River, Mississippi – On February 24, the Confederate naval squadron, commanded by Maj. Joseph L. Brent, was comprised of the CSS William H. Webb, CSS Queen of the West, and the CSS Beatty. They attempted to overtake the river ironclad gunboat USS Indianola with their faster speed. At the time, the action was taking place just south of Warrenton. The naval battle included cannon fire and also some close quarters fighting. Finally, the William H. Webb and the Queen of the West both rammed the Indianola. It became powerless and ran aground. Being partially sunk, the Indianola had no choice but to surrender.
The loss of the Indianola proved to be a serious blow to the Union naval operations on the Mississippi River below Vicksburg.
February 26, 1863 in Woodburn, Tennessee – On February 26, a group of Confederae guerrillas halted a well-equipped 240-mule Union freight train. After stopping the train, the Confederates captured and burned the entire train.
February 26, 1863 in Germantown, Virginia – On February 26, Col. John S. Mosby and his Confederate raiders arrived at a Union outpost 2 miles from Germantown. The outpost was a wooden log house, manned by 50 soldiers, with the chinking removed for the use of their carbines.
At 4:00 A.M., Mosby ordered a cavalry charge. They attacked the log cabin, forcing the Federals to scramble for safety. Along with 4 Union dead, most of the horses and 5 soldiers were captured.
February 28, 1863 in Ossabaw Sound, Georgia – On February 28, near Fort McAllister at Ossabaw Sound, the Confederate privateer Rattlesnake was spotted by the Union flotilla. The Rattlesnake was formally known as the CSS Nashville. The flotilla was comprised of the USS Montauk, USS Seneca, USS Wissahickon, USS Dawn, and the mortar-schooner USS C.P. Williams. They moved up the Ogeechee River south of Savannah.
The Confederate garrison of Fort McAllister was firing on the Union ships while at the same time the ships were firing on the Rattlesnake. The Montauk, commanded by Lt. J.L. Worden, was credited with destroying the Rattlesnake. After being struck many times, the Rattlesnake soon caught ablaze. The magazine storage onboard caught fire and exploded, thus destroying the entire ship.
March 3, 1863 in Fort McAllister, Georgia – Rear Adm. Samuel F. Du Pont [US] ordered three ironclads, Patapsco, Passaic, and Nahant, to test their guns and mechanical appliances and practice artillery firing by attacking Fort McAllister, then a small 3-gun earthwork battery commanded by Capt. George A. Anderson. On March 3, the 3 ironclads, commanded by Capt. P. Drayton, U.S.N., conducted an 8-hour bombardment. The bombardment did not destroy the battery but did some damage, while the 3 ironclads received some scratches and dents.
The tests were helpful for knowledge and experience gained, but the fort did not fall, showing that the ironclads’ firepower could not destroy an earthen fort.
March 8, 1863 in Fairfax County Court House, Virginia – On March 8, Col. John S. Mosby led a group of his Confederate guerrillas to Fairfax County Court House. There was a Union garrison there, commanded by Brig. Gen. E.H. Stoughton. The Confederates quietly made there way into the courthouse, where Stoughton was sleeping. Mosby captured him in bed, and took him away. The Confederates also managed to capture 32 other Union soldiers, 58 horses, and a number of arms and equipment. Mosby’s men evaded several Union outposts and camps on their departure from Fairfax County Court House.
March 16, 1863 in Fairfax County, Virginia – On March 16, Col. John S. Mosby and his 50 Confederate raiders were in Fairfax County. They attacked 2 Union cavalry outposts. Upon learning of the attacks, the Union command sent out a 200-man detachment to pursue the Confederates. They managed to get within 100 yards of the Confederates when Mosby turned his column around and charged the Federals. The Federal withdrawal turned into a panic-striken mob resulting in 5 killed, over 15 wounded and 36 captured Union soldiers.
March 17, 1863 in Herndon Station, Virginia – On March 17 , Col. John S. Mosby and his Confederate raiders neared Herndon Station. There, they managed to capture a 25-man picket post of the 1st Vermont Cavalry.
March 22, 1863 near Rolling Fork, Mississippi – On March 22, Cmdr. David D. Porter ordered the Union gunboats and ironclads near Rolling Fork all the way downstream to a bend in the river that was supposedly obstructed. The USS Louisville began work clearing the blockade when they received a report of about 3,000 Confederate infantry nearby reached the ship. Suddenly, some Confederate artillery from the shore opened fire on the Louisville. The gunboats opened fire on the troops on the shoreline. The Federals sent some of their land troops to the area. between the naval and land forces, they drove away the Confederates.
March 22, 1863 in Mount Sterling, Kentucky – On March 22, a group of Confederate cavalry, commanded by Maj. Basil Duke, rode into Mount Sterling. A Union garrison was located in the town. The Confederates captured the garrison in a timely manner.
March 23, 1863 in Chantilly, Virginia – On March 23 , Col. John S. Mosby and his Confederate raiders neared Chantilly. There, they encountered some Union vendettes of the 5th New York Infantry. The Confederates attacked, forcing the Federals to scatter eastward towards their reserve picket post. Mosby followed the Federals. After quickly reforming, the Federals counterattacked, driving back the Confederates for 3 miles.
Mosby dismounted and formed up his men behind some fallen trees, firing on the advancing Federals. This held back the Federals long enough for the Confederates to remount their horses and make another charge. When they hit the Federals again, the Federals quickly broke ranks and fled the area. Mosby sent the captured Federal prisoners to Richmond.
March 25, 1863 in Brentwood, Tennessee – Union Lt. Col. Edward Bloodgood held Brentwood, a station on the Nashville & Decatur Railroad, with 400 men on the morning of March 25, when Brig. Gen. Nathan B. Forrest, with a powerful column, approached the town. The day before, Forrest had ordered Col. J.W. Starnes, commanding the 2nd Brigade, to go to Brentwood, cut the telegraph, tear up railroad track, attack the stockade, and cut off any retreat.
Forrest and the other cavalry brigade joined Bloodgood about 7:00 A.M. on the 25th. A messenger from the stockade informed Bloodgood that Forrest’s men were about to attack and had destroyed railroad track. Bloodgood sought to notify his superiors and discovered that the telegraph lines were cut. Forrest sent in a demand for a surrender under a flag of truce but Bloodgood refused. Within a half hour, though, Forrest had artillery in place to shell Bloodgood’s position and had surrounded the Federals with a large force. Bloodgood decided to surrender.
Forrest and his men caused a lot of damage in the area during this expedition, and Brentwood, on the railroad, was a significant loss to the Federals. Estimated Casualties: 311 total (US 305; CS 6)
April 3, 1863 in Snow’s Hill, Tennessee – On April 3, a Union detachment of 1,500 infantry and cavalry, commanded by Brig. Gen. David S. Stanley, was sent on a scouting expedition toward the area of Snow Hill. The Confederate force in the area was commanded by Col. Richard M. Gano. Gano learned of the Union approach and stationed his men at Snow’s Hill. Snow’s Hill was a series of level-topped ridges and deep ravines sloping westward from a plateau into the valley where Liberty was located. Gano deployed his 2 brigades in a defensive line midway down the ridges.
At daylight, Stanley fired on the Confederate line with his artillery. This had a devastating effect on the Confederates. Next, the Union infantry charged the Confederate line while the Union cavalry advanced up a dry creekbed on the Confederate left flank. Surrounded, the Confederate force was soon routed.
April 6, 1863 near Green Hill, Tennessee – On April 6, a Union force was near Green Hill when they learned of a small Confederate force nearby. The Federals made a quick dash and captured a few Confederates and destroyed a stillhouse containing 40 casks of liquor.
April 7, 1863 on the Amite River, Louisiana – On April 7, the Federal steamer USS Barataria was traveling on the Amite River. It had been sent on a reconnaissance mission. A group of Confederates spotted the ship and attacked it. The ship was eventually captured by the Confederates.
April 15, 1863 in Dunbar, Mississippi – Col. Francis M. Cockrell was determined to overrun the Union cavalry outpost at Dunbar’s Plantation with a portion of his command, while his other units attacked the Federals at the Ione Plantation. In the pre-dawn darkness on April 15, the 1st Missouri of Cockrell’s brigade began the Confederate advance. The route that they covered was full of swamp-like terrain, ranging from knee-deep to waist-deep. It covered the surface of both the wooded areas and the open fields. The men had to take extra precations as not to get their guns and ammunition wet.
At 4:00 A.M., the Missouri soldiers entered the Mill Bayou area and attacked the Union’s 2nd Illinois Cavalry at Dunbar’s Plantation. Having driven in the Union pickets, the Confederates captured several of the Federals and a large number of blacks.
The initial Confederate success there was to be short-lived. The Union troops quickly recovered from the Confederate attack. When Union reinforcements had arrived, they formed into a line of battle. The Confederates did not have any option but to retreat back across Mill Bayou. In light of the failure at Dunbar’s Plantation, Cockrell called off the projected attack on the Ione Plantation and decided to wait for another opportune time to attack.
April 16, 1863 in Vicksburg, Mississippi – On April 16, Cmdr. David D. Porter assembled 12 Union ships together. They were to run through the Confederate batteries that lined the shores of Vicksburg. The Confederates brought some tar barrells to the shore, erected them, and set them on fire. They knew that the Union flotilla was planning on making a run through the area.
Shortly before midnight, the ships were ordered forward. Each ship was towing a coal barge. For the next 2 1/2 hours, the ships were running through the Confederate batteries. All of the Union ships were hit repeatedly. The USS Henry Clay was sunk; the USS Queen of the West and another ship was disabled but assisted with the help of fellow sailors from the USS Tuscumbia. All but the one ship passed through the Confederate batteries and soon arrived at Hard Times.
April 17, 1863 in Lafayette Parish , Louisiana – While Rear Adm. David G. Farragut remained above Port Hudson with USS Hartford and Albatross, Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks decided to go after Maj. Gen. Richard Taylor’s Confederate forces in western Louisiana. He moved by water to Donaldsonville and began a march to Thibodeaux up Bayou Lafourche.
Banks beat Taylor at Fort Bisland and Irish Bend, forcing the Confederate army to retreat up the bayou. Taylor reached Vermillionville, crossed Vermillion Bayou, destroyed the bridge, and rested. Banks, in pursuit, sent 2 columns, on different roads, toward Vermillion Bayou on the morning of April 17.
One column reached the bayou while the bridge was burning, advanced, and began skirmishing. Confederate artillery, strategically placed, forced the Yankees back. Then Union artillery opened a duel with its Confederate counterpart. After dark, the Confederates retreated to Opelousas. The Confederates had slowed the Union advance.
April 18, 1863 in Ripley, Mississippi – On April 18, Col. Benjamin H. Grierson and his Union raiders encountered some Confederate cavalry at Ripley. The Confederates were from the 1st Mississippi Cavalry (militia), commanded by Maj. Gen. Sanuel Gholson. The militia were undergoing organized drill when the Federals hit them and they quickly scattered. Grierson took his raiders and headed towards Potomac.
April 19, 1863 in Fort Huger, Virginia – On April 19, the Union force approached Fort Huger. The naval part was commanded by Lt. R.H. Lamson and the ground forces were commanded by Brig. Gen. George W. Getty. They landed at about 6:00 P.M. They established a foothold and brought their troops and several guns ashore. There was not any opposition to the landing. Once Fort Huger’s garrison saw that they were surrounded, the fort commander surrendered the fort to the Federals.
April 20, 1863 in Patterson, Missouri – Brig. Gen. John S. Marmaduke invaded Missouri with 5,000 men and 10 pieces of artillery from Arkansas. His forces were organized into four brigades striking in 2 columns. One column, commanded by Gen. Jo Shelby entered the state to the west while the second, commanded by Gen. Carter entered to the east.
The 2 columns met at Patterson on April 20 and took the town but Union forces, alerted by artillery fire, escaped north in the direction of Pilot Knob. Union forces suffered 12 killed, 7 wounded and 41 captured or missing.
April 21, 1863 in Vicksburg, Mississippi – On April 21, the Union flotilla was attempting to send 6 transport ships pass the Confederate batteries at Vicksburg. They were to reinforce the Union ships already below Vicksburg. Of the 6 ships, only 3 ships successfully made the journey.
April 21, 1863 in Palo Alto, Mississippi – On April 1, Col. Edward Hatch and his Union force was located at Palo Alto. Brig. Gen. Samuel J. Gholston was commanding the Confederate force in the area and thought that they had Hatch surrounded in the town. The Confederates tried to trick the Federals, moving their troops close while displaying flags of truce. Hatch did not fall for this trick and placed his troops in a defensive position. Hatch attacked the Mississippi state troops first, pushing them back for 3 miles. This allowed the Federals enough room to head off in a different direction.
April 22, 1863 in Fredericktown, Missouri – On April 22, Col. Jo Shelby and his Confederate cavalry proceeded to Fredericktown. When they arrived, the surprised the Union garrison that was stationed there. They also captured some telegrams that were ordering Brig. Gen. John McNeil to move his force to Ironton.
April 22, 1863 in Okolona, Mississippi – On April 22, Col. Edward Hatch and a group of Union raiders entered the town of Okolona just before sunset. They set fire to 30 barracks filled with Confederate British cotton. Afterwards, they rode 5 miles out of town and camped for the night at a plantation.
April 24, 1863 in Beverly, West Virginia – On April 24, in the morning, Brig. Gen. John D. Imboden and his Confederate raiders entered Beverly and attacked the Union garrison that was at the town at the time being. The Union garrison, commanded by Col. George R. Latham. The battle would eventually cover 2 miles of ground, including in the woods. During the fight, the Federals was able to set fire to a portion of Beverly. Latham decided to abandoned their position and quickly retreated.
The Confederates attacked so quick that the retreating Federals were not able to destroy any supplies to keep them from falling into the hands of the Confederates. Including arms and supplies from the Union camp and military stores, the Confederates were able to aquire around $100,000 worth of material.
April 24, 1863 in Birmingham, Mississippi – On April 24, Maj. Gen. Samuel Gholson arrived with a group of Confederates at Birmingham. Birmingham was located just outside of Okolona. There, he encountered a detachment of Union soldiers. The two sides and attacked each other, with the Federals driving the Confederates away.
April 24, 1863 in Newton’s Station, Mississippi – On April 24, Col. Benjamin Grierson and his Union raiders entered the town of Newton’s Station. They captured 2 Confederate trains and destroyed several miles of railroad track and telegraph wires. This wrecked communications between Vicksburg and the Eastern Theatre commanders.
April 24, 1863 in Philadelphia, Mississippi – On April 24, Capt. Stephen A. Forbes and his 35-man Union force rode into Philadelphia. There, they learned that Col. Benjamin H. Grierson had gone on and was almost a day’s travel ahead of them. The local Confederate home guard mobilized to take up pursuit of Grierson. Seeing the Federals in town, the Confederates quickly surrendered to Forbes. Forbes captured the fresh horses that the home guards had brought with them.
April 25, 1863 in Greenland Gap, West Virginia – On April 25, Brig. Gen. John D. Imboden and his Confederate raiders entered Greenland Gap and attacked a group of Union soldiers that were in the area. The Confederates even set a church on fire because of some harassing Union snipers were hiding out in there. The Federals were forced to withdraw from the gap.
April 26, 1863 in Sand Mountain, Alabama – On April 26, at sunrise, Maj. Gen. George Streight and his Union raiders entered the area around Sand Mountain. Brig. Gen. Nathan B. Forrest and his band of Confederates had followed the Federals to this point. At the crest of Sand Mountain, the Confederates overtook the Federals and chased them off.
The battle concluded with Forrest and his Confederates beginning a 3-day running fight with Streight and his raiders that would eventually cover 120 miles.
April 26, 1863 in Oakland, Maryland – On April 26, Brig. Gen. William E. Jones and his Confederate raiders were moving northwest. Jones split his command, sending detachments to attack Oakland and Altamont while he led an assault on Rowlesburg. Col. John H. McNeill’s rangers were attached to Col. Asher Harman’s 12th Virginia Cavalry. They had the mission of destroying the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad bridge at Oakland.
When Harman attacked the Union position, the Federals were taken by surprise and all 57 men were captured. Harman and Mcneill then went back and rejoined the main Confederate force.
April 27-28, 1863 in Town Creek, Alabama – On April 27, Maj. Gen. Nathan B. Forrest joined Brig. Gen. Philip D. Roddey’s Confederate cavalrymen as they were engaged with Union forces. They soon fell back to Town Creek, still fighting.
On April 28, an artillery duel began along the creek during the morning. It ended when Brig. Gen. Grenville M. Dodge’s Union troops crossed the railroad bridge, thus forcing Forrest’s men to retreat eastward towards the town of Jonesborough.
April 28, 1863 in Union Church, Mississippi – On April 28, Col. Benjamin H. Grierson’s had halted his raiding party for a brief rest 2 miles east of Union Church. After a short time, they were startled by the sound of riflefire as their pickets were being fired upon by a considerable sized force of Confederate cavalry.
A battalion of Col. W.W. Adams’ Mississippi Cavalry had stumbled upon Grierson’s raiders. Adams’ cavalry had thrown the Federals into a momentary panic. Grierson restored order fairly quickly and his men drove off the Confederates.
April 29, 1863 in Fairmont, West Virginia – On April 29, Col. James A. Mulligan and the Confederate force entered Fairmont. They met the Union force and made an attack. The fight lasted for 3 hours with the Confederates being able to push the Federals back to Grafton.
April 30- May 1, 1863 in Haines’s Bluff, Mississippi – On April 30, Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman and his Union force fought a 2-day battle at Haines’s Bluff. Haines’s Bluff was located just north of Vicksburg along the Mississippi River. Sherman made a small demonstration along with a small flotilla of several Union gunboats. The ships fired their guns at the bluff while at the same time was hit several times themselves from the heavy Confederate batteries. The Confederate defenses were commanded by Brig. Gen. Louis Herbert. The battle at Haines’s Bluff only caused slight casualties on both sides.
April 30, 1863 in Wall’s Bridge, Mississippi – On April 30, Maj. James DeBaun and his 150-man Confederate force entered Wall’s Bridge. Wall’s Bridge was located over the Tickfaw River and about 8 miles from Osyka. He had some of his men out foraging for food while he was planning his movement to Osyka. During this time, a Union force fired upon his foragers. DeBaun ordered his entire force into an ambush position around the bridge. The Union force, commanded by Lt. Col. William D. Blackburn, had a couple of scouts in Confederate uniforms move up to the bridge and distract the Confederates there. After a few minutes, Blackburn ordered the remainder of his force to charge the bridge.
After a brief fight, the leading 2 Union companies were ordered to dismount while 2 pieces of artillery were brought forward. This firepower ended the Confederate defense of the bridge, The Confederates were forced to withdraw.
May 1, 1863 in Blountsville, Alabama – On May 1, Col. Abel D. Streight arrived in the morning at Blountsville with his Union raiders. Brig. Gen. Nathan B. Forrest and his Confederate cavalry had been tracking Streight for a few days and caught up with him this day. The Confederates attacked the Union rear guard and a daylong fight ensued. The Federals broke off into small bands and hid in the brush and fired at the dismounted Confederates every chance they could. The Confederates forced the Federals to retreat.
May 1, 1863 near Magnolia, Mississippi – On May 1, Col. Benjamin Grierson and his Union raiders were riding just west of Magnolia when they came upon a group of Confederates at Wall’s Bridge. The Confederates, commanded by Maj. James De Baun, gave Grierson his harshest engagement of the Grierson’s Raid. The Federals and Confederates battled to a draw, with each side withdrawing to safety. Grierson then headed his men towards the safety of Baton Rouge, where they arrived the next day.
May 1, 1863 in Fairmont, Maryland – On May 1, Brig. Gen. William E. Jones led his Confederate raiders to Fairmont. There, he met about 700 Union Home Guards. The Home Guards were poorly armed civilians who were attempting to protect the railroad. They quickly surrundered upon seeing the much more experienced Confederate force.
May 1, 1863 in Orange Springs, Virginia – On May 1, an advance detachment of Union cavalry, commanded by Maj. Myron H. Beaumont, entered Orange Springs. There, they encountered a Confederate force and had a brief skirmish. The Federals were able to drive off the Confederates and also captured some supplies.
May 1, 1863 in Louisa’s Courthouse, Virginia – On May 1, during the afternoon, Maj. Myron H. Beaumont led his Union raiders into Louisa’a Courthouse. The Virginia Central Railroad was located here. The 7th New York Cavalry occupied the town. several detachments were sent above and below the town and destroyed the railroad and its facilities. For more than 2 hours, the Federals carried out this mission.
May 2, 1863 in Black Creek, Alabama – On May 2, in the morning, Brig. Gen. Nathan B. Forrest and his Confederate cavalry again attacked the Col. Abel D. Streight’s Union raiders as the last elements of his command attempted to cross the Black Creek. The Federals were forced to withdraw and continue their ride to Gadsden.
May 2, 1863 in Blount’s Plantation, Alabama – On May 2, around 4:00 P.M., Col. Abel D. Streight’s Union raiders had reached Blount’s Plantation. The Federals halted to feed the horses and to give them a brief rest. Not long afterwards, Brig. Gen. Nathan B. Forrest and his Confederate cavalry arrived at the plantation and attacked Streight’s rear guard.
The Federals repulsed the first Confederate attack and it was getting dark when the Confederates were about to begin another attack. Streight chose 200 men to ride to Rome, Georgia to secure a bridge until the remainder of the Union force could catch up. Forrest was attempting to flank the Union position when Streight ordered his force to withdraw towards Centre.
May 2, 1863 in Gadsden, Alabama – On May 2, Col. Abel D. Streight and his Union raiders arrived at Gadsden. They stopped long enough to destroy the quanitity of weapons and military stores he found in the town. Once this was done, they set out towards Rome, Georgia.
May 2, 1863 in Centre, Alabama – On May 2, Col. Abel D. Streight’s Union raiders had reached the town of Centre. Shortly after the Federals arrival, Brig. Gen. Nathan B. Forrest and his Confederate cavalry were right on their tail. A brief skirmish ensued with the retreat of the Federals once again.
May 3, 1863 in Cedar Bluff, Alabama – On May 3, Col. Abel D. Streight’s Union raiders were heading south on their way to Rome, Georgia. Streight was hoping that his men could secure a crossing at the Chattanooga River. The Federals were exhausted and demoralized, and with condition deteriorating even further, the command seperated and scattered. They were trying to find a way to Rome when they came to a crossing at Cedar Bluff.
While getting his men ready to cross the river, Streight learned that Brig. Gen. Nathan B. Forrest was closer to Rome than they were. Forrest caught up with the Federals and attacked them. After a short time, Forrest sent a flag of truce, and Streight’s raiders were captured. The outcome of Streight’s Raid was a total disaster for the Union cause.
May 3, 1863 in Warrenton Junction, Virginia – On May 3 , Col. John S. Mosby and his Confederate raiders had been heading to the Orange & Alexandria Railroad at Warrenton. At 6:00 A.M., the Confederates struck the Union garrison, composed partly of the 1st West Virginia Cavalry. At first, the Federals thought that the Confederates were fellow Union soldiers. Once they realized their mistake, they scattered into a house and outbuildings. The Confederates were slightly delayed because their horses became stuck in a nearby stream. By the time they finally came upon the Union campsite, the Federals unleashed several volleys at them.
Mosby divided his force, sending some to attack the house, some to attack the outbuildings, and the rest to gather up all of the usable horses in the area. The Federals in the outbuilding surrendered with little resistance. The 100 Federals in the house decided to put up a fight. Mosby ordered the house to be set on fire. While doing this, 4 Confederates battered their way inside. After a brief fight, the Federals decided to surrender.
While gathering up the prisoners, a squadron of the 5th New York Cavalry came riding from Cedar Run. They attacked the Confederates, forcing them to abandon their prisoners. Mosby and his men rode off towards Warrenton.
May 4, 1863 in West Union, Virginia – On May 4, Brig. Gen. William E. Jones led his Confederate raiders from Buckhannon through Weston to West Union. West Union was located in Doddridge County. Jones divided his command, sending out strong and wide-rangeing search-and-destroy parties. Col. Asher Hartman took the 11th and 12th Virginia Cavalry Regiments and a battalion of the 34th Virginia Cavalry and went to West Union. When they arrived there, they attacked the well-guarded town.
Hartman was able to drive away the Union force from the town and proceeded to destroy 2 bridges.
May 4, 1863 in Fort De Russy, Louisiana – On May 4, just south of the Big Black River, 3 Union gunboats arrived at Fort De Russy and began firing on the fort. The fort was located on the Red River. One of the gunboats, USS Albatross, was severely damaged. With this, the gunboats were forced to retire.
May 5, 1863 in Harrisville, Virginia – On May 5, Col. Asher Hartman led his Confederate raiders to Harrisville. When they arrived, they attacked the Union Home Guards that were protecting the town. Hartman captured and paroled 75 Federals. A small detachment of the Confederates were lighting coal oil and burned out the wood supports of the railroad tunnels. This caused them to collapse, thus rendering the railraod useless until they could be repaired.
May 6, 1863 in Blakely’s Grove, Virginia – On May 6, around 3:00 P.M., the 1st New York Cavalry, commanded by 1st Lt. Jesse F. Wyckoff, and the 67th Pennsylvania Infantry marched to Blakely’s Grove and encountered Col. John S. Mosby and his Confederate raiders. Blakely’s Grove was located between Bloomfield and Upperville. The Federals planned to set a trap for the Confederates. The infantry deployed on both sides of the road to the rear of the cavalry. The cavalry would get the Confederates to chase them into the ambush site, where the infantry would open up on the Confederates and force them to surrender.
Wyckoff attacked the Confederates, wounding 1 trooper, and turned his men around, heading back to the ambush site. The Confederates followed them as planned. The infantry mistook the Federals riding by as the Confederates and fired on their own cavalry, killing 2 and wounding 2. Seeing this, Mosby ordered his men to stop. Seeing their mistake, the Federals withdrew from their positions.
May 7, 1863 in Alexandria, Louisiana – On May 7, Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks and his Army of the Gulf entered the town of Alexandria. They captured the city without any opposition. The Confederate forces that had been at Alexandria had earlier withdrew to Shreveport.
May 8-10, 1863 in Port Hudson, Louisiana – On May 8-10, a Union mortar flotilla, commanded by Cmdr. Charles H.B. Caldwell, and the screw sloop USS Richmond in support, commanded by Capt. James Alden, pounded the Confederate batteries at Port Hudson almost continuously during the daylight for 3 days. This would be the preparation for the seige of Port Hudson beginning on May 21.
May 9, 1863 in Utica, Mississippi – On May 9, Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson’s advancing Union troops made a brief attack against some local Confederate cavalry at Utica. Utica was located just east of Rocky Springs. Col. Clark Wright’s 6th Missouri Cavalry was the first Union troops to enter Utica and fought with the Confederates, forcing them into a retreat.
May 10, 1863 in Oiltown, Virginia – On May 10, Brig. Gen. William E. Jones led his Confederate raiders to the town of Oiltown. The town contained oil fields and wells that were producing the needed oil for the Union. There were oil barrels and even barges specially constructed to serve as oil tankers. Jones had his raiders destroy as many barrels and containers as they could. Explosions rocked the works, and the air was filled with flame and smoke.
Oil from the barrels and the barges leaked into the river, making it a huge river fire. An estimatecd 150,000 barrels of oil were destroyed.
May 10, 1863 in Fort Beauregard, Louisiana – On May 10, a small Union flotilla of 4 gunships were traveling on the Ouachita River. They arrived at Fort Beauregard and began shelling the fort. After inflicting little damage, the flotilla ended their attack and left the area.
May 10, 1863 in Horseshoe Bottom, Tennessee – On May 10, Col. John H. Morgan and his Confederate raiders attacked a small Union force that was occupying Horseshoe Bottom on Greasy Creek. The Federals were deployed in the edge of some dense woods. The Confederates advanced of foot across a 15-acre field and orchard when the Federals opened up with their artillery. The Confederates continued their advance and quickly scattered the Federals. The Confederates lost 32 Killed and wounded.
May 24, 1863 in Austin, Mississippi – On May 24, a detachment of Union marines landed near Austin. They quickly marched to the town, ordered all of the townpeople out and burned down the town. This was in reprisal for the Confederates firing on the marine’s ship earlier that day.
May 27, 1863 in Fort Hill, Mississippi – On May 27, Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman enlisted the help of Union gunboats in his effort to capture Fort Hill. The river ironclad USS Cincinnati, packed with logs and hay, proceeded downstream and opened fire on the fort. Heavy cannon fire from the fort repeatedly struck the Cincinnati. The Confederate gunfire perforated the ship entirely and shortly thereafter, it sunk.
May 30, 1863 at the Castor River, Missouri – On May 30, Brig. Gen. John McNeil and his Union force was foloowing Brig. Gen. John S. Marmaduke’s Confederates. They caught up with them at the Castor River and attacked them at the first chance they got. The Confederates were forced to retreat.
May 31, 1863 in Greenwich, Virginia – On May 31 , Col. John S. Mosby and his Confederate raiders had arrived at Grapewood Farm. The farm was the home of Charles Green and was located 2 miles from Greenwich. The Union force had been pursuing the Confederates and Mosby decided to make a stand here. He placed a rear guard and a howitzer at the entrance to the farm. The gun was placed on a knoll beside the farm lane, the gun facing the old post road which the Federals would have to come through. Fences lined both sides of the road, creating an avenue of fire for the Confederates.
When the Federals turned a bend in the post road, the howitzer opened up on them. The Federals started a charge up the road towards the Confederate position. When they were within 10 yards of it, the howitzer fired again on them with grapeshot canister. This leveled the first rank and part of the second rank of the Union column. The Federals halted to regroup and made another charge. Once again, the howitzer fired on them at close range. This time, the Federals did not stop but continued to move forward. Hand-to hand combat quickly ensued.
The Federals gained the upper hand and forced the Confederates to withdraw. They captured a number of prisoners and the howitzer. Afterwards, they headed back to the Union lines at kettle Run.
June 2, 1863 on the Combahee River, South Carolina – On June 2, a group of Union soldiers raided several Confederate property and stores on the Combahee River.
June 4, 1863 in Franklin, Tennessee – On June 4, Col. John P. Baird and the 85th Indiana Infantry arrived at Franklin and was attacked by Brig. Gen. Nathan B. Forrest and his Confederate cavalry and mounted infantry. While the two sides were fighting each other, Baird was reinforced by Col. Ferdinand Van Derveer and some more cavalry. The Confederates were soon forced to flee the area.
June 9, 1863 in Stevensburg, Virginia – On June 9, Col. Alfred N. Duffie and his Union force was ordered to go to Stevensburg while the rest of the army united at Brandy Station, where the open fields would allow the Union cavalry room to operate more freely. When he arrived at Stevensburg, he encountered a Confederate force, being comprised of the 2nd South Carolina Cavalry and the 4th Virginia Cavalry. This skirmish would delay Duffie from reuniting with the main Union force. The Federals were able to drive off the Confederates after a short time.
June 10, 1863 in Rector’s Cross Roads, Virginia – On June 10 , Col. John S. Mosby and his 100 Confederate raiders had arrived in the woods south of Rector’s Cross Roads. Mosby learned that a camp containing 2 companies of the 6th Michigan Cavalry at Seneca Mills, Maryland. Mosby decided to make an attack on the camp.
The Union camp learned of the approach of Mosby’s Confederate force and began preperations. When the Confederates came into view, the Federals opened fire on them. Mosby ordered a charge and the entire force rode forward. Though the Federals continued to fire on them, the Confederates manged to break into the camp and began hand-to-hand fighting. The Union ranks soon began to fall apart and they quickly fled the scene in a rout. In addition to the Union casualties, the Confederates captured 23 Union horses. US: 7k, 12+w, 17c. CS: 2k, 2+w
June 10, 1863 off Cape Henry, Virginia – On June 10, the Union steamer USS Maple Leaf was being used as a transport for Confederate prisoners. It was on its way from Fort Monroe to Fort Delaware. On this day, the prisoners organized an escape plan. They grouped together and overtook the Maple Leaf’s crew. The ship was purposely run aground off Cape Henry, and the prisoners ran off the ship and escaped.
June 11, 1863 in Salem, Virginia – On June 11, at 8:00 P.M., a Union detachment of the 1st New York Cavalry entered the town of Salem, having come from Berryville. They had been informed that Col. John S. Mosby and his wife were hiding out in the Hathaway home. Capt. William J. Hathaway, commanding the detachment, ordered his men to search the farmhouses in the area to look for Mosby and his Confederate raiders. The Federals managed to capture 2 raiders and also captured 20 horses.
June 14, 1863 in Eunice, Arkansas – On June 14, the USS Marmora was traveling on the river near Eunice. Suddenly, a group of Confederate guerrillas opened fire on the ship from the shoreline, where they had been hiding. After a few minutes, the Confederates left.
The Marmora pulled onto the shore and entered the town. They asked the townpeople where the guerrillas were at and nobody answered. The Federals then ordered all of the people to get out of the town and then torched the town, burning it.
June 22, 1863 in Greencastle, Pennsylvania – On June 22, a detachment of Brig. Gen. Albert G. Jenkins’s cavalry and Maj. Gen. Robert E. Rodes’ infantry moved ahead to a position near Greencastle. Greencastle was located between Chambersburg and Hagerstown. When they arrived, they encountered a group of Union soldiers belonging to the 71st New York Militia. The Confederates overwhelmed the Federals and drove them away.
June 24, 1863 in Portland, Maine – On June 24, the Confederate raider CSS Tacony, commanded by Lt. Reed (according to some sources, he was known as C.S. Reed, according to other sources he was C.W. Read), captured the fishing schooner USS Archer off Portland.
Realizing that some Union naval ships were pursuing his ship, Reed and his men burned the Tacony then slipped into Portland harbor about 2 days later aboard the Archer.
June 25, 1863 in Liberty Gap, Tennessee – On June 25, Maj. Gen. Alexander M. McCook and his Union corps were on their way to Tullahoma. When they were approaching Liberty Gap, his lead elements encountered the Confederate defenders. The Federals were able to drive away the Confederates.
June 27, 1863 in Portland, Maine – Once in the harbor, Lt. ?? Reed and his crew captured the revenue cutter USS Caleb Cushing early on June 27. With both the USS Archer and the USS Caleb Cushing, Reed had planned to slip out past the harbor forts before the local Union forces knew what had happened. He then return to set fire to the commercial shipping.
Unfortunately, word had somehow gotten out as to what occured and the Confederate raiders were forced to run from the Union forces assualt and a pair of Union ships, the USS Forest City and USS Chesapeake.
Later that day, they were forced to set fire to the Caleb Cushing and Reed and his men were captured.
June 28, 1863 in Wrightsville, Pennsylvania – On June 28, Maj. Gen. Richard Ewell had already approached the Susquehanna River, bring with him 25,000 Confederate troops. His target was the town of Wrightsville. Wrightsville was an obvious target because it held the Columbia Bridge over the river, a 5,620ft. structure that was alleged to have been the longest wooden span in the world at the time. The western riverbank was guarded by the 27th Pennsylvania Militia. Other units were readied for a defense of the bridge. If the Federals were attacked by a strong force, they would withdraw and blow up the bridge, which was prepared for an explosion with prearranged powder charges.
Brig. Gen. John B. Gordon led the Confederate approach to Wrightsville. He had set up 2 cannon and began bombarding the town and the Union defense works. The Union militia withdrew rapidly eastward across the bridge into Columbia and set off the powder charges. Unfortunately for them, the bridge did not fall. Instead, the kerosene-soaked timbers caught fire and the blaze spread into the town. This created an inferno that was visible for many miles away.
June 29-30, 1863 near Lake Providence, Louisiana – After Union forces began occupying the Louisiana river parishes, thousands of escaped slaves flocked to them. The Federals, therefore, leased some plantations and put the freedmen to work growing cotton or other crops; the proceeds from the sale of the crops helped defray expenses for food, clothing, etc. African-American troops were assigned to protect these plantations, releasing other troops to fight. Confederates, determined to recapture some of these freedmen and destroy the crops, undertook an expedition from Gaines’s Landing, Arkansas, to Lake Providence.
The Federals had constructed a fort on an Indian mound to protect some of these leased plantations. The Confederates prepared to attack the fort on the 29th but decided to demand unconditional surrender first, which the Union forces accepted. Later in the day, Col. W.H. Parsons fought companies of the 1st Kansas Mounted Infantry. The Confederates then began burning and destroying the surrounding plantations, especially those that the Federals leased.
By the next morning, Union boats had landed the Mississippi Marine Brigade, under the command of Brig. Gen. Alfred W. Ellet, at Goodrich’s Landing. At dawn, he set out with Col. William F. Wood’s African-American units to find the Rebels. Ellet’s cavalry found the Confederates first and began skirmishing. The fight became more intense as Ellet’s other forces approached. Parsons eventually disengaged and fell back. Ellet’s cavalry lost 120 killed & wounded.
Although the Confederates disrupted these operations, destroyed much property, and captured many supplies and weapons, the raid was a minor setback for the Union. The Confederates could cause momentary disturbances, but they were unable to effect any lasting changes.
July 1-2, 1863 in Mayes County, Oklahoma – Col. James M. Williams of the First Kansas Colored Infantry led a Union supply train from Fort Scott, Kansas, to Fort Gibson, Oklahoma (then Indian Territory). As he approached the crossing of Cabin Creek, he learned that Col. Stand Watie, with about 1,600 to 1,800 men intended to assault him there. Watie was waiting for about 1,500 reinforcements under the command of Brig. Gen. William L. Cabell to join him before attacking the supply train. Cabell, however, was detained due to high water on Grand River.
Cabin Creek also had high water, preventing a crossing at first, but when it had receded enough, Williams drove the Confederates off with artillery fire and 2 cavalry charges. The wagon train continued to Fort Gibson and delivered the supplies, making it possible for the Union forces to maintain their presence in Indian territory and take the offensive that resulted in a victory at Honey Springs and the fall of Fort Smith, Arkansas.
July 2, 1863 in Burkesville, Kentucky – On July 2, Brig. Gen. Edward H. Hobson and his 300-man Union cavalry force was sent on a mission to harass the menacing Brig. Gen. John H. Morgan and his band of Confederate guerrillas. Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside was planning an Union offensive in eastern Tennessee when he was informed that Morgan was travelling in the Kentucky area. He ordered Hobson to find and harass Morgan’s force.
In the morning, Hobson met up with Morgan. A brief skirmish erupted near Burksville. The Confederates sent the Union force scurrying back to Marrowbone. This was part of Morgan’s Ohio Raid
July 5, 1863 in Bardstown, Kentucky – On July 5, a 25-man detachment from the 4th U.S. Cavalry, under Lt. ?? Sullivan, was surrounded in the town of Bardstown by over 300 Confederates, under Col. R.C. Morgan. Sullivan’s men gathered in a stable and fortified their position. The Confederates gathered up some rope and strung it around the streets outside of the Union position. This was to keep the Federals from trying to escape the stable.
Morgan gave Sullivan several ultimatums for the Union surrender. Sullivan refused time after time to give up. Morgan did not rush the stable because he knew that it would cost him plenty of his soldiers, which he could not afford to lose. He decided to surround the stable and wait out the Union force.
Finally, after sporadic firing for over 24 hours, Morgan brought in some of artillery pieces to surround the stable. Once Sullivan saw the Confederate artillery, he decided that to keep holding out was useless and surrendered his force.
July 5, 1863 in Jackson County, Mississippi – Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman’s IX, XIII, and IV corps set out from Oak Ridge, Mississippi within hours of the Confederate surrender of Vicksburg on July 4. From positions northeast of the city, they marched southeast from Oak Ridge to the Big Black River and Birdsong Ferry on the 5th, 2 divisions of the XVI Corps under Maj. Gen. John G. Parke taking the advance. So began the campaign against Gen. Joseph E. Johnston’s army at Jackson.
Johnston’s advance held the Big Black’s east bank at Birdsong Ferry; the west bank was hit by element’s of Parke’s division after 7:00 A.M., on the 5th, beginning an allday small-arms fight with Confederates on the east bank. Under fire, the Federals could not test the Big Black’s depth; the ferryboat they had expected to find was scuttled. Union troops sent scouting parties north and south searching for fords after deploying skirmish companies.
At dark, the water at Birdsong was tested and found “swimming deep”. Maj. Willison and Pvt. Joseph Weston swam to the ferry, were fired on, and returned, the fire concealing operations to raise the ferryboat. Fords found north and south were also contested. The next day, the ferryboat was raised, bridges were constructed at fords above and below, the Confederates retired, and the Federals advanced southeast to their first objective, the Vicksburg & Jackson Railroad. A 2nd skirmish followed on the railroad at Bolton Station, east of Jackson on the 8th. Casualties at Birdsong Ferry were insignificant.
July 7, 1863 in Kentucky – On July 7, Brig. Gen. John H. Morgan and his Confederate force found the steamer USS John T. McCombs. They stormed the boat and quickly captured it without any resistance. Morgan’s men also captured the nearby USS Alice Dean.
The Confederates terrorized and robbed the ships’ passenders of both ships before securing them for a crossing. This was part of Morgan’s Ohio Raid
July 8, 1863 in Boonsboro, Maryland – On July 8, the Confederate cavalry, holding the South Mountain passes, fought a rearguard action against elements of the Union 1st and 3rd Cavalry Divisions and infantry. This action was one of a series of cavalry combats fought around Boonsboro, Hagerstown, and Williamsport. Federals suffered 9 killed & 45 wounded. This was part of Gettysburg Campaign
July 9, 1863 in Corydon, Indiana – On the 9th, near Corydon, Indiana, elements of Morgan’s force encountered about 400 Home Guards and captured most of them. As Morgan continued eastward to Ohio, destroying bridges, railroads, and government stores, Federal columns converged to prevent Morgan from recrossing into Kentucky. Federals suffered 60 killed & wounded. Confederates suffered 41 killed & wounded. This was part of Morgan’s Ohio Raid
July 10, 1863 in Willstown Bluff near Charleston, South Carolina – In preparation for an attack on Battery Wagner, Morris Island, Maj Gen. Quincy A. Gillmore, commanding Union troops, operating against Charleston, mapped 2 diversionary maneuvers. the first, which took place on July 9th, involved the shelling of and a landing on James Island, west of Morris. The operation was executed as scheduled and without difficulty. The outnumbered Confederates proved unable to oppose it in force.
Gillmore’s second diversion, an amphibious expedition against a railroad bridge on the South Edisto River below Morris Island, occurred on the 10th. On that dark, fog-shrouded morning, a small fleet out of Beaufort- a steamer, a tug, and a transport carrying 250 members of the 1st South Carolina Colored Infantry, plus 2 guns of the 1st Connecticut battery- passed up the South Edisto under Col. Thomas Wentworth Higginson. The little flotilla had smooth sailing until about 4:00 A.M., when it reached Willstown Bluff, about 20 miles up the edisto, at its confluence with the Pon Pon River. There, Higginson found his way blocked by spiked timbers sunk across the river’s neck, as well as by a 3-gun battery, which withdrew when Higginson landed the troops on the bluff and took possession of the area.
The obstruction posed greater difficulties. The expeditionary force worked till 1:00 P.M. to clear them, with the aid of high tide, and only after the tugboat, the Governor Milton, had run aground. after passing the spikes, Higginson’s transport, the Enoch Dean, moved barely a mile before agin encountering Confederate artillery. and likewise running aground. Finally, early in the afternoon, the fleet cleared the shoals, and ascended the river, moving to within 2 miles of its objective, before the Dean grounded a second time. Unable to free the vessel, Higginson dispatched a tug to attack the rail bridge on its own.
It did not get far. Under an intense shelling by the gunners ashore, members of the Washington Artillery of New Orleans and South Carolina’s Chestnut and Marion Batteries, the tug was forced to retreat soon after starting out. With the Dean free once again, both ships returned downriver, only to have the Milton became entangled in the same obstructions it had cleared earlier. When Higginson’s steamer, the John Adams, failed to pry the vessel loose, Higginson set the tug afire, transferred its crew to the transport, and returned in disgust, his expedition a failure.
July 13, 1863 in Louden County and Aldie, Virginia – On July 13 , Col. John S. Mosby and 27 Confederate raiders attacked 29 Sutler wagons. The Confederates overran the guards and encircled the entire wagon train. They captured all of the wagons and took the sutlers as prisoners. Instead of destroying the wagons as usual, Mosby decided to take the wagons toward Middleburg.
The Union command learned of the attack and sent a Union detachment from the 2nd Massachusetts Cavalry to find and capture the Confederates and the wagons. At Aldie, the Federals caught up with the Confederates and overtook them. The outnumbered Confederates had no choice but to abandon the wagons and escape. The wagons and prisoners were recaptured.
July 16, 1863 in Charleston and James Island, South Carolina – To divert Confederate reinforcements from a renewed attack on Fort Wagner, Gen. Gillmore designed two feints. An amphibious force ascended Stono River to threaten the Charleston & Savannah Railroad bridge. A 2nd force, consisting of 3,800 men in Terry’s division, landed on James Island on July 8. Terry demonstrated against the 3,000 Confederate defenses.
On July 16, the Confederates attacked Terry’s camp at Grimball’s Landing. Because of incomplete reconnaissance of the difficult, marshy ground, the disorganized Confederate attack was soon aborted. Their mission accomplished, Union troops withdrew from the island on July 17.
July 26, 1863 in Kidder County, North Dakota – Following the Battle of Big Mound on July 24, 1863, Brig. Gen. Henry Hastings Sibley and his men moved their camp about four miles and then rested till the next day. The morning of the 26th they set out and after marching about 14 miles, found the 3,000 Sioux, commanded by Chief Inkpaduta, ready for battle. At first, the fighting was long range because the Native Americans refrained from closing with the soldiers. The Native Americans did attempt to flank the left side of the camp and run off the mules.
The Mounted Rangers and infantry, though, after heavy fighting, compelled the Native Americans to abandon their intentions. Following this setback, the Sioux retreated, ending the battle. Sibley resumed his march after the Native Americans the next day. This was called the Battle of Dead Buffalo Lake. The Sioux were on the run.
July 28, 1863 in Burleigh County, North Dakota – Following the Battle of Dead Buffalo Lake, Brig. Gen. Henry Hastings Sibley continued his march after the retreating Sioux until he reached Stony Lake, where his animals’ exhaustion compelled him to encamp. On the 28th, the force had started out in pursuit again when Sibley discovered that a large number of Sioux was moving upon him. He ordered the men to make defensive preparations, which many had already accomplished.
In the face of the Indians, Sibley now resumed his march. The Sioux searched for weak points in the soldiers position. Finding none, the Sioux rode off at great speed, preventing pursuit. The Sioux had hoped to halt Sibley’s advance but were unable to do so. Sibley remarked in his report that Stony Lake was
“the greatest conflict between our troops and the Indians, so far as the numbers were concerned.”
August 21, 1863 in Chattanooga, Tennessee – On August 16, Maj. General William S. Rosecrans, commander of the Army of the Cumberland, launched a campaign to take Chattanooga. Col. John T. Wilder’s brigade of the Union 4th Division, XIV Army Corps marched to a location northeast of Chattanooga where the Confederates could see them, reinforcing Gen. Braxton Bragg’s expectations of a Union attack on the town from that direction.
On August 21, Wilder reached the Tennessee River opposite Chattanooga and ordered the 18th Indiana Light Artillery to begin shelling the town. The shells caught many soldiers and civilians in town in church observing a day of prayer and fasting. The bombardment sank 2 steamers docked at the landing and created a great deal of consternation amongst the Confederates. Continued periodically over the next 2 weeks, the shelling helped keep Bragg’s attention to the northeast while the bulk of Rosecrans’s army crossed the Tennessee River well west and south of Chattanooga.
When Bragg learned on September 8 that the Union army was in force southwest of the city, he abandoned Chattanooga.
August 23, 1863 at the Rappahannock River, Virginia – On August 23, a Confederate force was at the mouth of the Rappahannock River. They spotted a couple of ships coming their way. The ships were the Union gunboats USS Satellite and USS Reliance. The Confederates managed to attack and capture the gunboats in a short time.
August 24, 1863 near Alexandria, Virginia – On August 24, a 30-man detail of Company A/2nd Massachusetts Cavalry was escorting a herd of 100 horses. They were coming from Alexandria and heading to Centreville. When they reached Billy Goodling’s Tavern, 10 miles out of Alexandria, they stopped to water the horses. Col. John S. Mosby and a group of his Confederate raiders where prowling the area when they discovered the Union detachment. He split his force in half for the attack. Lt. William T. Turner and 15 men were sent to attack the rear of the Union detachment while Mosby himself led the remainder of his force to attack the front of the Federals.
The Confederates made a charge into the Federals, forcing them to scurry for cover around the tavern. When they found cover, the Federals opened fire on the Confederates. Mosby was hit by Union fire twice, once in the thigh and once in the groin. He was forced into the nearby woods to be examined. When the Confederates saw Mosby being led away, they stopped their attack and went to the woods. Before Mosby could tell them to resume the attack, all but a handful of the Federals managed to escape. Turner led the raiders in pursuit of the Federals and captured most of the Union horses.
Mosby was able to get back on his horse and ordered his men to leave the area before a Union pursuit could be organized. The Confederates split up into small parties during their return march. Mosby’s wounds would keep him out of action for nearly a month.
September 7-8, 1863 in Charleston, South Carolina – During the night of September 6-7, Confederate forces evacuated Fort Wagner and Battery Gregg pressured by advancing Federal siegeworks. Union troops then occupied all of Morris Island. On September 8, a storming party of about 400 marines and sailors attempted to surprise Fort Sumter. The attack was repulsed suffering 4 killed and 114 captured. This was part of Charleston Operations
September 10-11, 1863 near Davis’ Cross Roads in Dade and Walker Counties, Georgia – After the Tullahoma Campaign, Rosecrans renewed his offensive, aiming to force the Rebels out of Chattanooga. The III corps, comprising Rosecrans’s army, split and set out for Chattanooga by separate routes. Hearing of the Union advance, Braxton Bragg concentrated troops around Chattanooga. While Col. John T. Wilder’s artillery fired on Chattanooga, Rosecrans attempted to take advantage of Bragg’s situation and ordered other troops into Georgia. They raced forward, seized the important gaps, and moved out into McLemore’s Cove.
Negley’s XIV Army Corps division, supported by Brig. General Absalom Baird’s division, was moving across the mouth of the cove on the Dug Gap road when Negley learned that Rebels were concentrating around Dug Gap. Moving through determined resistance, he closed on the gap, withdrawing to Davis’ Cross Roads in the evening of September 10 to await the supporting division. Bragg had ordered Gen. Hindman with his division to assault Negley at Davis’ Cross Roads in the flank, while Maj. Gen. Patrick R. Cleburne’s division forced its way through Dug Gap to strike Negley in front.
Hindman was to receive reinforcements for this movement, but most of them did not arrive. The Confederate officers, therefore, met and decided that they could not attack in their present condition. The next morning, however, fresh troops did arrive, and the Confederates began to move on the Union line. The supporting Union division had, by now, joined Negley, and, hearing of a Confederate attack, the Union forces determined that a strategic withdrawal, in the face of an enemy of supposedly superior numbers, to Stevens Gap was in order. Negley first moved his division to the ridge east of West Chickamauga Creek where it established a defensive line.
The other division then moved through them to Stevens Gap and established a defensive line there. Both divisions awaited the rest of Maj. Gen. George Thomas’s corps. All of this was accomplished under constant pursuit and fire from the Confederates.
September 16, 1863 in Fayetteville, Virginia – On September 16, Lt. William T. Turner and 30 Confederate raiders entered the town of Fayetteville. There, they discovered a group of Union sutler wagons filled with supplies. Inside the house next to the wagons, they discovered a group of the sutlers and a Union guard detachment. Turner knocked on the door and when the guards answered it, the Confederates forced their way inside. They disarmed the soldiers and captured the entire group.
With the prisoners rounded up, the Confederates took a bunch of supplies, loaded them up on their horses, and rode away into the night.
September 21, 1863 in Rossville, Tennessee – On September 21, Brig. Gen. Nathan B. Forrest led 400 Confederate cavalry towards Rossville when they came upon a rear guard of Union cavalry. The Confederates drove the Federals into Chattanooga.
September 21, 1863 in Madison Court House, Virginia – On September 21, Col. John S. Mosby and his Confederate raiders started out for the Orange & Alexandria Railroad. Moving to Bealton Station, they spotted a Union wagon train with a pontoon bridge. Mosby split his force, with one group to head towards Auburn and Mosby himself leading the other group towards the southwest along the railroad tracks. The second group encountered some Union patrols at Madison Court House.
A brief firefight ensued, with the Federals getting the best of the Confederates. The rest of the group managed to escape and rejoin their comrades.
September 27, 1863 in Mofatt’s Station, Arkansas – On September 27, the Confederate force, commanded by Col. Jo Shelby, were heading towards the Arkansas River. They approached Moffatt’s Station and met about 200 men of the Union’s 1st Arkansas Infantry. The Federals took cover among the trees and opened fire. The Confederate cavalry dismounted and formed up for a charge. Once all of the Confederates formed up, they charged the Federals and scattered them.
October 2, 1863 in Anderson’s Cross Roads, Tennessee – On October 2, Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler led a 1,300 man Confederate raiding party into the Sequatchie Valley. At Anderson’s Cross Roads, they met a Union wagon train that was between 800-1,000 wagons and 10 miles in length. The raiders swept down on the train. They captured 800 mules and destroyed hundreds of the wagons. For 8 hours, the Confederates wreaked havoc on the wagon train.
Col. Ed McCook and the 1st Cavalry Division finally caught up with the Confederates and attacked them. McCook managed to recapture most of the mules and some of the wagons.
October 3, 1863 in McMinnville, Tennessee – On October 3, Col. John A. Wharton and his Confederate force reached McMinnville. The town and its 400-man Union garrison quickly fell to the Confederates. Afterwards, Wharton ordered his men to begin destroying all of the supplies in town, which they did.
October 6, 1863 in Christiana, Tennessee – On October 6, Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler and his Confederate raiders entered the town of Christiana. They managed to capture 2 trains and destroyed railroad track, bridges, and Union supplies.
October 6, 1863 in Shelbyville, Tennessee – On October 6, Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler and his Confederate raiders entered the town of Shelbyville. They destroyed the Union supply facilities that belonged to Maj. Gen. William S. Rosecrans.
October 9, 1863 in Tipton, Missouri – On October 9, the Confederate cavalry, commanded by Col. Jo Shelby, surrounded the town of Tipton. Tipton was located just west of Jefferson City. Inside the town was 100 local Union militia. The Confederates drove out the militia and captured the town.
While at Tipton, the Confederates destroyed a nearby railroad bridge at La Mine Bridge. They then headed off towards Syracuse.
October 11, 1863 in Boonville, Missouri – On October 11, Col. Jo Shelby and his Confederate cavalry force entered the town of Boonville. The town’s few defenders quickly decided that they would not have a chance to defend the town from the Confederates. They then gathered together and surrendered the town to Shelby.
October 13, 1863 in Auburn, Virginia – After the retreat from Gettysburg, the Confederate army concentrated behind Rapidan River in Orange County. The Federals advanced to Rappahannock River in August, and in mid- September they pushed strong columns forward to confront Lee along the Rapidan. Early September, Lee dispatched two divisions of Longstreet’s Corps to reinforce the Confederate army in Georgia; the Federals followed suite, sending the XI and XII Corps to Tennessee by railroad in late September after the Battle of Chickamauga (September 18-20).
Early October, Lee began an offensive sweep around Meade’s right flank with his remaining two corps, forcing the Federals to withdraw along the line of the Orange & Alexandria Railroad. On October 13, Stuart, with Fitzhugh Lee and Lomax’s brigades, skirmished with the rearguard of the Union III Corps near Auburn. Finding himself cut off by retreating Union columns, Stuart secreted his troopers in a wooded ravine until the unsuspecting Federals moved on. This was part of Bristoe Campaign
October 13, 1863 in Arrow Rock, Missouri – On October 13, Brig. Gen. Egbert B. Brown and a sizable Union cavalry force was following Col. Jo Shelby and his Confederate cavaly force. The two sides engaged each other in a brief skirmish at Arrow Rock. Arrow Rock was located just northwest of Boonville.
The Federals were almost able to surround the Shelby’s command. Shelby was able to break free and escape with his force. They quickly moved southward to the safety of the Arkansas River.
October 14, 1863 in Auburn/Coffee Hill, Virginia – As the Union army withdrew towards Manassas Junction, Owens and Smyth’s Union brigades (Warren’s II Corps) fought a rearguard action against Stuart’s cavalry and infantry of Harry Hays’s division near Auburn.
Stuart’s cavalry boldly bluffed Warren’s infantry and escaped disaster. The II Corps pushed on to Catlett Station on the Orange & Alexandria Railroad. This was part of Bristoe Campaign
October 16-18, 1863 in Fort Brooke, Tampa, Florida – On October 15th, 2 Union gunboats steamed past Gadsden Point and on the next day moved up to the fort. The 2 gunboats bombarded Fort Brooke with 126 shells on the 16th. That night a landing party under Acting Master T.R. Harris disembarked at Ballast Point with 130 men, adjacent to the head of the bay, and marched 14 miles to the Hillsborough River to capture several steamers. Harris and his men surprised and captured the blockade running steamer Scottish Chief and sloop Kate Dale.
The Confederates destroyed the steamer A.B. Noyes to preclude her capture. On its way back to the ship, Harris’s force was surprised by a detachment of the garrison. Despite the naval barrage, the commander of Fort Brooke, Capt. John Wescott, 2nd Florida Battalion, sent out a force that intercepted the Federals as they were about to raid local saltworks and other Confederate manufactories. The federals suffered 50 men killed & wounded and 5 captured.
October 25, 1863 in Pine Bluff, Arkansas – At 8:00 A.M., October 25, Col. Powell Clayton sent a company of cavalry toward Princeton which ran into Brig. Gen. John S. Marmaduke’s men advancing, out on a raid against the important Union garrison.
After some fire, the Confederates, under a flag of truce, came forward demanding surrender. Lt. M.F. Clark answered that there would be no surrender. Clayton slowly retreated back into Pine Bluff.
In the meantime, about 300 African-American soldiers rolled cotton bales out of the warehouses for barricades to protect court square. After failing to take the square by force, the Confederates attempted to burn out the Union forces but to no avail. The Confederate forces retired, leaving Pine Bluff to the Federals. The federals suffered 11 killed and 27 wounded. The confederates suffered 53 killed & 164 wounded.
October 30, 1863 in Catlett’s Station, Virginia – On May 30 , Col. John S. Mosby and his Confederate raiders arrived at Catlett’s Station. Mosby planned on attacking a Union train at the railway there. He assigned an artillery crew on the bluff above the defile while a group severed the telegraph wire and attached it to a loosened rail. The plan was to pull the rail from the track when a train approached, forcing the train to stop or crash. The Confederates would then rob and take whatever they wanted from the train.
After just a brief time, a 14-car train came their way. The train saw the missing track and managed to bring the train to a halt, but not before the Confederate howitzer fired a round through the engine’s boiler. Mosby ordered his men to make their attack. They swarmed down the bluff toward the train cars. On board, a 30-man Union detachment from the 15th Vermont Infantry saw the Confederates coming and fled the area. The Confederates were soon taking supplies that they needed. After a short time, Mosby ordered the cars torched and they were set on fire. They quickly left the area.
November 7, 1863 in Kelly’s Ford, Virginia – Following the engagement at Bristoe Station on October 14th, Gen. Robert E. Lee removed his army south of the Rappahannock River, on the assumption that Maj. Gen. George G. Meade might renew the offensive, even in a limited fashion. Meade proposed to retake the area between the Rappahannock and Rapidian Rivers, the Lincoln administration having vetoed a general movement toward Fredericksburg. Lee fortified the major crossings of the Rappahannock, especially at Rappahannock Station and at Kelly’s Ford a few miles below. At the latter crossing, he would allow Meade to cross, then attack the Union troops in force while holding the main crossing upstream.
On November 7th, the Union left wing, commanded by Maj. Gen. William H. French, crossed at Kelly’s Ford, seized some 300 prisoners, and established a strong lodgement on the south bank. Lee was not at first concerned since he expected to hit hard in a counterattack.
However, his plans were thwarted by the success of the Union right, a contingency he had not expected.
November 17, 1863 near Corpus Christi, Texas – On November 17, a Union force was near Corpus Christi when they decided to attack a Confederate battery at Aransas Pass. They made their attack and quickly took the battery.
December ??, 1863 in New Creek, West Virginia – On December ??, Brig. Gen. Thomas L. Rosser was leading a force of Confederates at Mill’s Gap. While there, scouts reported that a large Union wagon train was moving toward New Creek. The road that the train was on forked with the road that Rosser’s force was on. The Confederates immediately got on their horses and set off for the wagon train.
While they were closing in on the wagon train, they found out that it consisted of 40 loaded wagons, each drawn by 6 mules, and a infantry guard detachment consisting of 75 soldiers. The wagon masters spotted the Confederates closing in on them and attempted to escape. Mass confusion ensued as wagons went in different directions, with many of the being turned over and colliding into one another. The infantry guard tried to take a defensive position but were quickly overran.
After capturing the wagon train, the Confederates enjoyed their spoils by stopping to feast on the food from the sutler wagons.
December 9, 1863 in Fort Jackson, Louisiana – On December 9, there was a mutiny of Negro troops at Fort Jackson. The fort was located just below New Orleans. The mutiny arose because of alleged mistreatment by one of the soldiers’ officers. A group of white officers soon put down the mutiny.
December 10, 1863 in Choctawatchie Bay, Florida – On December 10, a combined land and naval Union force landed at Choctawatchie Bay. Once there, they proceeded to the Confederate salt works located there. They quickly destroyed the works and left the bay.
December 16, 1863 in Salem, Virginia – On December 16, Col. William W. Averell and his Union raiders entered Salem, which contained the Virginia & Tennessee Railroad. The Federals managed to destroy 3 Confederate supply depots. The depots contained: 2,000 barrels of flour, 10,000 bushels of wheat, 100,000 bushels of shelled corn, 50,000 bushels of oats, 2,000 barrels of meat, several cords of leather, 1,000 sacks of salt, 31 boxes of clothing, 20 bales of cotton, a large amount of harness, shoes, saddles, equipments, tools, tar and various other stores, and 100 wagons. The Federals destroyed telegraph wire for 1/2 mile. There was much more extensive damage done to the area before the Federal raiders left town.
December 19, 1863 in St. Andrews Bay, Florida – On December 19, a Union raiding party entered St. Andrews Bay. There, the Confederate government had built a salt works facility and a village that was comprised of 27 buildings. The whole thing covered 3/4 of a square mile.
The Union party attacked the salt works and eventually burned all of the buildings. They caused about $500,000 worth of damage. They also captured a Confederate field piece that had protected the salt works and also fired on passing Union ships during the blockade.
Afterwards, the Union raiding party then left St. Andrews Bay and headed south to destroy other salt works facilities.
December 25, 1863 in Tampa, Florida – On December 24th, the Union gunboat, Tahoma, one of the gunboats that had attacked the fort in October, returned to fort Brooke, anchoring before the garrison. The next morning, it spent 2 hours blasting Capt. John Wescott’s garrison and the village along Tampa Bay with numerous 32lb. and 150lb. shells.
Meanwhile, a small schooner accompanying the Tahoma shelled the shore of the main channel. Wescott anticipated that his enemy would come ashore and was ready
“to have received them properly”.
The Tahoma’s skipper, Lt. Cmdr. David B. Harmony, decided once again, that the garrison was too energetic and its firepower too accurate.
Harmony drew off about noon and proceeded down the bay, having inflicted no casualties.
December 25, 1863 in Bear Inlet, North Carolina – On December 25, a Union raiding party entered the salt works facility at Bear Inlet. The Union soldiers managed to destroy several saltworks in the area.
December 29, 1863 in Jefferson County, Tennessee – Brig. Gen. Samuel D. Sturgis received a report on the night of December 28, that a brigade of Confederate cavalry was in the neighborhood of Dandridge that afternoon. Surmising that the Confederate cavalry force was split, Sturgis decided to meet and defeat, and possibly capture, this portion of it. He ordered most of his troopers out toward Dandridge on 2 roads. After these troops had left, Maj. Gen. William T. Martin, commander of Longstreet’s Confederate cavalry, now reunited and totaling 2,000 men, attacked the remainder of Sturgis’s force at Mossy Creek, Tennessee, which included the First Brigade, 2nd Division, XXIII Army Corps, commanded by Col. Samuel R. Mott, at 9:00 A.M.
First, Sturgis sent messages to his subordinates on the way to Dandridge to return promptly if they found no enemy there. The Confederates advanced, driving the Federals in front of them. Some of the Union troopers who had set out for Dandridge returned. Around 3:00 P.M., fortunes changed as the Federals began driving the Confederates. By dark, the Confederates were back to the location from which they had begun the battle.
Union pursuit was not mounted that night, but Martin retreated from the area. After the victory at Mossy Creek, the Union held the line about Talbott’s Station for some time. Estimated Casualties: Total unknown (US 18k, 86w, 5c; CS unknown)