By January 1865, even a biased observer of the Civil War would have to agree the final acts were due to play out within months. But before the curtain would open on the next rounds, several actors had to move about on the stage. As some of the fall 1864 campaigns reached conclusions, the demands of January 1865 prompted movement of troops across theaters. Both Federal and Confederate troops were in motion that month. There are three movements which I’d highlight as rather important to the last phases of the Civil War.
Relative to other points, say Vicksburg or Atlanta, the capture of Savannah to Federal troops in December 1864 involved a very short siege. The speed of that campaign and the Confederate military’s focus on extracting their forces meant that a sizable population was left behind in the city. And a large number of those leftContinue reading ““Should any delay occur it will arise from the endless excuses made by ladies….”: Savannah families permitted to pass through the lines”
On December 30, 1864, Brigadier-General William T. Ward received orders to move his division, of the Twentieth Corps, across the Savannah River. His mission was to reconnoiter the South Carolina side of the river and push back any Confederate pickets. Ward was to push up the Union Causeway that weeks earlier had been the Confederate’sContinue reading ““The rebels have driven off everything that they could….”: Ward’s reconnaissance into South Carolina”