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1862 February 26: The Death of Willie Lincoln and the Squirmish at Little Sugar Creek

March 2, 2012

The “Latest News” column from the February 26, 1862, issue of The Prescott Journal.



"Willie Lincoln, third son of President Lincoln. Died February 20, 1862, at the age of 12," from the Library of Congress

The President’s son William died to-day, aged eleven years.1

The Senate in executive session confirmed a large number of army appointments.

On Tuesday eighteen vessels bound up, ran the blockade of the Potomac.

It is reported that the rebels are falling back from Centerville.2 It is supposed they are influenced by military necessity, fearing that their supplies will be cut off.

General McClellan [George B. McClellan], for the first time in two months, visited the troops on the Virginia side of the Potomac to-day.

Colonel Washburn [Cadwallader C. Washburn] of the Second Wisconsin cavalry, has been given leave to serve on General Grant’s Staff. [Ulysses S. Grant]

ST. LOUIS, Feb. 20.

General Halleck [Henry W. Halleck] has sent out the following dispatch to General McClellan:— “Clarksville has been taken with supplies enough for twenty days.  The place is now occupied by Gen. Smith’s division.”3

Price [Sterling Price] on being reinforced by McCulloch’s [Ben McCulloch] command made a stand at Sugar Creek, crossing near the Arkansas line on the 19th, but was defeated after a short engagement and again fled.  Many prisoners were taken and a quality of arms which his men threw away in their fight.4


The National Rail Road Convention unanimously agreed upon the rates to charge the Government for the transportation of troops and munitions, and afterwards adjourned sine die.5

The Government has released a large number of political prisoners from Forts Lafayette and Warren, on their parole that they won’t give aid and comfort to the enemy.6

1.  William Wallace “Willie” Lincoln (1850-1862) was the third son of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln. He had become ill early in the year, mostly likely from typhoid fever. His younger brother, Tad, was sick at the same time but survived. He was the second Lincoln son to die; his older brother Edward Baker “Eddie” Lincoln had died the same year Willie was born. This image is from a photograph taken by Mathew Brady in Washington, D.C., shortly before the death of Willie Lincoln.
2.  During the winter of 1861 and early 1862 the town of Centreville, Virginia, was significantly fortified by the Confederacy. It will be a supply depot for both sides at various times during the Civil War.
3.  The city of Clarksville, Tennessee, was captured around the same time as Fort Henry and Fort Donelson.
4.  The skirmish at Little Sugar Creek, in Arkansas, took place on February 17, 1862.
5.  Adjournment sine die is Latin for adjourning without assigning a day for a further meeting or hearing.
6.  Fort Lafayette, in New York, had served as a U.S. military prison since July 1861. During the War, it will become known as the “American Bastille.”  Fort Warren, in Boston Harbor, was also utilized as a prison for Confederate military and political prisoners.

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