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1864 March 26: Grant’s Promotion Shakes Up Assignments

March 28, 2014

Following is the weekly summary of war news from The Polk County Press of March 26, 1864.  This week’s summary is long so we have split it into two posts; part 2 will be posted tomorrow.

The News.

— Gen. Seymour assumes all responsibilities on account of the Florida disaster.  [Truman Seymour]

— The military committee of the House have decided to report in favor of raising the pay of soldiers—privates to $18 and sergeants to $30 per month.

— The rebel privateer-pirate Rappahannock has escaped from Brest, France, and is cruising with a picked crew and six guns.

— The enrollment in Kentucky, of slaves for military service, has produced some excitement, and Governor Bramlette¹ is out in a proclamation, warning the people against acts of violence or unlawful resistance.

— A rebel battery on the Ouchita river, a stream which empties into the Red River, in Louisiana, has been silenced by our gun-boats.  The gun-boat Connestoga [sic] collided with another steamer, and was sunk with cargo and ammunition.

— A Washington special of March 13th says, “by order of the President the following military arrangements have been made.  Lieut. Gen. Grant has been assigned to command all the armies of the Union.  [Ulysses S. Grant]

Gen. Halleck is relieved from duty as Gen-in-Chief and assigned to special duty at Washington as Chief-of-Staff of the Army.  [Henry W. Halleck]

Major General Sherman is assigned to the command of the Division of the Mississippi, lately commanded by Gen. Grant, and comprising the Departments of the Ohio, the Cumberland, the Tennessee, and Arkansas.  [William T. Sherman]

Gen. Richardson is assigned to the command of the Department of the Tennessee, recently commanded by Gen. Sherman.  [Israel B. Richardson]

Lieut. General Grant will establish his head-quarters in the field with respective armies operating under his personal supervision.

Gen. W. F. Smith has been nominated for Maj. Gen. of volunteers, as a necessary preliminary to his assignment to the command of the Army of the Potomac, so it is said.  [William F. Smith]

— Gen. Neill Dow [sic: Neal S. Dow], of Maine liquor law notoriety, has been exchanged and has arrived at Fortress Monroe.

— The Locomotive builders of Patterson, N. J., were holding out against a strike of their hands when a government officer steps in and tells them that unless they proceed at once to complete 200 locomotives for the Government, he would seize their shops and put them on government account.  This brought them to terms.

— Gen. W. F. Smith is a rising man.  He has been nominated Brig Gen. in the regular army in place of General Grant, promoted.

— It is said that Gen. Fremont will be assigned to the command of the Department of South Carolina.  [John C. Frémont]

— The niggers have whipped the rebs near Yazoo City, Miss.

1.  Thomas Elliott Bramlette (1817-1875) was the 23rd governor of Kentucky. He was elected in 1863 and guided the state through the latter part of the Civil War and the beginning of Reconstruction. At the outbreak of the war, Bramlette raised and commanded the 3rd Kentucky Infantry. In 1862, President Lincoln appointed him district attorney for Kentucky. In 1863 he won a landslide victory for governor, due partly to election interference by the Union Army.


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