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1864 November 26: First News of the Battle of Bull’s Gap, and Other War News

November 26, 2014

The following summary of the week’s war news is from The Polk County Press of November 26, 1864.

The Battle of Bull’s Gap took place on November 13, 1864, as part of John C. Breckinridge’s Advance into East Tennessee to search for food and forage and to drive the Union forces from the area.  A Union force under the command of General Alvan C. Gillem advanced but then fell back to Bull’s Gap.  Being short on everything from ammunition to rations, Gillem withdrew from Bull’s Gap.  Breckinridge pursued and engaged them near Russellville, causing a rout.  The Confederate victory at the Battle of Bull’s Gap was a setback in the Union plans to rid East Tennessee of a Confederate military presence.

News Summary

— The gunboat Tulip, attached to the Potomac flotilla, exploded her boiler near St. Mary’s on the Potomac river, on the 11th inst., killing and wounding 59 officers and crew, only a few escaping death.

— News has been received from the Gulf department that Gen. Canby [Edward Canby], while ascending White river Ark., on the gunboat Cricket, on the 6th inst., was shot by bushwhackers and badly wounded.

— The British tory press is excessively bitter in its denunciation of Capt. Collins, of the U.S. gunboat Wachusetts [sic], in seizing the rebel pirate Florida, in Brazilian waters.—The British tories evidently considered the Florida one of their peculiar investments.  Brazil has a right to complain, but England has not.

— The Post Washington special says :  Planters in the lower counties of Maryland have agreed to pay their former slaves annual wages, varying from sixty to one hundred dollars.

— By the recapture of Plymouth, the Union army gained posession [sic] of 12 pieces of artillery.

— LATEST.—Early [Jubal A. Early] has been whipped again and fallen back to Woodstock.  His army is said to be in a horrid condition.

— From Sherman [William T. Sherman] we have but a little that is reliable.  He burned Atlanta and Rome, taking 60 days rations is marching on.  No one yet knows, positively, where he has gone, still the public press place his destination to be Charleston, and Savannah, Georgia.

— Gen. Gillin [sic] has been defeated in East Tennessee, by Breckinridge.—The fight took place at Bull’s Gap.  Our Loss [sic] is 400 killed and wounded.¹

— There are all sorts of Cabinet rumors prevailing.  None reliable.

— Our iron-clads are moving up James river.

— No news of importance from Grant’s army.  [Ulysses S. Grant]

1.  Union casualties and losses were around 240; Confederate casualties are unknown.

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