Greenbrier County in West Virginia
The Sinking Creek Raid took place in Greenbrier County, Virginia (now West Virginia) during the American Civil War. On November 26, 1862, an entire Confederate army camp was captured by 22 men from a Union cavalry during a winter snow storm. The 22 men were the advance guard for the 2nd Loyal Virginia Volunteer Cavalry, which was several miles behind. This cavalry unit was renamed 2nd West Virginia Volunteer Cavalry in 1863, after West Virginia became a state.
The Confederates, who were the rebels in the American Civil War, had an army camp near the foot of a mountain in Sinking Creek Valley. Their camp contained about 500 soldiers, who were surprised by the small group of Union cavalry men. Many of the rebels did not have their weapons loaded. The Union cavalry raced into the camp with sabers drawn, and quickly convinced the rebels to surrender in exchange for their lives. Over 100 rebel soldiers were taken prisoner. More than 100 horses and about 200 rifles were also captured, in addition to supplies and tents. (Full article...)
Grand Parade of the States
The American state of Virginia became a prominent part of the Confederacy when it joined during the American Civil War. As a Southern slave-holding state, Virginia held the state convention to deal with the secession crisis, and voted against secession on April 4, 1861. Opinion shifted after the Battle of Fort Sumter on April 12, and April 15, when U.S. President Abraham Lincoln called for troops from all states still in the Union to put down the rebellion. For all practical purposes, Virginia joined the Confederacy on April 17, though secession was not officially ratified until May 23. A Unionist government was established in Wheeling and the new state of West Virginia was created by an act of Congress from 50 counties of western Virginia, making it the only state to lose territory as a consequence of the war.
In May, it was decided to move the Confederate capital from Montgomery, Alabama, to Richmond, Virginia, in large part because regardless of the Virginian capital's political status its defense was deemed vital to the Confederacy's survival. On May 24, 1861, the U.S. Army moved into northern Virginia and captured Alexandria without a fight. Most of the battles in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War took place in Virginia because the Confederacy had to defend its national capital at Richmond, and public opinion in the North demanded that the Union move "On to Richmond!" The successes of Robert E. Lee in defending Richmond are a central theme of the military history of the war. The White House of the Confederacy, located a few blocks north of the State Capitol, became home to the family of Confederate leader, former Mississippi Senator Jefferson Davis. (Full article...)
The Battle of Shiloh (also known as the Battle of Pittsburg Landing) was an early battle in the Western Theater of the American Civil War, fought April 6–7, 1862, in southwestern Tennessee. The Union Army of the Tennessee (Major General Ulysses S. Grant) had moved via the Tennessee River deep into Tennessee and was encamped principally at Pittsburg Landing on the west bank of the Tennessee River, where the Confederate Army of Mississippi (General Albert Sidney Johnston, P. G. T. Beauregard second-in-command) launched a surprise attack on Grant's army from its base in Corinth, Mississippi. Johnston was mortally wounded during the fighting; Beauregard took command of the army and decided against pressing the attack late in the evening. Overnight, Grant was reinforced by one of his divisions stationed farther north and was joined by three divisions from the Army of the Ohio (Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell). The Union forces began an unexpected counterattack the next morning which reversed the Confederate gains of the previous day.
On April 6, the first day of the battle, the Confederates struck with the intention of driving the Union defenders away from the river and into the swamps of Owl Creek to the west. Johnston hoped to defeat Grant's army before the anticipated arrival of Buell and the Army of the Ohio. The Confederate battle lines became confused during the fighting, and Grant's men instead fell back to the northeast, in the direction of Pittsburg Landing. A Union position on a slightly sunken road, nicknamed the "Hornet's Nest" and defended by the divisions of Brig. Gens. Benjamin Prentiss and William H. L. Wallace, provided time for the remainder of the Union line to stabilize under the protection of numerous artillery batteries. Wallace was mortally wounded when the position collapsed, while several regiments from the two divisions were eventually surrounded and surrendered. Johnston was shot in the leg and bled to death while leading an attack. Beauregard acknowledged how tired the army was from the day's exertions, and decided against assaulting the final Union position that night. (Full article...)