Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

March 17.—Colonel William Stokes, in command of the Fifth Tennessee cavalry, surprised a party of rebel guerrillas under Champ Ferguson, at a point near Manchester, Tenn., and after a severe fight routed them, compelling them to leave behind twenty-one in killed and wounded.—This morning, at a little before three o’clock, an attempt was made on Seabrook Island by a large force of rebels, who came down the Chickhassee River in boats. They approached in two large flats, filled with men, evidently sent forward to reconnoitre, with a numerous reserve force further back, to cooperate in case any points were found to be exposed. One of the boats came down to the mouth of Skull Creek, where they attacked a picket-boat containing a corporal and four men of the Seventy-sixth Pennsylvania. They first fired three shots and then a whole volley, and succeeded in capturing the boat and those in it, after a severe hand-to-hand fight. Whether there were any casualties could not be ascertained. Further on, meeting an unexpected resistance, they retreated.

—Lieutenant-general Grant formally assumed the command of the armies of the United States to-day. The following was his order on the subject:

Headquarters of the Armies of the United States,

Nashville, Tenn., March 17, 1864.

General Orders, No. 12.

In pursuance of the following order of the President:

“Executive Mansion, Washington, D. C,
March 10, 1864

“Under the authority of the Act of Congress to appoint the grade of Lieutenant-General in the army, of February 29, 1864, Lieutenant-General Ulysses S. Grant, U. S. A., is appointed to the command of the armies of the United States.

“Abraham Lincoln.”

—I assume command of the armies of the United States. Headquarters will be in the field, and, until further orders, will be with the army of the Potomac. There will be an office headquarters in Washington, D. C, to which all official communications will be sent, except those from the army where the headquarters are at the date of their address.

Previous post:

Next post: