1862 March 9th

March 9 1862 Sunday

Battle of Hampton Roads, VA (CWSAC – Major Battle – Inconclusive)

New Bern Campaign
Sibley’s Operations in New Mexico
New Madrid Campaign

Go to March 10 1862

Georgia. A Union Naval force led by Commander Sylvanus William Godon and consisting of USS Mohican, USS Pocahontas, and USS Potomska took possession of St Simon’s and Jekyl Islands and landed a boat party at Brunswick. All locations were found to be abandoned, confirming that the Confederates had withdrawn their forces from exposed and indefensible coastal areas and islands.

Mississippi. USS Pinola, Lieutenant Crosby, arrived at Ship Island with the prize schooner Cora, captured previously in the Gulf of Mexico.

Missouri. Operation at Rolla ended.

Missouri. Skirmishes at Mountain Grove Seminary and Mountain Grove.

Missouri. At New Madrid, Union Brigadier-General Joseph Bennett Plummer’s 5th division of the Army of the Mississippi abandoned Point Pleasant after Confederate gunboats had shelled their positions intermittently for three days. The Confederate Army remained within its fortifications at New Madrid, offering no support to the harassment achieved by their naval forces.

Missouri. In a skkirmish on Big Creek, Union Lieutenant-Colonel Arnold Krekel (1st Battalion Missouri Cavalry Militia), killed the renegade Ted Sharp, who had killed the notorious Dr. Cleveland a few days earlier at the Virginia Hotel.

Tennessee. Operation at Crump’s Landing and an expedition to Purdy were begun by Union Brigadier-General Charles Ferguson Smith.

Tennessee. Skirmish at Nashville

Tennessee. Skirmish on the Granny White Pike Pike involving Confederate Colonel John S Scott (1st Louisiana Cavalry).

Virginia. Skirmish at Sangster’s Station.

Virginia. Union ships approached Cockpit Point. A landing party from USS Anacostia and USS Yankee destroyed the abandoned Confederate batteries at Cockpit Point, Shipping Point, and Evansport and found the CSS Page blown up. The Confederates, in keeping with their general strategy of withdrawal from the coast and coastal islands, had abandoned their works and retired closer to Richmond, after managing to seal off the Potomac River for nearly five months. The Confederate batteries at Aquia Creek were also abandoned as untenable. Confederate General Joseph Eggleston Johnston recalled their garrisons to defend Richmond. Union forces soon discovered that all the Confederate batteries at Aquia and along the Potomac River had been abandoned. The Union Army used the wharves and storage building at Aquia Landing as a storage depot until abandoned on 7 June 1863 but reactivated the facilities again during the campaign of 1864.

Virginia. The Confederate Army of the Potomac under General Joseph Eggleston Johnston completed its evacuation of the Manassas and Centerville lines and marched for Culpeper Court House. During a long and complex process of evacuation, one division was left behind as a rearguard and had to extricate itself unaided towards Fredericksburg on the Rappahannock. Many heavy guns were abandoned and large quantities of supplies that had been stored too close to the front were distributed to departing troops, or local people, or consigned to fire.
Union reconnaissance of the abandoned Confederate works revealed that many of the cannons were “Quaker” guns – logs laid on fake carriages – to the embarrassment of Major-General George Brinton McClellan, who had been deterred from attacking the fortifications by their supposed strength in artillery.

Virginia. Parallel to the Union advance towards Manassas, Major-General George Brinton McClellan ordered Major-General Nathaniel Prentiss Banks to advance south from Harper’s Ferry towards Winchester in the Shenandoah Valley.

Hampton Roads, Virginia, also known as “The Battle of the Monitor and the Merrimac (Virginia)” or Newport News. This was the first battle ever to occur between ironclad warships. The Union ironclad USS Monitor had arrived fortuitously at Cape Henry at sundown the day before and steamed into Hampton Roads at dawn to do battle with the seemingly invulnerable CSS Virginia.
CSS Virginia left her anchorage at Sewell’s Point and moved to attack the grounded USS Minnesota at about 7.30 am. She was followed by the three ships of the James River Squadron. They found their course blocked by the USS Monitor, which was waiting to protect the helpless USS Minnesota. At first, Confederate Lieutenant Catesby ap Roger Jones believed the strange craft to be a boiler being towed on a raft from the USS Minnesota and did not apprehend the threat from this unfamiliar opponent. It soon became apparent that he had to fight the mysterious craft when two giant guns opened fire from its unique turret.
The fight began at about 9 am and lasted for about two hours. The USS Monitor had the advantage in speed and manoeuvrability but neither ship was able to inflict serious damage. The iron armour of both ships provided more than adequate protection. The USS Monitor had armour of at least five inches and in places it was nine inches thick. The majority of the ship was below the waterline and only its colossal turret presented a difficult and invulnerable target.
The CSS Virginia had not expected to fight another armoured vessel so its guns were supplied only with shell rather than solid armour-piercing shot. Out of caution, the USS Monitor‘s two 11-inch guns were loaded with a light charge of powder which did not give the projectile sufficient momentum to penetrate her opponent’s armour. After two hours, USS Monitor was forced to draw off to re-supply the turret with ammunition and then returned to the fight at about 11.30 am.
The CSS Virginia, supplied with explosive shells designed to set fire to wooden warships, had failed to crack the monitor’s solid armour. An attempt to ram the monitor turned into a slow, glancing thud since the iron ram had broken off the previous day. Efforts to board the smaller Union ship failed because the Confederate colossus was too slow to draw in close enough to land its more numerous sailors.
Each ship continued to batter the other at close range but without cracking the defensive amour of the other. The CSS Virginia targeted the pilothouse of the Union ship at a range of ten yards and struck the sight-hole, blinding the Union commander, Lieutenant John Lorimer Worden. As no one else could see to direct the ship, the executive officer Lieutenant Samuel Dana Greene took over. Worden ordered the ship to pull away to shallower water and the crew of CSS Virginia believed that their opponent had withdrawn.
Although USS Minnesota was still aground and offered a sitting target, the falling tide meant that she was out of reach of the Confederate ship. Furthermore, CSS Virginia had suffered some damage to its smokestacks and external fittings that would require extensive repair. Convinced that his ship had won the day, Jones ordered CSS Virginia back to Norfolk, steaming slowly and leaking. At about this time, USS Monitor returned, only to discover her opponent apparently giving up the fight. Seeing that CSS Virginia was quitting, and with orders only to protect USS Minnesota and not to risk his ship unnecessarily, Greene did not pursue. CSS Virginia returned to her home at the Gosport Navy Yard in Norfolk for repairs and strengthening, and USS Monitor was not severely damaged and resumed her station defending USS Minnesota.
The CSS Virginia remained in dry dock at Norfolk for almost a month, getting repairs for battle damage as well as making some minor modifications to improve her performance. Confederate Captain Franklin Buchanan, still recovering from his wound, had hoped that Lieutenant Roger ap Catesby Jones would succeed him in command. He believed that Jones’ performance during the battle against the USS Monitor was outstanding. The seniority system meant that the post went instead to the 67-year old Commodore Josiah Tattnall. The day after the battle, he was relieved by the more senior Lieutenant Thomas O Selfridge; two days later, Selfridge was in turn relieved by Lieutenant William Nicholson Jeffers.
Each side considered how best to eliminate the threat posed by its opponent, and after CSS Virginia returned to port each side tried to goad the other into attacking under unfavourable circumstances. Both captains declined the opportunity to fight on terms not of their own choosing. Jeffers, in particular, was under positive orders not to risk his ship. Consequently, each vessel spent the next month posturing.
The two ships had battered each other to an indecisive stalemate and each claimed a victory. The US Navy was reassured that it had found a weapon that would prevent Confederate ironclads from dominating its wooden fleet and attacking the ports of the North. The Confederates had found a way for technological innovation to outweigh the numerical superiority of the North. The two ships did not fight each other again, and the blockade remained in place. Not only did the two ships not fight each other, neither ship actually fought in any battle after that day.
The battle received worldwide attention, and it had immediate effects on all navies. The preeminent naval powers, Great Britain and France, halted further construction of wooden-hulled ships and they were copied by all others. The USS Monitor became the prototype for the monitor warship and many more were built, including shallow-draught monitors which played key roles on the Mississippi and James rivers. The US Navy immediately started the construction of ten more monitors based on Ericsson’s original larger plan, known as the Passaic-class monitors. While this design proved well-suited for river combat the low profile and heavy turret caused poor seaworthiness in rough waters.
Russia launched ten sister ships as soon as Ericsson’s plans reached St Petersburg. What followed has been described as “Monitor mania”. The vulnerability of wooden hulls to armoured ships was noted particularly in Britain and France, where the wisdom of the planned conversion of the battle fleet to armour had been given a powerful new impetus. Impressed by the ease with which CSS Virginia had sunk the Cumberland, naval architects also began to incorporate rams into their hull designs. The first purpose-built ram in the modern era was the French armoured ram Taurea (1863), whose guns were said to have the sole function of preparing the way for the ram. The inclusion of rams in warship hull design persisted for several decades despite improvements in naval gunnery which quickly made close action between warships impossible.
Union casualties aboard the USS Congress, USS Cumberland, USS Minnesota, and USS Monitor, and in the regiments at Newport News, were reported as 409. Alternatively, 261 killed and 108 wounded. The Confederates lost 7 men killed and 17 wounded. (CWSAC – Major Battle – Inconclusive)

Union Organisation

Commander in Chief: President Abraham Lincoln
Vice-President: Hannibal Hamlin
Secretary of War: Edwin McMasters Stanton
Secretary of the Navy: Gideon Welles

North Atlantic Blockading Squadron: Louis Malesherbes Goldsborough
South Atlantic Blockading Squadron: Samuel Francis Du Pont
West Gulf Blockading Squadron: David Glasgow Farragut
East Gulf Blockading Squadron: William McKean
Pacific Squadron: Charles H Bell
Western Gunboat Flotilla: Andrew Hull Foote
Potomac Flotilla: Robert Harris Wyman

General–in-Chief: George Brinton McClellan

Department of Florida: Lewis Golding Arnold

Department of the Gulf: Benjamin Franklin Butler awaited

  • Army of the Gulf: Benjamin Franklin Butler

Department of Kansas: David Hunter

Department of Key West: John Milton Brannan

Department of the Missouri: Henry Wager Halleck

  • District of West Tennessee: Ulysses Simpson Grant
    • Army of West Tennessee: Ulysses Simpson Grant
  • District of Cairo: William Tecumseh Sherman
  • District of the Mississippi: John Pope
    • Army of the Mississippi: John Pope
  • District of St Louis: John McAllister Schofield
  • District of Central Missouri: James Totten
  • District of North Missouri: John McAllister Schofield
  • District of Southeast Missouri: Frederick Steele
  • District of Southwest Missouri: Samuel Ryan Curtis
    • Army of the Southwest: Samuel Ryan Curtis

Department of New Mexico: Edward Richard Sprigg Canby

  • Southern District of New Mexico: Benjamin Stone Roberts

Department of New York: Edward Denison Morgan

Department of North Carolina: Ambrose Everett Burnside

Department of the Ohio: Don Carlos Buell

  • Army of the Ohio: Don Carlos Buell

Department of the Pacific: George Wright

  • District of the Humboldt: Francis James Lippitt
  • District of Oregon: Albemarle Cady
  • District of Southern California: James Henry Carleton

Department of the Potomac: George Brinton McClellan

  • District of Harper’s Ferry and Cumberland: James Shields
  • Army of the Potomac: George Brinton McClellan
    • I Corps Potomac: Irvin McDowell
    • II Corps Potomac: Edwin Vose Sumner
    • III Corps Potomac: Samuel Peter Heintzelman
    • IV Corps Potomac: Erasmus Darwin Keyes
    • V Corps Potomac: Nathaniel Prentiss Banks

Department of Texas: Vacant

Department of Virginia: John Ellis Wool

Department of Western Virginia: William Starke Rosecrans

  • District of the Kanawha: Jacob Dolson Cox
  • Cheat Mountain District: Robert Huston Milroy
  • Railroad District: Benjamin Franklin Kelley

Confederate Organisation

CSA: Major-General Edmund Kirby Smith arrived to command the Department of East Tennessee.
CSA: The Army of East Tennessee was established in the Department of Eastern Tennessee, from parts of the Army of Eastern Kentucky.
CSA: Major-General Edmund Kirby Smith assumed command of the Army of East Tennessee.

CSA: Charles William Field promoted Brigadier-General PACS 11 March 1862 to rank from 9 March 1862.

Commander in Chief: President Jefferson Finis Davis
Vice-President: Alexander Hamilton Stephens
Secretary of War: Judah Philip Benjamin
Secretary of the Navy: Stephen Russell Mallory

Military Adviser to the President: Robert Edward Lee

Department No 1: Mansfield Lovell

Department of Alabama and West Florida: Braxton Bragg

  • Army of Pensacola: Thomas Marshall Jones
  • Army of Mobile: John Bordenave Villepigue

Department of East Tennessee: Edmund Kirby Smith

  • Army of East Tennessee: Edmund Kirby Smith

Department of Henrico: John Henry Winder

Department of the Indian Territory: Douglas Hancock Cooper

Department of Norfolk: Benjamin Huger

Department of North Carolina: Richard Caswell Gatlin

  • District of Cape Fear: Joseph Reid Anderson
  • District of Pamlico: Lawrence O’Bryan Branch
  • District of Roanoke Island: Henry Marchmore Shaw

Department of Northern Virginia: Joseph Eggleston Johnston

  • District of Aquia: Robert Augustus Toombs
  • Army of the Potomac: Joseph Eggleston Johnston
    • I Corps Potomac: James Longstreet
    • II Corps Potomac: Gustavus Woodson Smith
  • Valley District: Thomas Jonathan Jackson
    • Army of the Valley: Thomas Jonathan Jackson

Department of the Peninsula: John Bankhead Magruder

  • Army of the Peninsula: John Bankhead Magruder

Department of South Carolina, Georgia and East Florida: Robert Edward Lee

  • District of Middle and East Florida: William Montgomery Gardner
  • District of Georgia: Alexander Robert Lawton
  • District of South Carolina: Roswell Sabine Ripley
    • 1st Sub-District of South Carolina: Arthur Middleton Manigault.
    • 2nd Sub-District of South Carolina: Roswell Sabine Ripley
    • 3rd Sub-District of South Carolina: Nathan George Evans
    • 4th Sub-District of South Carolina: John Clifford Pemberton
    • 5th Sub-District of South Carolina: Thomas Fenwick Drayton

Department of Southwestern Virginia: William Wing Loring

  • District of Lewisburg: Henry Heth

Department of Texas: Paul Octave Hébert

  • Eastern District of Texas: Paul Octave Hébert
  • Western District of Texas: Henry Eustace McCullough
  • Sub-District of Houston: John C Bowen
  • Sub-District of Galveston: Ebenezer B Nichols
  • Sub-District of the Rio Grande: Hamilton Prioleau Bee awaited
  • Defences of Pass Cavallo: John W Glenn

Western Department: Albert Sidney Johnston

  • Trans-Mississippi District: Earl Van Dorn
  • District of North Alabama: Daniel Ruggles
  • Army of Mississippi: Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard awaited
    • First Grand Division (Mississippi): Leonidas Polk
    • Second Grand Division (Mississippi): Braxton Bragg
    • Reserve Corps (Mississippi): George Bibb Crittenden
  • Army of Central Kentucky: Albert Sidney Johnston
  • Army of the West: Earl Van Dorn

District of Arizona: Henry Hopkins Sibley

  • Army of New Mexico: Henry Hopkins Sibley

Forces in Richmond: Charles Dimmock

Union Generals

Note: Italics, awaiting confirmation of the commission

Major-General USA

George Brinton McClellan
John Charles Frémont
Henry Wager Halleck

Major-General USV

John Adams Dix
Nathaniel Prentiss Banks
Benjamin Franklin Butler
David Hunter
Edwin Denison Morgan
Ethan Allen Hitchcock
Ulysses Simpson Grant

Brigadier-General USA

John Ellis Wool
William Selby Harney
Edwin Vose Sumner
Joseph King Fenno Mansfield
Irvin McDowell
Robert Anderson
William Starke Rosecrans
Philip St George Cooke

Brigadier-General USV

Samuel Peter Heintzelman
Erasmus Darwin Keyes
Andrew Porter
Fitz-John Porter
William Buel Franklin
William Tecumseh Sherman
Charles Pomeroy Stone
Don Carlos Buell
Thomas West Sherman
John Pope
George Archibald McCall
William Reading Montgomery
Philip Kearny
Joseph Hooker
John Wolcott Phelps
Samuel Ryan Curtis
Charles Smith Hamilton
Darius Nash Couch
Rufus King
Jacob Dolson Cox
Stephen Augustus Hurlbut
Franz Sigel
Robert Cumming Schenck
Benjamin Mayberry Prentiss
Benjamin Franklin Kelley
John Alexander McClernand
Alpheus Starkey Williams
Israel Bush Richardson
James Cooper
James Brewerton Ricketts
Orlando Bolivar Willcox
Michael Corcoran
George Henry Thomas
Ambrose Everett Burnside
Henry Hayes Lockwood
Louis Blenker
Henry Warner Slocum
James Samuel Wadsworth
John James Peck
Ormsby McKnight Mitchel
George Webb Morell
John Henry Martindale
Samuel Davis Sturgis
George Stoneman
Henry Washington Benham
William Farrar Smith
James William Denver
Egbert Ludovicus Vielé
James Shields
John Fulton Reynolds
William Farquhar Barry
John Joseph Abercrombie
John Sedgwick
Charles Ferguson Smith
Silas Casey
Lawrence Pike Graham
George Gordon Meade
Abram Duryée
Alexander McDowell McCook
Oliver Otis Howard
Eleazar Arthur Paine
Daniel Edgar Sickles
Charles Davis Jameson
Ebenezer Dumont
Robert Huston Milroy
Lewis Wallace
Willis Arnold Gorman
Daniel Butterfield
Horatio Gouverneur Wright
Edward Otho Cresap Ord
William Nelson
William Thomas Ward
John Gross Barnard
Innis Newton Palmer
Seth Williams
John Newton
Winfield Scott Hancock
Thomas Leonidas Crittenden
George Wright
Isaac Ingalls Stevens
Thomas Williams
George Sykes
William Henry French
William Thomas Harbaugh Brooks
John Milton Brannan
William Wallace Burns
John Porter Hatch
David Sloane Stanley
William Kerley Strong
Albin Francisco Schoepf
Lovell Harrison Rousseau
James Scott Negley
Thomas John Wood
Richard W Johnson
Adolph Wilhelm August Friedrich Von Steinwehr
Joseph Bennett Plummer
John Gray Foster
George Washington Cullum
Jeremiah Tilford Boyle
Christopher Columbus Augur
Schuyler Hamilton
Jesse Lee Reno
George Washington Morgan
Julius Stahel
John McAllister Schofield
Thomas Jefferson McKean
John Grubb Parke
Zealous Bates Tower
Jefferson Columbus Davis
James Henry Lane
John McAuley Palmer
William High Keim
James Abram Garfield
Lewis Golding Arnold
Frederick Steele
William Scott Ketchum
Abner Doubleday
John Wynn Davidson
Napoleon Jackson Tecumseh Dana
David Bell Birney
Thomas Francis Meagher
Henry Morris Naglee
Andrew Johnson
James Gallant Spears
Eugene Asa Carr
Thomas Alfred Davies

Brigadier-General USA (Staff)

Montgomery Cunningham Meigs (Quartermaster-General)
Henry Knox Craig
Lorenzo Thomas (Adjutant-General)
James Wolfe Ripley (Ordnance)

Confederate Generals

Note: Italics, awaiting confirmation of the commission

General ACSA

Samuel Cooper
Albert Sidney Johnston
Robert Edward Lee
Joseph Eggleston Johnston
Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard

Major-General PACS

Leonidas Polk
Braxton Bragg
Earl Van Dorn
Gustavus Woodson Smith
Theophilus Hunter Holmes
William Joseph Hardee
Benjamin Huger
James Longstreet
John Bankhead Magruder
Mansfield Lovell
Thomas Jonathan Jackson
Edmund Kirby Smith
George Bibb Crittenden
John Clifford Pemberton
Richard Stoddert Ewell
William Wing Loring
Sterling Price

Brigadier-General PACS

Alexander Robert Lawton
Charles Clark
John Buchanan Floyd
Henry Alexander Wise
David Rumph Jones
Henry Hopkins Sibley
John Henry Winder
Richard Caswell Gatlin
Daniel Smith Donelson
Samuel Read Anderson
Benjamin Franklin Cheatham
Daniel Harvey Hill
Jones Mitchell Withers
Richard Heron Anderson
Robert Augustus Toombs
Samuel Jones
Arnold Elzey
William Henry Chase Whiting
Jubal Anderson Early
Isaac Ridgway Trimble
Daniel Ruggles
Roswell Sabine Ripley
Albert Pike
Paul Octave Hébert
Joseph Reid Anderson
Simon Bolivar Buckner
Leroy Pope Walker
Albert Gallatin Blanchard
Gabriel James Rains
James Ewell Brown Stuart
Lafayette McLaws
Thomas Fenwick Drayton
Thomas Carmichael Hindman
Adley Hogan Gladden
John Porter McCown
Lloyd Tilghman
Nathan George Evans
Cadmus Marcellus Wilcox
Robert Emmett Rodes
Richard Taylor
James Heyward Trapier
Samuel Gibbs French
William Henry Carroll
Hugh Weedon Mercer
Humphrey Marshall
John Cabell Breckinridge
Richard Griffith
Alexander Peter Stewart
William Montgomery Gardner
Richard Brooke Garnett
William Mahone
Lawrence O’Bryan Branch
Edward Johnson
Maxcy Gregg
Raleigh Edward Colston
Henry Heth
Johnson Kelly Duncan
Sterling Alexander Martin Wood
John George Walker
John King Jackson
George Edward Pickett
Bushrod Rust Johnson
James Patton Anderson
Howell Cobb
George Wythe Randolph
Joseph Brevard Kershaw
James Ronald Chalmers
Joseph Lewis Hogg
Ambrose Powell Hill
James Johnston Pettigrew
Carter Littlepage Stevenson
Daniel Leadbetter
William Whann Mackall
Charles Sidney Winder
Robert Ransom
John Bell Hood
Daniel Marsh Frost
Winfield Scott Featherston
Thomas James Churchill
William Booth Taliaferro
Albert Rust
Patrick Ronayne Cleburne
Samuel Bell Maxey
Hamilton Prioleau Bee
James Morrison Hawes
George Hume Steuart
William Duncan Smith
James Edwin Slaughter
Charles William Field

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