Tag Archives: Gideon Welles

Halleck: The Art of Pretending to Say Something or Nothing

I came across a dispatch from Henry Halleck to U.S. Grant the other day that serves as a nearly perfect Halleckism. By early April 1863, Grant was undertaking yet another of his attempts at Vicksburg, this time up the Yazoo … Continue reading

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What If. . .Vicksburg Had Fallen in July ’62?

In his memoirs, Admiral David D. Porter recollected a November 1861 meeting with President Lincoln and navy secretary Gideon Welles in which—he says—he suggested the plan to seize New Orleans from the sea. Lincoln liked the idea and added: “while … Continue reading

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The Battle of Memphis and Its Fallen Federal Leader

One of the most consequential battles of the war—and one of the shortest—took place on June 6, 1862: the battle of Memphis. Federals suffered only a single casualty, Col. Charles Ellet, Jr., the man most responsible for the victory in … Continue reading

Posted in 160th Anniversary, Battles, Civilian, Leadership--Federal, Navies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The Most Frightened Man and the Ironclads

One hundred and sixty years ago yesterday, March 8, 1862, a frustrated commander in chief convened another council of war to prod Major General George B. McClellan into action. McClellan proposed to transport the Army of the Potomac down the … Continue reading

Posted in 160th Anniversary, Battles, Emerging Civil War, Leadership--Federal, Lincoln, Navies | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Question of the Week: 11/8-11/14/2021

Henry Halleck was so worried about sullying his reputation as “Old Brains” that he utterly failed to rise to the occasion when he became general in chief of the army. He became, I think, the ultimate “CYA” man. Secretary of … Continue reading

Posted in Personalities, Question of the Week | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Fallen Leaders: Admiral Andrew H. Foote – Another Farragut?

February 6, 1862, midday: Advance cavalry elements of Brig. Gen. U. S. Grant’s 17,000-man force broke from the woods fronting the Confederate fort they intended to attack and were startled to observe the Stars and Stripes flying from the flagpole. … Continue reading

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Seven “Persons of Importance”

In the early morning hours of May 17, 1865, off the far southwestern cape of mainland Florida, pickets stationed there by Union General John Newton intercepted a small vessel bound for Cuba. That promontory, jutting out into the Gulf of … Continue reading

Posted in Civilian, Leadership--Confederate, Leadership--Federal, Navies, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The Emergency Ironclads

In late summer 1861, the United States Navy initiated a crash program to build their first ironclad warships, leading directly to the titanic clash between the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia (ex USS Merrimack) in Hampton Roads on March … Continue reading

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The Superlatives of New Orleans 1862

Today at 3 AM, a Federal fleet under Flag Officer David G. Farragut began to run Forts Jackson and St. Philip, located south of New Orleans. He passed the forts with minimal damage, and in a running fight his ships … Continue reading

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The Mississippi River Squadron and the “Great Artery of America” (Part 1)

Emerging Civil War welcomes back guest author Kristen M. Pawlak On June 10, 1862, mere months before the Army of the Tennessee launched its initial operations against the Confederate fortress at Vicksburg, Mississippi, newly-promoted Major General William T. Sherman penned … Continue reading

Posted in Campaigns, Navies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments