Almanac History - April 1862

April 1st, 1862

The Federal Shenandoah forces are pushing toward General Jackson's position near Woodstock and Edenburg, Virginia. In the Peninsular Campaign, General McClellan moves 12 divisions of the Army of the Potomac to supplement General John Wool's force of 12,000 men at Fort Monroe.

April 2nd, 1862

General A. S. Johnston's Confederates aim for Shiloh or Pittsburgh Landing in Tennessee as they move from the Federal position from Corinth, Mississippi.

April 3rd, 1862

Lincoln is gravely concerned about the defense of the nation's capital. He learns that McClellan has arranged to distribute troops so as to provide for fewer than 20,000 men in the Washington area.

April 4th, 1862

The Confederate line along the peninsula stretches along an eight-mile front, but the prospects for the South are not good as McClellan proceeds to bear down on Yorktown with troops greatly outnumbering the Southern forces - about 100,000 Federals to Johnston's 17,000.

April 5th, 1862

Johnston's troops continue to gather reinforcements for the imminent conflict at Yorktown, but it is becoming increasingly obvious that this is a futile effort. In the western theater, General Grant's troops appear to be relatively unaware of the Confederate troops bearing down on their position at Shiloh in Tennessee.

April 6th, 1862

The battle at Shiloh, Tennessee is underway. General Grant's troops fall back after several hours, despite the fierce defense of their position at the Hornet's Nest. General Johnston is killed and General Beauregard assumes command of the Confederate forces. Losses in the Battle of Shiloh total 13, 047 for the North and 10,694 for the South.

April 7th, 1862

The Federal gunboats Carondolet and Pittsburgh run the Confederate installations at Island Number Ten in the Mississippi River near New Madrid, Missouri.

April 10th, 1862

Fort Pulaski in the Savannah, Georgia harbor readies itself for a Federal attack. The attack begins around 8:00 AM and continues throughout the night. 360 Confederates are taken prisoner and one soldier from each side is killed.

April 11th, 1862

In a vote of 93 - 39, the House of Representatives passes a bill calling for the gradual abolition of slavery in Washington.

April 12th, 1862

James Andrews, a spy for the Union, leads a group of 21 men through the Confederate lines in order to seize the Western and Atlantic RR locomotive, theGeneral. They head northward pursued by Confederates in the locomotiveTexas. The are finally caught and eventually executed, with the exception of 14 who are imprisoned.

April 13th, 1862

General David Hunter proclaims Fort Pulaski, Georgia a "free area" providing for the emancipation of all slaves in the vicinity.

April 16th, 1862

In the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis approves a Congressional proposal that will require military draft in the Confederate states. While necessary, the law is at variance with the generally accepted traditions embracing states' rights and rugged individualism endorsed by many in the Confederacy.

April 17th, 1862

Confederates focus their attention on the increase in Federal military strength at Ship Island, Mississippi. Their aim, of course, is to occupy New Orleans.

April 18th, 1862

Union troops under General McDowell occupy Falmouth, Virginia and at Yorktown, a Confederate attack on Union troops is unsuccessful.

April 23rd, 1862

Flag Officer David Farragut orders the Federal fleet on the Mississippi River to move past Forts Jackson and St. Philip...heading onward toward its ultimate goal of New Orleans.

April 24th, 1862

Farragut's fleet slips past the Confederate forts on the Mississippi despite valiant attempts to prevent this.

April 25th, 1862

Farragut's forces seize New Orleans. There is little resistance to the takeover since Confederate General Mansfield Lovell and his 4000 troops have already withdrawn leaving the city defenseless.

April 27th, 1862

After the capture of New Orleans, several Confederate forts surrender to the Union: Livington, Quitman, Pike and Wood. The following day Forts Jackson and St. Philip surrender. General Butler arrives with troops to oversee the management of the captured city.

April 28th, 1862

In Mississippi, General Halleck prepares to move on General Beauregard's position at Corinth.

April 29th, 1862

General Halleck continues to ready his force of over 100,000 troops and skirmishing breaks out at Cumberland Gap, Kentucky and near Bridgeport, Alabama.