Almanac History - October 1864

October 1st, 1864

The fighting continues around Peebles' Farm during the Siege of Petersburg as Union troops try to extend their lines to encircle Petersburg. Meanwhile, in the Valley, General Sheridan prepares to move his army north to Cedar Creek from his present position in Harrisonburg. Two small engagements are fought in southwest Virginia at Clinch Mountain and Laurel Creek Gap in Tennessee.

October 2nd, 1864

Confederate President Davis gives General Beauregard command of the two armies in the west under Hood and Richard Taylor. In the Valley, skirmishing takes place between Jubal Early's army and Sheridan's at Mount Crawford and Bridgewater.

October 3rd, 1864

The Army of the Tennessee continues to disrupt Sherman's supply lines forcing him to send more troops from Atlanta to protect his supply trains. Confederate cavalry attack Sheridan's army near Harrisonburg, VA.

October 4th, 1864

After more engagements between the Union and Federal forces in Georgia, Sherman moves his headquarters to Kennesaw Mountain to try to attain a better position against Hood's army. Raiders engage Federal forces at Richwoods, Missouri.

October 5th, 1864

Jefferson Davis delivers a speech in Augusta, Georgia in which he attempts to rekindle the fire of the Southern people by assuring them of his personal confidence in the South's ability to drive the aggressor from its territory. On this same day, Confederate troops are repulsed after attaching a Federal position at Allatoona, Georgia. Federal losses number 706; confederate losses 799.

October 6th, 1864

The Confederate Army refuses to give up in the Valley Campaign although they have been badly beaten in recent weeks. They attack General George Custer's cavalry at Brooks Gap near Fishers Hill, but Custer's troops successfully ward off the attack.

October 7th, 1864

In the Petersburg campaign, the Confederates north of Richmond try to push back Federal troops and the two sides clash on the roads leading to Darbyville and New Market. Once again, the Southerners are forced to retreat. Meanwhile, Sheridan's cavalry continues its work destroying crops and rounding up livestock in the Shenandoah Valley. So far, they have burned 2000 barns filled with wheat, hay and farm implements, destroyed in excess of 70 flour mills, driven off 4000 head of livestock and slaughtered over 3000 sheep to feed the army.

October 8th, 1864

Union and Confederate cavalry skirmish at Toms Brook and in the Luray Valley.

October 9th, 1864

Sheridan, after suffering several Confederate cavalry attacks, turns his men against the Southern horsemen. The Confederates flee up the Valley after an engagement in which they lose 300 prisoners and suffer another 57 casualties.

October 10th, 1864

Hood's and Sherman's men skirmish near Rome, Georgia as the Confederate army continues to move westward. In the meantime, Federals attempt to surprise General Forrest at Eastport, Mississippi but the Confederates are able to disable the Union vessels and the Northern troops are left stranded.

October 11th, 1864

Federal and Southern troops clash along the road between Atlanta and Flat Creek. To the north, Federal cavalry raid Fort Donelson, the site of a black recruiting station, but are driven off by Union soldiers.

October 12th, 1864

Rear Admiral David Porter assumes command of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron relieving acting Rear Admiral Samuel P. Lee. Porter earned his reputation for the role he played at New Orleans and with Grant at Forts Henry and Donelson and at Vicksburg.

October 13th, 1864

Sheridan withdraws to the Cedar Creek area and Jubal Early moves back to his old position at Fishers Hill. In northern Virginia Mosby and his band of raiders derail a passenger train near Kerneyville and rob two Federal paymasters on board making off with nearly $173,000.

October 14th, 1864

Sporadic fighting continues as Sheridan's army and Early's army clash at Cedar Creek. In Missouri Sterling Price calls on the civilian population to help him redeem the state. His men are engaged near Glasgow.

October 15th, 1864

Part of Pierce's cavalry known as Shelby's Iron Brigade captures the town of Glasgow, Missouri. This forces the surrender of more than 400 Federals Under Colonel Chester Harding Jr's command.

October 16th, 1864

Sheridan leaves his army at Cedar Creek while he attends a conference with President Lincoln and General Grant on the military situation in the Shenandoah Valley. In Missouri, Price and his men reach the town of Ridgely and occupy it as they continue to move north along the Missouri River.

October 17th, 1864

General Beauregard assumes command of the Confederate western armies east of the Mississippi. General Hood and his army move toward Gadsden in Alabama, relinquishing their attacks on Sherman's supply lines.

October 18th, 1864

In the eastern theater, General Jubal Early and his staff plan an all-out attack on the Federal forces at Cedar Creek to be launched early on the morning of the 19th.

October 19th, 1864

Concealed by Three To Mountain and early mornig fog, the three divisions of Early's corps attack the left flank of the Union army under command of General George Crook. The Federals are taken completely off guard and the flank falls back in disarray . Sheridan, on his way back from a Washington conference, hears the sounds of battle and meets streams of stragglers retreating down the Valley Pike as he rides toward Cedar Creek. Meanwhile, the Confederate charge comes to a halt as soldiers fall out to loot the enemy's camp. At four in the afternoon, the Union forces counterattack, forcing the Confederate army to flee in disorganized retreat. The battle is decisive for the Union who have, at this point, put an end to the Confederates' last major threat in the Shenandoah Valley.

October 20th, 1864

President Lincoln formally establishes Thanksgiving as a national holiday.

October 21st, 1864

In the Trans-Mississippi region, there is more fighting between Federals and advancing Confederate troops under Sterling Price at the Little Blue River.

October 22nd, 1864

General Hood's army is in Gadsden, Alabama, preparing to go to Guntersville and from there on to Tennessee. General Sherman's troops are in Gaylesville, Alabama, just west of Rome, Georgia. From here, the Union general feels hecan protect both Chattanooga and Atlanta from Confederate threat.

October 23rd, 1864

Shelby's cavalry strikes at General Curtis's troops near Westport, Missouri. The Federals check this assault and launch a powerful counterattack. The Battle of Westport, involving some 20,000 Federal troops and over 8000 Confederates, results in about 1500 casualties for each side and marks the last serious threat to Union control of Missouri.

October 24th, 1864

Sterling Price and his forces retreat south along the border between Kansas and Missouri with a heavy cargo of plunder which his men have capture in their month-long raid through Missouri.

October 25th, 1864

Federal cavalry catch up with Price's retreating columns at Marais des Cygnes, Kansas. In the fight that ensures, they capture two Confederate general (including John Marmaduke), four colonels and 1000 men. The also take ten pieces of artillery.

October 26th, 1864

Union troops ambush and kill the notorious "Bloody" Bill Anderson near Richmond, Missouri. Anderson once rode with William Quantrill and his raiders.

October 27th, 1864

As the siege of Petersburg continues, Grant orders an assault on the enemy positions to gain control of the Boydton Road and Southside Railroad. General Ambrose Hill's strong defense, however, frustrates the Union attempt. The assault involved more than 40,000 Union troops and 20,000 Southerners, with the former suffering 1194 killed or wounded and 564 missing. There are no statistic available for Confederate losses.

October 28th, 1864

In the Trans-Mississippi region, troops under General Samuel Curtis again catch up with Price's fleeing troops and attack the Confederates at Newtonia, Missouri. Federal reinforcements arrive in good time and again force Price to withdraw.

October 29th, 1864

General Nathan Bedford Forrest and his men capture the steamer Mazeppa while Hood still waits for Forrest to join his army so he can launch his invasion into Tennessee.

October 30th, 1864

The Army of Tennessee moves into Tuscombia, Alabama. Forrest continues to operate against Federal ships and captures two transport vessels and the gunboat Undine. Meanwhile Federal troops move from Chattanooga to Pulaski, Tennessee as General George Thomas prepares to meet an invasion into Tennessee.

October 31st, 1864

Nevada enters the Union as the 36th state. Lincoln is hoping that Nevada, which is felt to be safely Republican, will help solidify his re-election. Although reassured by elections held earlier in the month in Pennsylvania. Ohio and Indiana, Lincoln still believes the Presidential election will be very close.