I've fallen behind again in my postings about the Civil War in Memphis 150 years ago. But here's the news from last week:
n recognition of the Civil War Sesquicentennial, “ War-Era Memories” features excerpts from The Memphis Daily Appeal of 150 years ago. The Appeal is publishing from Jackson, Miss. Perspective from our staff is in italics.
Apr. 15, 1863
Memphis Items / Bold Theft — The “Argus” notices the fact that some contemptible thief entered the church yard of St. Mary’s church on Poplar Street and ran off a favorite cow belonging to Bishop Oley. This one amused me because they were so indignant. How would they have reacted if they had been around a couple of hears ago, when some vandals knocked the head off the virgin Mary in that same church yard?
Apr. 17, 1863
Yankees came out on the Hollow Ford Road from Memphis toward Hernando yesterday, but Col. Faulkner advanced and promptly stopped them.
Movements at Vicksburg — Five Gunboats Pass Down / One Gunboat Burned and Two Disabled — The Federal fleet made another important movemeCivilnt on the river last night. Eight gunboats were sighted approaching the city, and everything was put in readiness to receive them ... A fire from the batteries was immediately opened, which was replied to by the vessels with a terrific fire of grape and canister. Five of the boats succeeded in running the gauntlet. (For more, read the “New York Times” account, “Moonless on the Mississippi,” from the “Disunion” series at http://nyti.ms/17GENPm).
Apr. 18, 1863
Latest by Telegraph — The suppression of the Memphis papers is attributed to the republication of an article from the “Cincinnati Commercial” censuring General Grant. The Federal cavalry at Memphis is being increased for the purpose, it is supposed, of operating in Northern Mississippi.
Letter from Richmond — I have the best reasons for believing that a battle will be fought on the line of the Rappahannock in less than three days’ time ... The month of April will be memorable in history. DIXIE (The Appeal’s Virginia correspondent was right about an imminent battle, although he was wrong on the timing. The Battle of Chancellorsville was fought from April 30 to May 6 and resulted in the death of one of the South’s greatest fighters, “Stonewall” Jackson.)
Apr. 20, 1863
Letter from Vicksburg — It is now reliably ascertained that the late movement of Gen. Grant was a feint, for the purpose of inducing the Confederates to reduce their forces here by sending the troops to points threatened with more imminent danger. I have it also from reliable authority that the reported arrival in Memphis of the greater part of Grant’s army was a ruse, got up for the same purpose of misleading and deceiving our authorities here. Instead of going to Memphis and on up the river, the troops were simply removed from the peninsula opposite Vicksburg to Milliken’s Bend, a distance of not more than twenty miles, and the reinforcements are on the way down, instead of up the river.