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Honorable Mentions to My Top Ten List of Civil War Battles

After posting my Top Ten List I got to thinking about the second tier of battles that merit consideration for their contributions.

Here are my Honorable Mentions. (You may well have others and mine are not listed in any order of significance)

Ft Sumter-1861. This ignition spark of the war must be considered for its incindiary role.

Olustee, Florida. This battle protected Tallahassee, the state capital from Union control for the entire war. After Vicksburg fell, Florida became the prime supplier for the Confederacy of beef, pork and salt.

Perryville, KY. This battle secured Kentucky for the Union for the balance of the conflict. Having achieved a tactical victory Bragg abandoned his position and left the state.

Chattanooga, Tennessee. The breaking of the Confederate siege marked the beginning of the end for Atlanta.

Camp Jackson, Missouri. This small armed confrontation generated few casualties but secured the Federal Arsenal and Gold Repository in St Louis for the Union. This also tied the state to the Union until confirmed at Pea Ridge.

The Battle of Hampton Roads, Virginia. Introduced the world to the era of armored ships. The Union victory also relieved the East Coast of the threat of bombardment by the feared Confederate warship CSS Virginia.

Bentonville, NC. Convinced General Joe Johnston of the futility of continued resistance and propelled him to surrender his army at Bennett Place.

Battle of Point Royal, SC. Privided the Unon with a formidable coaling and logistical base midway along the Confederate coast and made success of the blockade feasible

Battles of Cold Harbor and Kennesaw Mountain, These battles convinced Generals Grant and Sherman of the extreme cost of frontal assaults against dug in forces and they attempted to avoid attacking into the teeth of the enemy whenever possible for the balance of the war.

Cedar Creek, Virginia. The defeat and destruction of Early’s Confederates ended the ability of the Shenandoah Valley to supply Gen. Lee’s army with food and forage. It also ended any future threat by a Confederate force on Washington, DC.

Sinking of the Housatonic in Charleston Harbor. When the CSS Hunley sank the Union blockader while submerged it opened another era to the world. Submarine warfare thereafter has grown to the global level we see today.


Quiz Questions for the St Louis Roundtable December Meeting

St. Louis Civil War Roundtable
November-December 2014

Since it is the Holiday Meeting I thought I’d ask some whimsical train questions…you know like under the tree.

1. What railroad was referred to as “Mr. Lincoln’s Railroad”?

2. What two railroads crossed at Corinth, Mississippi and were the ultimate objective of Grant’s force encamped at Shiloh?

3. What was the use of a railroad “wye”?

4. What railroad ran south from St. Louis to the Arcadia Valley?

5. When the Jefferson Davis family were forced to leave their home in Richmond, Mrs Davis packed up all the childrens toys except one which she deliberately left. What was it?

6. What current professional sports team has a name and logo that has Civil War

7. What distinction do Union chaplains Francis B. Hall, John M. Whitehead, James Hill,
and Milton L. Haney have in common?

8. What Union officer refused promotion to Brigadier General but served with distinction as head of the Bureau of Military Railroads from April 1862 to September 1863? His work impressed President Lincoln. He was famous for requiring and that rolling stock should be emptied and returned promptly to enable their re-use as transport.

9. The town of Wadsworth, Ohio erected a monument to a civilian boy who carried water to thirsty soldiers in what unusual vessel?

10. After the Battle of Fredericksburg the Army of Northern Virginia encamped for the winter and General “Stonewall Jackson” enjoyed the company of a new little friend during the holidays. Who was she?

copyright© 2014 John A. Nischwitz


My “Top Ten” Most Significant CW Battles

My oldest granddaughter is taking an AP American History course at Hamilton High School in Chandler, AZ and she took my book “Collections of a Civil War Trivia Junkie” to class and the Ms Sarah Burgess, her teacher, asked her about my opinion of the most important battle. So that got me to thinking…always dangerous…what are my personal big ten. So here goes.

No. 1. Antietam. Not a great tactical effort for the Union, but it gave President Lincoln the justification for the Emancipation Proclamation. This kept the European countries from intervening on the Confederate side.

No. 2 Atlanta. A great tactical accomplishment that turned the political tide in favor of Lincoln’s re-election. Had Lincoln not won the 1864 election the South may have gained their independence through the political process.

No. 3 Vicksburg. It clearly gave total control of the Mississippi River to the Union and denied the Confederacy the supply sources for hogs, cattle, corn, salt and other critical supplies including lead.

No. 4 New Orleans. This early victory denied the South its largest export port and completed the blockade around the entire coast.

No. 5 Ft. Donelson. Grant secured the interior water routes down as far as Alabama and secured footing for the capture of Nashville, the capital of Tennessee.

The above are solid in my opinion in the order listed. the next five may see some shuffling depending on other considerations.

No. 6 Pea Ridge. Secured Missouri for the Union once and for all. Although Missouri is not often on the radar it has strategic implications that were clearly recognized by the Lincoln Administration.

No. 7 Ft Fisher. The capture of this strategic port sealed the fate of the Army of Northern Virginia.

No. 8. Chancellorsville. This great battle became a pyrric victory when Jackson was lost. His aggressive performance could have been the margin of victory for Lee at Gettysburg.

No. 9 Franklin-Nashville. The two battles doomed the largest and most powerful army of the Confederacy, The Army of Tennessee was literally destroyed as a combat force.

No. 10 Gettysburg. Must be included because of its size but I am always plagued by the question of what would Lee have done had he gained a battlefield victory? The Union force was so much larger and capable of reconstituting itself but Lee had no such ability. He might have found himself further isolated and possible captured or destroyed as happened to Hood at Nashville.

Well those are mine. I will gladly consider other opinions.
It is a very contraversial listing.

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