On August 1st,
formally recognized the Confederate States of . America
Looking to fund the war effort, the U.S. Congress on August 2, passed the first federal income tax. There was only one rate, 3% on earnings greater than $800.
On August 3rd, a federal fleet bombarded
. Galveston, TX
On August 4th, the Confederates launched an attack aimed at recapturing
Rebels under John C. Breckinridge approached
the city under the cover of darkness, but lost the element of surprise when his
troops were detected by Union sentries.
However, the main body of defending troops had been out of training camp
less than two weeks and the Rebels pushed the Union line back all the way
through town. The Union commander,
Thomas Williams, was killed and his relief, Col Thomas Cahill led a retreat
back to prepared defensive positions south of town under the protection of the
Yankee fleet. The Confederate ironclad
CSS Arkansas suffered engine failure north of the city, so her guns were not available
to support Breckinridge, so he withdrew.
Union troops, concerned for the safety of Baton
Rouge, LA. New
Orleans, evacuated , but returned in the autumn. Baton
On August 5th, Union troops under Hooker retook Malvern Hill, but withdrew then next day. Also on the 5th, USS Vincennes in a naval engagement at
ended the Rebel blockade of that area. Fernandina, FL
On August 8th, one of the ugliest battles of the war was fought in
Union cavalry troops under John McNeill had
been pursuing a Confederate force under Joseph Porter, who had been recruiting
in the area. He had put together a
brigade-size force, but the troops were raw and ill-equipped. McNeill attacked the town, where the enemy
soldiers were hiding in various buildings and within the crop-laden
fields. A detachment of cavalry
courageously rode around the square trying to draw fire and thus reveal the
Rebel positions, which cost the lives of two Union troopers. Having sited the positions, McNeill deployed
his artillery and began a march in line of battle through the town. The cannon fire demoralized the southerners. Despite returning heavy and accurate fire,
the Rebels were forced to retreat. Union
troops secured the town. Then things
turned ugly. A 60-yo farmer with two
sons fighting for the north was shot down in cold blood. 15 captured Rebel soldiers were discovered to
have violated their parole and were court-martialed and executed. A rebel officer, Frisby McCullogh, despite
wearing a regular uniform and carrying papers authorizing him to recruit for
the south, was nonetheless convicted of being a “bushwacker,” or renegade, and was
August 9th saw the battle of
known as Slaughter Mountain by the South, fought in It was the first combat action of the Culpeper County, VA. Northern Virginia campaign. Nathaniel Banks led a Union force in an
attack against Stonewall Jackson, who was in the area to protect central from Union
capture. Rebel troops were nearly driven
from the field early, but mounted a counterattack that broke the Union lines
and secured the victory. Virginia
On the 13th, Robert E. Lee prepared to move his army north to engage the Union force under John Pope.
The next day, General Halleck, the General in Chief of the Union Army, ordered McClellan to withdraw from the
Also on the 14th, Martial Law was declared in
St. Louis, MO due to
strong pro-secession sentiment that had surged throughout the state after the
Confederate victory at ’s
On the 16th, a Rebel force under Carter Stevenson were poised in the critical Cumberland Gap in
Tennessee. Union General
Bull Nelson takes command of troops in . Kentucky
On that same day, McClellan completed the withdrawal of his troops from the
Peninsula, only to see most of
his army reassigned to John Pope.
On August 17th, J.E.B. Stuart assumes command of the cavalry for the Army of Northern Virginia.
Confederate General Braxton Bragg crossed the Tennessee River at
on the 21st. Chattanooga
General Benjamin Butler authorized the enlistment of “Free Negroes” on the 22nd.
On August 26th, Confederate forces under Fitzhugh Lee captured the rail depot in
initiating a series of events that would culminate in the Second Battle of
Between August 25th and 27th, a series of battles, known as Kettle Run, Bristoe Station, and Union Mills were fought as Stonewall Jackson passed the Union Flank through Thoroughfare Gap, striking the Orange and Alexandria Railroad at Bristoe Station, then headed for the massive Union supply depot at Manassas Junction. Union General Pope was surprised by this turn of events and withdrew from his defensive line along the
. Rappahannock River
routed a Union force at Union Mills while Ewell fought a rearguard action at
Kettle run. After dark, Jackson Jackson
marched his Corps north to the Bull Run
battlefield, digging in behind an unfinished railroad grade.
On August 28th, Rebel forces under Braxton Bragg left
with Kirby Smith. Chattanooga
On that same day, Lee and James Longstreet arrive at
On August 29th, one of the pivotal battles of the early part of the war was fought over the same ground at
that saw the first major fight in
1861. After a wide-ranging flanking
march, Stonewall Jackson took up defensive positions along Stony Ridge. Pope, convinced he had trapped Manassas Jackson, and concentrated the majority of his army in a
series of attacks toward . On the 30th, Longstreet arrived
after punching through light resistance at Thoroughfare Gap, arrived and took
up a position on the flank of Pope’s line of advance. Pope, unaware of Longstreet’s arrival,
renewed his attacks on Jackon’s position.
In the largest mass attack of the war, Longstreet struck Pope’s flank
with some 28,000 troops. Pope’s flank
was crushed and was forced back to Jackson Bull Run. If not for an effective Union rearguard
defense of the retreating Army, the Army of the Potomac
might have been completely destroyed.
Coupled with the win at Manassas, a Confederate force under Kirby Smith scored a stunning victory against Bull Nelson at Richmond, KY between the 29th and 30th. Smith, along with a parallel force under Braxton Bragg were moving to reassume Confederate control of
Smith’s troops encountered lead elements of Nelson’s Yankees near Kentucky . The first day’s action was inconclusive, but
the next day, Smith ordered the attack renewed.
After an artillery duel, Smith forces attacked the Richmond Union
right, forcing them to retreat into Rogersville. They made a futile stand there, and Nelson
attempted another stand in a cemetery, but was routed. Nelson managed to escape, but some 4,300 of
his men were not so fortunate, and were made prisoners of war.