Countdown to the Civil War: April 5, 1861

The 1st Florida Infantry regiment was mustered into the Confederate services at Chattahoochee, Florida.  Their enlistment was for twelve months.

Union troops were evacuated from Fort Quitman in Texas.

Captain Mercer was given command of the steamers Powhatan, Pawnee, Pocahantas and Harriet Lane and ordered to provide assistance to Fox who had the task of delivering supplies to the besieged Fort Sumter. A further order directed a rendezvous off Charleston Bar on the 11th, to await a transport of troops and stores on the 11th.

However, there had been a conflict of communication in this instance. In order to fulfill the April 11th directive, all four steamships should have joined Mercer at the appointed spot. But Commander Gillis of the Pawahatan had earlier been ordered the aid of Fort Pickens in Florida, and by the time Lincoln directed Secretary Seward to countermand those orders, it was too late. Thus the president was trying to resolve this problem, while also seeking to maintain control of Fort Sumter.

Rachel Norcross’s diary, April 5, 1861:

I don’t believe Stuart knows much about farming. He shows no interest in planting. The weather has improved and surely the soil will dry out enough in the next week or so to begin plowing.  Of course, I’m no farmer either, but I worry that the seed we bought last fall will rot in the barn.

Published in: on April 5, 2011 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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