April 23 In Civil War History

Jim Klag

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May 12, 2019
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On this day in Civil War history
Compiled by Mitchell Werksman and Jim Klag

April 23 Birthdays

1791 - James Buchanan born, Cove Gap near Mercersburg, Pennsylvania.
1813 - Stephen A. Douglas born, Brandon, Rutland County, VT.

April 23 Antebellum Events

1784 - Congress approves the Territorial Ordinance of 1784, governing the Northwest Territories, although a ban on slavery is defeated. Written by Thomas Jefferson, this ordinance would heavily influence the Ordinance of 1787 (Northwest Ordinance). The 1784 ordinance is never put into effect.
1846 - Congress authorizes the termination of the agreement with Great Britain on the Oregon Territory.
1858 - In an attempt to force the acceptance of the Lecompton (Kansas) Constitution, a joint committee of Congress drafts the English Bill.
April 23, 1860-May 3, 1860 - The Democratic National Convention, meeting in Charleston, South Carolina, cannot agree on a nominee. The only thing they can agree on is to continue the debate in Baltimore the next month.

Tuesday April 23 1861
  • Milledge Luke Bonham, CSA, is appointed Brig. Gen.
  • George Brinton McClellan, U.S.A., is appointed Maj. Gen.
  • Fort Smith, AR, is seized by the Arkansas state troops.
  • Brig. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler, USA, offers to use US troops in co-operation with the Governor of Maryland to repress an apprehended slave insurrection there.
  • Col. Carlos A. Waite, USA, commanding the Dept. of Texas, and his staff officers, are made prisoners of war at San Antonio, along with a company of the 8th US Infantry.
  • Maj. Gen. Robert E. Lee, VA Volunteers is assigned to the command of the military and naval forces in the Confederate State of Virginia.
  • Maj. Gen. Walter Gwynn, VA Volunteers, is assigned to the command of the Virginia state forces in and about Norfolk, VA.
  • Maj. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, VA Volunteers, is assigned to the command of the Virginia state forces in and about Richmond, VA.
Wednesday April 23 1862
  • Skirmish at Bridgeport, AL.
  • Federal forces successfully blockade the Chesapeake and Albemarle Canal, NC.
  • Skirmish at Grass Lick, between Lost River and Cacapon, WV, with guerrillas.
Thursday April 23 1863
  • Skirmishes at Dickson Station, Tuscumbia, Florence, and Leighton, AL.
  • Skirmish near Creek Head, KY.
  • Skirmish at Independence, MO.
  • Skirmish on the Shelbyville Pike, TN.
  • Affair at Chuckatuck, near Suffolk, VA.
Saturday April 23 1864
  • William Henry Fitzhugh Lee, C.S.A., is appointed Maj. Gen.
  • James Chesnut, Jr., is appointed Brig. Gen.
  • The Confederate demonstration on Camden, AR, the Camden (AR) Campaign.
  • Affair at Swan Lake, AR, the Camden (AR) Campaign.
  • Confederate surprise attack on the Union pickets at Nickajack Trace, GA, killing, wounding and capturing the Yankees.
  • Engagement at Monett's Ferry, or Cane River Crossing, and Cloutersville, LA, the Red River (LA) Campaign.
  • Skirmish at Independence, MO.
  • Maj. Gen. Frank P. Blair, Jr, USA, is assigned to the command of the 17th US Army Corps, TN.
  • Affair near Hunter's Mills, Fairfax County, VA, which is only about 20 miles from Washington, DC, with Lieut. Col. John S. Mosby, CSA, and his Partisan Rangers.
Sunday April 23 1865
  • Brig. Gen. James Dearing, CSA, is the last of the Confederate General to die from wounds received in action, from a pistol duel with a Federal Bvt. Brig. Gen. Theodore Read, USA, on Apr 6, dying in a hospital at Lynchburg, VA.
  • Action at Munford's Station, AL, with Maj. Gen. James H.Wilson, USA.
  • Skirmish with guerrillas on the Snake Creek, the Arizona Territory.
  • Affair near Fort Zarah, KS, as the Yankees come across 5 Mexicans murdered by hostile Indians, with 4 having been scalped.
  • Action at Hendersonville, NC, with Maj. Gen. George Stoneman, USA, and his Union Cavalry.
  • Federal scout from Pulaski,TN, to Rogersville, AL. (Apr 23-26)
  • Federal expedition from Burkeville and Petersburg to Danville and South Boston, VA, as Maj. Gen. Horatio G. Wright, USA, commanding the 6th US Army Corps and his cavalry under Bvt. Maj. Gen. Wesley Merritt, USA, capture 500 prisoners, the few remaining Confederate railroad locomotives, cannons, and other military stores. (Apr 23-29)
  • The Headquarters of the Middle Military Division is transferred from Winchester, VA, to Washington, DC, closing the events taking place in the Shenandoah Valley, VA.
April 23 Deaths

1899 - Dandridge McRae, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), dies at 69 in Searcy, Arkansas