Sunday, September 28

This week in the Civil War: Sept. 28, 1864

Quiet prevails at Petersburg, Virginia

The Associated Press reported on Sept. 28, 1864, 150 years ago during the Civil War, that relative calm prevailed for a few days amid a longstanding Union siege at Petersburg, Virginia, not far from the Confederate capital of Richmond. “Quiet still prevails in front of Petersburg, broken only by the usual picket firing and occasional artillery duels, the effect of which is to consume a large quantity of powder.” The AP dispatch added that heavy firing could still be heard in bursts from the area around the James River and there were reports of large groups of Confederate cavalry on the move, their war aims unclear. The Union besieged Petersburg as crucial Confederate supply point 25 miles to the south of Richmond. The siege would drag on nearly until the end of the war before Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant would cut through and hasten the end of the war in 1865.


Sunday, September 21

This week in the Civil War: Sept. 21, 1864

More fighting in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley

Confederates freshly defeated at the Third Battle of Winchester, Virginia, erected defensive works at Fisher’s Hill in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia this week 150 years ago in the Civil War. A smaller battle was fought Sept. 21-22, 1864, with the Union taking the offensive against Southern cavalry before crashing through Southern infantry lines. Confederate Jubal A. Early was forced to retreat with his troops southward down the Shenandoah Valley. Meanwhile, news of the Union victory at Winchester reached Northern troops, eliciting cheers. The Associated Press reported on Sept. 20, 1864, that there was a raucous celebration among Union troops of the Army of the Potomac when they got word of developments in Winchester. AP reported: “The news of the victory in the Valley was read to the troops along the lines this afternoon, and was received with unbounded enthusiasm and repeated cheering. A salute of one hundred shotted guns will be fired tomorrow at daylight, in honor of the victory.” AP added that Confederate desertion appeared on the rise. It added that some Confederate deserters told had they had recently obtained fresh beef from livestock seized in the countryside. The report also said some rebel pickets close to Union forces were offering to trade their fresh beef for Union coffee and other supplies.


Sunday, September 14

This week in the Civil War: Sept. 14, 1864

Third Battle of Winchester, Virginia

Confederate units often had ranged freely through the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia but fought a bruising fight against Union forces at Winchester in that state 150 years ago this week in the Civil War. Union forces under Philip Sheridan and Confederates led by Jubal A. Early saw thousands of casualties in the Third Battle of Winchester on Sept. 19, 1864. Fierce fighting ended with a Union victory and marked the beginning of the decline of the Confederate threat along the strategic valley corridor slanting almost south to north alongside mountain ridges. Elsewhere in Virginia, The Associated Press reported in a dispatch dated Sept. 14, 1864 that Robert E. Lee’s Confederate army was reportedly being reinforced in Virginia. “It is stated by deserters that Lee’s army has been strengthened by reinforcements from various points and by large numbers of conscripts.” AP also reported that shelling continued around Petersburg, Va., this week 150 years ago in the civil war: “The Confederates have kept up a brisk artillery firing ... The result of is that five or six Federal soldiers are brought into the hospital every day.”


Saturday, September 13

The Book of Life

20th Century Fox Animation
I don't know about you, but Clementine and I are muy excited about the upcoming moving picture, The Book of Life.

The Book of Life is the journey of Manolo, a young man who is torn between fulfilling the expectations of his family and following his heart. Before choosing which path to follow, he embarks on an incredible adventure that spans three fantastical worlds where he must face his greatest fears.

The Book of Life is scheduled to be released October 17 - just in time for Halloween and Día de Muertos.

Is The Book of Life promoted in your area, or is it primarily in the Southwest?

Sunday, September 7

This week in the Civil War: Sept. 7, 1864

Atlanta's Capture: morale boost for the North

The Union's capture of Atlanta, one of the most important of Southern cities, immediately buoyed President Abraham Lincoln's re-election prospects — 150 years ago in the Civil War. Lincoln would ultimately be returned to office by voters with an ample victory. A North wearied by long years of grinding warfare suddenly had major news to rejoice over — even as the Confederacy and many in the South despaired. From the fall of Atlanta until the end of the war would just be a matter of months of heavy fighting to follow. Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, days after his forces had entered the city, ordered its civilians to evacuate. Meanwhile, newspapers such as the Philadelphia Inquirer in the North reported Sherman's forces were still "in pursuit" of the fleeing Confederates. The Associated Press reported from Virginia on Sept. 9, 1864, that some Confederate forces in their defense works there had begun cheering after hearing a false rumor spread that Atlanta had been retaken." The AP report said those overly optimistic and mistaken Southern soldiers "were very jubilant for a time, indulging in loud cheering."