Fort Leavenworth is a United States Army installation located in Leavenworth County, Kansas, in the city of Leavenworth since it was annexed on April 12, 1977, in the northeast part of the state. Built in 1827, it is the oldest active United States Army post west of Washington, D. C. and the oldest permanent settlement in Kansas. Fort Leavenworth has been known as the "Intellectual Center of the Army."Fort Leavenworth was the base of African-American soldiers of the U. S. 10th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army, formed on 21 September 1866 at Fort Leavenworth. They became known as Buffalo Soldiers, nicknamed by the Native American tribes; the term was applied to all of the African-American regiments formed in 1866. During the country's westward expansion, Fort Leavenworth was a forward destination for thousands of soldiers, immigrants, American Indians and settlers who passed through. On August 1, 1846, a Mormon Battalion, led by Col. James Allen, arrived at Fort Leavenworth. Colonel Allen died at the fort.
Today, the garrison supports the US Army Training and Doctrine Command by managing and maintaining the home of the US Army Combined Arms Center. CAC's mission involves collective training, Army doctrine and battle command. Fort Leavenworth is home to the Military Corrections Complex, consisting of the United States Disciplinary Barracks, the Department of Defense's only maximum security prison and the Midwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility. In addition, the Fort Leavenworth Garrison supports numerous tenant organizations that directly and indirectly relate to the functions of the CAC, including the United States Army Command and General Staff College and the Foreign Military Studies Office; the fort occupies 7,000,000 sq ft of space in 1,000 buildings and 1,500 quarters. It is located on the Frontier Military Scenic Byway, a military road connecting to Fort Scott and Fort Gibson; the garrison commander is a colonel reporting via IMCOM West to the Installation Management Command. The fort is nicknamed the "intellectual center" of the Army because much of its mission involves training.
Major tenants include: United States Army Combined Arms Center which among its various responsibilities is the United States Army Command and General Staff College, which includes a degrees granting graduate school for U. S. and allied officers. The school trains all of the army's majors. All modern five-star army generals have passed through the college including George Marshall, Douglas MacArthur, Dwight Eisenhower, Henry "Hap" Arnold, Omar Bradley. Since 1978 it has been commanded by a Lieutenant General. In 2007, its commander was David Petraeus, it reports to the United States Army Doctrine Command. United States Disciplinary Barracks, the only maximum security prison for military personnel of all branches. Since a 2007 reorganization, its commander is a colonel who reports to the United States Army Corrections Command. Midwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility, a low security prison. Reports to the United States Army Corrections Command. Foreign Military Studies Office Munson Army Health Center University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies Sherman Army Airfield—the base airport Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery TRADOC Analysis Center Headquarters of the National Guard's 35th Infantry Division Mission Command Training Program is the focal point for National Guard of the United States division and brigade staff training and development.
Army/ACE Registry Transcript Systems See Fort Leavenworth School District The Fort Leavenworth Lamp newspaper serves the military community living on post. The fort is 10 miles south of the 18th century French Fort de Cavagnal, the farthest west fort in Louisiana, its commandant was François Coulon de Villiers, a brother to Louis Coulon de Villiers, the only military commander to force George Washington to surrender. The French abandoned the fort after ceding its territory to Louisiana at the conclusion of the French and Indian War. Early American explorers on the Missouri River to visit the area of Fort de Cavagnal include Lewis and Clark on 26–29 June 1804 and Stephen Harriman Long in 1819; the fort location had been chosen because of its proximity to a large Kansa tribe village. Colonel Henry Leavenworth, with the officers and men of the 3rd Infantry Regiment from Jefferson Barracks at St. Louis, established Fort Leavenworth in 1827 to be a forward base protecting the Santa Fe Trail. Leavenworth's instructions had been the following: Colonel Leavenworth of the 3d Infantry, with four companies of his regiment will ascend the Missouri and when he reaches a point on its left band near the mouth of Little Platte River and within a range of twenty miles above or below its confluence, he will select such position as in his judgment is best calculated for the site of a permanent cantonment.
The spot being chosen, he will construct with the troops of his command comfortable, though temporary quarters sufficient for the accommodation of four companies. This movement will be made as early. Leavenworth
Samuel Ryan Curtis
Samuel Ryan Curtis was an American military officer, one of the first Republicans elected to Congress. He was most famous for his role as a Union Army general in the Trans-Mississippi Theater of the American Civil War for his victories at the Battles of Pea Ridge in 1862 and Westport in 1864. Born near Champlain, New York, Curtis graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1831, he was stationed at Fort Gibson in the Indian Territories before resigning from the Army in 1832. He moved to Ohio, where he worked as a civil engineer on the Muskingum River improvement projects and became a lawyer in 1841. During the Mexican–American War, he was appointed colonel of the 2nd Regiment of Ohio Volunteers and served as military governor of several occupied cities. After the war in the 1850s, he served as chief engineer for river improvements in Des Moines, for public infrastructure works in St. Louis, for the American Central Railroad in Iowa, he became the mayor of Keokuk in 1856 and in the same year was elected as a Republican to represent Iowa's 1st congressional district in the United States House of Representatives.
Curtis and Timothy Davis were the first Iowa Republicans elected to serve in the U. S. House. Curtis was re-elected in 1858 and 1860 and during his time in Congress was a strong advocate of a transcontinental railroad, he was a supporter of eventual President Abraham Lincoln, was considered for a cabinet position in the Lincoln administration. However, after the Civil War broke out, Curtis was appointed colonel of the 2nd Iowa Infantry on June 1, 1861, prompting him to resign his congressional seat on August 4 of that year, he was subsequently promoted to brigadier general, with the promotion backdated to May 17, 1861. After organizing the chaos in St. Louis, Curtis was given command of the Army of the Southwest on December 25, 1861, by Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck; the Army consisted of three divisions, the 1st commanded by Brig. Gen. Franz Sigel, the 2nd by Brig. Gen. Alexander Asboth, the 3rd by Col. Jefferson C. Davis. However, Sigel, a native German who held significant influence amongst the many German immigrants in the army, threatened to resign over having not been appointed to command of the army himself.
Curtis subsequently gave him overall command of the first two divisions, consisting of German immigrants, while creating a 4th Division commanded by Col. Eugene A. Carr. Curtis moved his headquarters south to Missouri, to solidify Union control in Arkansas. In March 1862, his army won the Battle of Pea Ridge in northwest Arkansas, his success made. A few days after the battle he wrote, "The scene is sad; the vulture and the wolf now have the dominion and the dead friends and foes sleep in the same lonely graves." He was promoted to major general for his success, effective March 21, 1862. On the same day in late March that he heard about his promotion, he found out that his twenty-year-old daughter Sadie died of typhoid fever in St. Louis. After Pea Ridge, Curtis' small army moved east and invaded northeast Arkansas, capturing the city of Helena, Arkansas in July. In September, Curtis was given command of the District of Missouri, but Lincoln was soon forced to reassign him, after Curtis's abolitionist views led to conflict with the governor of Missouri.
He was reassigned to command the Department of Indian Territory. In October 1863, his son Major Henry Zarah Curtis, adjutant to Brig. Gen. James G. Blunt, was killed by Quantrill's Raiders. In this surprise attack at the Battle of Baxter Springs, Quantrill's men wore Federal uniforms and gave no quarter. Samuel Curtis named Fort Zarah in memory of his son. In 1864, Curtis returned to Missouri, fighting against the Confederate invasion led by Maj. Gen. Sterling Price. Curtis gathered the forces of his department together, including several regiments of Kansas State Militia, calling his force the Army of the Border. Price's incursion was halted by Curtis' victory at the Battle of Westport. Curtis was reassigned to a different armed conflict, commanding the Army's "Department of the Northwest,", in the closing phase of a military response to uprisings in southern Minnesota and Dakota Territory by Native Americans against settlers. In late 1865, he returned to Iowa where he was involved with the Union Pacific Railroad until his death the following year in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
He is buried in Keokuk. List of American Civil War generals Gen. Samuel R. Curtis House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Iowa Boatner, Mark M. III; the Civil War Dictionary. New York: David McKay, 1959. ISBN 0-679-50013-8 Eicher, John H. and Eicher, David J. Civil War High Commands, Stanford University Press, 2001, ISBN 0-8047-3641-3 Shea, William & Hess, Pea Ridge: Civil War Campaign in the West. University of North Carolina Press, 1992. ISBN 0-8078-4669-4 National Park Service BiographyUnited States Congress. "Samuel Ryan Curtis". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
Battle of Fort Davidson
The Battle of Fort Davidson known as the Battle of Pilot Knob, was the opening engagement of Price's Missouri Raid during the American Civil War. This engagement occurred on September 1864, just outside Pilot Knob in Iron County, Missouri. Although outnumbered by more than ten-to-one, the Union defenders managed to repulse repeated Confederate assaults on their works, were able to slip away during the night by exploiting a gap in the Southern siege lines; the attacking Rebels took possession of the fort the next day, but Price's profligate expenditure of men and ammunition ended his goal of seizing St. Louis for the Confederacy. In April 1864, the Confederacy found itself in an desperate military situation. Unable to win any decisive victories or to obtain foreign recognition, its main strategy by this point was to hold on and hope that enormous Union casualties might result in a war-weary Northern public voting Abraham Lincoln out of office in November; the Democratic nominee, General George B.
McClellan, had seen his party adopt a plank to make peace with the South if the party were successful—a plank McClellan was forced to repudiate after the Union met with military successes that summer. However, despite the many recent Union triumphs, just one significant military disaster in that shaky autumn of 1864 could still politically embarrass Lincoln and doom his reelection; as the election approached, things began to look bleaker for the South. General Ulysses S. Grant had pinned down Robert E. Lee in Virginia, while Gen. William Sherman was locked in combat with Gen. Joseph Johnston north of Atlanta. Gen. George Crook's army held the Shenandoah Valley; the only realm that seemed to offer possibilities for a Confederate army embarrassing the Union was in the West. Accordingly, Major General Sterling Price was chosen for this task, he raised a mixed force of 12,000 cavalry and mounted infantry plus fourteen cannon, which he named the Army of Missouri, set out to "liberate" his home state.
In September 1864, Price left Camden and marched north into Missouri. His initial objective was the state's largest city. Though Sherman had captured Atlanta, which provided a tremendous boost to Lincoln's reelection campaign, the seizure of St. Louis by Price–together with the huge quantities of arms in the St. Louis arsenal–could still prove catastrophic for the Republicans; as they moved north toward Ironton, near the terminus of the Iron Mountain Railroad from St. Louis, Price's army came upon Fort Davidson with a garrison of 1,500 men and seven guns, a tempting target. Price had a total of 12,000 mounted infantry under his command. Capturing the fort and its garrison would prove beneficial to Southern morale; as Price prepared to seize the garrison, he received word that Federal troops were moving south to intercept him. Ordering detachments to destroy the railroad to the north at once, he moved his three main brigades into the Arcadia valley, where he invested the fort with his three divisions on the evening of September 26.
Union Brig. General Thomas Ewing, deputy commander of the District of St. Louis and a brother-in-law to William T. Sherman, had arrived at Fort Davidson with 200 Iowa infantry to augment the small Federal force there, he was scouting the route. Louis railroad behind him had been cut by Confederate cavalry. Despite being outnumbered ten-to-one, he decided to fight; the fort occupied a strong defensive position, with hexagonal walls nine feet high and ten feet thick, surrounded by a dry moat nine feet deep. Two long rifle pits ran out from the walls. Access could only be had through a drawbridge on the structure's southeastern corner. A 300-yard cleared field of fire extended in every direction beyond the walls; the Battle of Fort Davidson began on September 26, when the leading elements of Price's army encountered Union pickets south of Ironton, 3 miles south of Fort Davidson. The Federal troops were driven back into the town, the two sides exchanged fire on the Iron County Courthouse lawn; that building still stands, damage from stray bullets can still be seen in the structure's bricks.
As more Rebels arrived, the diminutive Union forces withdrew to the fort. On September 27, Ewing rejected several demands by Confederate leaders for the fort's surrender. Ewing wrote that he considered capitulating, except that he had African American civilians in his camp and the slaughter of black soldiers earlier that year at Fort Pillow, Tennessee concerned him. Furthermore, Ewing was uncertain of his own fate, he had issued General Order № 11 after William C. Quantrill's raid on Lawrence, Kansas in 1863, had used Union cavalry to force thousands of Missouri civilians into Arkansas for alleged collaboration with Confederate bushwackers. Thus, Ewing decided to fight on, Price determined to take his fort that same day. Price's attack came as one massive assault from several directions: one brigade went over the top of Pilot Knob, engulfing a small Union force there, while another attacked over the summit of Shepherd Mountain. A third brigade skirted Shepherd Mountain to attack the northwestern sides of the fort, the fourth attacked through a valley between the two mountains.
As Union troops were driven back by superior numbers, the Rebels took control of Shepherd Mountain, southwest of the fort. A two-gun Confederate battery was subsequently deployed there, its murderous fire caused the smaller of the two rifle pits within the fort to be abandoned; these assaults were not made however, allowing the guns of Fort D
James G. Blunt
James Gillpatrick Blunt was a physician and abolitionist who rose to the rank of major general in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He was defeated by Quantrill's Raiders at the Battle of Baxter Springs in Kansas in 1863, but is considered to have served well as a division commander during Price's Raid in Missouri, which occurred in 1864. Blunt was born in Trenton, Maine to John Blunt and Sally Gilpatrick Blunt Blunt lived and worked on his family farm until he was 14, he may have spent some time at the Ellsworth Military Academy in Maine. He became a sailor on a merchant vessel when he was 15, attained the rank of captain at 20. In 1845 Blunt moved to Columbus, where he enrolled in Starling Medical College, his maternal uncle, Dr. Rufus Gilpatrick, was one of the instructors. Graduating in February 1849, Blunt moved to New Madison and started a practice. On January 15, 1850 he married Nancy G. Putman. Blunt practiced medicine and took an active role in county politics as a member of the Republican Party.
In 1856 Blunt and his family relocated to Anderson County, following his uncle who had moved there several years earlier. He soon became involved in the conflict before the Civil War known as Bleeding Kansas, when abolitionist and slavery forces battled to control the territory. During a confrontation with the pro-slavery territorial government in 1857, Blunt joined a force including Jim Lane and abolitionist John Brown. Blunt was a key member of the Wyandotte constitutional convention that framed the Kansas state constitution in 1859, served as chair of the committee on militia. At the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, Blunt was appointed lieutenant colonel of the 3rd Regiment Kansas Volunteer Infantry, a part of James Lane's Kansas Brigade, an irregular partisan force not accepted into the Union Army until reorganized in April 1862. In April 1862, Blunt was appointed brigadier general of volunteers and given command of the Department and Army of Kansas, he ordered Colonel William Weer to lead the "Indian Expedition" in 1861 which succeeded in occupying Fort Gibson and arming three regiments of Native Americans.
Blunt's forces were defeated in the First Battle of Newtonia, the Army of Kansas was incorporated into the Army of the Frontier as the 1st Division. Blunt led his division of Kansas volunteers to victory at the Battle of Old Fort Wayne. In December 1862, Blunt's division was joined by the 2nd Division under Francis J. Herron; the combined forces met Confederates under Thomas C. Hindman at the Battle of Prairie Grove. While tactically a draw, the battle was a strategic victory for the Union. Blunt was appointed major general of volunteers on March 16, 1863, he was the only officer from Kansas to achieve that rank during the war. He established Fort Baxter in May 1863 near Kansas. Blunt was appointed to command the District of the Frontier, he campaigned for control of the Indian Territory and won a victory at the Battle of Honey Springs, bringing much of the Indian Territory into Union control. In October 1863, while moving his headquarters from Fort Scott to Fort Smith and his detachment were attacked by a Confederate force under William C.
Quantrill. At the Battle of Baxter Springs Quantrill's Raiders routed and killed over 80 of Blunt's 100 escorts, including his adjutant Major Henry Curtis, son of Major General Samuel Curtis; these actions led to Blunt's removal from command of the District of the Frontier. In 1864, Blunt was able to redeem himself. Confederate Maj. Gen. Sterling Price began an invasion of Missouri and Blunt took command of the 1st Division of Army of the Border, he and the cavalry under Alfred Pleasonton fought delaying actions until Samuel R. Curtis brought the full strength of the army together and inflicted a defeat on Price at the Battle of Westport. Blunt's division inflicted the final defeat to Price at the Second Battle of Newtonia. Blunt commanded the District of South Kansas. After the war, Blunt settled with his family in Leavenworth and resumed his medical practice, he moved to Washington, D. C. in 1869 where he practiced his new profession. In 1873, Blunt was accused by the Department of Justice of conspiracy to defraud the government and a body of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina.
Earlier he had been cited in the 41st Congress's investigation of the Department of Indian Affairs, for charging Western tribes exorbitant lobbying fees for payments due them. Blunt's behaviour became erratic in 1879 when he was 53, he was committed to an asylum, he died two years with the cause of death given as "softening of the brain." His body is buried in the Mount Muncie Cemetery. James Blunt features in Rifles for Watie, a novel by Harold Keith about a young Union soldier from Kansas fighting the Civil War in Indian Territory and the surrounding states, it includes a description of the Battle of Prairie Grove. List of American Civil War generals "James G. Blunt". Find a Grave. Retrieved 2009-03-04
Jackson County, Missouri
Jackson County is a county located in the western portion of the U. S. state of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 674,158. Making it the second-most populous county in the state. Although Independence retains its status as the original county seat, Kansas City serves as a second county seat and the center of county government; the county was organized December 15, 1826, named for President Andrew Jackson. Jackson County is the central county of the Kansas City metropolitan area. Jackson County was home to members of the Osage Native American tribe; the first known European explorers were French trappers who used the Missouri River as a highway for explorations and trading with Native American tribes. Jackson County was a part of New France, until the British victory in the French and Indian War in 1763 resulted in the cession of this territory to Great Britain's ally, Spain. Spain was forced by the Third Treaty of San Ildefonso in 1800 to return its Louisiana Territory to France, which in turn sold it to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803.
Explorers Merriwether Lewis and William Clark passed through Jackson County on their famous Lewis and Clark expedition in 1804. Among other items, their report indicated a "high, commanding position" along the river within the current boundaries of Jackson County that in 1808 became Fort Osage; this stockade and trading post was one of the first U. S. military installations within the Louisiana purchase territory, remained active until 1822. In 1821, Jackson County became part of the newly admitted state of Missouri. Jackson County was organized on December 15, 1826 and named for Andrew Jackson, U. S. Senator from Tennessee, its county seat was designated as Independence, at the time only a minuscule settlement near a spring. However, the rapid increase in Westward exploration and expansion made Independence the starting point for three of the great Westward Trails: the Santa Fe Trail, the Oregon Trail and the California Trail. With the American Civil War and the coming of the railroads, nearby Kansas City eclipsed Independence, though both towns remain county seats.
In 1838, a small piece of land was bought along the Missouri River in northern Jackson County by the "Town Company," which established "Westport Landing". The area outside of Westport Landing was renamed the "Town of Kansas," after the local Kanza Native Americans, in 1839; the town was chartered by Jackson County in 1850 and incorporated by the State of Missouri as the "City of Kansas" in 1853. In 1889, with a population of around 60,000, the city adopted a new charter and changed its name to Kansas City. In 1897, Kansas City annexed Westport. Jackson County figures prominently in the history of the Latter Day Saint movement. Although formed in upstate New York in 1830, in March 1831 Joseph Smith said that a location on the Missouri–Kansas border was to be the latter-day "New Jerusalem" with the "center place" located in Independence, the county seat. Traveling to the area in the Summer of 1831, Smith and some associates formally proclaimed Jackson County as the site, in a ceremony in August 1831.
"Joseph Smith was told that the members of the Church should buy as much land as possible west from Independence up to the line that designated the land of the Native Americans. Learning that Jackson County Missouri was Zion meant much to Joseph Smith and the members of the Mormon Church. According to Mormon belief, Zion is a place; this can mean that Zion can be anywhere, but when God referred to Jackson County as Zion he told Joseph that this land would be the New Jerusalem. "... The saints were eager to begin building up Zion so that they could further the preparations for the coming of Christ. "After receiving this revelation, Joseph began making arrangements to build up a city. On August 2, 1831, he helped lay the logs for the first house built in Zion; the first log was placed by twelve men to represent the twelve tribes of Israel. Sidney Rigdon was asked to dedicate and consecrate the land for the gathering of the Saints..."Leadership and members of the Latter Day Saint movement began moving to Jackson County as soon as word of the August 1831 dedication ceremony was published.
Open conflict with earlier settlers ensued, driven by religious and cultural differences, the perception by pro-slavery Missourians that the "Yankee" "Mormons" were abolitionists. Vigilantes in the public and private sector used force to drive individual Saints from Jackson to nearby counties within Missouri. On November 23, 1833, the few remaining Mormon residents were ordered to leave Jackson County. By mid-1839, following the Missouri Mormon War, Mormons were driven from the state altogether, not to return to Jackson County or Missouri in significant numbers until 1867. Today several Latter Day Saint movement churches are headquartered in Jackson County, most notably the Community of Christ, the Church of Christ, the Church of Jesus Christ and the Church of Christ with the Elijah Message; the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or LDS Church has a strong presence in the county as well, though its headquarters is located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Joseph Smith prophesied that a temple would be built in Independence "in this generation".
The Community of Christ remains the only one of the aforementioned to have a temple in the city on part of the 66 acres larger temple area designated by Smith. Smith's original temple site, a smaller
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America referred to as the Confederacy, was an unrecognized country in North America that existed from 1861 to 1865. The Confederacy was formed by seven secessionist slave-holding states—South Carolina, Florida, Georgia and Texas—in the Lower South region of the United States, whose economy was dependent upon agriculture cotton, a plantation system that relied upon the labor of African-American slaves; each state declared its secession from the United States, which became known as the Union during the ensuing civil war, following the November 1860 election of Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln to the U. S. presidency on a platform which opposed the expansion of slavery into the western territories. Before Lincoln took office in March, a new Confederate government was established in February 1861, considered illegal by the government of the United States. States volunteered militia units and the new government hastened to form its own Confederate States Army from scratch overnight.
After the American Civil War began in April, four slave states of the Upper South—Virginia, Arkansas and North Carolina—also declared their secession and joined the Confederacy. The Confederacy accepted Missouri and Kentucky as members, although neither declared secession nor were they largely controlled by Confederate forces; the government of the United States rejected the claims of secession and considered the Confederacy illegally founded. The War began with the Confederate attack upon Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, a Union fort in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. No foreign government recognized the Confederacy as an independent country, although Great Britain and France granted it belligerent status, which allowed Confederate agents to contract with private concerns for arms and other supplies. In early 1865, after four years of heavy fighting which led to 620,000–850,000 military deaths, all the Confederate forces surrendered and the Confederacy vanished; the war lacked a formal end.
By 1865 Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederate States of America for the duration of the civil war, lamented that the Confederacy had "disappeared". On February 22, 1862, the Confederate Constitution of seven state signatories – Mississippi, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia and Texas – replaced the Provisional Constitution of February 8, 1861, with one stating in its preamble a desire for a "permanent federal government". Four additional slave-holding states – Virginia, Arkansas and North Carolina – declared their secession and joined the Confederacy following a call by U. S. President Abraham Lincoln for troops from each state to recapture Sumter and other seized federal properties in the South. Missouri and Kentucky were represented by partisan factions adopting the forms of state governments without control of substantial territory or population in either case; the antebellum state governments in both maintained their representation in the Union. Fighting for the Confederacy were two of the "Five Civilized Tribes" – the Choctaw and the Chickasaw – in Indian Territory and a new, but uncontrolled, Confederate Territory of Arizona.
Efforts by certain factions in Maryland to secede were halted by federal imposition of martial law. A Unionist government was formed in opposition to the secessionist state government in Richmond and administered the western parts of Virginia, occupied by Federal troops; the Restored Government recognized the new state of West Virginia, admitted to the Union during the war on June 20, 1863, re-located to Alexandria for the rest of the war. Confederate control over its claimed territory and population in congressional districts shrank from 73% to 34% during the course of the American Civil War due to the Union's successful overland campaigns, its control of the inland waterways into the South, its blockade of the southern coast. With the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, the Union made abolition of slavery a war goal; as Union forces moved southward, large numbers of plantation slaves were freed. Many joined the Union lines, enrolling in service as soldiers and laborers; the most notable advance was Sherman's "March to the Sea" in late 1864.
Much of the Confederacy's infrastructure was destroyed, including telegraphs and bridges. Plantations in the path of Sherman's forces were damaged. Internal movement became difficult for Southerners, weakening the economy and limiting army mobility; these losses created an insurmountable disadvantage in men and finance. Public support for Confederate President Jefferson Davis's administration eroded over time due to repeated military reverses, economic hardships, allegations of autocratic government. After four years of campaigning, Richmond was captured by Union forces in April 1865. A few days General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant signalling the collapse of the Confederacy. President Davis was captured on May 10, 1865, jailed in preparation for a treason trial, never held; the initial Confederacy was established in the Montgomery Convention in February 1861 by seven states (South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana
Edmund Kirby Smith
Edmund Kirby Smith was a career United States Army officer who fought in the Mexican–American War. He joined the Confederate States Army in the Civil War, was promoted to general in the first months of the war, he was notable for his command of the Trans-Mississippi Department after the fall of Vicksburg to the U. S. Smith was wounded at First Bull Run and distinguished himself during the Heartland Offensive, the Confederacy's unsuccessful attempt to capture Kentucky in 1862, he was appointed as commander of the Trans-Mississippi Department in January 1863. The area included west of the Mississippi River. In 1863, Smith dispatched troops in an unsuccessful attempt to relieve the Siege of Vicksburg. After Vicksburg was captured by the Union in July, the isolated Trans-Mississippi zone was cut off from the rest of the Confederacy, became an independent nation, nicknamed'Kirby Smithdom'. In the Red River Campaign of Spring 1864, he commanded victorious Confederate troops under General Richard Taylor, who defeated a combined Union army/navy assault under Nathaniel P. Banks.
On June 2, 1865, Smith surrendered his army at Galveston, the last general with a major field force. He escaped to Mexico and to Cuba to avoid arrest for treason, his wife negotiated his return during the period when the federal government offered amnesty to those who would take an oath of loyalty. After the war, Smith worked in the railway industries, he served as a college professor of mathematics and botany at the University of the South in Tennessee. He is credited with the discovery of several species of plants in Florida. Smith was born in 1824 in St. Augustine, Florida, as the youngest child of Joseph Lee Smith, an attorney, Frances Kirby Smith. Both his parents were natives of Litchfield, where their older children were born; the family moved to Florida in 1821, as the senior Smith was appointed as a Superior Court judge in the new Florida Territory, acquired by the US from Spain. Older siblings included Ephraim, born in 1807, he was interested in botany and nature, but in 1836, Smith's parents sent their second son to a military boarding school in Virginia, encouraged a military career.
He enrolled in the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. In 1837, his sister Frances married Lucien Bonaparte Webster, a West Point graduate from Vermont and career Army artillery officer, whom she met when he was stationed at Fort Marion in St. Augustine, his commanding officer at the fort was the young Smiths' uncle. Webster served in the Mexican–American War and died of yellow fever in 1853, when stationed on the Texas frontier at Fort Brown. On July 1, 1841, Kirby Smith entered West Point and graduated four years in 1845, ranking 25th out of 41 cadets. While there he was nicknamed "Seminole", after the Seminole people of Florida who had resisted removal by the US, he was commissioned as a brevet second lieutenant in the 5th U. S. Infantry on July 1, 1845. Smith was promoted to second lieutenant on August 22, 1846, now serving in the 7th U. S. Infantry. In the Mexican–American War, Smith served under General Zachary Taylor at the Battle of Palo Alto and the Battle of Resaca de la Palma.
He served under General Winfield Scott and received brevet promotions to first lieutenant for Cerro Gordo and to captain for Contreras and Churubusco. His older brother, Ephraim Kirby Smith, who graduated from West Point in 1826 and was a captain in the regular army, served with him in the 5th U. S. Infantry in the campaigns with both Taylor and Scott. Ephraim died in 1847 from wounds suffered at the Battle of Molino del Rey. After that war, Kirby Smith served as a captain in the 2nd U. S. Cavalry in Texas. Kirby Smith taught at West Point after the war, he studied materials as a botanist. He donated to the Smithsonian Institution some of his collection and reports from his time at West Point. Smith continued his botanical studies as an avocation for the remainder of his life, he is credited with collecting and describing several species of plants native to Tennessee and Florida. Kirby Smith was assigned to teaching mathematics at West Point, from 1849 to 1852. According to his letters to his mother, he was happy with this environment.
Assigned to active duty again, Smith served in the Southwest. On May 13, 1859, he was wounded in his thigh while fighting Comanche in the Nescutunga Valley of Texas; when Texas seceded from the Union in 1861, now a major, refused to surrender his command at Camp Colorado in what is now Coleman, Texas, to the Texas State forces under Col. Benjamin McCulloch. On January 31, 1861, Smith was promoted to major, but on April 6, he resigned his commission in the U. S. Army to join the Confederacy. On March 16, 1861, Smith entered the Confederate forces as a major in the regular artillery. After serving as Brig. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's assistant adjutant general in the Shenandoah Valley, Smith was promoted to brigadier general on June 17, 1861, he was given command of a brigade in the Army of the Shenandoah, which he led at the First Battle of Bull Run on July 21. Wounded in the neck and shoulder, he recuperated while comman