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This week in the civil war

Testy Confederate hero sent West to fight

Confederate Gen. Pierre G.T. Beauregard, who forced the Union surrender at Fort Sumter in 1861 that started the war, is reassigned this week and sent West to Tennessee.

The general who also helped lead the Confederacy to victory at the First Battle of Manassas, or Bull Run, was one of the Confederacy’s first war heroes. But he had begun to quarrel with Confederate President Jefferson Davis and others and was sent West partly because of that. He would now be the second in command under Albert Sidney Johnston in the Confederacy’s Army of the Mississippi.

Beauregard and Johnston sought to better fortify Confederate defenses along the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers vulnerable to Union attack. But Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant would eventually take key forts along those rivers in the coming year, isolating the Confederacy from the West.

Grant’s early triumph at the Battle of Fort Henry on the Tennessee River in February 1862 would mark the first significant victory both for the Union and for Grant, who would later rise to the top military command and ultimately win the war.

Elsewhere, Union Navy warships off Hatteras Inlet, N.C., weathered a severe storm this week in 1862. The Associated Press reports some boats in the fleet of more than 100 ships and vessels were swamped and three lives were lost as Union forces wait for better weather to attack Confederate outposts nearby.

– Associated Press

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