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This week in the Civil War

Union takes Mississippi fort; ironclads clash

This week 150 years ago in the Civil War, Union forces besiege New Madrid, Mo., seeking to gain control at this juncture of the Mississippi River.

The attackers march overland, arriving near New Madrid on March 3, 1862. The siege will last for days and only after heavy Union guns are brought in will the Confederate defenders retreat.

Union forces will occupy the recently deserted city on March 14, 1862. Now the fight for control of the Mississippi will shift to other areas of the river – with The Associated Press reporting the Confederates “have a very strong position” on Island No. 10, not far from New Madrid.

This week also sees a new era of naval warfare open when ironclad ships – vessels sheathed in stout armor – clash near Hampton Roads, Va.

– Associated Press

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