Brief Description of Civil War Battles: Letter C

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Carnifex Ferry (W. Va.), Battle of. (1861)

After McClellan's promotion, July 22, 1861, to the command of the Army of the Potomac,
Rosecrans succeeded him in command in West Virginia. Gen. Floyd took a position on the Gauley  River, 8 miles south of Nicholas, W.Va., at Carnifex Ferry, with 2,000 Confederates, intending  to cut off Cox's brigade from Rosecrans's army. Sept. 10 he was attacked in this position by Rosecrans with 10,000 men. Darkness terminated a sharp engagement, and the next morning Floyd was in the mountains 30 miles away. The Federal loss was 120 killed and wounded. Among the former was Col. Lowe, of the Twelfth Ohio, who fell at the head of his regiment.

Carthage (Mo.), Battle of. (1861)

After Governor Jackson and his followers had been driven from Boonville by Gen. Lyon they pushed westward into Jasper County, being joined on the way by Gen. Sterling Price. This increased the Confederate forces to 3,600. July 5, 1861, they were confronted near Carthage by Gen. Franz Sigel with a force of 1,500 men, who had been sent to the southwestern part of the State to prevent reinforcements arriving from Arkansas and Texas. Sigel, after a short engagement, retreated through Carthage to Sarcoxie, 15 miles to the eastward. His loss was 13 killed and 31 wounded. The Confederates reported their loss at 40 to 50 killed and 125 to 150

Cedar Creek (Va.), Battle of. (1864)

One of the most notable actions in the Civil War. After the engagement at Fishers Hill Sheridan posted his army on the north side of Cedar Creek, near Strasburg, and went to Washington to consult as to the return of the Sixth Corps. During his absence Early, who had been reinforced by Lee to his original strength, returned up the valley, crossed Cedar Creek, and on the morning of Oct. 19, 1864, surprised the Federal camp and captured 24 guns and 1,500 prisoners. The Federal army under command of Gen. Wright retired toward Winchester, when Sheridan, who had arrived at the latter place during the forenoon, rejoined the army and ordered the battle renewed. Early's men were in possession of the camp at Cedar Creek when they were attacked about 3 o'clock in the afternoon and defeated, with heavy losses to both sides. The Confederates lost all the guns and camp equipage which they had previously captured, about 24 guns of their own, and some flags. Sheridan's loss in the two engagements, in killed, wounded,
and prisoners, was 5,990; the Confederate loss was 4,200. This was the last effort of the Confederate forces to occupy the Shenandoah Valley.

Cedar Mountain (Va.), Battle of. (1862)

June 26, 1862, Gen. Pope was assigned to the command of the combined forces of Banks, Fremont, and McDowell, known as the Army of Virginia. Each of the separate armies had even defeated or forced into retreat by Jackson. The combined forces numbered 45,000, including 5,000 cavalry. Pope established head-quarters at Culpeper, about 60 miles southwest of Washington. Gen. Lee
sent Jackson and A.P. Hill to occupy Gordonsville, a few miles south of Culpeper. Their united armies, numbering, according to Federal accounts, 25,000 men, advanced toward Culpeper, and on Aug. 9 attacked Gen. Banks, with a force of 8,000 men, at Cedar Mountain, a hill 2 miles west of Mitchell's Station, Culpeper County, Va. Banks was defeated. The Federal losses were 314
killed, 1,445 wounded, and 620 missing. The Confederates lost 229 killed and 1,047 wounded.

Champion Hills (Miss.), Battle of. (1863)

Sherman was directed to remain at Jackson to destroy everything that could be of value to the Confederates. Grant himself turned toward the west. Pemberton, the Confederate general, with 25,000 men, had left Vicksburg hoping to cut off Grant from his supplies and form a junction with Johnston's forces. Learning the strength and position of the enemy, Grant ordered Sherman
and McPherson to leave Jackson and hasten forward. May 16, 1863, Pemberton's army was encountered at Champion Hills, a precipitous, narrow, wooded ridge 25 miles west of Jackson and 20 miles east of Vicksburg. The Confederates were strongly posted, and it was necessary for the Federal troops to approach the position across open fields exposed to the fire of 10 batteries
of artillery. Hovey's division and McPherson's corps, with the exception of Ramsey's division, which did not arrive till the battle was over, began the attack in front while Logan's division was working to the left and rear. The battle was hotly contested and the Confederates were driven back after they had sustained heavy loss. Grant's losses were 410 killed, 1,844 wounded, and 187 missing_total, 2,441. The Confederate losses were probably nearly the same, and in addition 2,000 prisoners.

Chancellorsville (Va.), Battle of. (1863)

Jan. 26, 1863, Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker succeeded Maj. Gen. Burnside in command of the Army of the Potomac. By Apr. 1 that army was in excellent condition, numbering at the beginning of the new operations over 100,000 infantry, 10,000 artillery, 12,000 or 13,000 cavalry, and more than 400 guns. Gen. Lee was at Fredericksburg, VA., with 57,000 Confederates. Apr. 28 (Some
authorities say the 29th) Hooker began a movement with Lee's left as his objective point. To cover his real design, however, he dispatched Gen. Stoneman with most of the cavalry on a raid to the rear of the Confederate army, stationed Gen. Sedgwick with 30,000 men opposite Fredericksburg, and moved with about 70,000 men toward the United States Ford, on the Rappahannock. By Apr. 30 Hooker had crossed the Rappahannock with the main body of the army and established his headquarters at Chancellorsville, 11 miles west of Fredericksburg. The Confederate accounts say he then had with him 91,000 men. Lee had 48,000. Fighting began May 1, a division of the Fifth Corps advancing on the road to Fredericksburg and engaging a Confederate advance. The result was the recall of Hooker's advance and a better position for the Confederates. May 2 Lee detached "Stonewall" Jackson, with about 25,000 men, to attack the Eleventh Corps, under Gen. O.O. Howard, at the Federal right. The attack culminated in the evening with a panic in the Federal lines. "Stonewall" Jackson was mortally wounded during the night by the fire of his own men, who in the darkness mistook him for an enemy. The next day, May 3, the contest was renewed, nearly 14,000 troops under Lee having made a junction with the forces under Stuart, Jackson's immediate successor. It resulted in general Confederate success. Sedgwick in the meantime had crossed the Rappahannock, forced Early out of the Fredericksburg Heights, and threatened the Confederate rear at Chancellorsville. Lee, having defeated the greater wing of the Federal army and driven it away, reinforced on the 3d and 4th of May the troops in front of Sedgwick. The latter was pushed back and recrossed the river at night with a loss of 5,000 men. Hooker also recrossed the river during the night of the 4th. According to Federal accounts their loss was 17, 197, of whom 5,000 were prisoners; 13 guns and 20,000 muskets also fell into the hands of the Confederates. Lee's loss was about 13,000, including
prisoners. The battle of Chancellorsville was probably the most important victory won and the greatest disaster sustained by the Confederates up to that period. They here defeated the splendid Union Army which attacked them; but the death of Lieut. Gen. Jackson was a loss from which it was well-nigh impossible to recover.

Chantilly (VA.), Battle of. (1862)

Aug. 31, 1862, the day after the second battle of Bull Run, or Manassas, Lee sent Jackson northward for the purpose of turning Pope's right wing toward Washington. Pope's headquarters were at Centerville and he had been reinforced by Sumner's and Franklin's corps. Anticipating the movement of the Confederates, he disposed his forces in position to meet and frustrate it
at Chantilly, just north of Centerville, on the evening of Sept. 1, by the troops under McDowell, Hooker, and Kearny. In the engagement Generals Kearny and Stevens were killed. Pope was forced to fall back upon the works at Washington. Federal loss, 1,300; Confederate, 800.

Chickamauga (Ga.), Battle of. (1863)

After the battle of Stone River, or Murfreesboro, Jan. 2, 1863, Bragg retreated to Shelbyville, and then to Tullahoma, Tenn. June 24 Rosecrans advanced from Murfreesboro and gradually forced Bragg to evacuate middle Tennessee and cross the Tennessee River to Chattanooga. Aug. 19 Rosecrans's army, in 3 corps, under Generals George H. Thomas, Alexander McD. McCook, and
Thomas L. Crittenden, made an advance through the Cumberland Mountains. Sept. 7 and 8 the Confederates retired from Chattanooga, Tenn. to Lafayette, Ga. Longstreet having arrived from Virginia with reinforcements for Bragg, Rosecrans concentrated his army near Lee & Gordon's mill, on Chickamauga Creek, a tributary of the Tennessee. On the evening of Sept. 18 the two armies were on opposite sides of Chickamauga Creek. Rosecrans's army numbered between 55,000 and 60,000 men; Bragg's army, about 50,000. Bragg crossed the creek with a portion of his army during the night, and on the morning of the 19th Gen. Polk, in command of the Confederate right wing, attacked the Federal left under Thomas. The battle continued all day without definite results. On the morning of the 20th the Confederates renewed the attack. Longstreet penetrated the center of the Federal line and separated Rosecrans, McCook, and Crittenden from the rest of the army, and the brunt of the battle fell upon Thomas. The Federals retreated at night to Rossville, and on the night of the 21st to Chattanooga. The Federal losses in the battle were
1,687 killed, 9,394 wounded, and 5,255 missing; total, 16,336. The Confederate loss was 18,000.

Cold Harbor (Va.), Battle of. (1864)

Finding Lee's position on the North Anna too strong, Grant turned Lee's right wing, crossed the Pamunkey River at Hanover Court-House, and after considerable fighting reached Cold Harbor, to the northeast of Richmond. Lee had arrived there before the Federal army and was well entrenched. On the afternoon of June 1, 1864, an attack on the Confederate lines was made. It
resulted in a loss of 2,000 men to the Federals and no advantage in position. June 2 was spent in skirmishing. At daylight June 3 a general assault was made on the Confederate lines, but it was repulsed after half an hour's fighting, with a loss of 7,000 men to Grant and a much smaller number to the Confederates. The strength of the Federal forces was about 150,000 and that of the Confederates about 65,000. For the next 10 days the armies lay confronting each other. June 12 Grant decided to approach Richmond from the south. Accordingly the army passed from the Chickahominy to the James River between the 12th and 15th of June and took up the line of march to Petersburg. The Federal losses in the operations at Cold Harbor, including the conflict at Bethesda Church and the march across the Chickahominy and James rivers tot he front of Petersburg, were 14,931. The Confederate loss was about 1,700.

Corinth (Miss.), Battle of. (1862)

Oct. 2, 1862, the Confederates under Generals Van Dorn and Price appeared in front of Corinth, and on the 3d fighting began. Grant directed Rosecrans to call in all his forces for the defense, and dispatched Brig. Gen. McPherson to his support from Jackson, Miss. Ord and Hurlbut were sent from Bolivar by way of Pocahontas to attack the flank of Van Dorn. Rosecrans's army advanced 5 miles beyond the town and fell back, fighting, upon Grant's fortifications. The battle was resumed on the morning of the 4th, and before noon the Confederate repulse was complete. The Confederates numbered 38,000. The Federal forces amounted to 19,000. The Federal loss was 315 killed, 1,812 wounded, and 232 missing. The Confederate losses were 1,423 killed, 5,962 wounded, and 2,225 prisoners. On the 5th, while in retreat, the Confederates were attacked by the divisions of Ord and Hurlbut at the crossing of the Hatchie River, 10 miles from Corinth. A battery and several hundred men were captured.

Cross Keys (Va.), Battle of. (1862)

During Stonewall Jackson's movement up the Shenandoah Valley in the summer of 1862 Generals Fremont and Shields were both on the alert to capture him. Fremont reached Strasburg June 1, just after Jackson had passed through. At Port Republic the Shenandoah River divides, and on the larger of the two branches, at a village known as Cross Keys, Fremont brought Ewell's division of Jackson's army to bay June 8. A slight skirmish ensued and Ewell retired during the night. Jackson soon after effected a junction with Gen. Lee, and together they fought the battles around Richmond.


Website: The History
Article Name: Brief Description of Civil War Battles: Letter C
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


BIBLIOGRAPHY: From my collection of Books: A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents 1789-1897 by James D. Richardson, A Representative from the State of Tennessee published by the authority of Congress 1899.
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