Mount Vernon News

By Mount Vernon News
April 6, 2013 7:48 am EDT


Some of the significant news of March 1863 never made the pages of the Democratic Banner, either because it didn’t seem important at the time, or there wasn’t room to publish the stories.


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For example, on March 3, the same day the Conscription Act was passed by Congress (which got a lot of coverage in the papers), Congress also rejected President Lincoln’s proposal to adopt a standard railroad gauge of 5 feet, and instead adopted 4 feet, 8 1/2 inches.

Also on the third, the National Academy of Science was founded and financier Jay Cooke was named the agent to promote the purchase of U.S. government bonds.

On March 5, a Confederate force under Nathan Bedford Forrest and Earl Van Dorn captured a Union garrison at Unionville, Tenn., and on the 10th, Lincoln ordered amnesty for all men absent from the army without leave, but they must return by April 1 or be considered deserters.

On April 13, an explosion at a Confederate Ordinance Laboratory on Brown’s Island in the James River killed 69 people, 62 of them women and children.

On March 17, six members of “Andrews’ Raiders” (from the “Great Locomotive Chase” on April 12, 1862), were exchanged for Confederate prisoners from the POW camp at City Point, Va.

Ambrose Burnside was named commander of the Department of the Ohio on March 25. There must have been rumors flying about what Burnside would be assigned to. The Banner first reported he had returned to command of the Ninth Corps, then on March 28 reported that it looked like he would take over the Department of Ohio.





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