Skip to Main Content

The Civil War Month by Month: Mar 1862

CW - 150

Civil War 150th anniversary

The Civil War 150th Anniversary

Interesting facts, links, and suggested books for each month of the Civil War.

March 1862

This Month's Events

  • 7-8 March. In the Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas (aka Elkhorn Tavern) the Federal Army of the Southwest, under the command of Brigadier General Samuel Ryan Curtis, defeats the combined Confederate Army of the West commanded by Major General Earl Van Dorn. This victory is a key factor in deciding whether Missouri will remain in the Union or join the Confederacy. The battle is marked by poor Confederate leadership. However, Colonel Stand Watie, leader of the Cherokee Mounted Rifles, and his men distinguish themselves by capturing Federal artillery and covering the Confederate retreat. Stand Watie will become the war's only Native American general in 1864.

  • 9 March. The Battle of Hampton Roads is the first-ever naval battle between two ironclad warships, as the USS Monitor fights the CSS Virginia (aka Merrimack or Merrimac), of the Confederate States Navy.
    As a result of this battle, the Confederate authorities, fearing the capture of their Navy Yard at Norfolk, Virgina, decide to move it. Following the railroad 200 miles inland, they decided to move it to Charlotte, North Carolina!

  • 14 March. The Battle of New Bern, North Carolina takes place. Some North Carolina militia units are involved as well as regular troops, but their combined forces can't stem the Federal advance.
    During the Confederate retreat, North Carolina almost loses its future governor, as Zeb Vance plunges his horse into Brice's Creek which turns out to be very deep. As the horse sinks under the weight of rider and equipment, soldiers pull the Colonel to safety. He then swims the creek (without the horse) to get boats to use in the retreat.
    New Bern will be occupied by the Union for the rest of the war.

  • 15 March. The Pleasant Home Guards enlist at Lincolnton; the men are from Lincoln and Gaston Counties. They will be Co. K, 49th Regiment North Carolina Infantry. Peter Z. Baxter of Lincoln County is the first captain.

  • 15 March. The 25th North Carolina leaves Charleston, South Carolina headed for Goldsboro, North Carolina. The 250 mile trip will take them 4 days and involve 4 different railroads with 3 different gauges. Most of the men ride on open flatcars.

  • 15 March. The 23rd North Carolina enlists Cephas Bell, age 15. Cephas will be discharged in September for "debility and youth", but not without leaving a good story behind him. During an attack on a Federal position, Cephas didn't notice that he had left his fellow soldiers behind and continued running after fleeing Federals. Overtaking an officer, he ordered him to surrender. The officer said he would surrender only to another officer, but a waving pistol and a threat to blow his brains out convinced him to come along. As Cephas took his prisoner back to heaquarters, some officers told him that they would take the man. Replied Cephas, pointing to the enemy lines, "No you won't; if you want to go get you one, there's plenty of them over there. You shall not have mine."

  • 17 March. The Union army begins moving to the Virginia Peninsula. The soldiers board ships to get there rather than having to march.

  • 26-28 March. At Glorieta Pass, New Mexico, Confederate forces from Texas reach the high point of their campaign to take control of the far West (and the gold of California) from the Union. The Union forces are pushed back across the pass, but a successful attack on the Confederate supply train and the loss of the horses forces the Texans to retreat.

  • 31 March. At Charlotte, men from Mecklenburg and Gaston Counties are mustered in as Co. A, 11th North Carolina Infantry. Their first captain is Egbert A. Ross; in May he will be replaced by William L. Hand. Also mustered in is Co. I from Gaston and Lincoln Counties with Albert Sidney Haynes of Lincoln County as captain. Some of the men are veterans of the original 1st North Carolina Volunteers, the Bethel Regiment, which had served only for 6 months.

  • Sometime this month another company from Lincoln County enlists, the Dry Pond Dixies, later Co. G, 52nd Regiment North Carolina Infantry, with Joseph B. Shelton as captain.

This Month's Fiction

Adult Fiction

Young Adult Fiction

Children's Fiction

This Month's Non-Fiction

Adult Nonfiction

Children's Nonfiction

┬ęCopyright 2021, Gaston County Public Library. All Rights Reserved.