18. Feb, 2018

BLOG 31-RICHMOND REVOLT OF OCTOBER 1863

I KNOW I HAVE BEEN SLACK FOR THE PAST FEW MONTHS LETTING MY PERSONAL PROBLEMS GET IN THE WAY AND NEGLECTING MY WEB PAGE AND BOOK-WELL SOME BAD NEWS-I’M BACK-THANKS TO SANY

THIS WEEKS BLOG IS A SUMMARY OF MY WORK I’M WORKING ON CURRENTL 

By the autumn (fall) of 1863, the tide of the Civil War or better known as “The War Between the States”, as it was sometimes referred to, was turning abruptly for the Confederacy. May 10th, saw the death of one of the South’s federate son’s-Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson at the Battle of Chancellorsville where he was shot by his own soldiers and died eight days later.

Events were to get worse for the South. In the summer of that year, the North rebounded in June and July with a trio of successes: the Tullahoma campaign, which cleared major Confederate forces from Tennessee; the capture of Vicksburg, which together with the fall of Port Hudson, Louisiana, gave the North control of the Mississippi River; and the Battle of Gettysburg, where Lee’s last movement across the Potomac River ended in bloody repulse

Lee’s planned second invasion of the North came to an unexpected and unforeseen climax at a small Pennsylvanian town of Gettysburg at the beginning of July of that year, where following a three day battle, Lee retreated South. Worse was to come. On the Mississippi River, in the State of Mississippi, General Ulysses S. Grant besieged the city from April till the 4th July, when the City fell, ending the Confederacy’s hold on the Mississippi River.

Events on the home front too were not going so well for the South. April saw massive food riots in several major Southern Cities including Richmond, Virginia.

Times were no better by September of that year. The hottest an driest summer saw a draught where food failed to germinate. Prices for bread increased four hundred per-cent. A vast increase of of population to Richmond by displaced refugees added to the already crisis within the city.

Whilst the poor suffered by war and natural elements, the rich lived it up. One of these people was Sabrina Cradar, the wife of General Lee’s Camp-de aide-General Chad Cradar, who was away somewhere fighting the turning tide of war. Sabrina and Cha were close friends of the Conference’s President, Jefferson Davis’s wife. Another prominent woman in Richmond was Miss Jennelle, whom ran a boarding house. This was only a front however as her true purposes was a Federal spy, working for Allen Pinkerton’s Detective Agency and a principle organizer for the underground railway where they smuggle runaway coloured people from the south to the north and even Canada. McCarrick also spent much of her time visiting Federal Officers in Libby Prison, passing on maps and escape routes. She also helped many flee the South using her underground railway connections. One such prisoner she assisted in escaping was James Butler Hickok, better known as ‘Wild Bill Hickok’ whom Jennelle helped elude Confederate Troops and sent him north with the knowledge of the Confederate plans to intercept and capture President Lincoln as he travelled from Washington to Gettysburg in November of that year, and to use him to ransom the Confederacy’s independence.

            McCarrick had managed to learn of the Confederate’s plans to intercept the train at the small rail junction of Jettena Junction which they had re-routed to there, thanks to her colour servant and good friend, Sandy, whom with her influence upon her social class connections to the Cradars, had managed to get Sandy a position as a cleaner in the Confederate White House. Unlike most coloured people, Sandy could read and write, unknown to the people around her and with a photographic memory, managed to read many of the Confederate plans and relay them to McCarrick who in turn conveyed them to Pinkerton and other Federal Officers. The Federal seemed to know what the Southern people were doing. The Confederate Secret Service knew there was a spy within their ranks, but did not know whom and of cause never expected a colour servant.

            Another member of McCarrick’s spy ring was McCarrick’s half brother, Glen, a master of disguise. His favourite role was a blind, homeless man who camped outside the Confederate White House as a begger. Sandy and other spies would pass on information to him as they passed in forms of a donation.

            As the situation worsened in Richmond in the second half of 1863, people began to rebel against the Government. They wanted food. They even wanted the war to end. Sparked by a slave revolt an a failed Federal Cavalry attack upon Richmond, the people marched in droves upon the White House where the Confederacy Cabinet met on October 17th. As they closed in on all directions, President Davis pleaded with tem to go home, but they ignored him, instead, pelting im with rotten food and bodily wastes. Fearing the Confederacy would collapse from within and a second civil war would erupt within, Kevin Scrugg, a young Colonel on leave in Richmond, recalled his West Point history of how Napoleon Bonaparte quashed a similar uprising during the French Revolution and gathering all artillery he could within Richmond, surrounded the White House with it. When the rebelling crowds refused to disperse on his orders, he opened fire upon them. In the panic, Scrugg was able to bring order.

            In the following days, thousands of suspects were rounded up by the Military that were rushed into the city. Soon McCarrick’s spy ring was uncovered and smashed.