Chronological History of the American Civil War

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combat. A whole Southern division was captured, while others in trenches continued to fight on. Fighting continued here for over 20 hours. Many survivors of the battle later would note that it was beyond words. Or, as one put it: “Nothing can describe the confusion, the savage, blood-curdling yells, the murderous faces, the awful curses, and the grisly horror of the melee.” May 12, was the most intensive day of fighting during the battle, with Union casualties of about 9,000, Confederate 8,000; the Confederate losses includes about 3,000 prisoners captured in the “Mule Shoe.” At 7:38 p.m., 31 year old, J.E.B. Stuart (CSA) dies of wounds, he received the day before. When General Robert E. Lee (CSA) was told of Stuart’s death, he stood alone for a few minutes, then said, “I can scarcely think of him without weeping.” Stuart’s wife will never remarry and wear only black, until her own death, May 10, 1923. Friday, May 13, 1864 : Grant (U.S.) again begins to reposition his troops for another attack on Lee’s army from another direction, determined to have a victory. There was little doubt that Grant’s own confidence of a victory will soon come, rubbed off on his men. In Georgia, Sherman’s (U.S.) Union troops tested the Confederate lines to pinpoint their wherabouts. Sherman encounters the Confederate opposition at Resaca, Georgia. Here the South had built extensive entrenchments and they proved a major obstacle for him, and his army. In Louisiana, on the Red River, the Union fleet in a desperate feat of engineering built a dam; constructed to raise the water level. Today, the dam was blown up and the last three Union ships finally pass the falls at Alexandria, and rode the wave downstream to freedom. Major General Nathaniel P. Banks’ (U.S.) column is in full retreat to the Mississippi River. A Confederate prisoner of war, Private William Henry Christman of Pennsylvania, became the first soldier to be interred at Arlington National Cemetery. Saturday, May 14, 1864 : All forms of movement are halted around Spotsylvania due to more heavy rain, neither side was really ready for another full-fledged battle. In Georgia, General Sherman (U.S.) starts a full scale fight, but is stopped by the Confederates except for the right flank. But, Sherman did not take full advantage of this opportunity to break this Southern line of defense. Sunday, May 15, 1864 : Lt. General, U.S. Grant orders Major General Franz Sigel (U.S.) with 10,000 men to move up the Shenandoah Valley along the Valley Pike and destroy the railroad and canal complex at Lynchburg, Virginia. At New Market, Sigel is attacked by a makeshift Confederate army of about 4,100 men commanded by Major General John C. Breckinridge (CSA). On the side of the successful Confederates, was Colonel George Patton. (Patton, the grandfather of the officer with the same name, who will also find fame on the battlefields of World War Two.) Even some 247 students (ages 14 to 18) from

Virginia Military Institute, help take part in the battle, 10 will die and 47 wounded along with some other 831 other soldiers, but General Sigel (U.S.) is defeated and disgraced. The Confederates won, and the day is still celebrated as a holiday in Lexington, Virginia. At Resaca, Georgia, General Sherman’s (U.S.) forces can not break through the Southern defenses of trenches of General Joseph E. Johnston (CSA) there. There were 6,100 combined casualties: 3,500 for the Union and 2,600 for the Confederacy. Monday, May 16, 1864 : General Pierre G. T. Beauregard (CSA) (pictured) successfully attacks Major General Benjamin F. Butler’s

(U.S.) forces at the Battle of Fort Darling, or Drewry's Bluff, Virginia, forcing Major Generals William F. Smith and Quincy A. Gillmore, (U.S.) to retreat to Bermuda Hundred, Virginia. Here

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