Chronological History of the American Civil War

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Thursday, May 26, 1864: The battle at New Hope Church, Georgia is turning into a siege, as both sides are entrenched, and skirmishing continued throughout the day. At the end of the battle, Confederate Captain Samuel T. Foster reported that 703 Union soldiers had been killed, as well as 350 had been taken prisoner. The next battle will move on down the Confederate line to Pickett’s Mill. In Virginia, Lieut. General Ulysses S. Grant (U.S.) continues to slide along the right of General Robert E. Lee’s (CSA) front toward Hanover Town. Grant is determined to get around Lee’s forces and to Richmond at all cost. In Washington, D.C., the Montana Territory is created, which previously was mostly a part of the Dakota Territory. Friday, May 27, 1864: After the Union defeat at New Hope Church, Georgia, Major General William T. Sherman ordered Major General O.O. Howard (U.S.) to attack CSA General Joseph E. Johnston’s seemingly exposed right flank. The Confederates were ready for the attack, which did not unfold as planned because supporting troops never appeared. The Rebels repulsed the attack causing high casualties. The Union lost 1,600 men while the Confederates lost 500, they could not easily replace. Major General Philip H. Sheridan’s (U.S.) Cavalry crosses the Pamunkey River and occupies Hanover Town, Virginia. More cavalry fights are fought at the Sexton’s Station, Mount Carmel Church, Pole Cat Creek, Dabney’s Ferry, Little River and Salem Church. The infantry, meanwhile, continued to march toward the Pamunkey River. Bushwhackers burn the town of Shanghai, Missouri in a fight with local citizens. Saturday, May 28, 1864: The Confederates attack Union soldiers at the Pest House, opposite Port Hudson, Louisiana. Here, the Rebels destroy medicines, capture the attending physician, destroy telegraph wires, and poles toward Baton Rouge, etc. The Army of Northern Virginia (CSA) and General Robert E. Lee (CSA) arrives from North Anna to the area north of the Chickahominy River and Mechanicsville, near Cold Harbor, in advance of Grant’s crossing of the Pamunkey River, near Hanover Town, Virginia. After seven hours of mostly dismounted cavalry fighting, the Federal advance was halted. Both Confederate and Union infantry began arriving in the vicinity as the cavalry fighting raged. Sunday, May 29, 1864 : In Virginia, the Army of Northern Virginia (CSA) moved towards Cold Harbor. By doing this Lee had placed his army between Grant (U.S.) and Richmond, Virginia. Lee entrenched his positions around Cold Harbor. In Salem, Arkansas, the Confederates capture a Union refugee wagon train that left from Jacksonport with 80 men and some women. Some are reported killed. Federals lose another wagon train to the Rebels at Newtown, Virginia, this time 16 wagons. Confederate guerrilla looters at Winchester, Tennessee, move in and rob the town and the citizens of $10,000. Col. Fielding Hurst tells Brig. General B. H. Grierson (U.S.) in Memphis, Tennessee, “Forrest’s men, have arrested and carried from their homes four of our best, most peaceable, and quiet citizens, and brutally murdered them in cold blood, without the slightest provocation. These victims of this murderous band, were the friends and relatives of the families of soldiers now in the U.S. service.” Hurst wants permission to go after these men or relatives of them. Grierson forwards message saying only, “ I earnestly trust that some summary and retaliatory measures may be taken to put a stop to this cruelty.” No one is safe, citizens nor soldiers in this terrible war. Monday, May 30, 1864 : Lee (CSA) had entrenched his men, in lines near Cold Harbor in hopes he could finally get Grant (U.S.) to attack his fortified position as his predecessors had so often done. No major battle today, but Lieut. General Ulysses S. Grant (U.S.) arrives along the Totopotomoy River, almost within 10 miles of Richmond, Virginia, but blocking the way is the Army of Northern Virginia, (CSA) north of the Chickahominy River. This was what Lee wanted

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