Chronological History of the American Civil War

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Sunday, May 4, 1862 : General McClellan (U.S.) planned for a massive bombardment to begin at dawn on May 4, but the Confederate army slipped away in the night toward Williamsburg. The Army of the Potomac (U.S.) occupied Yorktown in Virginia and the President is notified. Skirmishes at Pulaski, Tennessee. Monday, May 5, 1862 : President Lincoln left Washington D.C. for a meeting with McClellan at Fortress Monroe. Secretary of War Stanton and Secretary of the Treasury Chase accompanied the President. A battle at Fort Magruder, Williamsburg, as Major General "Fighting Joe" Hooker (U.S.) against a rearguard Confederate force of Major General James Longstreet (CSA) protecting the withdrawal from Yorktown, led to a Union victory, but at a cost – 456 dead, 1,400 wounded and 372 missing. Confederate losses were estimated at being between 1,000 and 1,700. Fielding Hurst, (pictured) led a party of about 20 to 30 men came in by Purdy, Tennessee and they were

skirmishing with the pickets. Their object seems to be to destroy the railroad. They were busy tearing up railroad tracks and telegraph lines in southern McNairy County. Hurst, knows every by-path in the country. By going through the woods with small parties, they can tap the railroad anywhere they choose out of reach pickets, as they did this morning. Although not officially commissioned, Lieutenant Colonel Fielding Hurst, 6th Tennessee Union Cavalry, (U.S.) hailed from that part of the Western District known as "The Nation," - The Hurst Nation. A land settled by members of the Hurst family and their related lines from Bethel Springs in McNairy County to Chickasaw State Park in Chester and Hardeman Counties. It wasn’t until about the first of October in that year companies A, B, C, D, and G, were organized

by Col. Hurst (U.S.). Tuesday, May 6, 1862 : The Memphis Appeal reports, “On Saturday evening (May 3rd) the telegraph operator at Grand Junction received a dispatch, dated Corinth, stating that the track was clear and no train would go down that night. At once a large train, filled with soldiers, was prepared to send up the road, when, ten minutes before it would have started, a freight train arrived down the road. A circumstance so contradictory of the telegram received, led to the operator at Grand Junction making inquiries of the operator at Corinth, when the fact came out that the latter party had sent no dispatch to Grand Junction. Some enemy had connected a private instrument with the line, and had simulated a Corinth dispatch, so as to lead to a collision between two trains, one filled with soldiers. Had the freight train been ten minutes after, the train full of soldiers would have set out with the belief they had a clear track, and a fearful loss of life no doubt would have ensued.” Wednesday, May 7, 1862 : Union forces sailed upriver to Eltham’s Landing, Virginia, and landed near West Point. They came under fire from Confederate troops still withdrawing from Yorktown and lost 49 killed, 104 wounded and 41 missing. This is variously known as the Battle of West Point, Barhnamsville, or Eltham’s Landing. Other fighting occurred at Purdy, Tennessee, and Horse Creek, Missouri. Thursday, May 8, 1862 : It must have seemed like a good idea at the time as Robert Schenck (U.S.) took his 6,000 men (detached from General Fremont’s (U.S.) command) into a battle today at McDowell, or Bull Pasture Mountain, in western Virginia. Unfortunately, he soon discovered that he was up against 10,000 Confederates under Stonewall Jackson, and retreating seemed like an even better idea. Jackson’s men pursued as far as Franklin, Virginia. Friday, May 9, 1862 : Lincoln met with McClellan (U.S.) to discuss the course of the war. Confederate forces abandoned the important naval base at Norfolk. When Unionist forces arrived at the naval base, they found large amounts of stores and equipment. Saturday, May 10, 1862 : Naval engagement at Plum Point near Fort Pillow, Tennessee as Confederate flotilla attacks the U.S. naval force. The Confederates had eight ships, but none of them were armored. They attacked anyway, and managed to ram and sink two Union ships, the U.S.S. Cincinnati and Mound City . The south lost 4 ships. Sunday, May 11, 1862 : She had started out life as the USS Merrimack . Already she had been sunk once. Refloated by those who sank her, she was now renamed the CSS Virginia and had made naval history in

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