Chronological History of the American Civil War

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Sunday, June, 29, 1862 : In what later would be known as “The Seven Days Battle” ground into its fifth day today, with the Federal forces in retreat. The Union rear guard was

protecting McClellan’s (U.S.) posterior as much as it was the

armies’--what was supposed to have been a clean sweep to Richmond was turning into yet another setback. Stonewall Jackson’s brigades (CSA), brought up in haste to join the

campaign, did not make it to their assigned place in time. If they had the Army of the Potomac would have faced near total destruction. As it was, Union forces continued to withdraw across White Oak Swamp, abandoning supplies and more than 2,500 wounded soldiers in a field hospital at Savage Station, Virginia. (pictured) Monday, June 30, 1862 : On the sixth day of this battle, Robert E. Lee (CSA) ordered an attack on General McClellan’s (U.S.) troops with all the 80,000 men at his disposal. However, it was never coordinated, and by dusk it was plain that the attack had not been anywhere near decisive. If anything, the failed attack acted as a boost to the Unionists, after what had happened in the previous three days. This day estimated casualties for both sides were 6,500 total. Tuesday, July 1, 1862 : Today’s battle, would see the end of the 'Seven Days Battle'. This battle saw Lee save Richmond and push back McClellan (U.S.) army across the James River. But like so many other battles in the American Civil War, it was not decisive and the civil war would continue, for nearly another three years. Lee failed to destroy the US Army but he spared Richmond from capture. United States public debt exceeds $500 million for the first time. President Lincoln signed a bill introducing Federal income tax of between 3% and 5%. Lincoln also decides to call into military service another 300,000 volunteers for three years of duty. Wednesday, July 2, 1862 : And on the eighth day (after the series of battles which became known as the Seven Days Battle), General George McClellan (U.S.) would no doubt have liked to have rested, as would his men of the Army of the Potomac. Unfortunately, although the battle was over the retreat was not. The army marched from Malvern Hill to Hampton Roads, Virginia. The advantage of this position, was that Union gunboats in the James River could provide covering fire for the entire force, both flanks. Lee’s forces were mostly too tired to attack anyway, except for cavalry attacks on infantrymen . Bad news today, for Utah, U.S. Congress also outlaws polygamy for the first time . In Memphis a new rule is put into order: Lewd women are prohibited from conversing with soldiers on duty; nor will they be allowed to walk the streets after sunset. Anyone of the class indicated who shall violate this order will be conveyed across the river, and will not be allowed to return within the limits of the city. Thursday, July 3, 1862 : Complains in both Richmond and Washington in the newspapers today, as McClellan defends his lack of men, even though he outnumbered the rebels by 30,000. Lee (CSA) remain silent but he knew, he missed his chance at defeating the Union Army. Friday, July 4, 1862 : As the aftermath of the Seven Days’ battle continued, the fighting on land might be over with but it continued on the water. Two vessels in particular had been conducting a running fight for some time. The U.S.S. Maratanza was victorious today, as a lucky shot caught her opponent, the C.S.S. Tease r, in just the right spot and exploded her boiler. When the Federals searched the wreckage of the C.S.S. Teaser they found a number of interesting items: floating mines ready to be laid in the James River; “peculiar fuzes” which were sent to Washington for examination; and, most intriguing of all, an observation balloon, and the equipment needed to launch it. The balloon itself became an object of legend. It was made of silk for the sake of lightness. The silk, it was said, was obtained by sewing together the donated dresses, of the women of Richmond. In Bolivar, John Houston Bills tells us in his diary: “The Federal troops Celebrate the day by Firing a salute of 34 guns in front of the Courthouse & display of Corps Infantry & Cavalry. Many persons in from the County, Men & Women.”

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