Monday May 13 1861
BUTLER BAGS BALTIMORE BADDIES
Acting completely without orders or authorization of any sort, Gen.
Benjamin Butler, USA, occupied the city of Baltimore today. He moved
troops from outlying Relay Station, Md., into town and seized
Federal Hill. His first justification was the claim that he had
heard that there was a riot going on. As there was in fact no civil
disturbance, he searched around until he found weapons stores,
munitions and other supplies he claimed were intended for
distribution to the “rebels.”
Tuesday May 13 1862
CREW CONFISCATES CONFEDERATE CRAFT
The captain of the steamship Planter was a smart and crafty fellow.
To keep his expenses down, he crewed the vessel entirely with
Negroes. Today he docked in Charleston, S.C., and went ashore to do
some business. He stayed overnight. At about 4 a.m. his erstwhile
crew, led by Robert Smalls, hoisted anchor and chugged out into the
bay. Reaching the Union blockade ships they raised a white flag and
surrendered the ship and cargo--including themselves-- to Acting Lt.
Nickels of the USS Onward. They were happily received.
Wednesday May 13 1863
VANCE VEXED AT VETERAN VACATIONS
Gov. Zebulon B. Vance of North Carolina added to the pressures
preying on the mind of President Jefferson Davis today. Vance was
concerned about the rate of desertion among Confederate troops. He
studied the subject and wrote to Davis that the causes he had found
for desertion included homesickness, fatigue, inability to enter
their preferred regiment, refusal of officers to grant furloughs,
and “hard fare”, presumably referring to the food.
Friday May 13 1864
RED RIVER RAPIDS RUN
The naval component of the Red River expedition had been stranded by
low water above the rapids near Alexandria. In a brilliant and
desperate feat of engineering a dam had been constructed to raise
the water level. Today the dam was blown up and the last three ships
rode the wave downstream to freedom. The last of Banks’ troops
boarded the ships and steamed home as quickly as possible.
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