This Day in the Civil War

Wednesday May 29 1861

Many people realized at the start of the war, or even earlier, that the military was not an all prepared for the complications involved in raising and maintaining huge standing armies. One of the most persistent of these petitioners was Miss Dorothea Dix, who had been fighting for months to be allowed to provide nursing services. After promising to hire only older, homely women so soldiers would not be tempted to sin, she was authorized today by Secretary of War Simon Cameron to gather nurses.

Thursday May 29 1862

Two very large armies had been gathered at Corinth, Miss. Inside the town was Confederate Gen. P. G. T. Beauregard, charged with defending the city. Outside was a Union army of considerable size under Gen. Halleck, who stubbornly refused to leave and had the city essentially under siege. Beauregard, deciding that this stalemate was accomplishing nothing, began pulling his men out tonight and heading for Tupelo. He ordered the front lines to stay in place and make loud noises so Federals wouldn’t realize the retreat was occurring.

Friday May 29 1863

There being little progress to be made on the landbound front, Gen. Grant sent out some politely-phrased orders to the naval forces under Admiral Porter. First he asked for some support for Frank Blair’s efforts to blow the Mississippi Central Railroad bridge and clear rebels out of the Big Black and Yazoo River areas. He also asked Porter for some heavy naval guns to be brought on land to annoy the defenders of Vicksburg.

Sunday May 29 1864

Grant continued to move his now-massive army across the Pamunkey River in an attempt to maneuver around Lee’s right flank. There was little opposition on this part of the march to Richmond, but that would not long remain the case. Lee, who had also pulled back somewhat south and east, was now at Cold Harbor preparing his lines.

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