This Day in the Civil War

Friday June 14 1861
JACKSON JUDGES JOB JEOPARDIZED

Governor Claiborne Jackson (who would later be known as “Claib” to his opponents in the First Iowa Volunteers) had fled from St. Louis, where he had held a meeting with Gen. Nathaniel Lyon, back halfway across the state to the capital of Jefferson City. Along the way he had burned the bridges behind him in more than a metaphorical manner to prevent Lyon’s Union troops from chasing him. The effort was evidently inadequate, as Jackson today began to evacuate the capital. Lyon’s men were on the way.



Saturday June 14 1862
CHICKAHOMINY CUTOFF CAUSES CAVALRY CONSTERNATION

Jeb Stuart’s men had been more or less constantly in the saddle since 2 a.m. three days before. They got off their horses today, but not for purposes of rest. They had reached the Chickahominy River to discover that the bridge they had been counting on at Forge Site had been destroyed by the Yankees. A frantic three hours’ work repaired it enough for them to cross, and they began the final arc around the Union left. Stuart himself left the party under command of Fitzhugh Lee (nephew of Robert E.) and dashed for Richmond to report their findings.



Sunday June 14 1863
SERPENT-STOMPING STRATEGY STRONGLY SUGGESTED

Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia were on the move. Unfortunately for Maj. Gen. R.H. Milroy and his 6900 Union troops at Winchester, Lee was on the move directly towards him. Not really believing the threat, he was slow to withdraw to Harpers Ferry. Abe Lincoln, in one of his classic despatches to Hooker, asked: “If the head of Lee’s army is at Martinsburg and the tail of it on the Plank Road between Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, the animal must be very slim somewhere. Could you not break him?”



Tuesday June 14 1864
PINE PROJECTILE PROMOTES POLK PERISHING

Pine Mountain, Ga., was the scene of fighting between Hancock’s Union Second Corps and the Confederate forces of Johnston, Hardee and Polk. The three men were conferring when they observed some Union artillery pointed in their direction. Agreeing that the discussion was best concluded, they started to go their separate ways when a puff of smoke came from one of the Federal guns. A shell struck Gen. Leonidas Polk full in the chest, killing him instantly. Polk was the only ordained bishop to attain the rank of general in either army. As a battlefield leader, he was a great preacher.

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