This Day in the Civil War

Saturday June 22 1861

Many states were divided, often geographically, as to the virtues of secession. One where passions were severely inflamed was Tennessee. Unfortunately the geographic logic was against those whose preference was to remain with the Union. A large group of these met in Greenville, Tenn., today and declared for the North. It did them no good, the state seceded anyway, but this region furnished more troops for the Federal army than the Confederate one.

Sunday June 22 1862

As wars usually speed up arms races, so do they bring on, or at least speed up, social changes. Nowhere was this more evident than in the role of women in America, North and South. In the North, Dorothea Dix had recently been granted permission to recruit women as nurses, provided that they were old and/or unattractive. In the South a different policy applied. Permission was granted today for the service as nurses of 30 members of the Sisters of Charity, an order of Catholic nuns.

Monday June 22 1863

One would think that the people lease affected by the War of the Rebellion would be the salt-soaked fishermen of New England. Their sons may have gone off to fill the regiments of Connecticut and Maine, but there was still the same need for cod and whale oil as there ever was. Alas, they war came to them today, in the person of Charles Read. Not as famous as Captain Semmes and his Alabama, Read and his ship Tacony today added to his record of disrupting Federal maritime activities by seizing five fishing schooners off New England.

Wednesday June 22 1864

It was no surprise to Robert E. Lee that U.S. Grant’s plan was to encircle Petersburg and capture the railroads. Grant’s next logical target was the Petersburg-Weldon line, and Lee had the counterstroke ready. He sent A. P. Hill’s corps to intercept, and Hill fell upon the lines of the Federal Second Corps as they marched. Their new commander, David Birney, had been in the job only a few days since Hancock’s wound had reopened and disabled him. His men were driven back from Jerusalem Plank Road in disorder, with 1700 taken prisoner.

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