This Day in the Civil War

Friday July 5 1861

Claiborne Jackson was the legally elected governor of Missouri, but today he was nowhere near the state capital of Jefferson City. He, along with some 4000 fellow Confederate supporters, was down near Carthage, Mo,on the run from Gen. Nathaniel Lyon. They today discovered that besides Lyon behind them, they had Brig. Gen. Franz Sigel in front of them. Jackson got Sigel to attack, then rolled up his flanks in a very good use of cavalry. Sigel retired to await Lyon, whIle Jackson moved to join Sterling Price.

Saturday July 5 1862

The outbreak of war had seen the US Navy in dilapidated condition, as many ships, shipyards and commanders wound up in Confederate hands. Progress was made over the last year, but more was on the way. A bill, sponsored by Senator Grimes of Iowa, was about to authorize new Bureaus of the Navy. They included separate bureaus for Steam Engineering, Construction and Repairs, Navigation, and Medicine.

Sunday July 5 1863

Fulfilling their general’s wish that they “retire in good order”, the proud Army of Northern Virginia began to retire to the safety of Virginia as quickly as the miles of ambulance wagons would permit. They anticipated attack at any moment. It did not come. In one of the most controversial actions of the War, Gen. Meade stayed on Cemetery Ridge rather than launch his battered army in pursuit. Had he known that the Potomac River was rising rapidly from the ongoing rains, perhaps he would have chosen differently.

Tuesday July 5 1864

In ‘62 it had been Antietam. In ‘63 the attack was in Gettysburg. So when summertime came around it caused nervousness in the North. Jubal Early hoped that Lincoln would order the recall of the troops surrounding Petersburg if he could threaten Washington. Deciding against an assault on Harper’s Ferry, he fought smaller battles in Point of Rocks, Keedysville, Nolan’s Ferry and elsewhere. Rather than bother Gen. Grant, Lincoln called for militia reinforcements from New York and Pennsylvania to meet the threat.

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