This Day in the Civil War

Wednesday July 10 1861

Finally deciding that he had enough manpower, Gen. George McClellan directed Gen. William Rosecrans to attack the Confederate forces of Robert S. Garnett at Laurel Hill and Rich Mountain. With three brigades of infantry as well as a cavalry detachment, Rosecrans’ force greatly outnumbered their opponents. However, the attack was slowed by extremely uneven land and unfamiliar roadways, and the actual battle wound up being delayed a day.

Thursday July 10 1862

This was an odd war in many ways, with officers on opposite sides who had been roommates at West Point, not to mention troops who on occasions had neighbors and even family members among the ranks of the opposition. In consequence of this came meetings like one today in Guntown, Miss. It was supposed to be a Federal “expedition”, but a flag of truce came out and the afternoon was spent socializing, discussing issues, and trading newspapers.

Friday July 10 1863

In Charleston Harbor there is a small, fairly insignificant spit of land called Morris Island. On this island were some guns, and this installation was named after a fellow known as Wagner. It is often referred to as Fort Wagner, but it is more properly known as Battery Wagner as it was not surrounded by walls. It might as well have been, though--today began an attack on this installation which would continue for months. The island was the key to the defense of the South Carolina coast, and the battle would be fierce.

Sunday July 10 1864

Fear, panic and a great desire to be elsewhere gripped residents of Washington, D.C. today. Included among the relocation victims were Abraham and Mary Lincoln, who normally spent the summer at the Soldier’s Home but were summoned back to the White House as the Confederate forces of Jubal Early approached the outer suburbs. Fighting flared in Rockville and Gunpowder Ridge, as Lew Wallace continued to defend with raw recruits, 100-day men, and convalescent veterans.

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