This Day in the Civil War

Thursday July 25 1861

There had been attempts at compromises for years, even decades in attempts to reconcile the institution of slavery with the American ideals of freedom for all men. Today the last of these compromise offers passed US the Senate by a vote of 30-5. Known as the Crittenden Resolution, it was a statement that the Union was fighting “to defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution and to preserve the Union” and not to interfere with slavery. This last attempt to fend off more secession and wider war did neither.

Friday July 25 1862

The big, famous battles of the War of the Rebellion get all the attention and most of the books, but it is worth remembering that one is just as dead if killed in an unnamed skirmish as in the Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble Charge at Gettysburg. Small actions known as operations and skirmishes took place today at Summerville, Va; Courtland and Trinity, Alabama, Clinton Ferry, Tenn., Mountain Store, Mo, Holly Springs Miss., on Pearl River and Lake Ponchartrain, La, and in Pass Manchac nearby.

Saturday July 25 1863

President Jefferson Davis received a letter today written yesterday from Robert E. Lee. One of the first lengthy notes in the aftermath of Gettysburg (aside from battle reports) he endeavored to explain his current course of actions. He had intended, Lee wrote, to march on the east side of the Blue Ridge Mountains but had been prevented from crossing by high water and “other obstacles.” One of these, presumably, was the Army of the Potomac.

Monday July 25 1864

The siege of Petersburg dragged wearily on. U.S Grant came up with an almost mischievous plan today. He dispatched the Second Corps, along with two divisions of cavalry, to the north bank of the James River. They were to tear up railroads and threaten Richmond in any other ways their hearts desired. They were essentially ordered to be pests, in hopes that Lee would detach some forces to drive them off.

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