This Day in the War: 6/4/09

thisdayTuesday June 4 1861

As difficult as it was to organize landbound military units, it was perhaps even more difficult for both sides to put together naval forces, and means to combat same. The Confederacy, being agriculturally oriented, needed a constant flow of trade with foreign markets. Knowing this, the North was working to blockade this trade. For shore defense the South was installing shore batteries, such as the one activated today at Pig Point, near Hampton Roads, Va. It shot at the revenue cutter Harriet Lane and her Capt. Faunce.

Wednesday June 4 1862

The Confederate evacuation of Ft. Pillow was continuing today, and the residents along the Mississippi River from Yazoo City to Memphis could read the writing on the wall. Actually, they didn’t need to read walls; they could just look at the sky. The cotton harvest had been very large, and available transportation to get it to market very scarce. Planters had huge stocks, and they were grimly determined to burn every bit of it they could rather than let it fall into the hands of the Yankees.

Thursday June 4 1863

Gen. Joseph “Fighting Joe” Hooker, commander of the Army of the Potomac, was becoming more puzzled by the day. He was still patching his army back together after the debacle of Chancellorsville and facing the Confederate army across the Rappahannock. The Confederates were not all still facing him, however. Longstreet’s corps had pulled out yesterday, and Ewell’s followed today. Only A.P. Hill’s corps remained on the riverbank. Hooker’s problem was he had little idea of where the other corps had gone, and even less idea of why. Was this just a movement of camps or the start of a major campaign?

Saturday June 4 1864

Gen. Joe Johnston’s army was moving around New Hope church, Ga. Three of his troops took advantage of the lack of fighting to do some informal resupply. Pvt. John Jackman wrote home today that two of his friends killed a hog and were scalding it in a pot when the owner of both pig and pot caught them in the act. “The old lady,” Jackman reported, “after giving them a piece of her tongue, reported them to Capt. S. in charge of the brigade skirmishers. He immediately had them arrested. When the old lady had gone (being satisfied as the Capt. had promised to report the offenders to the “General”) the culprits were turned loose and went on with their cooking.”

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