This Day in the Civil War

Tuesday April 30 1861

In these early days of the war the enthusiasm of the public knew no bounds. Men enlisted in droves, often prompted by their women--in some cases to impress them, in others to escape them. Women, in turn, gathered parcels of food, clothing and other items for the enlistees. In an outburst of patriotism among the upper crust, the members of the New York City Yacht Club voted to volunteer boats to the Federal Navy, if it should have need of them.

Wednesday April 30 1862

It had been the most active month of the war thus far, and this April had brought unexpected reverses for the Confederate States of America. It was in hopes of putting things back on track that Thomas J. Jackson led his forces away from Elk Run, near Swift Run, in the Blue Ridge Mountains. His immediate destination was Staunton. It was part of what would be known as the Shenandoah Valley Campaign

Thursday April 30 1863

He had led his men out of Fredericksburg, crossed the Rappahannock, entered that part of Virginia known as the Wilderness. Today Gen. Joseph Hooker set up camp at the home of a family named Chancellor. He then wrote a speech to his troops, saying “...our enemy must ingloriously fly, or come out from behind their defenses and give us battle...where certain destruction awaits him.”

Saturday April 30 1864

President Jefferson Davis and his wife Varina suffered the loss of their beloved son, Joe Davis, today. The exuberant five-year-old was, as boys that age often do, playing where he shouldn’t have been, on the second-floor balcony of the Presidential home, the Confederate White House in Richmond. Somehow he slipped, toppled over the railing, and fell to the brick pavement below.

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