Thursday May 2 1861
ELMER ELLSWORTH EXECUTES ENTRANCE
Despite yesterday’s vote by the Maryland House of Delegates to
remain in the Union, the safety of Washington, D.C. was by no means
assured. Troops from various states continued to be raised and sent
to the defense of the capital. Arriving today were the Fire Zouaves
from New York. Their “Turkish” looking costumes of baggy red pants
and short blue jackets were distinctive. Their commander, E. Elmer
Ellsworth, would be one of the first casualties of battle.
Friday May 2 1862
LINCOLN LAMBASTS LATEST LEADER
A constant theme of communications between President Lincoln and his
generals in the field was impatience. Few letters were written than
did not request movement, action, or battle, or at least information
on when such activities might get underway. Today George McClellan
receive a note that his request for heavy guns “alarms me--chiefly
because it argues indefinite
procrastination. Is anything to be done?” Lincoln wanted to know.
Saturday May 2 1863
CHANCELLORSVILLE CONFRONTATION CONTINUES
As it had been planned yesterday, Stonewall Jackson took his army
around to the Federal right. He was observed, but the Federals
misunderstood and thought he was retreating. Late in the afternoon
Southern forces hit the ill-trained, ill-led and utterly unprepared
11th Corps of O. O. Howard. Some units fought valiantly; some ran at
the first shot. The line collapsed. As Jackson rode back to his
lines in the dusk he was hit by a number of shots from his own men.
The arm wound, although serious, was not thought to be
life-threatening by the standards of the day.
Monday May 2 1864
CONFEDERATE CONGRESS CONDUCTS CONFERENCE
Under the Confederate Constitution, the Congress was to meet for a
new session every second year. Thus it was that today the Second
Congress opened for the conduct of business. The first item was a
report from the President. Jefferson Davis reported that it was
beginning to seem unlikely that the nation would receive official
recognition by any European government, but that military efforts
were going well and should lead soon to victory. Little has changed
in political speeches from that day to this.
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