This Day in the Civil War

Friday May 3 1861
COMMANDER CONDUCTS COMBAT CALL

President Abraham Lincoln today issued a second call for volunteers to augment the miniscule Union standing army. The first call had been for 75,000 volunteer troops; this one asked for 42,000 more volunteers to sign up for three years plus an expansion of the “regular” army from 16,000 to 24,000. There was also a call for 18,000 to join the Navy for at least one year. All of this was done without authorization from Congress, under Lincoln’s role as Commander in Chief.



Saturday May 3 1862
YORKTOWN YIELDED TO YANKEE YOKE

Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, CSA, had been battling for more than a month to fend off the Army of the Potomac under George McClellan. The Federals had brought in siege guns, and were adding more forces across the Rappahannock, and Johnston finally decided to evacuate Yorktown to further up the Peninsula. McClellan, despite outnumbering the Confederates 2-1, had never launched an actual attack because he feared he was the one outnumbered.



Sunday May 3 1863
HAZEL HOUSE HIT HURTS HOOKER’S HEAD

As the battle of Chancellorsville continued today the Confederate army of Stonewall Jackson (under command of Jeb Stuart since Jackson’s wounding yesterday) set up an artillery post on a small hill called Hazel Grove. From this they managed to hit the Chancellor house, which Gen. Joseph Hooker was using as his headquarters. A falling brick hit Hooker in the head, incapacitating him and causing further chaos in the Union lines, which were none too organized today to begin with.



Tuesday May 3 1864
RAPIDAN RISING, RICHMOND RAID READIED

It was revile time for the Army of the Potomac. Commanding Gen. U.S. Grant issued orders to Gen. George Meade to activate the army out of winter quarters and get ready to march for Richmond one more time. Union forces on the Peninsula were marching in heavy dust, resulting in one man writing in his diary that when they reached camp at a river, “A guard was placed along the bank of the river to prevent our washing, for fear of creating a sand bar.”

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