Monday May 6 1861
SEVERE SECESSIONITIS STRIKES STATES
The long-expected became actual today as the legislatures of
Tennessee and Arkansas both passed Ordinances of Secession from the
Union. Based on which one was ruled to have acted earlier, Tennessee
became the ninth and Arkansas the tenth members of the Confederate
States of America. The real question was whether Kentucky and
Missouri would follow their neighbors’ lead. Strong efforts were
underway both to assure and prevent this outcome.
Tuesday May 6 1862
WACHUSETT WIELDS WILLIAMSBURG WANDERINGS
The Confederate forces continued to retreat back towards Richmond
just barely ahead of the oncoming Union troops. Today it was the
town of Williamsburg which essentially saw the rearguard leaving as
the Union scouts hit the other side of town. Union forces were being
augmented by fresh troops which were being transported up the York
River, escorted by the USS Wachusett under Cmdr. W. Smith.
Wednesday May 6 1863
MEDIA MESS MAKES MORE MISERY
The news of the utter disaster for the Army of the Potomac at
Chancellorsville was just now beginning to filter through official
sources to President Lincoln in Washington. It did his mood no good
at all that he was getting more and better information from reading
the Richmond newspapers than he was from his own army. He sent Gen.
Hooker a telegram saying simply, “God bless you, and all with you. I
know you will do your best.”
Friday May 6 1864
TECHNO-TORPEDO TAKES TERRIBLE TOLL
The James River in eastern Virginia was badly needed as a route for
Union shipping to support the armies attacking Richmond. The problem
was that it was infested with mines, or “torpedoes”.
The USS Commodore Jones was searching for these today and found
one--an “electric torpedo” which was set off by means of an electric
wire by an operator on shore. The ship was blown up out of the water
and reduced to splinters. The operator of the torpedoes, Jeffries
Johnson, and batteries which powered the wires were promptly
captured by a shore party, and placed in the bow of the next
minesweeper. Mr. Johnson thereupon became more cooperative in
revealing where mines were.
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