Saturday May 18 1861
PECULIAR POLITICAL PLOYS PLAYED
Things were getting very confusing in St. Louis. Technically the
military chief in the city was Gen. William S. Harney. He had been
relieved on April 21. Then he was reappointed May 8. Then Lincoln
had sent a letter to local politician (and known Unionist) Frank
Blair, telling him to relieve Harney again, suspecting him of
excessive tolerance of Confederate elements. Today Lincoln sent
Blair yet another letter, rescinding the first one.
Sunday May 18 1862
SMITH SNEERS AT SURRENDER SUGGESTION
The USS Oneida steamed up to the docks of Vicksburg,
Miss., today and her commander, S.P. Lee, went ashore. He
carried with him the joint request of US Flag Officer David G.
Farragut and Gen. Benjamin Butler for the surrender of the city.
Unlike New Orleans and Memphis before it, the city was defended by
the army of Confederate Gen. M. L. Smith. He declined to surrender,
and the city was put under siege.
Monday May 18 1863
SURRENDER SUGGESTION STILL SUFFER
Last year the Union had asked. This year they asked in force for the
surrender of the city of Vicksburg, with the armies of U.S. Grant
surrounding the town to back it up. Gen. Pemberton’s army,
originally 20,000 and now missing some 5500, mostly prisoners, had
retreated as far as they could go, into town. Gunboats blocked the
river, and now Grant invested the city, completely surrounding it
with fortifications. The siege was now absolute.
Wednesday May 18 1864
SPOTSYLVANIA STILL SEES SKIRMISHES
Action had been comparatively slow for several days around
Spotsylvania Court House. This ended today with an assault at dawn
by the corps’ of Hancock and Wright on Robert E. Lee’s left flank.
Unfortunately for many brave Union soldiers, the Confederates had
spent the days of quiet building fortifications and entrenchments.
The attack, and several more, all failed, and Meade ordered a halt.
Grant renewed his motion around Lee’s right flank.
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