This Day in the Civil War

Wednesday May 22 1861

The financing of a new nation is a complicated matter. The Confederate States of America was certainly no exception to this rule, and was endeavoring to secure such financing in the capital markets of Europe. As a primarily agrarian society most of what they had to sell for export was food and fiber products, most of which would not be ready for harvest for some months. They were therefore trying to sell securities--Confederate bonds. The market was reported weak today.

Thursday May 22 1862

U.S. Gen. Nathaniel Banks had to be tearing his hair today. He knew Stonewall Jackson was in the Shenandoah Valley somewhere, but every time he got to the right place, Jackson wasn’t there any more. Today the Confederate “foot cavalry” slid neatly through the Luray Gap of Massanutten Mountain, putting them in a side valley of the Blue Ridge. Turner Ashby’s cavalry (the regular horse kind) screened the maneuver. Banks was still looking for rebels in the wrong place.

Friday May 22 1863

U. S. Grant launched his second attack on fortified Vicksburg, Miss., today, and the results were, if anything, worse than the first. Again Sherman made the most progress, advancing to the top of one of the defender’s trenches, but he was driven off. Grant lost 3200 men out of his army of 45,000; Confederate losses were fewer than 500. Jefferson Davis was trying to find any available forces to help Gen. Joe Johnston lift the siege, but not having much luck.

Sunday May 22 1864

If inanimate objects such as ships were capable of feeling emotional reactions, the USS Stingaree would have been in a state of severe confusion today. First she was set upon by a party of Confederates while minding her own business in the vicinity of Brazos, Tex. She was just getting used to being the CSS Stingaree when her original owners succeeded in reclaiming her. It was enough to make her head spin.

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