Friday May 31 1861
LYON LAUNCHES ST. LOUIS LIBERATION
Brig. Gen. Nathaniel Lyon was nothing if not decisive. A few weeks
ago he secured the St. Louis Arsenal against Confederate control by
arresting the Confederate sympathizers guarding it, in the process
setting off a riot that killed 30-some civilians. Today he and local
politico Francis Blair took effective control of the city from Gen.
William Harney, who they regarded as way too soft on Southern
sympathizers if not an outright Confederate himself. They had
quietly obtained Lincoln’s permission for this action.
Saturday May 31 1862
CONFEDERATES CONDUCT CRUCIAL CHICKAHOMINY CONFLICT
It looked like a prime opportunity: McClellan had split the Army of
the Potomac, with three corps north of the Chickahominy River and
two left on the south side. Gen. Joseph Johnston launched what was
to be a crushing attack on the two at Seven Pines, or Fair Oaks. The
attack was bungled, not starting at all until early afternoon, then
done by separate units instead of as a whole. The separated
Northerners, hearing the sound of gunfire, raced to their comrades
aid. Johnston ended the day failed and severely wounded.
Sunday May 31 1863
GUNBOATS GIVE GRAYS GRIEF
Perkins Landing was no place for Union troops to be having breakfast
today--they were up against the river, cut off from help, and
surrounded by Confederates. To their relief and rescue, the USS
Carondelet, Lt. Murphy at the helm, came steaming up, guns firing to
drive off the attackers. Murphy had no means to remove the men, so
he stayed in position to protect them until the troop transport
Forest Queen arrived to take off the men and such of their supplies
as they had room for.
Tuesday May 31 1864
COLD HARBOR CAMPAIGNING CONTINUES
It made for a lot of marching, considerable scuffling and
skirmishing, but so far, no pitched battle as Union Gen. U. S. Grant
tried and tried to find the right flank of Robert E. Lee’s army. His
intent was to avoid pitched battle and let time, hunger and
desertions defeat Lee for him. The stubborn refusal of the
Confederate army to quit was keeping this plan from working quite as
Grant had hoped it would.
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