This Day in the Civil War

June 6 1861 Thursday

The United States had never maintained a large standing army; since the days of the Revolution this had been an article of faith and policy. Now it was necessary to muster the biggest force the country had ever assembled, and some horsetrading was necessary. One such deal was made today as it was ruled that all expenses of the war would be assumed by the Federal government. The only exception was the cost of mobilizing recruits before they were sworn in to serve. This was to be borne by the individual states.

Friday June 6 1862

The Battle of Memphis took place on the Mississippi River today as citizens of the city lined the bluffs above the river to watch. The Union fleet, under Commodore Charles Davis, consisted of five ironclads and four ramships, carrying 68 guns; they were opposed by a mere eight boats, with 28 guns between them. The battle lasted a mere two hours and was over by 7:30 a.m. The mayor of the city tearfully surrendered the town before noon, and the Father of Waters flowed unvexed to--Vicksburg.

Saturday June 6 1863

One of the great cavalry reviews of all time took place today at Brandy Station, near the Rappahannock in northern Virginia. The 8000 assembled cavalrymen of James Ewell Brown Stuart put on a full display. It was designed to show their talents to Robert E. Lee, but he was delayed so the show was staged for local citizens, dignitaries, and ladies, who had come in on a special railroad train to see the show.

Monday June 6 1864

By this point in the war it must have seemed to both Confederate Gen. Joseph Johnston and Union Gen. William T. Sherman that they had spent half of eternity fighting against each other, with occasional breaks to fight other foes. Today the armies of the two men faced each other uneasily over the Big Shanty Creek and Raccoon Creek. The only actual fighting, though, occurred over by Pine Mountain.

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