This Day in the Civil War

Friday June 7 1861

“The Little Giant” from Illinois was no more. Sen. Stephen Douglas, whose debates with Lincoln made political history in the course of a bitter political contest, was buried today. Despite those conflicts, once the war began Douglas had been in complete support of Lincoln, and the display of unity inspired many. Government offices in the North were closed in his honor. Lincoln ordered black bunting hung on the White House, and received no visitors today.

Saturday June 7 1862

A certain William B. Mumford was a dedicated Confederate, and he was not at all amused to be living in a town occupied by the heathen Yankee as his native New Orleans now was. His form of political protest was to pull down and burn the Stars and Stripes flying over the US Mint building in the French Quarter. Commander of the occupation force Gen. Ben Butler did nothing to improve his reputation for political incorrectness, ordering Mumford hanged. He was.

Sunday June 7 1863

Not too far from Vicksburg stood a Federal garrison at a place called Milliken’s Bend, La. Today they were fiercely attacked by Confederates and driven out. They fell back and fell back until they reached the banks of the Mississippi River, where they would have been doomed had not the gunboats Lexington and Choctaw happened to be present. The ships fired over their comrade’s heads into the advancing Confederates and finally forced them to disengage. Federal casualties outnumbered Southern ones by almost six to one.

Tuesday June 7 1864

There had been talk that the convention should not be held at all, what with the war; but it was. It was called the National Union Convention to acknowledge the presence of some War Democrats at what was otherwise the Republican gathering. Support for Lincoln was virtually unanimous. It was not so for Hannibal Hamlin, vice-president and former Senator from Maine who felt completely useless in this role and spent most of his time back home raising regiments anyway. He wanted off the ticket.

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