Saturday June 15 1861
ROCK RIDES RAILROAD RUDELY
All was chaos around Harpers Ferry, Va. Different Confederate armies
were moving into and out of the vicinity, and Union forces were
doing likewise. Everyone destroyed as much as they could, to deny it
to the enemy. In one case, Union engineers had to explode a 100-ton
boulder which was found on the tracks of the B&O Railroad near,
appropriately enough, Point of Rocks, Md. Although it was assumed
that this misdeed had been perpetrated by retreating Confederates,
no one has ever figured out how they did it.
Sunday June 15 1862
SHENANDOAH SNEAKY SURPRISE SUSPECTED
Gen. John C. Fremont had a simple job description: stop Stonewall
Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley, preferably by defeating his forces
and capturing or killing him. At the moment he couldn’t even find
him, nor figure out if he was going to be reinforced in the Valley
or move out of it. Lincoln had a guess: Jackson “is much more likely
to go to Richmond than Richmond is to come to him.” Lincoln’s guess
was quite correct. Jackson was on the move.
Monday June 15 1863
MILROY MAKES MORTIFYING MISTAKE
Gen. Robert H. Milroy had been warned that Confederate forces were
nearing his position at Winchester, Va. He had even been warned that
there were quite a lot of them. He did not seem to realize that it
was the entire Army of Northern Virginia.
By the time he decided to pull out, about 1 a.m., it was too
late--part of Ewell’s corps, under Edward Johnson, was behind him at
Stephenson’s Depot. Milroy lost 4000 men, mostly taken prisoner, and
many tons of supplies.
Wednesday June 15 1864
POINTLESS PROBLEMS PREVENT PETERSBURG PUSH
Petersburg, Va., the back door to Richmond, should have fallen
today. Had it done so, the war could easily have been ended in the
East in weeks if not days. Instead, a combination of delays, errors,
misunderstood orders, inaccurate maps and, of all things, lack of
rations, allowed 3000 Confederates under the occasionally brilliant
Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard to hold off 16,000 Federal troops long enough
to receive reinforcements. Grant had succeeded in tricking Lee into
thinking his army was still north of the James River while actually
sneaking them across on pontoon bridges. It all went for naught.
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