Friday Aug. 2 1861
BEN BUTLER BANS BOOZE, BADLY
Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler, although not much for battlefield
command, usually had considerable talent for efficient
administration. This was not much in evidence today as he addressed
the problem of drunkenness among the troops at Ft. Monroe, at
Hampton Roads, Va. He went about this in a straightforward manner,
simply outlawing the sale of intoxicating beverages to the soldiers.
This worked about as well as prohibition ever does: booze was found
at one time or another stored in gun barrels, cannon tubes, and
canteens. Similar prohibitions were tried in other areas by other
generals, with pretty much the same results.
Saturday Aug. 2 1862
ARMY AMBULANCE ACTIVATION ANNOUNCED
It seemed like a minor bureaucratic maneuver at the time: after
considerable backstage work Dr. Jonathan Letterman, Medical Director
of the Army of the Potomac, announced today the establishment of the
Army Ambulance Corps. In fact the army had always had ambulances,
but they were under the control of the Quartermaster Corps, and
tended to be treated like any other wagons, hauling any supplies
that came to hand. Now under Letterman’s control, they were to be
stocked only with medical supplies. The effect on the care and
treatment of the wounded would be considerable.
Sunday Aug. 2 1863
CUMMINGS CONFLICT CREATES CHARLESTON CONSTERNATION
It was not a happy time in Richmond. Gettysburg was lost, Vicksburg
had fallen, the nation was cut in half. And today came an escalation
of the threat in a new quarter: Charleston, South Carolina, the
hotbed and originator of the secession crisis that created the
Confederacy. In Charleston Harbor, near Cummings Point on Morris
Island, Federal gunboats came to call. They assaulted the
Confederate steamer Chesterfield. Although the attack was indecisive
and not pursued, it was considered an omen of new attacks to come.
Tuesday Aug. 2 1864
MECHANICS, MUDSILLS MAKE MILITARY MIGHT MEANINGFUL
The Confederate States of America had its share and more of brave
and insightful military commanders and troops. What it never had was
the industrial infrastructure to support these troops in the field.
An example of what such support could mean was growing rapidly at
City Point, Virginia. This was where Gen. Grant chose to locate his
supply base for his men in the siege of Petersburg. Huge bakeries
provided fresh bread instead of hardtack. Warehouses were built for
supplies, ammunition dumps kept weapons operating. There was even a
network of railroad tracks built to get these supplies to where they
were needed. Recreational opportunities were not overlooked,
although certainly not officially sanctioned. An entire village of
prostitutes was in operation.
Choose a different date