29
Apr
09

On This Day, April 29: Union Captures New Orleans

April 29, 1862

Union captures New Orleans

Union troops officially take possession of New Orleans, completing the occupation that had begun four days earlier.

The capture of this vital southern city was a huge blow to the Confederacy. Southern military strategists planned for a Union attack down the Mississippi, not from the Gulf of Mexico. In early 1862, the Confederates concentrated their forces in northern Mississippi and western Tennessee to stave off the Yankee invasion. Many of these troops fought at Shiloh on April 6 and 7. Eight Rebel gunboats were dispatched up the great river to stop a Union flotilla above Memphis, leaving only 3,000 militia, two uncompleted ironclads, and a few steamboats to defend New Orleans. The most imposing obstacles for the Union were two forts, Jackson and St. Phillip. In the middle of the night of April 24, Admiral David Farragut led a fleet of 24 gunboats, 19 mortar boats, and 15,000 soldiers large fleet of ships in a daring run past the forts.

Now, the River was open to New Orleans except for the rag-tag Confederate fleet. The mighty Union armada plowed right through, sinking eight ships. At New Orleans, Confederate General Mansfield Lovell surveyed his tiny force and realized that resistance was futile. If he resisted, Lovell told Mayor John Monroe, Farragut would bombard the city and inflict severe damage and casualties. Lovell pulled his troops out of New Orleans and the Yankees began arriving on April 25. The troops could not land until Forts Jackson and St. Phillip were secured. They surrendered on April 29, and now New Orleans had no protection. Crowds cursed the Yankees as all Confederate flags in the city were lowered and stars and stripes were raised in their place.

The Confederacy lost a major city, and the lower Mississippi soon became a Union highway for 400 miles to Vicksburg, Mississippi.

“Union captures New Orleans,” The History Channel website, 2009, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2191 [accessed Apr 29, 2009]

On This Day

1429 – Joan of Arc lead Orleans, France, to victory over Britain.

1661 – The Chinese Ming dynasty occupied Taiwan.

1852 – The first edition of Peter Roget’s Thesaurus was published.

1861 – The Maryland House of Delegates voted against seceding from Union.

1927 – Construction of the Spirit of St. Louis was completed for Lindbergh.

1945 – The German Army in Italy surrendered unconditionally to the Allies.

1945 – In a bunker in Berlin, Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun were married. Hitler designated Admiral Karl Doenitz his successor.

1945 – The Nazi death camp, Dachau, was liberated.

1946 – Twenty-eight former Japanese leaders were indicted in Tokyo as war criminals.

1952 – IBM President Thomas J. Watson, Jr., informed his company’s stockholders that IBM was building “the most advanced, most flexible high-speed computer in the world.” The computer was unveiled April 7, 1953, as the IBM 701 Electronic Data Processing Machine.

1974 – U.S. President Nixon announced he was releasing edited transcripts of secretly made White House tape recordings related to the Watergate scandal.

1990 – The destruction of the Berlin Wall began.

1992 – Rioting began after a jury decision to acquit four Los Angeles policemen in the Rodney King beating trial. 54 people were killed in 3 days.

April 29, 1854

First African-American college chartered

By an act of the Pennsylvania legislature, Ashmun Institute, the first college founded solely for African-American students, is officially chartered.

Established in the rolling farmlands of southern Chester County, Pennsylvania, Ashmun Institute was named after Jehudi Ashmun, the U.S. agent who helped reorganize and preserve the struggling African-American colony in Africa that later grew into the independent nation of Liberia. The Ashmun Institute, chartered to give theological, classical, and scientific training to African Americans, opened on January 1, 1857, and John Pym Carter served as the college’s first president. In 1866, the institution was renamed Lincoln University.

“First African-American college chartered,” The History Channel website, 2009, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=4959 [accessed Apr 29, 2009]

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