Archive for May 12th, 2009

12
May
09

Veery (Catharus fuscescens)

IMG_9111a 

IMG_9114a

My best guess would be a Veery.  It looks like the bird on this website: http://www.enature.com/fieldguides/detail.asp?recnum=BD0266

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12
May
09

On This Day, May 12: Spotsylvania Court House

May 12, 1864

Bloody day at the Bloody Angle

Close-range firing and hand-to-hand combat at Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia, result in one of the most brutal battles of the Civil War. After the Battle of the Wilderness (May 5-6), Generals Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee raced respective Union and Confederate forces southward. Grant aimed his army a dozen miles southeast of the Wilderness, toward the critical crossroads of Spotsylvania Court House. Sensing Grant’s plan, Lee sent part of his army on a furious night march to secure the road junction before the Union soldiers got there. The Confederates soon constructed a five-mile long system of entrenchments in the shape of an inverted U.

On May 10, Grant began to attack Lee’s position at Spotsylvania. After achieving a temporary breakthrough at the Rebel center, Grant was convinced that a weakness existed there, as the bend of the Confederate line dispersed their fire. At dawn on May 12, Union General Winfield Scott Hancock’s troops emerged from the fog and overran the Rebel trenches, taking nearly 3,000 prisoners and more than a dozen cannons. While the Yankees erupted in celebration, the Confederates counterattacked and began to drive the Federals back. The battle raged for over 20 hours along the center of the Confederate line—the top of the inverted U—which became known as the “Bloody Angle.” Lee’s men eventually constructed a second line of defense behind the original Rebel trenches, and fighting ceased just before dawn on May 13.

Around the Bloody Angle, the dead lay five deep, and bodies had to be moved from the trenches to make room for the living. The action around Spotsylvania shocked even the grizzled veterans of the two great armies. Said one officer, “I never expect to be fully believed when I tell what I saw of the horrors of Spotsylvania.”

And yet the battle was not done; the armies slugged it out for another week. In spite of his losses, Grant persisted, writing to General Henry Halleck in Washington, “I will fight it out on this line if it takes all summer.”

“Bloody day at the Bloody Angle,” The History Channel website, 2009, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2023 [accessed May 12, 2009]

On This Day

1780 – Charleston, South Carolina fell to British forces.

1885 – In the Battle of Batoche, French Canadians rebelled against the Canadian government.

1926 – The airship Norge became the first vessel to fly over the North Pole.

1932 – The infant body of Charles and Anna Lindbergh’s son was found just a few miles from the Lindbergh home near Hopewell, NJ.

1943 – The Axis forces in North Africa surrendered during World War II.

1948 – The state of Israel and its provisional government was established.

1949 – The Soviet Union announced an end to the Berlin Blockade.

1957 – A.J. Foyt won his first auto racing victory in Kansas City, MO.

1975 – U.S. merchant ship Mayaguez was seized by Cambodian forces in international waters.

2002 – Former U.S. President Carter arrived in Cuba for a visit with Fidel Castro. It was the first time a U.S. head of state, in or out of office, had gone to the island since Castro’s 1959 revolution.

May 12, 1780

Americans suffer worst defeat of revolution at Charleston

After a siege that began on April 2, 1780, Americans suffer their worst defeat of the revolution on this day in 1780, with the unconditional surrender of Major General Benjamin Lincoln to British Lieutenant General Sir Henry Clinton and his army of 10,000 at Charleston, South Carolina.

With the victory, the British captured more than 3,000 Patriots and a great quantity of munitions and equipment, losing only 250 killed and wounded in the process. Confident of British control in the South, Lieutenant General Clinton sailed north to New York after the victory, having learned of an impending French expedition to the British-occupied northern state. He left General Charles Cornwallis in command of 8,300 British forces in the South.

South Carolina was a deeply divided state, and the British presence let loose the full violence of a civil war upon the population. First, the British used Loyalists to “pacify” the Patriot population; the Patriots returned the violence in kind. The guerrilla warfare strategies employed by Patriots Francis Marion, Thomas Sumter and Nathanael Greene throughout the Carolina campaign of 1780-81 eventually chased the far more numerous British force into Virginia, where they eventually surrendered at Yorktown on October 19, 1781.

Having suffered the humiliation of surrendering to the British at Charleston, Major General Lincoln was able to turn the tables and accept Cornwallis’ ceremonial surrender to General George Washington at Yorktown on October 20.

“Americans suffer worst defeat of revolution at Charleston,” The History Channel website, 2009, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=620 [accessed May 12, 2009]




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