Posts Tagged ‘New Orleans

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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03
Aug
08

Boscobel Civil War Reenactment: Cavalry

In 1861 my ancestor Henry Gleason answered President Lincoln’s first call and volunteered for the ninety day militia as part of the 4th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry.  The ninety days would be up before the unit could be brought together, shipped east and fight.  After the First Battle of Bull Run, Union leadership realized the war might take longer than ninety days.  The 4th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry became regular army with more volunteers called.  My great-great-great grandfather Salem Gleason joined his brother in the newly named 4th Wisconsin Infantry. 

The 4th Wisconsin shipped east by rail to join the Army of the Potomac, but was later transferred to Ben Butler’s command as part of the invasion of New Orleans.  The 4th Wisconsin embarked from Baltimore, Maryland aboard the USS Constitution and set sail for New Orleans.  In an abortive attempt to take Vicksburg in 1862 the 4th Wisconsin distinguished itself in a rear guard action, allowing the rest of the army to safely return to New Orleans.  Because of that action the 4th Wisconsin was given horses and their designation was changed to 4th Wisconsin Mounted Infantry.

Later in 1863, after having gone up against Bedford Forest twice and stopping him twice, the 4th Wisconsin Mounted infantry was officially recognized as the 4th Wisconsin Cavalry.  Late in 1864, while on a scouting mission, Captain Henry Gleason was shot and wounded by a rebel sharpshooter.  Henry survived the wounds and seemed on the road to recovery until about a month after the war ended when Henry contacted dysentery and died in a hospital near Baton Rouge, Louisiana where he is buried.  His brother Salem survived the war and moved into Wisconsin where he married and later pioneered the town of Gleason, Wisconsin.

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The cavalry horses here are part of the reenactment at Boscobel.  They belong to the 8th Illinois Cavalry.

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This Cavalryman’s favorite weapon would be the Colt 44 caliber.

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A saber was also included.

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As well as a Sharpes or Spencer carbine.

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The troopers of the 8th Illinois gladly discussed the importance and history of cavalry in the Civil War, making the tour of their camp interesting and informative.

30
Apr
08

On This Day, 4-30-08: Louisiana Purchase

Louisiana Purchase concluded

On April 30, 1803, representatives of the United States and Napoleonic France conclude negotiations for the Louisiana Purchase, a massive land sale that doubles the size of the young American republic. What was known as Louisiana Territory comprised most of modern-day United States between the Mississippi and the Rocky Mountains, with the exceptions of Texas, parts of New Mexico, and other pockets of land already controlled by the United States. A formal treaty for the Louisiana Purchase, antedated to April 30, was signed two days later.

Beginning in the 17th century, France explored the Mississippi River valley and established scattered settlements in the region. By the middle of the 18th century, France controlled more of the modern United States than any other European power: from New Orleans northeast to the Great Lakes and northwest to modern-day Montana. In 1762, during the French and Indian War, France ceded its America territory west of the Mississippi River to Spain and in 1763 transferred nearly all of its remaining North American holdings to Great Britain. Spain, no longer a dominant European power, did little to develop Louisiana Territory during the next three decades. In 1796, Spain allied itself with France, leading Britain to use its powerful navy to cut off Spain from America.

“Louisiana Purchase concluded.” 2008. The History Channel website. 29 Apr 2008, 12:39 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6883.

 

0030 – Jesus of Nazareth was crucified.

 

Samuel Adams writes of hope for more battles

In a letter to Reverend Samuel Cooper dated April 30, 1776, Samuel Adams writes of his hopes for another battle between British and American troops, stating his belief that, ” One battle would do more towards a Declaration of Independence than a long chain of conclusive arguments in a provincial convention or the Continental Congress.” At the time of the letter’s composition, General George Washington had successfully driven the British from Boston with his victory at Dorchester Heights on March 17. The British were left with very meager footholds in North America: Quebec, the Floridas and Nova Scotia, Canada.

“Samuel Adams writes of hope for more battles.” 2008. The History Channel website. 29 Apr 2008, 12:42 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=479.

Adolf Hitler commits suicide

On this day in 1945, holed up in a bunker under his headquarters in Berlin, Adolf Hitler commits suicide by swallowing a cyanide capsule and shooting himself in the head. Soon after, Germany unconditionally surrendered to the Allied forces, ending Hitler’s dreams of a “1,000-year” Reich.

“Adolf Hitler commits suicide.” 2008. The History Channel website. 29 Apr 2008, 12:35 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=52566.

South Vietnam surrenders

By dawn, communist forces move into Saigon, where they meet only sporadic resistance. The South Vietnamese forces had collapsed under the rapid advancement of the North Vietnamese. The most recent fighting had begun in December 1974, when the North Vietnamese had launched a major attack against the lightly defended province of Phuoc Long, located due north of Saigon along the Cambodian border, overrunning the provincial capital at Phuoc Binh on January 6, 1975. Despite previous presidential promises to provide aid in such a scenario, the United States did nothing. By this time, Nixon had resigned from office and his successor, Gerald Ford, was unable to convince a hostile Congress to make good on Nixon’s earlier promises to rescue Saigon from communist takeover.

“South Vietnam surrenders.” 2008. The History Channel website. 29 Apr 2008, 12:44 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=1816.

I only follow one party: the Vietnamese party.
Ho Chi Minh

It was patriotism, not communism, that inspired me.
Ho Chi Minh

Nothing is more precious than independence and liberty.
Ho Chi Minh

The great victory of April 30 represents the triumph of the entire nation, of justice over brutality and of humanity over tyranny.
Ho Chi Minh




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