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Husband, father, grandfather, friend...a few of the roles acquired in 62 years of living.  I keep an upbeat attitude, loving humor and the singular freedom of a perfect laugh.  I don't let curmudgeons ruin my day; that only gives them power over me.  Having experienced death once, I no longer fear it, although I am still frightened by the process of dying.  I love to write because it allows me the freedom to vent those complex feelings that bounce restlessly off the walls of my mind; and express the beauty that can only be found within the human heart.

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Civil War: Events of June 1863

On June 1st, Union General Ambrose Burnside ordered the Chicago Tribune to cease publication because of the newspaper's vitriolic anti-Lincoln writings.  President Lincoln, on the 4th, suggested lifting the ban, and Secretary of War Edwin Stanton orders Burnside to lift the ban.

Robert E. Lee broke camp near Fredericksburg, VA and began moving his army westward towards the Shenandoah Valley.

On June 7th, Confederate General John Walker led a force in an attempt to break Union supply in an attempt to break the siege of Vicksburg, resulting in the Battle of Milliken's Bend.  The force, although initially successful, was met by black Union troops who fought the Rebels to a standstill, and when supported by fire from two Union gunboats, forced the Rebels to withdraw.

Two days later, Union General Alfred Pleasanton met Confederate General Jeb Stuart in what was the largest cavalry battle on American soil at Brandy Station.  For the first time in the war, Stuart, the flamboyant Virginia cavalier, was surprised not once, but twice during the battle.  Stuart could have been decisively defeated, but Pleasonton, maneuvering with great caution, failed to take advantage of his opportunities and at the end of the day, his force, although outnumbering his opponents, retired from the field.

June 11th saw the beginning of Morgan's Raid, a Confederate cavalry incursion of Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana.

As the Army of Northern Virginia moved north on it's invasion of the North, the Union garrison at the strategically important Winchester, VA lay in their path.  Waiting too long to act, the Union commander, Robert Milroy, was surrounded by Rebel forces under Richard Ewell.  In the ensuing attack, all of the approximately 6000 Bluecoats were either killed or captured.  The way into Pennsylvania lay open.

June 14th saw an unsuccessful attempt by Union General Nathaniel Banks to take the Mississippi River town of Port Hudson, LA.  The siege continued.

On June 17th, the Confederate ironclad CSS ATLANTA engaged two Union warships but surrendered.

Union Major General John McClernand was relieved of command by General Ulysses S. Grant on June 18th for insubordination after McClernand made unauthorized disclosures to the press.

On June 20th, West Virginia officially became the 35th state.

Union forces under William Rosecrans began the Tullahoma Campaign in Tennessee on June 23rd.  Rosecrans maneuvered brilliantly, outflanking Confederate forces under Braxton Bragg, resulting in the defeat of two fortified positions, and the eviction of southern troops from Central Tennessee.,

Also on that day, lead units of the Army of Northern Virginia crossed the Potomac River northwest of Harper's Ferry and invaded the North.

During the long siege at Vicksburg, a novel idea was tried, tunneling under Confederate positions and filling the pit with several hundred pounds of explosives.  When detonated, the blast blew a hole in the Southern lines, but the Rebel troops reacted quickly and repulsed the attack.

On June 27th, Union General In Chief Henry Halleck issued an order placing George Meade in command of the Army of the Potomac, replacing Joseph Hooker.

Confederate troops pour into Pennsylvania as Jubal Early seizes York on the 28th.

In what many consider one of the vital events leading to Gettysburg, Union cavalry under John Buford occupy the crossroads town.  Recognizing the value of the high ground south of Gettysburg, Buford deploys his two brigades across a ridge northwest of town, hoping his 2,500 horsemen could delay the 20,000 approaching Rebels in time for Union reinforcements to arrive.

Union General Henry Heth orders Pettigrew's Brigade to march into Gettysburg on the 30th, reacting to the rumor that a shoe factory was there located.  It was these troops Buford saw and reported.


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