Monday, May 30, 2011

Merrimack raised; Lyon replaces Harney

  • At the mouth of Aquia Creek on the Chesapeake Bay, the USS Freeborn returns with the USS Anacostia and USS Resolute and engage the Virginia Militia batteries for several hours for a second day with little effect./1861
  • At a convention in Knoxville, Tennessee, a group of Unionists denounce Tennessee's secession./1861
  • Colonel Benjamin F. Kelley with the 1st Virginia (US) Infantry and units which would become the 2nd West Virginia Infantry occupies the town of Grafton, in western Virginia, in order to protect the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad line./1861
  • Confederates raise the scuttled U.S.S. Merrimack from the Elizabeth River at Norfolk, Virginia, and move it to Gosport's Dry Dock #1./1861
  • Nathaniel LyonImage by Allen Gathman via Flickr
    Gen. Nathaniel Lyon
  • At St. Louis, Missouri, US Brigadier General William S Harney is relieved of command of the Department of the West, including Missouri, by Congressman/Colonel Francis P. Blair, Jr. President Lincoln had previously granted authority for Blair to order at his discretion Harney’s removal because of the events surrounding the St. Louis Massacre on May 10-12 and the truce which gave the Missouri State Guard under Sterling Price control of the state leaving only St. Louis under Federal control. Nathaniel Lyon, whose arrogance and insubordination to Harney caused the St. Louis Massacre, is promoted to Brigadier General of Volunteers and assigned command of all the Union forces in Missouri. That is how things roll in the Lincoln Administration./1861
  • United States Secretary of War Simon Cameron today sends orders to Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler in Maryland confirming what Butler has already been doing without permission – classifying Negro slaves under his jurisdiction as “contraband of war” and putting them to work as laborers for the Union army, virtually re-enslaving them. The question has caused a flurry of correspondence, debate and controversy in Washington, with everyone including Lincoln debating the subject./1861.
  • President Lincoln asks Atty. Gen. Bates to present an argument to the Supreme Court on behalf of the Administration for the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus in the case of Ex parte Merryman. John Merryman is being held at Fort McHenry, Baltimore, Maryland, for treason without benefit of the writ of habeas corpus./1861

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