Tuesday, July 2, 2013

June 28, 1863

June 28, 1863

---Siege of Vicksburg, Day 37

---Siege of Port Hudson, Day 32

---Maj. Gen. George Gordon Meade assumes command of the Army of the Potomac.  He is not very clear on where his army is at the moment, but scouting reports give him a fairly clear idea on where the Rebels are, stretched out between between Chambersburg to the west and York nad Carlisle to the east.  Most of the Army of the Potomac, as Meade soon learns, is in central Maryland, near Frederick and Middletown.

General Meade
---Gen. Robert E. Lee, however, has little idea of where the Union army is.  Stuart’s cavalry has gotten separated from the rest of Lee’s army, has harassed and captured Federal wagon trains, and is riding in the territory between the Federals and Washington, D.C.  Ewell is with two of his divisions in Carlisle, and has dispatched Albert Jenkins’ cavalry brigade to probe ahead to Harrisburg.  Jubal Early, in York, sends John B. Gordon ahead to Wrightsville, to capture a bridge across the Susquehanna; Gordon’s men skirmish with and put to flight a small unit of militia, but are unable to prevent the Pennsylvanians from putting the Wrightsville bridge to the torch.

---On this day, Gen. Alfred Pleasonton promotes three young captains four ranks up to brigadier general, in an effort to shake up the command complacency in the Cavalry Corps in the Army of the Potomac.  The three new generals are Wesley Merrit, who takes a brigade in Buford’s division, Elon J. Farnsworth, and George Armstrong Custer, who each take a brigade in Kilpatrick’s division.  Custer’s command is a brigade of Michigan cavalry regiments from his home state.
Brig.  Gen. George A/. Custer, USA

---Lt. Col. Arthur Fremantle, the British Army observer traveling with Lee’s army, writes in his journal of his meeting Gen. Hood, and of the reception of Rebels by Pennsylvanians:

I was introduced to General Hood this morning; he is a tall, thin, wiry-looking man, with a grave face and a light-coloured beard, thirty-three years old, and is accounted one of the best and most promising officers in the army. By his Texan and Alabamian troops he is adored; he formerly commanded the Texan Brigade, but has now been promoted to the command of a division. His troops are accused of being a wild set, and difficult to manage; and it is the great object of the chiefs to check their innate plundering propensities by every means in their power.

I went into Chambersburg at noon, and found Lawley ensconced in the Franklin Hotel. Both he and I had much difficulty in getting into that establishment. . . . Half-a-dozen Pennsylvanian viragos surrounded and assailed me with their united tongues to a deafening degree. Nor would they believe me when I told them I was an English spectator and a noncombatant: they said I must be either a Rebel or a Yankee—by which expression I learned for the first time that the term Yankee is as much used as a reproach in Pennsylvania as in the South.

---Jenkin Lloyd Jones, an artilleryman laying siege to Vicksburg, writes in his journal with a melancholy turn of mind:
Before Vicksburg, Sunday, June 28. A Sunday is with us, but no one finds any reminder of it as he looks about him. The same routine is gone through with, and were it not for my memoranda I would not know it. When I compare this with the Sunday at home, when all work is laid aside, sister and brother that during the week have been absent, are at home, all there, the quiet lunch for supper—all, all crowd upon my memory, and I long for the time when I can again enjoy them, and the vacuity in my heart be filled, and even to-day I can imagine I can see that gathering, and I know that Mother’s anxious heart looks upon my vacant seat and wonders if her boy is yet spared.

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