Friday, May 16, 2008


This Day in the History of Miserable Union Failure

On this day in 1864, on the final day of the Battle of Proctor's Creek, 18,000 Confederates under the command of P. G. T. Beauregard and George Pickett stop cold the advance of 33,000 Yankees under Benjamin Butler on a peninsula, called Bermuda's Hundred, in the James River at its confluence with the Appomattox River, south and east of Richmond and just opposite the important river port of City Point. The Confederates sealed off Butler's Army of the James 5 days later in the battle of Ware Bottom Church. Around this time, Lee and Grant and Meade were busy fighting in the Wilderness and at Spottsylvania Court House, so Butler's utter failure here wasn't even a distraction to Lee. At this point the tactics in the Civil War were changing from Napoleonic disposition of moving mass formations into more like the trench warfare of the First World War, as the photo reveals.
Butler was a political appointment to his generalship. Historians can tell.


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