Good morning, Whitewater.
Thursday in town will be partly cloudy and hot, with a high of ninety-three. Sunrise is 5:36 AM and sunset 8:25 PM, for 14h 49m 17s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 97.3% of its visible disk illuminated.
On this day in 1861, the Union suffers a defeat at the First Battle of Bull Run:
Just months after the start of the war at Fort Sumter, the Northern public clamored for a march against the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia, which they expected to bring an early end to the rebellion. Yielding to political pressure, Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell led his unseasoned Union Army across Bull Run against the equally inexperienced Confederate Army of Brig. Gen. P. G. T. Beauregard camped near Manassas Junction. McDowell’s ambitious plan for a surprise flank attack on the Confederate left was poorly executed by his officers and men; nevertheless, the Confederates, who had been planning to attack the Union left flank, found themselves at an initial disadvantage.
Confederate reinforcements under Brig. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston arrived from the Shenandoah Valley by railroad and the course of the battle quickly changed. A brigade of Virginians under the relatively unknown brigadier general from the Virginia Military Institute, Thomas J. Jackson, stood their ground and Jackson received his famous nickname, “Stonewall Jackson”. The Confederates launched a strong counterattack, and as the Union troops began withdrawing under fire, many panicked and the retreat turned into a rout. McDowell’s men frantically ran without order in the direction of Washington, D.C.
Both armies were sobered by the fierce fighting and many casualties, and realized the war was going to be much longer and bloodier than either had anticipated, and not the short conflict that had been expected. The Battle of First Bull Run highlighted many of the problems and deficiencies that were typical of the first year of the war. Units were committed piecemeal, attacks were frontal, infantry failed to protect exposed artillery, tactical intelligence was nil, and neither commander was able to employ his whole force effectively. McDowell, with 35,000 men, was only able to commit about 18,000, and the combined Confederate forces, with about 32,000 men, committed only 18,000.
On this day in 1921, Gen. Mitchell proves his point:
1921 – General Billy Mitchell Proves Theory of Air Power
On this date Milwaukee’s General William “Billy” Mitchell proved to the world that development of military air power was not outlandish. He flew his De Havilland DH-4B fighter, leading a bombing demonstration that proved a naval ship could be sunk by air bombardment. Mitchell’s ideas for developing military air power were innovative but largely ignored by those who favored development of military sea power. Mitchell zealously advocated his views and was eventually court martialed for speaking out against the United States’ organization of its forces. [Source: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Division of Archives & Special Collections]
A Google a Day asks a history question: “What abolitionist rented a house from the husband of the woman for whom Grace Park in Akron, Ohio, is named?”