First Battle of Deep Bottom
The First Battle of Deep Bottom known as Darbytown, Strawberry Plains, New Market Road, or Gravel Hill, was fought July 27–29, 1864, at Deep Bottom in Henrico County, Virginia, as part of the Siege of Petersburg of the American Civil War. A Union force under Maj. Gens. Winfield S. Hancock and Philip H. Sheridan was sent on an expedition threatening Richmond and its railroads, intending to attract Confederate troops away from the Petersburg defensive line, in anticipation of the upcoming Battle of the Crater; the Union infantry and cavalry force was unable to break through the Confederate fortifications at Bailey's Creek and Fussell's Mill and was withdrawn, but it achieved its desired effect of momentarily reducing Confederate strength at Petersburg. Deep Bottom is the colloquial name for an area of the James River in Henrico County 11 miles southeast of Richmond, Virginia, at a horseshoe-shaped bend in the river known as Jones Neck, it was a convenient crossing point from the Bermuda Hundred area on the south side of the river.
Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant began a siege of the city of Petersburg, after initial assaults on the Confederate lines, June 15–18, 1864, failed to break through. While Union cavalry conducted the Wilson-Kautz Raid in an attempt to cut the railroad lines leading into Petersburg and his generals planned a renewed assault on the Petersburg fortifications, an attack scheduled for July 30 that would become known as the Battle of the Crater. Hoping to increase the chances for success at Petersburg, Grant planned a movement against Richmond that Gen. Robert E. Lee would counter with troops taken out of the Petersburg line. Grant ordered the II Corps of the Army of the Potomac, commanded by Maj. Gen. Winfield S. Hancock, two divisions of Maj. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan's Cavalry Corps to cross the river to Deep Bottom by pontoon bridge and advance against the Confederate capital. A division of the X Corps, commanded by Brig. Gen. Robert S. Foster, had crossed on a second pontoon bridge just upstream to secure a bridgehead on the north bank of the river.
Grant's plan called for Hancock to pin down the Confederates at Chaffin's Bluff and prevent reinforcements from opposing Sheridan's cavalry, which would attack Richmond if practicable. If not—a circumstance Grant considered more likely—Sheridan was ordered to ride around the city to the north and west and cut the Virginia Central Railroad, supplying Richmond from the Shenandoah Valley; the Confederate fieldworks protecting Richmond were commanded by Lt. Gen. Richard S. Ewell; when Lee found out about Hancock's pending movement, he ordered that the Richmond lines be reinforced to 16,500 men. The four brigades of Maj. Gen. Joseph B. Kershaw's division joined Col. John S. Fulton's brigade of the Department of Richmond and the brigades of Brig. Gens. James H. Lane and Samuel McGowan from Maj. Gen. Cadmus M. Wilcox's division; the reinforcements moved east on New Market Road and took up positions on the eastern face of New Market Heights. Hancock and Sheridan crossed the pontoon bridge starting at 3 a.m.
July 27. The II Corps advanced with the division of Maj. Gen. John Gibbon on the left, Brig. Gen. Francis C. Barlow in the center, Brig. Gen. Gershom Mott on the right, they broke through the Confederate rifle pits on the New Market Road, captured four cannons, continued to advance towards the Long Bridge Road. After being distracted by Confederate artillery fire, which Mott's infantry was able to suppress, the II Corps took up positions on the east bank of Bailey's Creek, from New Market Road to near Fussell's Mill. Sheridan's cavalry rode to the high ground on the right, overlooking the millpond; the cavalry division of Brig. Gen. Alfred T. A. Torbert captured the high ground near Fussell's Mill, but they were counterattacked and driven back by the 10th and 50th Georgia Infantry regiments; the Confederate works on the west bank of Bailey's Creek were formidable and Hancock chose not to attack them, spending the rest of the day performing reconnaissance. While Hancock was stymied at Bailey's Creek, Robert E. Lee began bringing up more reinforcements from Petersburg, reacting as Grant had hoped.
He assigned Lt. Gen. Richard H. Anderson to take command of the Deep Bottom sector and sent in Maj. Gen. Henry Heth's infantry division and Maj. Gen. W. H. F. "Rooney" Lee's cavalry division. Troops were hurriedly detailed from the Department of Richmond to help the man the trenches. On the morning of July 28, Grant reinforced Hancock with a brigade of the XIX Corps, which freed up Gibbon's division from its position on the New Market Road to assist in an attack on the Confederate left. Sheridan's men attempted to turn the Confederate left with an advance against Gravel Hill, but their movement was disrupted by a Confederate attack. Three brigades—Lane's, McGowan's, Kershaw's —attacked Sheridan's right flank; the Union cavalrymen formed a battle line in which they were lying prone just beyond a shallow ridgeline. The Confederates charged over the crest and encountered heavy fire from the Union repeating carbines. Mounted Federals in Sheridan's reserve captured nearly 200 prisoners. By the afternoon of July 28, Hancock had repositioned his divisions to ensure that his force could return to the Deep Bottom crossing point without interference.
No further combat occurred and the expedition against Richmond and its railroads was terminated. Satisfied that the operation had distracted sufficient Confederate forces from his front, General Grant determined to proceed with the assault against the Crater on July 30, he ord
Battle of Sailor's Creek
The Battle of Sailor's Creek was fought on April 6, 1865, near Farmville, Virginia, as part of the Appomattox Campaign, near the end of the American Civil War. It was the last major engagement between the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, commanded by General Robert E. Lee and the Union Army under the overall direction of Union General-in-Chief Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant. After abandoning Petersburg, the exhausted and starving Confederates headed west, hoping to re-supply at Danville or Lynchburg, before joining General Joseph E. Johnston in North Carolina, but the stronger Union army kept pace with them, exploiting the rough terrain full of creeks and high bluffs, where the Confederates’ long wagon trains were vulnerable. The two small bridges over Sailor's Creek and Little Sailor's Creek caused a bottleneck that further delayed the Confederates’ attempt to escape. After some desperate hand-to-hand fighting, about a quarter of the remaining effective soldiers of the Confederate force were lost, including several generals.
Witnessing the surrender from a nearby bluff, Lee made his famous despairing remark to Major General William Mahone, "My God, has the army dissolved?", to which Mahone replied, "No, here are troops ready to do their duty." The battle is sometimes referenced under its old spelling as Sayler's Creek. A review of the Appomattox Campaign before the Battle of Sailor's Creek shows the desperate circumstances of the Confederate forces leading into the battle. Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant's Union Army broke the Confederate States Army defenses of Petersburg, Virginia at the Battle of Five Forks on April 1 and the Third Battle of Petersburg on April 2. A Union division under the command of Brigadier General Nelson A. Miles broke up the last defense of the South Side Railroad on the afternoon of April 2, cutting off that railroad as a supply line or route of retreat for the Confederates. General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia evacuated Petersburg and the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia on the night of April 2–3 and began a retreat in hopes of linking up with General Joseph E. Johnston's army confronting the Union army group commanded by Major General William T. Sherman in North Carolina.
Most of Lee's army marched west on roads north of the Appomattox River. On April 3, south of the Appomattox River, Union Army cavalry under Colonel William Wells's brigade of Brigadier General George Armstrong Custer's division pursued and engaged units of the fleeing Confederate cavalry rear guard under Brigadier General William Paul Roberts at Namozine Creek and Brigadier General Rufus Barringer of W. H. F. "Rooney" Lee's division and the overall command of Major General Fitzhugh Lee at the Battle of Namozine Church. Barringer's Confederate cavalry had bought enough time for Major General Bushrod Johnson's infantry division to pass nearby Namozine Church; when General Johnson approached Namozine Church with his infantry division, Custer's men were forced to retire, allowing the Confederate forces to proceed across Deep Creek, an Appomattox River tributary. After dark, Wells's brigade continued to attack Fitzhugh Lee's force along Deep Creek but were held off by Bushrod Johnson's infantry at Sweathouse Creek.
Brigadier General Barringer and many of his men were captured when Major General Philip H. Sheridan's scouts who were wearing gray uniforms led Barringer and his remaining men into a trap; the number of Confederate killed and wounded are unknown except that Bushrod Johnson reported 15 wounded. 350 Confederates were captured. The Union force sustained casualties of 95 killed and wounded at the engagements at Namozine Creek, Namozine Church and Sweathouse Creek on April 3. Most of the Confederate Army had marched about 21 miles west on April 3. In order to meet at the rendezvous point of Amelia Court House, designated by General Lee, all of the Confederate commands except those of Lieutenant General Richard H. Anderson and Major General Fitzhugh Lee would have to cross the Appomattox River, which turns to the north not far west of the Confederate camps on the night of April 3. On April 4, most of the Confederate army moving over to the south side of the Appomattox River had to use a single muddy road or take circuitous routes due to flooding and bridges being out on other roads, slowing progress toward the rendezvous point of Amelia Court House.
By the evening of April 3, most of Lieutenant General James Longstreet's troops had crossed to the west side of the Appomattox River over Goode's Bridge while Major General John B. Gordon's corps was east of the bridge. Amelia Court House was 8.5 miles to the west. Ewell's force could not cross the river at the Genito Bridge as planned because a necessary pontoon bridge expected to be there had not arrived. After marching south, Ewell's men crossed the river on a Richmond and Danville Railroad bridge over which they had placed planks, they camped on April 4 about 1 mile west of the bridge. Gordon's corps was at Scott's Shop 5 miles east of Amelia Court House, waiting for Ewell's column to catch up. Mahone's men marched to Goode's Bridge but did not go into Amelia Court House until he was told that the force from Richmond had arrived. On the line of march west toward the Confederate Army's rendezvous point of Amelia Court House on Bevill's Bridge Road, Lieutenant General Anderson had the remaining men of Major Generals George Pickett and Bushrod Johnson's divisions build earthworks and form a line of battle at Tabernacle Church Road to protect the forces in retreat from attack from the pursuing Union forces to their south.
On April 4, Custer's cavalry division rode west toward J
During the American Civil War, the Union Army referred to the United States Army, the land force that fought to preserve the Union of the collective states. Known as the Federal Army, it proved essential to the preservation of the United States of America as a working, viable republic; the Union Army was made up of the permanent regular army of the United States, but further fortified and strengthened by the many temporary units of dedicated volunteers as well as including those who were drafted in to service as conscripts. To this end, the Union Army fought and triumphed over the efforts of the Confederate States Army in the American Civil War. Over the course of the war, 2,128,948 men enlisted in the Union Army, including 178,895 colored troops. Of these soldiers, 596,670 were wounded or went missing; the initial call-up was for just three months, after which many of these men chose to reenlist for an additional three years. When the American Civil War began in April 1861, there were only 16,367 men in the U.
S. Army, including 1,108 commissioned officers. 20% of these officers, most of them Southerners, choosing to tie their lives and fortunes to the Army of the Confederacy. In addition 200 West Point graduates who had left the Army, including Ulysses S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, Braxton Bragg, would return to service at the outbreak of the war; this group's loyalties were far more divided, with 92 donning Confederate gray and 102 putting on the blue of the Union Army. The U. S. Army consisted of ten regiments of infantry, four of artillery, two of cavalry, two of dragoons, three of mounted infantry; the regiments were scattered widely. Of the 197 companies in the army, 179 occupied 79 isolated posts in the West, the remaining 18 manned garrisons east of the Mississippi River along the Canada–United States border and on the Atlantic coast. With the Southern slave states declaring secession from the Union, with this drastic shortage of men in the army, President Abraham Lincoln called on the states to raise a force of 75,000 men for three months to put down this subversive insurrection.
Lincoln's call forced the border states to choose sides, four seceded, making the Confederacy eleven states strong. It turned out that the war itself proved to be much longer and far more extensive in scope and scale than anyone on either side, Union North or Confederate South, expected or imagined at the outset on the date of July 22, 1861; that was the day that Congress approved and authorized subsidy to allow and support a volunteer army of up to 500,000 men to the cause. The call for volunteers was met by patriotic Northerners and immigrants who enlisted for a steady income and meals. Over 10,000 Germans in New York and Pennsylvania responded to Lincoln's call, the French were quick to volunteer; as more men were needed, the number of volunteers fell and both money bounties and forced conscription had to be turned to. Between April 1861 and April 1865, at least 2,128,948 men served in the Union Army, of whom the majority were volunteers, it is a misconception that the South held an advantage because of the large percentage of professional officers who resigned to join the Confederate army.
At the start of the war, there were 824 graduates of the U. S. Military Academy on the active list. Of the 900 West Point graduates who were civilians, 400 returned to the Union Army and 99 to the Confederate. Therefore, the ratio of Union to Confederate professional officers was 642 to 283; the South did have the advantage of other military colleges, such as The Citadel and Virginia Military Institute, but they produced fewer officers. Though officers were able to resign, enlisted soldiers did not have this right. While the total number of those is unknown, only 26 enlisted men and non-commissioned officers of the regular army are known to have left the army to join the Confederate army when the war began; the Union Army was composed of numerous organizations, which were organized geographically. Military division A collection of Departments reporting to one commander. Military Divisions were similar to the more modern term Theater. Department An organization that covered a defined region, including responsibilities for the Federal installations therein and for the field armies within their borders.
Those named for states referred to Southern states, occupied. It was more common to name departments for regions. District A subdivision of a Department
Battle of Cold Harbor
The Battle of Cold Harbor was fought during the American Civil War near Mechanicsville, from May 31 to June 12, 1864, with the most significant fighting occurring on June 3. It was one of the final battles of Union Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's Overland Campaign, is remembered as one of American history's bloodiest, most lopsided battles. Thousands of Union soldiers were killed or wounded in a hopeless frontal assault against the fortified positions of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's army. On May 31, as Grant's army once again swung around the right flank of Lee's army, Union cavalry seized the crossroads of Old Cold Harbor, about 10 miles northeast of the Confederate capital of Richmond, holding it against Confederate attacks until the Union infantry arrived. Both Grant and Lee, whose armies had suffered enormous casualties in the Overland Campaign, received reinforcements. On the evening of June 1, the Union VI Corps and XVIII Corps arrived and assaulted the Confederate works to the west of the crossroads with some success.
On June 2, the remainder of both armies arrived and the Confederates built an elaborate series of fortifications 7 miles long. At dawn on June 3, three Union corps attacked the Confederate works on the southern end of the line and were repulsed with heavy casualties. Attempts to assault the northern end of the line and to resume the assaults on the southern were unsuccessful. Grant said of the battle in his memoirs, "I have always regretted that the last assault at Cold Harbor was made.... No advantage whatever was gained to compensate for the heavy loss we sustained." The armies confronted each other on these lines until the night of June 12, when Grant again advanced by his left flank, marching to the James River. It was an impressive defensive victory for Lee. In the final stage, he alternated between digging into the trenches at Petersburg and fleeing westward across Virginia. Grant's Overland Campaign was one of a series of simultaneous offensives the newly appointed general in chief launched against the Confederacy.
By late May 1864, only two of these continued to advance: Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman's Atlanta Campaign and the Overland Campaign, in which Grant accompanied and directly supervised the Army of the Potomac and its commander, Maj. Gen. George G. Meade. Grant's campaign objective was not the Confederate capital of Richmond, but the destruction of Lee's army. President Abraham Lincoln had long advocated this strategy for his generals, recognizing that the city would fall after the loss of its principal defensive army. Grant ordered Meade, "Wherever Lee goes, there you will go also." Although he hoped for a quick, decisive battle, Grant was prepared to fight a war of attrition. Both Union and Confederate casualties could be high, but the Union had greater resources to replace lost soldiers and equipment. On May 5, after Grant's army crossed the Rapidan River and entered the Wilderness of Spotsylvania, it was attacked by Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Although Lee was outnumbered, about 60,000 to 100,000, his men fought fiercely and the dense foliage provided a terrain advantage.
After two days of fighting and 29,000 casualties, the results were inconclusive and neither army was able to obtain an advantage. Lee had not turned him back. Under similar circumstances, previous Union commanders had chosen to withdraw behind the Rappahannock, but Grant instead ordered Meade to move around Lee's right flank and seize the important crossroads at Spotsylvania Court House to the southeast, hoping that by interposing his army between Lee and Richmond, he could lure the Confederates into another battle on a more favorable field. Elements of Lee's army beat the Union army to the critical crossroads of Spotsylvania Court House and began entrenching, a tactic that became essential for the outnumbered defenders. Meade was dissatisfied with Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan's Union cavalry's performance and released it from its reconnaissance and screening duties for the main body of the army to pursue and defeat the Confederate cavalry under Maj. Gen. J. E. B. Stuart. Sheridan's men mortally wounded Stuart in the tactically inconclusive Battle of Yellow Tavern and continued their raid toward Richmond, leaving Grant and Meade without the "eyes and ears" of their cavalry.
Near Spotsylvania Court House, fighting occurred on and off from May 8 through May 21, as Grant tried various schemes to break the Confederate line. On May 8, Union Maj. Gens. Gouverneur K. Warren and John Sedgwick unsuccessfully attempted to dislodge the Confederates under Maj. Gen. Richard H. Anderson from Laurel Hill, a position, blocking them from Spotsylvania Court House. On May 10, Grant ordered attacks across the Confederate line of earthworks, which by now extended over 4 miles, including a prominent salient known as the Mule Shoe. Although the Union troops failed again at Laurel Hill, an innovative assault attempt by Col. Emory Upton against the Mule Shoe showed promise. Grant used Upton's assault technique on a much larger scale on May 12 when he ordered the 15,000 men of Maj. Gen. Winfield S. Hancock's corps to assault the Mule Shoe. Hancock was successful, but the Confederate leadership rallied and repulsed his incursion. Attacks by Maj. Gen. Horatio G. Wright on the western edge of the Mule Shoe, which became known as the "Bloody Angle," involved 24 hours of desperate hand-to-hand fighting, some of the most intense of the Civil War.
Supporting attacks by Warren and by Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside were unsuccessful. In the end, the battle was tactically inconclusive, but with 32,000 casualties on both sides, it was the costliest battle of the campaign. Grant planned to end the stalemate by onc
Battle of Mine Run
The Battle of Mine Run known as Payne's Farm, or New Hope Church, or the Mine Run Campaign, was conducted in Orange County, Virginia, in the American Civil War. An unsuccessful attempt of the Union Army of the Potomac to defeat the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, it was marked by false starts and low casualties and ended hostilities in the Eastern Theater for the year. After the Battle of Gettysburg in July, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and his command retreated back across the Potomac River into Virginia. Union commander Maj. Gen. George G. Meade was criticized for failing to pursue aggressively and defeat Lee's army. Meade planned new offensives in Virginia for the fall, his first attempt was a series of inconclusive duels and maneuvers in October and November known as the Bristoe Campaign. In late November, Meade attempted to steal a march through the Wilderness of Spotsylvania and strike the right flank of the Confederate Army south of the Rapidan River. Meade had intelligence reports that Lee's army, half the size of Meade's Army of the Potomac, was split in two, separated by Clark's Mountain, with the two flanks anchored at Mine Run and Liberty Mills, over thirty miles apart.
His plan was to cross the Rapidan at points beyond Maj. Gen. J. E. B. Stuart's cavalry screen, overwhelm the right flank and follow up with the remainder. Unlike Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker's plan in the Chancellorsville Campaign earlier that year on the same ground, Meade planned no diversions; the army marched on November 25 and got off to a good start, aided by fog on Clark's Mountain, which screened his movements from Confederate lookouts. However, Maj. Gen. William H. French's III Corps got bogged down in fording the river at Jacob's Ford, causing traffic jams when they moved their artillery to Germanna Ford, where other units were attempting to cross. Speed had escaped Meade, furious with French, this allowed Lee time to react. Lee ordered Maj. Gen. Jubal A. Early, in temporary command of Ewell's Second Corps, to march east on the Orange Turnpike to meet French's advance near Payne's Farm. Brig. Gen. Joseph B. Carr's division of French's corps attacked twice. Maj. Gen. Edward "Allegheny" Johnson's division counterattacked, but was scattered by heavy fire and broken terrain.
After dark, Lee withdrew to prepared field fortifications along Mine Run. The next day the Union Army closed on the Confederate position. Meade planned a heavy artillery bombardment followed by Maj. Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren's II Corps attack in the south Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick's VI Corps in the north an hour later. Lee planned an assault for December 2 that would have exploited the dangling left flank of the Union line, discovered the previous day by Maj. Gen. Wade Hampton's cavalry. Although the Union bombardment began on schedule, the major attack did not materialize. Lee was chagrined to find; the Army of the Potomac went into winter quarters at Virginia. Mine Run had been Meade's final opportunity to plan a strategic offensive before the arrival of Ulysses S. Grant as general-in-chief the following spring. Lee regretted the inconclusive results, he was quoted as saying, "I am too old to command this army. We never should have permitted those people to get away." Confederate hopes of repeating their Chancellorsville triumph had been dashed.
The Mine Run Campaign was Meade's last and failed attempt in 1863 to destroy Lee's Army of Northern Virginia before winter halted military operations. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote the 1863 poem "Christmas Bells", which became the carol I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, in response to learning of his son Charles Appleton Longfellow being wounded in the battle. Attorney and historian Theodore P. Savas, together with Paul Sacra of Richmond, set out to locate and map the Payne's Farm battlefield in the early 1990s. Savas believed published articles and books had incorrectly located the fighting area and was determined to test his theory. Armed with extensive primary sources and battle reports, he and Sacra located what they believed was the field and, with the permission from several landowners, used metal detectors to prove it. Within a couple days Savas and Sacra had unearthed hundreds of artifacts, including bullets, a ramrod, bayonet socket, a partial harmonica, belt buckles and much more.
Savas drew maps of the field and the general location of the artifacts and delivered them to The Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites, its director, A. Wilson Greene, in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Greene, who had no idea the field was in such pristine condition, was excited by the find and affirmed its importance. Saving the land was a slow process for a variety of reasons, including the fact that the majority landowner wanted to develop the land. At that point and Sacra presented him with proof that the land contained at least one mass grave, that to develop it would be a travesty; the Civil War Trust and its partners acquired and preserved 690 acres of the battlefield. The battlefield today features a wooded, 1.5-mile interpretive trail with historical wayside markers. It is located on Virginia highway 611 across from the Zoar Baptist Church about two miles north of Locust Grove. Eicher, David J; the Longest Ni
Albany, New York
Albany is the capital of the U. S. state of New York and the seat of Albany County. Albany is located on the west bank of the Hudson River 10 miles south of its confluence with the Mohawk River and 135 miles north of New York City. Albany is known for its rich history, culture and institutions of higher education. Albany constitutes the economic and cultural core of the Capital District of New York State, which comprises the Albany–Schenectady–Troy, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area, including the nearby cities and suburbs of Troy and Saratoga Springs. With a 2013 Census-estimated population of 1.1 million the Capital District is the third-most populous metropolitan region in the state. As of the 2010 census, the population of Albany was 97,856; the area that became Albany was settled by Dutch colonists who in 1614, built Fort Nassau for fur trading and, in 1624, built Fort Orange. In 1664, the English took over the Dutch settlements, renaming the city as Albany, in honor of the Duke of Albany, the future James II of England and James VII of Scotland.
The city was chartered in 1686 under English rule. It became the capital of New York in 1797 following formation of the United States. Albany is one of the oldest surviving settlements of the original British thirteen colonies, is the longest continuously chartered city in the United States. During the late 18th century and throughout most of the 19th, Albany was a center of trade and transportation; the city lies toward the north end of the navigable Hudson River, was the original eastern terminus of the Erie Canal connecting to the Great Lakes, was home to some of the earliest railroad systems in the world. In the 1920s, a powerful political machine controlled by the Democratic Party arose in Albany. In the latter part of the 20th century, Albany experienced a decline in its population due to urban sprawl and suburbanization. In the early 21st century, Albany has experienced growth in the high-technology industry, with great strides in the nanotechnology sector. Albany is one of the oldest surviving European settlements from the original thirteen colonies and the longest continuously chartered city in the United States.
The Hudson River area was inhabited by Algonquian-speaking Mohican, who called it Pempotowwuthut-Muhhcanneuw, meaning "the fireplace of the Mohican nation." Based to the west along the Mohawk River, the Iroquoian-speaking Mohawk referred to it as Sche-negh-ta-da, or "through the pine woods," referring to the path they took there. The Mohawk were one of the Five Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, or Haudenosaunee, became strong trading partners with the Dutch and English, it is the Albany area was visited by European fur traders as early as 1540, but the extent and duration of those visits has not been determined. Permanent European claims began when Englishman Henry Hudson, exploring for the Dutch East India Company on the Half Moon, reached the area in 1609, claiming it for the United Netherlands. In 1614, Hendrick Christiaensen built Fort Nassau, a fur-trading post and the first documented European structure in present-day Albany. Commencement of the fur trade provoked hostility from the French colony in Canada and among the natives, all of whom vied to control the trade.
In 1618, a flood ruined the fort on Castle Island. Both forts were named in honor of the Dutch royal House of Orange-Nassau. Fort Orange and the surrounding area were incorporated as the village of Beverwijck in 1652. In these early decades of trade, the Dutch and Mohawk developed relations that reflected differences among their three cultures; when New Netherland was captured by the English in 1664, the name was changed from Beverwijck to Albany in honor of the Duke of Albany. Duke of Albany was a Scottish title given since 1398 to a younger son of the King of Scots; the name is derived from Alba, the Gaelic name for Scotland. The Dutch regained Albany in August 1673 and renamed the city Willemstadt. On November 1, 1683, the Province of New York was split into counties, with Albany County being the largest. At that time the county included all of present New York State north of Dutchess and Ulster Counties in addition to present-day Bennington County, theoretically stretching west to the Pacific Ocean.
Albany was formally chartered as a municipality by provincial Governor Thomas Dongan on July 22, 1686. The Dongan Charter was identical in content to the charter awarded to the city of New York three months earlier. Dongan created Albany as a strip of land 16 miles long. Over the years Albany would lose much of the land to the annex land to the north and south. At this point, Albany had a population of about 500 people. In 1754, representatives of seven British North American colonies met in the Stadt Huys, Albany's city hall, for the Albany Congress. Although it was never adopted by Parliament, it was an important precursor to the United States Constitution; the same year, the fourth in a series of wars dating back to 1689, began.
Seven Days Battles
The Seven Days Battles were a series of seven battles over seven days from June 25 to July 1, 1862, near Richmond, during the American Civil War. Confederate General Robert E. Lee drove the invading Union Army of the Potomac, commanded by Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, away from Richmond and into a retreat down the Virginia Peninsula; the series of battles is sometimes known erroneously as the Seven Days Campaign, but it was the culmination of the Peninsula Campaign, not a separate campaign in its own right. The Seven Days began on Wednesday, June 25, 1862, with a Union attack in the minor Battle of Oak Grove, but McClellan lost the initiative as Lee began a series of attacks at Beaver Dam Creek on June 26, Gaines's Mill on June 27, the minor actions at Garnett's and Golding's Farm on June 27 and 28, the attack on the Union rear guard at Savage's Station on June 29. McClellan's Army of the Potomac continued its retreat toward the safety of Harrison's Landing on the James River. Lee's final opportunity to intercept the Union Army was at the Battle of Glendale on June 30, but poorly executed orders and the delay of Stonewall Jackson's troops allowed his enemy to escape to a strong defensive position on Malvern Hill.
At the Battle of Malvern Hill on July 1, Lee launched futile frontal assaults and suffered heavy casualties in the face of strong infantry and artillery defenses. The Seven Days ended with McClellan's army in relative safety next to the James River, having suffered 16,000 casualties during the retreat. Lee's army, on the offensive during the Seven Days, lost over 20,000; as Lee became convinced that McClellan would not resume his threat against Richmond, he moved north for the Northern Virginia Campaign and the Maryland Campaign. The Peninsula Campaign was the unsuccessful attempt by McClellan to capture the Confederate capital of Richmond and end the war, it started in March 1862, when McClellan landed his army at Fort Monroe and moved northwest, up the Virginia Peninsula beginning in early April. Confederate Brig. Gen. John B. Magruder's defensive position on the Warwick Line caught McClellan by surprise, his hopes for a quick advance foiled, McClellan ordered his army to prepare for a siege of Yorktown.
Just before the siege preparations were completed, the Confederates, now under the direct command of Johnston, began a withdrawal toward Richmond. The first heavy fighting of the campaign occurred in the Battle of Williamsburg, in which the Union troops managed some tactical victories, but the Confederates continued their withdrawal. An amphibious flanking movement to Eltham's Landing was ineffective in cutting off the Confederate retreat. In the Battle of Drewry's Bluff, an attempt by the United States Navy to reach Richmond by way of the James River was repulsed; as McClellan's army reached the outskirts of Richmond, a minor battle occurred at Hanover Court House, but it was followed by a surprise attack by Johnston at the Battle of Seven Pines or Fair Oaks on May 31 and June 1. The battle was inconclusive, with heavy casualties. Johnston was replaced on June 1 by the more aggressive Robert E. Lee. Lee spent a month extending his defensive lines and organizing his Army of Northern Virginia.
Lee, who had developed a reputation for caution early in the war, knew he had no numerical superiority over McClellan, but he planned an offensive campaign, the first indication of the aggressive nature he would display for the remainder of the war. Lee's initial attack plan, similar to Johnston's plan at Seven Pines, was complex and required expert coordination and execution by all of his subordinates, but Lee knew that he could not win in a battle of attrition or siege against the Union Army, it was developed at a meeting on June 23. The Union Army straddled the rain-swollen Chickahominy River, with the bulk of the army, four corps, arrayed in a semicircular line south of the river; the remainder, the V Corps under Brig. Gen. Fitz John Porter, was north of the river near Mechanicsville in an L-shaped line facing north-south behind Beaver Dam Creek and southeast along the Chickahominy. Lee's plan was to cross the Chickahominy with the bulk of his army to attack the Union north flank, leaving only two divisions to hold a line of entrenchments against McClellan's superior strength.
This would concentrate about 65,500 troops to oppose 30,000, leaving only 25,000 to protect Richmond and to contain the other 60,000 men of the Union Army. The Confederate cavalry under Brig. Gen. J. E. B. Stuart had reconnoitered Porter's right flank—as part of a daring but militarily dubious circumnavigation of the entire Union Army from June 12 to 15—and found it vulnerable. Lee intended for Jackson to attack Porter's right flank early on the morning of June 26, A. P. Hill would move from Meadow Bridge to Beaver Dam Creek, which flows into the Chickahominy, advancing on the Federal trenches. Following this, Longstreet and D. H. Hill would join the battle. Huger and Magruder would provide diversions on their fronts to distract McClellan as to Lee's real intentions. Lee hoped that Porter would be overwhelmed from two sides by the mass of 65,000 men, the two leading Confederate divisions would move on Cold Harbor and cut McClellan's communications with White House Landing. McClellan planned an offensive.
He had received intelligence that Lee was prepared to move and that the arrival of Maj. Gen. Thomas