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Gruntworks History Military

This Week In Military History — April 8th – April 14th

April 8th

On this day in 1864, The Red River campaign of Union General Nathaniel Banks grinds to a halt when Confederate General Richard Taylor routs Banks’ army at Mansfield, Louisiana.

April 9th

On this day in 1865, at Appomattox, Virginia, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrenders his 28,000 troops to Union General Ulysses S. Grant, effectively ending the American Civil War. Forced to abandon the Confederate capital of Richmond, blocked from joining the surviving Confederate force in North Carolina, and harassed constantly by Union cavalry, Lee had no other option.

bataan-death-march

April 10th

On this day in 1942, The day after the surrender of the main Philippine island of Luzon to the Japanese, the 75,000 Filipino and American troops captured on the Bataan Peninsula begin a forced march to a prison camp near Cabanatuan. During this infamous trek, known as the “Bataan Death March,” the prisoners were forced to march 85 miles in six days, with only one meal of rice during the entire journey. By the end of the march, which was punctuated with atrocities committed by the Japanese guards, hundreds of Americans and many more Filipinos had died.

April 11th

On this day in 1814, Napoleon Bonaparte, emperor of France and one of the greatest military leaders in history, abdicates the throne, and, in the Treaty of Fontainebleau, is banished to the Mediterranean island of Elba.

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April 12

On this day in 1945, While on a vacation in Warm Springs, Georgia, President Roosevelt suffers a stroke and dies.

April 13th

On this day in 1861, After a 33-hour bombardment by Confederate cannons, Union forces surrender Fort Sumter in South Carolina’s Charleston Harbor. The first engagement of the war ended in Rebel victory.

April 14th

On this day in 1865, John Wilkes Booth, an actor and Confederate sympathizer, fatally shoots President Abraham Lincoln at a play at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. The attack came only five days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his 28,000 man army at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, effectively ending the American Civil War.

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Suggested Reading:

To Appomattox: Nine April Days, 1865 By Burke Davis

Allegiance: Fort Sumter, Charleston, and the Beginning of the Civil War By Brian Detzer

Some Survived: An Eyewitness Account of the Bataan Death March and the Men Who Lived through It By Manny Lawton

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Jeremy Scott is a 36-year-old military history buff from Houston, Texas. He has been interested in military history since the age of 8 years old. His interests are the Napoleonic era, the American Civil War, and both World wars I and II. He has a deep respect for the “boots on the ground” the common military soldier, and hopes that his humble writings interest those soldiers. If you have a twitter account, you can follow him @UncleBubba80

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