On this day in 1918, near the Marne River in the Champagne region of France, the Germans begin what would be their final offensive push of World War I. Dubbed the Second Battle of the Marne, the conflict ended several days later in a major victory for the Allies.
On this day in 1945, at 5:29:45 a.m., the Manhattan Project comes to an explosive end as the first atom bomb is successfully tested in Alamogordo, New Mexico.
On this day in 1864, Confederate President Jefferson Davis replaces General Joseph Johnston with John Bell Hood as commander of the Army of Tennessee. Davis, impatient with Johnston’s defensive strategy in the Atlanta campaign, felt that Hood stood a better chance of saving Atlanta from the forces of Union General William T. Sherman.
On this day in 1863, Union Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and 272 of his troops are killed in an assault on Fort Wagner, near Charleston, South Carolina. Shaw was commander of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry, perhaps the most famous regiment of colored troops during the war.
On this day in 1943, the United States bombs railway yards in Rome in an attempt to break the will of the Italian people to resist—as Hitler lectures their leader, Benito Mussolini, on how to prosecute the war further.
On this day in 1864, General John Bell Hood’s Confederate forces attack William T. Sherman’s troops outside of Atlanta, Georgia at the Battle of Peachtree Creek, but are repulsed with heavy losses.
On this day in 1861, the war between the North & the South erupts on a large scale in the east when Confederate forces under P. T. Beauregard turn back Union General Irvin McDowell’s troops along the Bull Run stream in Virginia. The inexperienced soldiers on both sides slugged it out in a chaotic battle that resulted in a humiliating retreat by the Yankees and signaled, for many, the true start of the war.