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Bedford Branch Library (734) 847-6747
Bedford Branch Library
8575 Jackman Rd. Temperance, MI 48182 Phone: (734) 847-6747
Fax: (734) 847-6591
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Civil War Sesquicentennial

Civil War Sesquicentennial - May 1864

The 150th anniversary of the Civil War is being remembered throughout our nation. Read more about what happened around the country and in our hometown of Monroe……

Read more about it…..

May 5 – 7, 1864 – Ferocious fighting takes place within dense woods south of the Rapidan River in Virginia.  This is the opening battle of Grant’s Overland Campaign, known as the Battle of the Wilderness.  It ends in a draw, but unlike previous battles Grant does not withdraw.  On May 7, he pushes on towards Richmond.   Leadership on both sides take a heavy hit with several generals being killed.  The Union looses Generals James S. Wadsworth and Alexander Hays while the Confederacy looses Generals John M. Jones, Micah Jenkins, and Leroy A. Stafford.  Confederate General James Longstreet is also wounded in the battle.

May 15, 1864 – Grant pushed forward his Overland Campaign.  On May 15, Union Major General Franz Sigel and his troops advance on New Market, Virginia.  There he meets Confederates under Major General John C. Breckinridge.  Lee authorizes Breckinridge to use Virginia Military cadets in combat.  The Confederates are able to take advantage of a slight weakness in the Union line and are able to make a quick and decisive victory.  The cadets who participated in this battle gain the nicknames “boy heroes” for their actions under heavy artillery fire.

May 8 – 21, 1864 – Grant pushes on towards Richmond but is stopped for two weeks at Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia were Grant comes near cutting Lee’s Army in half.  On May 19, Lee attempts to flank Grant but is repulsed.  The fighting between these two armies continues to be ferocious.  Grant finally pulls the army out of Spotsylvania and continues towards Richmond.

The Battle of the Wilderness, May 5-6, 1864 by Gordon Rhea

The Battle of New Market by William C. Davis


Sheridan in the Shenandoah: Jubal Early's Nemesis by Edward J. Stackpole


Bloody Roads South: The Wilderness to Cold Harbor, May-June 1864 by Noah Andre Trudeau

From our hometown, as reported in the Monroe Commercial:

  • Sergt. Gale Probably Dead
  • The 15th Infantry – May 12, 1864

Remembering the Civil War at 150 Years – Gone with the Wind: Kathleen Marcaccio explores the history behind Margaret Mitchell's Pulitzer Prize winning novel Gone with the Wind and the 1939 film by the same name. She also provides a look into Margaret Mitchell's life after Gone with the Wind and the popular culture that surrounds it

Paging Through the Civil War Book Club– This is a history book club that focuses on the American Civil War.  We are currently reading Sherman’s March in Myth and Memory by Edward Caudill and Paul Ashdown.  We will be meeting for a book discussion on Thursday, March 27, 2014, at 7 pm at the Ellis Library and Reference Center.  For more information please call Charmaine Wawrzyniec at 734-241-5277.

Learn more about the Civil War –The Monroe County Civil War Round Table, sponsored by the Friends of Ellis, meets the second Thursday of every month at the Ellis Library and Reference Center.  Each month a new speaker is invited to share his or her knowledge about specific Civil War events.  This month Mr. Chris Czopek will give Part Two of his talk on Michigan’s Forgotten Civil War Soldiers – Company K of the Michigan Sharpshooters.  Please join us Thursday, May 8, 2014, at 7pm at the Ellis Library and Reference Center.  For more information please visit our events page or call the Ellis Library and Reference Center at 734-241-5277 for more information.