This Day In History – May 12 Siege of Charleston, Battle of Raymond MS, U-Boat sinks ship in Mississippi, Berlin Blockade


“History by apprising [citizens] of the past will enable them to judge of the future; it will avail them of the experience of other times and other nations; it will qualify them as judges of the actions and designs of men; it will enable them to know ambition under every disguise it may assume; and knowing it, to defeat its views.” –Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, Query 14, 1781


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American Revolution 1780 – Sobering end to The Siege of Charleston SC that in turn inspires new heroes to win ultimate victory for the struggling new nation America

In the largest defeat of the Continental Army, Charleston, South Carolina is taken by British forces. After a previous defeat at Charleston, British General Henry Clinton returned in 1780 with 14,000 soldiers. American General Benjamin Lincoln was trapped and surrendered his entire 5400 men force after a long fight, and the Siege of Charleston was the greatest American defeat of the war. Several Americans escaped the carnage, and joined up with several militias, including those of Francis Marion, the ‘Swampfox’, and Andrew Pickens. The British retained control of the city until December 1782. Read more at Wikipedia.


Image: Raising of the Liberty Moultrie Flag during Gen. Clinton’s first and failed attempt to capture Charleston. Wikipedia




American Civil War 1863 – Battle of Raymond Mississippi, Confederacy fights for survival

Battle of Raymond: two divisions of James B. McPherson’s XVII Corps (ACW) turn the left wing of Confederate General John C. Pemberton’s defensive line on Fourteen Mile Creek, opening up the interior of Mississippi to the Union Army during the Vicksburg Campaign.

“Under the sod and the dew, Waiting the judgment day;
Love and tears for the Blue, Tears and love for the Gray.”
Francis Miles Finch, 1867

The Battle of Raymond was fought on May 12, 1863, near Raymond, Mississippi, during the Vicksburg Campaign of the American Civil War. The bitter fight pitted elements of Union Army Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s Army of the Tennessee against Confederate forces of Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton’s Department of the Mississippi and East Louisiana. The Confederates failed to prevent the Federal troops from reaching the Southern Railroad and isolating Vicksburg, Mississippi, from reinforcement and resupply. Read more at Wikipedia and Battle of Raymond.



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World War II – 1942 – World War II: U.S. ship sunk in the Mississippi River by German U-Boat, 29 crewmen perish

The U.S. tanker Virginia was torpedoed in the mouth of the Mississippi River by the German U-Boat U-507. During its short existence, the Virginia was primarily utilized for the trading of oil and petroleum. On May 12, 1942 the tanker was carrying 180,000 barrels of gasoline from Baytown, Texas to Baton Rouge, Louisiana when it was suddenly torpedoed three times by the German vessel U-507. The Virginia was immediately engulfed in flames and then rapidly sank. Forty-one crewmembers were aboard the Virginia on the day of the attack, and only twelve men survived. Read more at Past Foundation.





Cold War 1949 – The Soviet Union lifts its blockade of Berlin.

The Berlin Blockade (24 June 1948 – 12 May 1949) was one of the first major international crises of the Cold War. During the multinational occupation of post–World War II Germany, the Soviet Union blocked the Western Allies’ railway, road and canal access to the sectors of Berlin under Allied control. Their aim was to force the western powers to allow the Soviet zone to start supplying Berlin with food and fuel, thereby giving the Soviets practical control over the entire city.

In response, the Western Allies organized the Berlin Airlift to carry supplies to the people in West Berlin. The recently independent United States Air Force and the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force flew over 200,000 flights in one year, providing up to 4700 tons of daily necessities such as fuel and food to the Berliners. Alongside US and British personnel, the airlift involved aircrews from the Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal New Zealand Air Force, and South African Air Force.

The Soviet blockade of Berlin was lifted at one minute after midnight on 12 May 1949. A British convoy immediately drove through to Berlin, and the first train from West Germany reached Berlin at 5:32 A.M. Later that day an enormous crowd celebrated the end of the blockade. General Clay, whose retirement had been announced by U.S. President Truman on 3 May, was saluted by 11,000 US soldiers and dozens of aircraft. Once home, Clay received a ticker-tape parade in New York City, was invited to address the US Congress, and was honored with a medal from President Truman. Read more at Wikipedia.


Image: English: Berliners watching a C-54 land at Berlin Tempelhof Airport, 1948. Source Wikipedia




America remember and honor your history – it will give direction,
purpose and security to your future.


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