Thursday, May 10, 2012

Learn Our History Today: May 10

On May 10, a group a continental militia known as the Green Mountain Boys, under the command of Ethan Allen and Colonel Benedict Arnold, attacked and captured British held Fort Ticonderoga. In the early morning, on May 10, 1775, patriot forces rushed into the Fort Ticonderoga, after the only sentry posted fled, following a musket misfire. The Green Mountain boys quickly roused and disarmed the few redcoats in the fort, while Arnold and Allen charged towards the officer’s quarters. Upon noticing Arnold and Allen running towards him, a British officer demanded to know by what authority Fort Ticonderoga was being entered. Allen replied, “In the name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress!” Soon after this, the Captain of the fort emerged and surrendered to Arnold and Allen.  The capture of Fort Ticonderoga was of great significance to the young United States. The Cannons from the fort were taken to Boston by Henry Knox and played a crucial role in breaking the standoff of the Siege of Boston. The fort also gave the Continental Army a great staging point for the invasion of Quebec, which took place in winter 1775.

On a sad note, May 10 marks the death of Confederate Lieutenant General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. Jackson was wounded at the Battle of Chancellorsville, his arm later amputated from the injury. Unfortunately, pneumonia set in and Stonewall died on May 10, 1863 in Guinea Station, Virginia. His last words were, “let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees.”

Also on May 10, 1865, during the Civil War, near Irwinville, Georgia, Confederate President Jefferson Davis was captured by Union troops. Upon spotting the Union troops approaching, Davis threw his wife’s overcoat over his shoulders, in an attempt to disguise himself. This guise did not fool the troops however and he was quickly captured. Davis’ attempted disguise led to many caricatures being made of him trying to escape in women’s clothing.

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