June 9, 1864: Battle of Old Men and Boys

BattleOfPetersburg

The focus of the War in the East now shifts to Petersburg, where it will remain until the War ends.  Anyone who could read a map in 1864 could see that if Petersburg, the rail hub to the south of Richmond fell, Richmond, its supply lines cut, could not be held by the Confederates.  General Benjamin Butler was a poor excuse for a soldier, but he could read a map.  He had been receiving accurate reports that the extensive fortifications around Petersburg were barely manned, the troops having been largely sent to bolster Lee’s army.  On June 8, Butler order 4500 Union troops at City Point to make an overnight march to Petersburg and assault it on June 9. (more…)

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The Great Crusade

 

Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force! You are about to embark upon a great crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers in arms on other fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle hardened, he will fight savagely.

But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man to man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our home fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to victory!

I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory!

Good Luck! And let us all beseech the blessings of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower

 

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