What Happened in May 1862

Historical Events

Historic Event

May 1 Major General Benjamin Butler's Union forces occupy New Orleans (US Civil War)

  • May 4 -5] Battle at Williamsburg, Virginia

Historic Event

May 4 Yorktown, VA - Mcclellan halted his troop before town as it is full of armed torpedoes left by CS Brigadier General Gabrial Rains

  • May 5 French army intervenes in Puebla, Mexico: Cinco de Mayo
  • May 5 Peninsular Campaign-Battle of Williamsburg, Virginia
  • May 7 Battle of West Point, Virginia (Eltham's Landing, Barnhamsville)
  • May 7 Much of Enschede, Netherlands, destroyed by fire
  • May 8 Valley Campaign: Federals repulsed at Battle of McDowell, Virginia
  • May 9 Battle of Farmington, Mississippi
  • May 9 Battle of Fort Pickens, Florida, Pensacola evacuated by Confederates
  • May 9 US Naval Academy relocated from Annapolis Maryland to Newport, Rhode Island
  • May 10 Battle of Plum Run Bend, Tennessee
  • May 11 Confederates scuttle CSS Virginia off Norfolk, Virginia
  • May 12 Federal troops occupies Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • May 14 Adolphe Nicole of Switzerland patents chronograph
  • May 15 -May 17] Battle of Princeton, West Virginia
  • May 15 Battle of Drewry's Bluff (Fort Darling), Virginia
  • May 15 Confederate ship Alabama launched as the Enrica at Birkenhead, England, where she had been built in secret
  • May 15 First baseball enclosure opens at Union Grounds, Brooklyn
  • May 15 Major General Benjamin Butler issues order (New Orleans) that Confederate women abusing Union soldiers be treated as whores
  • May 15 US Department of Agriculture created
  • May 16 Jean Joseph Etienne Lenoir builds 1st automobile
  • May 17 Battle of Princeton West Virginia, ends with about 128 causalities

Historic Event

May 20 US President Abraham Lincoln signs into law the Homestead Act to provide cheap land for the settlement of the American West (80 million acres by 1900)

Historic Event

May 23 Valley Campaign: Stonewall Jackson takes Fort Royal, Virginia

  • May 24 Beardslee field telegraph used for 1st time

Westminster Bridge Defies a King and the Church

May 24 Westminster Bridge across The Thames in London opens, becoming the second such bridge after an earlier bridge fell into decay

  • May 25 First Battle of Winchester, Virginia: Stonewall Jackson's Confederate forces achieve major victory
  • May 27 Battle of Hanover Court House, Virginia (Slash Church, Peake's Station)
  • May 30 Battle of Booneville MS - captured Gen Beauregard evacuates Corinth
  • May 31 Battle of Seven Pines Virginia (Fair Oaks)

Famous Birthdays

  • May 2 Maurice Emmanuel, French composer and musicologist (Salamine), born in Bar-sur-Aube, France (d. 1938)
  • May 5 Max Elskamp, Belgian author and poet (Lesson Joies Blondes, Maya), born in Antwerp, Belgium (d. 1931)
  • May 15 Arthur Schnitzler, Austrian playwright (La Ronde - Reigen), and novelist (Fräulein Else), born in Leopoldstadt, Vienna, Austrian Empire (d. 1931)
  • May 15 John Reeves Ellerman, British accountant, businessman, and shipping magnate, born in Kingston upon Hull, England (d. 1933)
  • May 18 Albert von Schrenk-Notzing, German psychologist who studied the paranormal (d. 1929)
  • May 19 Mikhail Nesterov, Russian painter (d. 1942)
  • May 22 August Cuppens, Flemish author (Limburgs Driemanschap), born in Beringen, Belgium (d. 1924)
  • May 23 William "Dummy" Hoy, American baseball outfielder (most accomplished deaf player in MLB history; NL stolen base leader 1888; Washington Senators, Cincinnati Reds), born in Houcktown, Ohio (d. 1961)
  • May 28 Henry Slocum, American tennis player (US Nationals 1888-89), born in Syracuse, New York (d. 1949)

Famous Deaths

Henry David ThoreauHenry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

May 6 American naturalist and pacifist (Walden Pond), dies of tuberculosis at 44

  • May 16 Joseph L. Hogg, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), dies at 55
  • May 16 Lev A Ms, Russian nobleman/poet, dies at 40
  • May 18 William High Keim, American Union brigadier general, dies in battle at 48
  • May 21 John Drew, Irish-born American actor and theatre manager, dies from head injuries at 34
  • May 25 Johann Nestroy, Austrian actor, singer and playwright (Judith und Holofernes), dies at 60
  • May 28 Lev Mei, Russian poet and dramatist, dies at 40 [O.S. 5/16]
  • May 29 Franciszek Wincenty Mirecki, Polish composer, conductor and pedagogue, dies at 71
  • May 31 Robert Hopkins Hatton, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), dies in battle at 35