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US Military History

Short bits of history you know, and some you may not!

  • Promotion: Wednesday, July 25, 1866 – Ulysses S. Grant was named General of the Army, the first officer to hold the rank. His appointment came at the end of the Civil War. He was the first officer to hold the rank and only seven others have held it since. At the time it was only a four star rank but after US involvement in WW2 began it was upgraded to five stars. General Grant was bestowed with the rank due to all the tasks he undertook after the end of the war. He oversaw the beginning of Reconstruction, the handling of the defeated Confederate States, Mexico, and the evolving Indian Wars.
  • La Fayette Arrives: Sunday, July 27, 1777 – Marquis de La Fayette (The Marquis of Lafayette) arrived in New England during the Revolutionary War. Lafayette was a French aristocrat and a military officer, having been commissioned into the French Army at the age of 13 as a officer. He became convinced that the American Revolutionary cause was noble and decided to seek glory in the war. Days after arrival, at the age of just 19, he would be made a Major General in the Continental Army, though he would at first have no American troops under his command. He would gain great credit for actions in several battles and was wounded during the Battle of Brandywine. He would return to France to lobby for increased French support of the Revolution, returning to play a key role in the Siege of Yorktown. After the war he would return to France and play a pivotal role there in the years to come. He was welcomed back to America in 1824 as the nations guest and would be met with great applause and support.
  • Destroyer, Train Smasher: Monday, July 28, 1952 – The USS Orleck, a destroyer ship, is reclassed as a “DTS”. The designation Destroyer, Train Smasher came after the Orleck would destroy a North Korean train with naval gunfire during the Korean War.
  • An Eye for an Eye: Thursday, July 30, 1863 – In his General Order No. 252 President Lincoln ordered that for every black Union Soldier shot by the Confederacy, a Confederate Solider would be shot. To go with that, for every Black Soldier sold into slavery, a Confederate Soldier would be sentenced to a life of hard labor. The General Order was in response to the Confederacy’s policy of generally executing black Union Soldiers as criminal insurrectionists and was used to influence the Confederacy into treating black POWs the same as whites.

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