This Day in U.S. Military History…… November 9

9 November
1620 – Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower sight land at Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
1764 – Mary Campbell, a captive of the Lenape during the French and Indian War, is turned over to British forces commanded by Colonel Henry Bouquet. Mary Campbell (later Mary Campbell Willford) was an American colonial settler, taken captive as a child by Native Americans during the French and Indian War. Later rescued, she is believed to have been the first white child to travel to the Western Reserve.
1780 – In the Battle of Fishdam Ford a force of British and Loyalist troops fail in a surprise attack against the South Carolina Patriot militia under Brigadier General Thomas Sumter. The Battle of Fishdam Ford was an attempted surprise attack by British forces under the command of Major James Wemyss against an encampment of Patriot militia around 1 am, late in the American Revolutionary War. Wemyss was wounded and captured in the attack, which failed because of heightened security in Sumter’s camp and because Wemyss did not wait until dawn to begin the attack.
1817 – Edward Richard Sprigg Canby, Major General (Union volunteers), was born. Edward Richard Sprigg Canby was born in Platt’s Landing, Kentucky. He and his parents moved to Indiana, from which young Canby was appointed to West Point. Canby graduated in 1835, and served in the Seminole War. He later led major engagements in the Mexican War, and was brevetted twice for gallantry. When the Civil War began, Canby was fighting Native Americans a Fort Defiance, in New Mexico Territory. He was then appointed commander of the Department of New Mexico. Under Brig. Gen. Henry Hopkins Sibley, Canby led efforts to repel Confederate attempts to invade the New Mexico Territory. He succeeded, with the help of Colorado volunteers, in defeating the Confederates at the Battle of Glorieta Pass, sometimes called the “Gettysburg of the West.” Within a week of the battle, Canby was made a brigadier general. He served as assistant adjutant general in Washington, D.C. for two years, and commanded troops in New York City during the drafts riots of July 1863. On May 7, 1864, he was appointed a major general, leading the Military Division of West Mississippi. In 1865, he captured Mobile, Alabama, and accepted the surrender of the last Confederate army in the field in May of 1865. After the war, Canby was given the permanent rank of brigadier general. He was appointed commander of the Pacific Coast’s Department of the Columbia in 1870. On April 11, 1873, while leading a peace mission in California, Canby was killed by Modoc Indians.
1822 – The Action of 9 November 1822 between USS Alligator and a squadron of pirate schooners off the coast of Cuba. Fifteen leagues from Matanzas, Cuba, a large band of pirates captured several vessels and held them for ransom. Upon hearing of the pirate attacks, the Alligator under Lieutenant William Howard Allen rushed to the scene to rescue the vessels and seize the pirates. Upon arriving at the bay where the pirates were said to be, USS Alligator dispatched boats to engage the enemy vessels, as the water was too shallow for the American warship to engage them herself. With Allen personally commanding one of the boats, the Americans assaulted the piratical schooner Revenge. Although the Americans were able to force the pirates into abandoning Revenge, the buccaneers managed to fight their way out of the bay and inflict heavy casualties among the Americans, including Allen. With their commander mortally wounded, the Americans ceased pursuit of the pirates but managed to recover the vessels that had been held in the bay.
1825 – Ambrose Powell Hill (d.1865), Lt Gen (Confederate 3rd Army Corp), was born. Known for his red battle shirt and his hard-hitting attacks at the head of the famed Light Division, Ambrose P. Hill proved to be an example of the Peter principle. A West Pointer (1847) and veteran artilleryman, he resigned as a first lieutenant on March 1, 1861, and joined the South, where his services included: colonel, 13th Virginia (spring 1861); brigadier general, CSA (February 26, 1862); commanding brigade, Longstreet’s Division, Department of Northern Virginia (ca. February 26 – May 27, 1862); major general, CSA (May 26, 1862); commanding Light Division (in lst Corps from June 29 and 2nd Corps from July 27, 1862), Army of Northern Virginia (May 27, 1862 – May 2, 1863); commanding 2nd Corps, Army of Northern Virginia (May 2 and 6-30, 1863); lieutenant general, CSA (May 24, 1863); and commanding 3rd Corps, Army of Northern Virginia (May 30, 1863-May 7, 1864 and May 21, 1864-April 2, 1865). In reserve at lst Bull Run, he fought at Yorktown and Williamsburg before being given command of a division. On the day he assumed command he directed the fight at Hanover Court House. He then took part in the Seven Days, distinguishing himself. After fighting at Cedar Mountain, 2nd Bull Run, and the capture of Harpers Ferry, he launched powerful counterattacks at the right moment at both Antietam and Fredericksburg. At Chancellorsville he was on Jackson’s famed march around the Union right flank. When Jackson was wounded, Hill took command of the corps but was wounded carrying out his chief’s orders to “press right in.” At the end of the month he was given command of the new 3rd Corps, which he led to Gettysburg where, suffering from a now unidentifiable illness, he put in a lackluster performance. He was responsible for the disaster at Bristoe Station that fall and, again ill, was virtually circumvented at the Wilderness when Lee in effect took over command of the corps. He relinquished command temporarily after the battle and missed Spotsylvania but returned for the North Anna and Cold Harbor. Taking part in the siege of Petersburg, he was again ill during part of the winter of 186465. With the lines around the city collapsing on April 2, 1865, he was shot and killed in an encounter with a stray group of federal soldiers. Interestingly enough, both Stonewall Jackson and Lee called for Hill and his division in their dying delirium. It must have been the old Hill they were recalling.
1861 – Gunboats of Flag Officer Du Pont’s force took possession of Beaufort, South Carolina, and, by block¬ing the mouth of Broad River, cut off this communication link between Charleston and Savannah. Major General Robert E. Lee wrote Confederate Secretary of War Judah P. Benjamin regarding the effects of the Union Navy’s victory at Port Royal: “The enemy having complete possession of the water and inland navigation, commands all the islands on the coast and threatens both Savannah and Charleston, and can come in his boats, within 4 miles of this place [Lee’s headquarters, Coosawhatchie, South Carolina]. His sloops of war and large steamers can come up Broad River to Mackay’s Point, the mouth of the Pocotaligo, and his gunboats can ascend some distance up the Coosawhatchie and Tulifinny. We have no guns that can resist their batteries, and have no resources but to prepare to meet them in the field.”
1862 – General US Grant issued orders to bar Jews from serving under him. The order was quickly rescinded.
1862 – General Ambrose Burnside assumes command of the Union Army of the Potomac following the removal of George B. McClellan. This was a difficult time in the army. McClellan was beloved by many soldiers, and he had a loyal following among some in the command structure. But others detested him, and his successor would have a difficult time reconciling the pro- and anti-McClellan factions within the army’s leadership. Furthermore, Ambrose Burnside was not the obvious choice for his replacement. Many favored General Joseph Hooker, who, like Burnside, commanded a corps in the army. Hooker had a strong reputation as a battlefield commander but had several liabilities: a reputation for drinking and cavorting with prostitutes and an acrimonious history with Henry Halleck, the general in chief of the Union armies. Halleck urged President Lincoln to name Burnside to head the Union’s premier fighting force. Burnside was a solid corps commander, but by his own admission was not fit to command an army. The Indiana native graduated from West Point in 1847, 18th in a class of 20. After serving for five years in the military, Burnside entered private business. He worked to develop a new rifle, but his firm went bankrupt when he refused to pay a bribe to secure a contract to sell his weapon to the U.S. army. Burnside then worked as treasurer for the Illinois Central Railroad under McClellan, who was president of the line. When the war erupted, Burnside became a colonel in charge of the First Rhode Island volunteers. He fought without distinction at First Bull Run but then headed an expeditionary force that captured Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, in February 1862. Burnside returned to the Army of the Potomac and was given command of the Ninth Corps, which fought hard at Antietam in September. Now, he was tapped for the top position in the army over his own protestations. He reluctantly assumed command and proceeded to plan an attack on Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. In December, his army moved toward Lee at Fredericksburg. Several delays did not, unfortunately, deter Burnside from his plan. He attacked Lee’s entrenched troops on December 13 and suffered horrendous loses. Within one month, officers began to mutiny against Burnside’s authority, and Hooker assumed command of the Army of the Potomac on January 25. After the war, he served as Governor of Rhode Island and as a U.S. Senator before his death in 1881. 1864 – Sherman designed his “March to the Sea.”
1875 – Indian Inspector E.C. Watkins submits a report to Washington, D.C., stating that hundreds of Sioux and Cheyenne Indians associated with Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse are hostile to the United States. In so doing, Watkins set into motion a series of events that led to the Battle of the Little Big Born in Montana the following year. Seven years before the Watkins report, a portion of the Teton Sioux, who lived with Chief Red Cloud, made peace with the U.S. in exchange for a large reservation in the Black Hills of the Dakotas. However, some Sioux refused the offer of confinement on a reservation, and instead united around Chief Sitting Bull and his leading warrior, Crazy Horse. The wisdom of their resistance seemed confirmed in 1874 when the discovery of gold in the Black Hills set off an invasion of Anglo miners into the Sioux reservation. When the U.S. did nothing to stop this illegal violation of lands promised to the Sioux by treaty, more Indians left the reservation in disgust and joined Sitting Bull to hunt buffalo on the plains of Wyoming and Montana. In November 1875, Watkins reported that the free-roaming Indians were hostile. The government responded by ordering that the Indians “be informed that they must remove to a reservation before the 31st of January, 1876,” and promised that if they refused, “they would be turned over to the War Department for punishment.” However, by the time couriers carried the message to the Sioux it was already winter, and traveling 200 miles to the reservation across frozen ground with no grass for their ponies or food for themselves was an impossible request. When, as expected, the Sioux missed the deadline, the matter was turned over to the War Department. In March 1876, the former Civil War hero General Phillip Sheridan ordered a large force of soldiers to trap the Sioux and force them back to the reservations. Among the officers leading the force was George Armstrong Custer, who later that year lead his famous “last stand” against Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
1887 – The United States receives rights to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
1906 – On the first foreign trip by a U.S. president, President Theodore Roosevelt departs the United States for Panama aboard the battleship Louisiana. The visit came three years after Roosevelt gave tacit U.S. military support to the Panamanian revolt against Colombian rule. Panamanian independence allowed American engineers to begin work on the Panama Canal project–an effort to connect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans with a U.S.-administered canal across the Isthmus of Panama. During his four days in Panama, Roosevelt visited the project site, where construction preparations were underway. After leaving Panama, Roosevelt traveled to the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico and then returned to the United States on November 26.
1914 – “Geier”, German cruiser, interned by U.S.A. at Honolulu.
1918 – The abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II is announced. He goes into exile in the Netherlands the next day. The victorious powers request, halfheartedly, that he be tried as a war criminal. A member of the chancellor’s cabinet, Philipp Scheidmann, announces the creation of a republic. A new government and chancellor, Friedrich Ebert, are appointed the next day. Germany will remain politically unstable, with various left and right wing factions vying for control.
1921 – USS Olympia arrives at the Washington Navy Yard from France carrying the body of the Unknown Soldier for internment at Arlington National Cemetery.
1923 – In Munich, armed policeman and troops loyal to Germany’s democratic government crush the Beer Hall Putsch, the first attempt by the Nazi Party at seizing control of the German government. After World War I, the victorious allies demanded billions of dollars in war reparations from Germany. Efforts by Germany’s democratic government to comply hurt the country’s economy and led to severe inflation. The German mark, which at the beginning of 1921 was valued at five marks per dollar, fell to a disastrous four billion marks per dollar in 1923. Meanwhile, the ranks of the nationalist Nazi Party swelled with resentful Germans who sympathized with the party’s bitter hatred of the democratic government, leftist politics, and German Jews. In early November 1923, the government resumed war reparation payments, and the Nazis decided to strike. Hitler planned a coup against the state government of Bavaria, which he hoped would spread to the dissatisfied German army, which in turn would bring down the central, democratic government. Same question as above. On the evening of November 8, Nazi forces under Hermann Goering surrounded the Munich beer hall where Bavarian government officials were meeting with local business leaders. A moment later, Hitler burst in with a group of Nazi storm troopers, discharged his pistol into the air, and declared that “the national revolution has begun.” Threatened at gunpoint, the Bavarian leaders reluctantly agreed to support Hitler’s new regime. In the early morning of November 9, however, the Bavarian leaders repudiated their coerced support of Hitler and ordered a rapid suppression of the Nazis. At dawn, government troops surrounded the main Nazi force occupying the War Ministry building. A desperate Hitler responded by leading a march toward the center of Munich in a last-ditch effort to rally support. Near the War Ministry building, 3,000 Nazi marchers came face to face with 100 armed policemen. Shots were exchanged, and 16 Nazis and three policemen were killed. Hermann Goering was shot in the groin, and Hitler suffered a dislocated elbow but managed to escape. Three days later, Hitler was arrested. Convicted of treason, he was given the minimum sentence of five years in prison. He was imprisoned in the Landsberg fortress and spent his time writing his autobiography, Mein Kampf, and working on his oratorical skills. Political pressure from the Nazis forced the Bavarian government to commute Hitler’s sentence, and he was released after serving only nine months. In the late 1920s, Hitler reorganized the Nazi Party as a fanatical mass movement that was able to gain a majority in the Reichstag in 1932. By 1934, Hitler was the sole master of a nation intent on war and genocide.
1925 – German Nazis formed the SS (Schutzstaffel- elite special forces).1935 – Japanese troops invaded Shanghai, China.
1938 – This day saw the organized destruction of Jewish businesses and homes in Munich, as well as the beating and murder of Jewish men, women, and children. It was an exercise in terror that would be called “Kristallnacht,” or “the Night of Broken Glass,” because of the cost of broken glass in looted Jewish shops–5 million marks ($1,250,000). On November 7, in Paris, a 17-year-old German Jewish refugee, Herschel Grynszpan, shot and killed the third secretary of the German embassy, Ernst vom Rath. Grynszpan had intended to avenge the deportation of his father to Poland and the ongoing persecution of Jews in Germany by killing the German ambassador. Instead, the secretary was sent out to see what the angry young man wanted and was killed. The irony is that Rath was not an anti-Semite; in fact, he was an anti-Nazi. As revenge for this shooting, Joseph Goebbels, Nazi minister of propaganda, and Reinhard Heydrich, second in command of the SS after Heinrich Himmler, ordered “spontaneous demonstrations” of protest against the Jewish citizens of Munich. The order, in the form of a teletyped message to all SS headquarters and state police stations, laid out the blueprint for the destruction of Jewish homes and businesses. The local police were not to interfere with the rioting storm troopers, and as many Jews as possible were to be arrested with an eye toward deporting them to concentration camps. In Heydrich’s report to Hermann Goering after Kristallnacht, the damage was assessed: “…815 shops destroyed, 171 dwelling houses set on fire or destroyed…119 synagogues were set on fire, and another 76 completely destroyed…20,000 Jews were arrested, 36 deaths were reported and those seriously injured were also numbered at 36….” The extent of the destruction was actually greater than reported. Later estimates were that as many as 7,500 Jewish shops were looted, and there were several incidents of rape. This, in the twisted ideology of Nazism, was worse than murder, because the racial laws forbade intercourse between Jews and gentiles. The rapists were expelled from the Nazi Party and handed over to the police for prosecution. And those who killed Jews? They “cannot be punished,” according to authorities, because they were merely following orders. To add insult to massive injury, those Jews who survived the monstrous pogrom were forced to pay for the damage inflicted upon them. Insurance firms teetered on the verge of bankruptcy because of the claims. Hermann Goering came up with a solution: Insurance money due the victims was to be confiscated by the state, and part of the money would revert back to the insurance companies to keep them afloat. The reaction around the world was one of revulsion at the barbarism into which Germany was sinking. As far as Hitler was concerned, this only proved the extent of the “Jewish world conspiracy.”
1940 – Germany invaded Norway and Denmark.
1942 – The US forces at Casablanca secure their beachheads. At Port Lyautey there is heavy fighting between French tanks and General Truscott’s troops. Oran, target of the Center Task Force is still holding out, however General Anderson, who has landed to take command of 1st Army at Algiers in the east, is able to send armored columns rushing to the area for support. German troops begin to be flown into Tunisia.General Giraud arrives in Algiers. However, the Allies realize that Admiral Darlan will be better able to change French loyalty to the Allied cause and they continue to pressure him.
1943 – On Bougainville, the US 3rd Marine Division advances inland from their beachhead at Cape Tarokina, in Empress Augusta Bay. An encounter battle ensues with the main body of the Japanese 23rd Regiment on the jungle tracks. Meanwhile, a second wave of landings begin with the arrival of most of the US 37th Division.
1944 – The 455-foot Red Oak Victory ship was launched from Richmond, Ca. It was named after an Iowa town with the highest number of casualties per capita in WW II. The Victory ships were successors of the Liberty ships.
1944 – Elements of US 3rd Army cross the Moselle River around Metz. Further south, US 12th Corps continues advancing beyond the Seille River, capturing Chateau Salins.
1944 – On Leyte, another 2000 troops of the Japanese 26th Division arrive at Ormoc. The transporting warships are forced to withdraw before all the supplies can landed.
1945 – FBI agents staked out a house in Berkeley, Ca., to watch George Eltenton, a suspected Soviet spy. In 1946 Eltenton admitted that he had tried to obtain secret data on Berkeley’s radiation lab. Eltenton moved to Britain in 1947.
1950 – Task Force 77 makes first attack on the Yalu River bridges. In first engagement between MIG-15 and F9F jets (USS Philippine Sea), LCDR William T. Amen (VF-111) shoots down a MIG and becomes first Navy pilot to shoot down a jet aircraft.
1950 – Corporal Harry J. LaVene, a tail gunner on a RB-29 over Sinuiju, became the first aerial gunner to shoot down a MiG-15.
1967 – NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) launched Apollo 4 into orbit from Cape Kennedy with the first successful test of a Saturn V rocket. The Saturn V was the largest operational launch vehicle ever produced. Standing over 363 feet high with its Apollo Spacecraft payload, it produced over 7.5 million pounds of thrust at lift-off. These pages contain a mixture of photos of the three examples on display at the Johnson Space Center, Kennedy Space Center and the Alabama Space and Rocket Center. Of these three, only the JSC vehicle is made up entirely of former flight-ready (although mismatched) components.
1970 – The Supreme Court refuses to hear a challenge by the state of Massachusetts regarding the constitutionality of the Vietnam War. By a 6-3 vote, the justices rejected the effort of the state to bring a suit in federal court in defense of Massachusetts residents claiming protection under a state law that allowed them to refuse military service in an undeclared war.
1979 – In a nuclear false alarm, the NORAD computers and the Alternate National Military Command Center in Fort Ritchie, Maryland detected purported massive Soviet nuclear strike. After reviewing the raw data from satellites and checking the early-warning radars, the alert is cancelled.
1980 – Iraqi President Saddam Hussein declared holy war against Iran.
1989 – East German officials today opened the Berlin Wall, allowing travel from East to West Berlin. The following day, celebrating Germans began to tear the wall down. One of the ugliest and most infamous symbols of the Cold War was soon reduced to rubble that was quickly snatched up by souvenir hunters. The East German action followed a decision by Hungarian officials a few weeks earlier to open the border between Hungary and Austria. This effectively ended the purpose of the Berlin Wall, since East German citizens could now circumvent it by going through Hungary, into Austria, and thence into West Germany. The decision to open the wall was also a reflection of the immense political changes taking place in East Germany, where the old communist leadership was rapidly losing power and the populace was demanding free elections and movement toward a free market system. The action also had an impact on President George Bush and his advisors. After watching television coverage of the delirious German crowds demolishing the wall, many in the Bush administration became more convinced than ever that Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s statements about desiring a new relationship with the West must be taken more seriously. Unlike 1956 and 1968, when Soviet forces ruthlessly crushed protests in Hungary and Czechoslovakia, respectively, Gorbachev actually encouraged the East German action. As such, the destruction of the Berlin Wall was one of the most significant actions leading to the end of the Cold War.
1997 – In Lansdowne, Pa., some 200 people picketed in front of the home of Jonas Stelmokas (81) to protest delays to his deportation. He was accused of being a former member of the Lithuanian police force that helped Nazis kill Jews during WW II.
1999 – With fireworks, concerts and a huge party at the landmark Brandenburg Gate, Germany celebrated the tenth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
2000 – William Leonard Pickard (55) and Clyde Apperson (45) of California were indicted by a grand jury in Kansas City for running a massive LSD laboratory inside a decommissioned nuclear missile silo in Wamego, Ka.
2001 – Northern Alliance forces, under the command of Dostum and Ustad Atta Mohammed Noor, overcame resistance crossing the Pul-i-Imam Bukhri bridge, and seized the city of Mazar e Sharif’s main military base and airport. U.S. Special Forces Operational Detachment A-595, CIA paramilitary officers and United States Air Force Combat Control Team[137][138][139] on horseback and with close air support, took part in the push into Mazari Sharif. After a bloody 90-minute battle, Taliban forces withdrew after holding the city since 1998, triggering celebrations. The fall of the city was a “body blow” to the Taliban and ultimately proved to be a “major shock”,[141] since the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) had originally believed that the city would remain in Taliban hands well into the following year and any potential battle would require “a very slow advance”. Following rumors that Mullah Dadullah was headed to recapture the city with as many as 8,000 fighters, a thousand American 10th Mountain Division personnel were airlifted into the city, providing the first solid position from which Kabul and Kandahar could be reached.[144][145] While prior military flights had to be launched from Uzbekistan or aircraft carriers in the Arabian Sea, the Americans now had an airport that allowed them to fly more sorties for resupply missions and humanitarian aid. These missions allowed shipments of humanitarian aid to be immediately shipped to Afghans facing starvation on the northern plain. American-backed forces began immediately broadcasting from Radio Mazar-i-Sharif, the former Taliban Voice of Sharia channel, including an address from former President Rabbani.
2001 – The Battle of Mazar-e Sharif may also mark the last use of hoseback mounted tactics by US troops. US Special Forces operators, blending modern and ancient, rode with Northern Alliance allies while using modern communications to direct air support.
2001 – A Pakistani newspaper published a Nov 7 interview with Osama bin Laden in which he claimed to have chemical and nuclear weapons.
2002 – President Bush said in his radio address that Saddam Hussein faced a final test to surrender weapons of mass destruction.
2003 – Art Carney (85) died in Chester, Conn. He played Jackie Gleason’s sewer worker pal Ed Norton in the TV classic “The Honeymooners” and went on to win the 1974 Oscar for best actor in “Harry and Tonto.”
2004 – Iraqi authorities imposed the first nighttime curfew in more than a year on Baghdad and surrounding areas. US Army and Marine units thrust through the center of the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah, fighting bands of guerrillas in the streets and conducting house-to-house searches on the second day of a major offensive. Some US artillery used white phosphorous rounds that melted skin. At least 10 American and 2 Iraqi soldiers were killed in the assault.
2004 – In a backlash over the Fallujah assault the Iraqi Islamic Party withdrew from the interim government and a leading group of Sunni clerics called for Iraqis to boycott nationwide elections.
2011 – A U.S. Federal investigation finds gross mismanagement of the remains of servicemen and women at the Charles C. Carson Center for Mortuary Affairs at Dover Air Force Base.
2012 – Two Iranian Revolutionary Guard fighter jets fire on an unmanned American General Atomics MQ-1 Predator drone in international airspace near Kuwait.
2012 – CIA Director David Petraeus submits his resignation to President Barack Obama, citing an extramarital affair he had.CIA Director David Petraeus submits his resignation to President Barack Obama, citing an extramarital affair he had.
2013 – The United States Navy christened the USS Gerald R. Ford – the $15.5 billion aircraft carrier is the most technologically advanced ship ever built.

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