June 3, 1861 — The Battle at Philippi, West Virginia, is considered the first land battle of the Civil War. The Confederacy hardly resisted the attacks and troops were defeated, enabling the Union to press on toward Richmond, VA — the Confederacy’s capital city. The battle is also known for the war’s first usage of battlefield amputations.
June 3, 1864 — Three years later, to the day, Commander of the Confederacy General Robert E. Lee won his last victory of the war at the Battle of Cold Harbor. This Battle is known to have marked the beginning of the end for the Confederate states.
Words of Wisdom for June 3, 2016
“I have always regretted that the last assault at Cold Harbor was ever made. … No advantage whatever was gained to compensate for the heavy loss we sustained.”
— From the memoire of Confederacy General Robert E. Lee on the Battle at Philippi. The armies confronted each other on these lines until the night of June 12, when Grant again advanced by his left flank, marching to the James River. It was an impressive defensive victory for Lee, but it was his last in the war. In the final stage, he alternated between digging into the trenches at Petersburg and fleeing westward across Virginia.