On this day in 1814, Francis Harrison Pierpont was born in what is now West Virginia. Fittingly, he helped to found the state. Eleven years later, George Edward Pickett came into the world already wearing a tailored Confederate uniform, gold spurs, and shoulder-length brown hair. Did he also yell “Charge!”? Probably not.*
On this day in 1863, about a month after the complete debacle that was the Battle of Fredericksburg, Abraham Lincoln decided to replace Ambrose E. Burnside with Joseph Hooker as commander of the Army of the Potomac. This came a few weeks after two Union generals—John Cochrane and the Virginia-born John Newton—broke protocol and went to Lincoln to (secretly) complain about Burnside. And it came twenty-four hours after Burnside himself met with Lincoln brandishing his yet-unreleased General Orders No. 8, which called for the dismissal of Newton, Cochrane, and Hooker to boot.
Oh the drama.
Anyway, the upshot was the Battle of Chancellorsville, which left Lincoln Hooker-less and back to square one.
* Lame. I know.
IMAGE: Colonel Ambrose Burnside and eight of his officers, 1861 (Library of Congress)