16 May: This Day in Military History

1863: (featured image) Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s Army of the Tennessee clashes with three Confederate divisions led by Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton in the Battle of Champion Hill (Miss.). Pemberton’s men take heavy casualties and have to retreat 20 miles to Vicksburg, where they will surrender to Grant after a 40-day siege.

1899: 22 U.S. Army scouts come across a group of some 600 Filipino rebels attempting to destroy a bridge during the Philippine Insurrection. While under heavy fire, the scouts charge across the bridge and rout the enemy force. The following day, the Americans cross the bridge and capture San Isidro, the capital of the insurrection. 15 scouts from the Battle of San Isidro are awarded the Medal of Honor.

Insurgent soldiers in the Philippines 1899

1927: Although a peace treaty ended the Nicaraguan Civil War earlier in the month, a crowd of 75 Liberal rebels attack a platoon of U.S. Marines, led by Capt. Richard B. Buchanan. Two Marines – including Capt. Buchanan – are killed in the Battle of La Paz Centro. In a few days, the Marines will track down and kill General Cabulla, the man believed responsible for the attack.

1951: 150,000 communist soldiers cross the Soyang River and manage to push back UN forces on the eastern portion of the peninsula some 20 miles. The Chinese Spring Offensive – the last all-out offensive campaign for the Chinese in the Korean War – fails as the Eighth Army, led by new commander Lt. Gen. James Van Fleet, drives the communists back to the 38th Parallel, where the battle lines will remain largely static until the Armistice.

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