1861: Confederate troops led by Brig. Gen. Benjamin McCulloch and Maj. Gen. Sterling Price’s Missouri State Guard clash with the Union’s “Army of the West” in present-day Springfield, Mo.. The Confederates defeat the Army of the West, killing its commander, Brig. Gen. Nathaniel Lyon. The Union retreats to Rolla, giving the Confederates control over southwest Missouri.
1864: As the 37,000-man Army of the Shenandoah approaches, led by newly appointed General Phillip Sheridan, Confederate Lt. Gen. Jubal Early abandons his positions at Winchester, Va.. Sheridan will drive the Confederates from the the Shenandoah Valley and destroy the crops, rendering the strategic invasion route useless to the Southerners.
1944: Although pockets of Japanese resistance remain on the island, Guam is declared secure. The Marines and soldiers of the III Amphibious Corps take 8,000 casualties during the battle to retake Guam, killing over 18,000 of the Japanese garrison force.
1945: Following the atomic strikes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and as American warplanes continue to attack targets in Japan and Taiwan, the Emperor of Japan informs his War Council that he will “bear the unbearable” and agree to unconditional surrender. World War II will be over in a matter of days.
1967: (featured image) President Lyndon B. Johnson authorizes the bombing of road and rail targets in the Hanoi-Haiphong area. Throughout Operation “Rolling Thunder”, Washington prevented the military from targeting facilities that would significantly benefit the war effort, such as attacking North Vietnamese airfields or mining harbors.
1972: Soldiers of the 21st Infantry Regiment – the first American troops to fight in Korea, and the last combat unit in Vietnam – departs for the United States. Over 40,000 advisers and support personnel remain in country, but the departure marks the end of dedicated combat personnel in Vietnam.