Tuesday April 22, 2014
April 23, 1014 - Munster Irish and Leinster forces clash outside of the Dublin at the Battle of Clontarf. In 1013, the King of Leinster, Máel Mórda mac Murchada, rose in rebellion against the High King of Ireland, Brian Boru. Receiving assistance from the Dublin Vikings of Sigtrygg Silkbeard, the Manx Vikings of Brodir, and the Viking Earl of Orkey, Sigurd Lodvesson, Murchada prepared for Brian's inevitable attack. After raiding around Dublin, Brian moved to confront his enemy's army. Meeting at Clontarf, just north of Dublin, the two forces engaged in a series of champion fights before opening the main battle. Commencing on the morning of Good Friday, April 23, the fighting at Clontarf lasted throughout the day. With the battle turning in his favor, Brian returned to his tent to pray. While there, Brodir, who earlier had nearly been killed by Brian's brother, Wolf the Quarrelsome, approached the tent with a small band of followers. Attacking, they killed Brian and his retainers. On the battlefield, Brian's forces succeeded in cutting off Murchada's route of escape and began massacring his forces. As the fighting finished, Brian's army, despite his death, proved victorious and was able to kill Murchada and destroy his army. The battle eliminated much of Ireland's central leadership and the country soon sank into regionalized, factional fighting.
Sunday April 20, 2014
Laid down in 1904, USS Idaho (BB-24) (right) entered service four years later. The second and final ship of the Mississippi-class, the battleship intially operated in the Caribbean and Atlantic until greeting the returing Great White Fleet in February 1909. Largely engaged in routine, peacetime operations over the next four years, Idaho did conduct a cruise to Europe and protected American interests off the Mexican coast. Sold to Greece in the summer of 1914, the battleship entered the Royal Hellenic Navy under the name Lemnos. Remaining active in various roles, it was sunk in April 1941 by German Ju 87 Stukas during World War II.
US Navy - Connecticut-class Battleships:
Photograph Courtesy of the US Naval History & Heritage Command
Friday April 18, 2014
April 19, 1775 - The American Revolution begins with fighting at Lexington (left) and Concord. Early on the morning of April 19, 1775, 700 British troops departed Boston with orders from Gen. Thomas Gage to search for and seize colonial munitions in the town of Concord. Alerted that the British were approaching by Paul Revere, William Dawes, and Dr. Samuel Prescott, colonial militia and "Minutemen" were able to muster. Forming his men on Lexington Green, Captain John Parker gave them strict instructions not to fire unless fired upon. After the lead elements of the British column, led by Major John Pitcairn, arrived there was an exchange of words and then a shot rang out. While it is not known who fired it, it led to a brief battle in which eight colonists were killed. Moving on the British reached Concord and began their search for munitions. Near the North Bridge, colonial militia was able to defeat a British detachment. Having completed their mission, the British began marching back to Boston. As they moved, colonial forces repeatedly sniped at and ambushed them, ultimately inflicting 273 casualties. Colonial casualties for the day numbered 94. The fighting at Lexington and Concord became the opening battles of the American Revolution.
American Revolution - Boston Campaign:
Photograph Source: Public Domain
Wednesday April 16, 2014
Fought September 19, 1864, the Third Battle of Winchester saw Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan advance south and attack Confederate forces led by Lt. Gen. Jubal Early. Striking with VI and XIX Corps, his early efforts to penetrate Early's line east of Winchester failed to obtain a breakthrough despite heavy fighting. Bringing up VIII Corps, Sheridan was able to drive back the Confederate left forcing Early to withdraw to a new position closer to the town. Coming under coordinated assaults by Union infantry, he was nearly surrounded when Maj. Gen. Alfred Torbert appeared north of Winchester with two cavalry divisions. This threat and the imminent danger of Sheridan shattering his line led Early to order a retreat south to Fisher's Hill. Forming a new defensive line, he was beaten again by Sheridan two days later.
Civil War in the Shenandoah Valley:
Photograph Courtesy of the National Archives & Records Administration