May 18,1864-Union cavalry troops capture Rome, Georgia when Confederate General Samuel G. French is dislodged. General Kenner Garrard leads the Union cavalry.
May 18,1864-The last recorded action of the Trans-Mississippi region, also known as the Red River campaign, takes place at Yellow Bayou, Louisiana when Admiral David Porter's fleet is fired on by General John Liddell's cavalry unit.
May 19,1864-New England writer Nathaniel Hawthorne dies at Plymouth, New Hampshire. He was a respected novelist of the era.
May 19,1864-General Richard Ewell attempts a counterattack on Federal troops marching away from Spotsylvania Court House. During this last battle at Spotsylvania, losses mount to about 2,400 total. Grant has lost 17,500 of his 110,000 men at Spotsylvania and 33,000 in the entire Wilderness Campaign. Confederate losses are uncertain.
May 19,1864-General Joseph Johnston orders General John B. Hood to counterattack the scattered Union XXIII Corps but then countermands his order and moves to Allatoona Pass, Georgia. Generals Hardee and Polk protest as they would rather stand and fight.
May 20,1864-General Grant marches toward Hanover Station, 24 mile north of Richmond, with the intent of crushing Lee's Army before they can entrench.
May 20,1864-The Battle of Ware Bottom Church, Virginia, keeps General Butler's troops bottled up at Bermuda Hundred next to the earthworks of General Beauregard's force.
May 21,1864-Secretary of State Seward instructs U.S. minister to France, John Bigelow, to issue a mild protest against French interference with Mexico but to avoid any confrontation until the Civil War is over.
May 21,1864-General Grant gains the strategic initiative over General Lee by flanking the Confederate Army, crossing the North Anna River, and forcing Lee to react or follow.
May 21,1864-Union General Franz Sigel, having lost the battle of New Market, is relieved by General David Hunter.
May 22,1864-General Lee moves into defensive positions along the North Anna River.
May 22,1864-General Sherman again outflanks General Joe Johnston's forces, bypassing them at Allatoona, Georgia. Johnston falls back to Dallas, Georgia.
May 23,1864-The Union II Corps deploys on the northern bank of the North Anna River and the IX Corps occupies Jericho Mills. The V and VI Corps set-up west of Jericho Mills and dig in.
May 23,1864-General John H. Morgan begins an extended raid into Kentucky.
May 23,1864-The side-wheeler USS Columbine runs aground in mud at Horse Landing, Palata, Florida. The 2nd Florida Cavalry captures the crew and burns the vessel. Twenty of the crew members are killed.
May 24,1864-The Army of the Potomac again crosses the North Anna River, this time on a pontoon bridge. General Grant joins with General Sheridan, just returned from his raid near Richmond. General Lee has moved his army into an inverted V formation, trying to entice Grant into a trap. General Lee suddenly falls ill and no attack goes forward. Grant perceives the danger and moves back across the North Anna.