Year
1865
Month Day
February 06

Confederate general John Pegram killed

On February 6, 1865, Confederate General John Pegram, age 33, is killed at the Battle of Hatcher's Run (also called Dabney’s Mill), Virginia.

Pegram graduated from West Point in 1854, and served in various posts in the West before resigning his commission at the start of the Civil War. Pegram then received an appointment as a lieutenant colonel in the Confederate army. Sent to fight in western Virginia during the summer of 1861, he was captured by General George McClellan’s men at the Battle of Rich Mountain. Pegram was exchanged in April 1862 and sent to serve with General Pierre G. T. Beauregard in Mississippi. He fought in Tennessee and Kentucky and earned a promotion to brigadier general. After the Battle of Chickamauga in September 1863, Pegram was transferred to General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. He was wounded at the Battle of the Wilderness in May 1864, but recovered to fight with General Jubal Early during the Shenandoah Valley campaign in the summer of 1864. That fall, he was sent to defend his native city of Petersburg, Virginia.

On January 19, 1865, Pegram married Hetty Cary, a prominent Richmond socialite. Even in the gloom of the ongoing siege, the ceremony was a grand affair attended by nearly all of the high-ranking Confederates, including President Jefferson Davis and his wife, Varina. One onlooker said of the bride that the “happy gleam of her beautiful brown eyes seemed to defy all sorrow.” Just three weeks later, Pegram’s body was returned to the same church, St. Paul’s Episcopal, and his young widow knelt beside his coffin as the minister who married them presided over the general’s funeral.

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Freed U.S. slaves depart on journey to Africa

The first organized immigration of freed slaves to Africa from the United States departs New York harbor on a journey to Freetown, Sierra Leone, in West Africa. The immigration was largely the work of the American Colonization Society, a U.S. organization founded in 1816 by ...read more

Woman claiming to be Anastasia Romanov arrives in the U.S.

On February 6, 1928, a woman calling herself Anastasia Tschaikovsky and claiming to be the youngest daughter of the murdered Russian czar Nicholas II arrives in New York City. She held a press conference on the liner Berengaria, explaining she was here to have her jaw reset. It ...read more

King George VI dies; Elizabeth becomes queen

On February 6, 1952, after a long illness, King George VI of Great Britain and Northern Ireland dies in his sleep at the royal estate at Sandringham. Princess Elizabeth, the oldest of the king’s two daughters and next in line to succeed him, was in Kenya at the time of her ...read more

Mussolini fires his son-in-law

Wary of his growing antiwar attitude, Benito Mussolini removes Count Galeazzo Ciano, his son-in-law, as head of Italy’s foreign ministry and takes over the duty himself. Ciano had been loyal to the fascist cause since its inception, having taking part in the march on Rome in ...read more

Tennis great Arthur Ashe dies of AIDS

On February 6, 1993, tennis champion Arthur Ashe, the only African-American man to win Wimbledon and the U.S. and Australian Opens, dies of complications from AIDS, at age 49 in New York City. Ashe’s body later laid in state at the governor’s mansion in Richmond, Virginia, where ...read more

Dalton Gang commits its first train robbery

The members of the Dalton Gang stage an unsuccessful train robbery near Alila, California–an inauspicious beginning to their careers as serious criminals. Bob, Emmett, and Grat Dalton were only three of Lewis and Adeleine Dalton’s 10 sons. The brothers grew up on a succession of ...read more

"Of Mice and Men" is published

John Steinbeck’s novella Of Mice and Men, the story of the bond between two migrant workers, is published. He adapted the book into a three-act play, which was produced the same year. The story brought national attention to Steinbeck’s work, which had started to catch on in 1935 ...read more

Austrian superstar Falco dies

The bus accident that killed Johann Hölzel went largely unnoticed in the English-speaking world, but in the Strasses and Allees of his native Vienna, February 6, 1998, was something like the Day die Musik Died. Johann Hölzel, after all, was not the name by which most of the world ...read more

Ronald Reagan born

As the 40th president of the United States, the former movie star was called the “Great Communicator” for his ability to get through to ordinary Americans and give them hope and optimism for their own future and that of their country. Despite his lifelong opposition to “big” ...read more

Man United players among victims of plane crash

A British European Airways flight crashes just after takeoff from the Munich Airport. Twenty-three people died in the crash, including eight players from the Manchester United soccer team, which had just qualified for the semifinals of the European Cup. The Manchester United team ...read more

Mary Kay Letourneau goes back to prison

A judge reinstates the suspended sentence of school teacher Mary Kay Letourneau and sends her back to prison for seven years after she is caught violating a no-contact order with her former student Vili Fualaau, when she is found in a vehicle with the boy. Letourneau first met ...read more

The “Reagan Doctrine” is announced

In his State of the Union address, President Ronald Reagan defines some of the key concepts of his foreign policy, establishing what comes to be known as the “Reagan Doctrine.” The doctrine served as the foundation for the Reagan administration’s support of “freedom fighters” ...read more

Franco-American alliances signed

During the Revolutionary War, representatives from the United States and France sign the Treaty of Amity and Commerce and the Treaty of Alliance in Paris. The Treaty of Amity and Commerce recognized the United States as an independent nation and encouraged trade between France ...read more

German sub sinks U.S. passenger ship California

Just three days after U.S. President Woodrow Wilson’s speech of February 3, 1917—in which he broke diplomatic relations with Germany and warned that war would follow if American interests at sea were again assaulted—a German submarine torpedoes and sinks the Anchor Line passenger ...read more