Daily Bread for Whitewater, Wisconsin: 5-10-11

Good morning,

Whitewater’s forecast calls for rain today, with a high of sixty degrees.

Today is a day of of significant public meetings. The Park & Rec Board will meet today at 5 p.m., and the Friends of the Mounds, dedicated to preserving Whitewater’s Indian Mounds, invites attendance at that meeting for input on the name of the site.

At 6 p.m., the Planning Board will meet. There’s a published account that mentions that the meeting’s scheduled discussion of the Starin Neighborhood’s proposed zoning overlay (to restrict further rental housing in the neighborhood). See, Zoning proposal would limit growth of rental housing. Not long ago, the city through a consultant proposed neighborhood preservation zones that did not, I recall, include the Starin neighborhood. The proposed overlay, itself a form of planning, comes about only through the failure of other efforts at planning, proposed or imposed, before it.

At 6:30 p.m., the Library Board will meet at the Irvin Young Library.

Also at 6:30 p.m., the Board of Review will meet, regarding three commercial appeals.

In Wisconsin history on this date, the Wisconsin Historical Society recalls a proud moment for Wisconsin’s soldiers — the 1865 capture of Confederate president Jefferson Davis:

1865 – Wisconsin Troops Capture Jefferson Davis

Just after dawn on May 10, 1865, Col. Henry Harnden of Madison and his squad of 30 volunteers from the First Cavalry arrested the President of the Confederacy. After Robert E. Lee surrendered on April 9th, Davis fled south with his cabinet and family. Col. Harnden, commanding the Wisconsin First Cavalry at Macon, Ga., was ordered to scour the countryside for him. After four days of searching, early on May 10th they caught up with Davis and his entourage in the woods near Irwinville.

As they approached, Col. Harnden’s troops were attacked by soldiers in the brush. Returning fire, they killed two of their adversaries before discovering they were U.S. soldiers who had converged on Davis from a different direction. Hearing this friendly fire tragedy, the Confederate President tried to escape but Harnden “rode up, dismounted and saluted, and I asked if this was Mr. Davis. ‘Yes,’ he replied, ‘I am President Davis.’ At this the soldiers set up a shout that Jeff. Davis was captured.” They included about 30 enlisted men from Wisconsin who helped bring the Civil War to its close that day. [Source: Wisconsin Local History & Biography Articles]

Davis was rumored to be wearing his wife’s dress and shawl at the time of his capture, and Union newspaper and officials reported the claim. (There’s a dispute about whether he intentionally or accidentally put on his wife’s coat while fleeing Union soldiers. One presumes that if Jackson should have also been wearing his wife’s dress, the wearing of it would not have been accidental.) United States Secretary of War Stanton publicized widely the supposed disguise:

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