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On This Day: May 12

1830 - Eau Claire Lumberman Orrin Henry Ingram Born

On this date Orrin Henry Ingram was born in Westfield, Mass. He moved to Wisconsin in 1857 and settled in Eau Claire, where he formed the lumber firm of Dole, Ingram and Kennedy. In 1865 Ingram constructed the steamer "Silas Wright," which utilized a shallow draft device he invented in an attempt to overcome the shifting water levels of the Chippewa. The invention was used in the South as well in Alaska.

1843 - First Recorded Session of Crawford County Court

On this date the first recorded session of the Crawford County court was held in Prairie du Chien, which was one of three territorial counties. This session preceded Wisconsin statehood by five years. [Source: Wisconsin History Timeline and Wisconsin's Historic Courthouse by Roger Turner and Marv Balousek] User submitted entry!

1864 - (Civil War) Spotsylvania's Bloody Angle

The fiercest fighting in the Battle of Spotsylvania occurred in pouring rain on May 12, 1864. For 23 hours the two sides fought hand-to-hand along lines known as the Bloody Angle. When the battle ended, the trenches were filled with bodies. Colonel Rufus Dawes of the 6th Wisconsin Infantry left a vivid memoir of this day's fighting. The Battle of Spotsylvania, Virginia, lasted from May 8-21, 1864, and pitted 100,000 Union troops against 52,000 Confederates. When the two weeks were over, about 11,000 Union soldiers had been killed or wounded without any clear victory for either side. The 2nd, 5th, 6th and 7th Wisconsin Infantry regiments fought during the entire Spotsylvania Campaign (May 8-21,1864); the 36th Infantry fought at Spotsylvania May 18-21,1864.

1936 - Talk Show Host Tom Snyder Born

On this date talk show host Tom Snyder was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Snyder hosted such shows as Tomorrow with Tom Snyder, Tomorrow Coast to Coast and The Late, Late Show. He died on July 29, 2007, of chronic lymphocytic leukemia.[Source: Internet Movie Database]