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On This Day: September 2

1862 - Rumored Indian Attack Panics Citizens

On this evening, Manitowoc settlers were awakened to the cry of "Indians are coming." Messengers on horseback arrived from the Rapids, Branch, Kellnersville, and other nearby communities, announcing that Indians were burning everything in their path, starting what was known as the "Indian Scare of 1862." Fire and church bells gave warning to frightened residents. Over the next few days, people from the surrounding areas fled to Manitowoc and other city centers. Ox carts were loaded with women and children carrying their most valuable belongings. Men arrived with guns, axes, and pitchforks, anything with which to defend themselves and their community. A company of recruits from the Wisconsin 26th Regiment formed themselves into two scouting units, both of which returned to report that there was no threat of an Indian attack. Even after the excitement had subsided, many frightened farm families could not be persuaded to return home. [Source: Manitowoc County, Wisconsin Genealogy]

1864 - (Civil War) Confederate Troops Abandon Atlanta, Georgia

Confederate troops abandoned Atlanta on September 2, 1864, after a three-month siege. Over the course of the summer more than 66,000 soldiers had been killed, wounded, or captured, with losses roughly equal on each side. In coming months, Union forces would ship everything in the city to their own troops and then burn all its important public buildings.

1874 - Grace Ellen Nielson McGovern Born

On this date Grace Ellen Nielson McGovern, sister-in-law of Governor Francis Edward McGovern, was born in the Town of Granville, outside Milwaukee. She was one of the first graduates of the Milwaukee Female Seminary. Grace Ellen Nielson married Dr. John J. McGovern, on November 23, 1898 in Milwaukee. She served as first lady for her bachelor brother-in-law, Governor Francis Edward McGovern, from 1911 to 1915, acting frequently as hostess for many social functions. Grace Ellen Nielson McGovern died on April 20, 1970 in Milwaukee. She is buried beside her husband in Forest Home Cemetery in Milwaukee. [Source: First Ladies of Wisconsin-The Governors' Wives by Nancy G. Williams, p.127]