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May 9, 1786 Under chairman James Madison, the Committee of Territories puts forth a plan to govern the Northwest Territories. Most of the plan, including a ban on slavery, is later incorporated into the Northwest Ordinance of 1787.
May 9, 1837 Banks in New York City see a tremendous outflow (some estimates range as high as $700,000) of hard currency (gold and silver) as a result of the Specie Circular. New York
  Specie Circular
  Panic of 1837
May 9, 1846 Zachary Taylor wins the battle of Resaca de la Palma
  Mexican American War
  Zachary Taylor
May 9, 1862 General David Hunter [US] frees the slaves in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida
  The Emancipation of Slaves
May 9, 1862 Confederates withdraw from Norfolk, destroying the base as they leave Virginia
  Benjamin Huger
  Peninsula Campaign
May 9, 1864
May 24, 1864
Sheridan's Raid on Richmond Virginia
  Sheridans Raid on Richmond
  Richmond, Virginia
May 9, 1864 General John Sedgwick [US] is killed by a Confederate sharpshooter during the battle of Spotsylvania. He is replaced by Horatio Wright
  Generals Who Died In the Civil War
  John Sedgwick
May 9, 1864 Coming out of Snake Creek Gap, General James McPherson runs into a Rebel force at Resaca that was stronger than expected. He returns to the gap rather than attack. Georgia
  Atlanta Campaign
  James McPherson
May 9, 1864 Stephen D. Lee [CS] is ordered to take command of the Department of Alabama, Mississippi and East Louisiana, but there is little to command.
May 9, 1864 Battle of Cloyd's Mountain Virginia
  Rutherford B. Hayes

Ongoing on this day:
April 12, 1861
May 10, 1865
The American Civil War
  The Civil War
May 8, 1864
May 19, 1864
Battle of Spotsylvania Court House

In an inconclusive battle, General Ulysses S. Grant [US] and Robert E. Lee [CS] battle for days southwest of Fredericksburg

Union 18,399
Confederate 9,000
Virginia
  Robert E. Lee
  Ulysses S. Grant
  Bloodiest Civil War battles
  Army of Northern Virginia
  Overland Campaign
  Richard Ewell
May 8, 1860
May 9, 1860
The Constitution Union Party, meeting in Baltimore, creates a platform taken heavily from the U. S. Constitution and selects John Bell of Tennessee for President and Edward Everett of Massachusetts for Vice-President. It represents southern Whigs and Know-nothings (American Party). Sometimes called the Bell-Union Party Maryland
  The Election of 1860
May 7, 1864
May 11, 1864
Battle of Rocky Face Ridge (Dalton)
Battle of Dug Gap
Georgia
  George Thomas
  Joseph E. Johnston
  Atlanta Campaign
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