Civil War Blog

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News of the World: May 1864

Posted By on May 31, 2014

May 2. Treaty of London, 1864.  The United Kingdom gave up  the United States of the Ionian Islands to Greece. The United Kingdom had held an amical protectorate over the islands since the 1815 Treaty of Paris. This is the first example of the British voluntarily giving up a colonial possession, a trait which would later become more common. 

May 20Australian bushranger Ben Hall and his gang escape from a shootout with police after attempting to rob the Bang Bang Hotel in Koorawatha, New South Wales. Ben Hall carried out many

Ben Hall

audacious raids, some of which were intended to taunt the police. Unlike many bushrangers of the era, he was not directly responsible for any deaths, although several of his companions certainly were  He was shot dead by police in May 1865 at the Billabong Creek. 




May 21. The Caucasian War ended with the signing of loyalty oaths by Circassian leadersRussia declares an end to the Russian-Circassian War and many Circassians are forced into exile. The day is designated to be the Circassian Day of Mourning. The Russian–Circassian War (1763–1864)  refers to a series of battles and wars in Circassia, the northwestern part of the Caucasus, which were part of the Russian Empire‘s conquest of the Caucasus lasting approximately 101 years, starting under the reign of Tsar Peter the Great and being completed in 1864. Although the conquest of the Caucasus started at least as early as the Russo-Persian Wars, the term Caucasian War commonly refers only to the period 1817–1864. The defeated Circassians (who were largely Muslin) who did not want to accept the rule of a Christian monarch, were frced to fllee. The Ottoman Empire took many, and  the refugees ended up in modern Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Israel, Iraq and Kosovo. Different smaller numbers ended up in neighbouring Persia. Various Russian, Caucasus, and Western historians agree on the figure of ca. 500,000 inhabitants of the highland Caucasus being deported by Russia in the 1860s. A large fraction of them died in transit from disease. This forced emigration has come to be known as the Circassian Genocide. 


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