Civil War Blog

A project of PA Historian

Events of July 1864

Posted By on July 31, 2014

July 2. Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol was created in the space previously occupied by the House of Representatives. The House moved to its present location in 1857. In 1864 plans were made to repair the room and each state was invited to contribute two statues to the National Statuary Collection. The first statue was placed in 1870. By 1971, all 50 states had contributed at least one statue, and by 1990, all but five states had contributed two statues. Initially all of the state statues were placed in the Hall. As the collection expanded, however, it outgrew the Hall, and in 1933, Congress authorized the display of the statues throughout the building for both aesthetic and structural reasons. Presently, 38 statues are located in National Statuary Hall.

July 4. The University of Bucharest was founded in Romania; it is the second oldest university in Romania.

July 8.The Ikedaya Incident , also known as the Ikedaya Affair or Ikedaya Jiken, was an armed encounter at the Ikedaya Inn in Kyoto, Japan.  between the political activist group the shishi and the Shinsengumi

a special police force.  At the end of the Edo period, Kyoto attracted unemployed ronin of varying allegiances. Several supported forcibly removing all western influences from Japan. Emperor Kōmei and the Aizu and Satsuma clans preferred a unification of the bakufu and the imperial court. The bakufu tried to retain their centralized power. In this political chaos, ronin from the various factions began to assassinate each other. The bakufu organized groups of ronin including Shinsengumi and charged them with arresting or killing (should they resist arrest) the sonnō jōi shishi. The shishi were using the Ikedaya Inn as a staging point for their forces. A total of eight shishi were killed and twenty-three arrested; the Shinsengumi lost only one member in the battle, though two more members would later die of injuries. The Ikedaya Inn was destroyed in the battle. For many years a slot machine parlor sat on the grounds of the Ikedaya, but  in 2009 a new drinking establishment  named Ikeda-ya opened, designed and decorated with an Ikedaya theme.

July 14. Gold was  discovered on the site of what would become Helena. This discovery would prove to be the second biggest placer gold deposit in Montana, producing some $19 million worth of gold in just four years. Overnight, thousands of miners began to flood into the region, and the four original discoverers added to their fortunes by establishing the town of Helena to provide them with food, lodging, and supplies. But unlike many of the early Montana mining towns, Helena did not disappear once the gold gave out, which it inevitably did. Located on several major transportation routes, well supplied with agricultural products from an adjacent valley, and near to several other important mining towns, Helena was able to survive and grow by serving the wider Montana mining industry. In 1875, the city became the capital of Montana Territory, and in 1894, the capital of the new state of Montana.

July 19.  The end of the Third Battle of Nanking, China.  It was the last major engagement of the Taiping Rebellion, occurring in 1864 after the death of the king of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, Hong Xiuquan. There were probably more than a million troops in the battle and the Taiping army sustained 100,000 dead (and many more wounded) in clash int eh spring and summer of 1864. Following the defeat of the Taiping army the Imperial troops slaughtered much of the city’s population. Nanking had been the capital of the Heavenly Kingdom. This battle was the effective end of the Taiping army and the last major Taiping city to fall back under Imperial control.


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