1862: On the second day of the Battle of Fair Oaks Station/Seven Pines, Maj. Gen. Gustavus W. Smith took charge of Confederate forces after the wounding of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, but President Jefferson Davis did not consider him up to the task and replaced him with the last available senior officer in Richmond, General Robert E. "Granny" Lee. By the end of the day both sides have suffered 11,165 casualties (the majority of them Confederate), but on the Union side, Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, sickened by the carnage, had psychologically lost the initiative. If you're interested in learning about the various Civil War battles and key dates, visit HistoryNet.com for more.

Also today in history, in the U.S. and elsewhere:

1813: In one of the goriest 15 minutes in the War of 1812 at sea, Capt. Philip Broke of the frigate HMS Shannon used superior tactics and a well-drilled crew to dismast the U.S. Navy frigate Chesapeake, after which, crying "Follow me who can," he and his men boarded and took her, in spite of the mortally wounded American captain, James Lawrence, groaning "Don't give up the ship!" Lawrence died three days later; Broke, in spite of a nasty head wound, survived.

1855: Filibuster William Walker completed his takeover of Nicaragua and reinstated slavery. This ultimately did not end well.

1861: Confederate and Union forces skirmished at Fairfax Court House and at Arlington Mills, Virginia, British territorial waters and ports were declared off limits and the two warring sides ceased postal exchange with one another.

1962: Adolf Eichmann was hanged in Israel.