This Day in History
October 29: The Battle of Wauhatchie; Cassius Clay’s First Win, and Other Events of the Date
Next Post

Press {{ keys }} + D to make this page bookmarked.


October 29: The Battle of Wauhatchie; Cassius Clay’s First Win, and Other Events of the Date


A number of important events took place on October 29 in U.S. history. Here is our take on the most interesting and valuable of them.

1863 – American Civil War: the Battle of Wauhatchie

This battle, which was a part of the campaign later called “Reopening the Tennessee River.” was fought on this day in modern-day Hamilton and Marion Counties, Tennessee, as well as in Dade County, Georgia. During this clash, Union forces seized Brown's Ferry on the Tennessee River, which allowed them to open a supply line to their allies in Chattanooga. The Confederates, in turn, attempted to dislodge the Union forces defending the ferry, so as to close this vital supply line again, but were defeated on theiry way.

Interestingly, Wauhatchie was one of the few nighttime battles of the Civil War, and, according to official sources, it resulted in a pyrrhic Union victory, as they suffered 78 men killed, 327 wounded, and 15 missing. The Confederates claimed their losses were far less: 34 soldiers killed, 305 wounded, and 69 missing.

Yet, the exact tallies remain disputed, since one account says Confederate General Bratton lost no less than 408 men while his ally, General Law, lost about 52 men. And since Union General Geary reported burying 153 fallen Confederate soldiers, as well as capturing over 100 prisoners, the overall Confederate losses during the nighttime battle of Wauhatchie may have been over 900 men, which would make it a humiliating defeat for them.

1960 – Cassius Clay’s first professional win

Boxer Muhammad Ali (known until 1964 by his given name of Cassius Clay) won his first professional fight against Tunney Hunsaker in a six-round decision in Louisville, Kentucky.

“Clay was as fast as lightning... I tried every trick I knew to throw at him off balance but he was just too good” said the defeated Hunsaker after the fight.

This victory was very important for Clay’s career, opening his way to the top. Four years later, Clay won the world heavyweight championship against Sonny Liston. He changed his name to Muhammad Ali after this win, as he thought Cassius Clay was a “slave name.” Ali later played a significant role in the social changes and anti-war activism of the era, representing the sports field in them.

Yet, many consider him to be a racist propagating hatred towards white people. For example, back in 1971, he called his opponent for the Fight of the Century, Joe Frazier, “a dumb tool of the white establishment,” despite the fact that Frazier was an African American himself, and only because Frazier wasn’t as “active” in his “political struggle” against the white supremacy as Ali was. 

1960Cal Poly team crash

The same day that Cassius Clay won his first professional fight, a tragedy occurred in the skies above Ohio, as the plane carrying college football team, the Cal Poly Mustangs, crashed near the city of Toledo right after takeoff. The C-46 plane was very old and, according to some sources, even served during World War 2 as a transport plane. It’s likely that it crashed due to its degraded condition.

As a result of this catastrophe, 16 Mustang players were killed, with 22 overall killed, and 26 surviving the crash.

The next season, on Thanksgiving Day 1961, Los Angeles County Supervisor Warren Dorn and Bob Hope sponsored a special “Mercy Bowl” in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum at the Fresno State v. Bowling Green State game to raise funds for the survivors and bereaved families.

The “Mercy Bowl” raised about $200,000 as 33,000 people attended the game on November 23.

These are the most notable events in U.S. history that occurred on October 29, at least in our view.

Author: USA Really