Compiled by Mitchell Werksman and Jim Klag
December 5, 1782 - Martin Van Buren born, Kinderhook, NY.
December 5, 1820 - In his annual report to the Senate, Treasury Secretary William Crawford asks the Congress to forgive up to 1/3 the debt owed by purchasers of public lands.
December 5, 1826 - John Benjamin Sanborn, American lawyer, politician, and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Epsom, New Hampshire (d. 1904)
December 5, 1839 - George Armstrong Custer born, New Rumley, Ohio.
December 5, 1847 - Jefferson Davis is elected to the US senate, his first political post.
December 5, 1848 - US President Polk triggers Gold Rush of 1849 by confirming gold discovery in California
December 5, 1853 - Committee on Territories, chaired by Stephen Douglas, begins hearings on the Nebraska statehood bill passed by the U. S. House.
December 5, 1861 - Maj. Gen. William Joseph Hardee, CSA, assumes the command of the Confederate Central Army of Kentucky.
December 5, 1861 - Confederate scout in the vicinity of Russellville, KY, by Capt. I. F. Harrison, CSA, Brig. Gen. Wirt Adams' MS Cavalry. (Dec 5-8)
December 5, 1861 - Federal expedition through the Current Hills, MO, by Col. John B. Wyman, USA, 13th IL Infantry. (Dec 5-9)
December 5, 1862 - Engagement at Coffeeville, MS, where Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's, USA, cavalry is repulsed.
December 5, 1863 - Federal reconnaissance from Little Rock and skirmish (Dec 8) at Princeton, AR. (Dec 5-13)
December 5, 1863 - Federal reconnaissance from Rossville to Ringgold, GA.
December 5, 1863 - Federal scouts from Columbia, KY, into Clinton and other counties, with 4 skirmishes, and with the capture of horses and some of Brig. Gen. Samuel W. Ferguson's Confederate guerrillas. (Dec 5-10)
December 5, 1863 - Federal scout from New Berne toward Kinston, NC, where the Union guide gets the troops lost in the swamp.
December 5, 1863 - Affair at Murrell's or Murray's Inlet, (Myrtle Beach), SC, ends with the Union boat expedition being repelled near Magnolia Beach.
December 5, 1863 - Skirmish at Crab Gap, TN.
December 5, 1863 - Skirmish at Walker's Ford, Clinch River, TN, the Knoxville, TN, Campaign.
December 5, 1863 - Brig. Gen. Henry H. Lockwood, USA, supersedes Maj. Gen. Robert C. Schenck, USA, in the command of the Middle Dept. and the 8th US Army Corps, VA.
December 5, 1863 - Federal expedition from Norfolk, VA, aboard steamers and aided by the Union gunboats Flora Temple and the Coleman, to South Mills, Camden Court House, etc. NC. (Dec 5-24)
December 5, 1863 - Skirmish at Raccoon Ford, VA.
December 5, 1864 - The siege of Petersburg is ongoing.
December 5, 1864 - Skirmish near Lewisburg, AR.
December 5, 1864 - Skirmish 1.5 miles from Dalton, GA, the "March to the Sea," Campaign by Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, as the Confederates try to contest Sherman's March. The Rebels manage to capture 30 Federals and cut the telegraph lines before retreating.
December 5, 1864 - Skirmish at the Little Ogeechee River, GA, as Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, USA, presses on towards Savannah, GA.
December 5, 1864 - Confederate demonstrations against Murfreesboro, TN, by Maj. Gen. Nathan B. Forrest, CSA, against Maj. Gen. Lovell H. Rousseau, USA. Forrest retreats back towards Nashville, TN. (Dec 5-7)
December 5, 1864 - The Confederate capture of the tug-boat, Lizzie Freeman, while towing the barge, Zimmerman, near Smithfield, VA, as they went to Aiken's Island to procure paving stones. The crew was captured and paroled by the Rebels.
December 5, 1865 - Georgia becomes the 26th state to ratify the 13th amendment which abolishes slavery.
December 5, 1876 - Florida canvassing board determines Rutherford B. Hayes wins the state by a margin of 924 votes.