This Week in the American Civil War: May 17-23, 1865

Posted by: on May 18, 2015 | No Comments

Information courtesy of the Minnesota Civil War Commemoration Task Force
Major Highlights for the Week

Wednesday May 17, 1865
Major General Phil Sheridan was assigned to general Federal command west of the Mississippi River and south of the Arkansas River. With his reputation for destruction in the Shenandoah River Valley, this appointment angered many Southerners.

Confederate troops in Florida surrendered to Brigadier General Israel Vogdes.

Preparations for the Grand Review in Washington, D.C. were underway.

Thursday May 18, 1865
Brigadier General Israel Vogdes continued to accept the surrenders from Confederate troops in Florida.

News of the Grand Review in Washington, D.C. reached the rest of the country through the news wire.

Friday May 19, 1865
The Confederate raider Stonewall surrendered at Havana, Cuba.

An ambush at Hobdy’s Bridge on the Pea River in Alabama left 1st Florida Cavalry members Corporal John W. Skinner killed along with William Smith, Nathan Mims and Daniel V. Melvin wounded. They were the last casualties during the Civil War.

Saturday May 20, 1865
The limited military actions that still occurred involved Federals and guerrillas on the Blackwater River, near Longwood, Missouri.

Sunday May 21, 1865
The Nashville Union newspaper published the casualty list of the 3rd Tennessee Cavalry for those who died aboard the Steamer Sultana which exploded three weeks earlier.

Monday May 22, 1865
President Andrew Johnson removed commercial restrictions on Southern ports except for Galveston, La Salle, Brazos Santiago and Brownsville, Texas.

A minor skirmish occurred at Valley Mines, Missouri.

Former Confederate President Jefferson Davis was imprisoned in a cell at Fort Monroe, Virginia.

Tuesday May 23, 1865
ARMY OF THE POTOMAC IN GRAND REVIEW
The Grand Armies of the Republic passed in a last review. From the Capitol to the White House, crowds lined the streets, children sang patriotic songs, and the men marched. In the bright summer air the Army of the Potomac had come home to the appreciation of the nation. It was also the first time since President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination the previous month that the flag had been at full staff. Starting at 10 a.m., Major General George G. Meade led the procession. Regiment by regiment, brigade by brigade, division by division, corps by corps, the army made one final review. President Andrew Johnson was joined by Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant, senior military leaders, government officials and Cabinet members in the reviewing stand. When Meade arrived at the reviewing stand, he dismounted and joined the president and others in the six-hour review of his 80,000 troops. Major General William T. Sherman’s Army of the Tennessee and the Army of Georgia would participate in the review the next day.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of May 17-23, 1865
Active units:
1st Battalion Minnesota Infantry – On duty in Washington, D.C. until May 23, 1865.

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Washington, D.C. until May 23, 1865.

3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Batesville, Arkansas until September 2, 1865.

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Washington, D.C. until May 23, 1865.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Montgomery, Selma and Demopolis, Alabama until August 1865.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Montgomery, Alabama until July 1865.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Selma, Alabama until July 20, 1865.

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Raleigh, Greensboro and Charlotte, N.C. until July 11, 1865.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Montgomery and Selma, Alabama until July 26, 1865.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Meridian, Mississippi until July 1865.

11th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Assigned to duty guarding the line of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad from Nashville to the Kentucky line. Companies E, G, and I were at Gallatin, Tennessee. Company A was at Buck Lodge. Company B at Edgefield Junction. Company C at Richland. Company D at Sandersville. Company H was at Mitchellsville. The location of companies F and K are unknown at this time. The regiment remained on duty at these locations until June 25, 1865.

2nd Regiment Minnesota Cavalry – Engaged in frontier and patrol duty between Forts Wadsworth, Abercrombie, Ripley and Ridgely with headquarters at Fort Snelling, until November 17, 1865.

Brackett’s Battalion of Minnesota Cavalry – Engaged in frontier and patrol duty between Forts Wadsworth, Abercrombie, Ripley and Ridgely with headquarters at Fort Snelling until May 1866.

Hatch’s Independent Battalion of Cavalry – Companies A, B, C and D moved to Fort Abercrombie. Companies A and B assigned to garrison at Fort Abercrombie. Company C assigned to garrison at Alexandria and Pomme de Terre. Company D on patrol duty from Fort Abercrombie to Pembina. Companies E and F on frontier duty. The battalion would remain in these duty locations for the duration of the war – until April 26, 1866.

1st Minnesota Heavy Artillery Battery – On garrison duty at Chattanooga, Tennessee until September 27, 1865.

1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery – On duty in Washington, D.C. until May 24, 1865.

2nd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – On duty in Philadelphia, Tennessee until July 1865.

3rd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – On duty in Dakota Territory until October 1865.

Inactive units:
1st Regiment Minnesota Cavalry “Mounted Rangers” – Formally mustered out of service on December 7, 1863. Inactive.

1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Mustered out of Federal service on April 29, 1864. Inactive.

2nd United States Sharpshooters, Company A – Transferred to the 1st Battalion, Minnesota Infantry on February 20, 1865 at Petersburg, Virginia for duration of service.

1st United States Sharpshooters Company I – Mustered out of Federal Service on March 19, 1865.

This Week in the American Civil War: May 10-16, 1865

Posted by: on May 11, 2015 | No Comments

Information courtesy of the Minnesota Civil War Commemoration Task Force
Major Highlights for the Week

Wednesday May 10, 1865
Early in the morning, Federal troops surprised the encampment of Confederate President Jefferson Davis near Irwinville, Georgia. President Davis, Mrs. Davis, Postmaster General Reagan, secretary Burton Harrison and a few others were taken into custody. President Davis was wearing a raincoat and had a shawl because of the rain, and was found a short distance from his tent in a futile attempt to escape the Fourth Michigan Cavalry. Now that Davis was captured, the Confederate government ceased to exist. He was taken to Macon, Georgia, then to Fort Monroe, Virginia, where he was imprisoned until May 13, 1867 when he was released without trial.

Confederate Major General Samuel Jones surrendered forces under his command at Tallahassee, Florida.

William Clarke Quantrill, the 27-year-old guerrilla leader who sacked the town of Lawrence, Kansas in 1863, was fatally wounded by an irregular force of Federals near Taylorsville in Spencer County, Kentucky. He and a small group of followers had been looting in Kentucky.

President Andrew Johnson ordered the blockade of states east of the Mississippi to be partially lifted but warned against continued hospitality by foreign powers to Confederate cruisers.

Thursday May 11, 1865
Confederate Brigadier General M. Jeff Thompson surrendered the remnants of his famous brigade at Chalk Bluff, Arkansas under the same terms as Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant offered to General Robert E. Lee.

Friday May 12, 1865
In the last land engagement of significance, Federal troops from Brazos Santiago Post, Texas, under Colonel Theodore H. Barrett marched inland towards Brownville and attacked Palmito Ranch on the banks of the Rio Grande River. The camp was taken but Federals evacuated under pressure.

In Washington, D.C., the eight accused Lincoln assassination conspirators pleaded not guilty to both specifications and charges before the military commission sitting as their court. The taking of testimony then began.

President Andrew Johnson appointed Major General Oliver O. Howard to lead the Freedmen’s Bureau.

Saturday May 13, 1865
In Texas, Federal troops moved on Palmito Ranch once again, as it had been reoccupied by the Confederates. In the midafternoon, the Confederates attacked and forced the Federal troops to withdraw with considerable casualties. Colonel John S. Ford led the main Confederate drive. The Battle of Palmito Ranch had little bearing on the war. However, it was the last fighting between sizable bodies of men, and, ironically, was a Confederate victory.

At Marshall, Texas, the Confederate governors of Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri and a representative of Texas, met with E. Kirby Smith and other ranking officers. There was a threat by Jo Shelby and others to arrest Smith unless he continued the war. The governors drew up terms which they advised Smith to accept.

Sunday May 14, 1865
Slight skirmishing on the Little Piney River in Missouri, and a three-day Federal expedition from Brashear City to Ratliff’s Plantation, Louisiana, marked the day.

Monday May 15, 1865
A Federal scout from Pine Bluff to Johnston’s Farm, Arkansas was the only action of the day.

Tuesday May 16, 1865
Captain John Norris, Company M of the 13th Illinois Cavalry, and his patrol found a fresh set of tracks and found that a party of Confederate Captain R. A. Kidd’s cavalry was in the area. Norris split his command in two. Later in the afternoon, Kidd’s cavalry approached the Federals but fled after seeing the hiding Federals. They fled into the underbrush after firing a single volley. One Confederate prisoner was captured but there were no casualties otherwise. It is known as the Skirmish on Monticello Road in Jefferson County, Arkansas.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of May 10-16, 1865
Active units:

1st Battalion Minnesota Infantry – On duty in Washington, D.C. until May 23, 1865.

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Washington, D.C. until May 23, 1865.

3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Batesville, Arkansas until September 2, 1865.

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Washington, D.C. until May 23, 1865.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Montgomery, Selma and Demopolis, Alabama until August 1865.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Montgomery, Alabama until July 1865.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Selma, Alabama until July 20, 1865.

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Raleigh, Greensboro and Charlotte, N.C. until July 11, 1865.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Montgomery and Selma, Alabama until July 26, 1865.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Meridian, Mississippi until July 1865.

11th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Assigned to duty guarding the line of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad from Nashville to the Kentucky line. Companies E, G, and I were at Gallatin, Tennessee. Company A was at Buck Lodge. Company B at Edgefield Junction. Company C at Richland. Company D at Sandersville. Company H was at Mitchellsville. The location of companies F and K are unknown at this time. The regiment remained on duty at these locations until June 25, 1865.

2nd Regiment Minnesota Cavalry – Engaged in frontier and patrol duty between Forts Wadsworth, Abercrombie, Ripley and Ridgely with headquarters at Fort Snelling, until November 17, 1865.

Brackett’s Battalion of Minnesota Cavalry – Engaged in frontier and patrol duty between Forts Wadsworth, Abercrombie, Ripley and Ridgely with headquarters at Fort Snelling until May 1866.

Hatch’s Independent Battalion of Cavalry – Companies A, B, C and D moved to Fort Abercrombie. Companies A and B assigned to garrison at Fort Abercrombie. Company C assigned to garrison at Alexandria and Pomme de Terre. Company D on patrol duty from Fort Abercrombie to Pembina. Companies E and F on frontier duty. The battalion would remain in these duty locations for the duration of the war – until April 26, 1866.

1st Minnesota Heavy Artillery Battery – On garrison duty at Chattanooga, Tennessee until September 27, 1865.

1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery – On duty in Washington, D.C. until May 24, 1865.

2nd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – On duty in Philadelphia, Tennessee until July 1865.

3rd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – Various sections on duty at Fort Ridgely, Fort Ripley and Fort Sisseton until May 1865.
Inactive units:
1st Regiment Minnesota Cavalry “Mounted Rangers” – Formally mustered out of service on December 7, 1863. Inactive.

1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Mustered out of Federal service on April 29, 1864. Inactive.

2nd United States Sharpshooters, Company A – Transferred to the 1st Battalion, Minnesota Infantry on February 20, 1865 at Petersburg, Virginia for duration of service.

1st United States Sharpshooters Company I – Mustered out of Federal Service on March 19, 1865.

This Week in the American Civil War: May 3-9, 1865

Posted by: on May 4, 2015 | No Comments

Information courtesy of the Minnesota Civil War Commemoration Task Force
Major Highlights for the Week

Wednesday May 3, 1865
By daylight, Confederate President Jefferson Davis and what remained of his Cabinet crossed the Savannah River, moving to Washington, Georgia. Reluctantly, Davis accepted the resignation of Secretary of the Navy S.R. Mallory, one of the two Cabinet members who had served in the same post since the founding of the Confederacy. Judah Benjamin also departed and eventually escaped to Britain.

President Abraham Lincoln’s Funeral Train arrived at Springfield, Illinois, its final destination.

Skirmishing continued on the Missouri River near Booneville, and near Pleasant Hill, both in Missouri.

Thursday May 4, 1865
At a conference at Citronelle, Alabama, forty miles north of Mobile, Confederate Lieutenant General Richard Taylor surrendered his forces in the Department of Alabama, Mississippi and East Louisiana. As in other surrenders, officers and men retained their horses and the men signed paroles. Taylor was allowed to retain control of the railways and steamers to transport troops home.

Sporadic action continued with skirmishing at Star House near Lexington, Missouri; and at Wetumpka, Alabama.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis’s dwindling entourage continued southward into Georgia.

In Springfield, Illinois, President Abraham Lincoln was laid to rest.

Friday May 5, 1865
The once gallant Confederate army now only numbered the force of E. Kirby Smith in the Trans-Mississippi as its only major army.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis was at Sandersville, Georgia.

Skirmishing occurred on the Perche Hills, Missouri, and at Summerville, Georgia.

Connecticut ratified the Thirteenth Amendment.

Saturday May 6, 1865
The Federal War Department issued orders setting up the military commission to try the alleged Lincoln conspirators. The commission was led by Major General David Hunter, with Brigadier General Joseph Holt as judge advocate.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis, near Sandersville, Georgia, was attempting to get south of points occupied by Federal troops. Various cavalry units, now actively pursuing the Confederate leader, scoured the countryside.

Sunday May 7, 1865
Confederate guerrillas, 110 in number, proceeded to attack the town of Kingsville, Missouri and burn down five houses. Eight people were killed and two were wounded.

President Andrew Johnson, at the urging of Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, appointed through Executive Order, the Honorable John A. Bingham as special judge advocate in the military commission set up to try the Lincoln assassination conspirators.

Captain Henry Wirz, the Confederate commander of the Andersonville prison camp, was arrested and sent to Washington, D.C. by rail.

Monday May 8, 1865
The Federal commissioners of E.R.S. Canby accepted the paroles of Richard Taylor’s troops in Mississippi, Alabama and east Louisiana. Canby was under orders to prepare part of an expedition planned by Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant into the Trans-Mississippi, where the last sizable force of Confederate still held out. There was also talk of negotiations in the Trans-Mississippi.

Throughout the Confederacy, small groups and individual soldiers surrendered or just went home.

Tuesday May 9, 1865
In Arkansas, negotiations were going on at Chalk Bluff on the St. Francis River for the surrender of the men of Confederate Brigadier General M. Jeff Thompson, the eccentric and brilliant Confederate leader in Missouri and the West.

President Andrew Johnson recognized Francis H. Pierpoint as governor of Virginia. During the war, Pierpoint had headed a Federal “restored” state of Virginia in the territory held by the Federals.

The trial of the eight Lincoln assassination conspirators began.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his wife met near Dublin on the Oconee River in Georgia. Meanwhile, Federal cavalry closed in on the remnant of the Confederate government.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of May 3-9, 1865
Active units:
1st Battalion Minnesota Infantry – On the march to Washington, D.C. until May 12, 1865.

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the march to Washington, D.C. until May 19, 1865.

3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Duvall’s Bluff, Arkansas until May 13, 1865.

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the march to Washington, D.C. until May 20, 1865.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Montgomery, Selma and Demopolis, Alabama until August 1865.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Montgomery, Alabama until July 1865.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Montgomery, Alabama until May 10, 1865.

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Raleigh, Greensboro and Charlotte, N.C. until July 11, 1865.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Montgomery and Selma, Alabama until July 26, 1865.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Meridian, Mississippi until July 1865.

11th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Assigned to duty guarding the line of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad from Nashville to the Kentucky line. Companies E, G, and I were at Gallatin, Tennessee. Company A was at Buck Lodge. Company B at Edgefield Junction. Company C at Richland. Company D at Sandersville. Company H was at Mitchellsville. The location of companies F and K are unknown at this time. The regiment remained on duty at these locations until June 25, 1865.

2nd Regiment Minnesota Cavalry – Engaged in frontier and patrol duty between Forts Wadsworth, Abercrombie, Ripley and Ridgely with headquarters at Fort Snelling, until November 17, 1865.

Brackett’s Battalion of Minnesota Cavalry – Engaged in frontier and patrol duty between Forts Wadsworth, Abercrombie, Ripley and Ridgely with headquarters at Fort Snelling until May 1866.

Hatch’s Independent Battalion of Cavalry – Companies A, B, C and D moved to Fort Abercrombie. Companies A and B assigned to garrison at Fort Abercrombie. Company C assigned to garrison at Alexandria and Pomme de Terre. Company D on patrol duty from Fort Abercrombie to Pembina. Companies E and F on frontier duty. The battalion would remain in these duty locations for the duration of the war – until April 26, 1866.

1st Minnesota Heavy Artillery Battery – On garrison duty at Chattanooga, Tennessee until September 27, 1865.

1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery – On the march to Washington, D.C. until May 24, 1865.

2nd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – On duty in Philadelphia, Tennessee until July 1865.

3rd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – Various sections on duty at Fort Ridgely, Fort Ripley and Fort Sisseton until May 1865.

Inactive units:
1st Regiment Minnesota Cavalry “Mounted Rangers” – Formally mustered out of service on December 7, 1863. Inactive.

1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Mustered out of Federal service on April 29, 1864. Inactive.

2nd United States Sharpshooters, Company A – Transferred to the 1st Battalion, Minnesota Infantry on February 20, 1865 at Petersburg, Virginia for duration of service.

1st United States Sharpshooters Company I – Mustered out of Federal Service on March 19, 1865.