This Week in the American Civil War: September 14-20, 1864

Posted by: on Sep 15, 2014 | No Comments

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

Wednesday September 14, 1864
Confederate Brigadier General Robert H. Anderson’s corps started from the Shenandoah to join General Robert E. Lee at Petersburg, where the men were badly needed to face Federal Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant’s spreading siege lines. The return of Anderson to Lee seriously depleted Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s force that opposed Federal Major General Phil Sheridan. Grand had ordered Sheridan’s defensive measures but there was great pressure on the Federal army to break Early’s hold on the Shenandoah Valley and threaten the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad along with the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal.

Thursday September 15, 1864
Federal Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant headed north from the Petersburg siege lines to discuss future action in the Shenanadoah with Major General Phil Sheridan. Skirmishing occurred near Dinwiddie Court House, Virginia.

In Georgia, skirmishing broke out at Snake Creek Gap on Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s supply line in Lumpkin County.

Friday September 16, 1864
Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest, greatly feared in the North, began operations against Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s communications lines in northern Alabama and middle Tennessee.

Federal Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant and Major General Phil Sheridan conferred at Charles Town, West Virginia. Sheridan had learned that units of Confederate Brigadier General Robert H. Anderson’s corps had been sent back to Petersburg, Virginia, to strengthen General Robert E. Lee’s defending forces there. Grant approved Sheridan’s proposal to cut Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s supply and retreat lines south of Winchester, Virginia.

Skirmishing occurred at Snicker’s Gap and Coggins’s Point, both in Virginia.

Saturday September 17, 1864
John C. Fremont informed a committee of Radical Republicans that he would step aside from the Presidential Campaign to prevent the election of George B. McClellan. Even though Fremont considered Abraham Lincoln to be a failure, he urged a united Republican party to save emancipation.

Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early began an advance against the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad from Stephenson’s Depot north of Winchester, towards Martinsburg, twenty-two miles north. Early had approximately 12,000 troops opposing more than 40,000 Federal troops led by Major General Phil Sheridan.

Sunday September 18, 1864
Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early moved part of his force from Bunker Hill to Martinsburg, further north. Federal Major General Phil Sheridan, learning of this move, positioned his forces to move directly upon Winchester, hoping to hit Early’s divisions separately.

Monday September 19, 1864
THIRD BATTLE OF WINCHESTER
North and east of Winchester, Virginia, Major General Phil Sheridan’s Federal army of about 40,000 hit Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s 12,000-strong force. Federal cavalry crossed the Opequon River north of the city and headed west towards the Martinsburg Pike and Stephenson’s Depot. The main Federal force came in along the Berryville Pike and headed west to strike the highway running north out of Winchester. Major General S.D. Ramseur’s Confederate division was forced to retire along the Berryville Pike and Early called in his three other divisions from the north. The losses were heavy. There were 697 Federals killed, 2,983 wounded and 338 missing for an aggregate total of 4,018. Confederate’s lost 276 killed, 1,827 wounded and 1,818 missing for a total of 3,921.

In Indian Territory, Confederate Brigadier Generals Stand Watie and Richard M. Gano successfully attacked a Federal wagon train at Cabin Creek. Federals reported losses of 202 wagons, 5 ambulances, 40 horses and 1,253 mules with an aggregate value of $1,500,000. Later in the same day, action occurred at Pryor’s Creek, not far from Cabin Creek.

Tuesday September 20, 1864
Federal Major General Phil Sheridan’s men followed rapidly on the heels of Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s retiring force with fighting occurring at Middletown, Strasburg and Cedarville in the Shenandoah Valley. By evening, the Federals were fortifying on the high land north of Strasburg. The Confederates were south of the town on Fisher’s Hill. Early had escaped disaster and later claimed that Sheridan should have crushed him at Winchester.

In Georgia, Federal Major General William T. Sherman was suffering from skirmishes by Confederate Cavalry in the rear of his lines at Atlanta. A skirmish at Cartersville threatened the vital railroad to Chattanooga, Tennessee. In northern Alabama, Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest headed north towards Tennessee.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis left Richmond, Virginia for Georgia to see what could be done to revive Confederate fortunes there.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of September 14-20, 1864
Active units:
1st Battalion Minnesota Infantry – Participated in the Siege of Petersburg, Virginia until April 2, 1865.

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – In the Jonesborough, Georgia area until September 29, 1864.

3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Pine Bluff, Arkansas until October 10,1864.

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On garrison duty at Allatoona, Georgia until October 5, 1864.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Mower’s expedition to Brownsville, Arkansas until September 17, 1864.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Helena, Arkansas until Nov. 4, 1864.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Mower’s expedition to Brownsville, Arkansas until September 17, 1864.

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Sully’s Expedition to Dakota Territory until October 15, 1864.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Mower’s expedition to Brownsville, Arkansas until September 17, 1864.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Mower’s expedition to Brownsville, Arkansas until September 17, 1864.

11th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Organized at Fort Snelling, Minn., until September 20, 1864.

2nd Regiment Minnesota Cavalry – Relief of Fisk’s Emigrant Train until September 30, 1864.

Brackett’s Battalion of Minnesota Cavalry – Relief of Fisk’s Emigrant Train until September 30, 1864.

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 – Organized at St. Paul and Rochester until February 1865.

1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery – On duty in the Lovejoy’s Station, Georgia area of operations until September 29, 1864.

2nd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – Mounted and engaged in scouting duty around Chattanooga, Tennessee until October 1864.

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

1st United States Sharpshooters Company I – Attached to the 1st Battalion, Minnesota Infantry at Petersburg, Virginia until Feb. 20, 1865.

2nd United States Sharpshooters, Company A – Participated in the Siege of Petersburg until Feb. 20, 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.

This Week in the American Civil War: September 7-13, 1864

Posted by: on Sep 8, 2014 | No Comments

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

Wednesday September 7, 1864
Federal Major General William T. Sherman wrote a letter to Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood deeming it in the interest of the United States to call for the evacuation of Atlanta. Over the course of the next week, 446 families left their homes, totaling approximately 1,600 people. Sherman felt the need to evacuate the citizens because he had trouble feeding his own army and didn’t want to risk the burden of additional mouths to feed. This set off a lengthy and heated correspondence between the two generals.

In Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, small Federal and Confederate units skirmished again near Brucetown and Winchester.

Thursday September 8, 1864
In Orange, New Jersey, former Major General George B. McClellan formally accepted the Democratic nomination for President by a letter to the official notification committee.

Only two light skirmishes occurred near Hornersville and Gayoso, Missouri, though a Federal army-navy expedition destroyed fifty-five furnaces at Salt House Point on Mobile Bay in Alabama.

Friday September 9, 1864
President Abraham Lincoln and his Cabinet, still concerned over the serious problems connected with cotton trading with the Confederates, leaned increasingly towards open trading.

Fighting broke out on the Warrensburg Road near Warrensburg, Missouri; at Currituck Bridge, Virginia; and Confederates attacked the steamer J.D. Perry at Clarendon, Arkansas.

Saturday September 10, 1864
Although the primary fronts were largely quiet, the virtually unknown small wars continued with an affair at Campbellton, Georgia; a skirmish at Woodbury, Tennessee; fighting also occurred near Roanoke, Pisgah, and Dover, Missouri; along with Darkesville, West Virginia. An assault on Confederate works at Chimneys, Virginia also occurred.

A wagon train of emigrants traveling in Dakota Territory were ambushed by Indians, prompting a rescue effort by Federal troops.

Sunday September 11, 1864
A column of Federal troops comprised of 850 men including 550 infantry, 300 cavalry plus a section of artillery, set out from Fort Rice in Dakota Territory to relieve Captain Fisk’s emigrant train that was ambushed by Indians.

Monday September 12, 1864
Both President Abraham Lincoln and Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant were disturbed over what Lincoln called “a deadlock” in the Shenandoah Valley. Neither Federal Major General Phil Sheridan nor Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early seemed to make any progress in the Winchester, Virginia area.

Skirmishing occurred near Memphis, Tennessee; Caledonia, Missouri; and the Federal troops arrived in Dakota Territory to relieve Captain Fisk of his duty in escorting the emigrants to Idaho.

Tuesday September 13, 1864
Skirmishing in the Shenandoah Valley increased with action at Bunker Hill, near Berryville, Virginia; along with Locke’s and Gilberts’ fords on Opequon Creek. Skirmishing also broke out near Searcy, Arkansas and Longwood, Missouri.

President Abraham Lincoln responded at a political serenade in Washington but made no formal policy statement.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of September 7-13, 1864
Active units:

1st Battalion Minnesota Infantry – Participated in the Siege of Petersburg, Virginia until April 2, 1865.

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – In the Jonesborough, Georgia area until September 29, 1864.

3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Pine Bluff, Arkansas until October 10, 1864.

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On garrison duty at Allatoona, Georgia until October 5, 1864.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Mower’s expedition to Brownsville, Arkansas until September 17, 1864.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Helena, Arkansas until Nov. 4, 1864.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Mower’s expedition to Brownsville, Arkansas until September 17, 1864.

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Sully’s Expedition to Dakota Territory until October 15, 1864.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Mower’s expedition to Brownsville, Arkansas until September 17, 1864.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Mower’s expedition to Brownsville, Arkansas until September 17, 1864.

11th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Organized at Fort Snelling, Minn., until September 20, 1864.

2nd Regiment Minnesota Cavalry – Relief of Fisk’s Emigrant Train until September 30, 1864.

Brackett’s Battalion of Minnesota Cavalry – Relief of Fisk’s Emigrant Train until September 30, 1864.

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 – Organized at St. Paul and Rochester until February 1865.

1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery – On duty in the Lovejoy’s Station, Georgia area of operations until September 29, 1864.

2nd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – Mounted and engaged in scouting duty around Chattanooga, Tennessee until October 1864.

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

1st United States Sharpshooters Company I – Attached to the 1st Battalion, Minnesota Infantry at Petersburg, Virginia until Feb. 20, 1865.

2nd United States Sharpshooters, Company A – Participated in the Siege of Petersburg until Feb. 20, 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.