This Week in the American Civil War: January 18-24, 1865-

Posted by: on Jan 19, 2015 | No Comments

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

Wednesday January 18, 1865
Federal Major General William T. Sherman transferred command of Savannah, Georgia and the nearby area to Major General John G. Foster and the Department of the South.

President Abraham Lincoln conferred once again with Francis P. Blair Sr., on his mission to Richmond, Virginia. Lincoln gave him a letter to present to Confederate President Jefferson Davis reiterating Lincoln’s call for “one common country” thereby nullifying any peace proposal that allows the Confederacy to exist.

In Richmond, Davis was still searching for any additional troops that could be spared to oppose Sherman in the Carolinas. He also urged General Robert E. Lee once again to extend his command to include all of the Confederate armies, in addition to his immediate command of the Army of Northern Virginia.

Thursday January 19, 1865
Federal Major General William T. Sherman issued orders for his army to begin its new march from Savannah, Georgia northward into South Carolina. Though the troops did not start off simultaneously, some elements of the army began their march northward. Since South Carolina was the birthplace of the Confederacy, Federal troops were more vindictive towards that state than they were towards Georgians.

President Abraham Lincoln inquired of Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant as to whether a place existed in the army for his son, Robert. The younger Lincoln was soon appointed to the rank of captain and served as an assistant adjutant general on Grant’s staff.

Confederate General Robert E. Lee declined President Jefferson Davis’s offer to serve as General-in-Chief of the Confederate armies but admitted that he would serve in that capacity if so appointed. Pressure continued on Davis to appoint Lee to the position.

Friday January 20, 1865
The four Federal corps under Major General William T. Sherman, plus Brigadier General Judson Kilpatrick’s cavalry, got underway from their base of operations in Savannah, Georgia en route to South Carolina.

Secretary of War Edwin Stanton briefed President Abraham Lincoln of his visit to Savannah, Georgia and Fort Fisher, North Carolina.

Saturday January 21, 1865
Federal Major General William T. Sherman embarked with his entire headquarters from Savannah, Georgia to Beaufort, South Carolina, pausing at Hilton Head. Sherman attempted to feign a movement to Charleston or Augusta, rather than Columbia.

Sunday January 22, 1865
Fighting tapered off with only a small skirmish on the Benton Road, near Little Rock, Arkansas. Otherwise, Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s army was in motion towards South Carolina with the goal of reaching Goldsborough, North Carolina within six weeks.

Monday January 23, 1865
Confederate President Jefferson Davis signed an act providing for the appointment of a General-in-Chief of the Confederate Armies. The Confederate Congress had General Robert E. Lee in mind when it drafted the legislation.

Confederate Lieutenant General Richard Taylor assumed command of the Army of Tennessee, now reduced in strength to approximately 18,000 men, after the resignation of Lieutenant General John Bell Hood following the disastrous Nashville Campaign.

Tuesday January 24, 1865
The Congress of the Confederate States of America offered again to exchange prisoners with the Federals. This time, Federal Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant accepted the offer. His previous refusal to exchange prisoners had been intended to cut down Southern manpower even further.

Confederate Lieutenant General Nathan Bedford Forrest assumed command of the Confederate District of Mississippi, East Louisiana and West Tennessee.

Skirmishing occurred at Fayetteville, Arkansas and Bayou Goula, Louisiana.

President Abraham Lincoln sent a telegraph to Vice-President-elect Andrew Johnson at Nashville, instructing Johnson to be in Washington for the March 4 inauguration.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of January 18-24, 1865
Active units:
1st Battalion Minnesota Infantry – Participated in the Siege of Petersburg, Virginia until April 2, 1865.

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Savannah, Georgia until February 1, 1865

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

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Savannah, Georgia until February 1, 1865.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Eastport, Mississippi until February 6, 1865.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On provost duty at St. Louis, Missouri until January 29, 1865.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Eastport, Mississippi until February 6, 1865.

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – En route to Washington, D.C. via Clifton, Tennessee until January 29, 1865.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Eastport, Mississippi until February 6, 1865.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Eastport, Mississippi until February 6, 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 duty at St. Paul and Rochester, Minnesota until February 1865.

1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery – On duty in Savannah, Georgia until February 1, 1865.

2nd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – On duty as infantry at Fort Irwin, Defenses of Chattanooga until March 30, 1865.

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: January 4-10, 1865

Posted by: on Jan 5, 2015 | No Comments

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

Wednesday January 4, 1865
Federal troops embarked at Bermuda Hundred landing for a new expedition against Fort Fisher, North Carolina, this time under the command of Major General Alfred H. Terry. Most of the soldiers had taken part in the failed expedition the previous month under Major General Benjamin Butler.

Skirmishing occurred at Thorn Hill, Alabama and at The Ponds, Mississippi.

Thursday January 5, 1865
Confederate President Jefferson Davis found himself to be concerned and frustrated by increasing dissension, controversy over the draft, manpower problems, and the general state of the war itself.

In Washington, D.C., President Abraham Lincoln was bothered by job seekers after election rewards, and he tried to concentrate on trade in recovered areas and domestic affairs. Lincoln issued a pass to go through the lines to James W. Singleton, one of the several unofficial and self-named envoys seeking a possible settlement of the war.

Meanwhile, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton headed to Savannah, Georgia to consult with Major General William T. Sherman.

Friday January 6, 1865
In the United States House of Representatives, Republican Congressman J.M. Ashley of Ohio again brought up the proposed 13th Amendment to abolish slavery. The amendment passed the U.S. Senate, where Republicans and unionists had the requisite two-thirds majority vote, but it languished in the House. Lincoln, the Administration and some Republican House members were putting pressure on certain Democrats to change their votes. Many people, including Lincoln, were anxious to see the amendment in effect as soon as possible.

Federal Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant, at Petersburg, Virginia, sent a telegraph message to President Abraham Lincoln requesting that Major General Benjamin Butler be removed from command of the Army of the James because of a lack of confidence in his military ability. By rank, Butler would have commanded the Army of the Potomac in Grant’s absence, leading to Grant’s call for removal.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis was struggling in vain to find troops to defend the Carolinas from Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s forces that were preparing to move north from Savannah, Georgia.

Saturday January 7, 1865
The active military career of Federal Major General Benjamin F. Butler came to an end when orders were issued by Secretary of War Edwin Stanton removing him from command of the Department of Virginia and North Carolina. Butler’s replacement was Major General E.O.C. Ord. The mess of Fort Fisher brought matters to a head and Butler was removed regardless of political implications.

More Federal troops were pulled out of the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, and sent elsewhere.

Skirmishing occurred in Johnson County, Arkansas, and with Indians at Valley Station and Julesburg in Colorado Territory.

The Danish ironclad Sphinx left Copenhagen, Denmark for Quiberon Bay, France. She had been secretly purchased by the Confederates and would later be christened the C.S.S. Stonewall.

Sunday January 8, 1865
The huge Naval fleet under Rear Admiral David Dixon Porter, plus the transport fleet containing Major General Alfred H. Terry’s expeditionary force, arrived at rendezvous off of Beaufort, North Carolina, before again attempting to take Fort Fisher.

Federal Major General E.O.C. Ord took command of the Department of Virginia and North Carolina, as well as the Army of the James, in place of the relieved Major General Benjamin F. Butler.

Federal Major General John A. Logan resumed command of the 15th Corps, relieving Major General Peter J. Osterhaus.

Monday January 9, 1865
The Constitutional Convention of Tennessee adopted an amendment abolishing slavery in the state and putting it to the vote of the people, scheduled for February 22, 1865.

Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood moved his discouraged and greatly diminished Army of Tennessee to Tupelo, Mississippi.

In the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrat Congressman Moses Odell of New York indicated his change of position regarding the 13th Amendment and abolition of slavery. He would later receive an important political job in the Lincoln Administration and was one of the Democrats who made the passage of the amendment possible.

Tuesday January 10, 1865
The debate in the U.S. House of Representatives over the 13th Amendment and slavery abolition continued in a heated fashion.

A skirmish near Glasgow, Missouri was the only marked fighting for the day as the only major operation under way, the second expedition to Fort Fisher, was held up by raging seas and stormy weather off Beaufort, North Carolina.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of January 4-10, 1865
Active units:
1st Battalion Minnesota Infantry – Participated in the Siege of Petersburg, Virginia until April 2, 1865.

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Savannah, Georgia until February 1, 1865

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

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Savannah, Georgia until February 1, 1865.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Eastport, Mississippi until February 6, 1865.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On provost duty at St. Louis, Missouri until January 29, 1865.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Eastport, Mississippi until February 6, 1865.

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Murfreesboro, Tennessee until January 19, 1865.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Eastport, Mississippi until February 6, 1865.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Eastport, Mississippi until February 6, 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 duty at St. Paul and Rochester, Minnesota until February 1865.

1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery – On duty in Savannah, Georgia until February 1, 1865.

2nd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – On duty as infantry at Fort Irwin, Defenses of Chattanooga until March 30, 1865.

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: December 28, 1864 – January 3, 1865

Posted by: on Dec 29, 2014 | No Comments


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

Wednesday December 28, 1864
Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood’s Army of Tennessee completed their crossing of the Tennessee River at Bainbridge, Tennessee and then headed towards Tupelo, Mississippi. Skirmishing broke out at Decatur, Alabama, and Okolona, Mississippi.

Thursday December 29, 1864
In the fading Franklin-Nashville Campaign, light skirmishing occurred at Hillsborough and Pond Springs, both in Alabama.

Friday December 30, 1864
In Washington, D.C., President Abraham Lincoln indicated in a Cabinet meeting that Major General Benjamin Butler would be removed from command of the Army of the James.

Skirmishing occurred near Caruthersville, Missouri and Leighton, Alabama.

Saturday December 31, 1864
The year came to an end as people everywhere were continue to wonder about the future. The only military movements that occurred on this day were light skirmishes that occurred at Sharpsburg, Kentucky; Paint Rock Bridge and Russellville, Alabama.

Sunday January 1, 1865
In the cold trenches in Petersburg, Virginia; on the streets of Savannah, Georgia and in Central Tennessee, the Federal troops remained largely inactive. Confederates tried to consolidate their positions in a vain attempt to cobble together a major fighting force. The only remaining fighting army was that of the Army of Northern Virginia that was pinned down by Federal Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant’s chokehold between Petersburg and Richmond, Virginia. Only a minor skirmish at Bentonville, Arkansas occurred on this day.

Monday January 2, 1865
Skirmishing occurred at Franklin and Lexington, Mississippi by Federal troops operating against the Mobile and Ohio Railroad.

A group of Kentuckians applied to have Major General Benjamin Butler assigned to their state.

The regular New Year’s reception was held at the White House in Washington for the diplomatic corps, Cabinet officers, judges, and military officers attending, though members of Congress complained that they were not invited.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis told General P.G.T. Beauregard that if it became necessary, Beauregard should remove Lieutenant General John Bell Hood as commander of the Army of Tennessee and replace him with Lieutenant General Richard Taylor.

Tuesday January 3, 1865
In Georgia, Federal Major General William T. Sherman transferred part of Major General Oliver O. Howard’s Army of the Tennessee from Savannah to Beaufort, South Carolina. This was art of Sherman’s preparation for a movement north into South Carolina.

Federal troops operating along the Mobile and Ohio Railroad fought a skirmish near Mechanicsburg, Mississippi and another skirmish occurred at Hardeeville, South Carolina.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of December 28, 1864 – January 3, 1865
Active units:
1st Battalion Minnesota Infantry – Participated in the Siege of Petersburg, Virginia until April 2, 1865.

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Savannah, Georgia until February 1, 1865

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

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Savannah, Georgia until February 1, 1865.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Eastport, Mississippi until February 6, 1865.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On provost duty at St. Louis, Missouri until January 29, 1865.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Eastport, Mississippi until February 6, 1865.

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Murfreesboro, Tennessee until January 19, 1865.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Eastport, Mississippi until February 6, 1865.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Eastport, Mississippi until February 6, 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 – Organized at St. Paul and Rochester until February 1865.

1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery – On duty in Savannah, Georgia until February 1, 1865.

2nd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – On duty as infantry at Fort Irwin, Defenses of Chattanooga until March 30, 1865.

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, 1 863. Inactive.

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