Soldiers Memorial

Soldiers Memorial

Soldiers memorial – Lakewood Cemetery, Minneapolis.

Image courtesy of Doug Ohman, Pioneer Photography

This Week in the American Civil War: April 13-19, 1864

Posted by: on Apr 16, 2014 | No Comments

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

Wednesday April 13, 1864
Admiral David Dixon Porter, with his Federal gunboats, reached Grand Ecore, Louisiana, on the Red River, despite the rapidly falling water level and continued enemy harassment. Major General Nathaniel P. Banks’s Federal retreat continued with no hope of renewing the campaign.

In Arkansas, skirmishing broke out at and near Richland Creek, and on the Spring River near Smithville.

Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest’s men skirmished again at Columbus, Kentucky, after yesterday’s Fort Pillow Massacre.

Thursday April 14, 1864
Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest’s cavalry continued operations in the Ohio River valley, skirmishing again at Paducah, Kentucky. Small Union gunboats help repulse the attack.

Skirmishing also occurred at Bayou Saline, Dutch Mills and White Oak Creek in Arkansas; Taylor’s Ridge, Georgia; and near Booneville, Kentucky.

In Washington, D.C., President Abraham Lincoln reviewed sixty-seven courts-martial cases and issued several pardons.

Friday April 15, 1864
On the Red River, the U.S.S. Eastport struck a torpedo or mine and was severely damaged.

At Knoxville, Tennessee, Governor Andrew Johnson vociferously supported emancipation at a large pro-Union meeting.

Skirmishing occurred near Camden and Roseville, Arkansas; near Presidio del Norte, New Mexico Territory; at Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Greeneville, Tennessee and at Bristoe Station and Milford, Virginia.

Saturday April 16, 1864
A report on U.S. prisoners since the beginning of the war showed that the Federals had captured 146,634 Confederates.

The U.S. transport vessel General Hunter was destroyed by a torpedo in St. John’s River, Florida.

Skirmishing occurred at Camden and Liberty Post Office, Arkansas; on the Osage branch of King’s River in Arkansas; Rheatown, Tennessee; salyersville, Kentucky and at Catlett’s Station, Virginia.

Sunday April 17, 1864
Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant ordered that no further exchanges of prisoners should be made until the Confederates balanced Federal releases. He also pronounced that “no distinction whatever will be made in the exchange between white and colored prisoners.” The move injured the South, with its shortage of manpower, far more than the North, but Grant received criticism from both sides for his actions.

Confederate land forces, soon to be joined by the C.S.S. Albemarle, a Confederate ram vessel, began an attack on Plymouth, North Carolina. The Confederates were under Brigadier General Robert Frederick Hoke.

Skirmishing occurred at Beaver Creek, North Carolina; Ellis’s Ford, Virginia; Holly Springs, Mississippi; Limestone Valley and at Red Mount in Arkansas.

Monday April 18, 1864
BATTLE OF POISON SPRINGS, ARKANSAS
Confederate attacks continued at Plymouth, North Carolina. Other action included skirmishing near Decatur, Alabama and Citrus Point, Virginia.

At Poison Springs, Arkansas, Major General Sterling Price’s Confederates, under direct command of Brigadier General John S. Marmaduke, including the 1st and 2nd Choctaw Regiments, hit the Federals and a foraging train. After a heavy engagement, the Federals withdrew, abandoning 198 wagons. However, Marmaduke’s men were accused of murdering African-American soldiers of the First Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry. Marmaduke and other white officers claimed that the accusations of illegal killings were overblown, and blamed any murders that might have happened on the Choctaw troops who, in the words of one Confederate soldier, admitted that they did “kill and scalp” some of the black troops. Marmaduke was hailed in the Confederate press for what was publicized as a significant Southern victory.

Tuesday April 19, 1864
The C.S.S. Albemarle joined in the Confederate attack on Plymouth, North Carolina, by ramming and sinking the U.S.S. Smithfield, damaging another wooden gunboat and driving off others. Confederate troops had surrounded the town and believed that surrender was near.

In other fighting, skirmishes occurred at Leesburg, Virginia; Marling’s Bottom, West Virginia; King’s River, Arkansas; Charleston, Missouri; Waterhouse’s Mill and Boiling Springs, Tennessee.

Confederate troops carried out operations against pro-unionists in Marion County, Alabama.

An enabling act to permit Nebraska Territory to join the Union was approved after passage by the U.S. Congress.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of April 13-19, 1864
Active units:

1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Fort Snelling prior to mustering out of Federal service on April 29, 1864.

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Ringgold, Georgia until April 29, 1864.

3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On garrison duty in Little Rock, Arkansas until April 28, 1864.

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Huntsville, Alabama until June 22, 1864.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Alexandria, Louisiana until May 13, 1864.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at various Minnesota outposts for garrison duty until June 9, 1864.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Paducah, Kentucky until June 19, 1864.

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On frontier duty at various points in Minnesota: Anoka, Princeton, Monticello, Kingston, Manannah, Paynesville, Fort Ripley, Sauk Center, Pomme de Terre, Alexandria and Fort Abercrombie until May 1864.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Stationed at Rolla, Jefferson City, LaMine Bridge, Warrensburg, Independence, Knob Noster, Kansas City, Waynesville and Franklin with headquarters in Jefferson City until May 15, 1864.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On garrison and provost duty at Benton Barracks, Missouri until April 21, 1864.

2nd Regiment Minnesota Cavalry – On duty at Fort Snelling and at frontier posts throughout Minnesota until May 24, 1864.

Brackett’s Battalion of Minnesota Cavalry – On duty at Fort Snelling until May 1, 1864.

Hatch’s Independent Battalion of Cavalry – Companies A, B, C and D on frontier duty in Pembina until May 5, 1864.

1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery – On duty in Cairo, Illinois until April 28, 1864.

2nd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – Veterans were on furlough through June 5, 1864. Non-veterans attached to Battery I, 2nd Illinois Light Artillery and moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where they escorted cattle and horses to the army in the field until July 14, 1864.

3rd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – Various sections of the battery were stationed at Fort Snelling, Fort Ridgely, Fort Ripley and Pembina until June 5, 1864.
2nd United States Sharpshooters, Company A – On duty around the Rapidan River, Virginia until May 4, 1864.

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

This Week in the American Civil War: April 6-12, 1864

Posted by: on Apr 7, 2014 | No Comments

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

Wednesday April 6, 1864
As states which had seceded and become part of the Confederacy were militarily defeated, there followed a time of political reorganization in each. Those who held office were required to take an oath of loyalty to the Union or they were to be replaced. Louisiana passed their new state constitution on this date, little changed, but it abolished slavery.

After the Federal troops captured Natchitoches, Louisiana during the Red River Campaign, military leaders were putting the plans together for the next 75 miles of river to Shreveport. However, with a low river, many of the transports and gunboats couldn’t make it further upriver. Brigadier General Charles P. Stone, acting as chief of staff for Major General Nathaniel P. Banks, advised Brigadier General A.J. Smith to select shallow draft boats for troop movements.

Thursday April 7, 1864
Confederate Lieutenant General James Longstreet, who was detached from the Army of Northern Virginia and spent the last few months in Kentucky and North Georgia, was recalled to Virginia.

Confederate cavalry continued to harass Major General Nathaniel Bank’s Federals as they approached Mansfield, Louisiana as part of the Red River Campaign.

Friday April 8, 1864
BATTLE OF SABINE CROSSROADS
By a vote of 38 to 6, the U. S. Senate approved the 13th Amendment and sent it to the states for ratification.

Confederate Major General Richard Taylor’s 14,000 troops from the District of West Louisiana and the Trans-Mississippi Department clashed with 12,000 Federals of the XIII and XIX Corps of Major General Nathaniel Banks’s Army of the Gulf at Mansfield, Louisiana at Sabine Crossroads. Even though the Confederates had the numerical advantage and launched several charged on the Union lines, they were repulsed by Brigadier General William H. Emory’s Federals just prior to nightfall. Confederates sustained an estimated 1,000-man loss, while the Federals had 113 killed, 581 wounded and 1,541 captured or missing, along with losses of 20 artillery pieces, 156 wagons and a thousand horses and mules that were killed or captured. More than half of the Federal casualties came from four regiments in the XIII Corps.

Saturday April 9, 1864
BATTLE OF PLEASANT HILL
Federal forces regrouped 16 miles away at the village of Pleasant Hill during the night, following the previous day’s battle at Sabine Crossroads. Both Confederate Major General Richard Taylor and Federal Major General Nathaniel P. Banks received reinforcements during the overnight period, each side having around 12,000 troops. Skirmishing began in the early afternoon, but the main Confederate attack didn’t begin until 5 p.m. The Federal defenders withstood several attacks over a two-hour period and slowly regained the advantage. Even though the battle was a tactical victory for the Federals, Banks withdrew his forces to Grand Ecore, Louisiana, effectively ending the campaign. The Federals lost 150 killed, 844 wounded and 375 missing for a total of 1,369. Confederate losses are estimated at 1,200 killed or wounded and 426 prisoners for a total of 1,626. The 32nd Iowa Volunteer Infantry, cut off from the rest of the Federals, suffered severe losses.

Sunday April 10, 1864
Federal Major General Nathaniel P. Banks began withdrawing his troops from Pleasant Hill back to Grand Ecore, Louisiana, ending the Red River Campaign. Major General Frederick Steele’s troops departed Louisiana for Little Rock, Arkansas.

Confederate Lieutenant General Kirby Smith took command of the Confederate forces around Pleasant Hill and ordered Lieutenant General Richard Taylor to withdraw his forces back to Mansfield, Louisiana.

Admiral David Dixon Porter and his 17 ironclads and other supply ships steamed back up the Red River to rejoin Banks. The trip was halted a mile above Loggy Bayou, Louisiana, where local Confederates took the vessel New Falls City, and wedged it sideways across the stream. The perpetrators of the deed left a poster on the vessel’s mast inviting the Federals to attend a fancy ball in Shreveport. Porter admitted that he appreciated the humor.

Monday April 11, 1864
On the water, Admiral David Dixon Porter’s gunboats were subjected to small-arms and artillery fire from the banks of the Red River. This was hard to avoid as the water was getting very low, making maneuvering difficult.

Tuesday April 12, 1864
FORT PILLOW MASSACRE
One of the bleakest and tragic moments in American military history occurred on the Mississippi River near Henning, Tennessee. Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest led an assault on the 600-man Federal garrison at Fort Pillow. Forrest had three horses shot from under him as the garrison was overrun in a series of assaults. As the Federal troops, most of them from two African-American regiments, surrendered, Forrest’s men massacred them in cold blood. The Confederate lost 14 killed and 86 wounded out of 2,500 engaged, while the Federal’s sustained losses of approximately 350 killed and mortally wounded, 60 wounded, 164 captured and missing for an aggregate total of 574 of the 600 engaged.

A brief engagement occurred near Blair’s Landing in Red River Parish, Lousiana. Confederate Brigadier General Tom Green led his cavalry division on a raid at the landing where he discovered grounded and damaged Federal transports and gunboats. Green’s troops were met by Federal Brigadier General Thomas Kilby Smith’s XVII Corps provisional division and sailors from Admiral David Dixon Porter’s Mississippi River Squadron. Even though the Federals repulsed the attack, they sustained seven killed or wounded to the Confederates 200 aggregate losses. Green was among the killed when he was decapitated by a naval artillery shell.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of April 6-12, 1864
Active units:
1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Fort Snelling prior to mustering out of Federal service on April 29, 1864.

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Ringgold, Georgia until April 29, 1864.

3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On garrison duty in Little Rock, Arkansas until April 28, 1864.

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Huntsville, Alabama until June 22, 1864.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Nathaniel Bank’s Red River Campaign and fought in the battle of Pleasant Hill.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at various Minnesota outposts for garrison duty until June 9, 1864.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in St. Louis, Missouri until April 20, 1864.

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On frontier duty at various points in Minnesota: Anoka, Princeton, Monticello, Kingston, Manannah, Paynesville, Fort Ripley, Sauk Center, Pomme de Terre, Alexandria and Fort Abercrombie until May 1864.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Stationed at Rolla, Jefferson City, LaMine Bridge, Warrensburg, Independence, Knob Noster, Kansas City, Waynesville and Franklin with headquarters in Jefferson City until April 14, 1864.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On garrison and provost duty at Benton Barracks, Missouri until April 21, 1864.

2nd Regiment Minnesota Cavalry – On duty at Fort Snelling and at frontier posts throughout Minnesota until May 24, 1864.

Brackett’s Battalion of Minnesota Cavalry – On duty at Fort Snelling until May 1, 1864.

Hatch’s Independent Battalion of Cavalry – Companies A, B, C and D on frontier duty in Pembina until May 5, 1864.

1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery – Veterans were on furlough. Non-veteran members of the battery were en route from Vicksburg, Mississippi to Cairo, Illinois, where they were rejoined by furloughed members on April 17, 1864.

2nd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – Veterans were on furlough through June 5, 1864. Non-veterans attached to Battery I, 2nd Illinois Light Artillery and moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where they escorted cattle and horses to the army in the field until July 14, 1864.

3rd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – Various sections of the battery were stationed at Fort Snelling, Fort Ridgely, Fort Ripley and Pembina until June 5, 1864.

2nd United States Sharpshooters, Company A – On duty around the Rapidan River, Virginia until May 4, 1864.

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