This Week in the American Civil War: March 1-7, 1865

Posted by: on Mar 2, 2015 | No Comments

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

Wednesday March 1, 1865
Federal Major General Phil Sheridan’s cavalry skirmished with a small force of Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s troops at Mount Crawford, Virginia.

In South Carolina, Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s troops continued to push to the north.

The Thirteenth Amendment was still a prime subject in the North. Wisconsin ratified the amendment but New Jersey rejected the measure to abolish slavery constitutionally.

Thursday March 2, 1865
ENGAGEMENT AT WAYNESBOROUGH, VIRGINIA
The remnants of Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s once powerful army were dispersed by Federal cavalry under Brigadier General George A. Custer at Waynesborough, Virginia. Custer led the assault with nearly 5,000 men. The Confederate troops on the left gave way and could not be rallied. Custer defeated two Confederate infantry brigades and a small cavalry force of less than 2,000 troopers. Though not a major battle, Waynesborough was the last in a long line of battles in the Shenandoah Valley.

Skirmishing occurred at Thompson’s Creek, South Carolina and at Athens, Tennessee.

Friday March 3, 1865
The 38th Congress of the United States held its last regular session, adjourning around 8 a.m. the next morning. President Abraham Lincoln and Cabinet members went to the Capitol in the evening to consider last minute bills including the act establishing a Bureau for the Relief of Freedman and Refugees. The Freedman’s Bureau would supervise and manage all abandoned lands and have control of all subjects relating to refugees and freedmen from Confederate states. It would provide temporary subsistence, clothing and fuel as well as assigning land. Another act set up the Freedmen’s Savings and Trust Company.

Lincoln wrote a message directing Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant that removed any political questions out of the general’s hands. It laid the policy for the generals in the surrenders that were forthcoming, though the message was sent only to Grant and not to Sherman.

Saturday March 4, 1865
LINCOLN’S SECOND INAUGURATION
Before the Inauguration, Governor Andrew Johnson of Tennessee took the oath of office thereby succeeding Hannibal Hamlin as Vice President of the United States. Having taken too much whiskey as a medicine, since he was taken ill, Vice President Johnson gave a rambling, incoherent address which shocked many and was an inauspicious beginning to the day. Then President Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated for the second time and gave his famous address which sought a full reconciliation.

The U.S. Senate met in special session to consider appointments and other business.

That evening, a public reception was held in which it is estimated that the president shook hands with 6,000 people.

William G. Brownlow was elected Governor of Tennessee to replace the new Vice President.

Skirmishing occurred at Phillips Cross Roads, North Carolina and at East River Bridge, Florida. The U.S. transport Thorn was destroyed by a torpedo in the Cape Fear River, North Carolina, as the Navy was busy trying to clear coastal waters of torpedoes or mines.

Sunday March 5, 1865
Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s army was in and around Cheraw, South Carolina with only a minor skirmish being the only fighting. They were preparing to enter North Carolina in the direction of Fayetteville.

President Abraham Lincoln asked Hugh McCulloch, Comptroller of the Currency, to be the new Treasury Secretary as William Fessenden had resigned after being reelected to the U.S. Senate from Maine.

Monday March 6, 1865
Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston assumed command of all troops in the Department of North Carolina in addition to his other tasks. He now led all Confederate troops in the Carolinas and south of Petersburg, Virginia. Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s forces crossed the Pee Dee River and the entire army was now enroute to Fayetteville, North Carolina. The only skirmishing of the day occurred at Natural Bridge, Florida.

President Abraham Lincoln formally appointed Hugh McCulloch as Secretary of the Treasury in place of William Fessenden. In the evening, the gala inaugural ball was held at the Patent Office.

Tuesday March 7, 1865
In North Carolina, it was found that after the capture of Wilmington, New Berne was even a better supply base and a large force under Major General Jacob D. Cox was established there.

Federal troops skirmished with Indians eighty miles west of Fort Larned, Kansas. Fighting also occurred at Elyton, Alabama and Flint Hill, Virginia.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of March 1-7, 1865
Active units:
1st Battalion Minnesota Infantry – Participated the Battle of Hatcher’s Run and were in the Siege of Petersburg, Virginia until April 2, 1865.

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the march through the Carolinas until March 11, 1865.

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

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Cheraw, South Carolina until March 19, 1865.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in New Orleans, Louisiana until March 7, 1865.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Campaign against Mobile, Alabama until March 26, 1865.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in New Orleans, Louisiana until March 17, 1865.

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – En route to Kinston and Goldsborough, North Carolina until March 21, 1865.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in New Orleans, Louisiana until March 17, 1865.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in New Orleans, Louisiana until March 17, 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 at Cheraw, South Carolina until March 20, 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 March 19, 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.

Civil War Homecoming

Posted by: on Feb 24, 2015 | No Comments

The First months of 1865 saw inauguration, abolition, assassination, and celebration. And the brand-new frontier state of Minnesota grieved for Abraham Lincoln with the rest of the nation.

In honor of the 150th anniversary, Dan Chouinard and an all-star team of performers travel back to Minnesota in the aftermath of the Civil War. Join us for an evening of songs and stories that capture this unique moment in our history. A live co-production of Minnesota Public Radio, the Minnesota Historical Society and the Civil War Commemoration Task Force.

Starring Dan Chouinard, Kevin Kling, Maria Jette, T. Mychael Rambo, Prudence Johnson, members of the Roe Family Singers, the Brass Messengers and more.

Tickets are on sale now. Tickets are $28.00, $23.00. Members of Minnesota Public Radio or the Minnesota Historical Society receive $3.00 off each ticket

Purchase Tickets on-line or at the Fitzgerald Theater box office.

This Week in the American Civil War: February 22-28, 1865

Posted by: on Feb 23, 2015 | No Comments

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

Wednesday February 22, 1865
The Federals entered Wilmington, North Carolina without opposition. The last major port of the South was now lost as Confederate General Braxton Bragg had withdrawn the last of his troops before daylight broke. The Confederates were able to remove their most important stores with the help of the Weldon and Wilmington Railroad, but the rest was destroyed. The two-pronged Federal attack under Major General John Schofield was a success.

Official orders from Confederate General-in-Chief Robert E. Lee assigned General Joseph E. Johnston to the Department of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, and the Department of Tennessee and Georgia. Johnston was ordered to concentrate all available forces, especially those coming in from the West.

Tennessee voters approved the new state constitution which included the abolition of slavery and abrogation of all Confederate debts. However, Kentucky rejected the Thirteenth Amendment which abolished slavery.

Thursday February 23, 1865
MINNESOTA RATIFIES 13th AMENDMENT
Federal troops at Wilmington, North Carolina consolidated their gains while the advance of Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s troops crossed the Catawba River in South Carolina, getting closer to the North Carolina line. A light skirmish occurred near Camden, South Carolina as heavy rains moved in halting the advance.

Minnesota ratified the Thirteenth Amendment.

Friday February 24, 1865
The heavy rain holding up Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s advance also hindered the ability for the Confederates to concentrate their forces.

Skirmishing occurred at Camden, South Carolina and at Switzler’s Mill, Missouri.

Saturday February 25, 1865
Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston assumed command of the Army of Tennessee, now in the Carolinas, and all troops in the Department of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Johnston pointed out to General Robert E. Lee, the Confederacy’s General-in-Chief, the difficulties of concentrating his Confederates and stress that he had between 20,000 and 25,000 men to oppose the Federal army under Major General William T. Sherman coming north from South Carolina.

Skirmishing occurred at West’s Cross Roads, South Carolina; and at Piketon, Kentucky.

Sunday February 26, 1865
Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s advance troops reached Hanging Rock, South Carolina, but other movements were slowed by the heavy rains. Skirmishing occurred at Lynch’s Creek and near Stroud’s Mill, South Carolina.

Monday February 27, 1865
Federal Major General Phil Sheridan’s force of ten thousand cavalry left Winchester, Virginia and headed south to destroy the Virginia Central Railroad and James River Canal, under orders from Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant. They were then to take Lynchburg and then either join Major General William T. Sherman in North Carolina or return to Winchester, Virginia. Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early only had two weakened brigades and a few pieces of artillery to halt Sheridan’s movements.

Minor skirmishing occurred at Mount Elon and Cloud’s House, South Carolina; Sturgeon, Missouri; and at Spring Place, Georgia.

Tuesday February 28, 1865
Skirmishes near Rocky Mount and Cheraw, South Carolina marked the march of Federal Major General William T. Sherman, while Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston was attempting to create a plan to oppose the Federal advance. As the month ended, the entire Confederate military position was quite precarious.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of February 22-28, 1865
Active units:
1st Battalion Minnesota Infantry – Participated the Battle of Hatcher’s Run and were in the Siege of Petersburg, Virginia until April 2, 1865.

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the march through the Carolinas until March 11, 1865.

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

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the march through the Carolinas until March 3, 1865.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in New Orleans, Louisiana until March 7, 1865.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in New Orleans, Louisiana until March 5, 1865.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in New Orleans, Louisiana until March 17, 1865.

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – En route to Kinston and Goldsborough, North Carolina until March 21, 1865..

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in New Orleans, Louisiana until March 17, 1865.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in New Orleans, Louisiana until March 17, 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 through the Carolinas until March 3, 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 March 19, 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.