This Week in the American Civil War: August 24-30, 1864

Posted by: on Aug 25, 2014 | No Comments


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

Wednesday August 24, 1864
On the Petersburg, Virginia front, Federals realized that Confederate infantry was building up near the Union troops who were destroying large sections of the Weldon Railroad. Skirmishing broke out near Reams Station and on the Vaughan Road nearby.

Elsewhere, skirmishing flared up at Annandale, Virginia; Huttonsville, Halltown and Sutton, West Virginia. Skirmishing also occurred at Claiborne, Georgia; Gunter’s Prairie, Indian Territory along with Ashley’s and Jones’s Stations near Duvall’s Bluff, Arkansas.

Thursday August 25, 1864
BATTLE OF REAMS STATION
Striking against the Federal infantry destroying the Weldon Railroad south of Petersburg, Virginia, Confederate Lieutenant General A.P. Hill’s Confederate corps defeated Federal Major General Winfield Scott Hancock’s Second Corps in a surprise attack at Reams Station. Federal losses totaled 2,372 and the Confederate casualties were estimated at 720. Over 2,000 of the Federal losses were captured or missing. Hancock’s men withdrew and Hill’s troops returned to the Petersburg defensive line. The Confederate victory did not discourage Federal destruction or the build-up of new westward extension of the Union siege lines around Petersburg.

In Georgia, Federal Major General William T. Sherman began his principal movement to cut off the city of Atlanta completely. Troops marched towards the south side of the Atlanta area, in the general direction of Jonesborough.

Otherwise, skirmishing occurred at Morgan’s Ferry and on the Atchafalaya River, Louisiana.

The C.S.S. Tallahassee ran the blockade into Wilmington, North Carolina after a successful three-week cruise in which she captured thirty-one Federal ships.

Friday August 26, 1864
Threatening East Point, Georgia, south of Atlanta, Federal Brigadier General John M. Schofield’s troops massed and demonstrated as other units of Major General William T. Sherman’s army came into position, endangering Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood’s last entry lines into and out of Atlanta. Skirmishes took place along the Chattahoochee River at Pace’s Ferry and Turner’s Ferry, Georgia.

Saturday August 27, 1864
Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s army was ready. Much of it was in position southwest of Atlanta on the Sandtown Road, ready to push farther south and swing east towards Jonesborough to cut Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood’s last railroads into the city. Hood and his Confederates had not been able to interfere with the preparations to any extent. Fighting broke out at Farmer’s Ferry and Fairburn, Georgia.

Sunday August 28, 1864
Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s army was advancing now. Major General George H. Thomas and the Army of the Cumberland reached Red Oak on the Montgomery and Atlanta or West Point Railroad while Major General Oliver O. Howard and his Army of the Tennessee were near Fairburn on the railroad. Brigadier General John M. Schofield’s Army of the Ohio was near Mount Gilead Church while Major General Henry W. Slocum’s Twentieth Corps held the Union lines around Atlanta. During the advance, fighting broke out at Red Oak and Sandtown.

Monday August 29, 1864
Confederates were on the move again in the Trans-Mississippi as Major General Sterling Price assumed command of a new expeditionary force at Princeton, Arkansas. Price hoped to recover Missouri for the South.

Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s army in Georgia continued its preliminary operations for the major move towards Jonesborough. Skirmishing at Red Oak Station and near Sandtown continued to mark the Confederate probing operations.

The Democratic National Convention gathered in Chicago determined to nominate a candidate who could defeat President Abraham Lincoln and settle the war issues. Committees were formed and the work began. Major General George B. McClellan was the most prominent name being discussed as a presidential candidate.

Tuesday August 30, 1864
Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s army severed one of the last two railroads in Atlanta and marched rapidly towards the Macon line. Atlanta was in dire danger. Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood countered late in the day by sending his own old corps to attack the Federal flank at Jonesborough. Sherman had his three armies separated considerably and they were more than Hood could cover. Fighting broke out near East Point, Flint River Bridge and Jonesborough.

Federal Major General George Crook replaced Major General David Hunter in command of the Federal Department of West Virginia.

The Democrats meeting in Chicago adopted a platform and placed names in nomination for President. Major General George B. McClellan and Thomas H. Seymour, former governor of Connecticut, were named. Senator L.W. Powell of Kentucky and former President Franklin Pierce withdrew their nominations. The convention adopted, for the most part, the program of the Peace Democrats and Copperheads, a platform diametrically opposed to that of the Lincoln Administration and Radical Republicans.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of August 24-30, 1864
Active units:
1st Battalion Minnesota Infantry – Participated in Battle of the Weldon Railroad as part of the Siege of Petersburg, Virginia until April 2, 1865.

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Marched to Atlanta, Georgia and took part in siege operations against that city until August 31, 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 – Veterans rejoined the regiment, which was on Smith’s Expedition to Oxford, Mississippi until Aug. 30, 1864.

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

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Smith’s Expedition to Oxford, Mississippi until August 30, 1864.

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

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Smith’s Expedition to Oxford, Mississippi until August 30, 1864.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Smith’s Expedition to Oxford, Mississippi until August 30, 1864.

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

2nd Regiment Minnesota Cavalry – On Sully’s Expedition to Dakota Territory until October 15, 1864.

Brackett’s Battalion of Minnesota Cavalry – On Sully’s Expedition to Dakota Territory until November 10, 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 Light Artillery Battery – Participated in the Federal flank movement on Jonesborough, Georgia.

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

3rd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – On Sully’s Expedition to Dakota Territory until October 15, 1864.

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: August 10-16, 1864

Posted by: on Aug 11, 2014 | No Comments

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

Wednesday August 10, 1864
Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early moved his Confederate forces southward in the Shenandoah Valley from Bunker Hill, West Virginia to Winchester, Virginia. Federal Major General Phil Sheridan’s forces were marching south from the Halltown-Harper’s Ferry area.

Fighting occurred at Lovejoy’s Station, Georgia; Baldwin, Florida; Tallahatchie River, Mississippi; and near Stone Chapel, Virginia.

Three small Federal vessels suffered severely during a two-day duel with Southern artillery at Gaines’s Landing, Arkansas, on the Mississippi River.

The C.S.S. Tallahassee took seven prizes off of Sandy Hook, New Jersey.

Thursday August 11, 1864
Faced with Federal Major General Phil Sheridan’s advancing forces, Lieutenant General Jubal Early pulled his Confederates out of Winchester, Virginia and headed south towards Cedar Creek. Fighting broke out near Winchester, Newtown and at Toll Gate, near White Post.

Federal troops skirmished with Indians near Sand Creek, Colorado Territory.

Friday August 12, 1864
Federal Major General Phil Sheridan moved towards Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s Confederates in the Shenandoah Valley as the Confederates were entrenched along Cedar Creek, south of Winchester, Virginia. A brief skirmish along the creek occurred as both sides probed the lines of the other.

Operations against Indians in the San Andes Mountains of New Mexico and near Fort Garland, Colorado Territory continued.

Alarm spread along the Mid-Atlantic and New England coasts as the Confederate cruiser C.S.S. Tallahassee gathered in six more Federal ships off the coast of New York.

Some politicians in Washington, including Thurlow Weed, informed President Abraham Lincoln of their concerns that he was in danger of being defeated in the upcoming election.

Saturday August 13, 1864
In Virginia, demonstrations by Federal forces occurred on the north bank of the James River east of Richmond at Four-Mile and Dutch creeks, Deep Bottom, Fussell’s Mill, Gravel Hill, Bailey’s Creek, White’s Tavern, Charles City Road and the New Market Road. The Federals hoped to divert attention from Petersburg and to probe the Confederate defenses. Confederate General Robert E. Lee was attentive but not too concerned about the Federal probing.

In the Shenandoah Valley, fighting broke out at Berryville and near Strasburg as Major General Phil Sheridan’s Federals met resistance from Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s Confederates entrenched at Cedar Creek.

Sunday August 14, 1864
Skirmishing flared near Strasburg, Virginia in the Shenandoah Valley as Federal Major General Phil Sheridan withdrew his forces from Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s front towards Berryville.

In Georgia, skirmishing occurred near Dalton, at Pine Log Church, and near Fairmount.

Monday August 15, 1864
In Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, more skirmishing occurred at Cedar Creek and Strasburg, Virginia and near Charles Town, West Virginia. Federal Major General Phil Sheridan began his withdrawal from Cedar Creek at night and moved towards Winchester, believing he could not hold the line nor keep his army supplied.

In Georgia, Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s men moved slowly towards Utoy Creek, southwest of Atlanta, fighting on Peachtree Road, at Buchanan, Sandtown and Fairburn.

Confederate cavalry raided the Nashville and Northwestern Railroad in Tennessee.

Lieutenant General Richard Taylor was assigned to command the Confederate Department of Alabama, Mississippi and East Louisiana.

The C.S.S. Tallahassee captured six schooners off of the New England coast.

Tuesday August 16, 1864
Cavalry skirmished at Allatoona and Fairburn, Georgia.

Federal Major General Phil Sheridan pulled back successfully towards Winchester with little knowledge of his withdrawal reaching Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early at Cedar Creek, Virginia, despite an engagement at Front Royal.

The C.S.S. Tallahassee took four schooners and a bark off the New England coast.

Federal troops north of the James River in Virginia unsuccessfully attacked Confederate fortifications near Fussell’s Mill.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of August 10-16, 1864

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

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Assigned as provost and depot guard at Marietta, Georgia until Aug. 19, 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 – Veterans on furlough until Aug. 17, 1864. Remainder of regiment remained at Memphis, Tennessee for duty.

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

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Smith’s Expedition to Oxford, Mississippi until August 30, 1864.

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

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Smith’s Expedition to Oxford, Mississippi until August 30, 1864.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Smith’s Expedition to Oxford, Mississippi until August 30, 1864.

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

2nd Regiment Minnesota Cavalry – On Sully’s Expedition to Dakota Territory until October 15, 1864.

Brackett’s Battalion of Minnesota Cavalry – On Sully’s Expedition to Dakota Territory until November 10, 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 Light Artillery Battery – On duty for the Siege of Atlanta until August 25, 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 – On Sully’s Expedition to Dakota Territory until October 15, 1864.
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.