Sesquicentennial Stories

Posted by: on Nov 9, 2015 | No Comments



The 150th anniversary of the American Civil War resulted in many commemorations across Minnesota. Governor Mark Dayton appointed a Task Force to work alongside the Minnesota Historical Society and others to expand the understanding and appreciation of the significance of the Civil War.

In this video, Task Force member Darryl Sannes highlights outcomes from the 4 year effort (2011 – 2015) and preeminent Lincoln scholar, Harold Holzer, identifies what’s changed since centennial anniversary fifty years earlier.

NEW LEGACY GRANT PROGRAM COMING SOON!

The Historic Recognition Grants Program from the State’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund will support history-related projects with a focus on commemoration of Minnesota’s role in the American Civil War. Project categories are 1) Conservation Treatment, 2) Interpretative Programs and Public Education, and 3) Research and Publications. Eligible applicants are educational institutions, units of Minnesota state or local government, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations, and federally recognized tribes.

Timeline (Deadlines)
December 2015 Manual and Application are released
January 15, 2016 Pre-Application (required) due date
March 4, 2016 Final Application due date
June 1, 2016 Anticipated project state date

Questions: Contact John Fulton at 651-259-3467 or john.fulton@mnhs.org

Website: Look for information at http://www.mnhs.org/shpo/civilwar

This Week in the American Civil War: June 21-27, 1865

Posted by: on Jun 25, 2015 | No Comments

NOTE: This series will end after next week’s issue

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

Wednesday June 21, 1865
President Andrew Johnson named Lewis E. Parsons as provisional governor of Alabama.

The 13th annual meeting of the New Hampshire Homeopathic Medical Society met in Concord, New Hampshire.

Frances Adeline Seward, the wife of Secretary of State William H. Seward, passed away of a heart attack at age 60.

Thursday June 22, 1865
The 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th Vermont Volunteer Infantry Regiments left Washington, D.C. headed to Burlington, Vermont. The 16th and 37th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiments also left Washington, D.C. for their home state and subsequent muster out.

The C.S.S. Shenandoah, located in the Bering Sea, captured two whaling vessels.

The War Department issued the following numbers for troop reductions: Army of the Potomac – 18,000; Army of Tennessee – 15,000; Middle Military Division – 7,000.The total reduction in force is slated to hit 70,000 and is governed under General Order 94.

Friday June 23, 1865
President Andrew Johnson declared the Federal blockade of the Southern states, in existence since April 1861, at an end.

At Dokesville, near Fort Towson, Indian Territory, former Confederate Brigadier General Stand Watie surrendered the Cherokee, Creek, Seminole and Osage Battalion to Lieutenant Colonel Asa Mathews. The Creek Indian general represented the last formal submission of any sizable body of Confederate troops.

Rear Admiral Samuel F. DuPont died suddenly in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The headquarters of the Army of the Potomac, on the Virginia side of the Potomac River near the Long Bridge, is scheduled to be broken up as more regiments are discharged from Federal service.

Saturday June 24, 1865
President Andrew Johnson removed commercial restrictions from states and territories west of the Mississippi River.

Employees at Harper’s Weekly wrote a column titled “Our Duty in Reorganization” to share its opinions on the reconstruction effort in North Carolina with a broader audience.

Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant gave a reception to the Union League and their families in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Sunday June 25, 1865
Robert Henri, who would later achieve fame as an American painter and leading figure of the Ashcan School of American Realism, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The U.S. Navy named the following officers to their new commands: Commander J. Cooper to command the U.S.S. Winona; Commander Falius Stanley to command the U.S.S. Tuscarora; Commander R.W. Shuzell to command the U.S.S. Hartford; and Lieutenant Commander W.B. Cushing is relieved from the New York Navy Yard and assigned to the U.S.S. Hartford.

Monday June 26, 1865
For the first time in four years, direct overland communication between New York, New York and Richmond, Virginia, along an old railroad route, was opened.

President Andrew Johnson was sick and did not take any visitors.

Frederick W. Seward, son of Secretary of State William H. Seward and the late Frances Adeline Seward, was able to walk to an adjoining apartment. This was the first time he was able to do so since the April 14 assassination attempt on his father at the same time that President Lincoln was killed.

Acting under the orders of the Secretary of the Interior, the local land officers in St. Peter, Minnesota were not permitted to sell land from the Winnebago Indian reservation at a price less than their appraised value until otherwise ordered. This affected approximately 8,000 acres which were unsold.

Tuesday June 27, 1865
The trial of the Lincoln Assassination conspirators continued for yet another day with more witnesses called to the stand.

The Old Capitol Prison and its grounds in Washington, D.C., were offered for sale at public auction following the instructions of the U.S. Supreme Court. Even though there were five bidders present, the auction was postponed.

The Honorable Edward Hubbard of Virginia was in Washington, D.C. petitioning President Andrew Johnson for a presidential pardon.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of June 21-27, 1865
Active units:
1st Battalion Minnesota Infantry – On duty in Louisville, Kentucky until July 15, 1865.

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Louisville, Kentucky until July 11, 1865.

3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Batesville, Arkansas until September 2, 1865.

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Louisville, Kentucky until July 19, 1865.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Montgomery, Selma and Demopolis, Alabama until August 1865.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Montgomery, Alabama until July 1865.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Selma, Alabama until July 20, 1865.

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Raleigh, Greensboro and Charlotte, N.C. until July 11, 1865.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Montgomery and Selma, Alabama until July 26, 1865.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Meridian, Mississippi until July 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 – En route to St. Paul, Minnesota for final mustering out in July 1865.

2nd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – On duty in Philadelphia, Tennessee until July 1865.

3rd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – On duty in Dakota Territory until October 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.

1st United States Sharpshooters Company I – Mustered out of Federal Service on March 19, 1865.

This Week in the American Civil War: June 14-20, 1865

Posted by: on Jun 15, 2015 | No Comments

NOTE: This series will end with the July 1-7, 1865 edition

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

June 14, 1865
John Mitchell, editor of the Richmond Examiner newspaper was arrested by Federal authorities on charges of treason.

The first 700 of 2,400 Confederate prisoners were transported from Camp Chase, Ohio and headed home. The prisoners were released at the rate of 700 per day for six days and transported at government expense. They were said to be in a destitute condition but cheerful at the prospects of returning home.

Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant received an enthusiastic ovation at his arrival at Altoona, Pennsylvania.

Thursday June 15, 1865
In the New York market, the price of gold settled at $147, up 20 percent over the spot price from two weeks previous.

Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant arrived in Washington, D.C., from his visit to West Point, New York the previous week. He was in Altoona, Pennsylvania yesterday.

About 500 Dakota Indians in Nebraska under guard attacked approximately 100 soldiers of the 11th Ohio Veteran Cavalry providing escort duty. The Indians killed five, wounded seven and sustained numerous losses in the process.

Friday June 16, 1865
President Andrew Johnson received five prominent African American men from Richmond, Virginia at a conference at the White House. Led by Fields Cook, a former slave and Baptist minister, they explained how they were at the mercy of their former masters and the slave codes now that slavery had formally ended. Although Johnson did not make a formal response, he noted the change in military and civilian leadership in Richmond that seemed to ease their concerns.

Saturday June 17, 1865
President Andrew Johnson named James Johnson provisional governor of Georgia and Andrew J. Hamilton provisional governor of Texas, continuing his policy of attempting to restore representative pro-Union government to the states as soon as possible.

Sunday June 18, 1865
A boat operating under a flag of truce arrived at Cairo, Illinois containing 7,454 former Confederate soldiers, of which 686 were officers belonging to former Confederate Brigadier General M. Jeff Thompson. The former general made the trek from Arkansas as far as Memphis, where he awaits President Andrew Johnson’s decision in regards to Thompson’s pardon application. The remainder of his command was sent north to Cairo.

Monday June 19, 1865
Major General Gordon Granger and his troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, and issued General Order Number 3, which informed the slaves in Texas that they were free. It gave rise to “Juneteenth,” which is still recognized in Texas and is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.

Secretary of War Edwin Stanton declared that bounties to men enlisting in the United States military will cease effective July 1st, and that no appointments or promotions will be made in the corps of Surgeons and Assistant Surgeons until further notice.

Tuesday June 20, 1865
The book, The President’s Words, printed by John Wilson and Son of Boston, Massachusetts, which contained selected speeches and writings of President Abraham Lincoln, was published. It was one of the earliest books written about Lincoln just two months after his death.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of June 14-20, 1865
Active units:
1st Battalion Minnesota Infantry – On duty in Louisville, Kentucky until July 15, 1865.

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – En route to Louisville, Kentucky until June 20, 1865.

3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Batesville, Arkansas until September 2, 1865.

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Louisville, Kentucky until July 19, 1865.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Montgomery, Selma and Demopolis, Alabama until August 1865.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Montgomery, Alabama until July 1865.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Selma, Alabama until July 20, 1865.

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Raleigh, Greensboro and Charlotte, N.C. until July 11, 1865.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Montgomery and Selma, Alabama until July 26, 1865.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Meridian, Mississippi until July 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 – En route to St. Paul, Minnesota for final mustering out in July 1865.

2nd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – On duty in Philadelphia, Tennessee until July 1865.

3rd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – On duty in Dakota Territory until October 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.

1st United States Sharpshooters Company I – Mustered out of Federal Service on March 19, 1865.