A Moment in Time: A Few Appropriate Remarks

By Jeffrey S. Williams

Most days were filled with some sort of military activity during November 1863 and the second day of the month was no exception. Skirmishing occurred at Bayou Bourbeau, Louisiana; Bates Township, Arkansas; Corinth, Mississippi; along with two locations in Tennessee. Brigadier General John McNeil assumed command of the Federal District of the Frontier which contained the area in southern Kansas, Indian Territory (now Oklahoma), southwestern Missouri and western Arkansas. Additionally, Major General Nathaniel P. Banks and his expeditionary force in the Rio Grande occupied Brazos Island in an attempt at gaining a foothold in Texas. There was a lot to occupy the mind of the chief executive in Washington.

Considering the military operations, President Abraham Lincoln nearly dismissed a letter that he received on Nov. 2, 1863 from Pennsylvania attorney David Wills, president of the Soldiers National Cemetery Association in Gettysburg. Having already extended the invitation to Edward Everett to give the keynote address, the ceremony date was already chosen for Nov. 19. Everett previously served as a member of Congress, U.S. Senator, governor of Massachusetts, Secretary of State, president of Harvard University and was the vice presidential candidate for the Constitutional Union Party in 1860 behind John Bell. Everett, who agreed with Lincoln on the need for the preservation of the Union, was one of the country’s most sought after orators in 1863.

In his letter to Lincoln, Wills wrote, “It is the desire that, after the Oration, you, as Chief Executive of the Nation, formally set apart these grounds to their Sacred use by a few appropriate remarks. It will be a source of great gratification to the many widows and orphans that have been made almost friendless by the Great Battle here, to have you here personally; and it will kindle anew in the breasts of the Comrades of these brave dead, who are now in the tented field or nobly meeting the foe in the front, a confidence that they who sleep in death on the Battle Field are not forgotten by those highest in Authority; and they will feel that, should their fate be the same, their remains will not be uncared for.”

Because Wills’s papers have disappeared, Lincoln’s reply is unknown, though it is known that the president sent two letters to Wills after receiving the invitation and prior to arriving in Gettysburg.

14th brooklyn railroad cut sunsetAfter the July 1-3, 1863 Battle of Gettysburg, which pitted over 93,000 Federal troops of the Army of the Potomac against nearly 75,000 Confederates in the Army of Northern Virginia, nearly 50,000 troops from both sides were casualties of war either killed, wounded or missing. The Evergreen Cemetery Association, led by attorney David McConaughy, planned on creating a soldiers annex to the town cemetery, requiring fee payments for internments. McConaughy had already purchased land on cemetery hill for the annex, had ordered the burial of 100 soldiers inside Evergreen Cemetery, and had secured agreement from nearby landowners for the purchase of their property.

Wills superseded that effort with the Soldiers National Cemetery Association plan and sought Pennsylvania Governor Andrew Curtin’s assistance in the project while accusing McConaughy of land speculation and profiteering.

It was a July 17, 1862 law passed by Congress which allowed the president “to purchase cemetery grounds and cause them to be securely enclosed, to be used as a national cemetery for the soldiers who shall die in the service of the country” and both McConaughy and Wills were aware of the ramifications of this law on the Borough of Gettysburg in light of so many thousands of Federal soldiers who were killed during the three-day battle. Fourteen national cemeteries had already been established in the initial six months after passage of the act.

This Nov. 19, 1863 photo made available by the Library of Congress shows the crowd assembled for President Abraham Lincoln's address at the dedication of a portion of the battlefield at Gettysburg, Pa. as a national cemetery. "The battlefield, on that sombre autumn day, was enveloped in gloom," Joseph Ignatius Gilbert, a freelancer for The Associated Press at the time, wrote in a paper delivered at the 1917 convention of the National Shorthand Reporters' Association in Cleveland. "Nature seemed to veil her face in sorrow for the awful tragedy enacted there." (AP Photo/Library of Congress, Alexander Gardner)

This Nov. 19, 1863 photo made available by the Library of Congress shows the crowd assembled for President Abraham Lincoln’s address at the dedication of a portion of the battlefield at Gettysburg, Pa. as a national cemetery. “The battlefield, on that sombre autumn day, was enveloped in gloom,” Joseph Ignatius Gilbert, a freelancer for The Associated Press at the time, wrote in a paper delivered at the 1917 convention of the National Shorthand Reporters’ Association in Cleveland. “Nature seemed to veil her face in sorrow for the awful tragedy enacted there.” (AP Photo/Library of Congress, Alexander Gardner)

McConaughy and Wills reached an agreement on the cemetery location in early August that the State of Pennsylvania would purchase 17 acres of land from the Evergreen Cemetery Association for the sum of $175 for the purposes of establishing the national cemetery there. This occurred at roughly the same time that Major General Darius Couch, who on Aug. 10, decreed that there would be no battlefield disinterments allowed during the months of August and September in order to halt the removal of bodies from the battlefield by families during the hot summer months. However, design work on the national cemetery was allowed to proceed.

William Saunders, landscape gardener for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, designed the cemetery in a semi-circle surrounding a central monument. Frank W. Biesecker won the contract to rebury the remains at the cemetery for the sum of $1.56 per person. His bid was the lowest, though 33 others ranged from his amount up to $8 per person. Biesecker hired Samuel Weaver, a teamster, as superintendent of the exhumation process. Basil Biggs and a team of approximately 10 people working underneath Weaver transported the empty coffins from the train station to the burial sites, helped disinter the bodies and transported them to the new cemetery for reburial. Surveyor and Superintendent of Burials James S. Townsend worked with Saunders to lay out the plots and mark each grave while John B. Hoke was responsible for digging the graves and burying the coffins. Weaver and Townsend compared their notes each day and then presented them to Wills for entry into the permanent record.

The first bodies, Corporal William Wallace Story, 3rd Indiana Cavalry Company E., and Private Ebenezer H. James, 121st Pennsylvania Infantry Company A, were exhumed from the Presbyterian graveyard on North Washington Street on Oct. 27, 1863 and soon soldiers were being reburied at the rate somewhere around 100 per day. The process continued until March 18, 1864 when the final grave was dug.

A special train of four cars provided by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad left Washington on Wednesday Nov. 18, 1863, headed north to Baltimore and then was transferred to the North Central Railroad to Hanover Junction, Pennsylvania where it was switched again to the Hanover Railroad for the final leg, arriving at Gettysburg at 5 p.m. Though his son, Tad, was ill, which greatly distressed the president, and his wife, Mary Todd was greatly upset, President Lincoln regained his composure enough to tell a few yarns to his travel companions.

nov19lincoln2While Lincoln and his entourage ate dinner at the 12-room Wills house, masses of people gathered in the square outside to get a glimpse of the president. Pressured from the crowd, Lincoln emerged briefly and remarked, “I appear before you, fellow citizens, merely to thank you for this compliment. The inference is a very fair one that you would hear me for a little while at least, were I to commence to make a speech. I do not appear before you for the purpose of doing so, and for several substantial reasons. The most substantial of these is that I have no speech to make.” The crowd laughed. “In my position it is somewhat important that I should not say any foolish things,” Lincoln continued.

Someone interrupted the president with the quip, “If you can help it.”

“It very often happens that the only way to help it is to say nothing at all,” Lincoln retorted which received more laughter. “Believing that it is my present condition this evening, I must beg of you to excuse me from addressing you further.”

The pacified crowed then sought out other dignitaries for speeches while the president continued working on the draft of his speech until 11 p.m., when he summoned his guard, Sergeant H. Paxton Bigham, 21st Pennsylvania Cavalry Company B, to escort him to the home of Gettysburg Sentinel editor Robert G. Harper, his speech was tucked into the president’s pocket.

Upon their return, a crowd had gathered once again. Lincoln said to Bigham, “I wish to return to my room. You clear the way and I will hold on to your coattails.” They made their way indoors without incident.

gtsburgaddress2Early on the morning of Nov. 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of State William H. Seward took a carriage ride through a portion of the Gettysburg battlefield, returned to the Wills House for breakfast and by 9 a.m. was found in his room going over the final draft of his speech.

Around 10 a.m., Lincoln, dressed in black and wearing white gauntlet gloves, departed the Wills House for the procession to the cemetery on the back of a gray mare. The procession went down Baltimore Street, turned right on Steinwehr Avenue, turned left a block later onto the Taneytown Road and into the cemetery. Approximately 15,000 people attended the dedication ceremony and lined the streets to watch the procession. It was reported that Lincoln bowed with a modest smile and uncovered his head to the throng of men, women and children that greeted him from the doors and windows.

Scars from the battle were more apparent the closer they got to the cemetery as rifle pits, cut and scarred trees, broken fences, pieces of artillery wagons and harnesses, scraps of blue and gray clothing and bent canteens still littered the area.

Once the full delegation entered the cemetery, the ceremony began with “Homage d’uns Heros” played by Adolph Birgfield’s Band of Philadelphia, and then Reverend Thomas H. Stockton, chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives gave the invocation.

Edward_EverettAfter the U.S. Marine Corps Band played “Old Hundred,” Edward Everett, the keynote speaker, began his remarks. “Standing beneath this serene sky, overlooking these broad fields now reposing from the labors of the waning year, the mighty Alleghenies dimly towering before us, the graves of our brethren beneath our feet, it is with hesitation that I raise my poor voice to break the eloquent silence of God and Nature,” Everett said.

The keynote address was 13,607 words and took one hour and 57 minutes to deliver. Wilson G. Horner’s Musical Association of Baltimore sang a “Consecration Hymn” as a musical interlude before U.S. Marshal Ward Hill Lamon introduced the president.

Lincoln then stepped to the front of the platform around 2 p.m., adjusted his glasses and set down the manuscript of the speech he had prepared in Washington, instead taking the same paper from his coat pocket that he had during his visit with the Gettysburg Sentinel editor and began his “few appropriate remarks.”

19th November 1863:  Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States of America, making his famous 'Gettysburg Address' speech at the dedication of the Gettysburg National Cemetery during the American Civil War. Original Artwork: Painting by Fletcher C Ransom  (Photo by Library Of Congress/Getty Images)

19th November 1863: Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States of America, making his famous ‘Gettysburg Address’ speech at the dedication of the Gettysburg National Cemetery during the American Civil War. Original Artwork: Painting by Fletcher C Ransom (Photo by Library Of Congress/Getty Images)

The speech that he delivered, known to history as the Gettysburg Address, is only 272 words in length and took just a few minutes to deliver. After a long applause for the president, Birgfield’s Band of Philadelphia played a hymn and a volunteer choir from the churches in Gettysburg sang. Then Reverend Henry Louis Baugher, president of Gettysburg College, delivered the benediction, and the ceremony concluded. The artillery fired a salute and the military delegation reformed to escort Lincoln back to the Wills House, where Lincoln received visitors for an hour.

The president had specifically requested to meet with John Burns, a 70-year old civilian who fought at the battle on July 1, 1863. After meeting the president at the Wills House, the two walked down Baltimore Street together to the Presbyterian Church of Gettysburg at the corner of Baltimore and East High Streets for the final ceremony of the day. Lincoln and Burns sat beside each other during the ceremony. However, Burns fell asleep during a speech by Ohio Lieutenant Governor Charles Anderson. Lincoln, however, needed to return to the depot to catch the train back to Washington and left Burns undisturbed.

As the president mentioned the previous day that he was not feeling quite well, Lincoln was feverish, weak and had a headache when he boarded the train at 6:30 p.m. A vesicular rash and lengthy illness and diagnosis of a mild case of smallpox followed upon his arrival at the White House.

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This Week in the American Civil War: June 28 – July 7, 1865

MN150Logo_OL_FNLInformation courtesy of the

Minnesota Civil War Commemoration Task Force

(www.mncivilwar150.com and “Minnesota Civil War 150” on Facebook)

 

Major Highlights for the Week

Wednesday June 28, 1865

The C.S.S. Shenandoah took eleven whaling vessels in the Bering Sea. It was the last day of the cruiser’s operations.

Thursday June 29, 1865

The Ebensburg Alleghanian newspaper from Ebensburg, Pennsylvania, reported about an organized band of Southerners called the “White Ghosts” who were operating in the state “whose object is the wholesale robbery of our citizens. Look out for them!”

Word spread throughout the country that Edmund Ruffin, the person who fired the first shot at Fort Sumter, Charleston Harbor, South Carolina in April 1861, had committed suicide on June 17 declaring that he “preferred death to living under the United States Government.”

President Andrew Johnson pardoned a man named Cookey, who was convicted and sentenced to ten years imprisonment for burning the railroad bridges north of Baltimore, Maryland on April 15, 1861.

The military tribunal reached a verdict in the trial of the Lincoln Assassination Conspirators but did not announce the verdict.

Friday June 30, 1865

After a lengthy trial, the military commission sitting in Washington, D.C. found all eight alleged Lincoln assassination conspirators guilty. Dr. Samuel Mudd, Samuel Arnold, and Michael O’Laughlin received life sentences, while Edward Spangler was given six years in prison. David Herold, Lewis Payne, George A. Atzerodt, and Mary E. Surratt were sentenced to be hanged. An outcry went up over the decision to execute Mrs. Surratt and several efforts were made to have the sentence changed, but to no avail.

President Andrew Johnson named Benjamin F. Perry provisional governor of South Carolina.

Saturday July 1, 1865

New Hampshire ratified the Thirteenth Amendment, becoming the 23rd state to do so.

The steamer Olive Branch hit a snag late in the evening and sank 100 miles south of St. Louis on the Mississippi River. It was carrying a detachment of the 6th Illinois Cavalry. The captain and four privates drowned and 95 horses were lost.

The 1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery formally mustered out at St. Paul, Minnesota.

Sunday July 2, 1865

All the members of the 6th Kansas Volunteer Infantry, who have been in prison at Tyler, Texas, have returned to Little Rock, Arkansas and are on their way home. They were captured at Fort Smith, Arkansas during the war.

Hundreds of paroled Confederate soldiers were released from prison and were in the streets of Alta, California while awaiting transportation home.

Monday July 3, 1865

The records of the Confederate government were captured in Georgia.

The 3rd, 5th and 7th New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry regiments arrived in Concord, New Hampshire for mustering out of Federal service.

Tuesday July 4, 1865

The Independence Day celebrations in Washington, D.C. were subdued after four years of warfare. In cities throughout the South, freed slaves read the Emancipation Proclamation and the Declaration of Independence. It was a day of celebration throughout cities in the North and freed slaves in the South, but it began a tradition of ambivalence among southern whites that would last for decades.

Wednesday July 5, 1865

     The U.S. Secret Service was officially established in Washington, D.C. to suppress counterfeit currency. Chief William P. Wood was sworn in by Secretary of the Treasury Hugh McCulloch.

President Andrew Johnson signed an executive order upholding the conviction and allowing for the execution of four people associated with the conspiracy to assassinate Abraham Lincoln and other high ranking officials.

Major General John A. Logan issued an order calling for the immediate muster out of the Army of the Tennessee as the draw-down of forces continues. 

Thursday July 6, 1865

Major General Edward O.C. Ord assumed command of the Northern Military Department with headquarters in Detroit, Michigan.

Reports came from Florida that planters are behaving in an inhumane manner towards former slaves, and that slavery was “still very much at work.”

Friday July 7, 1865

     On a hot, oppressive midsummer’s day in Washington, D.C., a large crowd gathered in the Arsenal grounds at the Old Penitentiary Building. Four graves were dug, four prisoners were brought in, and four were hanged. Lewis Payne, George Atzerodt, David Herold and Mary E. Surratt, were executed for their roles in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Until the very last, it was hoped by some that there would be presidential intervention in the case of Mrs. Surratt, but it was not to be. The four other convicted conspirators were taken to Fort Jefferson on Dry Tortugas off Key West, Florida. There, in 1867, Michael O’Laughlin died of yellow fever. Because of his role as a doctor in the epidemic, Samuel Mudd was pardoned in 1868, and in 1869 Edward Spangler and Samuel Arnold were also pardoned.

What began with the hanging of abolitionist John Brown on December 2, 1859, ended with the hanging of four conspirators in the assassination of a beloved president. The Civil War claimed the lives of over 623,000 Americans, both Union and Confederate, and ushered the United States into an era of Federalism with questions between the rights of states and the Federal government that would linger for the next 150 years.

Final Disposition of Minnesota Civil War Regiments 

Active units:

1st Battalion Minnesota Infantry – Mustered out at Louisville, Kentucky on July 15, 1865 and went home.       

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Mustered out at Louisville, Kentucky on July 11, 1865 and went home.

3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Returned from  Batesville, Arkansas and mustered out at Fort Snelling on September 16, 1865.

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Mustered out at Louisville, Kentucky on July 19, 1865 and discharged at St. Paul, Minnesota on August 7, 1865.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Montgomery, Selma and Demopolis, Alabama until August 1865 when they moved to St. Paul, Minnesota and were mustered out on September 6, 1865.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Montgomery, Alabama until July 1865 when they moved to St. Paul, Minnesota and were mustered out on August 19, 1865.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Selma, Alabama until July 20, 1865 when they moved to St. Paul, Minnesota and were mustered out on August 16, 1865.

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Raleigh, Greensboro and Charlotte, N.C. until July 11, 1865 when they were mustered out and sent home.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Montgomery and Selma, Alabama until July 26, 1865 when they moved to St. Paul, Minnesota and were mustered out August 24, 1865.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Meridian, Mississippi until July 1865 when they moved to St. Paul, Minnesota and were mustered out on August 18, 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. They mustered out June 26, 1865 and returned to St. Paul, Minnesota where they were discharged on July 11, 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. The regiment began the muster out process on November 17, 1865 one company at a time, completing the process on May 2, 1866.

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. They mustered out June 1, 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. They began the mustering out process on April 26, 1866 and completed it on June 22, 1866.

1st Minnesota Heavy Artillery Battery – On garrison duty at Chattanooga, Tennessee until September 27, 1865 when they were mustered out and sent home.

1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery – Mustered out at St. Paul, Minnesota on July 1, 1865.

2nd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – On duty in Philadelphia, Tennessee until July 1865 when they moved to St. Paul, Minnesota and were mustered out on August 16, 1865.

3rd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – On duty in Dakota Territory until February 27, 1866 when they were mustered out at Fort Wadsworth, Dakota Territory.                                                                                                                                   

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.

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

MN150Logo_OL_FNLInformation courtesy of the

Minnesota Civil War Commemoration Task Force

(www.mncivilwar150.com and “Minnesota Civil War 150” on Facebook)

 

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.

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

MN150Logo_OL_FNLInformation courtesy of the

Minnesota Civil War Commemoration Task Force

(www.mncivilwar150.com and “Minnesota Civil War 150” on Facebook)

 

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.

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This Week in the American Civil War: June 7-13, 1865

MN150Logo_OL_FNLInformation courtesy of the

Minnesota Civil War Commemoration Task Force

(www.mncivilwar150.com and “Minnesota Civil War 150” on Facebook)

 

Major Highlights for the Week

June 7, 1865

A small model of a steamboat made by President Abraham Lincoln in 1849 was discovered in the U.S. Patent Office.

About 12,000 Federal troops from Illinois, Indiana, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin and Massachusetts departed for muster out in their home states.

A report came out noting that there were 60,000 Federal soldiers sick and wounded in hospitals throughout the country.

The trial of the Lincoln conspirators continued with a full day of witness testimony.

Thursday June 8, 1865

The Federal Sixth Corps, which missed out on the Grand Review two weeks prior, had its review in Washington, D.C.

Friday June 9, 1865

President Andrew Johnson, upon receiving word that Indians in New Mexico Territory were captured by the U.S. Army and placed into slavery, issued an Executive Order forbidding the practice.

Another serious explosion of ammunition occurred. At Chattanooga, Tennessee, an ordnance building blew up when set afire by a locomotive on a nearby siding. Casualties were estimated to number around ten.

Saturday June 10, 1865

After examining several witnesses, the trial of the Lincoln conspirators adjourned until Monday.

Ward Hill Lamon, the United States Marshal for the District of Columbia and a personal friend of slain U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, tendered his resignation to President Andrew Johnson effective Monday.

Sunday June 11, 1865

Former Confederate guerrillas raided the Texas Treasury building next to the state capitol building in Austin, Texas. Though armed citizens attempted to stop them, they were able to flee with approximately $250,000. After a century and a half, it is still Austin’s coldest case as the perpetrators have not been discovered nor has the money ever been recovered.

The postmaster general reports that 15,000 letters arrive at the “dead letter office” each week due to insufficient postage.

Monday June 12, 1865

The resignation of Marshall Ward Hill Lamon, tendered on Saturday, became effective.

The Cleveland Leader reports that rumors of former Confederate General E. Kirby Smith, who surrendered to Federal authorities ten days earlier, relocating to Mexico with a large amount of cash, were indeed true.

Tuesday June 13, 1865

President Andrew Johnson also appointed William L. Sharkey as provisional governor of Mississippi. His duties were to include the early convening of a convention of loyal citizens to alter or amend the state constitution and set up a new regular state government.

In another proclamation, the president declared trade open east of the Mississippi River except for contraband of war. He also declared Tennessee, which had adopted a constitution and reorganized its government after suppressing the rebellion, restored and the inhabitants free of all disabilities and disqualifications.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of June 7-13, 1865 

Active units:

1st Battalion Minnesota Infantry – On duty in Louisville, Kentucky until July 15, 1865.

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Washington, D.C. until June 14, 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.

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This Week in the American Civil War: May 31 – June 6, 1865

MN150Logo_OL_FNLInformation courtesy of the

Minnesota Civil War Commemoration Task Force

(www.mncivilwar150.com and “Minnesota Civil War 150” on Facebook)

 

Major Highlights for the Week

Wednesday May 31, 1865

Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood surrendered to Federal authorities at Natchez, Mississippi and was immediately paroled.

Thursday June 1, 1865

The country observed a national day of mourning for the late-President Abraham Lincoln, as ordered by President Andrew Johnson.

Friday June 2, 1865

In Galveston, Texas, Confederate General E. Kirby Smith officially accepted the surrender terms as agreed upon in New Orleans the previous week.

Lambdin P. Milligan and W.A. Bowles, condemned to be executed on this day, were reprieved and sentenced to life in prison. Proceedings had been instituted in the federal courts to reverse their conviction by military court-martial on charges of conspiring against the United States, giving aid and comfort to the rebels, and inciting insurrection. Milligan, a prominent Indiana leader of the Copperheads, was arrested on Oct. 5, 1864.

The British government officially withdrew belligerent rights from the Confederacy.

President Andrew Johnson lifted military restrictions on trade in the United States except on contraband of war.

Saturday June 3, 1865

Confederate naval forces on the Red River officially surrendered.

As the Civil War between the Union and Confederacy was winding down, the United States Army began to focus its attention on Native Americans in the West. The 11th Kansas Cavalry, under command of Colonel Preston Plumb, engaged in a skirmish with approximately 60 Indians near modern-day Casper, Wyoming in the Battle of Dry Creek. One Indian was killed and five were wounded, while Plumb’s command sustained two fatalities.

In the trial of the Lincoln conspirators, defense attorneys argued that Lewis Payne should not be found guilty by reason of insanity.

Sunday June 4, 1865

Minnesotans received news via the St. Paul Press newspaper that the planned muster out of the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th Minnesota Infantry Regiments, had been revoked. The newspaper printed a scathing letter by Governor Stephen Miller denouncing the revocation.

Monday June 5, 1865

Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant departed Washington, D.C. for West Point, N.Y., in order to attend to the annual session of the military examining board.

Tuesday June 6, 1865

Citizens of Missouri ratified a new state constitution abolishing slavery.

The notorious Confederate guerrilla, William Clarke Quantrill, died in Louisville, Kentucky of wounds sustained in a shootout on May 10. He was 27 years of age.

Confederate prisoners of war who were willing to take the oath of allegiance were declared released by President Andrew Johnson. Officers above the rank of army captain or navy lieutenant were exceptions.

Major General John Hartranft, concluding that the Lincoln conspirator prisoners were suffering too much while wearing hoods during the trial, ordered them removed.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of May 31 – June 6, 1865 

Active units:

1st Battalion Minnesota Infantry – On duty in Washington, D.C. until June 6, 1865.       

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Washington, D.C. until June 14, 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 – On duty in Washington, D.C. until June 12, 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.

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This Week in the American Civil War: May 24-30, 1865

MN150Logo_OL_FNLInformation courtesy of the

Minnesota Civil War Commemoration Task Force

(www.mncivilwar150.com and “Minnesota Civil War 150” on Facebook)

 

Major Highlights for the Week

Wednesday May 24, 1865

SHERMAN’S ARMY IN WASHINGTON GRAND REVIEW

For the second straight day the troops paraded in review in Washington, D.C. This time is was the men of Major General William T. Sherman’s armies. They were more ragged, more loose in their marching and more rough-cut than those of the Army of the Potomac who marched the previous day. In the rear of some units were the typical “Sherman’s bummers,” complete with mules laden with camp equipage and the spoils of foraging. Negro followers joined in with camp pets, adding a less formal air to the Grand Review. Sherman, halting at the White House reviewing stand, shook hands with President Andrew Johnson but refused to shake hands with Secretary of War Edwin Stanton because of their previous disagreement regarding the surrender of Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston.

Sporadic shooting still occurred, mainly Federals versus guerrillas, this time near Rocheport, Missouri.

Thursday May 25, 1865

With the reviews over in Washington, troops dispersed and most of them hurried home. Confederates evacuated Sabine Pass, Texas.

Twenty tons of captured Confederate black powder “shook the foundations” of Mobile, Alabama, when it exploded in a warehouse being used as an arsenal. The powder blast set off numerous other explosions. Boats at the dock, warehouses and other buildings were left in ruins. There may have been as many as 300 casualties. Property loss was estimated at $5 million.

Friday May 26, 1865

SURRENDER OF ARMY OF TRANS-MISSISSIPPI

At New Orleans, Confederate Lieutenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner, acting for General E. Kirby Smith, Confederate commander of the Trans-Mississippi Department, entered into a military convention with Federal Major General Peter J. Osterhaus, representing Major General Edward R. S. Canby. Under the terms of the surrender, all resistance would cease, and officers and men would be paroled under the terms similar to those of the Appomattox surrender. Some troops, including part of Jo Shelby’s command, refused the terms and scattered to Mexico, the Far West, or just went home. Now only Confederate Brigadier General Stand Watie, in charge of the Indian Division, remained the last holdout to surrender.

Saturday May 27, 1865

Minor skirmishing was reported in Chariton County, Missouri, particularly at Switzler’s Mill.

President Andrew Johnson ordered most of the people imprisoned by military authorities to be discharged. This, of course, did not include the Lincoln Assassination conspirators who were still going through their trial.

Sunday May 28, 1865

The 8th Ohio Cavalry was ordered to seize and secure all Confederate arms known to exist in the interior of West Virginia, and to capture those who fail to surrender.

Seven Confederates, George R. Smith, Michael S. Barnhart, Hugh McGee, Nick Taylor, Jonas Myers, Rufus Holmes and Thomas Raney arrived at Federal headquarters at the St. Charles Hotel in Pocahontas, Arkansas with hopes of receiving their paroles and going home. Instead, they were bound, blindfolded and shot on Bettis Street in front of the hotel. Two additional unnamed Confederates were wounded but lived and three additional men were able to escape unharmed. A detachment of the 7th Kansas Cavalry Company C, approximately 45 in number, was responsible for the massacre.

Monday May 29, 1865

By presidential proclamation, President Andrew Johnson granted amnesty and pardon to all people who directly or indirectly participated in “the existing rebellion” with a few exceptions. Though he had followed the pattern laid down by Lincoln, except that people who participated in the Civil War and had a taxable property of over $20,000 were excluded. There were numerous other excepted classes where those impacted could apply to the President where “such clemency will be liberally extended as may be consistent with the facts of the case and the pace and dignity of the United States.” Johnson was liberal in granting such clemency, which set the tone for his later reconstruction policies.

Tuesday May 30, 1865

Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court John Catron passed away in Nashville, Tennessee at age 79. After his death, Congress eliminated his seat from the Court under the Judicial Circuits Act as a way of preventing President Andrew Johnson from appointing any justices to the Supreme Court.

The first storm of the 1865 Hurricane Season, a tropical storm in the Caribbean Sea wrecked the Golden Rule. After the storm, the crew sailed to a deserted island where they were rescued by two United States ships 10 days later.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of May 24-30, 1865 

Active units:

1st Battalion Minnesota Infantry – On duty in Washington, D.C. until June 6, 1865.     

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Washington, D.C. until June 14, 1865.

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

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Washington, D.C. until June 2, 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 – On duty in Washington, D.C. until June 12, 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.

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This Week in the American Civil War: May 17-23, 1865

MN150Logo_OL_FNLInformation courtesy of the

Minnesota Civil War Commemoration Task Force

(www.mncivilwar150.com and “Minnesota Civil War 150” on Facebook)

 

Major Highlights for the Week

Wednesday May 17, 1865

Major General Phil Sheridan was assigned to general Federal command west of the Mississippi River and south of the Arkansas River. With his reputation for destruction in the Shenandoah River Valley, this appointment angered many Southerners.

Confederate troops in Florida surrendered to Brigadier General Israel Vogdes.

Preparations for the Grand Review in Washington, D.C. were underway.

Thursday May 18, 1865

Brigadier General Israel Vogdes continued to accept the surrenders from Confederate troops in Florida.

News of the Grand Review in Washington, D.C. reached the rest of the country through the news wire.

Friday May 19, 1865

The Confederate raider Stonewall surrendered at Havana, Cuba.

An ambush at Hobdy’s Bridge on the Pea River in Alabama left 1st Florida Cavalry members Corporal John W. Skinner killed along with William Smith, Nathan Mims and Daniel V. Melvin wounded. They were the last casualties during the Civil War.

Saturday May 20, 1865

The limited military actions that still occurred involved Federals and guerrillas on the Blackwater River, near Longwood, Missouri.

Sunday May 21, 1865

The Nashville Union newspaper published the casualty list of the 3rd Tennessee Cavalry for those who died aboard the Steamer Sultana which exploded three weeks earlier.

Monday May 22, 1865

President Andrew Johnson removed commercial restrictions on Southern ports except for Galveston, La Salle, Brazos Santiago and Brownsville, Texas.

A minor skirmish occurred at Valley Mines, Missouri.

Former Confederate President Jefferson Davis was imprisoned in a cell at Fort Monroe, Virginia.

Tuesday May 23, 1865

ARMY OF THE POTOMAC IN GRAND REVIEW

The Grand Armies of the Republic passed in a last review. From the Capitol to the White House, crowds lined the streets, children sang patriotic songs, and the men marched. In the bright summer air the Army of the Potomac had come home to the appreciation of the nation. It was also the first time since President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination the previous month that the flag had been at full staff. Starting at 10 a.m., Major General George G. Meade led the procession. Regiment by regiment, brigade by brigade, division by division, corps by corps, the army made one final review. President Andrew Johnson was joined by Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant, senior military leaders, government officials and Cabinet members in the reviewing stand. When Meade arrived at the reviewing stand, he dismounted and joined the president and others in the six-hour review of his 80,000 troops. Major General William T. Sherman’s Army of the Tennessee and the Army of Georgia would participate in the review the next day.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of May 17-23, 1865 

Active units:

1st Battalion Minnesota Infantry – On duty in Washington, D.C. until May 23, 1865.

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Washington, D.C. until May 23, 1865.

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

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Washington, D.C. until May 23, 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 – On duty in Washington, D.C. until May 24, 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. 

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This Week in the American Civil War: May 10-16, 1865

MN150Logo_OL_FNLInformation courtesy of the

Minnesota Civil War Commemoration Task Force

(www.mncivilwar150.com and “Minnesota Civil War 150” on Facebook)

 

Major Highlights for the Week

Wednesday May 10, 1865

Early in the morning, Federal troops surprised the encampment of Confederate President Jefferson Davis near Irwinville, Georgia. President Davis, Mrs. Davis, Postmaster General Reagan, secretary Burton Harrison and a few others were taken into custody. President Davis was wearing a raincoat and had a shawl because of the rain, and was found a short distance from his tent in a futile attempt to escape the Fourth Michigan Cavalry. Now that Davis was captured, the Confederate government ceased to exist. He was taken to Macon, Georgia, then to Fort Monroe, Virginia, where he was imprisoned until May 13, 1867 when he was released without trial.

Confederate Major General Samuel Jones surrendered forces under his command at Tallahassee, Florida.

William Clarke Quantrill, the 27-year-old guerrilla leader who sacked the town of Lawrence, Kansas in 1863, was fatally wounded by an irregular force of Federals near Taylorsville in Spencer County, Kentucky. He and a small group of followers had been looting in Kentucky.

President Andrew Johnson ordered the blockade of states east of the Mississippi to be partially lifted but warned against continued hospitality by foreign powers to Confederate cruisers.

Thursday May 11, 1865

Confederate Brigadier General M. Jeff Thompson surrendered the remnants of his famous brigade at Chalk Bluff, Arkansas under the same terms as Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant offered to General Robert E. Lee.

Friday May 12, 1865

In the last land engagement of significance, Federal troops from Brazos Santiago Post, Texas, under Colonel Theodore H. Barrett marched inland towards Brownville and attacked Palmito Ranch on the banks of the Rio Grande River. The camp was taken but Federals evacuated under pressure.

In Washington, D.C., the eight accused Lincoln assassination conspirators pleaded not guilty to both specifications and charges before the military commission sitting as their court. The taking of testimony then began.

President Andrew Johnson appointed Major General Oliver O. Howard to lead the Freedmen’s Bureau.

Saturday May 13, 1865

In Texas, Federal troops moved on Palmito Ranch once again, as it had been reoccupied by the Confederates. In the midafternoon, the Confederates attacked and forced the Federal troops to withdraw with considerable casualties. Colonel John S. Ford led the main Confederate drive. The Battle of Palmito Ranch had little bearing on the war. However, it was the last fighting between sizable bodies of men, and, ironically, was a Confederate victory.

At Marshall, Texas, the Confederate governors of Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri and a representative of Texas, met with E. Kirby Smith and other ranking officers. There was a threat by Jo Shelby and others to arrest Smith unless he continued the war. The governors drew up terms which they advised Smith to accept.

Sunday May 14, 1865

Slight skirmishing on the Little Piney River in Missouri, and a three-day Federal expedition from Brashear City to Ratliff’s Plantation, Louisiana, marked the day.

Monday May 15, 1865

A Federal scout from Pine Bluff to Johnston’s Farm, Arkansas was the only action of the day.

Tuesday May 16, 1865

Captain John Norris, Company M of the 13th Illinois Cavalry, and his patrol found a fresh set of tracks and found that a party of Confederate Captain R. A. Kidd’s cavalry was in the area. Norris split his command in two. Later in the afternoon, Kidd’s cavalry approached the Federals but fled after seeing the hiding Federals. They fled into the underbrush after firing a single volley. One Confederate prisoner was captured but there were no casualties otherwise. It is known as the Skirmish on Monticello Road in Jefferson County, Arkansas.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of May 10-16, 1865 

Active units:

1st Battalion Minnesota Infantry – On duty in Washington, D.C. until May 23, 1865.

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Washington, D.C. until May 23, 1865.

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

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Washington, D.C. until May 23, 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 – On duty in Washington, D.C. until May 24, 1865.

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

3rd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – Various sections 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.

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This Week in the American Civil War: May 3-9, 1865

MN150Logo_OL_FNLInformation courtesy of the

Minnesota Civil War Commemoration Task Force

(www.mncivilwar150.com and “Minnesota Civil War 150” on Facebook)

 

Major Highlights for the Week

Wednesday May 3, 1865

By daylight, Confederate President Jefferson Davis and what remained of his Cabinet crossed the Savannah River, moving to Washington, Georgia. Reluctantly, Davis accepted the resignation of Secretary of the Navy S.R. Mallory, one of the two Cabinet members who had served in the same post since the founding of the Confederacy. Judah Benjamin also departed and eventually escaped to Britain.

President Abraham Lincoln’s Funeral Train arrived at Springfield, Illinois, its final destination.

Skirmishing continued on the Missouri River near Booneville, and near Pleasant Hill, both in Missouri.

Thursday May 4, 1865

At a conference at Citronelle, Alabama, forty miles north of Mobile, Confederate Lieutenant General Richard Taylor surrendered his forces in the Department of Alabama, Mississippi and East Louisiana. As in other surrenders, officers and men retained their horses and the men signed paroles. Taylor was allowed to retain control of the railways and steamers to transport troops home.

Sporadic action continued with skirmishing at Star House near Lexington, Missouri; and at Wetumpka, Alabama.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis’s dwindling entourage continued southward into Georgia.

In Springfield, Illinois, President Abraham Lincoln was laid to rest.

Friday May 5, 1865

The once gallant Confederate army now only numbered the force of E. Kirby Smith in the Trans-Mississippi as its only major army.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis was at Sandersville, Georgia.

Skirmishing occurred on the Perche Hills, Missouri, and at Summerville, Georgia.

Connecticut ratified the Thirteenth Amendment.

Saturday May 6, 1865

The Federal War Department issued orders setting up the military commission to try the alleged Lincoln conspirators. The commission was led by Major General David Hunter, with Brigadier General Joseph Holt as judge advocate.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis, near Sandersville, Georgia, was attempting to get south of points occupied by Federal troops. Various cavalry units, now actively pursuing the Confederate leader, scoured the countryside.

Sunday May 7, 1865

Confederate guerrillas, 110 in number, proceeded to attack the town of Kingsville, Missouri and burn down five houses. Eight people were killed and two were wounded.

President Andrew Johnson, at the urging of Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, appointed through Executive Order, the Honorable John A. Bingham as special judge advocate in the military commission set up to try the Lincoln assassination conspirators.

Captain Henry Wirz, the Confederate commander of the Andersonville prison camp, was arrested and sent to Washington, D.C. by rail.

Monday May 8, 1865

The Federal commissioners of E.R.S. Canby accepted the paroles of Richard Taylor’s troops in Mississippi, Alabama and east Louisiana. Canby was under orders to prepare part of an expedition planned by Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant into the Trans-Mississippi, where the last sizable force of Confederate still held out. There was also talk of negotiations in the Trans-Mississippi.

Throughout the Confederacy, small groups and individual soldiers surrendered or just went home.

Tuesday May 9, 1865

In Arkansas, negotiations were going on at Chalk Bluff on the St. Francis River for the surrender of the men of Confederate Brigadier General M. Jeff Thompson, the eccentric and brilliant Confederate leader in Missouri and the West.

President Andrew Johnson recognized Francis H. Pierpoint as governor of Virginia. During the war, Pierpoint had headed a Federal “restored” state of Virginia in the territory held by the Federals.

The trial of the eight Lincoln assassination conspirators began.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his wife met near Dublin on the Oconee River in Georgia. Meanwhile, Federal cavalry closed in on the remnant of the Confederate government.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of May 3-9, 1865 

Active units:

1st Battalion Minnesota Infantry – On the march to Washington, D.C. until May 12, 1865.

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the march to Washington, D.C. until May 19, 1865.

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

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the march to Washington, D.C. until May 20, 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 Montgomery, Alabama until May 10, 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 – On the march to Washington, D.C. until May 24, 1865.

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

3rd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – Various sections on duty at Fort Ridgely, Fort Ripley and Fort Sisseton until May 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.

Posted in 1865, This Week in the Civil War | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment