Category Archives: This Date in Civil War History

On This Date in Civil War History: Vicksburg Campaign – May-July 1863

During the winter of 1862-1863, Union Major General Ulysses S. Grant made several unsuccessful forays to capture the strategic fortress city of Vicksburg, Mississippi. A combination of swampy bogs along the Yazoo River north of the city, the 200-foot-high bluffs … Continue reading

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On this Date in Civil War History: The Battle of Gettysburg – July 1-3, 1863

Considered by many historians to be the turning point of the Civil War, the Gettysburg campaign began on 3 June 1863 when elements of General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia began leaving their positions near Fredericksburg and heading … Continue reading

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On this Date in Civil War history: June 9, 1863 – Battle of Brandy Station

The largest cavalry clash of the Civil War, the Battle of Brandy Station, took place as Robert E. Lee began to move his army north for the invasion of Pennsylvania in 1863. Although the battle was technically a Confederate victory, … Continue reading

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On This Date in Civil War History: May 1-3, 1863 – The Battle of Chancellorsville

A brick tavern and family residence at the intersection of the Orange Turnpike and Orange Plank Road, Chancellorsville lent its name to one of the most important battles of the Civil War. Situated at the strategic intersection of five roads … Continue reading

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Memorial dedicated to 38 Dakota executed in 1862 unveiled

Story and photos by Jeffrey S. Williams Minnesota Civil War Commemoration Task Force “The cold air is nothing compared to what happened on this day 150 years ago,” said David Brave Heart, Mankato Mdewankantonwan Association chairman, as hundreds of people … Continue reading

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An American Tragedy – Revisiting the sad conclusion to the U.S.-Dakota War

By Jeffrey S. Williams Minnesota Civil War Commemoration Task Force Following the U.S.-Dakota War in August-September, 1862, Henry Hastings Sibley was promoted to the rank of brigadier general in the United States Army on September 29, 1862, and placed in … Continue reading

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On this date in Civil War History: May 31-June 1, 1862 – The Battle of Fair Oaks/Seven Pines

In the aftermath of Confederate general Joseph E. Johnston’s evacuation of Yorktown and his army’s retirement up the Virginia peninsula toward Richmond, the Army of the Potomac under George B. McClellan began a slow but steady pursuit. Although tempered by … Continue reading

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The bridge that saved an Army: The ‘Grapevine Bridge’ and the Battle of Fair Oaks

By Jeffrey S. Williams Minnesota Civil War Commemoration Task Force Following the Siege of Yorktown, Battles of Williamsburg and West Point, along with the Union Navy’s failed assault against Drewry’s Bluff, the Federal forces of Major General George B. McClellan … Continue reading

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The First Minnesota and the Siege of Yorktown – May 5, 1862

By Darryl Sannes Minnesota Civil War Commemoration Task Force On May 5, 1862, the Union Army of the Potomac entered the abandoned Confederate entrenchments at Yorktown, Virginia. The first major confrontation in this campaign had been a success for the … Continue reading

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On this date in Civil War history: The Great Locomotive Chase – April 12, 1862

Both Union and Confederate troops sabotaged railroads to impede enemy supply and troop transport. The Andrew’s Raid, popularly known as the “Great Locomotive Chase,” was one of the best-known attempts at railroad destruction during the Civil War. The Civil War … Continue reading

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