This Week in the American Civil War: June 18-24, 1862

Courtesy of the Minnesota Civil War Commemoration Task Force

Major Highlights for the Week

Wednesday June 18, 1862

Federal troops under Brigadier General George W. Morgan occupied the Cumberland Gap, an important trail through the rugged mountains where Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia join together. The Confederates withdrew because of the Federal threats, but only after destroying their food and equipment. The occupation stimulated the pro-Union sentiments of many of the area’s residence. Skirmishing occurred at nearby Wilson’s Gap.

Thursday June 19, 1862

In Washington, D.C., President Abraham Lincoln signed a measure prohibiting slavery in the territories of the United States into law. Near Richmond, Virginia, a skirmish occurred on the Charles City Road, while other fighting took place at Knight’s Cove, Arkansas.

Friday June 20, 1862

A Federal expedition was underway from Baton Rouge, Louisiana towards Vicksburg, Mississippi, comprised of 3,000 men under command of Brigadier General Thomas Williams.

Confederate Major General Earl Van Dorn assumed command of the Department of Southern Mississippi and East Louisiana, charged with the defense of the Mississippi River.

Skirmishes occurred at Bayou des Allemands, Louisiana; and near New Bridge and at Gill’s Bluff on the James River in Virginia. Guerrilla activity occurred in Owen  County, Kentucky over a period of several days. 

Saturday June 21, 1862

Skirmishing was light along the battle lines on the Chickahominy River near Richmond but there was another fight near Fair Oaks Station. Skirmishes also occurred at Simmons Bluff, South Carolina, Battle Creek and Rankin’s Ferry near Jasper, Tennessee and at Coldwater Station, Mississippi.

In Washington, D.C., President Lincoln sent a telegram to Major General George B. McClellan asking for his views on military affairs throughout the whole country.

Sunday June 22, 1862

Thirty Sisters-of-Charity arrived at Fort Monroe, Virginia, to administer to the sick and wounded members of the Federal Army of the Potomac. Meanwhile, a Federal reconnaissance occurred on the left of White Oak Swamp in the Peninsula campaign, while skirmishing occurred in the Shenandoah Valley around Strasburg, Virginia.

Monday June 23, 1862

A conference took place at the Dabbs House, north of Richmond, Virginia, where Confederate General Robert E. Lee gathered his principal generals, including Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, who had traveled rapidly ahead of his army coming south from the Shenandoah River Valley. Lee had decided to take the offensive because Richmond could not withstand a Federal siege. Lee stated his case that the attack must turn Federal Major General George B. McClellan’s line and left the details up to his commanders.

Skirmishing occurred at Pineville and Raytown, Missouri; Augusta, Arkansas; and New Kent Court House, Virginia. Operations also occurred near Sibley and Pink Hill, Missouri. President Abraham Lincoln left Washington for West Point, New York for a conference with General Winfield Scott.

Tuesday June 24, 1862

Skirmishing increased at Mechanicsville, Virginia, north of Richmond, as the Confederates probed the Federal lines looking for weakness. Skirmishing occurred at Hamilton’s Plantation near Grand Gulf, Mississippi.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of June 18-24, 1862 

1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – In camp near Richmond, Va., as part of McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign.

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Corinth, Miss.

3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Brigadier General Ebenezer Dumont’s expedition to Pikesville, Ky.

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry –Duty at Camp Clear Creek near Corinth, Miss.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Companies B, C and D remained in Minnesota and Dakota Territory on garrison duty while the remaining companies were at Camp Clear Creek near Corinth, Mississippi. Part of Company C under Lieutenant T.J. Shehan marched to Fort Ridgely, while Company D took part in an action at Fort Abercrombie on June 20.

Brackett’s Battalion of Minnesota Cavalry – On duty at Humboldt, Tenn., scouting and protecting the railroad.

1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery – On garrison duty at Corinth, Miss.

2nd Independent Battery, Minnesota Light Artillery – On garrison duty at Corinth, Miss.

2nd United States Sharpshooters, Company A – On duty at Falmouth, Virginia

About civilwarweek

Member - Minnesota Civil War Commemoration Task Force, Civil War reenactor and historian since 1993, holds Bachelor's Degree in History from Concordia University-St. Paul, currently pursuing Master's Degree in History at St. Cloud State University and is author of the forthcoming book, "Muskets and Memories: A Modern Man's Journey through the Civil War."
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