This Week in the American Civil War: November 19-25, 1862

MN150Logo_OL_FNLInformation courtesy of the

Minnesota Civil War Commemoration Task Force

( and “Minnesota Civil War 150” on Facebook)


Major Highlights for the Week

Wednesday November 19, 1862

Confederate forces of Longstreet’s corps took position on the heights above Fredericksburg after marching from the main base at Culpeper, Virginia. Federal Major General Ambrose Burnside’s Army of the Potomac arrived the same day, making his headquarters near Falmouth.

There was fighting at Philomont, Virginia; Tunnel Hill and Tomkinsville, Kentucky; and Pineville, Missouri.

Major General Ulysses Grant continued to probe the Confederate defenses at Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Thursday November 20, 1862

Confederate General Robert E. Lee arrived at Fredericksburg, Virginia as the buildup of Union and Confederate troops continued on both sides of the Rappahannock River. Lieutenant General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s Confederate corps was still at Winchester, about to move towards Fredericksburg.

The Confederate Army of the Tennessee was official constituted under General Braxton Bragg and consisted of corps under E. Kirby Smith, Polk and Hardee.

Friday November 21, 1862

Confederate President Jefferson Davis appointed James A. Seddon, prominent Richmond attorney, former U.S. and Confederate congressman, as his Secretary of War. Seddon, who appeared to be anything but warlike, was to prove the most able of the Confederate War Secretaries, though subject to abuse and criticism.

In the West, General Braxton Bragg sent Nathan Bedford Forrest to cut the communications of Grant’s army in Western Tennessee.

On the Rappahannock River in Virginia, Major General Ambrose Burnside called upon Fredericksburg to surrender the town but was refused. The mayor was threatened with bombardment of the town and sixteen hours were allowed for the removal of the sick, wounded, women, children, the aged and infirm. The mayor requested more time. 

Saturday November 22, 1862

Federal Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton discharged nearly all political prisoners held by the military. At Winchester, Virginia, the Federals skirmished with Confederates while the Southerners attacked Halltown, western Virginia, but were driven back.

Twelve Southern salt works were destroyed, along with a number of vessels, in Matthews County, Virginia, on Chesapeake Bay. In Louisiana there was an affair at Petite Anse Island.

Federal Major General Edwin V. Sumner agreed to not bombard Fredericksburg, Virginia, despite the previous day’s ultimatum, “so long as no hostile demonstration is made from the town.”

Sunday November 23, 1862

     Federal Naval Lieutenant William Cushing with the steamer Ellis went up New River, North Carolina, and at Jacksonville captured two schooners. However, while returning, he ran into a shoal and lost his own vessel but escaped in one of the captured schooners.

Monday November 24, 1862

Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston was assigned to the major command in the West, embracing western North Carolina, Tennessee, northern Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and eastern Louisiana. Johnston’s main task would be to supervise Braxton Bragg in Tennessee and John C. Pemberton at Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Skirmishing occurred at Newtown, Virginia and Beaver Creek, Missouri.

Tuesday November 25, 1862

Confederate cavalry crossed the Potomac at Poolesville, Maryland and seized the government telegraph office briefly.

Other fighting was at Pitman’s Ferry and Cane Hill, Arkansas; Henderson’s Station and Clarksville, Tennessee; and Calhoun, Kentucky.

Confederate Major General Samuel Jones was assigned to command the Trans-Allegheny or Western Department of Virginia.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of November 19-25, 1862 

1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Falmouth, Virginia.

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Moved to Cunningham’s Ford on the Cumberland River for guard duty.

3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Fort Snelling, Minnesota.

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Duty at White’s Station and Memphis, Tennessee until February 24, 1863.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Companies B, C and D remained in Minnesota and Dakota Territory on garrison duty. The remaining companies were on Major General Ulysses Grant’s Central Mississippi Campaign.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On garrison duty at Fort Snelling, Glencoe, Forest City and Kingston until February 1863.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On garrison duty in Mankato and other points in Minnesota until June 1863.

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On frontier duty at various points in Minnesota: Anoka, Princeton, Monticello, Kingston, Manannah, Paynesville, Fort Ripley, Sauk Center, Pomme de Terre, Alexandria and Fort Abercrombie until May 1864.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On garrison duty in various frontier Minnesota communities until June 1863.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Regiment on detached service for garrison duty at various outposts in frontier Minnesota until June 1863.

1st Regiment Minnesota Cavalry “Mounted Rangers” – Organized at St. Cloud, St. Peter and Fort Snelling for frontier duty against Indians until June 1863.

Brackett’s Battalion of Minnesota Cavalry – On scout duty at Eddyville, Kentucky.

1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery – On Major General Ulysses Grant’s Central Mississippi Campaign near Vicksburg, Mississippi.

2nd Independent Battery, Minnesota Light Artillery – On duty at Nashville, Tennessee.

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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