This Week in the American Civil War: December 3-9, 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 December 3, 1862

An attack occurred on a Federal forage train on the Hardin Pike near Nashville, Tennessee, and a skirmish was held at Moorefield, Virginia.

Major General Ulysses Grant continued to press the Confederates along the Yocknapatalfa River, and there was action at Prophet, Spring Dale and Free Bridges and Oakland, Mississippi.

Three blockade-runners were taken off the North Carolina coast.

Thursday December 4, 1862

Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston assumed overall command in the West, while sporadic fighting continued to occur on the major fronts.

An engagement occurred on the Rappahannock River near Port Royal, Virginia, not far from Fredericksburg; and on the Franklin Pike and near Stewart’s Ferry on Stone’s River, Tennessee.

Angry citizens attacked Dakota Sioux Indian prisoners at Mankato, Minnesota after the U.S.-Dakota War.

At Prestonburg, Kentucky, Confederates captured some supply boats with arms, ammunition and uniforms.

Friday December 5, 1862

Federal Major General Ulysses Grant’s cavalry received a setback in an engagement on the Mississippi Central Railroad at Coffeeville, Mississippi. 

Saturday December 6, 1862

President Abraham Lincoln ordered the execution by hanging of 39 Dakota Sioux Indians of the 303 that were convicted of participating in the U.S.-Dakota War. The execution date was set for December 19.

Sunday December 7, 1862


     In a confusing battle at Prairie Grove, about twelve miles southwest of Fayetteville, Arkansas on Illinois Creek, Confederates under Major General Thomas C. Hindman attacked Federal forces under Brigadiers General James G. Blunt and Francis J. Herron.

Hindman, advancing from Van Buren, Arkansas, attempted to defeat the two Federal units separately, but they managed to join forces after a hard march by Herron’s men from Wilson’s Creek, Missouri. Confederates held their position but bitter winter weather forced them to withdraw during the night.

There were 175 Federal troops killed, 813 wounded and 263 missing for a total of 1,251 casualties out of 10,000 engaged. Confederates lost 164 killed, 817 wounded and 336 missing for a combined loss of 1,317 of 10,000 engaged.

Monday December 8, 1862

Confederate President Jefferson Davis, concerned over the several threats to the Confederacy, wrote the following to General Robert E. Lee at Fredericksburg, Virginia, “In Tennessee and Mississippi the disparity between our armies and those of the enemy is so great as to fill me with apprehension.” Davis announced his intention to go west immediately. Davis also regretted that there was little he could do to help Lee receive more manpower.

Tuesday December 9, 1862

A skirmish occurred at Dobbins’s Ferry, near La Vergne, Tennessee, and at Mudtown, Arkansas, otherwise it was a quiet day.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of December 3-9, 1862 

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

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On guard duty at Cunningham’s Ford on the Cumberland River.

3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Fort Snelling, Minnesota until January 16, 1863.

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 until January 1863.

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 until January 1863.

2nd Independent Battery, Minnesota Light Artillery – On duty at Nashville, Tennessee until December 26, 1862.

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."
This entry was posted in 1862, This Week in the Civil War and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply