This Week in the American Civil War: December 24-30, 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 24, 1862

Union army forces occupied Galveston, Texas, already partially in control of the U.S. Navy. In Kentucky, Confederate Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan occupied Glasgow, after a skirmish. Fighting occurred near Nashville, Bolivar and Middleburg, Tennessee. Sherman’s expedition from Memphis drew closer to Vicksburg.

Thursday December 25, 1862

Christmas Day 1862 brought no cessation of lesser action throughout the warring nations. Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s expedition operated near Milliken’s Bend north of Vicksburg. Morgan’s men in Kentucky fought at Green’s Chapel and Bear Wallow. There was a skirmish near Warrenton, Virginia, and a Federal reconnaissance from Martinsburg to Charles Town in Virginia. Fighting occurred on the Wilson Creek Pike near Brentwood and at Prim’s Blacksmith Shop on the Edmonson Pike, Tennessee, as well as Ripley, Mississippi.

President and Mrs. Lincoln visited wounded soldiers in Washington hospitals on this day.

Friday December 26, 1862

Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s expedition down the Mississippi River from Memphis landed on the Yazoo River near Steele’s Bayou. He advanced toward the line of bluffs known as Walnut Hills and Haynes’s Bluff, protecting Vicksburg on the north. Federal forces under Major General William S. Rosecrans moved out from Nashville toward Bragg’s army at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, with action at La Vergne, Franklin, Nolensville and Knob Gap.

In raiding, Confederate Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan fought at Bacon Creek and Nolin, Kentucky, and operated against Rosecrans’s railroad lines.

In Mankato, Minnesota, 38 Dakota Indians, participants in the U.S.-Dakota War, were hanged in the largest mass execution in American history. 

Saturday December 27, 1862

Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s troops picked their way across the swamps and bayous north of Vicksburg towards the bluffs. They engaged in minor skirmishing at Snyder’s Mill against Confederate pickets as Lieutenant General John C. Pemberton rushed in troops to defend Vicksburg. Major General William S.  Rosecrans’s army continued its march toward Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Skirmishing occurred on the Jefferson Pike at Stewart’s Creek Bridge, Triune, Franklin and on the Murfreesboro Pike and at Stewart’s Creek Bridge in Tennessee.

Sunday December 28, 1862

     Light fighting continued as Major General William T. Sherman approached the Vicksburg bluffs near the Yazoo River and as Major General William S. Rosecrans proceeded towards Murfreesboro.

Confederate Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan ordered a bridge destroyed at Maldraugh’s hill in Kentucky near the birthplace of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln.

The Federal Army of the Frontier under Brigadier General James G. Blunt fought the Confederates at Dripping Springs, Arkansas, and drove them in and through Van Buren, capturing about forty wagons, four steamers and other equipment.

Monday December 29, 1862


Major General William T. Sherman’s forces advanced despite destructive fire towards the foot of the bluffs north of Vicksburg near Chickasaw Bayou. However, the advance was to no avail. A relatively small portion of Lieutenant General John C. Pemberton’s army easily held off the more numerous Federals. Although there was follow-up action in the next few days, a second attempt on Vicksburg had been foiled. Sherman, admitting his failure, lost 208 killed, 1,005 wounded and 563 missing for a total of 1,776 out of approximately 30,000 engaged. The Confederates lost only 63 killed, 134 wounded and 10 missing for a total of 207 out of 14,000 engaged. The position was simply too strong to storm and was reminiscent of the Army of the Potomac’s struggle at Fredericksburg two weeks before.

Tuesday December 30, 1862

Major General William T. Sherman remained in his frustrating Chickasaw Bayou position in front of the bluffs at Vicksburg. Major General William S. Rosecrans slowly approached the main Confederate force outside of Murfreesboro with fighting at Jefferson, La Vergne, Rock Spring and Nolensville, Tennessee.

In Washington, President Abraham Lincoln produced for his Cabinet a preliminary draft of the final Emancipation Proclamation, to be issued the first of the year, with a request for suggestions. Concerned over dejection and dissention in the Army of the Potomac, Lincoln wired Major General Ambrose Burnside at Fredericksburg, “I have good reason for saying you must not make a general movement of the army without letting me know.”

Shortly after midnight, the U.S.S. Monitor foundered off of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, in heavy seas with the loss of 16 officers and men. Monitor sent a distress signal at 11 p.m. Her escort, U.S.S. Rhode Island, rescued 47 officers and men. The hero of the battle with the Merrimack, never very seaworthy, was being towed to the Carolina coast.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of December 24-30, 1862 

1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – In camp near Falmouth, Virginia.

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On guard duty at Gallatin, Tennessee until January 29, 1863.

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 expedition at Fort Heiman, Tennessee.

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 – In camp 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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