This Week in the American Civil War: January 7-13, 1863

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 January 7, 1863

Confederates captured Ozark, Missouri and moved onto Springfield.

A group of 450 women and children left Washington, D.C. for Richmond, Virginia and the South with permission of the Federal government.

The Richmond Enquirer newspaper called the Emancipation Proclamation “the most startling political crime, the most stupid political blunder, yet known in American history…Southern people have now only to choose between victory and death.”

Major General Henry Halleck wrote a letter to Army of the Potomac commander Major General Ambrose Burnside emphasizing that “our first object was, not Richmond, but the defeat or scattering of Lee’s army.” It was endorsed by President Abraham Lincoln.

Thursday January 8, 1863

The Federal garrison at Springfield, Missouri successfully defended the important Ozark area city from the Confederates. A skirmish occurred at Knob Creek, near Ripley, Tennessee.

The U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination of John P. Usher of Indiana as Secretary of the Interior. Usher replace Caleb Smith, who resigned for health reasons.

President Abraham Lincoln defended the  Emancipation Proclamation by saying, “it must stand…As to the States not included in it, of course they can have their rights in the Union as of old.”

Friday January 9, 1863

The Federal Army of the Cumberland under Major General William Rosecrans was reorganized into three corps, the Fourteenth under George H. Thomas, the Twentieth under Alexander McCook and the Twenty-first under Thomas L. Crittenden.

Skirmishing occurred at Fairfax Court House, Virginia, and salt works near St. Joseph’s, Florida were destroyed by boat crews from the U.S.S. Ethan Allen.     

Saturday January 10, 1863

Federal forces arrived near Arkansas Post, also known as Fort Hindman, about fifty miles up the Arkansas River from its junction with the Mississippi River and started enveloping the Confederate fort and drove in upon the outer earthworks. Naval bombardment stopped Confederate artillery. Land units were poised to attack the besieged Confederates under Brigadier General T.J. Churchill.

Sunday January 11, 1863


Federal gunboats battered Confederate guns at Fort Hindman, Arkansas, and land forces of Major General John A. McClernand began their attack, which continued for three and a half hours. Admiral David Dixon Porter received white flags of surrender at the fort and the vastly outnumbered Confederates in the outer earthworks surrendered. Federal losses included 134 killed, 898 wounded and 29 missing for a total of 1,061 out of 29,000 engaged and 13 gunboats. Confederates lost 28 killed and 81 wounded for a total of 109, but missing and prisoners put the loss at 4,791 out of 5,000 engaged.

Monday January 12, 1863

The third session of the First Confederate Congress gathered at Richmond, Virginia and received a “State of the Confederacy” message from President Jefferson Davis. He optimistically reviewed the military situation, pointing out the halting of Federals in Virginia, at Vicksburg and in Tennessee. He also went into a long review of foreign relations in hopes of securing recognition of the Confederacy.

Speaking of the Emancipation Proclamation, Davis asserted that it meant the extermination of the Negro race and courage mass assassinations of their masters. He called it proof of the “true nature of the designs” of the Republican Party.

A skirmish occurred at Lick Creek near Helena, Arkansas, while Major General John E. Wool assumed command of the Federal Department of the East.

Tuesday January 13, 1863

A Federal expedition from Helena, Arkansas operated up the White River until the nineteenth, capturing St. Charles, Clarendon, Devall’s Bluff and Des Arc, Arkansas.

At Harpeth Shoals on the Cumberland River in Tennessee, the U.S.S. Sidell, a Federal gunboat, surrendered to Confederate troops under Joseph Wheeler. Three transports with wounded troops were also seized in the action. The wounded were put on board one vessel and allowed to go on, while the other boats were burned.

Federal officials formally authorized the raising of Negro troops for the South Carolina Volunteer Infantry to be commanded by Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of January 7-13, 1863 

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 Murfreesboro Tennessee until June 23, 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."
This entry was posted in 1863, This Week in the Civil War and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to This Week in the American Civil War: January 7-13, 1863

  1. Pingback: This Week in the American Civil War: January 13, 1863 – CivilCat

Leave a Reply