This Week in the American Civil War: March 4-10, 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 March 4, 1863

The U.S. Congress adjourned. Fighting occurred at Unionville, Tennessee and at Independent Hill in Prince William County, Virginia. Federal forces moved from Franklin to Spring Hill, Tennessee. The Federal cavalry escaped after being surrounded by Confederates under Brigadier General Nathan Bedford Forrest and Major General Earl Van Dorn.

Thursday March 5, 1863

After a heavy engagement at Spring Hill, Tennessee, the Union infantry surrendered. Meanwhile, Federal forces continued digging a canal opposite Vicksburg, Mississippi, despite occasional shelling from Confederate batteries located in the city.

Friday March 6, 1863

A skirmish occurred on the White River in Arkansas. Otherwise, it was a quiet day on all fronts. 

Saturday March 7, 1863

On the Mississippi River, Major General Nathaniel Banks Federal force moved north from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, Louisiana and towards Port Hudson in its operations to cooperate with Major General Ulysses Grant in the vicinity of Vicksburg, Mississippi.

For the Confederacy, Lieutenant General E. Kirby Smith assumed command of all Confederate forces west of the Mississippi River.

In Baltimore, Maryland, the U.S. Army prohibited the sale of ‘secession music” and confiscated all such song sheets.

Sunday March 8, 1863

     It was a quiet night at Fairfax County Court house, Virginia, where Brigadier General E.H. Stoughton and his garrison lay in bed. Twenty-nine men under Captain John S. Mosby stealthily entered the town, reached the general’s headquarters and his bedroom. The startled general, himself looking for the “rebel guerrilla” Mosby, was captured ignominiously in bed. The loot from the raid included the general, two captains, thirty other prisoners, fifty-eight horses plus arms and equipment. Mosby and his men evaded numerous Federal outposts and their departure from Fairfax County Court House. Word spread throughout the north and south, each viewing the incident from different lights.

Monday March 9, 1863

In Charleston, South Carolina, James Louis Petigru died at the age of 74. He was admired and known throughout the country as a jurist, loyal unionist in the midst of secession and was the outstanding pro-Northern advocate in the Confederacy. Even though he was full of sarcasm, he maintained the respect and friendship of Charlestonians despite his political views.

Skirmishes occurred at Hazle Green, Kentucky; near St. Augustine, Florida; Fairfax Court House, Virginia and on the Comite River at Montesano Bridge near Port Hudson, Louisiana.

Tuesday March 10, 1863

President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation of amnesty to soldiers who were absent without leave if they reported prior to April 1, otherwise they would be arrested as deserters.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of March 4-10, 1863 

1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – In camp near Falmouth, Virginia until April 1863.

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Chapel Hill, Tennessee until June 4, 1863.

3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Fort Heiman, Kentucky until June 2, 1863.

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Expedition to Yazoo Pass via Moon Lake, Yazoo Pass, Coldwater and Tallahatchie Rivers until  April 8, 1863.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Duckport, Louisiana until April 1, 1863.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On garrison duty at Fort Snelling, Glencoe, Forest City and Kingston until April 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 duty at Fort Donelson, Tennessee until June 5, 1863.

1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery – On duty at Lake Providence, Louisiana until April 22, 1863.

2nd Independent Battery, Minnesota Light Artillery – On duty at Murfreesboro Tennessee until June 4, 1863.

2nd United States Sharpshooters, Company A – In camp at Falmouth, Virginia until April 27, 1863.

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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One Response to This Week in the American Civil War: March 4-10, 1863

  1. Scott Graham says:

    This was the time as the 2nd Mn Light Artillery was in Murfreesboro, that my GGrandfather Francis Flint was captured by Forrest and sent to Libby Prison in Richmond.

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