This Week in the American Civil War: April 15-21, 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 April 15, 1863

Major General Ulysses S. Grant’s forces continued to move from Milliken’s Bend on the Mississippi River to below Vicksburg, Mississippi, skirmishing near Dunbar’s Plantation on Bayou Vidal, Louisiana.

President Abraham Lincoln expressed his concern to Major General Joseph Hooker, Army of the Potomac commander, regarding the slow pace of Major General George Stoneman’s cavalry operations.

Thursday April 16, 1863

Acting Rear Admiral David Dixon Porter’s fleet of twelve vessels attempted to run past the city of Vicksburg, Mississippi. They came downriver to aid Major General Ulysses Grant’s crossing. Although often hit by the Confederate batteries, all but one of the vessels got through safely and concentrated near Hard Times, on the west bank of the Mississippi River. The dramatic passage of the flotilla was a further step in the build-up for the upcoming Vicksburg campaign.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis approved acts of the Confederate Congress to allow minors to hold army commissions and to prevent absences of soldiers and sailors without leave.

Friday April 17, 1863

Colonel Benjamin H. Grierson of Illinois headed south from LaGrange, Tennessee with a 1,700-strong cavalry on a startling raid into Mississippi. The intent was to draw attention away from Major General Ulysses Grant’s Vicksburg campaign.

Skirmishing occurred around Suffolk, Virginia; on the Amite River and at Bayou Vermillion, Louisiana; Core Creek, North Carolina; on the White River in Missouri; and at Lundy’s Lane, Cherokee Station, Great Bear Creek and Barton’s Station in Alabama. 

Saturday April 18, 1863

Colonel Benjamin H. Grierson’s raiders met their first minor opposition between Ripley and New Albany, Mississippi, as skirmishing broke out on the line of march.

A Confederate attack on Fayetteville, Arkansas was repulsed by the Union garrison. Other fighting occurred at Sabine Pass, Texas and Hartsville, Tennessee.

The Confederate Congress authorized a volunteer navy whereby qualified people could procure and fit out vessels for cursing against the Federals, with the main compensation to be prize money. However, the idea never was implemented.

Sunday April 19, 1863

President Abraham Lincoln, Major General Henry W. Halleck and Secretary of War Edwin Stanton took a quick one-day trip to Aquia Creek, Virginia on army matters. The venture was carried out in secret.

Colonel Benjamin H. Grierson’s raiders moved deeper into Mississippi and skirmished with Confederates at Pontotoc. Other skirmishing occurred at Big Swift Creek, North Carolina; Battery Huger, Hill’s Point, Virginia; Celina and Creelsborough, Kentucky; Dickson Station, Alabama; and Trenton, Tennessee.

Monday April 20, 1863

A proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln declared that the state of West Virginia, having the approval of the U.S. Congress, would officially join the Union on June 20.

In Louisiana, Federal forces occupied Opelousas and Washington, and the Union navy squadron captured Butte-a-la-Rose. Confederate raiders fought a skirmish at Patterson, Missouri.

Tuesday April 21, 1863

Confederates under Brigadier General William E. Jones began a raid on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in West Virginia, which lasted until May 21, resulting in considerable but minor fighting.

A skirmish occurred at Palo Alto, Mississippi, and a Federal expedition moved from Opelousas to Barre’s Landing, Louisiana.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of April 15-21, 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 – On the march to Milliken’s Bend, Louisiana.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Duckport, Louisiana until April 29, 1863.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Camp Pope near Iowa City, Iowa until June 16, 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."
This entry was posted in 1863, This Week in the Civil War and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply