This Week in the American Civil War: June 24-30,1863

MN150Logo_OL_FNLInformation courtesy of the

Minnesota Civil War Commemoration Task Force

(www.mncivilwar150.com and “Minnesota Civil War 150” on Facebook)

 

Major Highlights for the Week

Wednesday June 24, 1863

Confederate Lieutenant Generals James Longstreet’s and Ambrose Powell Hill’s corps of the Army of Northern Virginia began crossing the Potomac River in order to join Lieutenant General Richard Ewell’s forces in Maryland, and then invade Pennsylvania. A skirmish broke out at Sharpsburg, Maryland.

Major General William Rosecrans, moving forward in Middle Tennessee, fought General Braxton Bragg’s Confederates at Middleton, near Bradyville, Big Springs Ranch and Christiana.

Federal shelling occurred in Vicksburg, Mississippi and the people suffered from lack of food and other supplies. With reinforcements, the Federal grip on the city became even stronger.

Skirmishing occurred at Mound Plantation and near Lake Providence, Louisiana; and at Bayou Boeuf Crossing and Chacahoula Station in Western Louisiana.

Major General Joseph Hooker at his headquarters of the Army of the Potomac, wrote to Washington that he would send a corps or two across the Potomac River, make Washington secure, and then strike on General Robert E. Lee’s probable line of retreat.

Thursday June 25, 1863

At 1 A.M., Major General James Ewell Brown Stuart let from Salem Depot, Virginia, after receiving permission from General Robert E. Lee to join the Confederate army north of the Potomac River after passing between the Federal army and Washington. It was the beginning of a ride which took his cavalry away from much of the Gettysburg operations and over which controversies still rage. One of the first skirmishes occurred at Haymarket when Stuart’s cavalry clashed with troops from the Army of the Potomac’s II Corps, including the 1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry.

Confederate Lieutenant  General Richard Ewell’s men skirmished with Federals near McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania.

Skirmishing erupted at Guy’s Gap and Forsterville, Tennessee; and at Madison, Arkansas.

Friday June 26, 1863

Confederate Major General Jubal Early and a portion of his command entered Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in their advance north of the Potomac River. The next day, they marched towards York, Pennsylvania. Federal militia fled after a brief skirmish near Gettysburg and a number were captured.

Federal Major General Joseph Hooker reported himself on the way to Frederick, Maryland requesting to evacuate Maryland Heights at Harper’s Ferry. Washington appeared to doubt Hooker’s ability to act against the Confederate invasion.

Pennsylvania Governor Andrew G. Curtin called for sixty thousand men to serve for three months to repel the invasion.

Federal Rear Admiral Andrew H. Foote, hero of much of the fighting on Western Rivers in 1862, died in New York City. 

Saturday June 27, 1863

President Abraham Lincoln made the decision to relieve Major General Joseph Hooker from command of the Army of the Potomac. Major General George Gordon Meade was promoted from commander of the Army’s V Corps to Army of the Potomac commander, effectively replacing Hooker.

The Confederate forces of Lieutenant Generals James Longstreet and Ambrose Powell Hill, along with General Robert E. Lee’s headquarters element, arrived at Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Major General Jubal Early accepted the surrender of York, Pennsylvania from the local officials near the city, as Confederates moved near the state capital, Harrisburg.

The Federal Army of the Potomac was across the Potomac River at Frederick, Middletown and Knoxville, Maryland. General-in-Chief Henry W. Halleck messaged Meade to place him in command of the Army of the Potomac. He was expected to deal with General Robert E. Lee’s Confederate invasion of Pennsylvania.

Sunday June 28, 1863

At 7 A.M., at Frederick, Maryland, Major General George G. Meade received Major General Henry W. Halleck’s orders placing him in command of the Army of the Potomac. Soldiers throughout the Army of the Potomac were reacting to rumors that Major General George McClellan, their former commander, was back in command. It was not to be.

Skirmishing occurred between Offutt’s Crossroads and Seneca, near Rockville, Maryland; at Fountaindale and Wrightsville, Pennsylvania; at Rover, Tennessee; Russellville, Kentucky; Nichol’s Mills, North Carolina and Donaldsonville, Louisiana.

Confederate General Robert E. Lee learned that Federal troops were north of the Potomac River with over 100,000 soldiers in the Frederick, Maryland area. He ordered Lieutenant General James Longstreet, Ambrose Powell Hill and Richard Ewell to march to Cashtown, Pennsylvania, nine miles west of Gettysburg.

Monday June 29, 1863

Federal Major General George G. Meade’s new command moved rapidly forward in Maryland and by evening the Federals had their left at Emmitsburg and their right at New Windsor. Brigadier General John Buford’s cavalry had his advance at Gettysburg. Brigadier General Judson Kilpatrick’s cavalry had contacted Major General J.E.B. Stuart’s Confederates on the Federal right flank. Both armies were now heading in the general direction of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Skirmishing broke out at McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania, along with Westminster and Muddy Branch, Maryland.

Colonel William J. Colvill of the 1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry was arrested for allowing his men to cross a river on logs instead of wading across as previously ordered.

Tuesday June 30, 1863

From Chambersburg, Pennsylvania and elsewhere ,the Confederates converged on the Gettysburg area. Lieutenant General Richard Ewell’s corps left York, Pennsylvania for Gettysburg. Lieutenant Generals James Longstreet and Ambrose Powell Hill’s corps were now at Cashtown, Pennsylvania, nine miles west of the borough.

Major General George G. Meade, now commanding the Federal Army of the Potomac, ordered the three corps of the left wing under Major General John Reynolds to occupy Gettysburg in relief of Brigadier General John Buford’s cavalry.

Fighting broke out at Hanover, Fairfield, and at Sporting Hill near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; at Westminster, Maryland; Hudson’s Ford on the Neosho River in Missouri and at Goodrich’s Landing, Louisiana.

President Abraham Lincoln resisted the urging of others to restore Major General George B. McClellan back into command of the Army of the Potomac.

For the Federal Army, the march from Fredericksburg to Gettysburg had taken fourteen days with eleven days of travel. The average march was over fourteen miles per day. The march for the Confederates was even longer. By the time both armies took the field at Gettysburg, they were exhausted.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of June 24-30, 1863 

1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the march to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Clashed with J.E.B. Stuart’s cavalry at Haymarket, Virginia (June 25).

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Participated in Rosecrans Tullahoma Campaign in Middle Tennessee until July 7, 1863.

3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Participated in Siege of Vicksburg until July 4, 1863.

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Participated in Siege of Vicksburg until July 4, 1863.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Participated in the Siege of Vicksburg until July 4, 1863.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Participated in Brigadier General Henry H. Sibley’s expedition in Dakota Territory until September 12, 1863.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Participated in Brigadier General Henry H. Sibley’s expedition in Dakota Territory until September 12, 1863.

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Marched to Fort Ridgely for duty until June 5, 1864.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Participated in Brigadier General Henry H. Sibley’s expedition in Dakota Territory until September 12, 1863.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Participated in Brigadier General Henry H. Sibley’s expedition in Dakota Territory until September 12, 1863.

1st Regiment Minnesota Cavalry “Mounted Rangers” – Participated in Brigadier General Henry H. Sibley’s expedition in Dakota Territory until September 12, 1863.

Brackett’s Battalion of Minnesota Cavalry – Participated in Rosecrans Tullahoma Campaign in Middle Tennessee until July 7, 1863.

1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery – On duty during siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi, until July 4, 1863.

2nd Independent Battery, Minnesota Light Artillery – Participated in Rosecrans Tullahoma Campaign in Middle Tennessee until July 7, 1863.

3rd Battery, Minnesota Light Artillery – Participated in Brigadier General Henry H. Sibley’s expedition in Dakota Territory until September 12, 1863.

2nd United States Sharpshooters, Company A – On the march to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

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