This Week in the American Civil War: August 5-11, 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 August 5, 1863

Major General Frederick Steele assumed command of the Federal forces at Helena, Arkansas.

In Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, Confederates continues to strengthen their defenses at Fort Sumter and Battery Wagner, knowing that the Federals would soon renew the attack.

Near Dutch Gap, Virginia, an electric torpedo severely damaged the U.S.S. Commodore Barney.

Thursday August 6, 1863

The North observed a day of thanksgiving for recent victories, with church services and suspension of business.

Skirmishes took place at Cacapon Mountain and Moorefield, West Virginia, and Confederates captured a Federal wagon train near Fairfax Courthouse, Virginia.

Three Federal vessels were heavily bombarded by shore batteries while on a reconnaissance of the James River in Virginia. Meanwhile, cheering crowds watched the C.S.S. Alabama capture the U.S.S. Sea Bride near the shore of Table Bay, Cape of Good Hope.

Friday August 7, 1863

Fighting broke out at Burke’s Station, Virginia, and near New Madrid, Missouri.

President Abraham Lincoln told New York Governor Horatio Seymour that he would not suspend the draft in New York. 

Saturday August 8, 1863

Confederate General Robert E. Lee offered to resign as commander of the Army of Northern Virginia. He wrote to Confederate President Jefferson Davis that he realized that there had been discontent as a result of the failure of the Gettysburg Campaign. He cited his health and general depression as influences upon his request. President Davis turned him down.

On Morris Island, Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, Federal forces continued to construct approaches to Battery Wagner, illuminating the island at night with calcium lights.

The U.S.S. Sagamore took four prizes off Indian River and Gilbert’s Bar, Florida.

Sunday August 9, 1863

President Abraham Lincoln wrote to Major General Ulysses Grant that he believed that Negro troops were “a resource which, if vigorously applied now, will soon close the contest.”

Skirmishing occurred at Brandy Station and Welford’s Ford, Virginia; Sparta, Tennessee; and Garden Hollow, near Pineville, Missouri.

Monday August 10, 1863

Federal troops under Major General Frederick Steele began the march from Helena, Arkansas to the state capital at Little Rock. Skirmishing occurred at Dayton, Missouri and Bayou Tensas, Louisiana.

Major General Ulysses Grant’s huge army at Vicksburg, Mississippi was slowly being broken up as the XIII Corps was reassigned to Carrollton, Louisiana.

Discontent over rations and lack of furloughs appeared to be the reason for a mutiny of several Confederate regiments at Galveston, Texas, though order was restored quickly.

Tuesday August 11, 1863

Confederate guns at Battery Wagner, Fort Sumter and on James Island in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, opened fire furiously on Federal trenches on Morris Island, halting the Federal working parties. Meanwhile, General P.G.T. Beauregard¸ in command of the Charleston area, ordered the defense lines on James Island shortened.

In Virginia, Confederates captured a Union wagon train near Annandale.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of August 5-11, 1863 

1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Kelly’s Ford, Virginia until August 15, 1863.

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Winchester, Tennessee until August 16, 1863.

3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty Helena, Arkansas until August 13, 1863.

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On garrison duty at Vicksburg, Mississippi until September 12, 1863.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Bear Creek, Mississippi until October 14, 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 – On duty at Fort Ridgely, Minnesota 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 the Occupation of Middle Tennessee until September 6, 1863.

1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery – On duty at Vicksburg, Mississippi, until April 4, 1864.

2nd Independent Battery, Minnesota Light Artillery – Participated in the Occupation of Middle Tennessee until August 16, 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 duty in Virginia until October 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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