This Week in the American Civil War: October 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 October 7, 1863

Federal signalmen observed unusual movement in the Confederate army along the Rapidan River in Virginia and skirmishing flared at Hazel River and at Utz’s and Mitchell’s fords.

Skirmishing also occurred at Farmington, Blue Springs and Sims’s Farm near Shelbyville, Tennessee; near Warsaw, Missouri; Evening Shade and Ferry’s Ford, Arkansas; in the Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory; and at Charles Town and Summit Point, West Virginia.

Thursday October 8, 1863

It was a quiet day, even though fighting broke out near James City and along Robertson’s River, Virginia and near Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis arrived in Atlanta and praised Georgia’s war effort, eulogizing the patriotism of troops. He was greeted by cheers.

Friday October 9, 1863

Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia was on the move. After crossing the Rapidan River, the Confederate troops moved west and northward once more, attempting to turn Federal Major General George G. Meade’s right flank and head toward Washington. Meade’s army had suspected a major move for several days and not it was under way. Lee was trying both to take advantage of the Federal reduction in force caused by sending troops west to reinforce Major General William Rosecrans in Tennessee, and to prevent any more Federal troop movement. However, the Army of the Potomac still greatly outnumbered the Confederates. Action in Virginia included a skirmish near James City and a five-day Federal expedition to Chesnessex Creek.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis left Atlanta and visited the Confederate troops in Marietta, just north of the city and repeated the efforts of the day before.     

Saturday October 10, 1863

Extensive skirmishing broke out in the Rapidan River area of Virginia as Federals probed to find the meaning of Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s advance northward. Fighting took place at Russell’s Ford on Robertson’s River, Bethesda Church, James City, along with Racoon, Germanna and Morton’s fords.

Fighting also occurred at Tipton, Syracuse and La Mine Bridge, Missouri; Tulip, Arkansas; Ingraham’s Plantation near Port Gibson, Mississippi; at Blue Springs and Sweet Water, Tennessee; and at Salyersville, Kentucky.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis, with General Braxton Bragg’s army in North Georgia, surveyed the military scene and tried to establish harmony among the dissident generals.

Sunday October 11, 1863

Heavy skirmishing continued between the Rapidan and Rappahannock Rivers in Virginia and Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s army gained momentum in its newest move northward. Fighting erupted near Culpeper Court House, Griffinsburg, Brandy Station, Morton’s Ford, Stevensburg, near Kelly’s Ford¸and near Warrenton.

Monday October 12, 1863

Raids continued in the west, at Buckhorn Tavern near New Market, Alabama; Merrill’s Crossing and Dug Ford near Jonesborough, Missouri; near Byhalia, Quinn and Jackson’s Mill, Mississippi; West Liberty, Kentucky; Webber’s Falls, Indiana Territory and at Tulip, Arkansas.

Federal troops operated against outlaws from Fort Garland, Colorado Territory, for several days.

Tuesday October 13, 1863

The Confederate Army of Northern Virginia closed in towards Manassas and Washington, following once more a pattern similar to that used at Second Bull Run in 1862. Skirmishing occurred near the important road center of Warrenton and at Fox’s Ford and Auburn. Federal Major General George G. Meade, no longer in severe danger of being cut off from Washington, headed towards Manassas and Centreville.

Ohio voters decisively defeated Democratic governor candidate Clement L. Vallandigham, in favor of War Democrat John Brough, who ran on the Republican ticket. Vallandigham, who campaigned by mail from Canada, polled a surprisingly large vote despite his exile and condemnation as a Copperhead. Governor Andrew Curtin, a staunch Union supporter, was reelected in Pennsylvania. Union candidates also won in Indiana and Iowa.

In North Georgia, Confederate President Jefferson Davis, after touring Chickamauga and conferring with General Braxton Bragg and other officers, authorized Bragg to relieve Lieutenant General D.H. Hill from command. Hill and Bragg had long been at odds.

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

1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Participated in the Army of the Potomac’s Bristow Campaign until October 22, 1863.

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in the Siege of Chattanooga, Tennessee until November 23, 1863.

3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Participated in the capture of Little Rock, Arkansas, where they remained for garrison duty until April 28, 1864.

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the march from Helena, Arkansas to Corinth, Mississippi; then Memphis and Chattanooga, Tennessee until October 20, 1863.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Bear Creek, Mississippi until October 14, 1863.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On garrison duty in Minnesota until June 9, 1864.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry –On duty in St. Louis, Missouri until April 20, 1864.

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On garrison duty in Minnesota until May 24,1864.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Moved to Jefferson City, Missouri for duty guarding railroad from Kansas Line to near St. Louis. Stationed at Rolla, Jefferson City, LaMine Bridge, Warrensburg, Independence, Knob Noster, Kansas City, Waynesville and Franklin with headquarters in Jefferson City until April 14, 1864, and at Rolla from April 14 – May 1864.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On garrison duty and provost duty at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri until April 21, 1864.

1st Regiment Minnesota Cavalry “Mounted Rangers” – On duty at Fort Ripley and Fort Snelling until December 7, 1863.

Brackett’s Battalion of Minnesota Cavalry – On duty along the Tennessee River until November 14, 1863.

Hatch’s Independent Battalion of Cavalry – Organized at Fort Snelling and St. Paul. Companies A, B, C and D marched to Pembina for duty until November 13, 1863.

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

2nd Independent Battery, Minnesota Light Artillery – On duty in the Siege of Chattanooga, Tennessee until November 23, 1863.

3rd Battery, Minnesota Light Artillery – Four sections on duty at Pembina, Fort Ripley, Fort Ridgely and Fort Snelling until June 5, 1864.

2nd United States Sharpshooters, Company A – Participated in the Army of the Potomac’s Bristow Campaign until October 22, 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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