This Week in the American Civil War: March 9-15, 1864

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 9, 1864

The President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, in the presence of his Cabinet, officially handed Ulysses S. Grant his commission as lieutenant general. In the brief White House ceremony, both Lincoln and Grant uttered perfunctory remarks. Grant then discussed in private, his plans for future operations, with the president.

Thursday March 10, 1864

Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant was given the official authority to take command of the Armies of the United States, but the general himself had already left for Virginia to meet with Major General George G. Meade with the Army of the Potomac. The generals discussed the position, condition and future of the army, and worked out their relationship to each other. Grant expected himself to be in the field with his army commander.

Federal Major General Franz Sigel superseded Brigadier General Benjamin F. Kelley in command of the Federal Department of West Virginia.

Confederate raiders hit Clinton and Mayfield, Kentucky, while skirmishing broke out near Charles Town and Kabletown, West Virginia.

Friday March 11, 1864

Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant returned to Washington, then left in the evening to visit with Major General William T. Sherman, now slated to be the commander in the West. 

Saturday March 12, 1864

The official order setting up the new top command of the United States Armies was announced. Major General Halleck was relieved at his own request as General-in-Chief, and named chief of staff. Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant was assigned to command of all the armies. Major General William T. Sherman was assigned to the Military Division of the Mississippi, commanding the Departments of the Ohio, the Cumberland, the Tennessee, and the Arkansas. Major General J.B. McPherson replaced Sherman in command of the Department and Army of the Tennessee.

On the Mississippi River, Major General Nathaniel Banks led his army, and gunboats, up the Red River into the heart of Louisiana in the “Red River Campaign.”

Confederate President Jefferson Davis suspended the execution of a deserter.

Sunday March 13, 1864

     Skirmishing occurred at Cheek’s Cross Roads and Spring Hill, Tennessee; Carrollton, Arkansas; and Los Patricios, Texas.

Federal Major General Nathaniel Banks’s army continued to make their way up the Red River into Louisiana.

Monday March 14, 1864

The advance of Major General Nathaniel Bank’s Red River expedition captured Fort De Russy near Simsport, Louisiana. Brigadier General Andrew Jackson Smith, with his troops from Sherman’s old command, did the job with little difficulty.

Skirmishing erupted at Bent Creek, Tennessee; Claysville, Alabama; Jones County, Mississippi; and Hopefield, Arkansas. Fort Sumter was hit by another bombardment, with 143 rounds fired by the Federals.

President Abraham Lincoln issued a draft order for 200,000 men for the Navy and to provide “an adequate reserve force for all contingencies” in the entire military service.

Tuesday March 15, 1864

Louisiana Governor Michael Hahn was invested with powers previously held by the military governor of Louisiana as President Abraham Lincoln acted to reconstruct occupied areas of the South. The President also proclaimed that the United States should not “take charge of any church as such” in New Orleans.

Federal gunboats on the Red River arrived at Alexandria, Louisiana, as the expedition of men and vessels proceeded up the most important Confederate-held river. A skirmish at Marksville Prairie on this date was part of that campaign.

Skirmishing also occurred at Bull’s Gap and Flat Creek, Tennessee; and at Clarendon, Arkansas.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of March 9-15, 1864

1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Fort Snelling prior to mustering out of Federal service.

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Ringgold, Georgia until April 29, 1864.

3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On garrison duty in Little Rock, Arkansas until April 28, 1864.

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Huntsville, Alabama until June 22, 1864.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Marched to Canton and then to Vicksburg, Mississippi as part of the Red River Campaign.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at various Minnesota outposts for garrison duty until June 9, 1864.

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

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 – 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.

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

1st Regiment Minnesota Cavalry “Mounted Rangers” – Formally mustered out of service on December 7, 1863. Inactive. 

2nd Regiment Minnesota Cavalry – On duty at Fort Snelling and at frontier posts throughout Minnesota until May 24, 1864.

Brackett’s Battalion of Minnesota Cavalry – On duty at Fort Snelling until May 1, 1864.

Hatch’s Independent Battalion of Cavalry – Companies A, B, C and D on frontier duty in Pembina until May 5, 1864.

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

2nd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – On duty at Rossville, Georgia until March 21, 1864.

3rd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – Various sections of the battery were stationed at Fort Snelling, Fort Ridgely, Fort Ripley and Pembina until June 5, 1864.

2nd United States Sharpshooters, Company A – On duty around the Rapidan River, Virginia until May 4, 1864.

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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