This Week in the American Civil War: April 20-26, 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 April 20, 1864

Confederate troops under Brigadier General R.F. Hoke, aided by the C.S.S. Albemarle, captured Plymouth, North Carolina. The federals lost about 2,800 men and a large quantity of supplies. It was the first major Confederate victory in the area for a long time and brought hope to the defenders of the Atlantic coast.

Major General Samuel Jones succeeded General P.G.T. Beauregard in command of the Confederate Department of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Beauregard moved to the heavily threatened post of southern Virginia and northern North Carolina.

President Abraham Lincoln ordered death sentences that were exacted by court-martial to be commuted to imprisonment on Dry Tortugas of Key West, Florida. The President also conferred with Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant, who was completing plans for a spring offensive in Virginia.

Thursday April 21, 1864

Federal Major General Nathaniel Banks harassed troops were in the process of withdrawing from Grand Ecore to Alexandria, Louisiana, as the Red River Campaign came to a close. Confederate troops pursued Banks with hit-and-run attacks but mounted no offensive.

President Abraham Lincoln conferred with governors from Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Iowa, and also reviewed seventy-two court-martial cases.

Friday April 22, 1864

Confederate harassment on the Red River in Louisiana continued with attacks on transports and skirmishing near Cloutierville, Louisiana. Other fighting included a skirmish on Duck River, Tennessee and one at Cotton Plant, Arkansas.

The motto “In God We Trust” was first stamped upon coins under an act of the United States Congress. 

Saturday April 23, 1864

Confederates pressured the Federal column in Arkansas, plaguing the Camden Expedition at Camden and Swan Lake. In the Red River Campaign, a heavy engagement occurred at Monett’s Ferry, Louisiana. Fighting  elsewhere included skirmishes at Hunter’s Mill, Virginia; Independence, Missouri; and a Confederate attack at Nickajack Trace, Georgia.

Sunday April 24, 1864

     The “small war” continued with still more skirmishing near Camden, Arkansas; Decatur, Alabama; near Middletown, Virginia; and at Pineville, Louisiana.

Monday April 25, 1864

In Arkansas, the fighting continued with action at Marks’s Mills and in Moro Bottom. Troops skirmished at Cotile Landing, Louisiana on the Red River, as Federals began arriving at Alexandria in their retreat. Most of the gunboats were already near Alexandria.

Confederate Major General Robert Ransom was assigned to command the Department of Richmond, Virginia.

Tuesday April 26, 1864

Federal troops began to evacuate Washington, North Carolina, following the fall of Plymouth.

The rapidly falling water in the Red River trapped the Union gunboat fleet above the rapids. Those vessels still above Alexandria suffered considerable damage in a running engagement with onshore Confederates.

Major General Frederick Steele’s Federal column in Arkansas began its retreat from Camden after failing to join up with Major General Nathaniel P. Banks’s force on the Red River.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of April 20-26, 1864 

Active units:

1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Fort Snelling prior to mustering out of Federal service on April 29, 1864.

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 – On duty at Alexandria, Louisiana until May 13, 1864.

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

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Paducah, Kentucky until June 19, 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 May 15, 1864.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Moved to Columbus, Kentucky for duty until April 27, 1864.

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 in Cairo, Illinois until April 28, 1864.

2nd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – Veterans were on furlough through June 5, 1864. Non-veterans attached to Battery I, 2nd Illinois Light Artillery and moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where they escorted cattle and horses to the army in the field until July 14, 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.

Inactive units: 

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

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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