This Week in the American Civil War: June 22-28, 1864

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 22, 1864

Confederate General Robert E. Lee was aware of the move planned by Federal Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant to extend the siege lines to the south and west of Petersburg, Virginia. Confederate Lieutenant General Ambrose Powell Hill’s corps moved out and struck the Federal Second Corps, commanded by Major General David B. Birney who took over for Major General Winfield Scott Hancock, who was on sick leave from a war wound. The Second Corps was driven back, losing 1,700 prisoners in an engagement on the Jerusalem Plank Road, halting Grant’s drive against the Weldon and Petersburg Railroad.

However, two Union cavalry divisions headed towards Burkeville to beak the South Side Railroad, which forced a skirmish at Reams Station. The raid destroyed a considerable portion of the railroad, but it was rapidly repaired by the Confederates.

On the James River, President Abraham Lincoln, Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant and others steamed up river to visit the Navy squadron and discuss matters with Major General Benjamin Butler. The president left for Washington in the afternoon.

Thursday June 23, 1864

In Georgia, the weather improved and roads began to dry out. Federal Major General William T. Sherman planned an attack against Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston’s strong position. Sherman adjusted his lines throughout the day in preparation for the attack.

Skirmishing occurred at Allatoona, Georgia; Okolona, Mississippi; the Weldon Railroad in Virginia; and at Collierville, Tennessee.

Late in the afternoon, a weary President Abraham Lincoln arrived at Washington after his visit to the army around Petersburg, Virginia.

Friday June 24, 1864

At St. Mary’s Church, Virginia, Confederate cavalry attacked Federal Major General Phil  Sheridan’s cavalry and the wagon train heading from White House Landing to the James River. Federal cavalry fell back in confusion.

On the White River, Confederate Brigadier General Joseph O. “Jo” Shelby’s troops on land fought three U.S. steamers, and attacked, captured and destroyed the U.S.S. Queen City.

The Constitutional Convention of Maryland voted to abolish slavery. 

Saturday June 25, 1864

At Petersburg, Federal engineers began digging a tunnel towards the Confederate lines for the purpose of blowing apart the Southern-held earthworks.

Skirmishing occurred at Allatoona and Spring Place, Georgia; Roanoke Station, Virginia; Morganfield, Kentucky; Ashwood, Mississippi; Point Pleasant, Louisiana; Rancho Las Rinas, Texas; and operations on the Yellow River, Florida. The main fronts were relatively quiet.

Sunday June 26, 1864

    Federal Major General Phil Sheridan’s cavalry and wagon trains completed the crossing of the James River by ferry at Couthard’s Landing, and moved to join the main army.

In Arkansas, in operations on the White River, Federals pursued Confederates near Clarendon to Bayou De View. Other fighting took place at Wire Bridge, Springfield and Smithfield, West Virginia; and on the Sedalia and Marshall Road in Missouri.

Monday June 27, 1864

BATTLE OF KENNESAW MOUNTAIN, GEORGIA

The Armies of the Cumberland and of the Tennessee moved forward against Big and Little Kennesaw Mountain near Marietta, Georgia. The Army of the Ohio threatened the left of the Confederate army. It was a day of tragedy for the Federals as they rushed head on against Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston’s well-entrenched positions. Federals rushing pell-mell up the slopes seized outpost positions but could not break the main lines. Some managed to dig in and hold some of the territory gained. Retreat would have been even more disastrous in the face of the carefully planned lines, which took every advantage of the rocky terrain. Federal Major General William T. Sherman, often criticized for the assault, undoubtedly had the past November’s Missionary Ridge assault in mind, though this time he faced a veteran force under an able commander. In the biggest battle of the campaign thus far, Northern losses totaled 1,999 killed and wounded and 52 missing for an aggregate loss of 2,051. The Confederates suffered approximately 270 killed and wounded and 172 missing for 442, though the total might have been over 500.

In Washington, President Abraham Lincoln formally accepted the nomination for president.

Tuesday June 28, 1864

In the capital, President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill repealing the fugitive slave acts.

Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston prepared new defensive positions along the Chattahoochee River in the back of the Kennesaw line.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of June 22-28, 1864 

Active units:

1st Battalion Minnesota Infantry – Participated in Siege of Petersburg, Virginia until April 2, 1865. 

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Participated in assault on Kennesaw Mountain as part of Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign.

3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Pine Bluff, Arkansas until October 10, 1864.

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Kingston, Georgia until July 5, 1864.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Veterans on furlough until Aug. 17, 1864. Remainder of regiment remained at Memphis, Tennessee for duty.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Helena, Arkansas until Nov. 4, 1864.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at La Grange, Tennessee until July 5, 1864.

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the march to Fort Sully on the Missouri River as part of the Sully Expedition to Dakota Territory until July 1, 1864.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty around Memphis, Tennessee until July 5, 1864.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty around Memphis, Tennessee until July 5, 1864.

2nd Regiment Minnesota Cavalry – On the march to Fort Sully on the Missouri River as part of the Sully Expedition to Dakota Territory until July 1, 1864.

Brackett’s Battalion of Minnesota Cavalry – On the march to Fort Sully on the Missouri River as part of the Sully Expedition to Dakota Territory until June 28, 1864.

Hatch’s Independent Battalion of Cavalry – Companies A, B, C and D moved to Fort Abercrombie. Companies A and B assigned to garrison at Fort Abercrombie.  Company C assigned to garrison at Alexandria and Pomme de Terre. Company D on patrol duty from Fort Abercrombie to Pembina.  Companies E and F on frontier duty. The battalion would remain in these duty locations for the duration of the war – until April 26, 1866.

1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery – Participated in the assault on Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia as part of the Atlanta Campaign.

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 – On the march to Fort Sully on the Missouri River as part of the Sully Expedition to Dakota Territory until July 1, 1864.

1st United States Sharpshooters Company I– Attached to the 1st Battalion, Minnesota Infantry at Petersburg, Virginia until Feb. 20, 1865. 

2nd United States Sharpshooters, Company A – Participated in the Siege of Petersburg until Feb. 20, 1865.

Inactive units: 

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

1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Mustered out of Federal service on April 29, 1864. 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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