This Week in the American Civil War: August 24-30, 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 August 24, 1864

On the Petersburg, Virginia front, Federals realized that Confederate infantry was building up near the Union troops who were destroying large sections of the Weldon Railroad. Skirmishing broke out near Reams Station and on the Vaughan Road nearby.

Elsewhere, skirmishing flared up at Annandale, Virginia; Huttonsville, Halltown and Sutton, West Virginia. Skirmishing also occurred at Claiborne, Georgia; Gunter’s Prairie, Indian Territory along with Ashley’s and Jones’s Stations near Duvall’s Bluff, Arkansas.

Thursday August 25, 1864

BATTLE OF REAMS STATION

Striking against the Federal infantry destroying the Weldon Railroad south of Petersburg, Virginia, Confederate Lieutenant General A.P. Hill’s Confederate corps defeated Federal Major General Winfield Scott Hancock’s Second Corps in a surprise attack at Reams Station. Federal losses totaled 2,372 and the Confederate casualties were estimated at 720. Over 2,000 of the Federal losses were captured or missing. Hancock’s men withdrew and Hill’s troops returned to the Petersburg defensive line. The Confederate victory did not discourage Federal destruction or the build-up of new westward extension of the Union siege lines around Petersburg.

In Georgia, Federal Major General William T. Sherman began his principal movement to cut off the city of Atlanta completely. Troops marched towards the south side of the Atlanta area, in the general direction of Jonesborough.

Otherwise, skirmishing occurred at Morgan’s Ferry and on the Atchafalaya River, Louisiana.

The C.S.S. Tallahassee ran the blockade into Wilmington, North Carolina after a successful three-week cruise in which she captured thirty-one Federal ships.

Friday August 26, 1864

Threatening East Point, Georgia, south of Atlanta, Federal Brigadier General John M. Schofield’s troops massed and demonstrated as other units of Major General William T. Sherman’s army came into position, endangering Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood’s last entry lines into and out of Atlanta. Skirmishes took place along the Chattahoochee River at Pace’s Ferry and Turner’s Ferry, Georgia. 

Saturday August 27, 1864

Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s army was ready. Much of it was in position southwest of Atlanta on the Sandtown Road, ready to push farther south and swing east towards Jonesborough to cut Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood’s last railroads into the city. Hood and his Confederates had not been able to interfere with the preparations to any extent. Fighting broke out at Farmer’s Ferry and Fairburn, Georgia.

Sunday August 28, 1864

    Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s army was advancing now. Major General George H. Thomas and the Army of the Cumberland reached Red Oak on the Montgomery and Atlanta or West Point Railroad while Major General Oliver O. Howard and his Army of the Tennessee were near Fairburn on the railroad. Brigadier General John M. Schofield’s Army of the Ohio was near Mount Gilead Church while Major General Henry W. Slocum’s Twentieth Corps held the Union lines around Atlanta. During the advance, fighting broke out at Red Oak and Sandtown.

Monday August 29, 1864

Confederates were on the move again in the Trans-Mississippi as Major General Sterling Price assumed command of a new expeditionary force at Princeton, Arkansas. Price hoped to recover Missouri for the South.

Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s army in Georgia continued its preliminary operations for the major move towards Jonesborough. Skirmishing at Red Oak Station and near Sandtown continued to mark the Confederate probing operations.

The Democratic National Convention gathered in Chicago determined to nominate a candidate who could defeat President Abraham Lincoln and settle the war issues. Committees were formed and the work began. Major General George B. McClellan was the most prominent name being discussed as a presidential candidate.

Tuesday August 30, 1864

Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s army severed one of the last two railroads in Atlanta and marched rapidly towards the Macon line. Atlanta was in dire danger. Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood countered late in the day by sending his own old corps to attack the Federal flank at Jonesborough. Sherman had his three armies separated considerably and they were more than Hood could cover. Fighting broke out near East Point, Flint River Bridge and Jonesborough.

Federal Major General George Crook replaced Major General David Hunter in command of the Federal Department of West Virginia.

The Democrats meeting in Chicago adopted a platform and placed names in nomination for President. Major General George B. McClellan and Thomas H. Seymour, former governor of Connecticut, were named. Senator L.W. Powell of Kentucky and former President Franklin Pierce withdrew their nominations.  The convention adopted, for the most part, the program of the Peace Democrats and Copperheads, a platform diametrically opposed to that of the Lincoln Administration and Radical Republicans.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of August 24-30, 1864 

Active units:

1st Battalion Minnesota Infantry – Participated in Battle of the Weldon Railroad as part of the Siege of Petersburg, Virginia until April 2, 1865. 

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Marched to Atlanta, Georgia and took part in siege operations against that city until August 31, 1864.

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

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On garrison duty at Allatoona, Georgia until October 5, 1864.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Veterans rejoined the regiment, which was on Smith’s Expedition to Oxford, Mississippi until Aug. 30, 1864.

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

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Smith’s Expedition to Oxford, Mississippi until August 30, 1864.

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Sully’s Expedition to Dakota Territory until October 15, 1864.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Smith’s Expedition to Oxford, Mississippi until August 30, 1864.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Smith’s Expedition to Oxford, Mississippi until August 30, 1864.

11th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Organized at Fort Snelling, Minn., until September 20, 1864.

2nd Regiment Minnesota Cavalry – On Sully’s Expedition to Dakota Territory until October 15, 1864.

Brackett’s Battalion of Minnesota Cavalry – On Sully’s Expedition to Dakota Territory until November 10, 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 Federal flank movement on Jonesborough, Georgia.

2nd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – Mounted and engaged in scouting duty around Chattanooga, Tennessee until October 1864.

3rd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – On Sully’s Expedition to Dakota Territory until October 15, 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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