This Week in the American Civil War: September 21-27, 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 September 21, 1864

Federal Major General Phil Sheridan was assigned to permanent command of the Middle Military District, including the Shenandoah Valley. At Strasburg, Virginia, he positioned his army for an attack against Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s force at nearby Fisher’s Hill.

Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest was moving in Northern Alabama and about to threaten Athens, Tennessee.

Thursday September 22, 1864

BATTLE OF FISHER’S HILL

Skillfully utilizing his superior sized force, Federal Major General Phil Sheridan held the heights at Strasburg, Virginia and threatened Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s Confederates on Fisher’s Hill and along the Tumbling Run. Three Federal corps attacked in front of the Tumbling Run ravine and up Fisher’s Hill. They pursued the Confederates for four miles before Early could rally his forces. Confederates lost 1,235 men including nearly 1,000 of which were missing, along with 12 guns and numerous amounts of small arms. The Federals lost an aggregate total of 528 men killed, wounded and missing.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis arrived in Macon, Georgia, by train to confer with Confederate General John Bell Hood about recapturing Georgia, and attend a refugee relief meeting.

Friday September 23, 1864

Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s forces, now battered, were moving back to New Market, Virginia. His cavalry skirmished at Front Royal, Woodstock, near Edenburg, and at Mount Jackson. Federal Major General Phil Sheridan did not pursue as he settled for victories at Winchester and Fisher’s Hill.

Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest’s troops skirmished at Athens, Alabama.

Federal Major General S.A. Hurlbut assumed command of the Department of the Gulf.

President Abraham Lincoln asked Postmaster General Montgomery Blair to resign. Blair had previously offered to step down when Lincoln thought best and he did so immediately. Blair had been unpopular with the Radical Republicans that Lincoln needed to secure reelection. 

Saturday September 24, 1864

Skirmishing occurred at Athens, Alabama; Fayette, Jackson and Farmington, Missouri; Magnolia, Florida; and at Mount Jackson, New Market, Luray and Forest Hill, Virginia.

As a result of Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s disorganized force needing reorganization, rest and relief in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, Federal Major General Phil Sheridan’s forces began burning crops, barns and other property to comply with Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant’s orders that the Valley cease to be a granary and sanctuary for the Confederates.

President Abraham Lincoln named former Ohio governor William Dennison as the new Postmaster General, in place of Montgomery Blair, who resigned at the President’s request. Lincoln also approved congressional authorization for the Union purchase of products from states “declared in insurrection.”

Sunday September 25, 1864

     Federal Major General Phil Sheridan’s large army moved toward Staunton and Waynesborough, Virginia, destroying railroads and other property. Eventually they forced Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s force back to Brown’s Pass in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Skirmishing erupted at Sulphur Branch Trestle, Alabama; Farmington and Huntsville, Missouri; Henderson, Kentucky; Walnut Creek, Kansas and near Johnsonville, Tennessee.

Monday September 26, 1864

Federal Major General Phil Sheridan’s cavalry clashed with Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s cavalry around Port Republic, Weyer’s Cave and Brown’s Gap, Virginia, before they pulled out and left Early alone to restore his chaotic army. In Richmond, news of Early’s defeat gave rise to severe criticism of the Confederate government.

Minor fighting took place at Roswell, Georgia; Vache Grass, Arkansas; Richland Creek, Tennessee; Arcadia Valley, Shut-in-Gap and Ironton, Missouri; and at Osage Mission, Kansas.

Tuesday September 27, 1864

It was another day of skirmishing as fighting broke out at Port Republic and Weyer’s Cave, Virginia; Pulaski, Lobelville and Beardstown, Tennessee; Fort Davidson, Arcadia, Ironton and Mineral Point, Missouri.

A thirty-man Confederate guerrilla force of Bloody Bill Anderson, including George Todd and the James boys, looted and burned Centralia, Missouri. Twenty-four unarmed soldiers were killed. Federal troops came to the rescue and were ambushed near Centralia with 116 killed.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of September 21-27, 1864 

Active units:

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

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – In the Jonesborough, Georgia area until September 29, 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 – On the expedition through Arkansas and Missouri in pursuit of Sterling Price until November 15, 1864.

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

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the expedition through Arkansas and Missouri in pursuit of Sterling Price until November 15, 1864.

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

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the expedition through Arkansas and Missouri in pursuit of Sterling Price until November 15, 1864.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the expedition through Arkansas and Missouri in pursuit of Sterling Price until November 15, 1864.

11th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – En route to Nashville, Tennessee via Chicago and St. Louis. The regiment arrived on October 5, 1864.

2nd Regiment Minnesota Cavalry – Relief of Fisk’s Emigrant Train until September 30, 1864.

Brackett’s Battalion of Minnesota Cavalry – Relief of Fisk’s Emigrant Train until September 30, 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 thewar – until April 26, 1866.

1st Minnesota Heavy Artillery Battery – Organized at St. Paul and Rochester until February 1865.

1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery – On duty in the Lovejoy’s Station, Georgia area of operations until September 29, 1864.

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

3rd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – Various sections on duty at Fort Ridgely, Fort Ripley and Fort Sisseton until May 1865.

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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