This Week in the American Civil War: October 12-18, 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 October 12, 1864

The Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, Robert Brooke Taney, died in Washington. Although criticized for many of his decisions, particularly the Dred Scott Decision, Taney remains one of the major figures in American jurisprudence.

Elements of Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood’s forces skirmished with Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s troops at Resaca, La Fayette and near Rome, Georgia. Fighting also occurred at Greeneville, Tennessee and at Strasburg, Virginia, in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia.

Federal Rear Admiral David Dixon Porter assumed command of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron with the idea of reducing Fort Fisher near Wilmington, North Carolina. He relieved Acting Rear Admiral S.P. Lee.

Thursday October 13, 1864

Maryland voters adopted a new state constitution which included abolition of slavery. The vote was 30,174 in favor of the constitution with 29,799 opposed for a thin margin of only 375 votes.

Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s defenders in north Georgia held Recasa but Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood’s troops seized the important railroad north to Tunnel Hill, including Dalton and Tilton, Georgia.

In Virginia, Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s troops were back on the line at Fisher’s Hill while Federal Major General Phil Sheridan’s force was at Cedar Creek.

Skirmishing broke out at Mullahla’s Station, Nebraska and at Elm Creek, Texas.

Mosby’s Raiders took up a section of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad near Kearneysville, west of Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia. They wrecked a passenger train, seized $173,000 from two army paymasters, and then burned the train.

President Abraham Lincoln, still worried about the election despite the recent victories, made an estimate of the electoral vote, giving the “Supposed Copperhead Vote” 114 electoral votes to the “Union Vote” of 120. He was also trying to see that as many soldiers as possible got home to vote, assuming he had strong support in the Army.

Friday October 14, 1864

Action increased in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia where two armies faced each other only a few miles apart. Skirmishing took place at Strasburg, Virginia near Hupp’s Hill, and at Duffield’s Station, West Virginia.

Confederate General Sterling Price continued to move through Missouri with a skirmish near Glasgow. He made a public plea for people to join with him to “redeem” Missouri. Confederates then attacked Danville, Missouri.

Other skirmishing occurred at Fort Smith, Arkansas; Boca Chica Pass, Texas; and at Adamstown, Maryland.      

Saturday October 15, 1864

In Washington, funeral services were held for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Roger B. Taney, who passed away earlier in the week. President Abraham Lincoln was in attendance.

The usual fighting included action at Hernando, Mississippi; Snake Creek Gap, Georgia; Mossy Creek, Tennessee; Bayou Liddell, Louisiana; and Sedalia, Missouri.

Sunday October 16, 1864

     Minor fighting occurred in north Georgia between the troops of Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood and Federal Major General William T. Sherman. This time, the fighting occurred at Ship’s Gap, Georgia. Other skirmishing occurred at Bull’s Gap, Tennessee; and Morganza, Louisiana.

Monday October 17, 1864

The Army of Tennessee under Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood had given up harassing Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s Chattanooga-Atlanta rail line and moved west towards Gadsden, Alabama.

Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard assumed command of the Confederate Military Division of the West, comprising all operations east of the Mississippi River in the Western Region.

Skirmishing occurred at Cedar Run Church, Virginia; Eddyville, Kentucky; and at Carrollton and Smithville, Missouri, which was burned to the ground.

Confederate Lieutenant General James Longstreet received orders to resume command of his corps, having recovered from wounds sustained at the Battle of the Wilderness earlier in the spring.

Tuesday October 18, 1864

Confederate generals clambered around the edges of Massanutten Mountain in the Shenandoah Valley overlooking Federal positions at Cedar Creek, then plotted a full scale attack on Federal Major General Phil Sheridan’s position by Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s small but willing force.

Otherwise, fighting was limited to skirmishes at Milton, Florida; the Northwestern Railroad and Nashville, Tennessee; Summerville, Georgia; Huntsville, Alabama; Clinch Mountain, Tennessee; and Barry County, Missouri.

Pro-Confederate ladies of Britain held a benefit for Confederate soldiers at St. George’s Hall in Liverpool, England.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of October 12-18, 1864 

Active units:

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

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Participated in Operations in North Georgia and North Alabama against Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood until November 3, 1864.

3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Duvall’s Bluff, Arkansas until May 13, 1865.

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On garrison duty at Allatoona, Georgia until November 15, 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 – En route to Murfreesboro, Tennessee for duty, arriving there November 7, 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 – Assigned to duty guarding the line of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad from Nashville to the Kentucky line. Companies E, G, and I were at Gallatin, Tennessee. Company A was at Buck Lodge. Company B at Edgefield Junction. Company C at Richland. Company D at Sandersville. Company H was at Mitchellsville. The location of companies F and K are unknown at this time. The regiment remained on duty at these locations until June 25, 1865.

2nd Regiment Minnesota Cavalry – Engaged in frontier and patrol duty between Forts Wadsworth, Abercrombie, Ripley and Ridgely with headquarters at Fort Snelling, until November 17, 1865.

Brackett’s Battalion of Minnesota Cavalry – Engaged in frontier and patrol duty between Forts Wadsworth, Abercrombie, Ripley and Ridgely with headquarters at Fort Snelling until May 1866.

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 – Participated in Operations in North Georgia and North Alabama against Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood until November 3, 1864.

2nd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – On duty as infantry at Fort Irwin, Defenses of Chattanooga until March 30, 1865.

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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