This Week in the American Civil War: November 2-8, 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 November 2, 1864

The C.S.S. Venus, part of Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest’s make-shift naval-cavalry command operating along the Tennessee River, was driven ashore by two Federal gunboats six miles below Johnsonville, Tennessee. The C.S.S. Undine was damaged but escaped.

A skirmish took place at Hazen’s Farm near Duvall’s Bluff, Arkansas.

Secretary of State William H. Seward told the mayor of New York of rumors from Canada that Confederate agents planned to set fire to the city on Election Day.

Thursday November 3, 1864

The Confederate gunboat C.S.S. Undine, captured by Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest’s command, challenged three Federal gunboats at Johnsonville, Tennessee, on the Tennessee River, but the three would not fight. Otherwise, the day was unusually quiet with only a skirmish occurring at Vera Cruz, Missouri.

The Federal Fourth Corps arrived at Pulaski, Tennessee, south of Nashville, to defend against a possible thrust by Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood. Other troops were still on their way.

Friday November 4, 1864

Placing artillery batteries on the west bank of the Tennessee River, Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest ordered shelling of the Federal gunboats, transports, barges, bulging warehouses, open storage, two wagon trains and the Union soldiers at their supply base at Johnsonville, Tennessee. Confederates estimated the damage at $6.7 million. The Southerners did have to abandon their captured gunboat, the Undine, but they disrupted the Federal supply line and diverted forced needed at Nashville. Federal officers at Johnsonville were censured for their negligence.      

Saturday November 5, 1864

Minor skirmishes broke out on the front of Forts Haskell and Morton, Virginia; Bloomfield and Big Pigeon River, Kentucky; Shoal Creek, Alabama; and Charleston, Missouri.

Sunday November 6, 1864

     Federals fought Confederate Major General Sterling Price’s men at Cane Hill, Arkansas. Federals also skirmished with Indians at Sand Hills Stage Station, Nebraska Territory.

In Chicago, the Confederate ringleaders of a plot to take over the city and free Camp Douglas prisoners were arrested.

Monday November 7, 1864

The Congress of the Confederate States of America gathered in Richmond for the second session of the Second Congress, a meeting destined to be its last. Confederate President Jefferson Davis sent over his message, and it was surprisingly optimistic. He played down the capture of Atlanta; called for a general militia law; advocated an end to most exemptions from service; recommend that the government purchase slaves for work in the Army and then free them upon discharge to replace the impressment system; believed that supplies would be found that considered the financial outlook was “far from discouraging.” He did not advocate the use of Negroes as soldiers while leaving the door open in event the situation later warranted such a measure. He concluded by saying that the Confederacy favored a negotiated peace but only with independence, not an “unconditional submission and degradation.”

Davis sent a detailed telegram to Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood instructing him to attempt to beat Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s army.

Tuesday November 8, 1864

LINCOLN REELECTED

Abraham Lincoln was reelected as President of the United States with Andrew Johnson of Tennessee as Vice President. Lincoln, the Republican or Union candidate, received 2,330,552 popular votes to Democrat George B. McClellan’s 1,835,985, giving Lincoln a plurality of 494,567 and 55 percent of the total vote. In the electoral vote count, Lincoln and Johnson received 212, while McClellan and George H. Pendleton of Ohio got 21, carrying only Delaware, Kentucky and New Jersey. New York was close. Lincoln triumphed in the military vote with 116,887 to 33,748 for McClellan, although these ballots did not change any state result. McClellan may have once been a popular general but that, along with discontent with the war, had not been sufficient to overcome the basic strength of incumbency, nor the disapproval among many Democrats of their own platform. The Republicans and unionists increased their strong majority in the U.S. House of Representatives to over two-thirds and retained a heavy plurality in the U.S. Senate.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of November 2-8, 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 15, 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 provost duty at St. Louis, Missouri until January 29, 1865.

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 duty at Murfreesboro, Tennessee until December 5,1864.

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 15, 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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