This Week in the American Civil War: November 9-15, 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 9, 1864

The Federal 23rd Corps was pushing through Nashville on its way to reinforce the Federal 4th Corps at Pulaski, expecting a move into Tennessee by Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood. Meanwhile, Hood’s men skirmished at Shoal Creek on the Tennessee River near Florence, Alabama.

Federal Major General William T. Sherman was at Kingston, Georgia where he organized his army into a right wing consisting of the 15th and 17th Corps under Major General Oliver O. Howard, and a left with consisting of the 14th and 20th Corps under Major General Henry Warner Slocum. There would be no general train and only a bare minimum of wagons. Since Hood was in northern Alabama and Sherman thought he had provided Major General George Thomas with a sufficient force to halt Hood’s expected invasion of Tennessee, Sherman was about to plunge deeper into Georgia and commence his march to the sea.

Election returns were still coming in as the assessment of the results began.

Thursday November 10, 1864

Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early, still trying to make a show of opposition in the Shenandoah Valley moved north from New Market towards Federal Major General Phil Sheridan’s position. However, his force was too small to have much of an impact.

Federal Major General William T. Sherman continued preparing to move back towards Atlanta, destroy the railroad and other bases, and then set out on his own.

Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest, back at Corinth, Mississippi, after his successful west Tennessee foray into Johnsonville, was about ready to join forces with Lieutenant General John Bell Hood in northern Alabama.

Friday November 11, 1864

Federal troops at Rome, Georgia, destroyed bridges, foundries, mills, shops, warehouses and other property of use to the Confederate army, and started off for Kingston and Atlanta. The railroad in and around Atlanta between the Etowah and the Chattahoochee Rivers was ordered destroyed. Garrisons from Kingston were sent to take up the rails from Resaca back towards Chattanooga. Skirmishing occurred at Shoal Creek, Alabama; Russellville, Tennessee; Manassas Junction and Kernstown, Virginia.

At a Cabinet meeting in Washington, the sealed document disclosing President Lincoln’s doubts about the election and pledging Cabinet members to support the president-elect after the election, was opened. It was signed, unread, by the Cabinet Secretaries, on August 23.      

Saturday November 12, 1864

Four Federal corps totaling 60,000 infantry plus 5,500 artillery, were ready for one of the greatest military adventures in history. Major General William T. Sherman sent his last message to Major General George H. Thomas and then began to concentrate his force towards Atlanta where Federal troops were already at work destroying the city except for houses and churches.

In Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, action picked up briefly as Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early and Federal Major General Phil Sheridan’s men fought at Newton, Cedar Creek and Neneveh.

Sunday November 13, 1864

     Confederates in the Shenandoah Valley moved back to New Market and a good portion of Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s force was detached to strengthen the siege lines at Petersburg and Richmond. Since June, Early’s troops marched around 1,670 miles and fought in 75 engagements.

Conflict with the Indians flared once again, this time at Ash Creek near Fort Larned, Kansas.

Monday November 14, 1864

Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s 60,000-strong force was in and around the Atlanta, Georgia area preparing to depart for the coast. Sherman wanted to make sure that Atlanta’s military, manufacturing and communications facilities could not be immediately reactivated by the Confederates.

Federal Major General George H. Thomas was getting his troops in Tennessee into position with Major General John M. Schofield commanding two corps at Pulaski, south of Nashville.

Near Florence, Alabama, Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood prepared for his northward march and waited for Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest to arrive from Corinth, Mississippi.

President Abraham Lincoln formally accepted the resignation of Major General George B. McClellan from the army and named Phil Sheridan to the rank of Major General in the U.S. Regular Army.

Tuesday November 15, 1864

As most of Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s men moved out from Atlanta on their March to the Sea, others finished laying waste to the city, creating desolation and a scar that has never been fully erased from the hearts of the people of Georgia. Light skirmishing between militia and cavalry broke out near Atlanta at Jonesborough, East Point, near Rough and Ready, and at Stockbridge. Otherwise, action was near Collierville, Tennessee and Clinton, Louisiana.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of November 9-15, 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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