This Week in the American Civil War: January 4-10, 1865

MN150Logo_OL_FNLInformation courtesy of the

Minnesota Civil War Commemoration Task Force

( and “Minnesota Civil War 150” on Facebook)


Major Highlights for the Week

Wednesday January 4, 1865

Federal troops embarked at Bermuda Hundred landing for a new expedition against Fort Fisher, North Carolina, this time under the command of Major General Alfred H. Terry. Most of the soldiers had taken part in the failed expedition the previous month under Major General Benjamin Butler.

Skirmishing occurred at Thorn Hill, Alabama and at The Ponds, Mississippi.

Thursday January 5, 1865

Confederate President Jefferson Davis found himself to be concerned and frustrated by increasing dissension, controversy over the draft, manpower problems, and the general state of the war itself.

In Washington, D.C., President Abraham Lincoln was bothered by job seekers after election rewards, and he tried to concentrate on trade in recovered areas and domestic affairs. Lincoln issued a pass to go through the lines to James W. Singleton, one of the several unofficial and self-named envoys seeking a possible settlement of the war.

Meanwhile, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton headed to Savannah, Georgia to consult with Major General William T. Sherman.

Friday January 6, 1865

In the United States House of Representatives, Republican Congressman J.M. Ashley of Ohio again brought up the proposed 13th Amendment to abolish slavery. The amendment passed the U.S. Senate, where Republicans and unionists had the requisite two-thirds majority vote, but it languished in the House. Lincoln, the Administration and some Republican House members were putting pressure on certain Democrats to change their votes. Many people, including Lincoln, were anxious to see the amendment in effect as soon as possible.

Federal Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant, at Petersburg, Virginia, sent a telegraph message to President Abraham Lincoln requesting that Major General Benjamin Butler be removed from command of the Army of the James because of a lack of confidence in his military ability. By rank, Butler would have commanded the Army of the Potomac in Grant’s absence, leading to Grant’s call for removal.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis was struggling in vain to find troops to defend the Carolinas from Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s forces that were preparing to move north from Savannah, Georgia.      

Saturday January 7, 1865

The active military career of Federal Major General Benjamin F. Butler came to an end when orders were issued by Secretary of War Edwin Stanton removing him from command of the Department of Virginia and North Carolina. Butler’s replacement was Major General E.O.C. Ord. The mess of Fort Fisher brought matters to a head and Butler was removed regardless of political implications.

More Federal troops were pulled out of the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, and sent elsewhere.

Skirmishing occurred in Johnson County, Arkansas, and with Indians at Valley Station and Julesburg in Colorado Territory.

The Danish ironclad Sphinx left Copenhagen, Denmark for Quiberon Bay, France. She had been secretly purchased by the Confederates and would later be christened the C.S.S. Stonewall.

Sunday January 8, 1865

     The huge Naval fleet under Rear Admiral David Dixon Porter, plus the transport fleet containing Major General Alfred H. Terry’s expeditionary force, arrived at rendezvous off of Beaufort, North Carolina, before again attempting to take Fort Fisher.

Federal Major General E.O.C. Ord took command of the Department of Virginia and North Carolina, as well as the Army of the James, in place of the relieved Major General Benjamin F. Butler.

Federal Major General John A. Logan resumed command of the 15th Corps, relieving Major General Peter J. Osterhaus.

Monday January 9, 1865

The Constitutional Convention of Tennessee adopted an amendment abolishing slavery in the state and putting it to the vote of the people, scheduled for February 22, 1865.

Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood moved his discouraged and greatly diminished Army of Tennessee to Tupelo, Mississippi.

In the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrat Congressman Moses Odell of New York indicated his change of position regarding the 13th Amendment and abolition of slavery. He would later receive an important political job in the Lincoln Administration and was one of the Democrats who made the passage of the amendment possible.

Tuesday January 10, 1865

The debate in the U.S. House of Representatives over the 13th Amendment and slavery abolition continued in a heated fashion.

A skirmish near Glasgow, Missouri was the only marked fighting for the day as the only major operation under way, the second expedition to Fort Fisher, was held up by raging seas and stormy weather off Beaufort, North Carolina.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of January 4-10, 1865 

Active units:

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

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Savannah, Georgia until February 1, 1865

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

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Savannah, Georgia until February 1, 1865.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Eastport, Mississippi until February 6, 1865.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On provost duty at St. Louis, Missouri until January 29, 1865.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Eastport, Mississippi until February 6, 1865.

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Murfreesboro, Tennessee until January 19, 1865.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Eastport, Mississippi until February 6, 1865.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Eastport, Mississippi until February 6, 1865.

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 the war – until April 26, 1866.

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

1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery – On duty in Savannah, Georgia until February 1, 1865.

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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