This Week in the American Civil War: February 8-14, 1865

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 February 8, 1865

The United States House of Representatives passed a joint resolution declaring that the states of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas and Tennessee were not entitled to representation in the Electoral College. President Abraham Lincoln signed the resolution but failed to offer an opinion on the matter and disclaimed any right to interfere in the counting of ballots.

Skirmishing occurred at Williston, White Pond and at Cannon’s Bridge in South Carolina; New Market and Bradfordsville, Kentucky; and near Rush Creek, Nebraska Territory.

Massachusetts and Pennsylvania became the next states to ratify the 13th Amendment.

Thursday February 9, 1865

Federal Major General Quincy A. Gillmore took command of the Department of the South, replacing Major General John G. Foster. Federal Major General John M. Schofield assumed command of the Department of North Carolina. Schofield’s 23rd Corps advance units arrived at Fort Fisher, North Carolina, to prepare an attack on Wilmington and eventual joining with Major General William T. Sherman in North Carolina.

Confederate General Robert E. Lee assumed his duties as General-in-Chief of the Confederate Armies and pledged to rely on the field commanders in the operation. He also proposed a pardon to deserters who reported back to the army within 30 days. Confederate President Jefferson Davis approved the measure.

Unionists in Virginia ratified the 13th Amendment.

Friday February 10, 1865

President Abraham Lincoln reported to the United States House of Representatives, a status on the Hampton Roads Conference.

Skirmishing occurred on James Island and at Johnson’s Station, South Carolina, as Confederates guarded against attack from both Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s forces and from the sea.

All Federal troops in the Departments of Kentucky and the Cumberland were declared subject to the orders of Major General George H. Thomas, except for posts protecting the Mississippi River.

Confederate Captain Raphael Semmes was named Rear Admiral, C.S.A., and put in command of the James River Squadron.

Ohio and Missouri ratified the 13th Amendment.      

Saturday February 11, 1865

Fighting took place at Aiken, Johnson’s Station, near Sugar Loaf, at Battery Simkins and around Orangeburg, South Carolina; Clear Creek and Pine Bluff, Arkansas; and at Williamsburg, Virginia.

Sunday February 12, 1865

    The electoral vote was taken in the United States House of Representatives and Abraham Lincoln was officially re-elected with 212 votes to 21 for George B. McClellan.

President Lincoln, meanwhile, was still concerned by reports that Missouri provost marshals were selling confiscated property.

Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s troops swept enemy opposition from the Orangeburg Bridge on the North Edisto River as the march continued through South Carolina. Other skirmishing occurred near Columbia and Macon, Missouri; Lewisburg, Arkansas; and Waterloo, Alabama.

Monday February 13, 1865

Prospects for success remained dim for Confederates in South Carolina as General P.G.T. Beauregard had only remnants of troops available to defend Augusta, Georgia.

In Richmond, Virginia and elsewhere throughout the South there was increasing insistence that General Joseph E. Johnston be put in overall command in the Carolinas, though General Robert E. Lee believed that continual command change was unwise, even though he personally had a good opinion of Johnston.

In London, Lord Russell protested to Federal commissioners against the St. Albans, Vermont, Raid of Oct. 19, 1864, its aftermath in Canada and general activity on the Great Lakes waterways.

Tuesday February 14, 1865

Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s troops pushed across the Congaree River and the army turned towards Columbia. Skirmishing flared at Wolf’s Plantation and Gunter’s Bridge on the North Edisto River, South Carolina.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of February 8-14, 1865 

Active units:

1st Battalion Minnesota Infantry – Participated the Battle of Hatcher’s Run and were in the Siege of Petersburg, Virginia until April 2, 1865.    

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the march through the Carolinas until March 11, 1865.

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

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the march through the Carolinas until March 3, 1865.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in New Orleans, Louisiana until March 7, 1865.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in New Orleans, Louisiana until March 5, 1865.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in New Orleans, Louisiana until March 17, 1865.

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Washington, D.C. until February 21, 1865.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in New Orleans, Louisiana until March 17, 1865.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in New Orleans, Louisiana until March 17, 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 garrison duty at Chattanooga, Tennessee until September 27, 1865.

1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery – On the march through the Carolinas until March 3, 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 February 20, 1865. 

2nd United States Sharpshooters, Company A – Participated in the Siege of Petersburg until February 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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