This Week in the American Civil War: February 22-28, 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 22, 1865

The Federals entered Wilmington, North Carolina without opposition. The last major port of the South was now lost as Confederate General Braxton Bragg had withdrawn the last of his troops before daylight broke. The Confederates were able to remove their most important stores with the help of the Weldon and Wilmington Railroad, but the rest was destroyed. The two-pronged Federal attack under Major General John Schofield was a success.

Official orders from Confederate General-in-Chief Robert E. Lee assigned General Joseph E. Johnston to the Department of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, and the Department of Tennessee and Georgia. Johnston was ordered to concentrate all available forces, especially those coming in from the West.

Tennessee voters approved the new state constitution which included the abolition of slavery and abrogation of all Confederate debts. However, Kentucky rejected the Thirteenth Amendment which abolished slavery.

Thursday February 23, 1865

MINNESOTA RATIFIES 13th AMENDMENT

Federal troops at Wilmington, North Carolina consolidated their gains while the advance of Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s troops crossed the Catawba River in South Carolina, getting closer to the North Carolina line. A light skirmish occurred near Camden, South Carolina as heavy rains moved in halting the advance.

Minnesota ratified the Thirteenth Amendment.

Friday February 24, 1865

The heavy rain holding up Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s advance also hindered the ability for the Confederates to concentrate their forces.

Skirmishing occurred at Camden, South Carolina and at Switzler’s Mill, Missouri.      

Saturday February 25, 1865

Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston assumed command of the Army of Tennessee, now in the Carolinas, and all troops in the Department of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Johnston pointed out to General Robert E. Lee, the Confederacy’s General-in-Chief, the difficulties of concentrating his Confederates and stress that he had between 20,000 and 25,000 men to oppose the Federal army under Major General William T. Sherman coming north from South Carolina.

Skirmishing occurred at West’s Cross Roads, South Carolina; and at Piketon, Kentucky.

Sunday February 26, 1865

    Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s advance troops reached Hanging Rock, South Carolina, but other movements were slowed by the heavy rains. Skirmishing occurred at Lynch’s Creek and near Stroud’s Mill, South Carolina.

Monday February 27, 1865

Federal Major General Phil Sheridan’s force of ten thousand cavalry left Winchester, Virginia and headed south to destroy the Virginia Central Railroad and James River Canal, under orders from Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant. They were then to take Lynchburg and then either join Major General William T. Sherman in North Carolina or return to Winchester, Virginia. Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early only had two weakened brigades and a few pieces of artillery to halt Sheridan’s movements.

Minor skirmishing occurred at Mount Elon and Cloud’s House, South Carolina; Sturgeon, Missouri; and at Spring Place, Georgia.

Tuesday February 28, 1865

Skirmishes near Rocky Mount and Cheraw, South Carolina marked the march of Federal Major General William T. Sherman, while Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston was attempting to create a plan to oppose the Federal advance. As the month ended, the entire Confederate military position was quite precarious.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of February 22-28, 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 – En route to Kinston and Goldsborough, North Carolina until March 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 March 19, 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. 

2nd United States Sharpshooters, Company A – Transferred to the 1st Battalion, Minnesota Infantry on February 20, 1865 at Petersburg, Virginia for duration of service.

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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