This Week in the American Civil War: March 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 March 8, 1865

Confederates under General Braxton Bragg attacked the soldiers of Federal Major General Jacob D. Cox’s army in the morning forcing a green Federal brigade to break. However, other units repulsed the Confederate attacks in the opening salvo of the Battle of Kinston, North Carolina. It was intended to be a major move against the Federal invasion force coming in from the coast, but the Confederate numbers were too small to sustain more than a momentary attack.

Skirmishing occurred at Love’s Bridge, South Carolina; Jackson County, Tennessee; Duguidsville, Virginia; and Poison Creek, Indian Territory.

Secretary of the Interior John P. Usher submitted his resignation to President Abraham Lincoln.

The Confederate Senate, by a vote of 9 to 8, approved the use of Negroes as soldiers.

Thursday March 9, 1865

Skirmishing continued at Kinston, North Carolina between General Braxton Bragg’s Confederates and Federal Major General Jacob D. Cox’s army.

Confederate cavalry swept in to attack a completely surprised Federal cavalry at Monroe’s Cross Roads, South Carolina, nearly capturing Brigadier General Judson Kilpatrick who allegedly fled without his trousers.

President Abraham Lincoln accepted the resignation of Secretary of the Interior John P. Usher, to be effective on May 15. Assistant Secretary William Otto handled the department until a successor could be named and confirmed.

Friday March 10, 1865

Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s army was nearing Fayetteville, North Carolina, with some difficulty from the wet weather and skirmishing with the Confederate cavalry.

The fighting at Kinston, North Carolina ended after several serious Confederate attacks against Federal Major General Jacob D. Cox’s defenders. At night, Confederate General Braxton Bragg retreated to Kinston and then to Goldsborough to join General Joseph E. Johnston.      

Saturday March 11, 1865

The second step of Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s Carolina Campaign came to an end with the occupation of Fayetteville, North Carolina. The whole army pulled up to the city in the southern part of the state after light skirmishing. Sherman sent messengers to Wilmington, North Carolina to make contact with Major General John Schofield, in order to report his presence and arrange for coordination with the force coming in from the sea and form a two-pronged attack against Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston’s forces.

President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a pardon to all who had deserted from the military or naval forces of the United States and returned within sixty days. If they did not return, they would forfeit their rights of citizenship.

The U.S. Senate adjourned after a brief special session to deal primarily with appointments. Presidential secretary John Nicolay was confirmed as U.S. consul in Paris, France.

Sunday March 12, 1865

    Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s army remained in Fayetteville, North Carolina. They undertook the usual destruction of machinery, buildings and property they deemed of use to the enemy, including the former U.S. Arsenal and the machinery brought up from the old Harper’s Ferry Arsenal in 1861. Sherman also ordered the coastal troops to march straight for Goldsborough, North Carolina.

Skirmishing occurred near Peach Grove, Virginia; Morganza Bend, Louisiana; and near Lone Jack, Missouri.

Monday March 13, 1865

CONFEDERACY APPROVES NEGRO SOLDIERS

The Confederate Congress, after much delay and debate, finally sent a measure calling for the enlistment of Negroes in the Army to Confederate President Jefferson Davis, who immediately signed it. Davis was authorized to call upon owners to volunteer their slaves and, it was general understood even if it wasn’t specifically stated, that any slaves who fought for the Confederacy would be made free by action of the states. The law was too late to be of much value.

Skirmishing occurred at Fayetteville, North Carolina; Beaver Dam Station, Virginia; Charles Town, West Virginia; and Dalton, Georgia.

Tuesday March 14, 1865

Major General Jacob D. Cox’s Federal troops occupied Kinston, North Carolina, in their advance inland from the sea towards Goldsborough and a junction with Major General William T. Sherman’s army.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of March 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 duty at Fayetteville, North Carolina until March 19, 1865.

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

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Cheraw, South Carolina until March 19, 1865.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Campaign against Mobile, Alabama and its defenses until March 26, 1865.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Campaign against Mobile, Alabama and its defenses until March 26, 1865.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Campaign against Mobile, Alabama and its defenses until March 26, 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 duty at Cheraw, South Carolina until March 20, 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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