This Week in the American Civil War: May 3-9, 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 May 3, 1865

By daylight, Confederate President Jefferson Davis and what remained of his Cabinet crossed the Savannah River, moving to Washington, Georgia. Reluctantly, Davis accepted the resignation of Secretary of the Navy S.R. Mallory, one of the two Cabinet members who had served in the same post since the founding of the Confederacy. Judah Benjamin also departed and eventually escaped to Britain.

President Abraham Lincoln’s Funeral Train arrived at Springfield, Illinois, its final destination.

Skirmishing continued on the Missouri River near Booneville, and near Pleasant Hill, both in Missouri.

Thursday May 4, 1865

At a conference at Citronelle, Alabama, forty miles north of Mobile, Confederate Lieutenant General Richard Taylor surrendered his forces in the Department of Alabama, Mississippi and East Louisiana. As in other surrenders, officers and men retained their horses and the men signed paroles. Taylor was allowed to retain control of the railways and steamers to transport troops home.

Sporadic action continued with skirmishing at Star House near Lexington, Missouri; and at Wetumpka, Alabama.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis’s dwindling entourage continued southward into Georgia.

In Springfield, Illinois, President Abraham Lincoln was laid to rest.

Friday May 5, 1865

The once gallant Confederate army now only numbered the force of E. Kirby Smith in the Trans-Mississippi as its only major army.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis was at Sandersville, Georgia.

Skirmishing occurred on the Perche Hills, Missouri, and at Summerville, Georgia.

Connecticut ratified the Thirteenth Amendment.

Saturday May 6, 1865

The Federal War Department issued orders setting up the military commission to try the alleged Lincoln conspirators. The commission was led by Major General David Hunter, with Brigadier General Joseph Holt as judge advocate.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis, near Sandersville, Georgia, was attempting to get south of points occupied by Federal troops. Various cavalry units, now actively pursuing the Confederate leader, scoured the countryside.

Sunday May 7, 1865

Confederate guerrillas, 110 in number, proceeded to attack the town of Kingsville, Missouri and burn down five houses. Eight people were killed and two were wounded.

President Andrew Johnson, at the urging of Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, appointed through Executive Order, the Honorable John A. Bingham as special judge advocate in the military commission set up to try the Lincoln assassination conspirators.

Captain Henry Wirz, the Confederate commander of the Andersonville prison camp, was arrested and sent to Washington, D.C. by rail.

Monday May 8, 1865

The Federal commissioners of E.R.S. Canby accepted the paroles of Richard Taylor’s troops in Mississippi, Alabama and east Louisiana. Canby was under orders to prepare part of an expedition planned by Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant into the Trans-Mississippi, where the last sizable force of Confederate still held out. There was also talk of negotiations in the Trans-Mississippi.

Throughout the Confederacy, small groups and individual soldiers surrendered or just went home.

Tuesday May 9, 1865

In Arkansas, negotiations were going on at Chalk Bluff on the St. Francis River for the surrender of the men of Confederate Brigadier General M. Jeff Thompson, the eccentric and brilliant Confederate leader in Missouri and the West.

President Andrew Johnson recognized Francis H. Pierpoint as governor of Virginia. During the war, Pierpoint had headed a Federal “restored” state of Virginia in the territory held by the Federals.

The trial of the eight Lincoln assassination conspirators began.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his wife met near Dublin on the Oconee River in Georgia. Meanwhile, Federal cavalry closed in on the remnant of the Confederate government.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of May 3-9, 1865 

Active units:

1st Battalion Minnesota Infantry – On the march to Washington, D.C. until May 12, 1865.

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the march to Washington, D.C. until May 19, 1865.

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

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the march to Washington, D.C. until May 20, 1865.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Montgomery, Selma and Demopolis, Alabama until August 1865.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Montgomery, Alabama until July 1865.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Montgomery, Alabama until May 10, 1865.

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Raleigh, Greensboro and Charlotte, N.C. until July 11, 1865.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Montgomery and Selma, Alabama until July 26, 1865.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Meridian, Mississippi until July 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 to Washington, D.C. until May 24, 1865.

2nd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – On duty in Philadelphia, Tennessee until July 1865.

3rd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – Various sections on duty at Fort Ridgely, Fort Ripley and Fort Sisseton until May 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.

1st United States Sharpshooters Company I Mustered out of Federal Service on March 19, 1865.

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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