This Week in the American Civil War: May 24-30, 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 24, 1865


For the second straight day the troops paraded in review in Washington, D.C. This time is was the men of Major General William T. Sherman’s armies. They were more ragged, more loose in their marching and more rough-cut than those of the Army of the Potomac who marched the previous day. In the rear of some units were the typical “Sherman’s bummers,” complete with mules laden with camp equipage and the spoils of foraging. Negro followers joined in with camp pets, adding a less formal air to the Grand Review. Sherman, halting at the White House reviewing stand, shook hands with President Andrew Johnson but refused to shake hands with Secretary of War Edwin Stanton because of their previous disagreement regarding the surrender of Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston.

Sporadic shooting still occurred, mainly Federals versus guerrillas, this time near Rocheport, Missouri.

Thursday May 25, 1865

With the reviews over in Washington, troops dispersed and most of them hurried home. Confederates evacuated Sabine Pass, Texas.

Twenty tons of captured Confederate black powder “shook the foundations” of Mobile, Alabama, when it exploded in a warehouse being used as an arsenal. The powder blast set off numerous other explosions. Boats at the dock, warehouses and other buildings were left in ruins. There may have been as many as 300 casualties. Property loss was estimated at $5 million.

Friday May 26, 1865


At New Orleans, Confederate Lieutenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner, acting for General E. Kirby Smith, Confederate commander of the Trans-Mississippi Department, entered into a military convention with Federal Major General Peter J. Osterhaus, representing Major General Edward R. S. Canby. Under the terms of the surrender, all resistance would cease, and officers and men would be paroled under the terms similar to those of the Appomattox surrender. Some troops, including part of Jo Shelby’s command, refused the terms and scattered to Mexico, the Far West, or just went home. Now only Confederate Brigadier General Stand Watie, in charge of the Indian Division, remained the last holdout to surrender.

Saturday May 27, 1865

Minor skirmishing was reported in Chariton County, Missouri, particularly at Switzler’s Mill.

President Andrew Johnson ordered most of the people imprisoned by military authorities to be discharged. This, of course, did not include the Lincoln Assassination conspirators who were still going through their trial.

Sunday May 28, 1865

The 8th Ohio Cavalry was ordered to seize and secure all Confederate arms known to exist in the interior of West Virginia, and to capture those who fail to surrender.

Seven Confederates, George R. Smith, Michael S. Barnhart, Hugh McGee, Nick Taylor, Jonas Myers, Rufus Holmes and Thomas Raney arrived at Federal headquarters at the St. Charles Hotel in Pocahontas, Arkansas with hopes of receiving their paroles and going home. Instead, they were bound, blindfolded and shot on Bettis Street in front of the hotel. Two additional unnamed Confederates were wounded but lived and three additional men were able to escape unharmed. A detachment of the 7th Kansas Cavalry Company C, approximately 45 in number, was responsible for the massacre.

Monday May 29, 1865

By presidential proclamation, President Andrew Johnson granted amnesty and pardon to all people who directly or indirectly participated in “the existing rebellion” with a few exceptions. Though he had followed the pattern laid down by Lincoln, except that people who participated in the Civil War and had a taxable property of over $20,000 were excluded. There were numerous other excepted classes where those impacted could apply to the President where “such clemency will be liberally extended as may be consistent with the facts of the case and the pace and dignity of the United States.” Johnson was liberal in granting such clemency, which set the tone for his later reconstruction policies.

Tuesday May 30, 1865

Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court John Catron passed away in Nashville, Tennessee at age 79. After his death, Congress eliminated his seat from the Court under the Judicial Circuits Act as a way of preventing President Andrew Johnson from appointing any justices to the Supreme Court.

The first storm of the 1865 Hurricane Season, a tropical storm in the Caribbean Sea wrecked the Golden Rule. After the storm, the crew sailed to a deserted island where they were rescued by two United States ships 10 days later.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of May 24-30, 1865 

Active units:

1st Battalion Minnesota Infantry – On duty in Washington, D.C. until June 6, 1865.     

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Washington, D.C. until June 14, 1865.

3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Batesville, Arkansas until September 2, 1865.

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Washington, D.C. until June 2, 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 Selma, Alabama until July 20, 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 duty in Washington, D.C. until June 12, 1865.

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

3rd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – On duty in Dakota Territory until October 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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