This Week in the American Civil War: May 31 – June 6, 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 31, 1865

Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood surrendered to Federal authorities at Natchez, Mississippi and was immediately paroled.

Thursday June 1, 1865

The country observed a national day of mourning for the late-President Abraham Lincoln, as ordered by President Andrew Johnson.

Friday June 2, 1865

In Galveston, Texas, Confederate General E. Kirby Smith officially accepted the surrender terms as agreed upon in New Orleans the previous week.

Lambdin P. Milligan and W.A. Bowles, condemned to be executed on this day, were reprieved and sentenced to life in prison. Proceedings had been instituted in the federal courts to reverse their conviction by military court-martial on charges of conspiring against the United States, giving aid and comfort to the rebels, and inciting insurrection. Milligan, a prominent Indiana leader of the Copperheads, was arrested on Oct. 5, 1864.

The British government officially withdrew belligerent rights from the Confederacy.

President Andrew Johnson lifted military restrictions on trade in the United States except on contraband of war.

Saturday June 3, 1865

Confederate naval forces on the Red River officially surrendered.

As the Civil War between the Union and Confederacy was winding down, the United States Army began to focus its attention on Native Americans in the West. The 11th Kansas Cavalry, under command of Colonel Preston Plumb, engaged in a skirmish with approximately 60 Indians near modern-day Casper, Wyoming in the Battle of Dry Creek. One Indian was killed and five were wounded, while Plumb’s command sustained two fatalities.

In the trial of the Lincoln conspirators, defense attorneys argued that Lewis Payne should not be found guilty by reason of insanity.

Sunday June 4, 1865

Minnesotans received news via the St. Paul Press newspaper that the planned muster out of the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th Minnesota Infantry Regiments, had been revoked. The newspaper printed a scathing letter by Governor Stephen Miller denouncing the revocation.

Monday June 5, 1865

Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant departed Washington, D.C. for West Point, N.Y., in order to attend to the annual session of the military examining board.

Tuesday June 6, 1865

Citizens of Missouri ratified a new state constitution abolishing slavery.

The notorious Confederate guerrilla, William Clarke Quantrill, died in Louisville, Kentucky of wounds sustained in a shootout on May 10. He was 27 years of age.

Confederate prisoners of war who were willing to take the oath of allegiance were declared released by President Andrew Johnson. Officers above the rank of army captain or navy lieutenant were exceptions.

Major General John Hartranft, concluding that the Lincoln conspirator prisoners were suffering too much while wearing hoods during the trial, ordered them removed.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of May 31 – June 6, 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 Louisville, Kentucky until July 19, 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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