This Week in the American Civil War: June 28 – July 7, 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 June 28, 1865

The C.S.S. Shenandoah took eleven whaling vessels in the Bering Sea. It was the last day of the cruiser’s operations.

Thursday June 29, 1865

The Ebensburg Alleghanian newspaper from Ebensburg, Pennsylvania, reported about an organized band of Southerners called the “White Ghosts” who were operating in the state “whose object is the wholesale robbery of our citizens. Look out for them!”

Word spread throughout the country that Edmund Ruffin, the person who fired the first shot at Fort Sumter, Charleston Harbor, South Carolina in April 1861, had committed suicide on June 17 declaring that he “preferred death to living under the United States Government.”

President Andrew Johnson pardoned a man named Cookey, who was convicted and sentenced to ten years imprisonment for burning the railroad bridges north of Baltimore, Maryland on April 15, 1861.

The military tribunal reached a verdict in the trial of the Lincoln Assassination Conspirators but did not announce the verdict.

Friday June 30, 1865

After a lengthy trial, the military commission sitting in Washington, D.C. found all eight alleged Lincoln assassination conspirators guilty. Dr. Samuel Mudd, Samuel Arnold, and Michael O’Laughlin received life sentences, while Edward Spangler was given six years in prison. David Herold, Lewis Payne, George A. Atzerodt, and Mary E. Surratt were sentenced to be hanged. An outcry went up over the decision to execute Mrs. Surratt and several efforts were made to have the sentence changed, but to no avail.

President Andrew Johnson named Benjamin F. Perry provisional governor of South Carolina.

Saturday July 1, 1865

New Hampshire ratified the Thirteenth Amendment, becoming the 23rd state to do so.

The steamer Olive Branch hit a snag late in the evening and sank 100 miles south of St. Louis on the Mississippi River. It was carrying a detachment of the 6th Illinois Cavalry. The captain and four privates drowned and 95 horses were lost.

The 1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery formally mustered out at St. Paul, Minnesota.

Sunday July 2, 1865

All the members of the 6th Kansas Volunteer Infantry, who have been in prison at Tyler, Texas, have returned to Little Rock, Arkansas and are on their way home. They were captured at Fort Smith, Arkansas during the war.

Hundreds of paroled Confederate soldiers were released from prison and were in the streets of Alta, California while awaiting transportation home.

Monday July 3, 1865

The records of the Confederate government were captured in Georgia.

The 3rd, 5th and 7th New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry regiments arrived in Concord, New Hampshire for mustering out of Federal service.

Tuesday July 4, 1865

The Independence Day celebrations in Washington, D.C. were subdued after four years of warfare. In cities throughout the South, freed slaves read the Emancipation Proclamation and the Declaration of Independence. It was a day of celebration throughout cities in the North and freed slaves in the South, but it began a tradition of ambivalence among southern whites that would last for decades.

Wednesday July 5, 1865

     The U.S. Secret Service was officially established in Washington, D.C. to suppress counterfeit currency. Chief William P. Wood was sworn in by Secretary of the Treasury Hugh McCulloch.

President Andrew Johnson signed an executive order upholding the conviction and allowing for the execution of four people associated with the conspiracy to assassinate Abraham Lincoln and other high ranking officials.

Major General John A. Logan issued an order calling for the immediate muster out of the Army of the Tennessee as the draw-down of forces continues. 

Thursday July 6, 1865

Major General Edward O.C. Ord assumed command of the Northern Military Department with headquarters in Detroit, Michigan.

Reports came from Florida that planters are behaving in an inhumane manner towards former slaves, and that slavery was “still very much at work.”

Friday July 7, 1865

     On a hot, oppressive midsummer’s day in Washington, D.C., a large crowd gathered in the Arsenal grounds at the Old Penitentiary Building. Four graves were dug, four prisoners were brought in, and four were hanged. Lewis Payne, George Atzerodt, David Herold and Mary E. Surratt, were executed for their roles in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Until the very last, it was hoped by some that there would be presidential intervention in the case of Mrs. Surratt, but it was not to be. The four other convicted conspirators were taken to Fort Jefferson on Dry Tortugas off Key West, Florida. There, in 1867, Michael O’Laughlin died of yellow fever. Because of his role as a doctor in the epidemic, Samuel Mudd was pardoned in 1868, and in 1869 Edward Spangler and Samuel Arnold were also pardoned.

What began with the hanging of abolitionist John Brown on December 2, 1859, ended with the hanging of four conspirators in the assassination of a beloved president. The Civil War claimed the lives of over 623,000 Americans, both Union and Confederate, and ushered the United States into an era of Federalism with questions between the rights of states and the Federal government that would linger for the next 150 years.

Final Disposition of Minnesota Civil War Regiments 

Active units:

1st Battalion Minnesota Infantry – Mustered out at Louisville, Kentucky on July 15, 1865 and went home.       

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Mustered out at Louisville, Kentucky on July 11, 1865 and went home.

3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Returned from  Batesville, Arkansas and mustered out at Fort Snelling on September 16, 1865.

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Mustered out at Louisville, Kentucky on July 19, 1865 and discharged at St. Paul, Minnesota on August 7, 1865.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Montgomery, Selma and Demopolis, Alabama until August 1865 when they moved to St. Paul, Minnesota and were mustered out on September 6, 1865.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Montgomery, Alabama until July 1865 when they moved to St. Paul, Minnesota and were mustered out on August 19, 1865.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Selma, Alabama until July 20, 1865 when they moved to St. Paul, Minnesota and were mustered out on August 16, 1865.

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Raleigh, Greensboro and Charlotte, N.C. until July 11, 1865 when they were mustered out and sent home.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Montgomery and Selma, Alabama until July 26, 1865 when they moved to St. Paul, Minnesota and were mustered out August 24, 1865.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Meridian, Mississippi until July 1865 when they moved to St. Paul, Minnesota and were mustered out on August 18, 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. They mustered out June 26, 1865 and returned to St. Paul, Minnesota where they were discharged on July 11, 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. The regiment began the muster out process on November 17, 1865 one company at a time, completing the process on May 2, 1866.

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. They mustered out June 1, 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. They began the mustering out process on April 26, 1866 and completed it on June 22, 1866.

1st Minnesota Heavy Artillery Battery – On garrison duty at Chattanooga, Tennessee until September 27, 1865 when they were mustered out and sent home.

1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery – Mustered out at St. Paul, Minnesota on July 1, 1865.

2nd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – On duty in Philadelphia, Tennessee until July 1865 when they moved to St. Paul, Minnesota and were mustered out on August 16, 1865.

3rd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – On duty in Dakota Territory until February 27, 1866 when they were mustered out at Fort Wadsworth, Dakota Territory.                                                                                                                                   

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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