This Week in the American Civil War: October 26-November 1, 1864

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 October 26, 1864

The Confederate Army of Tennessee, under Lieutenant General John Bell Hood, demonstrated against the Federals at Decatur, Alabama and then proceeded westward, giving up any idea of crossing the Tennessee River at Decatur.

Skirmishing at Glasgow and Albany, Missouri, Confederate Major General Sterling Price’s troops were continuing their retreat after the failed battle at Westport (currently part of Kansas City).

Confederate guerrilla “Bloody Bill” Anderson was killed in an ambush near Richmond, Missouri.

Thursday October 27, 1864

The fighting front at Petersburg, Virginia had been quiet for several weeks except for firing from sharpshooters of both sides. Now the Federals had moved once again to the left towards Boydton Plank Road and Hatcher’s Run to Burgess’s Mill, about twelve miles west and south of Petersburg. They were aiming for the South Side Railroad. Near Burgess’s Mill on the Boydton Plank Road, they received a sharp Confederate opposition. After the engagement, the Federal force retired leaving the Boydton Plank Road and South Side Railroad in Confederate hands for the winter. Federal losses amounted to 166 killed, 1,028 wounded and 564 missing for a total of 1,758. Confederates sustained unknown losses.

During the night, a steam launch with a torpedo on the end of a pole moved silently up the Roanoke River to Plymouth, North Carolina, where the Confederate ironclad C.S.S. Albemarle was located. Led by Navy Lieutenant William B. Cushing, the launch struck the log boom that protected the Albemarle, smashed through and exploded the torpedo against the hull. Cushing and his crew plunged into the water and the Albemarle sank. It was one of the most daring, and successful, adventures of the entire Civil War.

Friday October 28, 1864

Federal Major General Samuel Curtis caught up with the retreating and enfeebled column of Confederates under Major General Sterling Price south of Newtonia, Missouri. Though Curtis wanted to decimate Price’s army, the troops belonging to Major General William Rosecrans Department of Missouri were called back to their stations. Though Curtis protested to Major General Henry Halleck in Washington, to no avail, pursuing Price was out of the question.

Action in Alabama intensified as Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood’s force moved westward across the state, skirmishing with Federals at Ladiga and Goshen. Federal Major General William T. Sherman, now at Gaylesville, Alabama, learned that Hood had left Gadsden for Decatur, and decided to return to Atlanta where he could march toward the coast. This would leave Major General George Thomas, currently at Nashville, in position to handle Hood. It now seemed that the two major armies were marching opposite from each other when normally their aims would have been to destroy each other.      

Saturday October 29, 1864

Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood’s Army of Tennesee continued towards Courtland from Decatur, Alabama, while a skirmish at Upshaw’s Farm in Barry County, Missouri, brought an end to the Federal’s pursuit of Confederate Major General Sterling Price.

Other fighting occurred at Johnson’s Farm, Virginia; Beverly, West Virginia; Warrenton, Missouri; Nonconnah Creek, Tennessee; and Confederates attacked Vanceburg, Kentucky.

Sunday October 30, 1864

     Advance elements of the Confederate Army of Tennessee reached Tuscumbia, Alabama. They also occupied Florence, north of the Tennessee River. Skirmishing flared at nearby Muscle Shoals. Meanwhile, Federals gathered in Tennessee to oppose Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood’s army. Hood expected Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest’s command to join him, but Forrest had moved north from Jackson, Tennessee to the Tennessee River near Forts Heiman and Henry.

C.S.S. Olustee, formerly the raider Tallahassee, ran the Wilmington blockade and took six prizes during the first week of November.

Monday October 31, 1864

Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood arrived at Tuscumbia, Alabama and reinforced his troops across the Tennessee River at Florence. Hood now felt that he had a base for the invasion of Tennessee and still hoped that Federal Major General William T. Sherman would follow him.

On the Tennessee River to the north, Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest arrived at Fort Heiman, where his men had disrupted Federal river traffic. Forrest decided to organize a makeshift Confederate “navy” on the Tennessee River utilizing the vessels that he had recently captured.

Nevada entered the Union as the thirty-sixth state by a proclamation of President Abraham Lincoln.

Tuesday November 1, 1864

Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest headed south with his “navy” of two captured vessels. The boats, with the artillery dragging its guns through the mud on the banks alongside, moved towards Johnsonville, Tennessee.

In Missouri, action occurred at Rolla, on the Big Piney River near Waynesville, near Lebanon, and at Greenton. Otherwise, skirmishes are recorded for Green Spring Run, West Virginia; and Union Station, Tennessee.

Two divisions of the U.S. Sixteenth Corps, under Major General A.J. Smith, detained in Missouri to help expel Confederate Major General Sterling Price, finally headed to Nashville to join Major General George Thomas’s command.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of October 26- November 1, 1864 

Active units:

1st Battalion Minnesota Infantry – Participated in the Siege of Petersburg, Virginia until April 2, 1865. 

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Participated in Operations in North Georgia and North Alabama against Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood until November 3, 1864.

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

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On garrison duty at Allatoona, Georgia until November 15, 1864.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the expedition through Arkansas and Missouri in pursuit of Sterling Price until November 15, 1864.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Helena, Arkansas until Nov. 4, 1864.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the expedition through Arkansas and Missouri in pursuit of Sterling Price until November 15, 1864.

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – En route to Murfreesboro, Tennessee for duty, arriving there November 7, 1864.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the expedition through Arkansas and Missouri in pursuit of Sterling Price until November 15, 1864.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the expedition through Arkansas and Missouri in pursuit of Sterling Price until November 15, 1864.

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 thewar – until April 26, 1866.

1st Minnesota Heavy Artillery Battery – Organized at St. Paul and Rochester until February 1865.

1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery - Participated in Operations in North Georgia and North Alabama against Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood until November 3, 1864.

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 Feb. 20, 1865. 

2nd United States Sharpshooters, Company A – Participated in the Siege of Petersburg until Feb. 20, 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.

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This Week in the American Civil War: October 19-25, 1864

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 October 19, 1864

BATTLE OF CEDAR CREEK AND ST. ALBANS, VT RAID

Concealed by an early morning fog as they worked their way around Three-Top Mountain, the three forces of Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early struck the Federal encampment at Cedar Creek, near Belle Grove, Virginia. The Federal positions crumpled as the Confederates gained full possession of the camps and earthworks of the Eighth and Nineteenth Corps of Major General Phil Sheridan’s Federal force. Sheridan had been in Washington, leaving command to Major General Horatio Wright. Though he was on his way back to Cedar Creek by the time the battle commenced, he was in Winchester examining the defenses of the town when the first shots were fired. He arrived on the battlefield around 10:30 a.m. and assumed command. After inspiring his troops and strengthening his lines, the Federals fought back and pushed the Confederates back to Fisher’s Hill at great cost. Out of more than 30,000 troops engaged, the Federals lost 644 killed, 3,430 wounded and 1,591 missing for a total of 5,665 casualties. Losses for the Confederates number approximately 320 killed, 1,540 wounded and 1,050 missing for a total of 2,910 though the number engaged ranges from 8,800 to 18,000. Confederate Major General Stephen D. Ramseur was mortally wounded.  Cedar Creek marked the last major battle of the war in the Shenandoah. Though Early’s remnant continued to be a nuisance, the Federals controlled the Valley until the end of the war.

Confederate Lieutenant Bennett H. Young and twenty-five Confederate soldiers descended on St. Albans, Vermont, a town fifteen miles from the Canadian border. Though operating from Canada, Young planned to burn and loot several towns. The Confederates robbed three St. Albans banks of over $200,000. As the citizens of the town began to resist, they mortally wounded one and injured other raiders. Young and a dozen Confederates were arrested after a short pursuit to the Canadian border. Only $75,000 of the stolen money was recovered.

Thursday October 20, 1864

In Virginia, brief fighting broke out near Fisher’s Hill as Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s men fell back after their defeat at Cedar Creek.

Skirmishing occurred at Blue Pond and Little River, Alabama; near Memphis, Tennessee; at Waterloo, Louisiana; and at Benton County, Arkansas. Indians attacked settlements in the Platte Valley near Alkali Station, Nebraska Territory.

President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation setting aside the last Thursday in November “as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to Almighty God the beneficent Creator and Ruler of the Universe.”

Friday October 21, 1864

Confederates under Major General Sterling Price, moving out from Lexington, Missouri, fought a successful skirmish on the Little Blue River against the Federal defenders who were evacuating Independence, Missouri. Elsewhere, fighting was limited to skirmishes at Bryant’s Plantation, Florida; Harrodsburg, Kentucky; Leesburg, Alabama; Sneedville, Tennessee; and another fight with Indians at Alkali Station, Nebraska Territory.  Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s army halted at Gaylesville, Alabama, while in pursuit of Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood’s Army of Tennessee.      

Saturday October 22, 1864

As fighting broke out near Independence, Missouri, at Mockabee Farm, on the Big Blue River at Byram’s Ford, and at State Line, Confederate Major General Sterling Price , now at Westport (part of today’s Kansas City), prepared to turn on the Federals closing in on him in northwest Missouri.

Other action this day included Confederate guerrillas who attacked a Union transport on the White River near St. Charles, Arkansas, while Indians and Federals skirmished near Midway Station, Nebraska Territory.

At Guntersville, Alabama, Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood found the Tennessee River too high for crossing, so his Army of Tennessee continued west across northern Alabama.

Captures of blockade-runners off of Charleston, South Carolina; and Wilmington, North Carolina, were increasing with the Federal Navy becoming more proficient at stopping the illicit trade. It also made the trade more lucrative.

Sunday October 23, 1864

     BATTLE OF WESTPORT, MISSOURI

Along Brush Creek at Westport, just south of Kansas City, Missouri, Confederate Major General Sterling Price’s force attacked Federal Major General Samuel Curtis’s troops. However, Curtis received word of the Confederate movements from spies, including “Wild Bill” Hickok, and was preparing for battle. After two hours of fighting, the Confederates pushed the Federals back across Brush Creek, but Curtis ordered the Federals to cross the creek again in a counterattack. For two more hours, fighting raged on the plateau. Led by the 9th Wisconsin Artillery, Curtis’s personal guard, the Federals were able to take advantage of a small ravine cut by Swan Creek, and turn the Confederate left flank. Other fighting took place at nearby Byram’s Ford to the east. By early afternoon, Price was forced to withdraw his entire army southward towards the Missouri-Kansas state line. The last Confederate effort in Missouri was over, as was all major fighting west of the Mississippi River. The Federals engaged approximately 20,000 troops to the Confederate’s 8,000, though each side lost around 1,500 in killed, wounded and missing. The Battle of Westport is often called the “Gettysburg of the West” for the insurmountable odds the Confederates faced to their numerically superior foe.

Monday October 24, 1864

Confederate Major General Sterling Price seemed to be in no great hurry as he moved his force south along the Kansas state line, protecting his long and valuable wagon train, which included much plunder. However, although slow in starting, Federal Major General Samuel Curtis pushed the pursuit of Price under Major Generals James G. Blount and Alfred Pleasonton.

Tuesday October 25, 1864

Pursuing Federals caught up with Confederate Major General Sterling Price’s retreating force south of Westport, Missouri. Federal Major General Alfred Pleasonton led a heavy engagement at the Marais des Cygnes River and at Mine Creek, Kansas. Two Confederate divisions broke and the wagon train was damaged. Price was forced to burn about a third of his wagon train and hurry south with the remnant of his command.

Fighting erupted near Round Mountain, at Turkeytown and on the Gadsden Road, all in Alabama, as Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood’s army skirmished with Major General William T. Sherman’s Federals.

Other skirmishing occurred at Milford, Virginia; and near Halfway House between Little Rock and Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of October 19-25, 1864 

Active units:

1st Battalion Minnesota Infantry – Participated in the Siege of Petersburg, Virginia until April 2, 1865. 

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Participated in Operations in North Georgia and North Alabama against Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood until November 3, 1864.

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

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On garrison duty at Allatoona, Georgia until November 15, 1864.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the expedition through Arkansas and Missouri in pursuit of Sterling Price until November 15, 1864.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Helena, Arkansas until Nov. 4, 1864.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the expedition through Arkansas and Missouri in pursuit of Sterling Price until November 15, 1864.

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – En route to Murfreesboro, Tennessee for duty, arriving there November 7, 1864.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the expedition through Arkansas and Missouri in pursuit of Sterling Price until November 15, 1864.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the expedition through Arkansas and Missouri in pursuit of Sterling Price until November 15, 1864.

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 – Organized at St. Paul and Rochester until February 1865.

1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery - Participated in Operations in North Georgia and North Alabama against Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood until November 3, 1864.

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 Feb. 20, 1865. 

2nd United States Sharpshooters, Company A – Participated in the Siege of Petersburg until Feb. 20, 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.

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This Week in the American Civil War: October 12-18, 1864

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 October 12, 1864

The Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, Robert Brooke Taney, died in Washington. Although criticized for many of his decisions, particularly the Dred Scott Decision, Taney remains one of the major figures in American jurisprudence.

Elements of Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood’s forces skirmished with Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s troops at Resaca, La Fayette and near Rome, Georgia. Fighting also occurred at Greeneville, Tennessee and at Strasburg, Virginia, in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia.

Federal Rear Admiral David Dixon Porter assumed command of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron with the idea of reducing Fort Fisher near Wilmington, North Carolina. He relieved Acting Rear Admiral S.P. Lee.

Thursday October 13, 1864

Maryland voters adopted a new state constitution which included abolition of slavery. The vote was 30,174 in favor of the constitution with 29,799 opposed for a thin margin of only 375 votes.

Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s defenders in north Georgia held Recasa but Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood’s troops seized the important railroad north to Tunnel Hill, including Dalton and Tilton, Georgia.

In Virginia, Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s troops were back on the line at Fisher’s Hill while Federal Major General Phil Sheridan’s force was at Cedar Creek.

Skirmishing broke out at Mullahla’s Station, Nebraska and at Elm Creek, Texas.

Mosby’s Raiders took up a section of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad near Kearneysville, west of Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia. They wrecked a passenger train, seized $173,000 from two army paymasters, and then burned the train.

President Abraham Lincoln, still worried about the election despite the recent victories, made an estimate of the electoral vote, giving the “Supposed Copperhead Vote” 114 electoral votes to the “Union Vote” of 120. He was also trying to see that as many soldiers as possible got home to vote, assuming he had strong support in the Army.

Friday October 14, 1864

Action increased in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia where two armies faced each other only a few miles apart. Skirmishing took place at Strasburg, Virginia near Hupp’s Hill, and at Duffield’s Station, West Virginia.

Confederate General Sterling Price continued to move through Missouri with a skirmish near Glasgow. He made a public plea for people to join with him to “redeem” Missouri. Confederates then attacked Danville, Missouri.

Other skirmishing occurred at Fort Smith, Arkansas; Boca Chica Pass, Texas; and at Adamstown, Maryland.      

Saturday October 15, 1864

In Washington, funeral services were held for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Roger B. Taney, who passed away earlier in the week. President Abraham Lincoln was in attendance.

The usual fighting included action at Hernando, Mississippi; Snake Creek Gap, Georgia; Mossy Creek, Tennessee; Bayou Liddell, Louisiana; and Sedalia, Missouri.

Sunday October 16, 1864

     Minor fighting occurred in north Georgia between the troops of Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood and Federal Major General William T. Sherman. This time, the fighting occurred at Ship’s Gap, Georgia. Other skirmishing occurred at Bull’s Gap, Tennessee; and Morganza, Louisiana.

Monday October 17, 1864

The Army of Tennessee under Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood had given up harassing Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s Chattanooga-Atlanta rail line and moved west towards Gadsden, Alabama.

Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard assumed command of the Confederate Military Division of the West, comprising all operations east of the Mississippi River in the Western Region.

Skirmishing occurred at Cedar Run Church, Virginia; Eddyville, Kentucky; and at Carrollton and Smithville, Missouri, which was burned to the ground.

Confederate Lieutenant General James Longstreet received orders to resume command of his corps, having recovered from wounds sustained at the Battle of the Wilderness earlier in the spring.

Tuesday October 18, 1864

Confederate generals clambered around the edges of Massanutten Mountain in the Shenandoah Valley overlooking Federal positions at Cedar Creek, then plotted a full scale attack on Federal Major General Phil Sheridan’s position by Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s small but willing force.

Otherwise, fighting was limited to skirmishes at Milton, Florida; the Northwestern Railroad and Nashville, Tennessee; Summerville, Georgia; Huntsville, Alabama; Clinch Mountain, Tennessee; and Barry County, Missouri.

Pro-Confederate ladies of Britain held a benefit for Confederate soldiers at St. George’s Hall in Liverpool, England.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of October 12-18, 1864 

Active units:

1st Battalion Minnesota Infantry – Participated in the Siege of Petersburg, Virginia until April 2, 1865. 

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Participated in Operations in North Georgia and North Alabama against Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood until November 3, 1864.

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

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On garrison duty at Allatoona, Georgia until November 15, 1864.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the expedition through Arkansas and Missouri in pursuit of Sterling Price until November 15, 1864.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Helena, Arkansas until Nov. 4, 1864.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the expedition through Arkansas and Missouri in pursuit of Sterling Price until November 15, 1864.

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – En route to Murfreesboro, Tennessee for duty, arriving there November 7, 1864.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the expedition through Arkansas and Missouri in pursuit of Sterling Price until November 15, 1864.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the expedition through Arkansas and Missouri in pursuit of Sterling Price until November 15, 1864.

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 thewar – until April 26, 1866.

1st Minnesota Heavy Artillery Battery – Organized at St. Paul and Rochester until February 1865.

1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery - Participated in Operations in North Georgia and North Alabama against Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood until November 3, 1864.

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 Feb. 20, 1865. 

2nd United States Sharpshooters, Company A – Participated in the Siege of Petersburg until Feb. 20, 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.

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This Week in the American Civil War: October 5-11, 1864

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 October 5, 1864

ENGAGEMENT AT ALLATOONA, GEORGIA

From his perch atop Kennesaw Mountain, Federal Major General William T. Sherman saw the smoke along the railroad to the north towards Chattanooga, indicating the destruction wrecked by Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood’s army during the past few days. About 18 miles away, Sherman could barely see the combat of major proportions at Allatoona, the site of a railroad pass garrisoned now by Federals under Brigadier General John M. Corse. During the night, Confederate Major General S.G. French’s division slowly moved into position. After a cannonade at dawn, French demanded the garrison to surrender. Corse refused. The Confederates assaulted but did not take Allatoona. During the engagement, Confederates lost 122 killed, 443 wounded and 234 missing for 799 casualties out of just over 2,000 men engaged. Federals sustained losses of 142 killed, 352 wounded and 212 missing for 706 aggregate.

Skirmishing also occurred at Thompson’s Creek, Alexander’s Creek, Atchafalaya and Saint Charles, Louisiana.

President Abraham Lincoln conferred with navy officials regarding naval prisoners, while Confederate President Jefferson Davis and top generals held a rally in Augusta, Georgia.

Thursday October 6, 1864

Confederate cavalry under Thomas L. Rosser attacked two regiments of Federal cavalry under George A. Custer at Brock’s Gap, Virginia, near Fisher’s Hill in the Shenandoah Valley. Custer repulsed the attack but it showed that they were still active in the Valley. Other skirmishing occurred at Florence, Alabama and in Cole County, Missouri.

The Richmond Enquirer printed an article favoring enlisting Negro soldiers into the Confederacy, a view that was receiving popular support.

Friday October 7, 1864

In an attempt to push Federal troops back from their threatening position near Richmond, Virginia, north of the James River, Confederate troops attacked on the Darbytown and New Market roads with action at Johnstown’s Farm and Four-Mile Creek. Fighting erupted on Back Road near Strasburg, and near Columbia Furnace, also in Virginia.      

Saturday October 8, 1864

The last major Confederate cruiser, Sea King or Shenandoah, left London for Funchal, Madeira.

In Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, cavalry fought in the Luray Valley and at Tom’s Brook. Skirmishing also occurred at Rogersville, Tennessee; and near Jefferson City, Missouri.

Sunday October 9, 1864

     After considerable harassment by Confederates in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, Federal Major General Phil Sheridan had A.T.A. Torbert turn against the enemy. At Tom’s Brook, the cavalry divisions of George A. Custer and Wesley Merritt hit Confederate cavalry under Thomas L. Rosser and L.L. Lomax, and captured over 300 Confederate prisoners at the cost of 9 killed and 48 wounded.

Skirmishing occurred at Booneville, Russellville and California, Missouri; Piedmont, Virginia; Bayou Sara, Louisiana; and at Van Wert, Georgia.

Monday October 10, 1864

Federal forces under Major General Phil Sheridan moved north across Cedar Creek in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, and took a strong position on both sides of the Valley Pike, though fighting was limited to skirmishes near Rectortown, Virginia.

Other fighting occurred at Bean’s Station and Gallatin, Tennessee; Valley Station, Colorado Territory; Pemiscot County, Missouri; and Rome, Georgia.

Tuesday October 11, 1864

Elections in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana showed that the Republicans and Lincoln supporters had stronger support and anticipated. Oliver P. Morton was reelected as governor of Indiana and the Republicans made sizable gains in congressional elections. An anxious President Abraham Lincoln stayed at the War Department telegraph office until after midnight to get the election returns.

On the White River near Clarendon, Arkansas, bushwhackers attacked the steamer Resolute.

Confederate cavalry attacked at Federal Negro recruiting detachment near Fort Donelson, Tennessee, but were driven off.

Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s forces began to concentrate at Rome, Georgia upon receiving word that Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell hood was just below the city.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of October 5-11, 1864 

Active units:

1st Battalion Minnesota Infantry – Participated in the Siege of Petersburg, Virginia until April 2, 1865. 

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Participated in Operations in North Georgia and North Alabama against Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood until November 3, 1864.

3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Pine Bluff, Arkansas until October 10,1864.

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Participated in the Battle of Allatoona, Georgia, and then remained on garrison duty there until November 15, 1864.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the expedition through Arkansas and Missouri in pursuit of Sterling Price until November 15, 1864.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Helena, Arkansas until Nov. 4, 1864.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the expedition through Arkansas and Missouri in pursuit of Sterling Price until November 15, 1864.

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Sully’s Expedition to Dakota Territory until October 15, 1864.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the expedition through Arkansas and Missouri in pursuit of Sterling Price until November 15, 1864.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the expedition through Arkansas and Missouri in pursuit of Sterling Price until November 15, 1864.

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 locatiosn 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 thewar – until April 26, 1866.

1st Minnesota Heavy Artillery Battery – Organized at St. Paul and Rochester until February 1865.

1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery - Participated in Operations in North Georgia and North Alabama against Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood until November 3, 1864.

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 Feb. 20, 1865. 

2nd United States Sharpshooters, Company A – Participated in the Siege of Petersburg until Feb. 20, 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.

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This Week in the American Civil War: September 28 – October 4, 1864

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 September 28, 1864

The lull continued on the principal fronts at Petersburg and Atlanta, though a skirmish was fought at Decatur, Georgia.

Federal Major General Phil Sheridan fell back briefly towards Harrisonburg in the Shenandoah after more secondary action against Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s outposts at Port Republic and Rockfish Gap, Virginia.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis wired Lieutenant General John Bell Hood to relieve Lieutenant General Hardee from the Army of Tennessee and send him to command the Department of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Hardee and Hood had their difficulties and the move seemed necessary if the President was to support Hood. Davis did raise the prospect of putting General P.G.T. Beauregard in charge of an overall Western Department.

Thursday September 29, 1864

BATTLES OF PEEBLES FARM AND FORT HARRISON, VA BEGIN

The Petersburg-Richmond front exploded with a two-pronged Federal drive – one north of the James River against the Richmond defenses and one west of Petersburg seeking to extend the lines and penetrate to the South Side Railroad and Appomattox River.

Fearing possible reinforcements to Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early operating in the Shenandoah Valley, Federal Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant dispatched two corps north of the James River to attack the outer Richmond defenses. Advancing rapidly, George Stannard’s division stormed Fort Harrison, capturing a major Confederate bastion and nearby works. The Federals promptly rebuilt Fort Harrison into a Federal bastion. The fort was so important that both Grant and Confederate General Robert E. Lee both personally oversaw the combat operations of their respective armies.

To the west of Petersburg, 16,000 Federals under Major General George G. Meade pressed to increase the encirclement of the city west of the Weldon Railroad and pressed to take the South Side Railroad. The fight at Peeble’s farm began and continued for four days. The engagements occurred at Wyatt’s Farm, Peeble’s Farm, Pegram’s Farm, the Chappell House, Poplar Spring Church and Vaughan Road.

Additional skirmishes occurred at Waynesborough, Virginia; Leasburg and Cuba, Missouri; along with Lynchburg, Centreville and Moore’s Bluff, Tennessee.

Friday September 30, 1864

After losing Fort Harrison on the previous day, Confederate General Robert E. Lee ordered vigorous counterattacks. The Federals, having turned the earthwork at Fort Harrison around, beat off the Confederate assaults, who then constructed new outer earthworks between Fort Harrison and Richmond. The Federals constructed new siege lines east of the Confederate capital. The Federals lost 383 killed, 2,299 wounded and 645 missing for an aggregate loss of 3,327 out of 20,000 engaged. The Confederates sustained more than 10,000 losses during the series of assaults.

The engagement at Peebles Farm stretched out to Poplar Spring Church which resulted in an extension of the siege lines to Squirrel Level Road and forced the Confederates to continue to spread out further as the month concluded. 

Saturday October 1, 1864

DEATH OF CONFEDERATE SPY ROSE O’NEAL GREENHOW

Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest’s troops skirmished with Federal garrisons at Athens and Huntsville, Alabama, and captured blockhouses at Carter’s Creek Station, Tennessee.

In Missouri, Confederate raiders under Sterling Price skirmished with Federal forces at Union, Franklin and Lake Springs.

The British blockade-runner Condor, being pursued by the U.S.S. Niphon, went aground off New Inlet, near Fort Fisher, North Carolina. Fearing capture because of dispatches and $2,000 in gold she was carrying, famed Confederate spy Rose O’Neal Greenhow left the Condor in a small boat. The surf overturned the vessel, the gold weighed her down and she drowned.

Sunday October 2, 1864

     Confederates from the Army of Tennessee reached Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s supply line and skirmishes ensued at Big Shanty and Kennesaw Water Tank, Georgia, where Lieutenant General John Bell Hood’s men broke the Western & Atlantic Railroad and interrupted the Federal link between Atlanta and Chattanooga. Other action in the area occurred at Fairburn, Sand Mountain and Powder Springs.

At Augusta, Georgia, Confederate President Jefferson Davis told General P.G.T. Beauregard to assume command of the two western departments, but not interfere with field operations except when personally present. Davis hoped to coordinate the defenses of the Confederacy in Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi in order to resume offensive operations.

Monday October 3, 1864

Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood’s Army of Tennessee was on the Chattanooga-Atlanta Railroad in the rear of Federal Major General William T. Sherman and seized Big Shanty, Kennesaw Water Tank and broke up the track even more. Sherman began sending troops back from Atlanta to cope with what he considered nuisance raids. Federal Major General George H. Thomas arrived in Nashville, Tennessee, sent by Sherman, to command defensive forces against any possible invasion by Hood.

While returning from Georgia, Confederate President Jefferson Davis arrived at Columbia, South Carolina to an enthusiastic welcome.

Tuesday October 4, 1864

Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood’s troops continued their grip on the Chattanooga-Atlanta Railroad and engaged in skirmishes at Acworth, Moon’s Station and Lost Mountain, Georgia. Federal Major General William T. Sherman, leaving one corps in Atlanta, was on his way to rescue the various garrisons along the railroad and set up headquarters at Kennesaw Mountain.

In Washington, newly appointed Postmaster General William Dennison joined the Cabinet.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of September 28 – October 4, 1864 

Active units:

1st Battalion Minnesota Infantry – Participated in the Siege of Petersburg, Virginia until April 2, 1865. 

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Participated in Operations in North Georgia and North Alabama against Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood until November 3, 1864.

3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Pine Bluff, Arkansas until October 10,1864.

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On garrison duty at Allatoona, Georgia until October 5, 1864.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the expedition through Arkansas and Missouri in pursuit of Sterling Price until November 15, 1864.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Helena, Arkansas until Nov. 4, 1864.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the expedition through Arkansas and Missouri in pursuit of Sterling Price until November 15, 1864.

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Sully’s Expedition to Dakota Territory until October 15, 1864.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the expedition through Arkansas and Missouri in pursuit of Sterling Price until November 15, 1864.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the expedition through Arkansas and Missouri in pursuit of Sterling Price until November 15, 1864.

11th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – En route to Nashville, Tennessee via Chicago and St. Louis. The regiment arrived on October 5, 1864.

2nd Regiment Minnesota Cavalry – Relief of Fisk’s Emigrant Train until September 30, 1864.

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 thewar – until April 26, 1866.

1st Minnesota Heavy Artillery Battery – Organized at St. Paul and Rochester until February 1865.

1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery - Participated in Operations in North Georgia and North Alabama against Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood until November 3, 1864.

2nd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – Mounted and engaged in scouting duty around Chattanooga, Tennessee until October 1864.

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 Feb. 20, 1865. 

2nd United States Sharpshooters, Company A – Participated in the Siege of Petersburg until Feb. 20, 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.

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This Week in the American Civil War: September 21-27, 1864

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 September 21, 1864

Federal Major General Phil Sheridan was assigned to permanent command of the Middle Military District, including the Shenandoah Valley. At Strasburg, Virginia, he positioned his army for an attack against Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s force at nearby Fisher’s Hill.

Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest was moving in Northern Alabama and about to threaten Athens, Tennessee.

Thursday September 22, 1864

BATTLE OF FISHER’S HILL

Skillfully utilizing his superior sized force, Federal Major General Phil Sheridan held the heights at Strasburg, Virginia and threatened Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s Confederates on Fisher’s Hill and along the Tumbling Run. Three Federal corps attacked in front of the Tumbling Run ravine and up Fisher’s Hill. They pursued the Confederates for four miles before Early could rally his forces. Confederates lost 1,235 men including nearly 1,000 of which were missing, along with 12 guns and numerous amounts of small arms. The Federals lost an aggregate total of 528 men killed, wounded and missing.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis arrived in Macon, Georgia, by train to confer with Confederate General John Bell Hood about recapturing Georgia, and attend a refugee relief meeting.

Friday September 23, 1864

Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s forces, now battered, were moving back to New Market, Virginia. His cavalry skirmished at Front Royal, Woodstock, near Edenburg, and at Mount Jackson. Federal Major General Phil Sheridan did not pursue as he settled for victories at Winchester and Fisher’s Hill.

Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest’s troops skirmished at Athens, Alabama.

Federal Major General S.A. Hurlbut assumed command of the Department of the Gulf.

President Abraham Lincoln asked Postmaster General Montgomery Blair to resign. Blair had previously offered to step down when Lincoln thought best and he did so immediately. Blair had been unpopular with the Radical Republicans that Lincoln needed to secure reelection. 

Saturday September 24, 1864

Skirmishing occurred at Athens, Alabama; Fayette, Jackson and Farmington, Missouri; Magnolia, Florida; and at Mount Jackson, New Market, Luray and Forest Hill, Virginia.

As a result of Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s disorganized force needing reorganization, rest and relief in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, Federal Major General Phil Sheridan’s forces began burning crops, barns and other property to comply with Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant’s orders that the Valley cease to be a granary and sanctuary for the Confederates.

President Abraham Lincoln named former Ohio governor William Dennison as the new Postmaster General, in place of Montgomery Blair, who resigned at the President’s request. Lincoln also approved congressional authorization for the Union purchase of products from states “declared in insurrection.”

Sunday September 25, 1864

     Federal Major General Phil Sheridan’s large army moved toward Staunton and Waynesborough, Virginia, destroying railroads and other property. Eventually they forced Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s force back to Brown’s Pass in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Skirmishing erupted at Sulphur Branch Trestle, Alabama; Farmington and Huntsville, Missouri; Henderson, Kentucky; Walnut Creek, Kansas and near Johnsonville, Tennessee.

Monday September 26, 1864

Federal Major General Phil Sheridan’s cavalry clashed with Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s cavalry around Port Republic, Weyer’s Cave and Brown’s Gap, Virginia, before they pulled out and left Early alone to restore his chaotic army. In Richmond, news of Early’s defeat gave rise to severe criticism of the Confederate government.

Minor fighting took place at Roswell, Georgia; Vache Grass, Arkansas; Richland Creek, Tennessee; Arcadia Valley, Shut-in-Gap and Ironton, Missouri; and at Osage Mission, Kansas.

Tuesday September 27, 1864

It was another day of skirmishing as fighting broke out at Port Republic and Weyer’s Cave, Virginia; Pulaski, Lobelville and Beardstown, Tennessee; Fort Davidson, Arcadia, Ironton and Mineral Point, Missouri.

A thirty-man Confederate guerrilla force of Bloody Bill Anderson, including George Todd and the James boys, looted and burned Centralia, Missouri. Twenty-four unarmed soldiers were killed. Federal troops came to the rescue and were ambushed near Centralia with 116 killed.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of September 21-27, 1864 

Active units:

1st Battalion Minnesota Infantry – Participated in the Siege of Petersburg, Virginia until April 2, 1865. 

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – In the Jonesborough, Georgia area until September 29, 1864.

3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Pine Bluff, Arkansas until October 10,1864.

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On garrison duty at Allatoona, Georgia until October 5, 1864.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the expedition through Arkansas and Missouri in pursuit of Sterling Price until November 15, 1864.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Helena, Arkansas until Nov. 4, 1864.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the expedition through Arkansas and Missouri in pursuit of Sterling Price until November 15, 1864.

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Sully’s Expedition to Dakota Territory until October 15, 1864.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the expedition through Arkansas and Missouri in pursuit of Sterling Price until November 15, 1864.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the expedition through Arkansas and Missouri in pursuit of Sterling Price until November 15, 1864.

11th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – En route to Nashville, Tennessee via Chicago and St. Louis. The regiment arrived on October 5, 1864.

2nd Regiment Minnesota Cavalry – Relief of Fisk’s Emigrant Train until September 30, 1864.

Brackett’s Battalion of Minnesota Cavalry – Relief of Fisk’s Emigrant Train until September 30, 1864.

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 thewar – until April 26, 1866.

1st Minnesota Heavy Artillery Battery – Organized at St. Paul and Rochester until February 1865.

1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery – On duty in the Lovejoy’s Station, Georgia area of operations until September 29, 1864.

2nd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – Mounted and engaged in scouting duty around Chattanooga, Tennessee until October 1864.

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 Feb. 20, 1865. 

2nd United States Sharpshooters, Company A – Participated in the Siege of Petersburg until Feb. 20, 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.

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This Week in the American Civil War: September 14-20, 1864

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 September 14, 1864

Confederate Brigadier General Robert H. Anderson’s corps started from the Shenandoah to join General Robert E. Lee at Petersburg, where the men were badly needed to face Federal Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant’s spreading siege lines. The return of Anderson to Lee seriously depleted Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s force that opposed Federal Major General Phil Sheridan. Grand had ordered Sheridan’s defensive measures but there was great pressure on the Federal army to break Early’s hold on the Shenandoah Valley and threaten the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad along with the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal.

Thursday September 15, 1864

Federal Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant headed north from the Petersburg siege lines to discuss future action in the Shenanadoah with Major General Phil Sheridan. Skirmishing occurred near Dinwiddie Court House, Virginia.

In Georgia, skirmishing broke out at Snake Creek Gap on Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s supply line in Lumpkin County.

Friday September 16, 1864

Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest, greatly feared in the North, began operations against Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s communications lines in northern Alabama and middle Tennessee.

Federal Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant and Major General Phil Sheridan conferred at Charles Town, West Virginia. Sheridan had learned that units of Confederate Brigadier General Robert H. Anderson’s corps had been sent back to Petersburg, Virginia, to strengthen General Robert E. Lee’s defending forces there. Grant approved Sheridan’s proposal to cut Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s supply and retreat lines south of Winchester, Virginia.

Skirmishing occurred at Snicker’s Gap and Coggins’s Point, both in Virginia. 

Saturday September 17, 1864

John C. Fremont informed a committee of Radical Republicans that he would step aside from the Presidential Campaign to prevent the election of George B. McClellan. Even though Fremont considered Abraham Lincoln to be a failure, he urged a united Republican party to save emancipation.

Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early began an advance against the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad from Stephenson’s Depot north of Winchester, towards Martinsburg, twenty-two miles north. Early had approximately 12,000 troops opposing more than 40,000 Federal troops led by Major General Phil Sheridan.

Sunday September 18, 1864

    Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early moved part of his force from Bunker Hill to Martinsburg, further north. Federal Major General Phil Sheridan, learning of this move, positioned his forces to move directly upon Winchester, hoping to hit Early’s divisions separately.

Monday September 19, 1864

THIRD BATTLE OF WINCHESTER

North and east of Winchester, Virginia, Major General Phil Sheridan’s Federal army of about 40,000 hit Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s 12,000-strong force. Federal cavalry crossed the Opequon River north of the city and headed west towards the Martinsburg Pike and Stephenson’s Depot. The main Federal force came in along the Berryville Pike and headed west to strike the highway running north out of Winchester. Major General S.D. Ramseur’s Confederate division was forced to retire along the Berryville Pike and Early called in his three other divisions from the north. The losses were heavy. There were 697 Federals killed, 2,983 wounded and 338 missing for an aggregate total of 4,018. Confederate’s lost 276 killed, 1,827 wounded and 1,818 missing for a total of 3,921.

In Indian Territory, Confederate Brigadier Generals Stand Watie and Richard M. Gano successfully attacked a Federal wagon train at Cabin Creek. Federals reported losses of 202 wagons, 5 ambulances, 40 horses and 1,253 mules with an aggregate value of $1,500,000. Later in the same day, action occurred at Pryor’s Creek, not far from Cabin Creek.

Tuesday September 20, 1864

Federal Major General Phil Sheridan’s men followed rapidly on the heels of Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s retiring forcewith fighting occurring at Middletown, Strasburg and Cedarville in the Shenandoah Valley. By evening, the Federals were fortifying on the high land north of Strasburg. The Confederates were south of the town on Fisher’s Hill. Early had escaped disaster and later claimed that Sheridan should have crushed him at Winchester.

In Georgia, Federal Major General William T. Sherman was suffering from skirmishes by Confederate Cavalry in the rear of his lines at Atlanta. A skirmish at Cartersville threatened the vital railroad to Chattanooga, Tennessee. In northern Alabama, Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest headed north towards Tennessee.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis left Richmond, Virginia for Georgia to see what could be done to revive Confederate fortunes there.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of September 14-20, 1864

Active units:

1st Battalion Minnesota Infantry – Participated in the Siege of Petersburg, Virginia until April 2, 1865. 

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – In the Jonesborough, Georgia area until September 29, 1864.

3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Pine Bluff, Arkansas until October 10,1864.

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On garrison duty at Allatoona, Georgia until October 5, 1864.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Mower’s expedition to Brownsville, Arkansas until September 17, 1864.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Helena, Arkansas until Nov. 4, 1864.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Mower’s expedition to Brownsville, Arkansas until September 17, 1864.

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Sully’s Expedition to Dakota Territory until October 15, 1864.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Mower’s expedition to Brownsville, Arkansas until September 17, 1864.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Mower’s expedition to Brownsville, Arkansas until September 17, 1864.

11th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Organized at Fort Snelling, Minn., until September 20, 1864.

2nd Regiment Minnesota Cavalry – Relief of Fisk’s Emigrant Train until September 30, 1864.

Brackett’s Battalion of Minnesota Cavalry – Relief of Fisk’s Emigrant Train until September 30, 1864.

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 thewar – until April 26, 1866.

1st Minnesota Heavy Artillery Battery – Organized at St. Paul and Rochester until February 1865.

1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery – On duty in the Lovejoy’s Station, Georgia area of operations until September 29, 1864.

2nd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – Mounted and engaged in scouting duty around Chattanooga, Tennessee until October 1864.

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 Feb. 20, 1865. 

2nd United States Sharpshooters, Company A – Participated in the Siege of Petersburg until Feb. 20, 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.

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1st Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing (USA) 1841-1863 – Medal of Honor Recipient

Alonzo Hereford Cushing was born on Jan. 19, 1841, in Delafield, Wisconsin, and was raised in Fredonia, New York. Cushing was appointed to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 1857. Upon graduation in June 1861, he was commissioned a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army.

1st Lt.

1st Lt.

Cushing participated in most of the campaigns and battles of the Army of the Potomac, to include Bull Run (Virginia), Antietam (Maryland), Fredericksburg (Virginia), Chancellorsville (Virginia), and Gettysburg (Pennsylvania). Cushing also trained volunteer troops in Washington, D.C., served as an ordnance officer on the staff of Gen. Edwin V. Sumner, and as a topographical engineer. During the Chancellorsville Campaign, Cushing was promoted to command Battery A, 4th United States Artillery, in the Army of the Potomac’s II Corps.

Cushing was killed in action on July 3, 1863, at the age of 22. Although he received a posthumous brevet promotion to lieutenant colonel for his service at the Battle of Gettysburg, on July 1, 1863, no award was awarded to Cushing for his efforts during that critical day of battle. He was buried with full honors at his alma mater, West Point, beneath a headstone inscribed, “Faithful unto death.”

OFFICIAL CITATION

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, March 3, 1863, has awarded in the name of Congress the Medal of Honor to

FIRST LIEUTENANT ALONZO H. CUSHING

UNITED STATES ARMY

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:

First Lieutenant Alonzo H. Cushing distinguished himself by acts of bravery above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an Artillery Commander in Battery A, 4th U.S. Artillery, Army of the Potomac at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on July 3, 1863 during the American Civil War. That morning, Confederate Forces led by General Robert E. Lee began cannonading First Lieutenant Cushing’s position on Cemetery Ridge. Using field glasses, First Lieutenant Cushing directed fire for his own artillery battery. He refused to leave the battlefield after being struck in the shoulder by a shell fragment. As he continued to direct fire, he was struck again, this time suffering grievous damage to his abdomen. Still refusing to abandon his command, he boldly stood tall in the face of Major General George E. Pickett’s charge and continued to direct devastating fire into oncoming forces. As the Confederate Forces closed in, First Lieutenant Cushing was struck in the mouth by an enemy bullet and fell dead beside his gun. His gallant stand and fearless leadership inflicted severe casualties upon Confederate Forces and opened wide gaps in their lines, directly impacting the Union Forces’ ability to repel Pickett’s Charge. First Lieutenant Cushing’s extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty, at the cost of his own life, are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, Battery A, 4th U.S. Artillery, Army of the Potomac, and the United States Army.

Watch the Minnesota Civil War Commemoration Task Force video on 1st Lt. Cushing at Gettysburg here.

President awards MoH to  Cushing’s cousin

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Nov. 6, 2014) — President Barack Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to 1st Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing for helping stop Maj. Gen. George E. Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg on July 3, 1863.

President Barack Obama awards the Medal of Honor to 1st Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing for his gallantry during combat at Gettysburg July 3, 1863. Receiving the medal at the White House ceremony, Nov. 6, 2014, is Helen Loring Ensign, Cushing's first cousin, twice removed. Some 24 other descendants were present as well. To the president's immediate right is Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh. Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Laura Buchta

President Barack Obama awards the Medal of Honor to 1st Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing for his gallantry during combat at Gettysburg July 3, 1863. Receiving the medal at the White House ceremony, Nov. 6, 2014, is Helen Loring Ensign, Cushing’s first cousin, twice removed. Some 24 other descendants were present as well. To the president’s immediate right is Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh. Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Laura Buchta

The ceremony took place in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, today. Helen Loring Ensign accepted the medal on behalf of Cushing, her first cousin, twice removed. Some 24 other descendants were present as well.

Long before Gettysburg, the West Point graduate “fought bravely” at the battles of Bull Run, Antietam, Chancellorsville and Fredericksburg, developing a reputation for “his cool, his competence and his courage under fire,” Obama said.

Cushing commanded Battery A, 4th U.S. Artillery, 2nd Corps, Army of the Potomac, atop Cemetery Ridge. On that fateful day, some 10,000 of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s troops advanced toward them in a line, elbow-to-elbow, a mile wide, in the final, desperate hours of the battle.

Smoke from the guns obscured the battlefield and the air was thick with lead. In the chaos, Cushing was hit and badly wounded, the president continued. His first sergeant, Frederick Fuger, urged him to fall back to the safety of the rear, away from the punishing fire. But Cushing refused, telling Fuger he’d rather “fight it out or die in the attempt.”

Bleeding badly and growing weaker every moment, he moved his remaining artillery closer to the front and continued to defend the Union line. “He used his own thumb to stop his gun’s vent, burning his finger to the bone,” the president related.

When Cushing was hit the final time, the 22-year-old Soldier fell beside his gun. Obama said Cushing was later immortalized by a poet, who wrote: “His gun spoke out for him once more before he fell to the ground.”

In a letter to Cushing’s sister, Fuger wrote that “the bravery of their men that day was entirely due to your brother’s training and example set on numerous battlefields.” Etched on Cushing’s tombstone at West Point is the simple epitaph, “Faithful unto death,” the president said. And, his memory will be honored later this month, when a Navy cruiser — the USS Gettysburg — dedicates its officer’s dining hall as the “Cushing Wardroom.”

Unbeknownst to Cushing, Gettysburg was a turning point in the war, the president said, and it was men like Cushing who were responsible for the victory. Historians often refer to the where Pickett’s Charge was stopped as the “high water mark of the Confederacy.”

When President Lincoln later dedicated the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, he said these men gave their “last full measure of devotion.”

Cushing’s story “is part of our larger American story — one that continues today,” the president concluded. “The spirit, the courage, the determination that he demonstrated lives on in our brave men and women in uniform who this very day are serving and making sure that they are defending the freedoms that Alonzo helped to preserve.

“And, it’s incumbent on all of us as Americans to uphold the values that they fight for, and to continue to honor their service long after they leave the battlefield — for decades, even centuries to come.”

MEDAL LONG IN COMING

A Soldier displays the Medal of Honor for 1st Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing, awarded during a White House ceremony, Nov. 6, 2014, to recognize Cushing's heroism at the Battle of Gettysburg. Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Laura Buchta

A Soldier displays the Medal of Honor for 1st Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing, awarded during a White House ceremony, Nov. 6, 2014, to recognize Cushing’s heroism at the Battle of Gettysburg. Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Laura Buchta

Margaret Zerwekh, 94, a historian, attended the White House ceremony and was recognized by the president. Zerwekh did research on Cushing’s service in the Civil War. She was certain his valorous actions merited the Medal of Honor and lobbied her congressmen for decades to make it happen. She became interested in Cushing’s story, since she lives on property in Wisconsin that was once owned by his father.

Typically, the medal is awarded within a few years of the action. Obama said, “but sometimes, even the most extraordinary stories can get lost in the passage of time. No matter how long it takes, it is never too late to do the right thing.”

This medal is about more than just one Soldier, Obama said. “It reflects our obligations as a country to the men and women in our armed services; obligations that continue long after they return home, after they remove their uniforms and even, perhaps especially, after they’ve laid down their lives.”

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Harold Holzer reception Oct. 30 in Kenosha, Wisconsin

On Thursday, October 30, Harold Holzer discusses his new book, Lincoln and the Power of the Press. A public reception begins at 6 p.m., followed by the program at 7 p.m. A suggested $5 donation to the museum will be accepted at the door, and advance registration is not required.

First edition copies of the books will be available for purchase and signing the nights of the events.

The Civil War Museum in Kenosha is a war museum like no other. It focuses on the Civil War from the perspective of the people in the six states of the upper Midwest: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The other two locations, the Kenosha Public Museum and the Dinosaur Discovery Museum are just a quick trolley car ride (adults, $1; kids ages 5-12, $0.50.) away. Free parking is available in the scenic lot on the lake shore. All three locations truly are a MUST SEE for everyone! This perfect day trip for the whole family is only 25 minutes from Milwaukee and 55 minutes from Chicago. Kenosha Public Museums offer a wide variety of classes and workshops for all ages. For more information visit www.KenoshaPublicMuseum.org or call 262-653-4140.

 

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This Week in the American Civil War: September 7-13, 1864

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 September 7, 1864

Federal Major General William T. Sherman wrote a letter to Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood deeming it in the interest of the United States to call for the evacuation of Atlanta. Over the course of the next week, 446 families left their homes, totaling approximately 1,600 people. Sherman felt the need to evacuate the citizens because he had trouble feeding his own army and didn’t want to risk the burden of additional mouths to feed. This set off a lengthy and heated correspondence between the two generals.

In Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, small Federal and Confederate units skirmished again near Brucetown and Winchester.

Thursday September 8, 1864

In Orange, New Jersey, former Major General George B. McClellan formally accepted the Democratic nomination for President by a letter to the official notification committee.

Only two light skirmishes occurred near Hornersville and Gayoso, Missouri, though a Federal army-navy expedition destroyed fifty-five furnaces at Salt House Point on Mobile Bay in Alabama.

Friday September 9, 1864

President Abraham Lincoln and his Cabinet, still concerned over the serious problems connected with cotton trading with the Confederates, leaned increasingly towards open trading.

Fighting broke out on the Warrensburg Road near Warrensburg, Missouri; at Currituck Bridge, Virginia; and Confederates attacked the steamer J.D. Perry at Clarendon, Arkansas. 

Saturday September 10, 1864

Although the primary fronts were largely quiet, the virtually unknown small wars continued with an affair at Campbellton, Georgia; a skirmish at Woodbury, Tennessee; fighting also occurred near Roanoke, Pisgah, and Dover, Missouri; along with Darkesville, West Virginia. An assault on Confederate works at Chimneys, Virginia also occurred.

A wagon train of emigrants traveling in Dakota Territory were ambushed by Indians, prompting a rescue effort by Federal troops.

Sunday September 11, 1864

    A column of Federal troops comprised of 850 men including 550 infantry, 300 cavalry plus a section of artillery, set out from Fort Rice in Dakota Territory to relieve Captain Fisk’s emigrant train that was ambushed by Indians.

Monday September 12, 1864

Both President Abraham Lincoln and Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant were disturbed over what Lincoln called “a deadlock” in the Shenandoah Valley. Neither Federal Major General Phil Sheridan nor Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early seemed to make any progress in the Winchester, Virginia area.

Skirmishing occurred near Memphis, Tennessee; Caledonia, Missouri; and the Federal troops arrived in Dakota Territory to relieve Captain Fisk of his duty in escorting the emigrants to Idaho.

Tuesday September 13, 1864

Skirmishing in the Shenandoah Valley increased with action at Bunker Hill, near Berryville, Virginia; along with Locke’s and Gilberts’ fords on Opequon Creek. Skirmishing also broke out near Searcy, Arkansas and Longwood, Missouri.

President Abraham Lincoln responded at a political serenade in Washington but made no formal policy statement.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of September 7-13, 1864 

Active units:

1st Battalion Minnesota Infantry – Participated in the Siege of Petersburg, Virginia until April 2, 1865. 

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – In the Jonesborough, Georgia area until September 29, 1864.

3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Pine Bluff, Arkansas until October 10, 1864.

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On garrison duty at Allatoona, Georgia until October 5, 1864.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Mower’s expedition to Brownsville, Arkansas until September 17, 1864.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Helena, Arkansas until Nov. 4, 1864.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Mower’s expedition to Brownsville, Arkansas until September 17, 1864.

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Sully’s Expedition to Dakota Territory until October 15, 1864.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Mower’s expedition to Brownsville, Arkansas until September 17, 1864.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Mower’s expedition to Brownsville, Arkansas until September 17, 1864.

11th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Organized at Fort Snelling, Minn., until September 20, 1864.

2nd Regiment Minnesota Cavalry – Relief of Fisk’s Emigrant Train until September 30, 1864.

Brackett’s Battalion of Minnesota Cavalry – Relief of Fisk’s Emigrant Train until September 30, 1864.

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 – Organized at St. Paul and Rochester until February 1865.

1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery – On duty in the Lovejoy’s Station, Georgia area of operations until September 29, 1864.

2nd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – Mounted and engaged in scouting duty around Chattanooga, Tennessee until October 1864.

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 Feb. 20, 1865. 

2nd United States Sharpshooters, Company A – Participated in the Siege of Petersburg until Feb. 20, 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.

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