Civil War digest: This week, 150 years ago

Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
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Major Highlights for the Week

Wednesday July 16, 1862

France's Napoleon III received Confederate commissioner John Slidell, who requested recognition of the Confederacy and aid from warships in breaking the blockade in exchange for cotton.

The Federal District of West Tennessee was extended to embrace the Army of the Mississippi, all to be commanded by Major General Ulysses Grant. Major General Henry W. Halleck relinquished command of the Department of the Mississippi to assume his new role as general of all United States armies.

Measures passed by the U.S. Congress and approved by the president included: creating the grade of rear admiral to be conferred on all flag officers; increasing temporary protective tariffs on sugar, tobacco and liquor; and forbidding all financial interest in public contracts to members of Congress, officers and agents of the government.

Thursday July 17, 1862

President Abraham Lincoln signed the Second Confiscation Act after lengthy and acrimonious congressional debate and after weighing a possible veto. The measure provided that slaves of all those who supported or aided the rebellion would be free when they came within Union control. However, many of the provisions of this act were never enforced.

Major General Ulysses Grant assumed command of all troops in the Army of the Tennessee and Army of the Mississippi, plus those in the District of the Mississippi and in Cairo, Ill.

Morgan's Confederate raiders took Cynthiana, Ky.; Major General John Pope's Federals captured Gordonsville, Va.; and skirmishes occurred near Mount Pleasant and Columbia, Tenn.

Friday July 18, 1862

Confederate troops crossed the Ohio River and raided the town of Newburg, Ind., located near Evansville. A skirmish occurred near the town of Memphis, Mo.

In London, a motion in the British House of Commons to mediate between the United States and Confederate States governments was discussed and withdrawn.

Saturday July 19, 1862

President Abraham Lincoln named John S. Phelps of Missouri as the military governor of Arkansas.

Confederates raided Brownsville, Tenn., and a skirmish occurred near Paris, Ky., between Federal troops and John Hunt Morgan's raiders.

Sunday July 20, 1862

Minor fighting continued with skirmishes at Greenville and Taberville, Mo.; Gaines Landing, Ark.; and Hatchie Bottom, Miss.

Monday July 21, 1862

Confederate troops captured Federal pickets five miles from Nashville and burned bridges on the Chattanooga Road. The Confederate Army of the Mississippi was ordered to Chattanooga, and Major General Sterling Price assumed command of the Confederate District of the Tennessee.

Federal troops operating in the Shenandoah Valley occupied Luray, Va.

President Abraham Lincoln and his cabinet discussed the possible use of Negroes as soldiers for the first time.

Tuesday July 22, 1862

At a Cabinet meeting in Washington, President Lincoln surprised most of his advisers by reading the first draft of the Emancipation Proclamation. After much consideration, long thought and independent of consultation, the president decided upon this course of action. Mr. Lincoln accepted Secretary of State William H. Seward's suggestion to delay the announcement until after a military victory.

Major General Ambrose E. Burnside assumed command of the Ninth Army Corps of the Union Army.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of July 16-22, 1862

1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry-In camp at Malvern Hill, Va.

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry-In camp at Tuscumbia, Ala.

3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry-Marched to Tullahoma and Murfreesboro, Tenn., after receiving their parole.

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry-Duty at Camp Clear Creek near Corinth, Miss.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry-Companies B, C and D remained in Minnesota and Dakota Territory on garrison duty while the remaining companies were moved to Rienzi, Miss. Companies B and C move to Sioux Agency on the Yellow Medicine River to preserve order during annuity payments to Indians.

Brackett's Battalion of Minnesota Cavalry-On duty at Humboldt, Tenn., scouting and protecting the railroad.

1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery-On garrison duty at Corinth, Miss.

2nd Independent Battery, Minnesota Light Artillery-On garrison duty at Ripley, Miss.

2nd United States Sharpshooters, Company A-On duty at Falmouth, Va., with a one-day expedition to Blackburn's Ford on July 19.