Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
Major Highlights for the week
Wednesday May 14, 1862
Skirmishing continued near Corinth, Miss., on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, as well as the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. Federal Major General George B. McClellan's army skirmished at Gaines' Cross roads, Va., as it marched nearer to Richmond. Other skirmishes occurred at Cotton Plant, Ark., and Fayetteville, Tenn.
Thursday May 15, 1862
Five Federal naval vessels including the U.S.S Monitor moved up the James River towards Richmond. The alarm echoed through Richmond, but on the south side of the river at Drewry's Bluff, about eight miles below the Confederate capital, Southern artillery batteries met the Federal invasion. The guns of Fort Darling and the Federal gunboats dueled for four hours. Union vessels were not able to elevate their guns sufficiently to attack the land batteries and the well-positioned Confederate guns forced the Federals to withdraw. The U.S.S. Galena was struck eighteen times during the battle.
Friday May 16, 1862
Major General George B. McClellan established his personal headquarters at White House, formerly a Lee family property on the Pamunkey River.
Confederate President Jefferson Davis, following the Federal defeat at Drewry's Bluff, wrote the following to his wife, "The panic here has subsided and with increasing confidence there has arisen a desire to see the city destroyed rather than surrendered...The great temporal object is to secure our independence and they who engage in strife for personal or party aggrandizement, deserve contemptuous forgetfulness."
Saturday May 17, 1862
There was a small Federal expedition up the Pamunkey as McClellan's army settled in before Richmond. Near Corinth, Miss., there was more skirmishing as Major General Henry W. Halleck's Federal army sat in front of a major Confederate center. A skirmish occurred at Little Red River, Ark.
Sunday May 18, 1862
On the Mississippi River, Flag Officer David Farragut's fleet arrived at Vicksburg to demand a surrender of the city, but Confederate Brigadier General M.L.
Smith refused. A skirmish occurred at Woodstock, Va., as part of Jackson's Shenandoah Valley campaign.
Monday May 19, 1862
Skirmishing continued on the fringes of the two main Federal offensives. In Virginia, fighting occurred at Gaines' Mill and at City Point (now Hopewell, Va.). In the western theater, skirmishing continued at Farmington, Miss., and Searcy Landing, Ark. Also, a Federal expedition to Fort Pillow began.
President Abraham Lincoln disavowed the emancipation proclamation issued by Major General David Hunter in the Department of the South. Lincoln reserved that power for himself, as president, if it became necessary in order to maintain the government, to issue such a proclamation. Mr. Lincoln again appealed for adoption of his policy of gradual, compensated emancipation through the states.
Tuesday May 20, 1862
President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act into law, which granted a free plot of 160 acres to actual settlers on land in the public domain who would occupy and improve it for five years.
Confederate President Jefferson Davis was disturbed by the impression of governors and others in Arkansas and elsewhere in the trans-Mississippi that their cause was being neglected.
Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of May 14-20, 1862
1st Minnesota Volunteer InfantryÐContinued the advance on the Chickahominy River.
2nd Minnesota Volunteer InfantryÐParticipated in operations in and around Corinth, Miss.
3rd Minnesota Volunteer InfantryÐOn garrison duty at Murfreesboro, Tenn.Ê
4th Minnesota Volunteer InfantryÐAdvanced on and participated in siege of Corinth, Miss.
5th Minnesota Volunteer InfantryÐCompanies B, C and D remained in Minnesota and Dakota Territory on garrison duty while the remaining companies were en route to Mississippi.
Brackett's Battalion of Minnesota CavalryÐAdvance on and siege of Corinth, Miss.
1st Minnesota Light Artillery BatteryÐAdvance on and siege of Corinth, Miss.
2nd Independent Battery, Minnesota Light ArtilleryÐOn duty at Benton Barracks, Mo., until May 18, and then advanced towards operations against Corinth, Miss.
1st United States Sharpshooters, Company IÐOfficially attached to the 1st United States Sharpshooters as Company I, while on the Virginia Peninsula.
2nd United States Sharpshooters, Company AÐOn duty at Falmouth, Va.