Tricounty News

Civil War digest: This week, 150 years ago



Major Highlights for the week

Wednesday April 9, 1862

As news of Federal victories at Shiloh and Island No. 10 spread across the North, relief organizations rushed money, boats, food and hospital supplies to the army at Pittsburg Landing, Tenn.

The Confederate Senate at Richmond passed a bill calling for conscription of troops. It was bitterly opposed, believing it to be an infringement of liberties, while others recognized that with its limited manpower, the Confederacy needs to raise armies somehow.

In Washington, President Lincoln met with his cabinet to discuss the lack of activity by Major General George B. McClellan in the Peninsula Campaign.

Thursday April 10, 1862

President Lincoln approved the Congressional Joint Resolution calling for gradual emancipation of slaves by the states.

Federal Brigadier General W.H.L. Wallace died of wounds received at the Battle of Shiloh.

Federal bombardment of Fort Pulaski at the entrance of the harbor at Savannah, Ga. commenced.

Friday April 11, 1862

The Federal bombardment of Fort Pulaski continued. More than 5,000 shots had been fired against the fort with only one Federal casualty. Confederate Colonel Charles H. Olmstead, the fort's commander, surrendered in mid-afternoon.

After being laid up for repairs, the Confederate ironclad Merrimack was back in action. Even though the Federal ironclad Monitor was in the vicinity, the attack between the two stalwart vessels did not resume.

The United States House of Representatives voted to end slavery in the District of Columbia by a vote of 93 to 39.

Saturday April 12, 1862

A Federal raiding party led by James J. Andrews occurred at Big Shanty, Ga. Twenty-two men boarded the Atlanta-Chattanooga line of the Western & Atlantic Railroad, disconnected the locomotive and three freight cars, bent on breaking the Confederate rail line to Chattanooga. The locomotive, the General with Federal troops in control, was chased by Confederates in the locomotive Texas. North of Ringgold, Ga., the General was abandoned after the fuel was spent. Of the 22 Federal men involved in the operation, all were captured, eight were executed including its leader, Andrews, while eight escaped and six were paroled. It was insignificant in the annals of military operations, but the story ranks high in Civil War folklore. It is known as "The Great Locomotive Chase."

Major General David Hunter ordered all of the slaves that were located around Fort Pulaski, Ga., to be confiscated and set free. This was one of several orders by Hunter which President Lincoln later rescinded. Lincoln felt that it was beyond the scope of authority for military leaders to free slaves.

Sunday April 13, 1862

On the Tennessee River, Federals carried out reconnaissance on the Corinth, Miss., and Purdy, Tenn. roads. In North Carolina, a skirmish occurred at Gillett's Farm on Pebbly Run. Federal forces under Brigadier General Ormsby Mitchel occupied Decatur, Ala., on the Tennessee River.

Monday April 14, 1862

Federal mortar boats bombarded Fort Pillow, Tenn., on the Mississippi River. The U.S. naval flotilla on the Chesapeake Bay carried out reconnaissance on the Rappahannock River. There were skirmishes at Montevallo, Diamond Grove, and near the Santa Fe Road, in Missouri. In South Carolina there was a reconnaissance on Seabrook Island by the Federals.

Tuesday April 15, 1862

Skirmishes marked the day at Peralta, New Mexico Territory, and Lost Creek, Mo. At Picacho Pass, Arizona Territory, a small Federal victory threatened the Confederates in Tuscon.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of April 2-8, 1862

1st Minnesota Volunteer InfantryÐParticipated in the Siege of Yorktown, Va., as part of McClellan's Peninsula Campaign.

2nd Minnesota Volunteer InfantryÐOn duty around Pittsburg Landing, Tenn.

3rd Minnesota Volunteer InfantryÐOn garrison duty in Nashville, Tenn.

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry-On garrison duty at Fort Snelling, Minn., Fort Ridgely, Minn., and Fort Abercrombie, Dakota Territory.

5th Minnesota Volunteer InfantryÐOn garrison duty at Fort Snelling, Minn., with the exception of companies B, C and D which were detached for garrison duty elsewhere. Company B at Fort Ridgely, Minn., Company C at Fort Ripley, Minn., and Company D at Fort Abercrombie, Dakota Territory. The detached companies would serve in their outposts until November 1862.

Brackett's Battalion of Minnesota CavalryÐRepaired roads and erected telegraph lines around Nashville, Tenn.

1st Minnesota Light Artillery BatteryÐIn camp near Pittsburg Landing, Tenn.

2nd Independent Battery, Minnesota Light ArtilleryÐOrganized at Fort Snelling, Minn.

1st United States Sharpshooters, Company IÐOn garrison duty at Fort Snelling, Minn.

2nd United States Sharpshooters, Company AÐOn duty at Bristoe Station, Va., through April 15, when they moved to Falmouth, Va., for duty.