Tricounty News

This Week in the American Civil War: June 15-21, 1864

Major Highlights for the Week

Wednesday, June 15, 1864

Federal Major General William F. Smith, from Bermuda Hundred Landing, had orders from Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant, through Major General Benjamin Butler, to move early and attack Petersburg, Va. Major General Winfield Scott Hancock, commanding the Federal Second Corps which had just crossed the James River, had farther to go but could have cooperated fairly well. Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard had approximately 3,000 troops in defense, which could never have stopped 16,000 Federals. But a mix-up of orders, lack of rations, poor maps, missed opportunities and delays by commanders, along with courageous Southern defense, saved Petersburg and lengthened the war by several months. Grant spent the day on the James River supervising the crossing of other troops at the pontoon bridge.

Beauregard informed Confederate authorities and General Robert E. Lee that the main attack would occur at Petersburg and requested reinforcements. Lee still believed that Grant’s army was north of the James River, which suggests that the Federal deception worked.


Marl beds opened in Stearns County


Text from the Tri-County Messenger dated Nov. 19, 1936.

Reprinted from the Tri-County News July 18, 2002.

Work to be done by WPA to aid farmers of this county

For several years, the county extension service has been interested in getting growers of alfalfa and other legumes to use marl in getting better stands of these legumes. After a considerable amount of effort, two marl mines will be opened in the county this week. These projects are made possible as a result of work through the county agent’s office, St. Cloud; A.C. Libby, Anoka; the district representative of the soil conservation service; and the two cooperating farmers who own the marl land.


This Week in the American Civil War: June 8-14, 1864

Major Highlights for the Week

Wednesday, June 8, 1864

In Georgia, Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s troops sloshed through mud and rain to the Western & Atlantic Railroad, preparing to face Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston’s troops in front of Marietta. Action occurred near Acworth and at Lost Mountain.

Confederate Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan, in what was to be his last raid, captured Mount Sterling, Ky., and its Federal garrison. Some of Morgan’s confederates robbed the local bank of $18,000. His share of the blame has never been determined. Some speculated that the money was to go to Canada to help the Northwest Conspiracy or that Morgan’s command was so tenuous that he could not prevent the looting. Morgan blocked investigation and never explained it.


June 11: Tobacco farming in Minnesota

Join us at the Stearns History Museum at 9 a.m. Wednesday morning, June 11, for a Breakfast Club presentation on tobacco farming in Minnesota by historian and Museum Executive Director Tim Hoheisel.

When we think of tobacco farming in the United States, we imagine Virginia, Kentucky and Southern states. Definitely not Minnesota. Yet tobacco was grown statewide in Minnesota from about 1860 to 1940, and later. By the end of its time as a cash crop, the area of heaviest tobacco farming was in Stearns County. Hoheisel will talk about the history of this unique crop and show many photos from the Museum’s collection. This presentation is free to members, and $7 for non-members. The museum is located at 235 33rd Ave. S. in
St. Cloud.

About the presenter: Tim Hoheisel has a BA in history from Gustavus Adolphus College and an MA in public history from
St. Cloud State University. He has been working in museums and researching and writing about agricultural history since 1997. He has been the Executive Director of the Stearns History Museum since July 2013.


This Week in the American Civil War: June 1-7, 1864

Major Highlights for the Week

Wednesday, June 1, 1864


As Federal infantry arrived in the Cold Harbor area of Virginia near the 1862 Seven Days battlefields around Richmond, they found that the Confederates had already arrived. Confederate Major General Richard H. Anderson’s corps attacked Major General Phil Sheridan’s cavalry near Old Cold Harbor in the morning, and the two assaults were repulsed. Major General Horatio Wright’s Sixth Corps relieved Sheridan by midmorning. Major General William F. Smith’s 18th Corps was delayed and did not arrive until late afternoon. Wright and Smith pressed an assault at 6 p.m. but Confederate resistance stiffened, forcing the two Federal corps to entrench in their advanced position. Federal Major General Winfield Scott Hancock’s Second Corps was ordered to hold the south end of the line. During the night, both sides continued to entrench.

In Georgia, Federal cavalry under Major General George Stoneman captured Allatoona Pass, an all-important railroad link to Chattanooga, which enabled Major General William T. Sherman to advance his railhead closer to the fighting lines.