Tricounty News

Civil War digest March 2-8, 1864

Major Highlights for the Week

Wednesday, March 2, 1864

The U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination of Ulysses Grant as lieutenant general.

Federal Colonel Ulric Dahlgren led his cavalry into a Confederate ambush at Mantapike Hill between King and Queen Court House and King Williams Court House in Virginia. During the night, Dahlgren fell into the trap and was killed and more than a hundred of his cavalrymen were captured.

Having acted as a decoy during Kilpatrick’s raid, Brigadier General George A. Custer returned to Union lines from his own fairly successful raid in the Albemarle area of Virginia.


Pioneer life in Stearns County (part 1 of 2)

Text is from the Tri-County Messenger for 1937. The newspaper was loaned to the Kimball Area Historical Society by Ruth Brower.

Reprinted from the Tri-County News March 6, 2003.

We find that the majority of pioneers around the St. Cloud area were natives of Europe. Many of them left as young men and women to find their fortune and happiness in this new America. Those of Germany and Sweden left in many cases to escape military training that was compulsory in those countries.

The trip across the ocean seems to be an incident in their lives that is not easily forgotten, especially as the trip required from two weeks to three months, depending on the weather and the type of ship the passengers happened to have. One pioneer states, “My mother and father were on the sea two months. At one time the ship was becalmed for seven days and they almost gave up reaching America.”


March 8: Historic Homes of Minnesota

Photographer Doug Ohman will present “Living the Dream – Historic Homes of Minnesota” at the Annandale Public Library 10-11 a.m. Saturday, March 8. Ohman’s presentation about many of Minnesota’s most elegant homes is for adults. He will share the stories and personalities that are associated with these historic treasures. Ohman is the photographer of the Minnesota Byways series of coffee-table books that includes “Courthouses Of Minnesota,” “Barns Of Minnesota,” and “Cabins Of Minnesota.” This presentation is funded in part with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

For more information, contact the Annandale library at (320) 274-8448.


Civil War Digest Feb. 24-March 1, 1864

Major Highlights for the Week

Wednesday, Feb. 24, 1864

Confederate General Braxton Bragg was charged with the conduct of military operations in the Armies of the Confederacy, thus becoming in effect, chief-of-staff. Bragg, though still controversial, still enjoyed the trust of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, but his reputation had suffered from his defeat at Missionary Ridge and the constant conflicts with his generals.

The U.S. Senate passed a measure to revive the rank of lieutenant general, with Major General Ulysses Grant being clearly in mind. President Abraham Lincoln approved an act of Congress to compensate every Union master whose slaves enlisted in the Army, with the sum not to exceed $300 and the volunteer was to become free. The act also increased bounties for volunteers, redefined quota credits, increased penalties for draft resistance, subjected Negroes to the draft, provided that those who opposed bearing arms for religious reasons should be assigned non-combatant tasks with freedmen or in hospitals, and gave the President authority to call for such men as required.


Civil War digest: Feb. 17-23, 1864

Major Highlights for the Week

Wednesday, Feb. 17, 1864


About 8:45 p.m., an officer of the sloop U.S.S. Housatonic, on duty off of Charleston, S.C., spotted “something in the water” speeding towards the ship. A torpedo struck the ship near the magazine causing an explosion. The Housatonic sank rapidly, stern first. All but five of the crew was saved.

The attacker was the C.S.S. H.L. Hunley, an experimental “semi-submersible” that was cigar-shaped with a torpedo or mine at the end of a long spar in the prow. After attacking the Housatonic, the explosion from the torpedo caused the Hunley’s demise. All eight crewmembers perished. The Hunley was discovered in 1995, recovered in 2000 and is now on display in Charleston.

The First Confederate Congress adjourned its fourth session amid overt discontent with the Davis Administration and the progress of the war.

Thursday, Feb. 18, 1864

Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s force at Meridian, Miss., continued to disrupt Confederate railroads and supply depots.

Skirmishing occurred at Aberdeen, Miss.; Mifflin, Maryville and Sevierville, Tenn.; Ringgold, Ga., and on the Piney River in Missouri.

President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation lifting the Federal blockade at Brownsville, Texas, allowing for normal trade as long as there was no commerce in military articles.


Friday, Feb. 19, 1864

Confederate President Jefferson Davis asked Admiral Franklin Buchanan what his plans were for defeating a reported naval demonstration on Mobile, Ala.

Fighting occurred at Brown’s Ferry, Ala.; Houston, Egypt Station and Meridian, Miss.; Grossetete, La.; Independence, Mo., and at Waugh’s Farm near Batesville, Ark.

Saturday, Feb. 20, 1864


Brigadier General Truman Seymour’s 5,500 Federal troops clashed with Confederate Brigadier General Joseph Finegan’s force at Olustee, Fla. Two Union regiments, the 7th New Hampshire and the 8th United States Colored Troops, gave way in confusion at the opening of the battle. The Confederates, numbering 5,000 strong, attempted to engage the rear element of Seymour’s forces just before nightfall. They were repulsed by elements of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry and the 35th United States Colored Troops, both composed of African-American soldiers. The Federals lost 203 killed; 1,152 wounded and 506 missing for a total of 1,861 lost, about 34 percent of those engaged. The Confederates sustained losses of 93 killed, 847 wounded and 6 missing for an aggregate of 946 casualties, about 19 percent of those engaged. The Federals also lost six artillery pieces and 39 horses that were captured. The Battle of Olustee was the largest Civil War battle fought in the State of Florida.

Sunday, Feb. 21, 1864

Confederate President Jefferson Davis worried about the pressure on the inner bastion of the Confederacy - in Mississippi; against General Joseph E. Johnston in north Georgia; at Charleston, S.C.; against Lieutenant General James Longstreet in east Tennessee; and, of course, the front in Virginia.

Monday February 22, 1864

Federal Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase, again enmeshed in political intrigue, offered once more to resign. The crisis arose from the so-called “Pomeroy Circular,” a document signed by Sen. Samuel C. Pomeroy of Kansas, which advocated for Chase to run against Lincoln for the presidency. Chase, in a letter to the President, denied knowledge of the circular, but admitted consultation with those urging him to run.

Qualified voters in the restored Union government of Louisiana elected Michael Hahn governor of the army-occupied state.

Jeffrey Forrest, the younger brother of Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest, was killed during the Battle of Ivey’s Farm near Okolona, Miss.

Tuesday, Feb. 23, 1864

Richmond, Va., saw a buyer’s panic, with food and whiskey jumping rapidly in price.

President Abraham Lincoln wrote Secretary of Treasury Salmon P. Chase that we would comment more fully later about the Pomeroy circular, in which Chase was advocated as a Republican presidential candidate to replace Lincoln. The Cabinet met without Chase in attendance.

Federal troops of Major General George H. Thomas’s Army of the Cumberland, under Major General J.M. Palmer, drove towards Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston’s position near Dalton, Ga., with fighting at Catoosa Station and Tunnel Hill, in what is often referred to as the Demonstration on Dalton, Ga.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of Feb. 17-23, 1864

1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Fort Snelling prior to mustering out of Federal service.

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Ringgold, Ga., until April 29, 1864.

3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On garrison duty in Little
Rock, Ark., until April 28, 1864.

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Huntsville, Ala., until June 22, 1864.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – At Black River Bridge, Miss., for duty during the Meridian Campaign.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at various Minnesota outposts for garrison duty until June 9, 1864.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in St. Louis, Mo., until April 20, 1864.

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On frontier duty at various points in Minnesota: Anoka, Princeton, Monticello, Kingston, Manannah, Paynesville, Fort Ripley, Sauk Center, Pomme de Terre, Alexandria and Fort Abercrombie until May 1864.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Stationed at Rolla, Jefferson City, LaMine Bridge, Warrensburg, Independence, Knob Noster, Kansas City, Waynesville and Franklin with headquarters in Jefferson City until April 14, 1864.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On garrison and provost duty at Benton Barracks, Mo., until April 21, 1864.

1st Regiment Minnesota Cavalry “Mounted Rangers” – Formally mustered out of service on Dec. 7, 1863. Inactive.

2nd Regiment Minnesota Cavalry - On duty at Fort Snelling and at frontier posts throughout Minnesota until May 24, 1864.

Brackett’s Battalion of Minnesota Cavalry – Battalion veteranized and detached from the 5th Iowa Cavalry, left Alabama and headed to Minnesota, where it arrived Feb. 25, for duty at Fort Snelling.

Hatch’s Independent Battalion of Cavalry - Companies A,B,C and D on frontier duty in Pembina until May 5, 1864.

1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery – On duty at Vicksburg, Miss. until April 4, 1864.

2nd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – On duty at Rossville, Ga., until March 21, 1864.

3rd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery - Various sections of the battery were stationed at Fort Snelling, Fort Ridgely, Fort Ripley and Pembina until June 5, 1864.

2nd United States Sharpshooters, Company A – On duty around the Rapidan River, Va., until May 4, 1864.