Tricounty News

Civil War digest: This week 150 years ago June 3-9, 1863

Major Highlights for the Week

Wednesday, June 3, 1863

The first elements of General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, 75,000 soldiers strong, was on the move, having left Fredericksburg, Va., in a westerly direction. The decision to invade the North a second time was now underway. One of the first actions of what became known as the Gettysburg campaign occurred near Fayetteville, Va.

The Federal Ninth Army Corps from Kentucky was ordered to Vicksburg to augment Major General Ulysses Grant’s army.

Democrats led by New York Mayor Fernando Wood, met at New York’s Cooper Institute to urge peace.

Thursday, June 4, 1863

Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia continued to move from Fredericksburg, Va., to Culpeper Court House. Federal Major General Joseph Hooker, on the Falmouth, Va., side of the Rappahannock River was unsure if it was a major movement or a change in camps.

Skirmishing occurred on Lawyer’s Road near Fairfax Court House and at Frying Pan, Va.; Fayetteville, Ark.; and Atchafalaya and Lake St. Joseph, La.

President Abraham Lincoln suggested to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton that the order suspending publication of the Chicago Times be revoked. The Secretary so ordered it.

Friday, June 5, 1863

Federal troops from Major General Joseph Hooker’s Army of the Potomac made a reconnaissance at Franklin’s Crossing, above Fredericksburg, Va., and found Confederates in position. President Abraham Lincoln and Major General Henry W. Halleck advised that Hooker should try to attack the moving Confederates instead of engaging those still at Fredericksburg.

At Inlet Station, Va., nine thousand sabers flashed and horses pranced as Major General James Ewell Brown Stuart’s Confederate cavalry spread in review along the railroad track, displaying their colorful movements to the assembled dignitaries and their ladies in carriages and in “cars” on the railroad. This grand review was Stuart’s proudest day as a military officer.


Saturday, June 6, 1863

As Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s army marched from Fredericksburg towards Culpeper Court House, Va., Major General Joseph Hooker’s Federal troops attempted to determine their destination.

Fighting continued at Berryville, Va.; Richmond, La.; on the Shelbyville Pike, Tenn.; Waitsborough, Ky.; and at Shawneetown, Kan.

Sunday, June 7, 1863

Confederate forces attacked the Federal garrison at Milliken’s Bend, La., near Vicksburg, Miss., pushing through the works and forcing the Federals, which included the African Brigade, to the Mississippi riverbank. The tide was turned by Federal gunboats Lexington and Choctaw, and the Confederates fell back. The Federal forces sustained 652 casualties to the Confederates 185.

Below Vicksburg, Federal troops burned and sacked the Brierfield Plantation owned by Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his brother, Joseph.

Monday, June 8, 1863

Confederate General Robert E. Lee arrived in the area of Culpeper Court House, Va., his first stop in the new invasion route. Confederate Major General J.E.B. Stuart held a second “Grand Review” of his cavalry for General Lee and other dignitaries, including Major General John Bell Hood and his whole infantry division, which led to increased jocularity between the infantry and cavalry troops.

Tuesday, June 9, 1863


The Confederate cavalry under Major General J.E.B. Stuart quietly watched the Rappahannock River near Brandy Station. Behind them stood the bulk of General Robert E. Lee’s army at Culpeper Court House. Federal Brigadier General Alfred Pleasanton’s cavalry attacked Stuart’s cavalry at Fleetwood Hill, in what would become the greatest cavalry battle on American soil. For 14 hours, approximately 20,000 horsemen charged each other. The battle was inconclusive, though the Federals sustained 81 killed, 403 wounded and 382 missing for a combined loss of 866. Confederates lost 523 of those engaged. Both sides brought approximately 10,000 cavalrymen into the battle.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of June 3-9, 1863

1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Bivouacked near Banks Ford, Va., until June 12, 1863.

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Franklin, Tenn., until June 23, 1863.

3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Left Fort Heiman, Ky., enroute to Vicksburg, Miss.

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Participated in Siege of Vicksburg until July 4, 1863.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Participated in the Siege of Vicksburg until July 4, 1863.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Camp Pope near Iowa City, Iowa, until June 16, 1863.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On garrison duty in Mankato and other points in Minnesota until June 16, 1863.

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Marched to Fort Ridgely for duty until June 5, 1864.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On garrison duty in various frontier Minnesota communities until June 16, 1863.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Regiment on detached service for garrison duty at various outposts in frontier Minnesota until June 16, 1863.

1st Regiment Minnesota Cavalry “Mounted Rangers” – Organized at St. Cloud, St. Peter and Fort Snelling for frontier duty against Indians until June 16,1863.

Brackett’s Battalion of Minnesota Cavalry – On march to Murfreesboro and Nashville, Tenn., for duty.

1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery – On duty during siege of Vicksburg, Miss., until July 4, 1863.

2nd Independent Battery, Minnesota Light Artillery – Participated in operations around the Edgeville Pike, Tenn.

3rd Battery, Minnesota Light Artillery - Organized at Fort Snelling, Minn., from the enlisted men of the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiments. On duty at Fort Snelling until June 16, 1863.

2nd United States Sharpshooters, Company A – Bivouacked near Falmouth, Va., until June 11, 1863.