Tricounty News

Civil War digest: This week 150 years ago Aug. 12-18, 1863

Major Highlights for the Week

Wednesday, Aug. 12, 1863

Heavy Parrott rifles opened from the low-lying sand batteries of Morris Island, S.C., firing against Fort Sumter and Battery Wagner. Although just a practice to establish the range, the firing marked the opening of a new Federal offensive in Charleston 
Harbor.

In Mississippi, a skirmish occurred at the Big Black River Bridge, while the Federal Ninth Corp’s First Division arrived in Covington, Ky., en route to eastern Tennessee.

President Abraham Lincoln refused to give Major General John A. McClernand a new command. McClernand was relieved of corps command at Vicksburg by Major General Ulysses S. Grant.

Thursday, Aug. 13, 1863

On Morris Island, S.C., Federal guns continued to practice their firing against Fort Sumter, now from both land batteries and naval guns.

Skirmishes occurred at Pineville, Mo., and Jacinto, Miss.

Friday, Aug. 14, 1863

In Charleston, S.C., Federal guns continued their practice firing for the third day in a row.

Most of the action occurred at Sherwood, Wellington and Jack’s Fork, Mo., but skirmishing also occurred at West Point, Ark., and Washington, N.C.

Saturday. Aug. 15, 1863

As the month wore on, skirmishing occurred at Beverly Ford and Hartwood Church along the Rappahannock line in Virginia; and at Bentonville, Ark.

Sunday, Aug. 16, 1863

After urging from Washington, Major General William Rosecrans and his Army of the Cumberland commenced their march toward the Tennessee River and the Chattanooga from the area south of Tullahoma. Rosecrans delayed because, he said, of the ripening crops to be harvested, repair of railroads, and need of support on both flanks.

In Charleston Harbor, S.C., Federal guns on Morris Island resumed their practice firing. For the past several weeks at Fort Sumter, crews of laborers were filling in damaged masonry with sand, strengthening the faces near Morris Island, and removed many of the guns, which left the garrison of five hundred with only 38 artillery pieces left.

Federal Major General
Gouverneur K. Morris assumed command of the Second Corps, replacing Brigadier General
William Hays.

Monday, Aug. 17, 1863

BOMBARDMENT OF FORT SUMTER

With reverberating roars accelerating in frequency, the 11 guns of the Federal breeching batteries on Morris Island, aided by naval armament, fired a total of
938 shots in the first major bombardment of Fort Sumter. Batteries Wagner and Gregg were also fired upon. Sumter’s brick walls crumbled under the blows of the Parrotts, including the 200-pounder “Swamp Angel.” But the rubble and sand formed an even more impregnable bulwark against the Federal fire.

Tuesday, Aug. 18, 1863

The second day of heavy bombardment at Charleston against Fort Sumter and Battery Wagner showed that the Federals were tenacious in their attempts to reduce the Confederate forts. Although severely damaged, the Confederate garrisons held on despite the pounding fire.

President Abraham Lincoln tested the new Spencer rifle in Washington by firing a few shots in Treasury Park.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of Aug. 12-18, 1863

1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On detached duty in New York City until Sept. 16, 1863.

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the march through the Cumberland Mountains and Tennessee River for the
Chickamauga Campaign.

3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the march to Little Rock, Ark., until Sept. 10, 1863.

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On garrison duty at Vicksburg, Miss., until Sept. 12, 1863.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Bear Creek, Miss., until Oct. 14, 1863.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry –Participated in Brigadier General Henry H. Sibley’s expedition in Dakota Territory until Sept. 12, 1863.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry –Participated in Brigadier General Henry H. Sibley’s expedition in Dakota Territory until Sept. 12, 1863.

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Fort Ridgely, Minn., until June 5, 1864.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry –Participated in Brigadier General Henry H. Sibley’s expedition in Dakota Territory until Sept. 12, 1863.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry –Participated in Brigadier General Henry H. Sibley’s expedition in Dakota Territory until
Sept. 12, 1863.

1st Regiment Minnesota Cavalry “Mounted Rangers” – Participated in Brigadier General Henry H. Sibley’s expedition in Dakota Territory until Sept. 12, 1863.

Brackett’s Battalion of Minnesota Cavalry – Participated in the Occupation of Middle Tennessee until Sept. 6, 1863.

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

2nd Independent Battery, Minnesota Light Artillery – On the march through the Cumberland Mountains and Tennessee River for the Chickamauga Campaign.

3rd Battery, Minnesota Light Artillery - Participated in Brigadier General Henry H. Sibley’s expedition in Dakota Territory until Sept. 12, 1863.

2nd United States Sharpshooters, Company A – On duty in
Virginia until October 1863.