Tricounty News

Civil War digest: This week 150 years ago Sept. 2-8, 2013 Au. 26-Sept. 1, 1863

Major Highlights for the Week

Wednesday, Sept. 2, 1863

Federal troops under Major General Ambrose Burnside entered Knoxville, Tenn., cutting the fairly direct railroad link between Chattanooga and Virginia, forcing the Confederates to use a roundabout route from Virginia, down the Atlantic coast, to Atlanta and back up to Tennessee. Burnside’s move was destined to aid Major General William Rosecran’s effort against Chattanooga and Confederate General Braxton Bragg.

The citizens of Nevada rejected a proposed state constitution.

A joint committee of the Alabama legislature approved the use of slaves in Confederate armies and the Alabama house adopted the resolution after slight modifications.

Thursday, Sept. 3, 1863

Soldiers and Indians fought in California’s Hoopa Valley, and near Whitestone Hill, Dakota Territory For the rest of the year, there were military operations in the Humboldt Military District of California.

During the night, Battery Wagner at Charleston, S.C., received and returned fire, as other guns blazed in the harbor area.

Friday, Sept. 4, 1863

The Federal Army of the Cumberland under Major General William Rosecrans completed its crossing of the Tennessee River in the Bridgeport, Ala., area and at Shellmound, Tenn. Confederate General Braxton Bragg’s Confederate army in Chattanooga was threatened from the south and west, his situation growing more serious by the hour.

In New Orleans, Major General Ulysses Grant was severely injured when his horse shied and fell on him; there is some evidence that Grant had been drinking during this visit, partly social and partly to confer with Major General Nathaniel P. Banks. He was partially incapacitated for weeks.

Saturday, Sept. 5, 1863

In Alabama, Federal forces of Major General William Rosecrans moved into the mountains of northwestern Georgia south of Chattanooga, skirmishing at Lebanon and Rawlingsville, Ala., and at Alpine, Ga.

In the East Tennessee Campaign, a skirmish occurred at Tazewell, Tenn., as Federals moved in on Cumberland Gap from Knoxville.

Sunday, Sept. 6, 1863

CONFEDERATES ABANDON BATTERY WAGNER AND MORRIS ISLAND

Siege guns and seven monitors and ironclads bombarded Battery Wagner on Charleston’s Morris Island as the garrison crouched, virtually unhurt, in the bombproofs. However, Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard, in overall command¸ realized that the earthwork’s usefulness was at an end, and that a Federal infantry assault the next day would probably succeed. During the night, the Confederate garrisons of Battery Wagner and Battery Gregg, besieged since early July, were evacuated. Fort Sumter, now a mass of rubble and broken masonry, still held out, as did Charleston itself.

Monday, Sept. 7, 1863

Federal troops moved in to find Battery Wagner and Battery Gregg evacuated. Federal Admiral John A. Dahlgren demanded the surrender of Fort Sumter and the monitors engaged Fort Moultrie. The Weehawken ran aground between Fort Sumter and Cummings Point but was extricated.

Tuesday, Sept. 8, 1863

BATTLE OF SABINE PASS, TEXAS

Four Federal gunboats and transports moved into Sabine Pass on the Texas-Louisiana border, intending to gain a foothold for a drive on Beaumont and Houston. Ashore, some 40 Confederates, under Lieutenant Dick Dowling, manned a partly finished earthwork with a few guns. A few other troops and two ineffective cotton-clad gunboats, all that Major General John Bankhead Magruder could afford, comprised the rest of the extremely weak defense force. The Union gunboats opened up on the fort and Dowling replied. Both lead gunboats were struck, grounded, and forced to surrender with considerable loss. The other two withdrew, along with the troop transports, only after difficulty. It was a humiliating Federal failure and a tremendous morale booster to Western Confederates. Major General Nathaniel P. Banks was mortified at the failure of Major General William B. Franklin and his combined force.

Confederate Attorney General Thomas H. Watts resigned, having been elected governor of Alabama in August. He was succeeded ad interim by Wade Keyes.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of September 2-8, 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 October 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.