Tricounty News

Civil War digest: This week 150 years ago Dec. 9-15, 1863 Dec. 2-8, 1863

Thursday, Dec. 10, 1863

Fighting flared in east Tennessee as Confederate Lieutenant General James Longstreet tried to gather his command in the
Greeneville area. Skirmishing occurred at Gatlinburg, Long Ford, Morristown and Russellville.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis expressed concern over the disposition of troops for the Confederate armies.

United States President Abraham Lincoln, increasingly active, appeared much improved in health after suffering a bout with varioloid.

Friday, Dec. 11, 1863

A relatively light bombardment of 220 artillery rounds were fired at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, S.C. However, one round exploded a magazine, killing 11 and wounding 41. It was the last bombardment of the year the Federals waged against the fort and it brought no impending signs of surrender.

Confederate Secretary of War James Seddon’s annual report admitted serious defeats, especially in Mississippi, along with reduced military effectiveness because of desertion, straggling and absenteeism. He recommended repeal of the substitute and exemption provisions of the draft law.

Saturday, Dec. 12, 1863

Federal troops successfully attacked Gatewood, Lewisburg and Greenbrier River, W.V., in the continuing cavalry raids on Confederate railroads. On the front southeast of Chattanooga, a skirmish occurred near Lafayette, Ga.; and in the Knoxville Campaign, fighting occurred at Cheek’s Crossroads and Russellville. Action in Virginia flared near Strasburg and from Williamsburg to Charles City Courthouse.

Sunday, Dec. 13, 1863

Skirmishing increased with action at Hurricane Bridge, W.V.; Powell’s River near Stickleyville, Strasburg, and Germantown, Va.; and in east Tennessee at Farley’s Mill and Dandridge’s Mill. Other fighting occurred at Ringgold, Ga.; and at Meriwether’s Ferry, Bayou Bouef, Ark.

Mary Todd Lincoln’s half-sister Emilie Todd Helm visited the White House. Mrs. Helm was the widow of slain Confederate Brigadier General Benjamin Hardin Helm, who was killed at Chickamauga.

Monday, Dec. 14, 1863

Confederate Lieutenant General James Longstreet attacked Federal troops at Bean’s Station, Tenn., In a sharp engagement, Federals under Brigadier General James M. Shackelford were driven back, then made a stand, only to be driven back the next day.

President Abraham Lincoln announced that his wife’s half-sister, Emilie Todd Helm, had been granted amnesty after taking the oath of the Union, as provided by the presidential proclamation of Dec. 8.

Tuesday, Dec. 15, 1863

Action was near Pulaski and Livingston, Tenn.; and at Sangster’s Station, Va. Confederate Major General Jubal A. Early was assigned to the Shenandoah Valley District.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of Dec. 9-15, 1863

1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – In camp in Stevensburg, Va., until Feb. 5, 1864.

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in the Ringgold, Ga., area until Dec. 29, 1863.

3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Participated in the capture of Little Rock, Ark., where they remained for garrison duty until April 28, 1864.

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

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in La Grange, Tenn., to guard Memphis & Charleston Railroad and scout after Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On garrison duty in Minnesota until June 9, 1864.

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

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On garrison duty in Minnesota until May 24, 1864.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Moved to Jefferson City, Mo., for duty guarding railroad from Kansas Line to near
St. Louis. 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, and at Rolla from April 14-May 1864.

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

1st Regiment Minnesota Cavalry “Mounted Rangers” – Mustered out of Federal service effective Dec. 7, 1863.

Brackett’s Battalion of Minnesota Cavalry – On duty along the Tennessee River from Huntsville to Bellefonte, Ala., until
Jan. 7, 1864.

Hatch’s Independent Battalion of Cavalry – Companies A, B, C and D on duty at 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 near Rossville, Ga., until March 21, 1864.

3rd Battery, Minnesota Light Artillery – Four sections on duty at Pembina, Fort Ripley, Fort Ridgely and Fort Snelling until June 5, 1864.

2nd United States Sharpshooters, Company A – In camp in Virginia until May 4, 1864.