Tricounty News

This Week in the American Civil War: April 13-19, 1864

Major Highlights for the Week

Wednesday, April 13, 1864

Admiral David Dixon Porter, with his Federal gunboats, reached Grand Ecore, La., on the Red River, despite the rapidly falling water level and continued enemy harassment. Major General Nathaniel P. Banks’s Federal retreat continued with no hope of renewing the campaign.

In Arkansas, skirmishing broke out at and near Richland Creek, and on the Spring River near Smithville.

Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest’s men skirmished again at Columbus, Ky., after yesterday’s Fort Pillow Massacre.

Thursday, April 14, 1864

Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest’s cavalry continued operations in the Ohio River valley, skirmishing again at Paducah, Ky. Small Union gunboats help repulse the attack.

Skirmishing also occurred at Bayou Saline, Dutch Mills and White Oak Creek in Arkansas; Taylor’s Ridge, Ga.; and near Booneville, Ky.

In Washington, D.C., President Abraham Lincoln reviewed 67 courts-martial cases and issued several pardons.

Friday, April 15, 1864

On the Red River, the U.S.S. Eastport struck a torpedo or mine and was severely damaged.

At Knoxville, Tenn., Governor Andrew Johnson vociferously supported emancipation at a large pro-Union meeting.

Skirmishing occurred near Camden and Roseville, Ark.; near Presidio del Norte, New Mexico Territory; at Baton Rouge, La.; Greeneville, Tenn.; and at Bristoe Station and Milford, Va.

Saturday, April 16, 1864

A report on U.S. prisoners since the beginning of the war showed that the Federals had captured 146,634 Confederates.

The U.S. transport vessel General Hunter was destroyed by a torpedo in St. John’s River, Fla.

Skirmishing occurred at Camden and Liberty Post Office, Ark.; on the Osage branch of King’s River in Arkansas; Rheatown, Tenn.; salyersville, Ky., and at Catlett’s Station, Va.

Sunday, April 17, 1864

Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant ordered that no further exchanges of prisoners should be made until the Confederates balanced Federal releases. He also pronounced that “no distinction whatever will be made in the exchange between white and colored prisoners.” The move injured the South, with its shortage of manpower, far more than the North, but Grant received criticism from both sides for his actions.

Confederate land forces, soon to be joined by the C.S.S. Albemarle, a Confederate ram vessel, began an attack on Plymouth, N.C. The Confederates were under Brigadier General Robert Frederick Hoke.

Skirmishing occurred at Beaver Creek, N.C.; Ellis’s Ford, Va.; Holly Springs, Miss.; Limestone Valley and at Red Mount in Arkansas.

Monday April 18, 1864

BATTLE OF POISON SPRINGS, ARKANSAS

Confederate attacks continued at Plymouth, N.C. Other action included skirmishing near Decatur, Ala., and Citrus Point, Va.

At Poison Springs, Ark., Major General Sterling Price’s Confederates, under direct command of Brigadier General John S. Marmaduke, including the 1st and 2nd Choctaw Regiments, hit the Federals and a foraging train. After a heavy engagement, the Federals withdrew, abandoning 198 wagons. However, Marmaduke’s men were accused of murdering African-American soldiers of the First Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry. Marmaduke and other white officers claimed that the accusations of illegal killings were overblown, and blamed any murders that might have happened on the Choctaw troops who, in the words of one Confederate soldier, admitted that they did “kill and scalp” some of the black troops. Marmaduke was hailed in the Confederate press for what was publicized as a significant Southern victory.

Tuesday, April 19, 1864

The C.S.S. Albemarle joined in the Confederate attack on Plymouth, N.C., by ramming and sinking the U.S.S. Smithfield, damaging another wooden gunboat and driving off others. Confederate troops had surrounded the town and believed that surrender was near.

In other fighting, skirmishes occurred at Leesburg, Va.; Marling’s Bottom, W.V.; King’s River, Ark.; Charleston, Mo.; Waterhouse’s Mill and Boiling Springs, Tenn.

Confederate troops carried out operations against pro-unionists in Marion County, Ala.

An enabling act to permit Nebraska Territory to join the Union was approved after passage by the U.S. Congress.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of April 13-19, 1864

Active units:

1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Fort Snelling prior to mustering out of Federal service on April 29, 1864.

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 – On duty at Alexandria, La., until May 13, 1864.

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

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Paducah, Ky., until June 19, 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 May 15, 1864.

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

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 – On duty at Fort Snelling until May 1, 1864.

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 in Cairo, Ill., until April 28, 1864.

2nd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – Veterans were on furlough through June 5, 1864. Non-veterans attached to Battery I, 2nd Illinois Light Artillery and moved to Nashville, Tenn., where they escorted cattle and horses to the army in the field until July 14, 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, Virginia until May 4, 1864.

Inactive units:

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