This Week in the American Civil War: May 17-23, 1865

Information courtesy of Jeff Williams, Minnesota Civil War Commemoration Task Force 

Mankato Times

Major Highlights for the Week

Wednesday May 17, 1865

Major General Phil Sheridan was assigned to general Federal command west of the Mississippi River and south of the Arkansas River. With his reputation for destruction in the Shenandoah River Valley, this appointment angered many Southerners.

Confederate troops in Florida surrendered to Brigadier General Israel Vogdes.

Preparations for the Grand Review in Washington, D.C. were underway.

Thursday May 18, 1865

Brigadier General Israel Vogdes continued to accept the surrenders from Confederate troops in Florida.

News of the Grand Review in Washington, D.C. reached the rest of the country through the news wire.

Friday May 19, 1865

The Confederate raider Stonewall surrendered at Havana, Cuba.

An ambush at Hobdy’s Bridge on the Pea River in Alabama left 1st Florida Cavalry members Corporal John W. Skinner killed along with William Smith, Nathan Mims and Daniel V. Melvin wounded. They were the last casualties during the Civil War.

Saturday May 20, 1865

The limited military actions that still occurred involved Federals and guerrillas on the Blackwater River, near Longwood, Missouri.

Sunday May 21, 1865

The Nashville Union newspaper published the casualty list of the 3rd Tennessee Cavalry for those who died aboard the Steamer Sultana which exploded three weeks earlier.

Monday May 22, 1865

President Andrew Johnson removed commercial restrictions on Southern ports except for Galveston, La Salle, Brazos Santiago and Brownsville, Texas.

A minor skirmish occurred at Valley Mines, Missouri.

Former Confederate President Jefferson Davis was imprisoned in a cell at Fort Monroe, Virginia.

Tuesday May 23, 1865

ARMY OF THE POTOMAC IN GRAND REVIEW

The Grand Armies of the Republic passed in a last review. From the Capitol to the White House, crowds lined the streets, children sang patriotic songs, and the men marched. In the bright summer air the Army of the Potomac had come home to the appreciation of the nation. It was also the first time since President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination the previous month that the flag had been at full staff. Starting at 10 a.m., Major General George G. Meade led the procession. Regiment by regiment, brigade by brigade, division by division, corps by corps, the army made one final review. President Andrew Johnson was joined by Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant, senior military leaders, government officials and Cabinet members in the reviewing stand. When Meade arrived at the reviewing stand, he dismounted and joined the president and others in the six-hour review of his 80,000 troops. Major General William T. Sherman’s Army of the Tennessee and the Army of Georgia would participate in the review the next day.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of May 17-23, 1865 

Active units:

1st Battalion Minnesota Infantry – On duty in Washington, D.C. until May 23, 1865. 

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Washington, D.C. until May 23, 1865.

3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Batesville, Arkansas until September 2, 1865.

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty in Washington, D.C. until May 23, 1865.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Montgomery, Selma and Demopolis, Alabama until August 1865.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Montgomery, Alabama until July 1865.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Selma, Alabama until July 20, 1865.

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Raleigh, Greensboro and Charlotte, N.C. until July 11, 1865.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Montgomery and Selma, Alabama until July 26, 1865.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Meridian, Mississippi until July 1865.

11th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Assigned to duty guarding the line of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad from Nashville to the Kentucky line. Companies E, G, and I were at Gallatin, Tennessee. Company A was at Buck Lodge. Company B at Edgefield Junction. Company C at Richland. Company D at Sandersville. Company H was at Mitchellsville. The location of companies F and K are unknown at this time. The regiment remained on duty at these locations until June 25, 1865.

2nd Regiment Minnesota Cavalry – Engaged in frontier and patrol duty between Forts Wadsworth, Abercrombie, Ripley and Ridgely with headquarters at Fort Snelling, until November 17, 1865.

Brackett’s Battalion of Minnesota Cavalry – Engaged in frontier and patrol duty between Forts Wadsworth, Abercrombie, Ripley and Ridgely with headquarters at Fort Snelling until May 1866.

Hatch’s Independent Battalion of Cavalry – Companies A, B, C and D moved to Fort Abercrombie. Companies A and B assigned to garrison at Fort Abercrombie.  Company C assigned to garrison at Alexandria and Pomme de Terre. Company D on patrol duty from Fort Abercrombie to Pembina.  Companies E and F on frontier duty. The battalion would remain in these duty locations for the duration of the war – until April 26, 1866.

1st Minnesota Heavy Artillery Battery – On garrison duty at Chattanooga, Tennessee until September 27, 1865.

1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery – On duty in Washington, D.C. until May 24, 1865.

2nd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – On duty in Philadelphia, Tennessee until July 1865.

3rd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – On duty in Dakota Territory until October 1865.                                                                                                                                   

Inactive units:

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

1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Mustered out of Federal service on April 29, 1864. Inactive. 

2nd United States Sharpshooters, Company A – Transferred to the 1st Battalion, Minnesota Infantry on February 20, 1865 at Petersburg, Virginia for duration of service. 

1st United States Sharpshooters Company I – Mustered out of Federal Service on March 19, 1865. 

To learn more about the American Civil War, click here

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