Civil War Naval History SEPTEMBER 1862 - History

Civil War Naval History SEPTEMBER 1862 - History

1 C.S.S. Florida, Lieutenant Maffitt, put into Havana after suffering a yellow fever epidemic on board which was fatal to several crew members.

Rear Admiral S.P. Lee relieved Rear Admiral L.M. Goldsborough as Commander, North Atlantic Blockading Squadron.

2 U.S.S. Restless, Acting Lieutenant Conroy, captured sloop John Thompson off South Carolina with cargo of turpentine.

3 U.S.S. Essex, Commodore W. D. Porter, in pursuit of C.S.S. Webb, had a landing party fired on at Natchez, Mississippi, from which Union forces had withdrawn on 25 July. Essex bombarded the town for an hour, after which the mayor "unconditionally surrendered" the city to Porter.

4 First session of the Naval Investigating Committee of the Confederate Congress was held in Richmond to examine Secretary Mallory's administration of naval affairs and the causes of the Southern disaster at New Orleans. The final report of the committee was favorable to Mallory.

C.S.S. Florida, Lieutenant Maffitt, ran the blockade into Mobile Bay. Many of the crew were suffering from yellow fever and Maffitt determined to make the bold dash into Mobile. Running past the broadside of U.S.S. Oneida, Commander Preble, Florida also evaded U.S.S. Winona and Rachel Seaman before coming to anchor under the guns of Fort Morgan in a much damaged condi-tion. This Florida incident brought forth orders for stricter enforcement of the blockade.

U.S.S.William G. Anderson, Acting Master D'Oyley, captured schooner Theresa in the Gulf of Mexico with cargo including salt.

U.S.S. Shepherd Knapp, Acting Lieutenant Henry S. Eytinge, captured bark Fannie Laurie off South Edisto River, South Carolina.

5 Rear Admiral Du Pont wrote Secretary of the Navy Welles, again expressing concern about reports of Confederate ironclads building at Charleston: "The ironclads or rams built at Charleston have been described to me, by intelligent persons who have seen them, as well protected by their armor, but as not formidable for offensive operations against our vessels, in consequence of their defi-ciency in steam power, it having been intended to place in them engines taken from old steamers belonging to South Carolina. If it be true that English steam engines have been provided for them, as reported to me by the Department, it becomes my duty to urge upon it the necessity of sending some iron-clad vessels of our own, to render our position off Charleston tenable. Vessels even imperfectly covered with armor emerging from the protection of forts, and always provided with a place of refuge, would be comparatively secure, while they might do great harm to wooden ships, especially of the light class which forms the chief material of this squadron. If by any possibility the blockading force off Charleston could be destroyed, or compelled to retire, it would produce a moral impression to our disadvantage even more disastrous than the actual loss itself. If it be possible to send the Ironsides to take up a position off that [Charleston] harbor, the efforts of the enemy would be completely frustrated."

C.S.S. Alabama, Captain Semmes, seized and burned ship Ocmulgee near the Azores, the first of many Union whalers and merchant vessels to fall prey to the feared commerce raider.

6 U.S.S. Louisiana, Acting Lieutenant Richard T. Renshaw, joined with Union troops in repelling the Confederate attack on Washington, North Carolina. Major General John G. Foster reported that Louisiana rendered most efficient aid, throwing her shells with great precision, and clearing the streets, through which her guns had range." U.S. Army gunboat Picket was destroyed by an accidental magazine explosion during engagement.

7 C.S.S. Alabama, Captain Semmes, captured and burned schooner Starlight near the Azores.

U.S.S. Essex, Commodore W.D. Porter, steamed down the Mississippi to New Orleans past Confederate batteries at Port Hudson, Louisiana. Essex was struck with heavy shot 14 times. Porter noted that the Port Hudson batteries would seriously interrupt the free navigation of the Lower Mississippi."

8 Commodore Wilkes ordered to command a "Flying Squadron" -including U.S.S. Wachusett, Dacotah, Cimarron, Sonoma, Tioga, Octorara, and Santiago de Cuba. The squadron was originated specifically to seek out and capture commerce raiders C.S.S. Alabama and Florida. Though the squadron seized several vessels engaged in blockade running, the two noted raiders eluded Wilkes' force.

A landing party from U.S.S. Kingfisher destroyed salt works at St. Joseph's Bay, Florida, that could produce some 200 bushels a day. Three days later, similar works at St. Andrew's Bay were destroyed by a landing party from U.S.S. Sagamore.

C.S.S. Alabama, Captain Semmes, captured and burned whaling ship Ocean Rover near the Azores.

9 C.S.S. Alabama, Captain Semmes, captured and burned whaling ships Alert and Weather Gauge near the Azores.

11 U.S.S. Patroon, Acting Master William D. Urann, and U.S.S. Uncas, Acting Master Crane, engaged Confederate batteries at St. John's Bluff, Florida. Uncas suffered damage, but temporarily forced the abandonment of the batteries.

12 Rear Admiral Du Pont wrote Senator Grimes of Iowa expressing his "warm appreciation of your tremendous labors in behalf of the Navy during the last session. I believe this to be emphatically the opinion of the whole service.'' Grimes had strongly backed the bill creating the rank of Rear Admiral in the Navy. In reply the Senator stated: "I am in no wise deserving of the kind compliments you lavish upon me. you know that up to my time [in Congress] it was supposed that all information in relation to your branch of the public service was confined to a select
'guild' about the Atlantic cities, no one from the interior having presumed to know anything about it. If I have been of any real service it has been in breaking down and eradicating that idea, in assisting to nationalize the Navy– in making the frontiersman as well as the longshoreman feel that he was interested in it and partook of its glory."

13 C.S.S. Alabama, Captain Semmes, seized and burned whaling ship Altamaha near the Azores.

14 C.S.S. Alabama, Captain Semmes, seized and burned whaling ship Benjamin Tucker near the Azores.

15 Lieutenant Commander Samuel Magaw, commander of U.S.S. Thomas Freeborn, reported the seizure and burning of schooner Arctic in Great Wicomico River, Maryland.

16 Confederate Congress passed a resolution expressing thanks to Commander Ebenezer Farrand, CSN, senior officer in command of the combined naval and military forces at Drewry's Bluff on 15 May, "for the great and signal victory achieved over the naval forces of the United States in the engagement . at Drewry's Bluff;" Farrand was praised for his "gallantry, courage, and endurance in that protracted fight. ." which Confederate statesmen knew could have been so disastrous to their cause.

C.S.S. Alabama, Captain Semmes, captured and burned whaling ship Courser near the Azores.

17 Rear Admiral S.P. Lee, concerned by frequent reports as to the building by the Confederates of "Merrimack II," again wrote Assistant Secretary of the Navy Fox asking that an ironclad be sent to Norfolk to support his forces there. "I feel the necessity," he wrote, "of having a fast steamer convenient as to size & draft, with bow & stern strengthened, and iron plated suitable for ramming, carrying effective guns in broadside, & fitted so as to work two heavy rifled guns at each end-bow & stern-capable of throwing such projectiles as will most readily penetrate iron plating." On 22 September Fox, sympathetic to Lee's needs, answered: "The Ironsides will probably be with you on Wednesday [24 September]. With the Ironsides you will feel no anxiety. She is fast, and has a terrible battery, and is a match for the whole Southern navy. If the Merrimac[k] #2 comes down I trust they will follow her up and destroy her."

U.S.S. W. G. Anderson, Acting Master D'Oyley, seized schooner Reindeer in the Gulf of Mexico (27N, 93W) with cargo of cotton.

C.S.S. Alabama, Captain Semmes, captured and burned whaling ship Virginia near the Azores.

18 C.S.S. Alabama, Captain Semmes, captured and burned whaling ship Elisha Dunbar near the Azores. ''The whaling season at the Azores being at an end," Semmes later wrote, ''. I resolved to change my cruising-ground, and stretch over to the Banks of New Foundland

19 Ram Queen of the West, Medical Cadet Charles R. Ellet, escorting two troop transports, had a sharp engagement with Confederate infantry and artillery above Bolivar, Mississippi.

20 Answering a letter in which Assistant Secretary of the Navy Fox had written, "We must have Charleston Rear Admiral Du Pont replied: "Do not go it half cocked about Charleston– it is a bigger job than Port Royal . failure now at Charleston is ten times the failure elsewhere. ." The same day, Du Pont wrote Senator Grimes in Iowa: "The thorn in my flesh is Charleston, they have been allowed seventeen months to prepare its defenses– and in no part of the wretched Confederacy has there been more industry, energy, and intelligent zeal, and science displayed- It is a cul de sac and resembles more a porcupine's hide turned outside in than anything else, with no outlet- you go into a bag no running the forts as at New Orleans. We have to do what never has been done, take regular forts by gunboats this must be done, but it is no ordinary work . One thing only oppresses us, that just in proportion to the extent of the honor and glory of the success, and the prestige gained at home and abroad so will be the deep mortification and moral injury if we fail at this wicked seat of the rebellion- hence we want quiet calm preparation of plans.'' Du Pont's estimate of the stubbornness of the Con-federate defenses at Charleston, as well as his appreciation of the probable effect on the North of a Union failure in his particular quarter proved correct. Throughout the fall of 1862 the ironclads were being built which Du Pont would command against the symbol of the Confederacy.

21 U.S.S. Albatross, Commander Henry French, captured schooner Two Sisters off the Rio Grande River.

22 Writing during a storm ("I suppose the true equinoctial gale''), Rear Admiral Farragut noted that "these are the times that try the commander of a squadron. I could not sleep last night, thinking of the blockaders. It is rough work lying off a port month in and month out . I have 6 vessels off Mobile, so that one can always come in for coal. They are all the time breaking down and coming in for repairs."

U.S.S. Wyandank, Acting Master John McGowan, Jr., captured schooner Southerner on Coan River, Virginia.

23 U.S.S. Alabama, Lieutenant Commander William T. Truxtun, captured blockade running British schooner Nelly off Ossabaw Sound, Georgia, with cargo including drugs and salt.

25 U.S.S. Kensington, Acting Master Crocker, U.S.S. Rachel Seaman, Acting Master Hooper, and mor-tar schooner Henry Janes, Acting Master Lewis Pennington, bombarded Confederate batteries at Sabine Pass, Texas. The action was broken off when the defending troops evacuated the fort, having spiked the guns. Though Sabine City surrendered to Acting Master Crocker the next day and a force under Acting Master Hooper severed communications between Sabine Pass and Taylor's Bayou by burning the railroad bridge and seized the mails on 27 September, the expedition sent by Rear Admiral Farragut could not occupy the area because there were no troops available for that purpose. As Rear Admiral Farragut noted some three months later, "It takes too much force to hold the places for me to take any more, or my outside fleet will be too much reduced to keep up the blockade and keep the river open" - the two primary missions of the squadron.

Nevertheless, the attacks were a constant drain on the Confederates and imposed widespread dispersion of strength to protect against them anytime ships hove over the horizon.

U.S.S. Florida, Lieutenant Commander Robert W. Scott, captured British schooner Agnes, attempt-ing to run the blockade at St. Andrew's Sound, Georgia.

26 U.S.S. State of Georgia, Commander Armstrong, and U.S.S. Mystic, Lieutenant Commander Arnold, chased a blockade running schooner (name unknown) ashore at New Inlet, North Carolina, and destroyed her.

Rear Admiral Du Pont sought to extend his policy of "mobile support" logistics by requesting an afloat fuel storage in the form of a coal hulk capable of holding a thousand tons and fitted out with hoisting equipment. Coal schooners from the North unloaded into this hulk and men-of-war coaled from it as needed while on station. This practice antedated the modern use of fleet oilers in furthering the fleet's efficiency and effectiveness. Storeships, receiving ships, and machinery repair hulks were already being employed at this time at Port Royal.

27 U.S.S. Kittatinny, Acting Master Lamson, captured schooner Emma off the coast of Texas with cargo of cotton.

28 U.S.S. Mystic, Lieutenant Commander Arnold, captured blockade running British steamer Sunbeam near New Inlet, North Carolina.

30 Assistant Secretary of the Navy Fox wrote Commodore Blake, Superintendent of the Naval Academy at Newport, regarding training at the Academy: "The seamanship is of the utmost importance, in my opinion, notwithstanding steam, and iron clads. I share the old Jack Tar feeling that a sailor can do anything, and that a man is not good for much, who is not a thorough seaman. Porter was particularly struck at seeing your boys scrubbing copper: he was always afraid they were getting too scientific, too conceited, but his experience at Newport seems to have un-deceived him."


American Civil War

After the first shot was fired at the Battle of Fort Sumter, the American Civil War would escalate. Many more battles would be fought over the next few years.

First Battle of Bull Run

This was the first major land battle of the war. It took place on July 21, 1861 near the city of Manassas, Virginia. General Irvin McDowell led the Union troops against P.T. Beauregard's Confederate Army. The goal was to capture the Confederate capitol of Richmond, Virginia.

The Union forces were doing well at first until reinforcements came for the south. The Confederate Army started to gain ground and soon the Union forces were fleeing.

The Capture of Fort Donelson

On February 14-15, 1862, the Union Army under Ulysses S. Grant captured Fort Donelson from the Confederates. This is the first major Union victory in the war and opened up a route for the Union Army into Northern Alabama.

The Battle of the Monitor and Merrimac

This was one of the most significant naval battles during the civil war primarily because of the new kinds of warships used. It was fought on March 8-9, 1862 near Hampton Roads, Virginia. The Monitor and Merrimac were the first iron clad warships. This meant that instead of just being made of wood, like all the ships before them, they had hard iron on the outside making them very durable against cannon fire. These new ships could easily defeat wooden ships and changed the way navy warships were made around the world. In the actual battle, both ships survived and the fight was largely inconclusive.

Fought in Tennessee on April 6-7, 1862, the Battle of Shiloh was the largest battle fought in the western part of the country. The Confederate Army, led by General's Albert Johnston and P.T. Beauregard, attacked the Union Army led by General Ulysses S. Grant. They won the first day, however, General Johnston was killed and they stopped the attack. The next day reinforcements arrived for the North. The North counterattacked and drove back the Confederate Army. Both sides suffered heavy losses. There were around 20,000 casualties and 3500 deaths in this battle.

The Battle of New Orleans

The city of New Orleans was the largest city in the Confederacy and a major port as well. Flag officer David G. Farragut led the attack of the Union Navy from the Mississippi River. He first attempted to bombard the two forts, Fort Jackson and Fort St. Philip, but was unsuccessful. Then he broke through the chain between the two forts in the river and proceeded to the city of New Orleans. Once in New Orleans he took control of the city on April 24, 1862. This was an important victory for the Union.

The Seven Days Battles took place between June 25, 1862 and July 1, 1862. There were six major battles fought during this time near the city of Richmond, Virginia. General Robert E. Lee and the Confederate Army attempted to capture the Union Army under General George B. McClellan. As McClellan's army retreated, Lee continued to attack. McClellan managed to escape, but Lee had gained a victory which increased the morale of the South.


Lincoln visiting McClellan
and Troops at Antietam

by The New York Times

This was the first major battle fought in the North. It was fought near Sharpsburg, Maryland on September 17, 1862. The Battle of Antietam is known as the bloodiest battle of the American Civil War. There were over 23,000 casualties and 4600 deaths. The Confederate Army, led by General Robert E. Lee, was vastly outnumbered, but still managed to harass and fight off the more conservative Union Army, led by General George B. McClellan. Eventually, though, the Union Amy was able to push back Lee's army and cause them to retreat from Northern soil.

Battle of Fredericksburg

This battle took place on December 11-15, 1862 at Fredericksburg, Virginia. It was a huge battle involving over 180,000 soldiers. The North was led by General Ambrose Burnside and the South was led by General Robert E. Lee. The North was leading a major attack into the South. General Lee managed to fight them back with a much smaller force. It was considered a major victory for the Southern forces.


16 July 1862: Congress Authorizes the Rank of Admiral

On this day 150 years ago, Congress authorized the rank of Rear Admiral (Two Stars), with not more than (9) active duty officers. David Glasgow Farragut would become the first Rear Admiral in the United States Navy. He would later make Vice Admiral (Three Stars) in December 1864.

These findings were originally published in the 1863 version of the Register of the Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy.

Rear Admiral Active List, as of 1863:
David G. Farragut (Commanding West Gulf Blockading Squadron) - 16 July 1862
Louis M. Goldsborough (Special Duty, Washington) - 16 July 1862
Samuel Francis Du Point (Waiting Orders) - 16 July 1862
Charles Henry Davis (Commanding South Atlantic Blockading Squadron) - 7 February 1863
David D. Porter (Commanding Mississippi Squadron) - 7 February 1863

The retired list of Admirals is a "who's who" of the Navy's old guard. One officer in particular, Charles Stewart, had a service record dating back to the Quasi-War with France. He is listed in 1863's Naval Register as "Waiting Orders."

Rear Admiral Retired List, as of 1863:
Charles Stewart
William B. Shubrick
Joseph Smith
George W. Storer
Francis H. Gregory
Silas H. Stringham
Samuel L. Breese
Hiram Paulding

In the 1878 edition of the Register, the rank of Admiral had a yearly salary of $13,000, vastly different from Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles' annual wartime salary of $8,000 in 1863. It is interesting to note that, unlike any other rank, Admirals pay did not change with their status (i.e. at sea, on shore duty, or on leave waiting orders). The number remained at $13,000. The lowest paid sailor in the United States Navy was the Warrant Officer's cook, earning just $15.50 a month ($214.50 per annum). The oddest (and poorly paid) position in 1878 was that of the apothecary, who earned $360.00 per annum.

Throughout the Civil War, the Confederacy authorized four billets to Admiral, giving two of these to Franklin Buchanan (August 1862) and Raphael Semmes (January 1865).


Battle of Antietam breaks out

Beginning early on the morning of September 17, 1862, Confederate and Union troops in the Civil War clash near Maryland’s Antietam Creek in the bloodiest single day in American military history.

The Battle of Antietam marked the culmination of Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s first invasion of the Northern states. Guiding his Army of Northern Virginia across the Potomac River in early September 1862, the great general daringly divided his men, sending half of them, under the command of General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, to capture the Union garrison at Harper’s Ferry.

President Abraham Lincoln put Major General George B. McClellan in charge of the Union troops responsible for defending Washington, D.C., against Lee’s invasion. Over the course of September 15 and 16, the Confederate and Union armies gathered on opposite sides of Antietam Creek.

Fighting began in the foggy dawn hours of September 17. As savage and bloody combat continued for eight hours across the region, the Confederates were pushed back but not beaten, despite sustaining some 15,000 casualties.

By the time the sun went down, both armies still held their ground, despite staggering combined casualties–nearly 23,000 of the 100,000 soldiers engaged, including more than 3,600 dead. McClellan’s center never moved forward, leaving a large number of Union troops that did not participate in the battle.

On the morning of September 18, both sides gathered their wounded and buried their dead. That night, Lee turned his forces back to Virginia.


Sioux Execution during the Dakota War of 1862

Video Spotlight: U.S. Dakota War of 1862. Indian Country Today, Indian Country Today Media Network. 2017. Link.

Any relationship built off deception, lies and prejudice is not one built to last or one that can continue peacefully without any sort of conflict. The perfect example of a ‘toxic friendship’ from the beginning is the relationship between the native peoples and the European settlers in the United States more specifically the tempestuous relationship between the U.S. government and the Sioux nation in Southern and Western Minnesota. One of the most shocking, unjust and discriminatory events in our nation’s history is the story of the Dakota War/Sioux Execution of 1862. Extremely unjust, unfair and discriminatory methods were used to get Sioux chiefs to sign treaties the U.S. government had no intention of fulfilling. Essentially leading the natives to give their land away for free and forced them on to reservations. Eventually these feelings of mistrust and prejudice led the Sioux people to fight back against the white settlers. This post examines the reasons behind the war, the events during the war itself with first had accounts from both soldiers and natives, and the impact of the Dakota Wars on the lives of the native people still living in Minnesota today.

Causes of the War

This story starts much differently than most tales of war because it starts with peace. The Treaty of Traverse des Sioux of 1851 was an agreement made between several tribes of Dakota natives and the United States government that the tribes would be compensated for land in what is now southern and western Minnesota (Weber). Leaders of the Dakota tribes were rushed to sell their land because they feared the United States government would just take it if they did not sell it. Combined, the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux and the Treaty of Mendota, also signed around this time, the Dakota had ceded about 21 million acres for 1.6 million dollars (Minnesota Treaties). The tribes never saw any of the money they sold their land for. In an interview done in the early 1900s a native man named Jerome Big Eagle, who fought in the Dakota War talked about the increasing unhappiness of the tribes following the sale of their land. He talks about how the counsels decided against going to war much earlier that 1862 because of the payment that was coming from the government. They waited and waited, but no one from the government ever came to pay them. They travelled to the agencies to pick up the payment, in gold, themselves, but were told that because of the war gold was scarce and they would not be paid. (Jerome Big Eagle, pg. 387-388). Treaties made with natives during this time hardly ever followed through how they were supposed to there was never any translators for the natives and all documents were written only in English. Right from the beginning the government had included a separate document within the treaty from a fur trader Joseph R. Brown. This document was known as the Traders’ Paper and it allowed the government to pay off debts to fur traders using the money owed to tribes in the treaty (Weber). The Sioux were not aware of this document when they signed the treaty and were obviously angered when they were told the payment would not be made. This blatant lying and broken promise was one of many the natives dealt with during the United States’ rampage to conquer the west.

Timeline of the War

The unfair signing methods and deception of these treaties culminated into the heart of the Dakota War. It started on the evening of August 17th, 1862, when a hunting party of four Dakota men were returning home, they happened upon a white settler, followed him back to his village and suggested a shooting match. After the shooting match the Dakota men turned their guns on the white settlers, killing five they returned home where they told their chief and elders who decided it was time to go to war (The Acton Incident). The war, which lasted four months and spread across central Minnesota and into North and South Dakota claimed many lives. Dakota men attacked settlements all around the Minnesota River valley for five weeks from August through September of 1862. These attacks eventually led to 40,000 white settlers fleeing their homes and about 800 white settlers and soldiers dying (Kunnen-Jones). In a book called The Minnesota Massacre written by A.P. Connolly tells about the homes of villagers after an attack from the Sioux, “Homes, beautiful prairie homes of yesterday, to-day have sunken out of sight, buried in their own ashes…” (Connolly, pg. 20). The author goes on to tell about a family whose house was burned to the ground, the wife was killed by a tomahawk and the two sons were chased through a corn field by natives never to be seen again (Connolly, pg. 20). A letter written by someone’s great grandfather who lived near Fort Ridgely during this battle, described the scene of their village after the natives passed through. He talks about the natives burning crops and homes, chopping off people’s feet and ripping their hearts out (Rieke). The killing of innocent people is a sad truth of war. While they were not directly to blame for the way the natives had been treated by the government, they were an agent for the natives, a constant reminder that their way of life was being taken from them and given to the new comers.

Refugees leaving their homes on the first day of the Dakota War, 1862.

Boris & Natasha. “Minnesota’s Other Civil War”. 1862 Dakota War. Link.

The U.S. Army, who was also fighting in the Civil War at the time, were called into action in mid-September and their forces began to overwhelm those of the natives. In the interview with Jerome Big Eagle he talks about hearing of the soldiers being called from Fort Snelling. He and his band rushed to try and meet the other Sioux fighting at the river, but by the time he and his men arrived the fight was over, and many natives and soldiers lay dead on the ground. The fighting was brutal, many of the men seemed to have been shot after they had died (Jerome Big Eagle, pg. 391). The Dakota War was finally gaining the attention of President Lincoln after it spilled into western South Dakota, Northern Nebraska and Northern Iowa. With four states now involved Lincoln decided to create a new Army Department of the Northwest, which was headquartered in Fort Snelling and overseen by Major General John Pope (Boris & Natasha). The tides began to change as federal troops were brought in vast numbers, and Little Crow, chief of the Sioux, was beginning to see they were outnumbered. The conflict ended soon after when Henry Sibley and his men marched on Yellow Medicine and captured 2,000 Sioux peoples (Wiener). After the fighting had ended the issue became what to do with the captives, he sentenced 303 of them to death, who were sent to Mankato to prison, others were sent to internment camps or other prisons (Boris & Natasha).

Lincoln took into account the abuse and discrimination the natives had faced leading up to the war. 1,600 Dakota women, children and elderly were forced to march 180 miles from their internment camps to Pikes Island at Fort Snelling (Boris & Natasha). At Pikes Island hundreds of natives died in the harsh winter from starvation, hypothermia and a measles outbreak (Boris & Natasha). After reviewing the 303 death sentences himself, President Lincoln made a final decision of 38 Dakota warriors who were found guilty of rape or had participated in the massacring of civilians outside of battles. The rest of the 265 Dakota men were sentenced to prison. The 38 Dakota men were hanged in front of a crowd of nearly 4,000 in downtown Mankato (The Trials & Hanging). The remaining free Dakota people were forced onto reservations or were forced to flee to Canada. Many were dispersed and separated from their tribes and families. This whole conflict has led to years of unresolved feelings of mistrust and brokenness from the native Dakota peoples living in Minnesota to this day.

The execution of 38 Dakota men following the Dakota War, December 1862.

The Trials & Hanging. The US-Dakota War of 1862, Minnesota Historical Society. Link.

After the War

This story is difficult to hear at first. It is a sad and deeply shameful part of Minnesota’s past and it is something that has been covered up for a long time, but historians are finally shedding light on this terrible tragedy. The natives were treated extremely unjustly during their “trials” and even before when they believed they were partners in business with the United States government. None of the treaties, documents or sentencing was done in the Sioux people’s native language, they never fully knew what they were being accused of or what they were signing their rights and land away to. It is a fundamental right, laid out in the 6 th Amendment in the Constitution of the United States that an individual has the right to know what they are being accused of and have the right to a trial by an impartial jury but that did not apply to the native people of this land. The idea of Manifest Destiny is a dangerous one. Natives who had lived in the Minnesota River valley for thousands of years were being kicked from their homes. They were doing everything they could to protect their way of life from friends and invaders alike.

In the interview with Jerome Big Eagle he talks about the way the white men treated the natives they abused them and “they always seemed to say by their manner when they saw an Indian ‘I am much better than you’” (Jerome Big Eagle, pg. 385). He goes on to talk about how much worse abuse the native women took from the white men, he says they disgraced them and there was no excuse for it (Jerome Big Eagle, pg. 385). After reading real accounts of natives who lived during this time, it is no surprise they went to war and they did not care who they killed during that war. Their peace and their lives had already been taken from them, they had tried to befriend the settlers, they had tried to be open and live amongst the new comers in solidarity, but now they had no choice left but to fight everyone and everything that stood against them. The conflict never really ceased. While the fighting in the Minnesota River Valley may have ended, the conflict continued westward with battles such as Little Bighorn and Wounded Knee. And while the ‘war’ today may not include actual bloodshed, natives are still fighting to protect their land and their traditions from the same outsiders who took it from them 200 years ago.


USS New Ironsides (1862)

USS New Ironsides was a broadside ironclad United States Civil War ship, named in honor of USS Constitution, which earned the nickname "Old Ironsides" during her engagement with HMS Guerrière in the War of 1812. As the USS Constitution herself was still in commission, the name was unavailable for a new ship. It was built in 1861 by Merrick & Sons at the C. H. and W. H. Cramp shipyard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the last and largest of an initial group of three ocean-going ironclads ordered to meet the needs of the Civil War. Launched on 10 May 1862, it was commissioned in August that year. Following a lengthy fitting-out period, New Ironsides joined the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron in January 1863. New Ironsides operated in support of the blockade of Charleston, South Carolina for the rest of the year, and took part in several attacks on the Confederate fortifications protecting the city. New Ironsides boasted a heavy broadside battery of eight heavy guns on each side which, in addition to her armor protection, made her uniquely valuable for bombardment actions.

The first bombardment operation took place on 7 April 1863, when nine Union ironclads entered Charleston harbor and conducted a prolonged, but inconclusive, bombardment of Fort Sumter. New Ironsides was repeatedly hit by enemy cannon fire, but suffered no serious damage, unlike several accompanying vessels. During the summer of 1863 New Ironsides battered Confederate positions in the successful campaign to take Fort Wagner on Morris Island in the process the ship was the target of a spar torpedo boat attack on 21 August. Another such attack by CSS David on the night of October 5, 1863 damaged the ironclad. The damage was insignificant, and she remained on station until May 1864 when she returned to Philadelphia for repairs and a general overhaul.

With the completion of this work in late August 1864, New Ironsides was recommissioned and joined the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron in October. She participated in a major assault in December on Fort Fisher, North Carolina, in an effort to stop blockade running into the port of Wilmington. Though this attack was called off on Christmas Day after an extensive bombardment, the Union fleet returned to resume the operation on 13 January 1865. New Ironsides was one of several warships that heavily shelled Fort Fisher, preparing the way for a ground assault that captured the position on 15 January. Afterwards New Ironsides supported Union activities in the Hampton Roads area for the next few months. She was decommissioned on 7 April 1865 and was laid up at League Island, Philadelphia, where on December 16, 1866, USS New Ironsides was accidentally destroyed by fire due to an unattended stove.


Congress Changed the Way Lincoln Fought the Civil War

On March 4, 1861, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives convened as the 37 th Congress the day Abraham Lincoln was sworn in as president. In his inaugural address, Lincoln took a conciliatory stance and promised not to interfere with slavery in states where it existed, but the antislavery congressional Republicans who became known as Radicals insisted that the power to shape the course of the war resided in the legislative branch, not the White House. In Congress at War: How Republican Reformers Fought the Civil War, Defied Lincoln, Ended Slavery, and Remade America, historian Fergus M. Bordewich explores how the 37 th and 38 th Congresses pushed the president to fight the Confederacy aggressively, emancipate the four million African Americans in bondage and protect their civil rights, and enact legislation that made the federal government stronger.

Congress at War: How Republican Reformers Fought the Civil War, Defied Lincoln, Ended Slavery, and Remade America
By Fergus M Bordewich
Alfred A Knopf, 2020, $30

Rep. Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania was a strong believer in racial equality and pressed the president to emancipate and eventually enlist black men as soldiers. (Library of Congress)

You identify four legislators who were central characters during the Civil War. Who were they? Two were leading Radicals, Representative Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania and Senator Ben Wade of Ohio. Both were consistent advocates for an aggressive war policy and forceful action to liberate the South’s slaves. Another, Senator William P. Fessenden of Maine, a conservative by nature, only belatedly and cautiously aligned himself with the Radicals as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, he was a pivotal figure in raising money to carry on the war. The fourth, Ohio Representative Clement L. Vallandigham, a staunch Copperhead, was a northern Democrat with southern sympathies and the leading advocate for a negotiated peace.

What were the main challenges facing Congress in 1861? The challenges that Congress faced were existential: How could the North be mobilized for a war it never expected to fight? How could the war be paid for? Could the Constitution survive the suspension of fundamental civil rights in the name of national security? Should the war be fought with respect for the sanctity of Southern property—including slaves—or with a ruthlessness that would bring the seceded states to their knees? Suspicion of central government, distrust of a strong executive, and traditions of states’ rights—in the North as well as the South—threatened to undermine the country’s war-making ability, while deep-seated racism threatened to infect every war policy that touched on the future of black Americans.

What were the main achievements of the special session of the 37 th Congress that met July 4, 1861-Aug. 7, 1861, and what was the backdrop for their actions? In effect, the special session made the war a reality. Passage of the Confiscation Act facilitated the liberation of enslaved people as “contraband of war,” and began the march toward general emancipation. The biggest war loan in American history to that date was approved, and the first income tax was enacted. Money was appropriated to pay the troops, buy arms and ordnance, construct fortifications and develop armored ships. The size of the Navy was dramatically increased. The president was given the authority to mobilize state militias for the war’s duration. Federal employees, for the first time, were required to swear a binding oath of allegiance. The Philadelphia Daily News proclaimed, “This extra session has been, in many respects, the most remarkable of any held since the adoption of the Federal Constitution.”

Senator William Pitt Fessenden of Maine pushed for taxes and loans to pay for the war.

Congress supported unilateral actions taken by President Lincoln in the opening weeks of the war, except for his decision to suspend the writ of habeas corpus. Can you explain the significance of habeas corpus and how the president’s decision affected the war effort? Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus was an emergency response to acts of sabotage and subversion by southern sympathizers in Maryland. Suspension enabled the military to arrest and hold civilians as suspected saboteurs without due process. Democrats and some Republicans protested at this perceived assault on civil liberties, but if Lincoln had not acted Washington and its small military garrison would have been cut off from reinforcements from the North. It took many months for Republicans to rally behind Lincoln on the issue of suspension, and many did so with lingering moral qualms.

Congress, with Republican majorities in both houses, was ahead of the president on emancipation. What actions did legislators in the 37 th Congress take that pushed Lincoln toward freeing slaves? In passing the Confiscation Act, Congress invented a strategy for giving runaway slaves safety within Union lines, in defiance of the Fugitive Slave Law. In 1862, Congress voted to free all remaining slaves in the nation’s capital, while powerful Radicals such as Thaddeus Stevens urged Lincoln to adopt general emancipation as a war measure. This the president finally committed to a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation in September 1862 and formalized the proclamation on January 1, 1863. Although it applied only to areas under federal control, the proclamation made clear federal determination to destroy slavery everywhere. As early as 1862, Radicals in Congress also began pressing for the recruitment of former slaves and free African Americans as soldiers, which became official policy in 1863.

Sen. Benjamin Wade of Ohio chaired the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War. He made generals quail if they didn’t fight hard enough. (Library of Congress)

One of the most controversial moves of the 37 th Congress was formation of the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War. Why was the committee so significant to military policy and public opinion? The Joint Committee was the driving engine of congressional war policy, prodding and pressuring Lincoln to take more aggressive military action and to act more decisively against slavery. The committee interviewed hundreds of serving army officers about their strategy, tactics, and management, and publicly challenged those, such as Maj. Gen. George McClellan, who it considered insufficiently committed to a hard-war policy. The committee also vigorously investigated war profiteering, the treatment of federal prisoners in the Confederacy, and the horrific massacre of black federal troops at Fort Pillow, in 1864. The committee was criticized both during the war and afterward as an example of unjustifiable civilian interference in war-making. Its defenders replied that through the committee Congress was in fact carrying out its constitutionally mandated duty of oversight. Had the committee been less forcefully led—it was chaired by the Radical Sen. Ben Wade of Ohio—McClellan and cautious generals of his type would likely have remained in command far longer and pressure to the recruitment of black troops would have been far weaker.

Congress enacted innovative legislation that continues to affect the country in the 21 st century. Can you talk about those bills? The Civil War era was one of the most dynamic periods of legislative activism in American history. Congress made the Union victory possible by raising the astronomical sums necessary to keep the war effort afloat by enacting the innovative sale of war bonds and the country’s first income tax. It also reinvented the nation’s financial system, in part through the issuing of the first national currency, and passed far-reaching legislation that was long blocked by prewar southern intransigence: in particular, western homesteading, the Transcontinental Railroad, and the establishment of land-grant colleges. By its determined support for emancipation, Congress also initiated the racial revolution that would overthrow the South’s cotton economy and eventually make citizens of nearly 4 million former slaves.

Rep. Clement Vallandigham of Ohio was a leading proslavery Copperhead who campaigned for a negotiated peace. (Library of Congress)

One of the most difficult and controversial issues that Congress debated was what to do with people perceived to be traitors because they supported the Confederacy. Talk about how Congress dealt with Copperheads. Copperhead agitation against the war ranged from argument on the floor of Congress, to polemics in the press, to organized subversion. A few Copperheads were summarily expelled from Congress, and the movement’s most prominent leader, Rep. Clement L. Vallandigham, was arrested and deported to the Confederacy. (He later returned to participate in the 1864 Democratic convention.) Beginning in 1861, after bitter debate, Congress sustained the suspension of habeas corpus, first in Maryland and parts of the Northeast and eventually across the country, enabling military authorities to crack down on extreme Copperhead activity. Enforcement varied widely and was sometimes capricious. Hundreds were arrested and jailed, and several newspapers suspended, though usually for only brief periods, prompting widespread uneasiness about the curtailment of civil liberties.

Another act that caused public unrest was the Enrollment Act of 1863. What happened as a result of this new law? The Enrollment Act enabled the War Department to draft men between 20 and 45 by lottery. It was the first conscription act in American history and a radical departure from the tradition of depending on volunteers to fill the army’s depleted ranks. In some areas, most notably those with large Copperhead populations, the public reaction against was intense, most violently in New York City, where hundreds were killed during days of rioting in July 1863. The Enrollment Act also established a system of provost marshals charged with arresting deserters, punishing “treasonable practices,” and seizing traitors and enemy spies. It further provided steep penalties for anyone who concealed a deserter, resisted the draft, or counseled anyone to do so. In some localities in the Midwest, the act led to rioting and bloodshed, including attacks on recruiting officers and draft offices, and the murder of 38 provost marshals by the end of the war.

Clement Vallandigham is seen most often as a reprehensible proponent of slavery and a traitor. You have a more nuanced view. Vallandigham, who represented Dayton, Ohio and became the most outspoken leader of the Copperheads in Congress, was an unapologetic racist and white supremacist who vigorously opposed the Union war effort in the most scathing terms. But he was a complex figure. He opposed capital punishment, advocated for the immigrant working class, and protested the brutal treatment of seamen on American ships. He tirelessly attacked racial “amalgamation” and “negro equality,” and charged that emancipation would cause millions of blacks to move north to steal white men’s jobs. At the same time, he defended traditional civil liberties against the actions of federal provost marshals and repressive measures such as the closure of Copperhead newspapers and the jailing of antiwar men for exercising the right of free speech. Had he espoused more enlightened policies on race and the Union, he might well be celebrated as one of America’s great wartime dissenters.

An abbreviated version of this interview appeared in the May 2020 issue of America’s Civil War.


144th Infantry Regiment

The following is taken from New York in the War of the Rebellion, 3rd ed. Frederick Phisterer. Albany: J. B. Lyon Company, 1912.
August 27, 1862, Col. Robert S. Hughston received authority to recruit this regiment in Delaware county it was organized at Delhi, and there mustered in the service of the United States for three years September 27, 1862. In October, 1864, it received a large number of recruits, of whom the surplus, 159 men, were transferred to the 1st Engineers.
The companies were recruited principally: A at Tompkins B at Walton and Masonville C at Delhi, Stamford, Meredith, Hamden, Kortright and Harpersfield D at Franklin, Masonville, Otego and Sidney E at Andes and Bovina F at Hancock G at Middle-town H at Roxbury, Stamford and Harpersfield I at Sidney, Kortright, Davenport, Meredith and Delhi K at Colchester, Franklin, Hamden, Middletown, Tompkins, Masonville, Delhi and Harpersfield.
The regiment left the State October 11, 1862 it served in the defenses of Washington from October 13, 1862 and in the 3d Brigade, Abercrombie's Division, 22d Corps, from February, 1863 in the 3d, Hughston's, Brigade, Gurney's Division, Department of Virginia, at Suffolk, Va., from April, 1863 in 1st Brigade, Gordon's Division, of 7th Corps, from May, 1863 of 4th Corps from June, 1863 in the 2d Brigade, 1st Division, nth Corps, from July, 1863 in the 2d Brigade, Gordon's Division, 10th Corps, on Folly Island, S. C., from August 15, 1863 in Schimmelpfenning's Division, 10th Corps, from January, 1864 in 1st Brigade, Ames' Division, 10th Corps, from February, 1864 in the District of Florida, Department of the South, from April, 1864 at Hilton Head, S. C., from June, 1864 in the 1st, Potter's, Brigade, Coast Division, Department of the Gulf, from November, 1864 in the 3d Separate Brigade, District of Hilton Head, Department of the South, from January, 1865 and, commanded by Col. James Lewis, it was honorably discharged and mustered out at Hilton Head, S. C., June 25, 1865.
During its service the regiment lost by death, killed in action, 1 officer, 20 enlisted men of wounds received in action, 1 officer, 18 enlisted men of disease and other causes, 4 officers, 174 enlisted men total, 6 officers, 212 enlisted men aggregate, 218 of whom 1 enlisted man died in the hands of the enemy.

The following is taken from The Union army: a history of military affairs in the loyal states, 1861-65 -- records of the regiments in the Union army -- cyclopedia of battles -- memoirs of commanders and soldiers. Madison, WI: Federal Pub. Co., 1908. volume II.
One Hundred and Forty-fourth Infantry.&mdashCols., Robert S Hughston, David E. Gregory, William J. Slidell, James Lewis Lieut.-Cols., David Gregory, James Lewis, Calvin A. Rice Majs. Robert T. Johnson, Calvin A. Rice, William Plaskett. This regi ment, recruited in Delaware county, was organized at Delhi, and there mustered into the U. S. service on Sept. 27, 1862. It left the state on Oct. 11, 956 strong, and was stationed in the defenses of Washington at Upton's hill, Cloud's mills and Vienna until April 1863. It was then assigned to the Department of Virginia, and in Gurney's division assisted in the defense of Suffolk, during Long-street's siege of that place. In May it was placed in Gordon's divi sion of the 7th corps at West Point, and snared in the demonstra-tion against Richmond. In July it joined the 2nd brigade, in (Schimmelfennig's) division, nth corps. This division was detached from its corps on Aug. 7, and ordered to Charleston harbor, when during the fall and winter of 1863 the regiment was engaged a Folly and Morris islands, participating with Gillmore's forces in the siege of Fort Wagner and the bombardment of Fort Sumpter and Charleston. In Feb., 1864, in the 1st brigade, Ames' division 10th corps, it was engaged at Seabrook and John's islands, S. C It was then ordered to Florida, where it was chiefly engaged in raiding expeditions and was active in the action at Camp Finnegan It returned to Hilton Head in June was active at John's island in July, losing 13 killed, wounded and missing in Potter's brigade the Coast division it participated in the cooperative movement: with Sherman, fighting at Honey Hill and Deveaux neck. Its casualties at Honey Hill were 108 and at Deveaux neck, 37 killed wounded and missing. Lieut. James W. Mack, the only commis-sioned officer killed in action, fell at Honey Hill. Attached to the 3d separate brigade, District of Hilton Head, it was severely en gaged at James island in Feb., 1865, losing 44 killed, wounded and missing. In the fall of 1864 the ranks of the regiment were re duced to between 300 and 400 men through battle and disease, and it was then recruited to normal standard by one year recruits from its home county. The regiment was mustered out at Hilton Head S. C., June 25, 1865, under command of Col. Lewis. It lost by death during service 40 officers and men, killed and mortally wounded 4 officers arid 174 enlisted men died of disease and other causes total, 218.

144th Regiment NY Volunteer Infantry | General Guide Flags | Civil War

The New York State Battle Flag Collection includes two general guide flags carried by the 144th Regiment NY Volunteer Infantry. Both flags, in the US…

144th Regiment NY Volunteer Infantry | Guidons | Civil War

The NYS Battle Flag Collection includes two guidons carried by the 144th Regiment New York Volunteer Infantry. Each silk swallowtail guidon conforms…

NYSMM Online Resources

Other Resources

This is meant to be a comprehensive list. If, however, you know of a resource that is not listed below, please send an email to [email protected] with the name of the resource and where it is located. This can include photographs, letters, articles and other non-book materials. Also, if you have any materials in your possession that you would like to donate, the museum is always looking for items specific to New York's military heritage. Thank you.

144th New York Volunteer Infantry Flags.
2 page typed manuscript.

9th reunion and 50th anniversary of the 144th New York vols. veteran association, Walton, New York, September 27, 1912.
Listed in Dornbusch however, it is not know if this resource exists.

Antebellum and Civil War collection: Government Documents, 1860-1935.
59 documents.
This series is largely comprised of military records, including special orders, muster rolls, general orders, financial documents, requisitions, circulars, and ordinance reports. The documents are organized chronologically. Other records include those issued by state governments after the war, including pardons. Many of the military records are special orders issued for the Georgia Militia or the Fulton County Militia in Atlanta. The orders include calls for arming and equipping all men eligible to serve in the militia, monthly regimental parades, elections of field officers, granting leave of absences, the impressment of Atlanta's City Hall as a hospital, details of civilians for duty, and service exemptions for newspaper employees, including Samuel P. Richards of The Soldiers Friend, and editors and publishers of The Baptist Banner. The series include muster rolls for the 1st, 4th, and 7th Georgia Regiments in 1861-1862, and for the 144th New York Volunteers. Among the records issued by state governments are pardons to ex-Confederate soldiers and officials, an invoice for "impressment of negroes" in Alabama to make salt, and a letter from General Robert E. Lee dismissing soldiers of the Army of Northern Virginia after the surrender at Appomattox.
Finding aid at: ftp.atlantahistorycenter.com/MSS/MSS%20600-699/MSS%20645.pdf
Located at the Atlanta History Center.

Bogart, Abram. and Bogart, Mary M. Letters, 1862-1865.
A group of letters addressed to his wife Mary M. Bogart at home in Masonville, Delaware County, NY that contain comments about the conduct of the war which were a reflection the sentiments held by many of his fellow soldiers. In the letter of 28 May 1863, he states ". this is a war of shoulder straps and money to the officers and not to put down the rebellion. " and in a letter postmarked January 1864 he exclaims, ". I should never have been here for it is nothing but a political war. " In both these and other letters he elaborates on his distain toward officers and the hypocracy of political leaders. He also expresses in no uncertain terms his disgust of squalid conditions in camp and the monotonous routine of drill, long marches, and picket guard duty. In essence, the anecedotal information in these letters is good and written very articulately.
7 items.
Located at the New York State Library Manuscripts and Special Collections.

Bradley, Wilbur. Wilbur Bradley papers, 1862-1865.
Letters, 1862-1865, of Wilbur Bradley contain information about Union army camp life at Folly Island and Hilton Head, S.C. After Col. Robert Shaw's assault on Ft. Wagner failed in 1863, Bradley's infantry regiment, the 144th New York Volunteers, was shipped from Virginia to reinforce the Union troops besieging Charleston. Nine letters in the collection were written from Virginia thirteen describe duty in South Carolina. Bradley's letters suggest that he enjoyed his new surroundings with its mild winter weather. In contrast to many eyewitnesses, Bradley was optimistic. He marveled at his first South Carolina winter and his unit had relocated to Hilton Head Island by the next. In the 1864 presidential election, New York allowed its troops to cast absentee ballots. "I think Old Abe will be elected, Bradley commented, "hip hip Hurah for the Old Rail Spliter he is the [man] for us." During that time, the captain of Co. D ordered Bradley and two other soldiers to, as they interpreted it, fraternize with black troops. After they all refused to obey it, the captain had them arrested and court-martialed. Later back on his feet, Bradley managed to open a shop. He served until the end of the war and mustered out on 25 June 1865. In 1903, he was still alive and was residing in Oneonta, N.Y.
22 items.
Located at the University of South Carolina.

Cook, Bishop Asbury et al. Letters home :Civil War letters. Bowie, MD : Heritage Books, 2000. vi, 367 p. 21 cm.

Dysart, Robert. Civil War Miscellaneous Collection.
(Enlisted man's diary, Jan 1-Oct 12, 1863).
Located at the Military History Institute in Carlisle, PA.

Hanford family. Hanford Civil War letters, 1862-1865.
38 letters
The collection consists of 38 letters written between 1862 and 1865 most to Levi and Elizabeth Hanford of Hobart, Delaware County, N.Y. by four of their nephews: James Oscar Hanford, Horace S. Hanford, Chauncey D. Hanford and Crandal B. Hanford. These men served in the 144th New York Volunteer Infantry, a Delaware County Regiment during the Civil War. The Regiment, which was organized into 10 companies, drilled at Camp Delaware located near Delhi, New York. It was sworn into Federal service on September 27, 1862 and mustered out at Elmira in July of 1865. There are also a few letters written to their son Charles or by Nancie Hanford, Chauncey Hanford's wife, and Raymond S. Champlin who appears to be a family friend. The collection also includes two copies of The New South, a newspaper published out of Port Royal, South Carolina (dated April 9 and July 23, 1864) and a copy of The Palmetto herald, another newspaper published out of Port Royal, South Carolina (dated April 7, 1864).
Finding aid online at: to external web site http://www.bates.edu/muskie-archives/EADFindingAids/MC049.html
Located at the Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, Bates College.

Harris, Robert F., 1944. Dear sister : the Civil War letters of the Brothers Gould. Westport, Conn. Praeger, 1998.

Jackson, M.L.S. Civil War Miscellaneous Collection.
(Enlisted man's diary, Aug 12, 1862-Apr 27, 1865).
Located at the Military History Institute in Carlisle, PA.

Kinyon, J. Wilson. A comrade's tribute. Bangor, Me.: Chas. H. Glass & Co., job printers, 1892. 8 p. 11 x 16 cm.
Located at Brown University.

McCombs, John. John McCombs papers, 3 Oct 1864- Jun 1865.
General description of the collection: The John McCombs papers contain a letter to his sister, a pass to the grounds around the Headquarter (HQ) at Hilton Head and a furlough pass to return to New York state. The day pass is dated 3 October 1864 and signed by Thomas Robinson. The correspondence talks about the weather and that McCombs is in good health. He urges his sister to never marry a soldier until after the war and that she should tell every one to avoid the draft. The letter is dated 28 March 1865. The furlough pass is good for the period of 18th through 30th of June 1865.
1 folder.
Located at the Military History Institute in Carlisle, PA.

McKee, James Harvey. Back "in war times," history of the 144th regiment, New York volunteer infantry, with itinerary, showing contemporaneous dates of the important battles of the Civil war, by James Harvey McKee. [Unadilla] Lieut. Horace E. Bailey, publisher [Times office] c1903. On cover: Civil war record of the 144th regt., N.Y. volunteer infantry.

McKee, James Harvey. History of the 144th regiment, New York volunteer infantry with itinerary, showing contemporaneous date of the important battles of the Civil War. Unadilla, N.Y. : Times Office, 1903. 378 p. ports., maps.

McKee, James Harvey. Letters, 1862-1865.
1 box (0.25 cubic ft.)
Group of letters McKee sent to his family regarding his experiences of serving in the army during the Civil War. These letters provide detailed accounts of the 144th Regiment's participation in battles and skirmishes that took place primarily in the vicinity of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
Located at the New York State Library Manuscripts and Special Collections.

Regimental Papers. Civil War Miscellaneous Collection.
(Letter from unidentified enlisted man, Nov 28, 1862).
Located at the Military History Institute in Carlisle, PA.

The Marvin Family collection,1853-1920, (bulk 1853-1880).
Archival history of some 220 letters, most with original envelopes lacking stamps. All but a very few letters are addressed to Thomas Marvin. Thomas Marvin has several sons and daughters. The most important of this correspondence are a series of 48 letters to him from his two sons, J.T. Marvin and Matthew W. Marvin of the 144th N.Y. Infantry. Although unable to determine the unit of J.T. Marvin, his wartime correspondence is a valuable record to Civil War history. Both brothers fought in the North Carolina campaigns, and one, Matthew, fought in Georgia and Florida. These letters contain campaign and battle history and general soldier camp news manuscript concerning AWOL of a captain of the 7th U.S.C.T. from Jacksonville, Florida (1864) letter requesting court of inquiry as to the guilt of the AWOL, indorsed by several officers special order no. 12 granting leave of absence to attend personal business. Letters are mostly from Kansas, Indiana, and Wisconsin, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
1 box.
Located at the Military History Institute in Carlisle, PA.

Swart, John. John Swart Letter, 1864 : 144th New York Volunteer Infantry.
Obtained from http://www.soldierstudies.org/
.

Teed, Hiram. Hiram Teed papers,1863-1865.
Civil War letters, chiefly written from coastal South Carolina and addressed to Teed's wife, Libby, at Trout Creek, Delaware County, N.Y. Letters written from South Carolina originated from Morris Island and Folly Island, and Hilton Head, Port Royal, and from various locations in the field while Tweed accompanied the regiment on military expeditions. Letters of interest include: 26 Apr. 1863, written from Suffolk, Va., comments on the difficulties of being separated from his wife 24 Oct. 1863, discussing the bombardment of Charleston, Northern politics, and "copperheadism" 25 Apr. 1865, stating that Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston had not yet surrendered and claiming that retreating Confederates were "killing the poor darkies" and 17 June 1865, reporting that his regiment expected to leave Hilton Head the following day.
54 items.
Located at the University of South Carolina.

Ward, Gerrit S. Family papers,1820-1965.
Family papers, 1820, 1860-1965, and undated, are mostly composed of the papers of Charles O. and Gerrit S. Ward. The papers of Charles O. Ward include: military certificates, 1898-1899 correspondence, 1898-1960 and deeds and legal papers related to land in and around Alma (Mich.), 1887-1961 (scattered). The papers of Gerrit S. Ward include: military and pension certificates, 1862-1928 correspondence re: family matters, the Civil War, banking, mines in Tenn., and timberlands in Ark., 1860-1916 deeds and related materials for land in Alma and Montcalm County (Mich.), 1883-1911 Gerrit's estate records, 1916-1917, copy 1940 an annual report of the First State Bank of Alma, 1916 legal papers re: land, mines, and miscellaneous, 1886-1910 and papers of both men re: Roanoke Rapids Papers Mfg. Co., 1907-1912. Genealogical materials for the Ward and Ely families papers of Joseph Ely Ward, 1916-1917, 1940 a military appointment certificate of Sardis Ward, 1820, and family photographs (6 folders) are also included. Two oversized scrapbooks of newspaper clippings complete the collection. V. 1, 1885,1961 and V. 2, 1885,1941. V. 1 documents the Spanish-American War, 1898, Charles O. Ward, and telegrams sent between relatives when he was hospitalized with typhoid. V. 2 documents the Ely and Ward families the Charles O. Ward family and includes two memorial booklets for William Sisson Turck (1839-1912) and miscellaneous.
2.5 cubic ft. (in 4 boxes).
Located at the Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University.

Warren, George W. Letters (1862-1865).
1 box.
Collection Call Number: SC18822.
Group of letters sent to Warren's brothers regarding his experiences and activities of military service, such as camp life, drill, and picket duty. Also includes letters to his brother, John, who served in Company I of the same regiment.
Located at the New York State Library Manuscripts and Special Collections.

Wells, Wilson J. Letters. 1862-1864.
Letters to home discussing camp life and battle of the 144th N.Y.V.
Transcribed and donated by Jackie Gallagher.

White, Daniel B., 1837-1905. Dear wife : the Civil War letters of a private soldier. Louisville, KY: Sulgrave Press, 1991.


September 26th, 1862

As the infamous war that divided the United States of America raged on in the latter half of 1862, President Abraham Lincoln was faced with a decision that might not only change the course of the war itself, but it would change the nation as each and every American citizen knew it. It was a decision that Uncle Abe spent weeks contemplating the outcomes of, how his people would react, and whether it would benefit the Union cause or send its foundation crashing down around him. Should emancipation be granted to all slaves? This was the question that lingered in the president’s mind until September 22, 1862 when his decision was published in the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. “On the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any state or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free” (Lincoln, The Abraham Lincoln Papers). The Emancipation Proclamation was not official until January 1 st , 1863 as the above statement mentions, but Lincoln believed the last days of September of 1862 were what he had been waiting for. Unsure of how citizens of the North would react, he needed the preliminary proclamation to come during a time of high morale and victory throughout the Union states and the military in order for it to be embraced and supported as much as possible. The recent Battle of Antietam, noted as the bloodiest day in American history and a victory for the Union due to a Confederate retreat, provided the President with the perfect timing he desired to turn an American way of life upside down. Common notions of the Civil War imply that Union citizens and soldiers were die-hard abolitionists who perceived their Southern brothers as cruel and inhumane members of states that no longer deserved to belong to America. Through various newspaper articles and first-hand accounts of the days surrounding the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, it is proven that this was not the case. To some Northerners, the emancipation of slaves would ruin all opportunities to restore the United States back to her former self at the end of the war, which was more important to many people than the preservation of the African American race. To others, namely soldiers and military officials, this proclamation would only cause more destruction and devastation on the battlefield, and it seemed those who were directly affected were without a voice in how this topic was to be handled. However, despite the handfuls of skeptics and nonbelievers, President Lincoln also received overwhelming support for his decision regarding emancipation. In the words of Frederick Douglass, a Northern abolitionist as well as a consultant to the President during the Civil War, “the proclamation…is the most important of any to which the President of the United States has ever signed his name” (Douglass, 562). No leader of a nation, big or small, has ever obtained unanimous support from his people—disagreements and varying opinions are expected when ways of life, as slavery was in the 19 th century, are threatened. But a leader must make his decision based on what is best for the majority of his people and, if necessary, for the greater human race. Abraham Lincoln’s Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation foreshadowed a great change that was to come in the hopes not only that the Union would win the war, but that America would be a nation once again built on social justice and equality.

On the day of its publication, President Lincoln met with his Cabinet members to discuss the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. The intention of this meeting was not for his colleagues to offer their opinions or criticisms about the release of the document—Lincoln had spent weeks mulling this over himself—because he had already made his decision. He merely wanted their feedback on a few specific clauses of the proclamation. An article from the New York Times discussed the points of this meeting, mentioning a few of the Cabinet members to be “bitter in [their] opposition” to the proclamation, but the majority of the men were in favor of Lincoln’s actions (General News, 4). Gideon Welles, the President’s Secretary of the Navy, was present at this meeting and proceeded to record the happenings in his diary. Welles directly references the President’s presentation to the Cabinet, writing that Lincoln told them this matter was a decision of God’s as well as his own. “God has decided this question in favor of the slaves”, he said, and the President stood firm in his belief that he had done the right thing by God and for his country. One member by the name of Blair, who was referenced both in Welles’s diary and the newspaper article regarding the Cabinet meeting, made his objections to the Proclamation clear. His fear was that the already-wavering loyalty of the Border States would be jeopardized and that many Unionists who were in favor of old political parties would be outraged by this act of emancipation (Welles, 531). Welles himself was also unsure of the success of the proclamation. In today’s world, emancipation often goes hand-in-hand with peace—schoolchildren grow up with the impression that the freedom of slaves during the Civil War was one of the greatest acts of all time and it was the sole reason for the Union’s success. However, Welles does not see things this way, as a select few Cabinet members seem not to either. “It is a step in the progress of this war which will extend into the distant future” (Welles, 532). The Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, as well as the proclamation that would make emancipation official on January 1 st , 1863, would probably bring peace in the long run, but the “speedy peace” Welles refers to that Northerners were praising Lincoln and his proclamation for ensuring was not likely to happen. It is clear that slavery was an issue that inevitably had to be dealt with, seeing as it was a large factor in the secession of the states that sparked the conflict in the first place, but not everyone seemed to be convinced that emancipation would be the solution to all Union problems as well as bring a rapid end to the war.

Uncertainty and rejection of Lincoln’s preliminary proclamation was even stronger outside the capital, in one of the most dangerous and disheartening places such tensions could lay—the battlefields. Soldiers are more directly affected by political actions towards the enemy than any other citizen during a time of war. Since emancipation aimed to free all slaves that belonged to rebel masters, Confederate soldiers were likely to be outraged that their livelihoods and homes were being jeopardized by a leader they no longer chose to follow. Therefore, it was not unreasonable whatsoever to expect retaliation from the enemy that would directly impact Union soldiers. L.A Whitley, a reporter from the New York Herald, wrote a letter to his editor, James Gordon Bennet, on September 24 th , 1862 concerning the sentiments of the Army of the Potomac under the command of General George McClellan. Whitley saw that McClellan’s men were unhappy to the point of being rebellious and feared that, although it may have just taken time for soldiers to understand and accept Lincoln’s action, things seemed “dark” at that very moment (Whitley, 538). Compared to the soldiers Whitley had met in Washington, these soldiers were unwilling to be supportive of Lincoln’s proclamation. According to Fredrick Douglass and his analysis of the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, McClellan’s men were not the only ones who were unsupportive. He said, “We have heard of many thousands who have resolved that they will throw up their commissions and lay down their arms, just so soon as they are required to carry on a war against slavery” (Douglass, 564). Having rebellious and undedicated soldiers would have been detrimental to the Union cause and, based on the accounts of L.A Whitley and Fredrick Douglass, it is certain that such men existed. However, the number of citizens and soldiers that declared their anti-slavery sentiments outnumbered those who did not, and Douglass reassured readers of his journal that this proclamation would relieve the Union army of all men who were in favor of slavery, something the United States no longer upheld as an ideal of the nation. The President’s Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation was unable to please all citizens of the Union, as expected, but those who were unsupportive, more often than not, were pro-slavery, and this was no longer acceptable in the America that Lincoln was striving to create.

Inferring from the positive connotations the term “emancipation” associates itself with in modern history texts and public knowledge, the preliminary proclamation was embraced by larger groups of more powerful people than those who disagreed with it. For example, the clergymen of Boston created a petition of support to be sent to the President himself. The petition states, “We, the undersigned, hereby express to you our cordial approval of your late Proclamation of Prospective Emancipation, as a measure intrinsically right and necessary to secure for the country a righteous and permanent peace…” (Boston Clergymen, The Abraham Lincoln Papers). Urging their fellow clergymen throughout the Union to show their support, these Bostonians of religious importance were just a few of many who set a precedent for advocating the President’s proclamation. Ralph Waldo Emerson, a transcendentalist writer who was also a vehement supporter of emancipation, also gave a speech in Boston in late September of 1862 regarding preliminary emancipation and how it would allow Americans to no longer “fear henceforward to show our faces among mankind” (Emerson, 557). Emerson’s speech was one of faith in the success of Lincoln’s proclamation as well as the American race as a whole. The common man was likely to support preliminary emancipation on the sole basis of not believing in the act of slavery—many citizens of 1862 probably thought of the proclamation as little more than the freedom of slaves, just as people of the 21 st century do. However, from Emerson’s point of view, the entire Civil War seemed to be solved with the removal of slavery. African Americans would obtain a respectable rank as citizens of the world, foreign nations would no longer look down on America as a nation of barbarism and cruelty, and the damages and devastations of the war were no longer worth nothing (Emerson, 556). Emancipation would change America, its way of life, and its citizens for generations to come, according to Emerson, and his support is only a small representation of the reasons why President Lincoln believed so wholeheartedly in his proclamation.

Events that occur on a single day of a single year in history are often overlooked—battles, births, deaths, elections, etc. are remembered, but the context in which they occur can be more important than the event itself. The Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, a document that foreshadowed the freedom of all slaves in the rebel states during the Civil War, published on September 22, 1862, shortly after the Union victory at the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862, represents little more than a document when the Boston clergymen’s petition of support or Ralph Waldo Emerson’s speech or L.A Whitley’s letter to his editor regarding sentiments of Union troops are not examined alongside the proclamation itself. As in any war, the initial cause can differ based on the judgments and perceptions of different people. It is no secret that slavery was a way of life, starting as far back as the 17 th century. Historians argue that this institution was what hurled the nation into a war between its citizens, and some believe the only way to end the war was to end what caused it in the first place. It was through President Abraham Lincoln’s Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation that one of the most controversial and momentous documents in American history since 1776 was set in motion. It not only further divided the Union and the Confederacy, but northern abolitionists were at odds with those who wanted a hasty end to this never-ending war, whether that involved emancipation or not. However, Uncle Abe was searching for an answer to a problem of the distant future. He wanted to preserve an American race that was still loyal to the ideals he and his country believed in, and slavery was no longer one of them. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “[the President] might look wistfully for what variety of courses lay open to him: every line but one was closed up with fire. This one, too, bristled with danger, but through it was the sole safety” (Emerson, 558). In the eyes of Abraham Lincoln and his supporters, the riddance of this centuries-old institution was the only way the war could come to an end and for any type of long-lasting peace to be obtained. The aftermath of the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation is now a part of America’s history, but it is what occurred on one single day in 1862 that tells the story of an entire year, nonetheless of the future of an entire nation. The combination of a nation in distress, conflicted citizens and loyalties, and the risk-taking of a faithful leader turned the finals days of September of 1862 into days unlike any others in the history of the United States, ones that would change the nation and the American race for generations to come.

Abraham Lincoln, “A Proclamation” in The Abraham Lincoln Papers. American Memory.


Other battles in the Indian Wars [ edit | edit source ]

Other battles and skirmishes, not rated by CWSAC, of the Indian Wars between either USA or CSA forces and the Apache, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Comanche, Dakota, Kiowa, Navajo, and Shoshone which occurred during the American Civil War – including: the Apache Wars, Colorado War, Dakota War of 1862, and Navajo Wars.

Battle Date State Outcome
Siege of Tubac 000000001861-08-01-0000 August 1861 Arizona
(New Mexico Territory
at the time)
Apache victory. Confederate militia and townspeople flee to Tucson.
First Battle of Dragoon Springs 000000001862-05-05-0000 May 5, 1862 Arizona
(New Mexico Territory
at the time)
Apache victory. Westernmost Confederate battle fatalities.
Second Battle of Dragoon Springs 000000001862-05-09-0000 May 9, 1862 Arizona
(New Mexico Territory
at the time)
Confederate victory. Livestock recaptured.
Battle of Apache Pass 000000001862-07-15-0000 July 15, 1862 July 15󈝼, 1862 Arizona
(New Mexico Territory
at the time)
Apache Wars: Union soldiers fight with Apache warriors.
Battles of New Ulm 000000001862-08-19-0000 August 19, 1862 August 19 and 23, 1862 Minnesota Dakota War of 1862: Two battles in the Dakota War of 1862.
Battle of Birch Coulee 000000001862-09-02-0000 September 2, 1862 Minnesota Dakota War of 1862: Worst defeat of Union forces during the Dakota War of 1862.
Battle of Canyon de Chelly 000000001864-01-12-0000 January 12, 1864 January 12󈝺, 1864 Arizona
(Arizona Territory
at the time)
US victory
First Battle of Adobe Walls 000000001864-11-25-0000 November 25, 1864 Texas American Indian Wars: Kit Carson fights Kiowa forces to a draw, but manages to destroy their settlement.
Battle of Dove Creek 000000001865-01-08-0000 January 8, 1865 Texas Kickapoo victory: Texas State Militia and CS troops are defeated by Kickapoo Indians.
Battle of Fort Buchanan 000000001865-02-17-0000 February 17, 1865 Arizona
(Arizona Territory
at the time)
Apache victory. Fort Buchanan destroyed.


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