05/13, May 13th In Civil War History


Lt. Colonel
Mar 3, 2017
This date in Civil War history
Compiled by Mitchell Werksman and Jim Klag

May 13, 1846 - United States declares war on Mexico.

May 13, 1861 - Queen Victoria announces Britain's position of neutrality vis-a-vis the American Civil War.

May 13, 1861 - George McClellan [US] appointed Commander, Department of Ohio. The following day he is promoted major general, his rank in the Ohio militia. Only General-in-Chief Winfield Scott held a higher rank.

May 13, 1861 - May 15, 1861 - The First Wheeling Convention
West Virginia

May 13, 1861 - North Carolina elects delegates to the Secession Convention.

May 13, 1861 - May 13, 1861 - Brig. Gen. Ben. McCulloch, CSA, is assigned to the command in the Indian Territory.

May 13, 1861 - Moving from the Relay Station, Baltimore, MD, is occupied without the official authorization of Bvt. Lieut. Gen. Winfield Scott, USA, by the troops, including the 6th and 8th MA troops led by Massachusetts Militia Brig. Gen. Benjamin Franklin Butler.

May 13, 1862 - Federal occupation of Rogersville and skirmish at Lamb's Ferry, AL, with Brig. Gen. Ormsby Mitchel, USA. (May 13-14)

May 13, 1862 - Federal raid on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad near Corinth, MS.

May 13, 1862 - The seizure of the Confederate steamer, Planter, from the Southern Wharf, Charleston Harbor, SC, by its all black crew of 8.

May 13, 1862 - Skirmish at Baltimore Cross-Roads, near the New Kent Court-House, VA.

May 13, 1862 - Affair on Rappahannock River, VA, with Brig. Gen. Bayard, USA.

May 13, 1863 - Skirmishes near Woodburn and South Union, KY, with the unsuccessful Rebel attack on the railroad train near South Union.

May 13, 1863 - Federal reconnaissance from Baton Rouge, LA.

May 13, 1863 - Skirmishes at Mississippi Springs and at Baldwin's and Hall's Ferries, MS, as Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, sent forward Maj. Gens. James McPherson and William T. Sherman toward Jackson, MS, and Maj. Gen. John McClernand, USA, north toward Clinton, MS.

May 13, 1863 - Federal scout from Newtonia to French Point and Centre Creek, MO, and skirmishes.

May 13, 1863 - Skirmishes near Woodburn and South Union, TN.

May 13, 1863 - General Robert E. Lee rides from Fredericksburg to Richmond, Virginia to meet with Jefferson Davis.

May13, 1864 - Brig. Gen. Joseph O. Shelby's, CSA, operations north of the Arkansas River. (May 13-31)

May 13, 1864 - Skirmish at Cypress Creek, Perry County, AR, with Brig. Gen. Joseph O. Shelby, CSA.

May 13, 1864 - Skirmish at Spavinaw, AR, where with the assistance of the 2nd Cherokee Regiment, the Yankees rout the Rebels at their camp, destroying Rebel supplies; the Confederates skedaddle.

May 13, 1864 - Skirmish at Tilton, GA, as Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, CSA, evacuated Dalton, GA, and entrenches at Resaca, GA, awaiting the advance of Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman's, USA, Army.

May 13, 1864 - The Union fleet finally passes the falls at Alexandria, and Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks', USA, column is in full retreat to the Mississippi River, the Red River (LA) Campaign.

May 13, 1864 - Skirmish 6 miles northeast of Cuba, MO, with guerrillas.

May 13, 1864 - Affair on James Island, Charleston Harbor, SC, and vicinity.

May 13, 1864 - Skirmish at Pulaski, TN.

May 13, 1864 - Skirmish near New Market, VA, as Brig. Gen. John D. Imboden, CSA, routs the attacking Yankee Cavalry.

May 13, 1864 - With Gen. Robert E. Lee, CSA, holding off Lieut. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, USA, at Spotsylvania Court House, VA, Grant slides his troops to the south and east of Lee's.

May 13, 1864 - First soldier interred at Arlington National Cemetery.

May 13, 1865 - Brig. Gen. John M. Thayer, USA, is assigned to the command of the District of Eastern Arkansas.

May 13, 1865 - Skirmish with Indians at Dan Smith's Ranch, 5 miles below Gilman's, near Julesburg, the Colorado Territory, as 25 Indians attempt to run off the livestock there.

May 13, 1865 - Lieut. Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith, CSA, meets with the Confederate governors of Arkansas, Louisiana and Missouri at Marshall, TX, where Smith is advised to surrender his army. Brig. Gen. Joseph Orville Shelby, CSA, threatens to arrest Smith if he does.

Bruce Vail

1st Lieutenant
Jul 8, 2015

In May 13, the William Woodward sailed from Annapolis with 100 men of the 13th NY Volunteers under the command of Capt. Thomas and two guns of the 8th NY Artillery. The object of the expedition was the recapture of the Smith Point lightship which had been removed from its station by Southern sympathizers and hidden somewhere along the Great Wicomico River.

The lightship was found in Mill Creek and taken in tow by the William Woodward. About this time, a hidden enemy opened fire from along the shoreline. The New Yorkers answered with several volleys but were unable to bring their artillery into action. Their attackers reportedly belonged to a local militia unit known as the Lancaster Grays. Several musket balls struck the boat, but no one was injured. The expedition returned to Annapolis May 18, having successful;ly completed its mission.

Source: The Civil War in Maryland by Daniel Carroll Toomey


Retired User
Jan 20, 2013
north central florida
1830-Zebulon Baird Vance is born.Vance was the 37th and 43rd Governor of North Carolina.he was the Col. Of the 26th North Carolina until September of 1862 when he became Governor.the 26th N.C was destroyed at Gettysburg when it lost 700 of its original 800 men.