American Civil War High Command – What is Here?

Chronology Day by Day: Who did what, where, when and why?

There is an entry for every single day from 1 January 1861 to 31 August 1865, with summaries for key events in 1860 and from 1 September 1865 to 31 December 1865. The Chronology continues in summary form until the end of 1869.

The Chronology is designed to give a daily status quo, allowing the reader to track the progress of particular campaigns, commanders, and organisations in their wider context.

The Strategic Context

The Strategic Challenge for the Union

The Strategic Challenge for the Confederacy

1861 Chronology

1862 Chronology

1863 Chronology

1864 Chronology

1865 Chronology

Appendix: Populations

Appendix: Major Campaigns and Battles

Appendix: List of Campaigns, Operations, and Raids listed in Chronologies

Appendix: Reading the Chronology Day by Day

Each daily entry in the Chronology lists:

the date and day;
major incidents occurring on that day;
major campaigns and operations ongoing at the time;
political and military events;
incidents of international, national, state, and territorial importance;

Each daily entry in the Chronology lists:

changes to the status of major commands and their commanders;
appointments, promotions, and other changes to General Officers;

Each daily entry in the Chronology lists:

the current Organisations Tree of major territorial commands down to Sub-District level with current commanders
the current Organisation Tree of field commands down to Corps level, with current commanders

This comprehensive record makes it possible to follow the evolution of each side’s high command structure in the context of current events.

Each daily entry in the Chronology lists:

All active General Officers for each side in order of seniority current on that date
These lists permit the reader to track the progression and evolution of individuals in the high command.

Commanders: Who became what and when?

This section lists Union and Confederate General officers, with a record of appointments, promotions, and service; and includes analysis as follows:

Finding a General

General Officers in the American Civil War

About General Officers in the Union Army 

Union Generals by Seniority

Union Generals Alphabetical

About General Officers in the Confederate Army

Confederate Generals Alphabetical

Confederate Generals by Seniority

Brevet Generals in the Union Army

The role of the United States Military Academy (West Point)


Organisations: Who led what and, and how was the high command structured?

This section is a list and analysis of High Command Organisations: territorial commands include Military Divisions, Departments, Districts, Sub-Districts, while field commands include Armies, Grand Divisions, Wings, Army Corps, and their equivalents.

The Day to Day Chronology provides an Organisation Tree for every single day.

Organisations Overview

Introduction to Union Organisations – by type

Introduction to Union Organisations – by Theatre

Introduction to Confederate Organisations – by Type

Introduction to Confederate Organisations – by Theatre

The start and end dates for each organisation are accompanied by the names of officers currently in command.

These Organisation Lists make it possible to trace the evolution of commands during the pre-war, wartime, and post-war periods.

Navies: action on the water

This section describes the organisation and actions of the Navies on each side.

The Strategic Context of the Naval War

Chronology of the Naval War, 1861-1865

Evolution of the United States Navy

Union Flag Officers

Evolution of the Confederate States Navy

Confederate Flag Officers

Timeline of the US Navy 

Squadrons of the US Navy

The Union Ram Fleet and the Mississippi Marine Brigade


This resource provides an unparalleled collection of information for anyone interested in the high commands of the American Civil War.

As this is a voluntary endeavour, there may be occasional errors and omissions. Please report any omissions or errors on the Contact page.

I have drawn facts, information, and opinions from a variety of sources, from published books and online sources, of varying reliability. I have not referenced sources with scholarly rigour but I have sought to be thorough and accurate and to resolve anomalies and discrepancies with intelligence.

When selecting events and incidents for inclusion or exclusion, I have aimed to record any information that helps to set the evolution of military organisations and their commanders in context.

When describing incidents, I have sought for accuracy, impartiality, and clarity. I have sought to avoid controversy, whether political or historical, and I have aimed to express moderate, impartial, accepted, or standard interpretations of disputed events or facts. I accept responsibility for any interpretations and opinions. I am open to correction or amendment where sound historical evidence is shared but I will not enter into political or opinionated debate.

The abbreviations, terminology, and information are intended to be readily understood by people familiar with the American Civil War. As I am an Englishman, other than for place names and proper names, I have used English rather than American orthography and grammar.

The author:

I have been exploring the American Civil War for many years.
Please contact the author, John Easom, using the Contact Form.
Thank you to Paul Newton for support in creating this resource.

John Easom BA (Nottingham) MA (Keele) PGCE (Manchester Metropolitan)

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