April 15 1861 Monday
USA. US President Abraham Lincoln summoned a special session of the US Congress to consider the question of war against the Confederate states. Only Congress could formally declare war but as it was not in session, the President’s summons and call to arms was the equivalent of a declaration of war. He issued a Proclamation calling for 75,000 militiamen to serve for 90 days.
California. Incidents at Mad River and Van Dusen’s Creek.
Florida. The Confederates demanded the surrender of Fort Pickens at Pensacola Bay but this was rejected.
Indiana. Governor Oliver P Morton opened Camp Morton at Indianapolis for the training of volunteer recruits. It became a prisoner of war camp early in 1862. The majority of prisoners were exchanged by late 1862 and it reverted to a training camp. It reopened as a prisoner of war camp in early 1863 and remained in operation until it closed finally in June 1865.
Kentucky. The Governor of Kentucky asserted its neutrality and refused to furnish its quota of militia for Federal service.
New York. Seventeen vessels registered from Southern ports and without US clearance to depart were seized and fined by the New York authorities.
North Carolina. The Governor of North Carolina refused to furnish its quota of militia for Federal service.
North Carolina. Fort Macon near Beaufort was taken over by North Carolina troops under Captain Josiah Solomon Pender before the state seceded from the Union. It was located at the eastern end of Bogue Bank, in the Outer Banks. Construction began in 1826 and was completed by 1834. Only four guns were mounted in the dilapidated and neglected masonry fortification completed in 1826. The garrison comprised one single US Army sergeant. The local military authorities set about improving the armament until 56 pieces (5 8-inch and 2 10-inch Columbiads, 19 24-pounders, 32 32-pounders, and 6 field guns) were finally mounted. However, they had sufficient ammunition for only three days of action. Confederate Colonel Moses J White was assigned to command a new garrison of 430 men.
Texas. US troops evacuated Fort Stockton.
Commander in Chief: President Abraham Lincoln
Vice-President: Hannibal Hamlin
Secretary of War: Simon Cameron
Secretary of the Navy: Gideon Welles
Pacific Squadron: John Berrien Montgomery
General–in-Chief: Winfield Scott
Department of the East: John Ellis Wool
Department of Florida: Harvey Brown awaited
Department of New Mexico: William Wing Loring
Department of the Pacific: Albert Sidney Johnston interim Edwin Vose Sumner awaited
- District of Oregon: George Wright
Department of Texas: Carlos Adolphus Waite
Department of Utah: Philip St George Cooke
Department of Washington: Charles Ferguson Smith
Department of the West: William Selby Harney
Commander in Chief: President Jefferson Finis Davis
Vice-President: Alexander Hamilton Stephens
Secretary of War: Leroy Pope Walker
Secretary of the Navy: Stephen Russell Mallory
Department of Louisiana: David Emanuel Twiggs
- “Forces in New Orleans” “Army of Louisiana”: Braxton Bragg
Department of South Carolina: Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard
- “Forces in Charleston”: Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard
Department of Texas: Earl Van Dorn awaited
Department of West Florida: Braxton Bragg
- “Forces in Pensacola”: Braxton Bragg
Defences of Savannah: Alexander Robert Lawton awaited
“Forces in Harper’s Ferry”: Kenton Harper
John Ellis Wool
William Selby Harney
Edwin Vose Sumner
Brigadier-General USA (Staff)
Joseph Eggleston Johnston
Note: Italics, awaiting confirmation of the commission
David Emanuel Twiggs
Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard
Alexander Robert Lawton