1861 April 17th

April 17 1861 Wednesday

Virginia Seceded

CSA. Confederate President Jefferson Finis Davis’ invited all interested in “service in private armed vessels on the high seas” to apply for Letters of Marque and Reprisal.

Florida. USS Powhatan (Lieutenant David Dixon Porter USN) arrived off Pensacola and protected the landing of 600 troops aboard the steamer Atlantic at Fort Pickens. This second set of soldiers completed the reinforcement of the fort, and ensured that access to the best harbour on the Gulf of Mexico was denied to the Confederates.

Massachusetts. The Union 6th Massachusetts moved to Baltimore with eleven companies. Colonel Edward Jones was warned about the risk of trouble from the city’s population and he gave orders for the troops not to fire unless first fired upon.

Pennsylvania. Nicholas Biddle of Pottsville joined the Washington Artillery company, and so became the first African American to volunteer for the Union Army.

Missouri. Incident at Palmyra.

Virginia. The Virginia state convention passed an Ordinance of Secession in secret session. Virginia seceded from the Union, subject to approval by a popular referendum to be held on 23rd May 1861. The turning point was the Union call to arms of 15th April 1861. The addition of Virginia, with its high population and economic strength, brought a substantial increase in military power to the Confederacy and placed pro-Confederate forces on the borders of the vulnerable capital district.

Virginia. Confederates placed obstacles in the channel at Norfolk to prevent the sailing of US Navy vessels. The subsequent passage of the obstructions by USS Pawnee and USS Cumberland revealed that these efforts were ineffective.

Union Organisation

Commander in Chief: President Abraham Lincoln

Vice-President: Hannibal Hamlin

Secretary of War: Simon Cameron

Secretary of the Navy: Gideon Welles

  • Pacific Squadron USN: Captain John B Montgomery USN

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

Confederate Organisation

CSA: The “Department of Louisiana” was discontinued.

CSA: The District of Louisiana was established from the former “Department of Louisiana” and Forces in New Orleans.

CSA: The Forces in New Orleans was transferred from the “Department of Louisiana” to the District of Louisiana.

CSA: Brigadier-General Braxton Bragg retained command of the Forces in New Orleans.

Bragg, Braxton | North Carolina | Born 22 March 1817 Warrenton, North Carolina | USMA 1837 5/50 Artillery | 2nd Lieutenant USA 3rd US Artillery 1 July 1837 1st Lieutenant USA 3rd US Artillery 7 July 1838 Captain USA 3rd US Artillery 18 June 1846 Resigned USA 3 January 1856 Brigadier-General ACSA 7 March 1861 Major-General PACS 12 September 1861 General PACS 12 April 1862 to rank from April 6 1862 Surrendered 9 May 1865 Paroled May 10 1865 | Died 27 September 1876 | 22 February 1861 – 21 March 1861 Department of Louisiana, 22 February 1861 – 13 August 1861 Forces in New Orleans, 7 March 1861 – 6 October 1861 Department of West Florida, 7 March 1861 – 6 October 1861 Forces in Pensacola, 7 October 1861 – 1 April 1862 Department of Alabama and West Florida, 22 October 1861 – 26 January 1862 Army of Pensacola, 5 March 1862 – 28 March 1862 Second Grand Division Mississippi, 29 March 1862 – 5 May 1862 II Corps Mississippi, 6 May 1862 – 5 July 1862 Army of Mississippi, 20 June 1862 – 23 October 1862 Western Department, 15 August 1862 – 27 September 1862 Army of Mississippi, 3 November 1862 – 25 July 1863 Western Department, 7 November 1862 – 20 November 1862 Army of Mississippi, 20 November 1862 – 1 December 1863 Army of Tennessee, 25 July 1863 – 21 December 1863 Department of Tennessee, 24 February 1864 – 31 January 1865 Military Adviser to the President, 11 November 1864 – 5 March 1865 Department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia, 22 February – 8 April 1865 II Corps Tennessee

CSA: Major-General David Emanuel Twiggs assumed command of the District of Louisiana.

Twiggs, David Emanuel | Georgia | Born 14 February 1790 | Captain USA 8th US Infantry 12 March 1812 Major USA 12th US Infantry 1814 1st US Infantry 1825 Lieutenant-Colonel USA 4th US Infantry 1831 Colonel USA 2nd US Dragoons 8 June 1836 Brigadier-General USA 30 June 1846 Dismissed 1 March 1861 Major-General Confederate States Army March 22 1861 | Died 15 July 1862 | 1 January 1861 – 17 February 1861 Department of Texas 22 March 1861 – 15 April 1861 Department of Louisiana, 17 April 1861 – 27 May 1861 District of Louisiana, 27 May 1861 – 17 October 1861 Department No 1

CSA: Brigadier-General Alexander Robert Lawton arrived to command the Defences of Savannah.

Lawton, Alexander Robert | South Carolina | Born 4 November 1818 Beaufort, South Carolina | USMA 1839 13/31 Artillery | 2nd Lieutenant USA 1st US Artillery 1 July 1839 Resigned USA 31 December 1840 Georgia Militia 1849-1861 Colonel PACS 1st Georgia April 1861 Brigadier-General PACS 28 August 1861 to rank from 13 April 1861 Quartermaster-General PACS August 1863 | WIA Antietam 1862 | Died 2 July 1896 | 13 April 1861 – 25 October 1861 Defences of Savannah, 26 October 1861 – 5 November 1861 Department of Georgia, 5 November 1861 – 27 December 1862 District of Georgia

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 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
  • District of Louisiana established: David Emanuel Twiggs assumed
    • “Forces in New Orleans” “Army of Louisiana” transferred: Braxton Bragg retained
  • Defences of Savannah: Alexander Robert Lawton
  • Forces in Harper’s Ferry”: Kenton Harper

Union Generals

  • Major-General USA Winfield Scott 5 July 1841 to rank from 25 June 1841 General-in-Chief
  • Brigadier-General USA John Ellis Wool 25 June 1841 Department of the East
  • Brigadier-General USA William Selby Harney 14 June 1858 Department of the West
  • Brigadier-General USA Joseph Eggleston Johnston 28 June 1860 Quartermaster-General
  • Brigadier-General USA Edwin Vose Sumner 16 March 1861 Department of the Pacific awaited
  • Colonel George Wright 3 March 1855 District of Oregon
  • Colonel Albert Sidney Johnston 3 March 1855 Department of the Pacific interim
  • Colonel William Wing Loring 30 December 1856 Department of New Mexico
  • Colonel Philip St George Cooke 14 June 1858 Department of Utah
  • Colonel Carlos Adolphus Waite 5 June 1860 Department of Texas temporary
  • Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Ferguson Smith 3 March 1855 Department of Washington
  • Major Harvey Brown 9 January 1851 Department of Florida awaited

Confederate Generals

  • Major-General PACS David Emanuel Twiggs March 22 1861 District of Louisiana
  • Brigadier-General ACSA Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard March 1 1861 Department of South Carolina & Forces in Charleston
  • Brigadier-General ACSA Braxton Bragg March 7 1861 Forces in Louisiana & Department of West Florida & Forces in Pensacola & Forces in New Orleans
  • Brigadier-General PACS Alexander Robert Lawton 13 April 1861 Defences of Savannah
  • Colonel Earl Van Dorn 16 March 1861 Department of Texas awaited
  • Colonel Kenton Harper Forces in Harper’s Ferry

 

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close