1861 April 19th

April 19 1861 Friday

Naval Blockade of the Southern States Proclaimed

Baltimore Riot, MD

USA. US President Abraham Lincoln issued a Proclamation of Blockade against Southern ports from South Carolina to Texas. For the duration of the war the blockade restricted the ability of the rural South to stay well supplied in its war against the more industrialized North. Despite declaration of a naval blockade of the Confederacy, the US Navy was singularly unprepared and inadequate to the task. Its 42 warships, of varying age or modernity and value, with a crew of 7,600 men were scattered across the globe. The blockade was required to seal a coastline of 3,549 miles from the Potomac River to the Rio Grande – or almost double that distance if sandbars, lagoons, islands and river estuaries were included. There were 189 known harbour and river openings that might prove advantageous to blockade-running vessels.

The text of the proclamation was:

Whereas an insurrection against the Government of the United States has broken out in the States of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, and the laws of the United States for the collection of the revenue cannot be effectually executed therein comformably to that provision of the Constitution which requires duties to be uniform throughout the United States: And whereas a combination of persons engaged in such insurrection, have threatened to grant pretended letters of marque to authorize the bearers thereof to commit assaults on the lives, vessels, and property of good citizens of the country lawfully engaged in commerce on the high seas, and in waters of the United States: And whereas an Executive Proclamation has been already issued, requiring the persons engaged in these disorderly proceedings to desist therefrom, calling out a militia force for the purpose of repressing the same, and convening Congress in extraordinary session, to deliberate and determine thereon: Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, with a view to the same purposes before mentioned, and to the protection of the public peace, and the lives and property of quiet and orderly citizens pursuing their lawful occupations, until Congress shall have assembled and deliberated on the said unlawful proceedings, or until the same shall ceased, have further deemed it advisable to set on foot a blockade of the ports within the States aforesaid, in pursuance of the laws of the United States, and of the law of Nations, in such case provided. For this purpose a competent force will be posted so as to prevent entrance and exit of vessels from the ports aforesaid. If, therefore, with a view to violate such blockade, a vessel shall approach, or shall attempt to leave either of the said ports, she will be duly warned by the Commander of one of the blockading vessels, who will endorse on her register the fact and date of such warning, and if the same vessel shall again attempt to enter or leave the blockaded port, she will be captured and sent to the nearest convenient port, for such proceedings against her and her cargo as prize, as may be deemed advisable. And I hereby proclaim and declare that if any person, under the pretended authority of the said States, or under any other pretence, shall molest a vessel of the United States, or the persons or cargo on board of her, such person will be held amenable to the laws of the United States for the prevention and punishment of piracy.

Maryland. Washington was cut off from Union territory by rail, troops were embarked on boats to proceed to the relief of the capital. The steamer Boston departed Philadelphia with the 7th New York aboard, while the ferryboat Maryland em­barked the 8th Massachusetts at Perryville for Annapolis. The capital city was effectively isolated until this relief force arrived.

Baltimore Riot, Maryland. Pennsylvania and Massachusetts militiamen arrived in Baltimore at 10 am and prepared to take the trains to Washington, DC. Their railroad cars had to be drawn by horses a mile and a half from the President Street Station along Pratt Street to the unconnected Camden station. On the way they were attacked by Southern sympathisers who threw missiles and blocked the streetcar rails. The militia disembarked to march to the station on foot and were pursued by a crowd throwing bricks and firing pistols. The militiamen fired indiscriminately against the crowds blocking their path. Fifty police officers tried to shield the troops and they increased their pace. By the time the soldiers reached Camden Station, four had been killed and thirty-six wounded. The soldiers killed twelve civilian rioters and wounded over a hundred others. The rioters then turned against pro-Union premises along Pratt Street and began to loot and destroy property. The 6th Massachusetts was prominent in the clash and Clara Barton came to the fore for the first time as a nurse for the wounded. The Union militiamen boarded the trains at Camden Station and continued on to Washington, DC. In Baltimore, over 10,000 people gathered in the afternoon and declared their determination to prevent any more troop movements through the city. Telegraph wires were cut and the mail interrupted while pro-Union families fled the city. Secessionists dominated the city, burned railroad bridges, and blocked supplies. At Fort McHenry, Union Captain John Cleveland Robinson had armed and secretly supplied his garrison of 60 men to withstand a siege and the Baltimore mob was deterred from attacking the fort.

New York. The 7th New York State Militia, the 4th Massachusetts Militia, the 8th Massachusetts Militia and the Providence, Rhode Island, Artillery left New York to further reinforce the defence of the capital.

Pennsylvania. Major-General Robert Patterson of the Pennsylvania State Militia was assigned to command forces in the states of Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, but not those in the District of Columbia.

Union Organisation

USA: The states of Pennsylvania and Delaware were transferred from the Union Department of the East to the Department of Washington.

USA: Pennsylvania State Major-General Robert Patterson assumed de facto command of all forces outside Washington and north of the Potomac River.

Patterson, Robert | Ireland-Pennsylvania | Born 20 January 1792 Cappagh, Ireland | Captain 2nd Pennsylvania Militia 1812 Colonel 2nd Pennsylvania Militia Captain USA 1815 Discharged 1815 Colonel Pennsylvania Militia Major-General USV Militia 1846 Mustered out USV 1848 Major-General Pennsylvania Militia 16 April 1861 Mustered out July 1861 | WIA Cerro Gordo 1847 | Died 7 August 1881 | 22 April 1861 – 26 April 1861 Department of Washington, 27 April 1861 -24 July 1861 Department of Pennsylvania, 2 June 1861 – 16 August 1861 Army of the Shenandoah

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 adjusted: John Ellis Wool
  • Department of Florida: Harvey Brown
  • 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

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: David Emanuel Twiggs
    • “Forces in New Orleans” “Army of Louisiana”: Braxton Bragg
  • Defences of Savannah: Alexander Robert Lawton
  • Forces in Harper’s Ferry”: Kenton Harper
  • “Forces in Norfolk”: William Booth Taliaferro

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

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
  • State Major-General William Booth Taliaferro 17 April 1861 Forces in Norfolk
  • Colonel Kenton Harper Forces in Harper’s Ferry



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