1861 April 23rd

April 23 1861 Tuesday

Arkansas. Fort Smith was occupied by Arkansas state forces.

District of Columbia. USS Pawnee reached Washington where Commodore Paulding reported the loss of the Norfolk Navy Yard to the Navy Department. The arrival of the modern warship strengthened the Capital’s defences at a critical time.

Maryland. Brigadier-General of Massachusetts Militia offered assistance to the Governor of Maryland who had expressed anxiety about the risk of a slave insurrection.

Missouri. US Captain Nathaniel Lyon assumed temporary command of the Department of the West in St Louis. He was responding to doubts about the loyalty of Brigadier-General William Selby Harney who had shown indications of favouring the pro-Confederate factions in Missouri.

Texas. A group of US Army officers and a Company of the 8th US Infantry were taken as prisoners of war at San Antonio. Colonel Carlos Adolphus Waite was among those captured by Confederate authorities and the presence of free Federal forces in Texas was ended. Although the Department of Texas remained in nominal existence, it had no commanding officer and no forces to command.

Virginia. State Major-General Robert Edward Lee took command of the Militia and the Provisional Army of Virginia.

Virginia. Major-General of Virginia Militia Walter Gwynn was directed to take command of forces around Norfolk and the Gosport Navy Yard.

Virginia. Major-General of Virginia Militia Joseph Eggleston Johnston was directed to take command of the Virginia state forces in and around Richmond.

Union Organisation

USA: Captain of US Ordnance Nathaniel Lyon assumed temporary de facto command of the Department of the West.

Lyon, Nathaniel / Connecticut / Born 14 July 1818 Ashford, Connecticut / KIA Wilson’s Creek, Missouri 10 August 1861
USMA 1 July 1841 11/52 Infantry / Cadet USMA 1 July 1837 / 2nd Lieutenant USA 2nd US Infantry 1 July 1841 / 1st Lieutenant USA 16 February 1847 / Captain USA 11 June 1851 / Brigadier-General Missouri Militia 12 May 1861 / Brigadier-General USV 17 May 1861 / Brevet Captain USA 20 August 1847 WIA Chapultepec 13 September 1847
Department of the West 23 April 1861-28 April 1861 / Department of the West 31 May 1861-3 July 1861 / Army of the West 2 July 1861-10 August 1861 / 3 July 1861 -24 July 1861 Western Department

USA: The command the Department of Texas became vacant when Union Colonel Carlos Adolphus Waite was captured by Confederate authorities.

Waite, Carlos Adolphus / New York / Born 5 May 1797 Connecticut / Died Plattsburg, New York 7 May 1866
2nd Lieutenant USA 2nd US Infantry 28 January 1820 / 1st Lieutenant USA 1 May 1828 / Captain USA 3 July 1836 / Assistant Quartermaster 7 July 1838-8 May 1845 / Major USA 8th US Infantry 16 February 1847 / Lieutenant-Colonel USA 5th US Infantry 10 November 1851 / Colonel USA 1st US Infantry 5 June 1860 / Retired USA 8 February 1864 / Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel USA 20 August 1847 Brevet Colonel USA 8 September 1847 Brevet Brigadier-General USA 13 March 1865 / WIA Molino del Rey 8 September 1847 CIA San Antonio 23 April 1861
Department of Texas 28 February 1861-23 April 1861

USA: George Brinton McClellan was appointed Major-General of Ohio Militia.

McClellan, George Brinton / Pennsylvania / Born 3 December 1826 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / Died Orange, New Jersey 29 October 1885
USMA 1 July 1846 2/59 Engineers / Cadet USMA 1 July 1846 / Engineers 1 July 1846 / 2nd Lieutenant USA 24 April 1847 / 1st Lieutenant USA 1 July 1853 / Captain USA 1st US Cavalry 3 March 1855 / Resigned USA 16 January 1857 / Major-General Ohio Militia 23 April 1861 / Major-General USA 14 May 1861 / General-in-Chief of the US Army 1 November 1861-11 March 1862 Relieved 22 July 1862 / Resigned USA 8 November 1864 / Brevet 2nd Lieutenant USA 1 July 1846 Brevet 1 Lt USA 20 August 1847 Brevet Captain USA 13 September 1847 / WIA Contreras 19 August 1847
Department of the Ohio 3 May 1861-23 July 1861 / Department of Virginia 1 June 1861 Declined / Army of Occupation 14 June 1861-23 July 1861 / Military Division (Department) of the Potomac 25 July 1861-17 August 1861 / Department of the Potomac 17 August 1861-5 November 1862 / Army of the Potomac 20 August 1861-9 November 1862 / General-in-Chief 1 November 1861-11 March 1862 / Army of Virginia 2 September 1862-11 September 1862

USA: Colonel James Wolfe Ripley was appointed Chief of Ordnance of the US Army.

Ripley, James Wolfe / Connecticut / Born 10 December 1794 Windham, Connecticut / Died Hartford, Connecticut 15 March 1870
USMA 1 July 1814 12/30 Artillery / Cadet USMA 8 May 1813 / 2nd Lieutenant USA Artillery 1 June 1814 / Battalion Quartermaster 28 December 1816-1 June 1821 / 1st Lieutenant USA 20 April 1818 / 4th US Artillery 1 June 1821 / Captain USA 1 August 1825 / Ordnance 30 May 1832 / Major USA 7 July 1838 / Lieutenant-Colonel USA 31 December 1854 / Colonel USA Chief of Ordnance 23 April 1861 / Brigadier-General USA Chief of Ordnance 10 September 1861 to rank from 3 August 1861 / Retired USA 15 September 1863 / Brigadier-General USA Retired 15 September 1863 to rank from 3 August 1861 / Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel USA 30 May 1848 Brevet Brigadier-General USA 2 July 1861
Member of the War Board 17 March 1862-23 July 1862 / Chief of Ordnance 23 April 1861-15 September 1863

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
  • 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: Vacant
  • Department of Utah: Philip St George Cooke
  • Department of Washington: Robert Patterson
  • Department of the West: Nathaniel Lyon temporary de facto

Confederate Organisation

CSA: Major-General of Virginia State Forces Robert Edward Lee arrived to assume command of the Provisional Army of Virginia.

Lee, Robert Edward / Virginia / Born 19 January 1807 Stratford, Westmoreland, Virginia / Died Lexington, Virginia 12 October 1870
USMA 1 July 1829 2/46 Engineers / Cadet USMA 1 July 1825 / 2nd Lieutenant USA Engineers 1 July 1829 / 1st Lieutenant USA 21 September 1836 / Captain USA 7 July 1838 / Superintendent USMA 1 September 1852-31 March 1855 / Lieutenant-Colonel USA 2nd US Cavalry 3 March 1855 / Colonel USA 1st US Cavalry 16 March 1861 / Resigned USA 25 April 1861 / Major-General Commander-in-Chief Provisional Army of Virginia 22 April 1861-8 June 1861 / Brigadier-General ACSA 14 June 1861 to rank from 14 May 1861 / General ACSA 14 June 1861 / General-in-Chief 31 January 1865 / Paroled Appomattox, Virginia 9 April 1865 / WIA Chapultepec 1847 13 September 1847 CIA Appomattox 1865 / Brevet 2nd Lieutenant USA 1 July 1829 Brevet Major USA 18 April 1847 Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel USA 20 August 1847 Brevet Colonel USA 13 September 1847
Military Adviser to the President 8 June 1861-4 November 1861 / Army of the Kanawha 21 September 1861-5 November 1861 / Department of South Carolina Georgia and East Florida 5 November 1861-14 March 1862 / Military Adviser to the President 13 March 1862-31 May 1862 / Department of Northern Virginia 1 June 1862-9 April 1865 / Army of Northern Virginia 1 June 1862-9 April 1865 / General-in-Chief 31 January 1865-9 April 1865

CSA: Milledge Luke Bonham was promoted to Brigadier-General PACS.

Bonham, Milledge Luke / South Carolina / Born 25 December 1813 Red Bank, South Carolina / Died White Sulfur Springs, North Carolina 27 August 1890
Captain USV South Carolina Infantry 9 April 1836 / Mustered Out USV 7 July 1836 / Major-General South Carolina Militia / Lieutenant-Colonel USA 3 March 1847 / 12th US Infantry 9 April 1847 / Colonel USA 12 August 1847 Discharged USA 25 July 1848 / Major-General South Carolina Militia 10 February 1861 / Brigadier-General PACS 23 April 1861 / Resigned PACS 14 July 1861 / Brigadier-General PACS 14 July 1861 / Resigned PACS 29 January 1862 / Brigadier-General PACS 20 February 1865 to rank from 9 February 1865 / No Record of Parole / WIA Contreras 19 August 1847
Department of Alexandria 21 May 1861-30 May 1861 / Forces in Alexandria 21 May 1861-23 May 1861 / Army of the Potomac 24 May 1861-1 June 1861 / Department of the Potomac 31 May 1861-1 June 1861 / Bonham’s Brigade Alexandria Line 31 May 1861-20 July 1861 / 1st Brigade Army of the Potomac 20 July 1861-22 October 1861 / 1st Brigade Longstreet’s Division Army of the Potomac 22 October 1862-9 November 1862 / 1st Brigade Van Dorn’s Division Army of the Potomac 9 November 1861-10 January 1862 / 1st Division Army of the Potomac 10 January 1862 / Bonham’s Brigade Butler’s Division Hampton’s Cavalry Corps Army of Tennessee 2 April 1865-May 1865

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 North Carolina: Theophilus Hunter Holmes
    • Defences of North Carolina: Theophilus Hunter Holmes
  • Department of South Carolina: Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard
    • “Forces in Charleston”: Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard
  • Department of Texas: Earl Van Dorn
  • 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
  • Potomac Line: Daniel Ruggles
  • Forces in Harper’s Ferry”: Kenton Harper
  • “Forces in Norfolk”: William Booth Taliaferro

Union Generals

Major-General USA

Winfield Scott

Brigadier-General USA

John Ellis Wool
William Selby Harney
Edwin Vose Sumner

Confederate Generals

Note: Italics, awaiting confirmation of the commission

Major-General PACS

David Emanuel Twiggs

Brigadier-General ACSA

Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard
Braxton Bragg

Brigadier-General PACS

Alexander Robert Lawton
Milledge Lake Bonham

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