1861 April 25th

April 25 1861 Thursday

Fort Smith and Van Buren, AK

Go to April 26 1861

Fort Smith and Van Buren, Arkansas. Arkansas militia led by Senator Solon Borland took possession of Fort Smith and Van Buren. This post and town on the edge of the Indian Territory were important strategic locations as they were the terminus of the overland stage to California. The US Army garrison of two troops of cavalry under Captain Samuel Davis Sturgis (1st US Cavalry) escaped after his junior officers resigned to join the Confederacy. Although the fort was surrounded, Sturgis managed to reach Fort Leavenworth unscathed and safely delivered most of the government property under his care.

District of Columbia. The Union garrison of the capital was reinforced by the 7th New York Infantry, and about 1,200 militiamen each from Massachusetts and Rhode Island. They arrived by train after re-laying the damaged track from Annapolis and repairing a wrecked locomotive. Until this point, the available Union garrison of Washington, DC beyond ad hoc units, had comprised only the 6th Massachusetts Infantry and five companies of Pennsylvanians, quartered in the Senate Chamber and the House of Representatives. This reinforcement ended the isolation of the city from the rest of the North.

Illinois.  Arms and military stores were moved to Alton from St Louis, Missouri, to prevent their seizure by pro-Confederate forces in Missouri.

Missouri. US Captain James H Stokes removed 12,500 muskets from the Federal arsenal in St Louis and transported them to equip Union Militia troops in Illinois. The main aim was to remove them from the threat of capture by pro-Confederate militants.

New York. The transport Empire City arrived from Texas, carrying 600 men of the 3rd US Infantry and
2nd US Cavalry, who had been withdrawn from the state after secession.

Texas. US Army posts at Indianola and Saluria surrendered to the Texas authorities. Fort Stockton surrendered to the Texas authorities. Confederate Colonel Earl Van Dorn claimed 450 US Army prisoners at Saluria under the command of Major Caleb C Sibley.

Union Organisation

USA: Brigadier-General Edwin Vose Sumner, now the fourth-ranking officer in the US Army, arrived to command the Department of the Pacific, succeeding Colonel Albert Sidney Johnston who had defected to the Confederacy.

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

Department of New Mexico: William Wing Loring

Department of the Pacific: Edwin Vose Sumner arrived

  • 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

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 Alexandria: Philip St George Cocke

  • Alexandria Line: Philip St George Cocke

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 Seniority

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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