1861 April 25th

April 25 1861 Thursday

Fort Smith and Van Buren, AK

Fort Smith and Van Buren, Arkansas. Arkansas State Troops under Senator 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, had comprised 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The transport Empire City arrived from Texas, carrying 600 men of the 3rd US Infantry and 2nd US Cavalry, who had been withdrawn from the state after secession.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.

Sumner, Edwin Vose (Sr) / Massachusetts-New York / Born 30 January 1797 Boston, Massachusetts / Died Syracuse, New York 21 March 1863
2nd Lieutenant USA 2nd US Infantry 3 March 1819 / 1st Lieutenant USA 25 January 1823 / Captain USA 1st US Dragoons 4 March 1833 1st US Dragoons / Major USA 2nd US Dragoons 30 June 1846 / Lieutenant-Colonel USA 1st US Dragoons 13 July 1848 / Colonel USA 1st US Cavalry 3 March 1855 / Brigadier-General USA 16 March 1861 / Major-General USV 16 July 1862 to rank from 4 July 1862 adjusted to rank from 5 May 1862 / Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel USA 18 April 1847 Brevet Colonel USA 8 September 1847 Brevet Major-General USA 31 May 1862 / WIA Cerro Gordo 18 April 1847 WIA Glendale 30 June 1862
Department of the Pacific 23 March 1861-20 October 1861 / Sumner’s Division Army of the Potomac 25 November 1861-13 March 1862 / II Corps Potomac 3 March 1862-7 October 1862 / Right Grand Division Potomac 14 November 1862-5 February 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: 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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