1861 April 27th

April 27 1861 Saturday

Naval Blockade of the Confederate States Extended

USA. US President Abraham Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus along the railroad running from Washington, DC, to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

USA. US President Abraham Lincoln re-asserted the naval blockade of the South and extended it to the ports of North Carolina and Virginia since those states had joined the Secession.

USA. Union Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles issued orders for Union ships to seize Confederate privateers upon the high seas.

USA. US Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles authorised Captain Samuel Livingston Breese USN and Commander James Harmon Ward USN to form a “flying flotilla” of light draft vessels to patrol the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. The Potomac Flotilla, or “Flying Flotilla” as originally termed, was established to operate in the Chesapeake and its tributaries. Ward assumed command of the Potomac Flotilla. Ward’s flotilla acted independently under the direct orders of the Navy Department, although there was a frequent transfer of vessels with the Atlantic Blockading Squadron and its successors.

CSA. The Virginia State Convention offered Richmond to the Confederacy as its capital city, in lieu of Montgomery, Alabama.

District of Columbia. Five men were arrested at the Washington Navy Yard for filling shells with sand and sawdust as an act of sabotage.

Illinois. The steamer Helmick, loaded with powder and munitions intended for the Confederacy, was seized at Cairo.

Virginia. Confederate Virginia State Brigadier-General Philip St George Cocke moved his headquarters to Culpeper to oversee the defence of the Potomac River and to muster in volunteer troops for the Alexandria line.

Virginia. Confederate Colonel Thomas Jonathan Jackson was assigned to command Virginia volunteers at Harper’s Ferry.

Union Organisation

USA: The Potomac Flotilla of the US Navy, or “Flying Flotilla”, was established to operate in the Chesapeake and its tributaries.

USA: Commander James Harmon Ward USN assumed command of the “Flying Flotilla” or Potomac Flotilla of the US Navy.

USA: The Department of Annapolis was established to include the counties 20 miles each side of the Baltimore and Washington railroad from Annapolis as far as Bladensburg, Maryland.

USA: Brigadier-General of Massachusetts Militia Benjamin Franklin Butler was appointed to command the Department of Annapolis but did not arrive to take command.

Butler, Benjamin Franklin / New Hampshire / Born 5 November 1818 Deerfield, New Hampshire / Died Washington, District of Columbia 11 January 1893
3rd Lieutenant Massachusetts Militia 1839 / Brigadier-General Massachusetts Militia 1855 / Major-General USV 16 May 1861 / Military Governor of Louisiana 1 May 1862-2 June 1862 / Resigned USV 30 November 1865 /
Colonel 8th Massachusetts Militia 17 April 1861 / Department of Annapolis 27 April 1861-15 May 1861 / Department of Virginia 22 May 1861-17 August 1861 / Department of New England 1 October 1861-20 February 1862 / Army of the Gulf 23 February 1862-14 December 1862 / Department of the Gulf 20 March 1862-17 December 1862 / Department of Virginia and North Carolina 12 November 1863-27 August 1864 / XVIII Corps Virginia and North Carolina 18 November 1863-1 May 1864 / XVIII Corps Virginia and North Carolina 21 April 1864-2 May 1864 / Army of the James 2 May 1864-27 August 1864 / Department of Virginia and North Carolina 7 September 1864-14 December 1864 / Army of the James 18 October 1864-2 November 1864 / Army of the James 18 November 1864-8 January 1865 / Department of Virginia and North Carolina 24 December 1864-8 January 1865

USA: The Department of Pennsylvania was established with headquarters at Philadelphia, comprising Pennsylvania, Delaware, and parts of Maryland not in the Department of Washington and the Department of Annapolis.

USA: Major-General of Pennsylvania Militia Robert Patterson assumed command of the Department of Pennsylvania.

Patterson, Robert / Ireland-Pennsylvania / Born 12 January 1792 Cappagh, Ireland / Died Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 7 August 1881
Captain 2nd Pennsylvania Militia 2 October 1812 / Lieutenant-Colonel / Colonel / Mustered Out 2 April 1813 / 1st Lieutenant USA 22nd US Infantry 5 April 1813 / 32nd US Infantry 27 May 1813 / Captain USA Deputy Quartermaster-General 24 June 1813-5 June 1814 / Captain USA 19 April 1814 / Discharged USA 15 June 1815 / Colonel Pennsylvania Militia / Major-General USV 7 July 1846 / Discharged USV 20 July 1848 / Major-General Pennsylvania Militia 15 April 1861 / Mustered Out 27 July 1861 / WIA Cerro Gordo 18 April 1847
Department of Washington 19 April 1861-27 April 1861 / Department of Pennsylvania 27 April 1861-25 July 1861 / 2 June 1861-16 August 1861 Army of the Shenandoah

USA: The Department of Washington was extended to include the District of Columbia, and Maryland as far as Fort Washington and Bladensburg, Maryland, taken from the Department of the East.

USA: Pennsylvania and Delaware were transferred from the Department of Washington to the Department of Pennsylvania.

USA: Colonel Joseph King Fenno Mansfield was appointed to command the Department of Washington, arriving on 28 April 1861.

Mansfield, Joseph King Fenno / Connecticut / Born 22 December 1803 New Haven, Connecticut / DOW Sharpsburg, Maryland 18 September 1862
USMA 1 July 1822 2/40 Engineers / Cadet USMA 1 July 1818 / 2nd Lieutenant USA Engineers 1 July 1822 / 1st Lieutenant USA 5 March 1832 / Captain USA 7 July 1838 / Colonel USA Inspector-General 28 May 1853 / Brigadier-General USA 17 May 1861 to rank from 14 May 1861 / Major-General USV 11 March 1863 to rank from 18 July 1862 posthumously / Brevet 2nd Lieutenant USA 1 July 1822 Brevet Major 9 May 1846 Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel USA 23 September 1846 Brevet Colonel USA 23 February 1847 Brevet Brigadier-General USA 6 May 1861 / WIA Monterey 7 July 1846 MWIA Antietam 17 September 1862
Inspector-General USA 28 May 1853-27 April 1861 / Department of Washington 27 April 1861-17 August 1861 / 1st Brigade 1st Division Department of Virginia 3 March 1862-22 June 1862 / Suffolk Division VII Corps Department of Virginia 22 July 1862-8 September 1862 / XII Corps Potomac 15 September 1862-17 September 1862

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
  • Potomac Flotilla USN: Commander James Harmon Ward USN

General–in-Chief: Winfield Scott

  • Department of Annapolis established: Benjamin Franklin Butler awaited
  • 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 awaited
    • District of Oregon: George Wright
  • Department of Pennsylvania established: Robert Patterson assumed
  • Department of Texas: Vacant
  • Department of Utah: Philip St George Cooke
  • Department of Washington adjusted: Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Ferguson Smith interim, Joseph King Fenno Mansfield awaited
  • 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”: Walter Gwynn
  • Forces in Richmond: Joseph Eggleston Johnston

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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