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 new “Flying Flotilla” or 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.

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 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: Massachusetts State Brigadier-General 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 / Massachusetts Militia 1840 / Brigadier-General Massachusetts Militia 17 April 1861 / Colonel 8th Massachusetts Militia April 1861 / Major-General USV May 16 1861 Resigned USV November 30 1865 / Died 11 January 1893 / 27 April 1861 – 14 May 1861 Department of Annapolis, 22 May 1861 – August 15 1861  Department of Virginia, 1 October 1861 – 19 February 1862 Department of New England, 23 February 1862 – 16 December 1862 Department of the Gulf, 23 February 1862 – 14 December 1862 Army of the Gulf, 28 August 1863 – 26 July 1864 Department of Virginia and North Carolina, 18 November 1863 – 1 May 1864 XVIII Corps Virginia and North Carolina, 28 April 1864 – 7 January 1865 Army of the James, 7 September 1864 – 13 December 1864 Department of Virginia and North Carolina, 24 December 1864 – 17 January 1865 Department of Virginia and North Carolina

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

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

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 28th April 1861.

Mansfield, Joseph King Fenno | Connecticut | Born 22 December 1803 New Haven, Connecticut | USMA 1822 2/40 Engineers | 2nd Lieutenant USA Engineers 1 July 1822 1st Lieutenant USA Engineers 5 March 1832 Captain USA Engineers 7 July 1838 Colonel USA Inspector General 28 May 1853 Brigadier-General USA May 17 1861 to rank from May 14 1861 Major-General USV March 11 1863 to rank posthumously from July 18 1862 | DOW Antietam September 18 1862 | 27 April 1861 – 16 August 1861 Department of Washington, 15 September 1862 – 16 September 1862 XII Corps Potomac

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 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
  • Brigadier-General USA Edwin Vose Sumner 16 March 1861 Department of the Pacific
  • Colonel Joseph King Fenno Mansfield 28 May 1853 Department of Washington awaited
  • Colonel George Wright 3 March 1855 District of Oregon
  • Colonel William Wing Loring 30 December 1856 Department of New Mexico
  • Colonel Philip St George Cooke 14 June 1858 Department of Utah
  • Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Ferguson Smith 3 March 1855 Department of Washington interim
  • Major Harvey Brown 9 January 1851 Department of Florida
  • Captain Nathaniel Lyon 11 June 1851 Department of the West interim temporary
  • State Major-General Robert Patterson Department of Pennsylvania
  • Colonel Benjamin Franklin Butler Department of Annapolis

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
  • Brigadier-General PACS Milledge Luke Bonham 23 April 1861
  • Colonel Joseph Eggleston Johnston Forces in Richmond
  • Colonel Earl Van Dorn 16 March 1861 Department of Texas
  • Colonel Theophilus Hunter Holmes March 1861 Department of North Carolina & Defences of North Carolina
  • State Major-General Walter Gwynn 10 April 1861 Forces in Norfolk
  • State Brigadier-General Philip St George Cocke 21 April 1861 Department of Alexandria & Alexandria Line
  • State Brigadier-General Daniel Ruggles May 1861 Potomac Line
  • Colonel Kenton Harper Forces in Harper’s Ferry



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