1861 April 27th

April 27 1861 Saturday

Naval Blockade of the Confederate States Extended

Go to April 28 1861

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 for 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.

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 and Delaware were transferred from the Department of Washington to the Department of Pennsylvania.
USA: Major-General of Pennsylvania Militia Robert Patterson assumed command of the Department of Pennsylvania.

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

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
Potomac Flotilla: James Harmon Ward

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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