1861 April 8th

April 8 1861 Monday

South Carolina. The state of South Carolina transferred forts and other property to the Confederate government.

South Carolina. US President Abraham Lincoln informed the South Carolina government and Governor Francis W Pickens that “an attempt will be made to supply Fort Sumter with provisions only, and that if such attempt be not resisted, no effort to throw in men, arms, or ammunition will be made without further notice, (except) in case of an attack on the fort.” This put the burden of decision on the Confederates, either to back down on their threats or to be forced to fire the first hostile shot.

South Carolina. US Revenue Cutter Harriet Lane (Captain John Faunce USRM) departed New York to join the relief expedition for Fort Sumter. Confusions of responsibility caused by Secretary of State William Henry Seward caused the expedition to sail without an armed escort. The USS Powhatan had already been ordered to accompany the expedition by Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles. However, simultaneously, Seward had organised a secret relief expedition for the forts in the Gulf of Mexico (Fort Taylor, Fort Jefferson and Fort Pickens). This was to be composed of a naval force under Commodore David Dixon Porter and 200 troops under Captain Montgomery Cunningham Meigs. Seward gained permission from President Abraham Lincoln for the USS Powhatan to escort this expedition. The USS Powhatan sailed for the Gulf before the conflict of interests was discovered and the Fort Sumter expedition was deprived of the heavy naval support it needed to support the garrison. The Seward-Meigs-Porter affair prompted new efforts to define the wartime scope of authority of the various Departments of the government.

Washington Territory. William H Wallace was appointed Governor of Washington Territory but did not serve.

Union Organisation

Commander in Chief: President Abraham Lincoln

Vice-President: Hannibal Hamlin

Secretary of War: Simon Cameron

Secretary of the Navy: Gideon Welles

  • African Squadron USN: Captain William Inman USN
  • Brazil Squadron USN: Captain Joshua R Sands USN.
  • East Indian (Asiatic) Squadron USN: Captain Cornelius K Stribling USN
  • European Squadron USN: vacant
  • Home Squadron USN: Captain Garrett J Prendergast USN
  • Mediterranean Squadron USN: Captain Charles H Bell USN
  • Pacific Squadron USN: Captain John B Montgomery USN

General–in-Chief: Winfield Scott

  • Department of the East: John Ellis Wool
  • Department of New Mexico: William Wing Loring
  • Department of the Pacific: Albert Sidney Johnston interim, Edwin Vose Sumner awaited
    • District of Oregon: George Wright
  • Department of Texas: Carlos Adolphus Waite
  • Department of Utah: Philip St George Cooke
  • Department of the West: William Selby Harney

Confederate Organisation

CSA: Major Josiah Gorgas appointed Chief of Ordnance of the Confederate States Army.

Gorgas, Josiah | Pennsylvania | Born 1 July 1818 Running Pumps, Pennsylvania | USMA 1841 6/52 Ordnance | 1st Lieutenant USA Ordnance 3 March 1847 Captain USA Ordnance 1 July 1855 Resigned USA 3 April 1861 Major PACS Chief of Ordnance 8 April 1861 Colonel PACS Chief of Ordnance July 23 1863 Brigadier-General PACS Chief of Ordnance 15 November 1864 to rank from 10 November 1864 | Died 15 May 1883 / 8 April 1861-30 June 1865 Chief of Ordnance

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 Louisiana”: David Emanuel Twiggs
    • “Forces in New Orleans” “Army of Louisiana”: Braxton Bragg
  • Department of South Carolina: Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard
    • “Forces in Charleston”: Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard
  • Department of West Florida: Braxton Bragg
    • “Forces in Pensacola”: Braxton Bragg
  • Forces in Harper’s Ferry”: Kenton Harper

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 Department of the West
  • Brigadier-General USA Joseph Eggleston Johnston 28 June 1860 Quartermaster-General
  • Brigadier-General USA Edwin Vose Sumner 16 March 1861 Department of the Pacific awaited
  • Colonel George Wright 3 March 1855 District of Oregon
  • Colonel Albert Sidney Johnston 3 March 1855 Department of the Pacific interim
  • Colonel William Wing Loring 30 December 1856 Department of New Mexico
  • Colonel Philip St George Cooke 14 June 1858 Department of Utah
  • Colonel Carlos Adolphus Waite 5 June 1860 Department of Texas temporary

Confederate Generals

  • Major-General PACS David Emanuel Twiggs March 22 1861 Department 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
  • Colonel Kenton Harper Forces in Harper’s Ferry



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