1861 April 9th

April 9 1861 Tuesday

District of Columbia. US Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Ferguson Smith (10th US Infantry) was appointed to command the newly formed Department of Washington, arriving on 10 April 1861. This was the first new territorial command created by the US Army in response to the imminent possibility of hostilities. The decision was taken to provide clear leadership in response to the potential threat to the capital, Colonel Charles W Sandford (7th New York Militia) took de facto temporary command of the modest field forces gathering on the Virginia side of the Potomac River.

New York. Gustavus Vasa Fox sailed from New York in the chartered steamer Baltic with a special assignment to observe the relief expedition at Fort Sumter on behalf of US President Abraham Lincoln. The expedition when combined would also include the USS Pawnee, USS Powhatan, and the US Revenue Cutter Harriet Lane.

South Carolina. The Confederate cabinet, meeting in Montgomery, decided to open fire on Fort Sumter in an attempt to force its surrender before the Federal relief fleet arrived. Only Confederate Secretary of State Robert Augustus Toombs opposed this bellicose decision. The Confederate Secretary of War telegraphed Brigadier-General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard that if he were certain that the fort was to be supplied by force he should demand its evacuation, and then if refused, to reduce the fort.

Union Organisation

USA: The Department of Washington was established, comprising the original boundaries of the District of Columbia (including Alexandria County, Virginia) and the state of Maryland as far south as Bladensburg, taken from the Department of the East

USA: Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Ferguson Smith was appointed to command the Department of Washington, arriving on 10 April 1861.

Smith, Charles Ferguson / Pennsylvania / Born 24 April 1807 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / Died Savannah, Tennessee 25 April 1862
USMA 1 July 1825 19/37 Artillery / Cadet USMA 1 July 1820 / 2nd Lieutenant USA 2nd US Artillery 1 July 1825 / 1st Lieutenant USA 30 May 1832 / Commandant of Cadets USMA 1 April 1838-1 September 1843 / Captain USA 7 July 1838 / Major USA 1st US Artillery 25 November 1854 / Lieutenant-Colonel USA 10th US Infantry 3 March 1855 / Brigadier-General USV 31 August 1861 / Colonel USA 3rd US Infantry 9 September 1861 / Major-General USV 22 March 1862 to rank from 21 March 1862 / Brevet 2nd Lieutenant USA 1 July 1825 Brevet Major USA 9 May 1846 Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 23 September 1846 Brevet Colonel USA 20 August 1847
Department of Washington 9 April 1861-19 April 1861 / District of Western Kentucky 8 September 1861-31 January 1862 / 2nd Division District of Cairo 1 February 1862-17 February 1862 / 2nd Division District of West Tennessee 17 February 1862-11 March 1862 / District of West Tennessee 11 March 1862-17 March 1862 / 2nd Division Army of the Tennessee 17 March 1862-5 April 1862

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 Washington established: Charles Ferguson Smith awaited
  • Department of the West: William Selby Harney

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 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

Brigadier-General USA

John Ellis Wool
William Selby Harney
Edwin Vose Sumner

Brigadier-General USA (Staff)

Joseph Eggleston Johnston

Confederate Generals

Major-General PACS

David Emanuel Twiggs

Brigadier-General ACSA

Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard
Braxton Bragg

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close