1861 April 9th

April 9 1861 Tuesday

District of Columbia. In response to the crisis in the capital, Union Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Ferguson Smith was appointed to command the newly formed Department of Washington, arriving on 10th April 1861. Colonel Charles W Sandford took de facto temporary command of all field forces on the Virginia side of the Potomac River.

New York. Gustavus Vasa Fox sailed from New York in the chartered steamer Baltic to observe the relief expedition at Fort Sumter for US President Abraham Lincoln.

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 10th April 1861. Colonel Charles W Sandford took de facto temporary command of all field forces on the Virginia side of the Potomac River.

Smith, Charles Ferguson | Pennsylvania | Born 24 April 1807 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | USMA 1825 19/37 Artillery | 2nd Lieutenant USA 2nd US Artillery 1 July 1825 1st Lieutenant USA 2nd US Artillery 30 May 1832 Captain 2nd US Artillery 7 July 1838 Major USA 1st US Artillery 25 November 1854 Lieutenant-Colonel USA 10th US Infantry 3 March 1855 Brigadier-General USV August 30 1861 Colonel USA 3rd US Infantry 9 September 1861 Major-General USV March 22 1862 to rank from March 21 1862 | Died 25 April 1862 | 9 April 1861 – 21 April 1861 Department of Washington, 8 September 1861 – 16 November 1861 District of Western Kentucky, 11 March 1862 – 16 March 1862 District of West Tennessee

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 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
  • Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Ferguson Smith 3 March 1855 Department of Washington

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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