1861 April 9th

April 9 1861 Tuesday

Go to April 10 1861

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.

Commander in Chief: President Abraham Lincoln
Vice-President: Hannibal Hamlin
Secretary of War: Simon Cameron
Secretary of the Navy: Gideon Welles

African Squadron: William Inman
Brazil Squadron: Joshua Ratoon Sands
East Indian (Asiatic) Squadron: Cornelius Kinchiloe Stribling
European Squadron: vacant
Home Squadron: Garrett J Prendergast
Mediterranean Squadron: Charles H Bell
Pacific Squadron: John Berrien Montgomery

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

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