1861 August 17th

August 17 1861 Saturday

Confederate Invasion of New Mexico

Rosecrans’ West Virginia Campaign

Missouri. Incidents at Brunswick and Hunnewell.

Missouri. A railroad train was fired on by Confederate irregulars at Palmyra, resulting in the death of one Union soldier and several wounded.

North Carolina. Union Lieutenant Reigart B Lowry USN completed preparations for sinking a stone fleet to block the inlets to the North Carolina sounds. Nineteen schooners had been loaded with stone and all were ready for a tow by the steamers Adelaide and Governor Peabody. The vessels were to be in positioned, sunk, and secured to block the navigable channels until the naval blockade could become fully effective.

Virginia. Union Major-General George Brinton McClellan established the Department of the Potomac. The new territorial command comprised the states of Delaware, Maryland, the District of Columbia, the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, and the bulk of Virginia east of the Allegheny Mountains and north of the James River, except for a 60-mile radius around Fort Monroe. He discontinued the different Departments with jurisdiction in and around Washington, DC, and northern Virginia in order to achieve the singleness of purpose and unity of command which had been lacking in the First Bull Run campaign.

Union Organisation

USA: The Military Division (Department) of the Potomac was discontinued and reorganised as the Department of the Potomac.

USA: The Department of Northeastern Virginia was discontinued and merged into the new Department of the Potomac.

USA: The Department of Pennsylvania was discontinued and its territory incorporated into the Department of the Potomac. The state of Pennsylvania remained under independent command.

USA: The Department of the Shenandoah was discontinued and its territory incorporated into the Department of the Potomac.

USA: The Department of Washington was discontinued and its territory incorporated into the Department of the Potomac.

USA: The Department of the Potomac was established, comprising the states of Delaware and Maryland, the District of Columbia, the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, and Virginia east of the Allegheny Mountains and north of the James River, except for a 60-mile radius around Fort Monroe. Its area was taken from the Department of Pennsylvania, the Department of Washington, the Department of the Shenandoah and the Department of Northeastern Virginia.

USA: Major-General George Brinton McClellan was appointed to command the Department of the Potomac, arriving on 20 August 1861.

McClellan, George Brinton / Pennsylvania / Born 3 December 1826 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / Died Orange, New Jersey 29 October 1885
USMA 1 July 1846 2/59 Engineers / Cadet USMA 1 July 1846 / Engineers 1 July 1846 / 2nd Lieutenant USA 24 April 1847 / 1st Lieutenant USA 1 July 1853 / Captain USA 1st US Cavalry 3 March 1855 / Resigned USA 16 January 1857 / Major-General Ohio Militia 23 April 1861 / Major-General USA 14 May 1861 / General-in-Chief of the US Army 1 November 1861-11 March 1862 Relieved 22 July 1862 / Resigned USA 8 November 1864 / Brevet 2nd Lieutenant USA 1 July 1846 Brevet 1 Lt USA 20 August 1847 Brevet Captain USA 13 September 1847 / WIA Contreras 19 August 1847
Department of the Ohio 3 May 1861-23 July 1861 / Department of Virginia 1 June 1861 Declined / Army of Occupation 14 June 1861-23 July 1861 / Military Division (Department) of the Potomac 25 July 1861-17 August 1861 / Department of the Potomac 17 August 1861-5 November 1862 / Army of the Potomac 20 August 1861-9 November 1862 / General-in-Chief 1 November 1861-11 March 1862 / Army of Virginia 2 September 1862-11 September 1862

USA: Brigadier-General John Ellis Wool arrived to command the Department of Virginia, succeeding Major-General Benjamin Franklin Butler.

Wool, John Ellis / New York / Born 29 February 1784 Newburgh, New York / Died Troy, New York 10 November 1869
Captain USA 13th US Infantry 14 April 1812 / Major USA 29th US Infantry 13 April 1813 / 6th US Infantry 17 May 1815 / Colonel USA Inspector-General 29 April 1816-25 June 1841 / Lieutenant-Colonel USA 6th US Infantry 20 May 1820 Vacated 1 June 1821 / Brigadier-General USA 25 June 1841 / Major-General USA 1 August 1863 to rank from 16 May 1862 / Retired USA 1 August 1863 / Major-General USA Retired to rank from 16 May 1862 / Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel USA 13 September 1814 Brevet Brigadier-General USA 29 April 1826 Brevet Major-General USA 23 February 1847 / WIA Queenston Heights, Canada 13 October 1812
Department of the East 23 March 1857-26 October 1861 / Department of Virginia 9 August 1861-2 June 1862 / Middle Department 1 June 1862-17 December 1862 / VIII Corps Middle 12 July 1862-22 December 1862 / Department of the East 3 January 1863-18 July 1863

USA: The Army of the Shenandoah was discontinued and its forces transferred to the Army of the Potomac.

USA: Command of the Department of the East became vacant until it was formally discontinued on 26 October 1861.

USA: George Henry Thomas confirmed Brigadier-General USV 17 August 1861 to rank from 3 August 1861.

Thomas, George Henry / Virginia / Born 31 July 1816 Newsom’s Depot, Virginia / Died San Francisco, California 28 March 1870
USMA 1 July 1840 12/42 Artillery / Cadet USMA 1 July 1836 / 2nd Lieutenant USA 3rd US Artillery 1 July 1840 / 1st Lieutenant 30 April 1844 / Captain USA 24 December 1853 / Major USA 2nd US Cavalry 12 May 1855 / Lieutenant-Colonel USA 25 April 1861 / Colonel USA 3 May 1861 / 5th US Cavalry 3 August 1861 / Brigadier-General USV 17 August 1861 to rank from 3 August 1861 / Major-General USV 26 April 1862 to rank from 25 April 1862 / Brigadier-General USA 27 October 1863 / Mustered Out USV 27 October 1863 / Major-General USA 16 January 1865 to rank from 15 December 1864 / Brevet 1st Lieutenant USA 6 November 1841 Brevet Captain USA 23 September 1846 Brevet Major USA 23 February 1847 Brevet Brigadier-General USA 19 January 1862 Unconfirmed Brevet Lieutenant-General USA 21 February 1868 Withdrawn Brevet Brigadier-General USA 21 February 1868 Withdrawn / WIA Clear Fork, Texas 26 August 1860
1st Brigade 1st Division Department of Pennsylvania 10 June 1861-19 July 1861 / 1st Brigade Department of the Shenandoah 19 July 1861-17 August 1861 / 1st Brigade Banks’ Division Army of the Potomac 17 August 1861-28 August 1861 / 2nd Division Department of the Cumberland November 1861-2 December 1861 / 1st Division Army of the Ohio 2 December 1861-29 September 1862 / Chief of Staff Army of the Ohio 29 September 1862-24 October 1862 / Centre XIV Corps Army of the Cumberland 24 October 1862-9 January 1863 / XIV Corps Cumberland 9 January 1863-28 October 1863 / Department of the Cumberland 17 October 1863-27 June 1865 / Army of the Cumberland 19 October 1863-1 August 1865 / Military Division of the Tennessee 27 June 1865-6 August 1865 / Department of the Tennessee 6 August 1866-11 March 1867

USA: Egbert Ludovicus Vielé promoted Brigadier-General USV 17 August 1861.

Vielé, Egbert Ludovicus / New York / Born 17 June 1825 Waterford, New York / Died New York, New York 22 April 1902
USMA 1 July 1847 30/38 Infantry / Cadet USMA 1 July 1842 / 2nd US Infantry 1 July 1847 / 2nd Lieutenant USA 1st US Infantry 8 September 1847 / 1st Lieutenant USA 26 October 1850 / Resigned USA 1 June 1853 / Captain Engineers New York Militia 19 April 1861 / Captain 7th New York Militia 30 April 1861 / Brigadier-General USV 17 August 1861 / Resigned USV 23 October 1863 / Brevet 2nd Lieutenant USA 1 July 1847
1st Brigade Port Royal Expedition 19 September 1861-15 March 1862 / Vielé’s Brigade Department of Virginia 8 May 1862-1 June 1862 / Norfolk VII Corps Department of Virginia 4 July 1863

Commander in Chief: President Abraham Lincoln

Vice-President: Hannibal Hamlin

Secretary of War: Simon Cameron

Secretary of the Navy: Gideon Welles

  • Coast Blockading Squadron USN: Flag Officer Silas Horton Stringham USN
  • Gulf Blockading Squadron USN: Flag Officer William Mervine USN
  • Pacific Squadron USN: Captain John B Montgomery USN
  • Potomac Flotilla USN: Commander Thomas Tingey Craven USN

General–in-Chief: Winfield Scott

  • Department of the Cumberland: Robert Anderson awaited
  • Department of the East: Vacant
  • Department of Florida: Harvey Brown
  • Department of the Ohio: William Starke Rosecrans
    • Cheat Mountain District: Joseph Jones Reynolds
    • Cheat River District: Charles J Biddle
    • District of Grafton: Benjamin Franklin Kelley
    • Army of Occupation: William Starke Rosecrans
  • Department of the Pacific: Edwin Vose Sumner
    • District of Oregon: George Wright
  • Department of the Potomac: George Brinton McClellan awaited
    • Army of the Potomac: Irvin McDowell
  • Department of Texas: Vacant
  • Department of Virginia: John Ellis Wool
  • Western Department: John Charles Frémont
    • District of Ironton: Benjamin Mayberry Prentiss
    • District of North Missouri: John Pope
    • Southern District of New Mexico: Benjamin Stone Roberts

Confederate Organisation

CSA: Paul Octave Hébert promoted Brigadier-General PACS 18 August 1861 to rank from 17 August 1861.

Hébert, Paul Octave / Louisiana / Born 12 December 1818 Bayou Goula, Louisiana / Died 29 August 1880
USMA 1 July 1840 1 /42 Engineers / Cadet USMA 1 September 1836 / 2nd Lieutenant USA Engineers 1 July 1840 / Resigned USA 31 March 1845 / Lieutenant-Colonel USA Infantry 3 March 1847 / 14th US Infantry 9 April 1847 / Discharged USA 25 July 1848 / Brigadier-General Louisiana Militia 26 January 1861 / Colonel 1st Louisiana Artillery 19 February 1861 / Brigadier-General Louisiana Militia 1 April 1861 / Brigadier-General PACS 18 August 1861 to rank from 17 August 1861 / Paroled Houston, Texas 23 June 1865 / Brevet Colonel USA 8 September 1847
Chief of Engineers Western Department 19 February 1861 / Department of Louisiana 16 April 1861-17 April 1861 / Department of Texas 14 August 1861-26 May 1862 / Eastern District of Texas 10 February 1862-28 May 1862 / Trans-Mississippi Department 26 May 1862-20 June 1862 / District of Eastern Texas and Western Louisiana 28 May 1862-20 August 1862 / Eastern Sub-District of Texas 28 May 1862-January 1863 / District of Texas 20 August 1862-19 October 1862 / First Sub-District of Texas 15 October 1862-29 November 1862 / 6th Brigade 2nd Division III Corps Trans-Mississippi Army September 1864 / Hébert’s Brigade X Division District of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona January 1865-26 May 1865

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

Military Adviser to the President: Robert Edward Lee

  • Department No 1: David Emanuel Twiggs
  • Department of Fredericksburg: Daniel Harvey Hill
    • District of Aquia: Daniel Ruggles
  • Department of Norfolk: Benjamin Huger
  • Department of North Carolina: Theophilus Hunter Holmes
    • Defences of North Carolina: Theophilus Hunter Holmes
  • Department of the Peninsula: John Bankhead Magruder
    • Army of the Peninsula: John Bankhead Magruder
  • Department of the Potomac: Joseph Eggleston Johnston
    • Army of the Potomac: Joseph Eggleston Johnston
  • Department of South Carolina: Daniel Harvey Hill
  • Department of Southwestern Virginia: William Wing Loring
  • Department of Texas: Earl Van Dorn interim Paul Octave Hébert awaited
    • Defences of Galveston: John Creed Moore
  • Department of West Florida: Braxton Bragg
    • “Forces in Pensacola”: Braxton Bragg
  • Western Department: Leonidas Polk
    • District of Upper Arkansas: William Joseph Hardee
    • Western Army: Benjamin McCulloch
  • District of East Tennessee: Felix Kirk Zollicoffer
  • Defences of Savannah: Alexander Robert Lawton
  • Indian Territory: Benjamin McCulloch
  • Forces in Richmond: Thomas Turner Fauntleroy
  • Army of the Kanawha: John Buchanan Floyd
  • Army of Liberation: Gideon Johnson Pillow
  • Army of the Northwest: William Wing Loring

Union Generals

Note: Italics, awaiting confirmation of the commission

Major-General USA

Winfield Scott
George Brinton McClellan
John Charles Frémont

Major-General USV

John Adams Dix
Nathaniel Prentiss Banks
Benjamin Franklin Butler
David Hunter

Brigadier-General USA

John Ellis Wool
William Selby Harney
Edwin Vose Sumner
Joseph King Fenno Mansfield
Irvin McDowell
Robert Anderson
William Starke Rosecrans

Brigadier-General USV

Samuel Peter Heintzelman
Erasmus Darwin Keyes
Andrew Porter
Fitz-John Porter
William Buel Franklin
William Tecumseh Sherman
Charles Pomeroy Stone
Don Carlos Buell
Thomas West Sherman
John Pope
George Archibald McCall
William Reading Montgomery
Philip Kearny
Joseph Hooker
John Wolcott Phelps
Ulysses Simpson Grant
Joseph Jones Reynolds
Samuel Ryan Curtis
Charles Smith Hamilton
Darius Nash Couch
Rufus King
Jacob Dolson Cox
Stephen Augustus Hurlbut
Franz Sigel
Robert Cumming Schenck
Benjamin Mayberry Prentiss
Frederick West Lander
Benjamin Franklin Kelley
John Alexander McClernand
Alpheus Starkey Williams
Israel Bush Richardson
James Cooper
James Brewerton Ricketts
Orlando Bolivar Willcox
Michael Corcoran
George Henry Thomas
Ambrose Everett Burnside
Henry Hayes Lockwood
Louis Blenker
Henry Warner Slocum
James Samuel Wadsworth
John James Peck
Ormsby McKnight Mitchel
George Webb Morell
John Henry Martindale
Samuel Davis Sturgis
George Stoneman
Henry Washington Benham
William Farrar Smith
James William Denver
Egbert Ludovicus Vielé

Brigadier-General USA (Staff)

Montgomery Cunningham Meigs (Quartermaster-General)
Henry Knox Craig
Lorenzo Thomas (Adjutant-General)
James Wolfe Ripley (Ordnance)

Confederate Generals

Note: Italics, awaiting confirmation of the commission

General ACSA

Samuel Cooper
Albert Sidney Johnston
Robert Edward Lee
Joseph Eggleston Johnston
Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard

Major-General PACS

David Emanuel Twiggs
Leonidas Polk

Brigadier-General ACSA

Braxton Bragg

Brigadier-General PACS

Alexander Robert Lawton
Milledge Lake Bonham
Benjamin McCulloch
William Wing Loring
Charles Clark
John Buchanan Floyd
William Henry Talbot Walker
Henry Rootes Jackson
Theophilus Hunter Holmes
Henry Alexander Wise
Earl Van Dorn
William Joseph Hardee
Richard Stoddert Ewell
David Rumph Jones
Benjamin Huger
John Bankhead Magruder
James Longstreet
Edmund Kirby Smith
John Clifford Pemberton
Thomas Jonathan Jackson
Henry Hopkins Sibley
John Henry Winder
Richard Caswell Gatlin
Daniel Smith Donelson
Samuel Read Anderson
Gideon Johnson Pillow
Benjamin Franklin Cheatham
Felix Kirk Zollicoffer
Daniel Harvey Hill
Jones Mitchell Withers
Richard Heron Anderson
Robert Augustus Toombs
Samuel Jones
Arnold Elzey
William Henry Chase Whiting
Jubal Anderson Early
Isaac Ridgway Trimble
Daniel Ruggles
George Bibb Crittenden
John Breckinridge Grayson
Roswell Sabine Ripley
Albert Pike
Paul Octave Hébert

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