1861 August 26th

August 26 1861 Monday

Battle of Kessler’s Cross Lanes, VA (CWSAC Limited Battle – Confederate Victory)

Confederate Invasion of New Mexico

Rosecrans’ West Virginia Campaign

Cape Hatteras Expedition

USA. The US War Department prohibited the transmission or publication of intelligence about army and navy movements calculated to give information to the enemy. The US Postmaster-General directed postal agents to arrest express agents and others engaged in transmitting mail to seceded States in violation of Presidential proclamations.

California. Charged with the supervision of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Diego and Santa Barbara counties, Union Major William Scott Ketchum steamed from San Francisco to San Pedro and made a rapid march and with Companies D and G of the 4th US Infantry to encamp near San Bernardino on 16th August, arriving on 26th August. By the beginning of September, they were reinforced by a detachment of 90 men from the 1st US Dragoons and a howitzer. Except for frequent sniping at his camp, Ketchum’s garrison stifled any secessionist uprising from Belleville. A show of force by the Dragoons in the streets of San Bernardino quelled a secessionist political demonstration during the September gubernatorial elections. Union commanders relied on the volunteer San Bernardino Mounted Rifles and Captain Clarence E Bennett for intelligence and help in holding the pro-Southern San Bernardino County for the Union as Regular Army troops were gradually withdrawn and replaced by California Volunteers.

Maryland. Incident at Great Falls.

New Mexico Territory. Operations at Fort Stanton began.

North Carolina. Union Major-General Benjamin Franklin Butler and Flag Officer Silas Horton Stringham (Atlantic Blockading Squadron) embarked an amphibious expedition at Fort Monroe to capture Hatteras Inlet in North Carolina. The North Carolina Sounds occupy most of the coast from Point Lookout to the Virginia border. With their eastern borders marked by the Outer Banks, they were well located for raiding Northern maritime commerce. Cape Hatteras, the easternmost point in the Confederacy, is within sight of the Gulf Stream, and ships in the Caribbean trade reduced the time of their homeward journeys to New York, Philadelphia, or Boston by riding the current northwards. Raiders, privateers or state-owned vessels, could lie inside the inlets, protected from both the weather and from blockaders, until an undefended victim appeared. Watchers stationed at the Hatteras lighthouse would then signal a raider, which would dash out and make a capture, often being able to return the same day.

Immediately after seceding from the Union the state of North Carolina established forts at the inlets, waterways that allowed entrance to and egress from the sounds, to protect raiders from Union reprisal. In 1861 only four inlets were deep enough for ocean-going vessels to pass: Beaufort, Ocracoke, Hatteras, and Oregon Inlets. Hatteras Inlet was the most important of these, so it was given two forts, named Fort Hatteras and Fort Clark. Fort Hatteras was sited adjacent to the inlet, on the sound side of Hatteras Island. Fort Clark was about half a mile to the southeast, closer to the Atlantic Ocean. The forts were not very strong; Fort Hatteras had only ten guns mounted by the end of August, with another five guns in the fort but not yet mounted. Fort Clark had only five. Furthermore, most of the guns were rather light 32-pounders or smaller, of limited range and inadequate for coastal defense. The personnel problem was even worse. There were only six regiments available for the defense of the entire North Carolina coastline. Only a fraction of the 7th North Carolina occupied the two forts at Hatteras Inlet. The other forts were likewise only weakly held. Fewer than a thousand men garrisoned Forts Ocracoke, Hatteras, Clark, and Oregon. Reinforcements, if needed, would have to come from as far away as Beaufort. The military authorities in North Carolina did little to keep the poor state of their defenses secret.

Several Union naval captains, victims of either capture or shipwreck, were loosely detained at or near Hatteras Island while awaiting return to their homes. They were allowed virtually free access to the forts and made mental notes of everything. When they returned to the North, at least two of them gave full and valuable descriptions to the Navy Department. US Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles recommended that the coast should be rendered useless to the South by sinking old, useless, ballast-laden ships in the inlets to block them up. He ordered Commander H S Stellwagen to go to the Chesapeake Bay to buy some suitable old hulks. At the same time, he was told to report his activities to Stringham, commanding the Atlantic Blockading Squadron. As such, he was the naval officer in charge of the blockade of the North Carolina coast. This was the first involvement of Stringham with what was to become the attack at Hatteras Inlet. In time, he would become the most important person in the expedition. Stringham opposed the plan to block the inlets from the beginning. He believed that the tidal currents would either sweep the impediments away or would rapidly scour new channels. As he saw it, the Confederates could not be denied access to the sounds unless the inlets were actually held by the Union. In other words, in order to establish an effective blockade in this part of North Carolina, the forts that the state had set up would have to be captured. Since the Navy could not do it alone, the cooperation of the Army would be needed.

Union Brigadier-General Benjamin Franklin Butler was ordered to assemble a force of about 860 men for the expedition to Hatteras Inlet. He soon had 500 from the German-speaking 20th New York (Colonel Rush Hawkins), 220 from the 9th New York (Colonel Max Weber), 100 from the 99th New York, known as the Union Coast Guard (Captain William Nixon) and 60 Regular Army gunners from the 2nd US Artillery (Lieutenant Frank H Larned). The men were put aboard two of the vessels that Commander Stellwagen had purchased: Adelaide and George Peabody. When an objection was raised that the two ships would not be able to survive a Hatteras storm, Stellwagen pointed out that the expedition could proceed only in fair weather anyway, as a storm would prevent landings.

While Butler was gathering his forces and acquiring two more transport ships, Flag Officer Stringham was also making preparations. Somehow he learned that the War Department orders to Butler’s superior, Major-General John Ellis Wool, had contained the statement, “The expedition originated in the Navy Department, and is under its control.” Reasoning that he would be blamed if anything went wrong, he decided to make his own plans.

The Union naval squadron consisted of USS Minnesota, USS Monticello, USS Wabash, USS Pawnee, Revenue Cutter Harriet Lane, tug Fanny and two transports carrying about 900 troops, to be joined later by USS Susquehanna and USS Cumberland. The tug Fanny was needed to tow some of the surf boats that would be used for the landing. The flotilla, less USS Susquehanna and USS Cumberland, departed Hampton Roads and moved down the coast to the vicinity of Cape Hatteras.

Virginia. Incidents at Piggott’s Mill, Wayne Court House, and Blue’s House. A Union force of 53 men from Camp Pierpont at Ceredo, met a Confederate force at Wayne Court House and claimed four Confederates killed and 8 captured. Two companies of the Union 23rd New York met a Confederate force at Ball’s Cross Roads and lost one man killed and one man wounded.

Kessler’s Cross Lanes, Virginia, also known as Cross Lanes. Confederate Brigadier-General John Buchanan Floyd, commanding the Army of the Kanawha, crossed the Gauley River to attack Colonel Erastus Barnard Tyler’s 7th Ohio encamped at Kessler’s Cross Lanes, near Summersville. At Cross Lanes, the Union 7th Ohio lost two men killed, four wounded and five captured. The Union forces were surprised and routed and the remaining troops withdrew over the mountains to Elk River and then to Charleston. Floyd withdrew to the river and entrenched a defensive position at Carnifex Ferry. The Confederates claimed they had inflicted 245 casualties while the Union reported 15 killed 40 wounded and 30 or 100 captured) compared to 40 Confederates. (CWSAC Limited Battle – Confederate Victory)

Union Organisation

USA: John Fulton Reynolds promoted Brigadier-General USV August 26 1861 to rank from August 20 1861.

Reynolds, John Fulton | Pennsylvania | Born 20 September 1820 Lancaster, Pennsylvania | USMA 1841 26/52 Artillery | 2nd Lieutenant USA 3rd US Artillery 23 October 1841 1st Lieutenant USA 3rd US Artillery 18 June 1846 Captain US 3rd US Artillery 3 March 1855 Lieutenant-Colonel USA 14th US Infantry 14 May 1861 Colonel May 14 1861 Brigadier-General USV 26 August 1861 to rank from August 20 1861 Major-General USV 29 November 1862 Colonel USA 5th US Infantry 1 June 1863 | CIA Glendale 1862 | KIA Gettysburg 1 July 1863 | 29 September 1862 – 1 January 1863 I Corps Potomac, 4 January 1863 – 28 February 1863 I Corps Potomac, 9 March 1863 – 1 July 1863 I Corps Potomac

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: Henry Washington Benham
    • 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
    • Army of the Potomac: George Brinton McClellan
  • 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: The Department of the Peninsula was extended to include Gloucester, Matthews and Middlesex counties of Virginia.

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: vacant
  • Department of Middle and Eastern Florida: John Breckinridge Grayson
  • Department of Norfolk: Benjamin Huger
  • Department of North Carolina: Richard Caswell Gatlin
    • 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
    • Army of the Valley: Thomas Jonathan Jackson
  • Department of South Carolina: Roswell Sabine Ripley
  • 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

  • Major-General USA Winfield Scott 5 July 1841 to rank from 25 June 1841 General-in-Chief
  • Major-General USA George Brinton McClellan 14 May 1861 Department of the Potomac & Army of the Potomac
  • Major-General USA John Charles Frémont 3 July 1861 to rank from 14 May 1861 Western Department
  • Major-General USA Henry Wager Halleck 19 August 1861
  • Brigadier-General USA John Ellis Wool 25 June 1841 Department of Virginia
  • Brigadier-General USA William Selby Harney 14 June 1858
  • Brigadier-General USA Edwin Vose Sumner 16 March 1861 Department of the Pacific
  • Brigadier-General USA Irvin McDowell 14 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USA Joseph Fenno King Mansfield 17 May 1861 to rank from May 14 1861
  • Brigadier-General USA Montgomery Cunningham Meigs 15 May 1861 Quartermaster-General
  • Brigadier-General USA Robert Anderson 17 June 1861 to rank from 15 May 1861 Department of the Cumberland awaited
  • Brigadier-General USA William Starke Rosecrans 16 June 1861 to rank from 16 May 1861 Department of the Ohio & Army of Occupation
  • Brigadier-General USA Henry Knox Craig August 3 1861
  • Brigadier-General USA Lorenzo Thomas 5 August 1861 to rank from 3 August 1861 Adjutant General
  • Brigadier-General USA James Wolfe Ripley 10 September 1861 to rank from 3 August 1861 Chief of Ordnance
  • Major-General USV John Adams Dix 16 May 1861
  • Major-General USV Benjamin Franklin Butler 16 May 1861
  • Major-General USV Nathaniel Prentiss Banks 3 June 1861 to rank from 16 May 1861
  • Major-General USV David Hunter 13 August 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Nathaniel Lyon 17 May 1861 KIA 10 August 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Jacob Dolson Cox 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Samuel Peter Heintzelman 27 May 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Robert Cumming Schenck 5 June 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV John Pope 14 June 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861 District of North Missouri
  • Brigadier-General USV Joseph Jones Reynolds 14 June 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861 Cheat Mountain District
  • Brigadier-General USV Stephen Augustus Hurlbut 14 June 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV William Tecumseh Sherman 3 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Andrew Porter 6 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV William Buel Franklin 6 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Charles Pomeroy Stone 6 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Thomas West Sherman 6 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Benjamin Franklin Kelley 6 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861 District of Grafton
  • Brigadier-General USV Joseph Hooker 6 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV John Alexander McClernand 6 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Frederick West Lander 6 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Erasmus Darwin Keyes 7 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Don Carlos Buell 7 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Fitz-John Porter 7 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV George Archibald McCall 7 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Rufus King 7 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Franz Sigel 7 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Charles Smith Hamilton 7 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Samuel Ryan Curtis 7 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Philip Kearny 7 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Alpheus Starkey Williams 9 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV William Reading Montgomery 9 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Israel Bush Richardson 9 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Benjamin Mayberry Prentiss 9 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861 District of Ironton
  • Brigadier-General USV Darius Nash Couch 9 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Ulysses Simpson Grant 9 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV James Cooper 12 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Julius Stahel 12 November 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV John Wolcott Phelps 9 August 1861 to rank from 27 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV James Brewerton Ricketts April 30 1862 to rank from July 21 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Michael Corcoran August 15 1862 to rank from July 21 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Orlando Bolivar Willcox August 19 1862 to rank from July 21 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV George Henry Thomas 17 August 1861 to rank from 3 August 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Ambrose Everett Burnside 9 August 1861 to rank from August 6 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Henry Hayes Lockwood August 8 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Louis Blenker 9 August 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV George Webb Morell 9 August 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Henry Warner Slocum 9 August 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV James Samuel Wadsworth 9 August 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV John James Peck 9 August 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Ormsby McKnight Mitchel 9 August 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV John Henry Martindale 9 August 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Samuel Davis Sturgis March 7 1862 to rank from August 10 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV William Farrar Smith 13 August 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV George Stoneman 13 August 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Henry Washington Benham 13 August 1861 Cheat River District
  • Brigadier-General USV James William Denver 14 August 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Egbert Ludovicus Viele 17 August 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV James Shields 19 August 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV William Farquhar Barry 20 August 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV John Fulton Reynolds 26 August 1861 to rank from 20 August 1861
  • Colonel Harvey Brown 14 May 1861 Department of Florida
  • Colonel George Wright 3 March 1855 District of Oregon
  • Colonel Benjamin Gratz Brown 22 April 1861 District of Ironton
  • Major Benjamin Stone Roberts 13 May 1861 Southern District of New Mexico

Confederate Generals

  • General ACSA Samuel Cooper 31 August 1861 to rank from 16 May 1861 Adjutant-General and Inspector General
  • General ACSA Albert Sidney Johnston 31 August 1861 to rank from 30 May 1861
  • General ACSA Robert Edward Lee 31 August 1861 to rank from 14 June 1861 Military Adviser to the President
  • General ACSA Joseph Eggleston Johnston 31 August 1861 to rank from 4 July 1861 Department of the Potomac & Army of the Potomac
  • General ACSA Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard 31 August 1861 to rank from 21 July 1861
  • Major-General PACS David Emanuel Twiggs March 22 1861 Department No 1
  • Major-General Leonidas Polk PACS 25 June 1861 Western Department
  • Brigadier-General ACSA Braxton Bragg March 7 1861 Department of West Florida & Forces in Pensacola
  • Brigadier-General PACS Alexander Robert Lawton 13 April 1861 Defences of Savannah
  • Brigadier-General PACS Milledge Luke Bonham 23 April 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS Benjamin McCulloch 11 May 1861 Indian Territory & Western Army
  • Brigadier-General PACS William Wing Loring 20 May 1861 Department of Southwestern Virginia & Army of the Northwest
  • Brigadier-General PACS Charles Clark 22 May 1861.
  • Brigadier-General PACS John Buchanan Floyd 23 May 1861 Army of the Kanawha
  • Brigadier-General PACS William Henry Talbot Walker 25 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS Henry Rootes Jackson 4 June 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS Earl Van Dorn 5 June 1861 Department of Texas interim
  • Brigadier-General PACS Theophilus Hunter Holmes 5 June 1861 Defences of North Carolina
  • Brigadier-General PACS Henry Alexander Wise 5 June 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS Robert Selden Garnett 6 June 1861 KIA 13 July 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS William Joseph Hardee 17 June 1861 District of Upper Arkansas
  • Brigadier-General PACS Benjamin Huger 17 June 1861 Department of Norfolk
  • Brigadier-General PACS Thomas Jonathan Jackson 17 June 1861 Army of the Valley
  • Brigadier-General PACS Richard Stoddert Ewell 17 June 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS Henry Hopkins Sibley 17 June 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS Edmund Kirby Smith 17 June 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS Barnard Elliott Bee 17 June 1861 DOW 22 July 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS John Clifford Pemberton 17 June 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS John Bankhead Magruder 17 June 1861 Department of the Peninsula & Army of the Peninsula
  • Brigadier-General PACS James Longstreet 17 June 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS David Rumph Jones 17 June 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS John Henry Winder 21 June 1861 Provost Marshal General
  • Brigadier-General PACS Richard Caswell Gatlin 13 August 1861 to rank from 8 July 1861 Department of North Carolina
  • Brigadier-General PACS Gideon Johnson Pillow 9 July 1861 Army of Liberation
  • Brigadier-General PACS Samuel Read Anderson 9 July 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS Benjamin Franklin Cheatham 9 July 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS Daniel Smith Donelson 9 July 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS Felix Kirk Zollicoffer 9 July 1861 District of East Tennessee
  • Brigadier-General PACS Jones Mitchell Withers 10 July 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS Daniel Harvey Hill 10 July 1861 Department of Fredericksburg
  • Brigadier-General PACS Richard Heron Anderson 19 July 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS Robert Augustus Toombs 19 July 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS Arnold Elzey 21 July 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS Samuel Jones 21 July 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS Jubal Anderson Early July 21 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS William Henry Chase Whiting 28 August 1861 to rank from 21 July 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS Francis Stebbins Bartow 21 July 1861 DOW 22 July 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS Daniel Ruggles August 6 1861 to rank from 9 August 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS Isaac Ridgeway Trimble 6 August 1861 to rank from 9 August 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS George Bibb Crittenden 13 August 1861 to rank from August 15 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS John Breckinridge Grayson 13 August 1861 to rank from 15 August 1861 Department of Middle and Eastern Florida
  • Brigadier-General PACS Roswell Sabine Ripley 13 August 1861 to rank from 15 August 1861 Department of South Carolina
  • Brigadier-General PACS Albert Pike 13 August 1861 to rank from 15 August 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS Paul Octave Hébert August 18 1861 to rank from August 17 1861 Department of Texas awaited
  • Colonel Thomas Turner Fauntleroy Forces in Richmond
  • Colonel John Creed Moore Defences of Galveston

 

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