1861 August 28th

August 28 1861 Wednesday

Fort Clark, NC

Cape Hatteras Expedition

Confederate Invasion of New Mexico

Rosecrans’ West Virginia Campaign

Kentucky. Despite warnings from President Abraham Lincoln not to interfere with the neutrality of Kentucky, Union Major-General John Charles Frémont ordered Brigadier-General Ulysses Simpson Grant to prepare an expedition to Columbus to prevent it falling into Confederate hands. The citizens of the region were largely pro-Confederate and there was an imminent risk that Confederate troops under Major-General Leonidas Polk would march from Union City, Tennessee, to occupy the town. Grant was instructed to move first from Cape Girardeau to take command at Cairo, where he would prepare for operations along the Missouri and Kentucky shores of the Mississippi. Commander John Rodgers USN was in charge of the growing gunboat flotilla and was ready to cooperate with any expeditions. Grant planned to move rapidly and to reach Columbus, Kentucky, by 5th September 1861.

Missouri. Incidents at Ball’s Mill, Ashley, and Lexington. Expedition to Jackson began. In the defence of Lexington against a Confederate raid, the Union reported eight of the enemy killed and several wounded for the loss of 5 or 6 wounded.

New Mexico Territory. Operations at Fort Stanton began.

Fort Clark, North Carolina, also known as Pamlico Sound and Hatteras Inlet Batteries. An amphibious expedition led by Major-General Benjamin Franklin Butler and Flag Officer Silas H Stringham bombarded Forts Clark and Hatteras. The plan was for USS Minnesota and seven other naval vessels mounting 143 guns to bombard the forts while Colonel Rush Hawkins with some of the 860 troops of 9th New York and 20th New York, plus detachments of the 2nd US Artillery and US Coast Guard, came ashore and attacked the rear of the Confederate batteries.

Early in the morning USS Minnesota, along with USS Wabash towing USS Cumberland, began to bombard Fort Clark, while the lighter warships accompanied the transports to a point about three miles to the east, where the troops began disembarking.

Flag Officer Silas H Stringham kept his ships moving in a novel formation, circling in a loop,. At about 11 am USS Susquehanna joined in. The ships delivered their broadsides against the fort, moved back out of range to reload, and then came back in a loop to fire again. By remaining in motion, they did not let the artillerymen in the fort correct their aim between shots, and thereby negated much of the traditional advantage of shore-based guns over those on ships. This tactic had been used previously by the British and French at the siege of Sevastopol in the Crimean War, but this was the first time it was used by the US Navy.

The return fire from Fort Clark was ineffectual, falling short or passing overhead, and no hits were made on the bombarding ships. Shortly after noon, the defenders ran low on ammunition, and at about 12.25 pm they ran out completely. At this point, they abandoned the fort, some fleeing to Fort Hatteras, while others took to small boats.

Colonel Max Weber, commanding the Union troops already on shore sent forward some men to take possession of the fort but the fleet did not know this and continued firing for another five minutes. During this interval of confusion, the landing force suffered its only casualty, one of the soldiers being seriously wounded in the hand by a shell fragment. Fortunately, the troops were able to get the attention of the gunners on the ships by waving a large American flag, and the bombardment stopped with no further harm done. Weber found that he had only 318 men with him, including 102 from his own 20th New York, but also 68 from the 9th New York, 28 from the Union Coast Guard, 45 artillerymen, 45 marines, and 28 sailors who could man heavy guns. With a couple of field pieces that they had managed to wrestle ashore through the surf, they could reasonably well defend themselves against a Confederate counterattack, but they were too weak to mount an attack on Fort Hatteras.

Stringham and his captains then turned their attention to Fort Hatteras. Meanwhile, the landings were not going well. Only about a third of the troops were ashore when rising winds produced surf that swamped and overturned the landing boats, and Butler had to suspend further attempts to land. At Fort Hatteras, Stringham kept his ships moving in a loop as he had done at Fort Clark. The defenders tried to conserve their ammunition by firing only sporadically, so Stringham thought that perhaps the fort had been abandoned. No flag was flying as the old flag had been reduced to tatters by the weather before the battle and never replaced. Stringham sent USS Monticello into the inlet to sound it out, but then the fort came again to life. The ship grounded while trying to extricate herself, and in this condition she was struck by five shots. None of these did any permanent damage, although a couple of sailors received minor wounds. As the day came to a close, the fleet drew off in the face of threatening weather, the exhausted defenders looked for reinforcements. The Union troops ashore went to sleep unfed, with water running low, and fearing the arrival of enemy reinforcements.

Virginia. Incidents at Gauley Bridge, Bailey’s Cross Roads, Bailey’s Corner and Ball’s Cross Roads. Union troops encountered Confederates at Wayne Court House and returned to Ceredo without loss. They reported 5 or 6 Confederates killed or wounded and 8 captured.

Virginia. Four hundred seamen were sent on steamboat Philadelphia from Washington Navy Yard to Alexandria, for the defence of Fort Ellsworth.

Union Organisation

USA: The West Indies Squadron of the US Navy was deactivated temporarily.

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

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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