1861 August 29th

August 29 1861 Thursday

Battle of Hatteras Inlet Batteries, NC (CWSAC Formative Battle Union Victory)

Cape Hatteras Expedition

Confederate Invasion of New Mexico

Rosecrans’ West Virginia Campaign

Florida. USS R R Cuyler, Captain Francis B Ellison, seized and burned the ship Finland, which was preparing to run the blockade from Apalachicola.

Missouri. Skirmish at Morse’s Mills, near Lexington.

Hatteras Inlet Batteries, North Carolina, or Fort Hatteras. Union forces under Captain Silas Horton Stringham USN and Major-General Benjamin Franklin Butler had received the unconditional surrender of Confederate Fort Clark, closing Pamlico Sound, on 28 August 1861.

Sometime after dark, Confederate reinforcements began to arrive at Fort Hatteras across the Sound. The Confederate gunboat CSS Warren Winslow brought in part of the garrison from Fort Ocracoke, and some sailors stayed to help man the guns. This brought the number of men in Fort Hatteras up to more than 700, with more expected to arrive from New Bern. Accompanying the additional troops was Confederate Commander Samuel Barron CSN, commanding the naval defenses of North Carolina and Virginia. Colonel William F Martin, pleading exhaustion, requested Barron to assume command. Barron did so, still believing that with the additional troops from New Bern they would be able to retake Fort Clark, which had fallen the day before.

Dawn blasted the hopes of the defenders. The weather moderated enough that the Union fleet could return and resume its bombardment. The Union warships were able to drive off the transport bringing reinforcements. One Confederate ship was able to approach but rather than bringing in more troops she carried away some of the wounded. The Union fleet initially kept in motion, and soon found that they were out of range of the guns in the fort. After that, the ships did not alter their positions but poured their fire into the fort with no danger of reply. There was nothing the men in the forts could do except endure. After about three hours, Barron called a council of the officers, and they decided to seek terms, even though casualties had been quite light. The white flag was raised a little after 11 am. Butler insisted upon unconditional surrender, which Barron accepted.

The battle came to a close, and 691 (or 615) survivors were taken prisoner. Thirty guns and three vessels were also reported as captured. Reports give the number of Confederate dead as from four to seven, and the wounded as from 20 to 45.

The Union capture of Hatteras Inlet was aided by the Confederate authorities, who had decided that the Ocracoke and Oregon batteries were indefensible, and they were abandoned. The 3rd Georgia Infantry was sent hastily from Norfolk to help hold the Hatteras Inlet forts, but the forts fell before they arrived, so they were diverted to Roanoke Island. They remained there for the next three months, making desultory efforts to expel the invaders from Hatteras Island.

As an immediate result of the battle, Confederate interference with Northern maritime commerce was considerably reduced, while the Union blockade of Southern ports was extended. More importantly, the Union gained entry into the North Carolina Sounds. Several North Carolina cities (among them, New Bern, Washington, Elizabeth City, and Edenton) were directly threatened. In addition, the sounds offered an indirect approach to the Confederate-held parts of Tidewater Virginia, particularly Norfolk. Union forces retained possession of the inlet as the entry point of a further amphibious expedition against the North Carolina mainland early the next year.

This was the first notable Union victory following the embarrassment of First Bull Run and it encouraged supporters of the Union in the gloomy early days. It also represented the first effective application of the naval blockading strategy. It was the first amphibious operation and first combined operation of the war involving both the US Army and the US Navy. The new tactic of keeping in motion to eliminate the traditional advantage of shore-based guns over those carried on ships was shared by the bombarding fleet. This tactic was used later by Captain Samuel Francis Du Pont USN at Port Royal in South Carolina. The effectiveness of the practice led to a reconsideration of the value of fixed forts against naval gunnery. Butler returned to Fortress Monroe with an enhanced reputation for strategy, leaving the captured forts garrisoned.  (CWSAC Formative Battle Union Victory)

Virginia. Incident at Bailey’s Corner.

Union Organisation

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

Note: Italics, awaiting confirmation of the commission

Major-General USA

Winfield Scott
George Brinton McClellan
John Charles Frémont
Henry Wager Halleck

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
James Shields
John Fulton Reynolds
William Farquhar Barry

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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