1861 August 6th

August 6 1861 Tuesday

Confederate Invasion of New Mexico
Wilson’s Creek Campaign

Go to August 7 1861

USA. The US Congress approved all of the executive war measures President Abraham Lincoln had issued since the initial firing on Fort Sumter in April 1861.

USA. The US Congress passed the Confiscation Act, providing for the seizure of property, including slaves, used against the Union for insurrection purposes. At this point, the concept of former slaves being seen as “contraband” property disappeared but the term continued in unofficial use.

California. Incident at Fort Gaston.

Kentucky. Camp Dick Robinson was established near Lexington. Lieutenant William Nelson USN had begun to arm Kentuckians loyal to the Union. State leaders obtained 700 muskets from Nelson in May and distributed them to loyal Home Guard troops, emboldening the Unionist cause.  On this date, the first recruits marched into Camp Dick Robinson, making it the first Federal base established south of the Ohio River. By training a substantial military force in neutral Kentucky the Federal authorities went a long way towards securing its adherence to the Union. Its location and facilities made it an indispensable starting point and base of operations for future Union activity in Kentucky and Tennessee. After Kentuckians elected nine of ten candidates loyal to the Union on 20 June, Nelson decided that the charade of neutrality was void, and he soughtpermission to organise official regiments. Nelson met Tennessee senator Andrew Johnson, Secretary of the Treasury Salmon Portland Chase, and others to formulate a plan of support for loyal Unionists in eastern Tennessee. Nelson was detached from the US Navy on 1 July with orders to organise a force of 10,000 troops. His first headquarters was Bryant Springs but seven miles north of Lancaster and twelve miles from the rail depot at Nicholasville, Nelson found a better site for a camp of instruction at Hoskins Crossroads. It was well supplied with water and forage and had extensive open ground for training. The road network was good and Nicholasville, the terminus for the Covington & Lexington (Kentucky Central) Railroad, was only four miles away.
On 5 August 1861, Kentucky elected 76 Unionists to the state House of Representatives and only 24 Secessionists. Likewise, 27 Unionists were elected to the Senate and only 11 secessionists. With this confirmation of Union authority, Colonel Speed Smith Fry led a detachment of infantry towards Camp Dick Robinson to join a small cavalry force already there. The presence of Union recruits in large numbers provoked persistent protests from secessionist Kentuckians but the Union authorities held firm, maintaining a veneer of neutrality and justifying the camp as a place of instruction and not of invasion.
By the end of August, Nelson was training 3,200 men and six guns. The first organised commands were the 1st Tennessee Infantry (Colonel Robert K Byrd), 2nd Tennessee Infantry (Colonel James P T Carter), 3rd Kentucky Infantry (Colonel Thomas E Bramlette), 4th Kentucky Infantry (Colonel Speed Smith Fry), 7th Kentucky Infantry (Colonel Theophilus Toulmin Garrard), 1st Kentucky Cavalry (Colonel Frank Wolford), and Battery B, 1st Kentucky Artillery (Captain John M Hewitt). Subsequent commanders of this force were Brigadier-General Robert Anderson and Brigadier-General George Henry Thomas.

Missouri. Confederate Brigadier-General Benjamin McCulloch was encamped at Wilson’s Creek, ten miles southwest of Springfield. He had a reasonably equipped force of Confederate troops but the command also included the inadequately armed state militia of Missouri State Guard Major-General Sterling Price. Union Brigadier-General Nathaniel Lyon had withdrawn in haste from the Arkansas border because he was outnumbered but had halted at Springfield. Lyon planned to withdraw further northeastwards to Rolla to reinforce and re-supply his over-extended force. However, he decided not to begin the retreat until after he had launched a surprise attack on the Confederate camp in order to deter pursuit.

Missouri. Union Major-General John Charles Frémont sent 1,000 men and a battery to reinforce the garrison at Cape Girardeau after reports were received of Confederate forces closing in on the riverside port.

Union Organisation

USA: Andrew Porter confirmed Brigadier-General USV 6 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861.

USA: William Buel Franklin confirmed Brigadier-General USV 6 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861.

USA: Charles Pomeroy Stone confirmed Brigadier-General USV 6 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861.

USA: Thomas West Sherman confirmed Brigadier-General USV 6 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861.

USA: Joseph Hooker confirmed Brigadier-General USV 6 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861.

USA: Frederick West Lander confirmed Brigadier-General USV 6 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861.

USA: Benjamin Franklin Kelley confirmed Brigadier-General USV 6 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861.

USA: John Alexander McClernand confirmed Brigadier-General USV 6 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861.

USA: Ambrose Everett Burnside promoted Brigadier-General USV 9 August 1861 to rank from 6 August 1861.

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

Atlantic Blockading Squadron: Silas Horton Stringham
Gulf Blockading Squadron: William Mervine
Pacific Squadron: John Berrien Montgomery
West Indies Squadron: Garrett J Pendergrast
Western Gunboat Flotilla: John Rodgers
Potomac Flotilla: Thomas Tingey Craven

General–in-Chief: Winfield Scott

Military Division (Department) of the Potomac: George Brinton McClellan

  • Department of Northeastern Virginia: Irvin McDowell
    • Army of the Potomac: Irvin McDowell
  • Department of Washington: Joseph King Fenno Mansfield

Department of the East: John Ellis Wool

Department of Florida: Harvey Brown

Department of Kentucky: Robert Anderson

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 Pennsylvania: John Adams Dix

  • Army of the Shenandoah: Vacant

Department of the Shenandoah: Nathaniel Prentiss Banks

Department of Texas: Vacant

Department of Virginia: Benjamin Franklin Butler

Western Department: John Charles Frémont

  • District of Ironton: Benjamin Gratz Brown
  • District of North Missouri: John Pope
  • Army of the West: Nathaniel Lyon

Confederate Organisation

CSA: Isaac Ridgeway Trimble promoted Brigadier-General PACS 6 August 1861 to rank from 9 August 1861.

CSA: Daniel Ruggles promoted Brigadier-General PACS 6 August 1861 to rank from 9 August 1861.

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

  • “Forces in New Orleans” “Army of Louisiana”: Braxton Bragg

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

  • 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: Henry Alexander Wise

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

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
David Hunter
Erasmus Darwin Keyes
Andrew Porter
Fitz-John Porter
William Buel Franklin
William Tecumseh Sherman
Charles Pomeroy Stone
Don Carlos Buell
Thomas West Sherman
Nathaniel Lyon
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

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

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