1861 February 18th

February 18 1861 Monday

Inauguration of Jefferson Finis Davis as Confederate President

Fort Wise Treaty

CSA. The Confederate States Capital was established in Montgomery, Alabama.

CSA. Jefferson Finis Davis was inaugurated as President of the permanent Confederate States government for a term of six years. Alexander Hamilton Stephens was confirmed as Vice-President. The celebrated tune “Dixie” was played for the first time as a Confederate anthem during Davis’s Inauguration.

Arkansas. The state of Arkansas elected delegates to the state convention.

Fort Wise Treaty, Colorado Territory. By the terms of the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie between the United States and seven Indian nations, including the Cheyenne and Arapaho, the USA recognized that the Cheyenne and Arapaho held a vast territory encompassing the lands between the North Platte River and Arkansas River and eastward from the Rocky Mountains to western Kansas. This area included the area of the present-day south-eastern Wyoming, southwestern Nebraska, most of eastern Colorado and the westernmost portions of Kansas. In November 1858, however, the discovery of gold in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, then part of the Kansas Territory, brought on the Pikes Peak Gold Rush. There was a flood of European-American migrants across Cheyenne and Arapaho lands. They competed for resources and some settlers tried to stay. Colorado Territorial officials pressurised Union authorities to redefine the extent of Indian lands in the territory, and in the fall of 1860, A B Greenwood, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, arrived at Bent’s New Fort along the Arkansas River to negotiate a new treaty. Six chiefs of the Southern Cheyenne and four of the Arapaho signed the Treaty of Fort Wise in which they ceded most of the lands designated to them by the Fort Laramie treaty. The Cheyenne chiefs included Black Kettle, White Antelope, Lean Bear, Little Wolf, and Tall Bear; the Arapaho chiefs included Little Raven, Storm, Shave-Head, Big Mouth and Left Hand. The new reserve, less than one-thirteenth the size of the 1851 reserve, was located in eastern Colorado between the Arkansas River and Sand Creek. Some bands of Cheyenne, including the Dog Soldiers, a militaristic band of Cheyenne and Lakota that had evolved since the 1830s, were angry at the chiefs who had signed the treaty. They disavowed the treaty and refused to abide by its constraints. They continued to live and hunt in the bison-rich lands of eastern Colorado and western Kansas, becoming increasingly belligerent over the tide of white migration across their lands. Tensions were high particularly in the Smoky Hill River country of Kansas, along which whites had opened a new trail to the goldfields. Cheyenne who opposed the treaty said that it had been signed by a small minority of the chiefs without the consent or approval of the rest of the tribe; that the signatories had not understood what they signed; and that they had been bribed to sign by a large distribution of gifts. The whites, however, claimed that the treaty was a “solemn obligation.” Officials took the position that Indians who refused to abide by the treaty were hostile belligerents.

Maryland. The Maryland State Conference Convention met, and insisted upon a meeting of the Maryland legislature. At a meeting in Howard County, Maryland, addressed by Speaker of the House of delegates, E G Kilbourn, a resolution was adopted that “immediate steps ought to be taken for the establishment of a Southern Confederacy, by consultation and co-operation with such other Southern and Slave States as may be ready therefor.”

New York. US President-elect Abraham Lincoln made speeches at Albany and New York, still attempting to reconcile differences between the Union and the seceded States

Texas. Confederate Captain John R Baylor had secretly gathered 1,000 men under the ruse of a “buffalo hunt” and these were joined in San Antonio by a company of Texas Rangers under Captain Benjamin McCulloch. The secessionist force put increasing pressure on US Brigadier-General David Emanuel Twiggs and he surrendered all US troops and posts in Texas. The US garrisons were permitted to retain their personal arms and to withdraw unmolested.

Some other officers with Southern sympathies handed over their military commands properly to the US authorities in an appropriate fashion before resigning. but Twiggs was the only US Regular Army officer, and the most senior, to surrender property before the formal declaration of secession. Since Texas had not yet ratified the ordinance of secession, Twiggs committed what might some considered a treasonous act. He later resigned his commission in order to join the Confederacy but was dismissed in advance from the US Army on 1 March 1861.

Union Organisation

USA: Command of the Department of Texas became vacant following the surrender of all military property by Brigadier-General David Emanuel Twiggs to the Confederacy.

Twiggs, David Emanuel / Georgia / Born 14 February 1790 Richmond, Georgia / Died Augusta, Georgia 15 July 1862
Captain USA 8th US Infantry 12 March 1812 / Major USA 28th US Infantry 21 September 1814 / Discharged USA 15 June 1815 / Captain USA 7th Infantry 2 December 1815 / 1st US Infantry 14 December 1821 / Major USA 14 May 1825 / Lieutenant-Colonel USA 4th US Infantry 15 July 1831 / Colonel USA 2nd US Dragoons 8 June 1836 / Brigadier-General USA 30 June 1846 / Defected to Confederacy 19 February 1861 / Dismissed USA 1 March 1861 / Major-General PACS 22 May 1861 / Retired PACS 11 October 1861 / Brevet Major USA 2 December 1815 to rank from 21 September 1814 Brevet Major-General USA 23 September 1846
Department of Texas 7 November 1860-18 February 1861 / Department of Louisiana 22 March 1861-15 April 1861 / District of Louisiana 17 April 1861-27 May 1861 / Department No 1 27 May 1861-7 October 1861

Commander in Chief: President James Buchanan

Vice-President: John Cabell Breckinridge

Secretary of War: Joseph Holt

Secretary of the Navy: Isaac Toucey

  • African Squadron USN: Captain William Inman USN
  • Brazil Squadron USN: Captain Joshua R Sands USN.
  • East Indian (Asiatic) Squadron USN: Captain Cornelius K Stribling USN
  • European Squadron USN: vacant
  • Home Squadron USN: Captain Garrett J Prendergast USN
  • Mediterranean Squadron USN: Captain Charles H Bell USN
  • Pacific Squadron USN: Captain John B Montgomery USN

General–in-Chief: Winfield Scott

  • Department of the East: John Ellis Wool
  • Department of New Mexico: Thomas Turner Fauntleroy interim, William Wing Loring awaited
  • Department of the Pacific: Albert Sidney Johnston
    • District of Oregon: George Wright
  • Department of Texas: vacant
  • Department of Utah: Philip St George Cooke
  • Department of the West: William Selby Harney

Confederate Organisation

President: Jefferson Finis Davis

Vice-President: Alexander Hamilton Stephens

Union Generals

Major-General USA

Winfield Scott

Brigadier-General USA

John Ellis Wool
David Emanuel Twiggs
William Selby Harney

Brigadier-General USA (Staff)

Joseph Eggleston Johnston

 

 

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