January 14 1861 Monday
USA. The Committee of Thirty-Three and the Committee of Thirteen were unable to reach an acceptable compromise about slavery and the issues prompting the actual or threatened secession of several Southern states. The US House of Representatives agreed on the Corwin Amendment as a solution. The Corwin Amendment proposed that the United States Constitution would shield the “domestic institutions” of the states (including slavery) from the constitutional amendment process and from abolition or interference by Congress. This proposal would be considered and rejected as inadequate by Southern states and an excessive compromise by Abolitionists.
Florida. Union troops under Captain John Milton Brannan (1st US Artillery) occupied Fort Taylor at Key West. This location later became an important coaling station for US vessels in the Gulf of Mexico.
Illinois. Richard Yates succeeded John Wood as Governor of Illinois.
Indiana. Henry S Lane succeeded Abram A Hammond as Governor of Indiana.
Louisiana. Louisiana State troops occupied Fort Pike near New Orleans.
Maryland. James Carroll, the former Democratic candidate for Governor, announced his intention to side with the seceding states.
South Carolina. The South Carolina state legislature declared that any attempt to reinforce the US garrison at Fort Sumter would be considered an open act of hostility and a declaration of war. The legislature also approved the Governor’s action in firing on the Star of the West when it had tried to bring supplies to the garrison. By describing any such efforts by the Federal authorities as a hostile act, the South Carolina legislature attempted to place the blame for any future conflict on the US Government. The US Government, for its part, insisted on its right to free passage and movement of military forces to any location in the United States.
Commander in Chief: President James Buchanan
Vice-President: John Cabell Breckinridge
Secretary of War: Joseph Holt
Secretary of the Navy: Isaac Toucey
African Squadron: William Inman
Brazil Squadron: Joshua Ratoon Sands
East Indian (Asiatic) Squadron: Cornelius Kinchiloe Stribling
European Squadron: vacant
Home Squadron: Garrett J Prendergast
Mediterranean Squadron: Charles H Bell
Pacific Squadron: John Berrien Montgomery
General–in-Chief: Winfield Scott
Department of California: Benjamin Lloyd Beall temporary
Department of the East: John Ellis Wool
Department of New Mexico: Thomas Turner Fauntleroy
Department of Oregon: George Wright
Department of Texas: David Emanuel Twiggs
Department of Utah: Philip St George Cooke
Department of the West: William Selby Harney
John Ellis Wool
David Emanuel Twiggs
William Selby Harney
Brigadier-General USA (Staff)
Joseph Eggleston Johnston