1861 January 14th

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 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.

Union Organisation

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 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

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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