January 18 1861 Friday
USA. Joseph Holt resigned his post as US Postmaster General after being appointed as US Secretary of War. Holt took up the new office as US Secretary of War, after deputising in that role for John Buchanan Floyd since 30 December 1860. He later became Judge Advocate General of the US Army.
Alabama. Confederate sympathisers seized the US lighthouse tender Alert at Mobile.
Florida. The state of Florida appointed delegates to Southern Congress at Montgomery, Alabama.
Florida. Fort Jefferson, on the Dry Tortugas off Key West, was garrisoned by US troops under Captain Lewis Golding Arnold (2nd US Artillery). As well as providing support for naval operations, the Fort also became a prison for political detainees.
Florida. A third demand for the surrender of Fort Pickens was refused by the US garrison.
Georgia. The state of Georgia adopted resolutions declaring the State’s right and duty to secede.
Virginia. The Virginia state legislature appropriated $1,000,000 for the defence of the State.
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 Pacific: Albert Sidney Johnston
- District of Oregon: George Wright
- Department of the East: John Ellis Wool
- Department of New Mexico: Thomas Turner Fauntleroy
- 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