1861 January 28th

January 28 1861 Monday

USA. Stephen Russell Mallory served on the Senate Committee on Naval Affairs and was highly influential in reforming the officer corps and improving the efficiency and equipment of the US Navy. Mallory’s tenure on the Committee on Naval Affairs came during a time of great innovation in naval warfare. He kept abreast of developments in other navies and ensured that the US Navy incorporated the latest thinking when building new ships. Britain and France, the two foremost navies in the world, were converting their fleets from sail to steam, and from paddles to screws. In 1853, his committee recommended the addition of six modern screw frigates to the fleet; and many considered them to be the best frigates in the world at that time. In 1857, his committee persuaded the Senate to authorise the construction of twelve new sloops-of-war. Mallory was ahead of his time in his enthusiastic support for cladding warships with iron armour, advocating this step even before the metals industry could supply iron in sufficient quantity. He later became the innovative Confederate Secretary of the Navy.

Florida. Senator Stephen R Mallory, hearing that USS Brooklyn was en route to reinforce the US garrison at Fort Pickens, warned that such an action would result in conflict between the state of Florida and the Federal authorities.

Georgia. Georgia ratified the secession passed on 19 January 1861 and selected commissioners to negotiate with other slave-holding states.

Louisiana. New Orleans and Fort Macomb were occupied by 1st Louisiana State Infantry. The property of US Army officers in New Orleans was seized by state authorities.

Texas. The Texas People’s state convention met to discuss matters related to secession.

Texas. Fort Macon was occupied by Texas State forces.

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 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: 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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