January 5 1861 Saturday
Alabama. Fort Morgan and Fort Gaines in Mobile Bay were seized and garrisoned by Alabama State troops.
District of Columbia/ The US Senators from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas met to discuss the options for seceding from the United States.
New York. The steamship Star of the West (Captain John McGowan USRM) sailed from New York City with 250 men as reinforcements and supplies for the garrison of Fort Sumter in Charleston harbour. Union Major-General Winfield Scott has decided on his own initiative to use the Star of the West rather than the USS Brooklyn, stationed at Norfolk, Virginia, which had previously been notified to prepare for the mission.
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
John Ellis Wool
David Emanuel Twiggs
William Selby Harney
Brigadier-General USA (Staff)
Joseph Eggleston Johnston