January 8 1861 Tuesday
USA. US Secretary of the Interior Jacob Thompson of Mississippi resigned because he disagreed with the decision to send the Star of the West with troops aboard to reinforce Charleston. He was replaced interim by Moses Kelly.
Alabama. The Alabama state convention received Commissioners from South Carolina.
Florida. The Union garrison at Fort Barrancas near Pensacola fired on a party of twenty pro-Confederate militants who had expected to find the fort undefended and drove the intruders away without casualties.
North Carolina. The North Carolina Senate bill to arm the State forces passed the North Carolina House.
South Carolina. The US Sub-Treasury at Charleston was seized by South Carolina state troops.
Virginia. The Virginia state legislature passed an anti-coercion resolution in opposition to armed intervention by the Federal authorities.
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