January 9 1861 Wednesday
Star of the West Incident, SC
Maryland. Thirty US Marines were sent under Lieutenant Andrew J Hays from the Washington Navy Yard to garrison Fort McHenry in Baltimore until US Army troops could relieve them.
Mississippi. The state of Mississippi passed the Ordinance of Secession and seceded from the Union by a vote of 84 to 15. In the ordinance, the people of Mississippi expressed their consent to form a union with those States that had seceded or may in future secede from the United States of America. Mississippi became the second state to secede after South Carolina and claimed independence, pending the creation of a Confederacy of seceded states.
North Carolina. Fort Johnston was occupied by North Carolina state troops and citizens from Smithville.
South Carolina. The steamship Star of the West (Captain McGowan) was fired upon by cadets from the Citadel Military Academy located on Morris Island and at Fort Moultrie. They were the only available trained artillerymen under South Carolina State control. The ship had tried to land its reinforcements and supplies at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbour but turned back undamaged after being fired upon. This was the first overt act of hostility of the war and the first shots fired at a vessel flying the United States flag. South Carolina State troops continued to construct batteries on Morris Island and around Fort Sumter.
Virginia. The Virginia state legislature passed a resolution asking for the status quo to be maintained with respect to the seceded states.
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