1861 July 13th

July 13 1861 Saturday

Carrick’s Ford, VA

McClellan’s West Virginia Campaign

Patterson’s Shenandoah Valley Operation

Georgia. While fortifications were being built or repaired to defend the coastline, the state authorities of Georgia were formed a rudimentary navy by converting a few tugs and other harbour craft into gunboats. Although they could never oppose the ships of the US Navy on the open seas, their shallow draft enabled them to move freely about in the inland waters along the coasts of South Carolina and Georgia. They were commanded by Captain Josiah Tattnall. When the Georgia navy was transferred to the Confederate States Navy, Tattnall found himself in charge of the coastal defenses of both South Carolina and Georgia. He had four gunboats in the vicinity of Port Royal Sound; one was a converted coaster, and three were former tugs. Each mounted only two guns.

Mississippi. USS Massachusetts, Commander Melancton Smith, seized the schooner Hiland near Ship Island.

Missouri. Union Brigadier-General Nathaniel Lyon’s army encamped at Springfield. He commanded approximately 6,000 men in the 1st Missouri Infantry, 2nd Missouri Infantry, 3rd Missouri Infantry,  5th Missouri Infantry, the 1st Iowa Infantry, the 1st Kansas Infantry, and the 2nd Kansas Infantry, several companies of US Regular Army infantry and cavalry , and three batteries of artillery. Pro-Confederate State Major-General Sterling Price had gathered between 7,000 and 8,000 men in the Missouri State Guard but they were not well organised, equipped, supplied, or trained.

South Carolina. The US Navy had the responsibility of blockading the Southern coastline but found this task difficult when it was forced to rely on distant fuelling and re-supply ports in Northern poets for its coal-fired steamships. The problems of the blockade were considered by a commission appointed by Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles and its Chairman was Captain Samuel Francis Du Pont.

The Blockade commission reported its views of the South Carolina coast in its second report. In order to improve the blockade of Charleston, they considered seizing a nearby port and paid particular attention to three options: Bull’s Bay to the north of Charleston or St Helena Sound or Port Royal Sound to the south. The latter two would also be useful bases for the blockade of Savannah. They considered Port Royal to have the best harbour, but believed that it would be strongly defended and therefore were reluctant to recommend that it be taken.

Confederate Brigadier General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard did not believe that Port Royal Sound could be adequately defended, as the forts on opposite sides of the sound would be too far apart for mutual support. Overruled by South Carolina Governor Francis Pickens, he drew up plans for two new forts to be built at the entrance to the Sound.

When he was called away to serve in Virginia, Beauregard turned the task of implementing his plans over to Major Francis D Lee of the South Carolina Army Engineers. Before the war, Lee had been an architect in Charleston. Work on the two forts began in July 1861 but progress was slow because labour for the construction was obtained by requisitions of slave labor from local plantations, which the owners were reluctant to provide. Construction was not complete when the Union attack finally came.

Beauregard’s defensive plan had to be altered because the heavy guns he stipulated to be installed were not available. To compensate for the reduced weight of fire by increasing volume, the number of guns in the water battery of Fort Walker was increased from seven 10-inch Columbiads plus 12 guns of smaller calibre, and a single 10-inch gun. Fitting the increased number into the available space required the customary traverses to be eliminated. The battery was therefore vulnerable to enfilade fire. In addition to the 13 guns of the water battery, Fort Walker had another seven guns mounted to repel land attacks from the rear and three more on the right wing. Two other guns were in the fort but were not mounted. Fort Beauregard was almost as strong; it also had 13 guns that bore on the channel, plus six others for protection against land attacks. The garrisons were increased in size; 687 men were training in and near Fort Walker by mid-August 1861.

Virginia. Expedition to Romney ended with the occupation of the town by Union forces under Major-General George Brinton McClellan.

Virginia. Skirmish at the Red House near Barboursville.

Carrick’s Ford, Virginia, also known as Cheat River or Corrick’s Ford. Confederate Brigadier-General Richard Selden Garnett retreated to the Cheat River but he was slowed down by rain and the need to save his supply trains. Around noon the rain slackened and the Confederates continued up Shaver’s Fork of the Cheat River. Almost immediately scouts began reporting Union skirmishers at the rear of the Confederate forces.

Carrick’s Ford consisted of two separate fords on the same property. Upper Carrick’s Ford is on Shaver’s Fork at the plant while the lower ford is about 700 yards downstream. Garnett assigned Colonel William Booth Taliaferro the duty of escorting the wagon train through from the nearby mountains with his Virginia State Militia. The 1st Georgia Infantry and 23rd Virginia Infantry with a section of artillery became a rear-guard. When the first crossing had been completed by the rest of the army and Garnett had pushed the wagon train across the river, Taliaferro was to withdraw downstream to the next crossing and watch for Union troops.

With Taliaferro’s men covering the upstream crossing from a nearby hill, Garnett struggled to get his train across Shaver’s Fork. Taliaferro’s Confederates saw enemy skirmishers approaching but they mistook it for 1st Georgia of the rear-guard. The Georgians had, in fact, already been cut off at Kaler’s Ford by Union Captain Henry Washington Benham. Benham pushed his men forward and unlimbered his artillery but the inexperienced troops were in a state of confusion. When Union Colonel Ebenezer Dumont arrived with the 7th Indiana Infantry, they moved forward to assist Benham, and Benham regained control of his men.

The Confederates opened fire with three guns and held their ground for over an hour. The Union slowly gained the advantage over both Garnett at the river and Taliaferro in the hills, and the Confederates were forced to withdraw downstream to Carrick’s Ford. Garnett left orders for his skirmish line to make a fighting withdrawal and rode downstream to the lower ford where he supervised the crossing. Fifteen minutes later his skirmish line had abandoned that position and moved to protect the wagon train then crossing the lower ford. His men were running out of ammunition and the line was weakening. Trying to rally his men, Garnett was shot dead and fell onto the muddy road near a stone wall. The Confederates managed to continue their retreat aided by torrential rain which slowed the pursuit.

Garnett was the first general of either side to be killed in action during the Civil War. The Union forces reported a loss of 53 men and estimated Confederate casualties as 20 killed, 10 wounded, and 50 prisoners. The Union also captured a rifled gun and forty wagons.

Union Organisation

Commander in Chief: President Abraham Lincoln

Vice-President: Hannibal Hamlin

Secretary of War: Simon Cameron

Secretary of the Navy: Gideon Welles

  • Coast Blockading Squadron USN: Flag Officer Silas Horton Stringham USN
  • Gulf Blockading Squadron USN: Flag Officer William Mervine USN
  • Pacific Squadron USN: Captain John B Montgomery USN
  • Potomac Flotilla USN: Commander Thomas Tingey Craven USN

General–in-Chief: Winfield Scott

  • Department of Annapolis: Nathaniel Prentiss Banks
  • Department of the East: John Ellis Wool
  • Department of Florida: Harvey Brown
  • Department of Kentucky: Robert Anderson
  • Department of Northeastern Virginia: Irvin McDowell
    • Army of Northeastern Virginia: Irvin McDowell
  • Department of the Ohio: George Brinton McClellan
    • Army of Occupation: George Brinton McClellan
  • Department of the Pacific: Edwin Vose Sumner
    • District of Oregon: George Wright
  • Department of Pennsylvania: Robert Patterson
    • Army of the Shenandoah: Robert Patterson
  • Department of Texas: Vacant
  • Department of Utah: Philip St George Cooke
  • Department of Virginia: Benjamin Franklin Butler
  • Department of Washington: Joseph King Fenno Mansfield
  • Western Department: Nathaniel Lyon interim John Charles Frémont awaited
    • District of Ironton: Benjamin Gratz Brown
    • Army of the West: Nathaniel Lyon

Confederate Organisation

CSA: Brigadier-General Robert Selden Garnett was killed at Carrick’s Ford.

Garnett, Robert Selden (Jr) / Virginia / Born 16 December 1819 Essex, Virginia / KIA Corrick’s Ford, (West) Virginia 13 July 1861
USMA 1 July 1841 27 /52 Artillery / Cadet USMA 1 September 1837 / 4th US Artillery 1 July 1841 / 2nd Lieutenant USA 31 January 1842 / 1st Lieutenant USA 18 August 1846 / 7th US Infantry 31 August 1846 / Captain USA 9 March 1851 / Commandant of Cadets USMA 1 November 1852-31 July 1854 / 1st US Cavalry 3 March 1855 / Major USA 9th US Infantry 27 March 1855 / Resigned USA 30 April 1861 / Lieutenant-Colonel ACSA Infantry 16 March 1861 / Colonel Assistant Adjutant-General Provisional Army of Virginia 25 April 1861-7 May 1861 / Colonel Cavalry Provisional Army of Virginia 14 May 1861 / Brigadier-General PACS 6 June 1861 / Brevet 2nd Lieutenant USA 1 July 1841 Brevet Captain USA 23 September 1846 Brevet Major USA 23 February 1847
Army of the Northwest 8 June 1861-13 July 1861 Department of the Northwest 8 June 1861-13 July 1861

CSA: Brigadier-General Henry Rootes Jackson assumed command of the Army of the Northwest succeeding Brigadier-General Robert Selden Garnett, who was killed at Carrick’s Ford.

Jackson, Henry Rootes / Georgia / Born 24 June 1820 Athens, Georgia / Died Savannah, Georgia 23 May 1898
Colonel USV 1st Georgia Infantry 20 June 1846 / Mustered Out May 1848 / ADC (J E Brown) 1861 / Brigadier-General PACS 4 June 1861 / Resigned PACS 2 December 1861 / Major-General Georgia Militia 2 December 1861-21 September 1863 / ADC (W H T Walker) 1863 / Brigadier-General PACS 21 September 1863 / ADC ( J E Brown) 1864 / Georgia Militia 22 June 1864-9 July 1864 / Paroled Fort Warren, Massachusetts 8 July 1865 / CIA Nashville 16 December 1864
Department of Northwest Virginia 14 July 1861-20 July 1861 / Army of the Northwest 14 July 1861-20 July 1861 / 1st Brigade Army of the Northwest 20 July 1861-22 November 1861 / 1st Division Army of the Northwest November 1861-2 December 1861 / District of Georgia 18 June 1864-28 September 1864 / Jackson’s Brigade Walker’s Division I Corps Army of Tennessee 23 July 1864-10 August 1864 / Walker’s Division I Corps Army of Tennessee 23 July 1864-24 July 1864 / Bate’s Division I Corps Army of Tennessee 10 August 1864-August 1864 / Jackson’s Brigade Bate’s Division I Corps Army of Tennessee August 1864-16 December 1864 / District of Georgia 11 November 1863-27 September 1864

Confederate Generals

Commander in Chief: President Jefferson Finis Davis

Vice-President: Alexander Hamilton Stephens

Secretary of War: Leroy Pope Walker

Secretary of the Navy: Stephen Russell Mallory

Military Adviser to the President: Robert Edward Lee

  • Department No 1: David Emanuel Twiggs
    • “Forces in New Orleans” “Army of Louisiana”: Braxton Bragg
  • Department of Fredericksburg: Theophilus Hunter Holmes
  • Department of Norfolk: Benjamin Huger
  • Department of North Carolina: Theophilus Hunter Holmes
    • Defences of North Carolina: Theophilus Hunter Holmes
  • Department of the Peninsula: John Bankhead Magruder
    • Army of the Peninsula: John Bankhead Magruder
  • Department of the Potomac: Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard
    • Army of the Potomac: Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard
  • Department of South Carolina: Daniel Harvey Hill
  • Department of Southwestern Virginia: William Wing Loring
  • Department of Texas: Earl Van Dorn
    • Defences of Galveston: John Creed Moore
  • Department of West Florida: Braxton Bragg
    • “Forces in Pensacola”: Braxton Bragg
  • Western Department: Leonidas Polk
    • District of Upper Arkansas: William Joseph Hardee
    • Forces in Missouri: Benjamin McCulloch
  • Defences of Savannah: Alexander Robert Lawton
  • District of Harper’s Ferry: Joseph Eggleston Johnston
    • Army of the Shenandoah: Joseph Eggleston Johnston
  • Indian Territory: Benjamin McCulloch
  • Forces in Richmond: Thomas Turner Fauntleroy
  • Army of the Kanawha: Henry Alexander Wise
  • Army of Liberation: Gideon Johnson Pillow
  • Army of the Northwest: Henry Rootes Jackson

Union Generals

Note: Italics, awaiting confirmation of the commission

Major-General USA

Winfield Scott
George Brinton McClellan
John Charles Frémont

Major-General USV

John Adams Dix
Nathaniel Prentiss Banks
Benjamin Franklin Butler

Brigadier-General USA

John Ellis Wool
William Selby Harney
Edwin Vose Sumner
Joseph King Fenno Mansfield
Irvin McDowell
Robert Anderson
William Starke Rosecrans

Brigadier-General USV

Samuel Peter Heintzelman
David Hunter
Erasmus Darwin Keyes
Andrew Porter
Fitz-John Porter
William Buel Franklin
William Tecumseh Sherman
Charles Pomeroy Stone
Don Carlos Buell
Thomas West Sherman
Nathaniel Lyon
John Pope
George Archibald McCall
William Reading Montgomery
Philip Kearny
Joseph Hooker
John Wolcott Phelps
Ulysses Simpson Grant
Joseph Jones Reynolds
Samuel Ryan Curtis
Charles Smith Hamilton
Darius Nash Couch
Rufus King
Jacob Dolson Cox
Stephen Augustus Hurlbut
Franz Sigel
Robert Cumming Schenck
Benjamin Mayberry Prentiss
Frederick West Lander
Benjamin Franklin Kelley
John Alexander McClernand
Alpheus Starkey Williams
Israel Bush Richardson
James Cooper

Brigadier-General USA (Staff)

Montgomery Cunningham Meigs (Quartermaster-General)

Confederate Seniority

Note: Italics, awaiting confirmation of the commission

General ACSA

Samuel Cooper
Albert Sidney Johnston
Robert Edward Lee
Joseph Eggleston Johnston

Major-General PACS

David Emanuel Twiggs
Leonidas Polk

Brigadier-General ACSA

Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard
Braxton Bragg

Brigadier-General PACS

Alexander Robert Lawton
Milledge Lake Bonham
Benjamin McCulloch
William Wing Loring
Charles Clark
John Buchanan Floyd
William Henry Talbot Walker
Henry Rootes Jackson
Theophilus Hunter Holmes
Henry Alexander Wise
Earl Van Dorn
Robert Selden Garnett KIA
William Joseph Hardee
Richard Stoddert Ewell
David Rumph Jones
Benjamin Huger
John Bankhead Magruder
James Longstreet
Edmund Kirby Smith
John Clifford Pemberton
Thomas Jonathan Jackson
Henry Hopkins Sibley
Barnard Elliott Bee
John Henry Winder
Richard Caswell Gatlin
Daniel Smith Donelson
Samuel Read Anderson
Gideon Johnson Pillow
Benjamin Franklin Cheatham
Felix Kirk Zollicoffer
Daniel Harvey Hill
Jones Mitchell Withers

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