1861 July 13th

July 13 1861 Saturday

Carrick’s Ford, VA

McClellan’s West Virginia Campaign
Patterson’s Shenandoah Valley Operation

Go to July 14 1861

Georgia. While fortifications were being built or repaired to defend the coastline, the state authorities of Georgia 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 around 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 defences 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, 1st Iowa Infantry, 1st Kansas Infantry, 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 workers for the construction were obtained by requisitions of slave labour 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 the nearby mountains with his Virginia State Militia. The 1st Georgia Infantry and 23rd Virginia Infantry with a section of artillery became a rearguard. 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 skirmishers approaching but they identified them mistakenly as the 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 to Shaver’s Ford and unlimbered his artillery but the inexperienced troops were soon 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

Atlantic Blockading Squadron: Silas Horton Stringham
Gulf Blockading Squadron: William Mervine
Pacific Squadron: John Berrien Montgomery
West Indies Squadron: Garrett J Pendergrast
Western Gunboat Flotilla: John Rodgers
Potomac Flotilla: Thomas Tingey Craven

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, Virginia.

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.

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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