1861 July 17th

July 17 1861 Wednesday

Fulton, MO
Scary Creek, VA

First Bull Run Campaign
McClellan’s West Virginia Campaign
Patterson’s Shenandoah Valley Operations

Go to 18 July 1861

Missouri. Incidents at Wentzville, Martinsburg, and Parkersville.

Fulton, Missouri. Union Colonel John McNeil led 600 men (3rd Missouri Infantry) to Fulton and routed the Missouri State Guard of Missouri State Brigadier-General David Bullock Harris.

Virginia. Skirmishes at Fairfax Court House and Vienna.

Scary Creek, Virginia, also known as Scarrytown, or Scarytown. Union Brigadier-General Jacob Dolson Cox was leading a force through the Great Kanawha Valley toward Charleston when it was attacked by Confederates under Brigadier-General Henry Alexander Wise. Wise was encamped at Tyler Mountain about twelve miles from Cox’s position along the Pocataligo, with another smaller force three miles from the Union force near Scary Creek. Wise’s skirmishing slowed the Union advance but this was brushed aside by Colonel John W Lowe’s 12th Ohio Infantry and two companies of the 21st Ohio Infantry, which had been ferried across the river. The Union troops attempted to dislodge the 500 Confederate defenders across Scary Creek at Scarytown (Scarrytown). Confederate Captain George S Patton, the grandfather of the famous George S Patton of World War II, commanded the Confederate line behind Harlem Creek, two miles from the main Confederate camp.
After the Union forces were held and began falling back, the Confederates thought that fresh Union reinforcements were arriving and also retreated. The Confederates later realised their mistake and returned to the battlefield to claim victory. Despite the tactical success, Wise decided to withdraw up the Kanawha Valley toward the Confederate supply bases in Fayette and Greenbrier Counties. Wise’s retreat was later criticised for allowing most of the Kanawha Valley to fall into Union hands.  The Union lost 14 killed, approximately 30 wounded, and several missing. The Confederates lost between one and five killed, and six wounded, including Captain Patton.

Virginia. The head of the Union Army of the Potomac under Brigadier-General Irvin McDowell reached Fairfax Court House, after marching thirteen miles from Arlington. Brigadier-General Daniel Tyler skirmished with Confederate scouts, who evacuated their advanced outpost.

Virginia. Union State Major-General Robert Patterson marched from Bunker Hill and halted at Charles Town. Despite having 17,000 men, and outnumbering his opponents, he failed to demonstrate or probe aggressively, allowing the Confederates at Winchester to plan an untroubled movement to Manassas.

Virginia. Confederate Brigadier-General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard reported that his outposts were under attack near Centreville. He suggested that he might need to retire to the Rappahannock River unless reinforced urgently. The authorities ordered the independent brigade of Brigadier-General Theophilus Hunter Holmes to leave Fredericksburg immediately and to reinforce Beauregard at Manassas Junction. Colonel Wade Hampton’s independent Hampton Legion was also ordered forward from Richmond to Manassas Junction, and the 8th Virginia Infantry of Colonel Philip St George Cocke’s brigade was ordered to return to Manassas Junction from its outpost at Leesburg. More importantly, instructions were given for the Confederate forces in the Shenandoah Valley to evade the approaching Union forces and reinforce Beauregard as quickly as possible. These orders concentrated all available Confederate strength in northern Virginia to oppose the Union advance from behind Bull Run Creek.

Union Organisation

USA: The Department of Utah was discontinued and its area incorporated into the Department of the Pacific.

USA: Major Albert James Myer was appointed Chief Signals Officer of the US Army.

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 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 Daniel Harvey Hill assumed command of the Department of Fredericksburg, succeeding Brigadier-General Theophilus Hunter Holmes who had been ordered to move to Manassas Junction with his brigade.

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: Daniel Harvey Hill

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 Generals

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
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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