1861 July 20th

July 20 1861 Saturday

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

Go to July 21 1861

CSA. The Confederate Congress met in Richmond.

Missouri. Union expedition to Forsyth and Springfield began.

North Carolina. USS Albatross, Commander George A Prentiss, recaptured the Enchantress off Hatteras Inlet.

Virginia. The Union divisions of Brigadier-General David Hunter, Brigadier-General Samuel Peter Heintzelman, and Colonel Dixon S Miles arrived at Centreville. State Brigadier-General Theodore Runyon’s division was assigned to guard the railroad from Alexandria and was unavailable for the impending battle. Brigadier-General Irvin McDowell’s engineers discovered the undefended Sudley Ford and Poplar Ford, north of the Stone Bridge over Bull Run. McDowell planned to attack the following day with Hunter’s and Heintzelman’s divisions marching around the Confederate left across Sudley and Poplar Fords. The rest of the army was to cause diversions at the Stone Bridge (Brigadier-General Daniel Tyler’s division) leaving only a screen guarding Blackburn’s Ford on the left. The plan was inventive and sound but was far too complex for the inexperienced staff and army to execute. The plan could be frustrated if the weaker Confederate army was reinforced or reacted quickly to the threat.

Virginia. Confederate General Joseph Eggleston Johnston and the first elements of his troops from the Shenandoah Valley (Brigadier-General Thomas Jonathan Jackson’s brigade) joined Brigadier-General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard at Manassas Junction from noon onwards. During the day about 9,500 men arrived on foot and by rail, while the remaining 2,500 men of Johnston’s command arrived twenty-four hours later. This movement is often described as the first significant use of a railroad to achieve strategic mobility directly onto a battlefield. On his arrival, Johnston suggested making an attack against the Union army, and Beauregard outlined his existing plan for an attack on the Union left flank at Centreville. The forces of the Army of the Shenandoah were merged into the Army of the Potomac. Beauregard, who was the junior. effectively became second-in-command to Johnston but Johnston conceded temporary field command to Beauregard as the man with local knowledge until the end of active operations on 21 July 1861.

Virginia. Confederate Brigadier-General William Wing Loring assembled twelve new regiments and the remnants of five regiments that had escaped from the defeats in western Virginia at Monterey and Huntersville. These retained the name of the Army of the Northwest but now came under the authority of Loring’s Department of Southwestern Virginia. He took over command in western Virginia from Brigadier-General Henry Rootes Jackson. This force fluctuated in its composition but effectively maintained two separate concentrations at Monterey in the west and at Huntersville, protecting lines of communications, in the rear.

Virginia. USS Mount Vernon, Commander Oliver S Glisson, seized the sloop Wild Pigeon on the Rappahannock River.

Washington Territory. Henry M McGill left office as Acting Governor of Washington Territory, leaving the office vacant.

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 the East: John Ellis Wool

Department of Florida: Harvey Brown

Department of Kentucky: Robert Anderson

Department of Maryland: John Adams Dix awaited

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 the Shenandoah: Nathaniel Prentiss Banks awaited

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: The Army of the Shenandoah was discontinued and incorporated into the Army of the Potomac.

CSA: The District of Harper’s Ferry was discontinued and its area incorporated into the Department of the Potomac.

CSA: General Joseph Eggleston Johnston assumed command of the Department of the Potomac, succeeding General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard.
CSA: General Joseph Eggleston Johnston was appointed to command the Army of the Potomac, arriving on 21 July 1861, succeeding General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard who continued as second-in-command, effectively Chief of Staff.

CSA: The Army of the Kanawha was subordinated to the Department of the Potomac.
CSA: Brigadier-General Henry Alexander Wise retained command of the Army of the Kanawha.

CSA: Brigadier-General William Wing Loring assumed command of the Army of the Northwest, succeeding Brigadier-General Henry Rootes Jackson.

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

  • District of Aquia: Daniel Ruggles

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: Joseph Eggleston Johnston

  • Army of the Potomac: Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard interim Joseph Eggleston Johnston awaited
  • Army of the Kanawha: Henry Alexander Wise

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

Indian Territory: Benjamin McCulloch

Forces in Richmond: Thomas Turner Fauntleroy

Army of Liberation: Gideon Johnson Pillow

Army of the Northwest: William Wing Loring

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
Richard Heron Anderson
Robert Augustus Toombs

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