1861 July 5th

July 5 1861 Friday

Battle of Carthage, MO (CWSAC Formative Battle – Confederate Victory)

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

Go to 6 July 1861

Maryland. USS Dana, Acting Master’s Mate Robert B Ely, captured the sloop Teaser in Nanjemoy Creek.

Missouri. A Confederate force commanded by Brigadier-General Benjamin McCulloch surprised a company of Union troops from Brigadier-General Franz Sigel’s command at Neosho. The Union troops were captured and paroled.

Carthage, Missouri, also known as Dry Fork, and Brier Fork. Confederate Missouri Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson had assumed command of approximately 4,000 pro-Confederate men of the Missouri State Guard at Lamar. Learning that Union Colonel Franz Sigel was encamped at Carthage, Governor Jackson made plans to attack the smaller but better armed Union force of about 1,100 men with eight guns. Sigel had two infantry regiments (3rd Missouri and 5th Missouri) and two batteries with eight guns under Captain Christian Essig and Captain Theodore Wilkins. Pro-Confederate State Major-General Sterling Price, commander of the Missouri State Guard was not present so Jackson commanded the action for the pro-Confederates, assisted by Colonel Lewis Henry Little. The four brigade-sized “divisions” of the State Guard were led by State Brigadier-General and Brigadier-General William Yann Slack, State Brigadier-General Mosby Munroe Parsons, and State Brigadier-General James Spencer Rains, supported by seven guns.
Jackson marched his troops south during the morning and the rival armies met ten miles north of Carthage. Jackson advanced within 800 yards of Sigel and established a battle line on a ridge ten miles north of Carthage, and induced Sigel to attack him. Opening with artillery fire, Sigel closed to the attack. Jackson replied with his own artillery. Jackson and the Missouri State Guard engaged Sigel’s brigade. Learning of a large Confederate force moving into the woods on his left, Sigel feared that they would turn his flank and decided to withdraw. The Confederate force in the woods was about 2,000 strong but they were nearly all unarmed and untrained recruits. Apart from a sharp struggle at Dry Fork Creek, the Confederates did not exploit their numerical advantage. Sigel’s men retreated southwards and evaded a pincer movement at Buck Creek and the 3rd Missouri Infantry scattered the Missouri State Guardsmen in their path.
The Confederates pursued but Sigel conducted a successful rearguard action stage by stage for ten miles until he reached the outskirts of Carthage in the evening. Jackson’s men attempted to surround Sigel’s force in the town and skirmishing persisted until the two sides faced a stand-off across the Carthage town square. Sigel retreated under cover of darkness to Sarcoxie. One isolated Union company at Neosho was captured but the majority of the Union force avoided capture.
Several independent cavalry units were attached to Rains’ pro-Confederate division. Among these, a contingent of 150 mounted troops under the command of Captain Joseph Orville Shelby distinguished themselves in the vanguard throughout the battle and in the pursuit to Sarcoxie. Shelby’s cavalry was acclaimed as having “snatched the victory at Carthage from Sigel’s grasp”. The success bought time for the Confederates to train, equip, and organise the raw recruits of the Missouri State Guard. Most of the training was conducted at Cowskin Prairie, a former livestock auction site in southwest Missouri. A key figure who imposed order on the embryonic force was Colonel and Adjutant-General Lewis Henry Little, a native of Maryland and career Regular Army officer. This battle marks the only occasion in American history when a State Governor has led troops on the battlefield, albeit against the Union to which the State belonged.
Union losses were reported as 13 killed and 31 wounded and Confederate as 200 to 250 men. (CWSAC Formative Battle – Confederate Victory)

Texas. USS South Carolina, Commander James Alden, began a four-day blockading cruise off Galveston, which resulted in the capture or destruction of eleven vessels. On this day, the schooners Falcon and Coralia were taken off Galveston.

Virginia. Incident at Newport News.

Virginia. A small skirmish occurred between the Confederate forces of Brigadier-General John Bankhead Magruder and Union forces of Major-General Benjamin Franklin Butler (9th New York “Hawkins’ Zouaves”) near Curtis’ Farm at Newport News. Both sides withdrew to their lines after an inconclusive action.

Union Organisation

USA: The states of Missouri and Illinois were transferred from the Department of the Ohio to the Western Department.

USA: The District of Ironton was established in the Western Department, comprising the area around Ironton, Missouri.
USA: Colonel Benjamin Gratz Brown assumed command of the District of Ironton.

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: Stephen Clegg Rowan

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

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

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: Robert Selden Garnett

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

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
Robert Selden Garnett
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

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