1861 June 17th

June 17 1861 Monday

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

Chesapeake Bay Blockade
McClellan’s West Virginia Campaign
Lyon’s Operations in Missouri

Go to June 18 1861

CSA. The General Officer corps of the Confederate army expanded with the appointment of eleven new Brigadier-Generals. These would be assigned to the new brigades forming in various parts of the South. Edmund Kirby Smith, Richard Stoddert Ewell, Thomas Jonathan Jackson, James Longstreet, Benjamin Huger, David Rumph Jones, John Bankhead Magruder, John Clifford Pemberton, and Barnard Elliott Bee were assigned to command brigades in different parts of Virginia from the Shenandoah Valley to Norfolk. In the western theatre, William Joseph Hardee was assigned a brigade in Arkansas. Henry Hopkins Sibley was given a brigade in Texas.

California. Operation at Mad River ended.

California. Incident at Kettenshaw.

District of Columbia. US President Abraham Lincoln observed as Professor Thaddeus S C Lowe demonstrated his hot air balloon as an innovative platform for military observation.

Maryland. Incident at Conrad’s Ferry.

Maryland. A skirmish at Edwards’ Ferry occurred between the 1st Pennsylvania Cavalry and Confederate scouts.

Mississippi. USS Massachusetts, Commander Melancton Smith, captured the schooner Achilles near Ship Island.

Missouri. A shot was fired into the ranks of Colonel Kallmann’s 2nd US Reserve Infantry near the St Louis Recorder’s Court. Kallman ordered a volley to be fired in retaliation and six civilians were killed.

Missouri. Union forces completed their occupation of Jefferson City.

Missouri. Expedition to Boonville from St Louis ended.

Missouri. Incident at Independence.

Boonville, Missouri, also known as Booneville or the “The Boonville Races”. After disembarking unopposed from riverboats about eight miles south of Boonville, Union Brigadier-General Nathaniel Lyon’s troops began to march along the Rocheport Road toward Boonville at around 7 am. Confederate Colonel John Sappington Marmaduke’s ill-equipped Missouri State Guard companies, totalling about 500 men, waited on a ridge behind the bluff. They had no artillery support since all guns were with State Brigadier-General Mosby Munroe Parsons at Tipton. Inexplicably, Governor Claiborne Jackson, commanding the Confederate force, observing from a mile or so away, held back his only reasonably-disciplined and organised command (Captain Kelly’s company) in reserve and it took no part in the battle.
Lyon’s command encountered State Guard pickets as they approached the bluffs but Lyon deployed skirmishers and continued to push his men forward rapidly. The Union artillery (two guns under Captain James Totten) quickly displaced the sharpshooters stationed in the William Adams house, while Union infantry (the majority of Colonel Francis Preston Blair’s 1st Missouri Infantry and a company of the 2nd Missouri Rifle Battalion under Captain Peter Joseph Osterhaus) closed with the Guardsmen and fired several volleys into them, causing them to retreat. This stage of the fighting lasted barely 20 minutes. Some attempts were made to rally the Guardsmen but these collapsed when two more Union companies from the 1st Missouri, supported by a siege howitzer on one of Lyon’s riverboats, outflanked the Confederate position and seized their camp. As Marmaduke feared, the ill-trained Guards’ retreat rapidly turned into a rout through Camp Bacon and the town of Boonville. Some fugitives continued on to refuge at their homes while the remainder retreated with the Governor to the southwest corner of Missouri. Lyon took possession of Boonville at 11 am. Marmaduke’s disappointment led him to resign from the Missouri State Guard and to seek a Confederate commission. Due to logistical difficulties, Lyon could not keep pace with the retreating Guardsmen. Lyon seized the State Guard’s supplies and equipment, which included two iron 6-pounder guns without ammunition.
After learning of the defeat at Boonville another group of Missouri State Guardsmen in Lexington led by State Major-General Sterling Price moved away southwards. This severed communications with sympathisers in the largely pro-Confederate Missouri River valley. Recruits from slave-owning regions north of the Missouri River subsequently found it difficult to join the Confederate army although many engaged in guerilla warfare. The impact of Lyon’s success was out of proportion to the loss of life. The Union victory at Boonville ejected the secessionist forces from St Louis and central Missouri and secured the state for the Union. Lyon’s victory gave the Union forces time to consolidate their hold on the state.
The short fight at Boonville and the State Guard’s precipitate retreat earned the battle the nickname of “The Boonville Races.” Union casualties were light, with reports ranging from five killed and seven wounded to 31 total. There are no reliable figures of casualties for the Missouri State Guard: only a few are known to have been killed, and probably a dozen men were wounded, while about 80 were captured. Other reports estimate 50 Confederate casualties. (CWSAC Formative Battle – Confederate Victory)

Virginia. A Confederate battery commanded by Colonel Maxcy Gregg (1st South Carolina Infantry) at Vienna opened fire on scouts from the Union 1st Ohio Infantry, killing or wounding 8 men.

Virginia. The Confederates from Harper’s Ferry reached Winchester.

Virginia. The uncertainty over command of the Confederate Department of the Peninsula between Colonel Daniel Harvey Hill and Colonel John Bankhead Magruder was resolved in favour of the latter by proof of seniority. Magruder was promoted Brigadier-General to establish substantively his right to command.

Union Organisation

USA: Robert Anderson confirmed Brigadier-General USA 17 June 1861 to rank from 15 May 1861.

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: James Harmon Ward

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 New Mexico: Edward Richard Sprigg Canby

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

Department of the West: Nathaniel Lyon

Confederate Organisation

CSA: Brigadier-General John Bankhead Magruder assumed command of the Department of the Peninsula.
CSA: Brigadier-General John Bankhead Magruder assumed command of the Army of the Peninsula.

CSA: John Bankhead Magruder promoted Brigadier-General PACS 17 June 1861.

CSA: William Joseph Hardee promoted Brigadier-General PACS 17 June 1861.

CSA: Richard Stoddert Ewell promoted Brigadier-General PACS 17 June 1861.

CSA: David Rumph Jones promoted Brigadier-General PACS 17 June 1861.

CSA: Benjamin Huger promoted Brigadier-General PACS 17 June 1861.

CSA: James Longstreet promoted Brigadier-General PACS 17 June 1861.

CSA: Edmund Kirby Smith promoted Brigadier-General PACS 17 June 1861.

CSA: John Clifford Pemberton promoted Brigadier-General PACS 17 June 1861.

CSA: Thomas Jonathan Jackson promoted Brigadier-General PACS 17 June 1861.

CSA: Henry Hopkins Sibley promoted Brigadier-General PACS 17 June 1861.

CSA: Barnard Elliott Bee promoted Brigadier-General PACS 17 June 1861.

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

Department of West Florida: Braxton Bragg

  • “Forces in Pensacola”: Braxton Bragg

Defences of Savannah: Alexander Robert Lawton

Indian Territory: Benjamin McCulloch

Forces in Harper’s Ferry”: Joseph Eggleston Johnston

Forces in Richmond: Thomas Turner Fauntleroy

Army of the Kanawha: Henry Alexander Wise

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

Major-General PACS

David Emanuel Twiggs

Brigadier-General ACSA

Joseph Eggleston Johnston
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

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