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
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.
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
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
Note: Italics, awaiting confirmation of the commission
George Brinton McClellan
John Charles Frémont
John Adams Dix
Nathaniel Prentiss Banks
Benjamin Franklin Butler
John Ellis Wool
William Selby Harney
Edwin Vose Sumner
Joseph King Fenno Mansfield
William Starke Rosecrans
Samuel Peter Heintzelman
Erasmus Darwin Keyes
William Buel Franklin
William Tecumseh Sherman
Charles Pomeroy Stone
Don Carlos Buell
Thomas West Sherman
George Archibald McCall
William Reading Montgomery
John Wolcott Phelps
Ulysses Simpson Grant
Joseph Jones Reynolds
Samuel Ryan Curtis
Charles Smith Hamilton
Darius Nash Couch
Jacob Dolson Cox
Stephen Augustus Hurlbut
Robert Cumming Schenck
Benjamin Mayberry Prentiss
Frederick West Lander
Benjamin Franklin Kelley
John Alexander McClernand
Alpheus Starkey Williams
Israel Bush Richardson
Brigadier-General USA (Staff)
Montgomery Cunningham Meigs
Note: Italics, awaiting confirmation of the commission
Albert Sidney Johnston
Robert Edward Lee
David Emanuel Twiggs
Joseph Eggleston Johnston
Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard
Alexander Robert Lawton
Milledge Lake Bonham
William Wing Loring
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
John Bankhead Magruder
Edmund Kirby Smith
John Clifford Pemberton
Thomas Jonathan Jackson
Henry Hopkins Sibley
Barnard Elliott Bee