June 8 1861 Saturday
Chesapeake Bay Blockade
McClellan’s West Virginia Campaign
USA. The establishment of the Sanitary Commission was authorised by the Federal government. The aim was to improve standards of hygiene, medicine, and welfare for Union soldiers.
CSA. All military forces collected by the various states for service of the Confederate states were assigned to the Confederate Provisional Army of the Confederate States. The highly regarded Robert Edward Lee had been made the commander-in-chief of the state forces of Virginia but after Virginia joined the Confederacy, he was confirmed as a General of the new army. On this date, he received his first important appointment when he was named as the President’s Military Adviser. While Lee did not have supreme command of Confederate forces, he did have influence over the planning and decision-making of the President, especially for operations in Virginia.
California. Incident at Larabee’s House.
Florida. The USS Mississippi established the naval blockade at Key West. The blockade of the Gulf coast had already been commenced by USS Powhatan against Mobile, Alabama, and USS Brooklyn against New Orleans, Louisiana. With the arrival of Flag Officer William Mervine in USS Mississippi, the blockading fleet was raised to a strength of twenty vessels.
Maryland. Union troops from Annapolis seized a supply of arms at Easton.
Pennsylvania. Union forces under Pennsylvania State Major-General Robert Patterson Left Chambersburg to advance on Harper’s Ferry, Virginia.
Tennessee. Tennessee formally seceded from the Union, following the lead of the state legislature. The date of secession effectively dated from the alliance formed on 6 May 1861 but was ratified on this date by Governor Isham Harris. Although the general vote of the people favoured the Confederacy by three-to-one, eastern Tennessee remained a staunchly pro-Union region.
Virginia. USS Resolute, Acting Master W Budd, captured the schooner Somerset at Breton’s Bay and burned her.
Virginia. The Union camp at Newport News held by the 1st Vermont Infantry was reinforced by 9th New York Infantry (Hawkins’ Zouaves). Union Major-General Benjamin Franklin Butler also expanded Camp Hamilton, started by Colonel Justin Dimick at Hampton within the range of the guns of Fort Monroe.
Virginia. The bridges over the Potomac River at Point of Rocks and Berlin were burned by the Confederates. Four bridges on the Alexandria & Hampshire Railroad were also destroyed.
Virginia. After the defeat at Philippi, Colonel George A Porterfield was succeeded in command of Confederate forces in western Virginia by Confederate Brigadier-General Robert Selden Garnett. The companies of Confederate recruits present at Philippi joined various regiments, including the 9th Virginia Battalion Infantry, the 25th Virginia Infantry, 31st Virginia Infantry, 11th Virginia Cavalry, and 14th Virginia Cavalry. The Barbour Lighthorse Cavalry, commanded by Captain William Jenkins, was disbanded after the retreat from Philippi. Garnett’s consolidated force was designated the Army of the Northwest.
USA: The Coast Blockading Squadron of the US Navy was discontinued and divided into the Atlantic Blockading Squadron, the Gulf Blockading Squadron, and the West Indies Squadron.
USA: The Atlantic Blockading Squadron of the US Navy was established.
USA: Captain Silas Horton Stringham USN assumed command of the Atlantic Blockading Squadron.
Stringham, Silas Horton / Born 7 November 1797 Middletown, New Jersey / Died Brooklyn, New York 7 February 1876
Midshipman USN 15 November 1809 / Lieutenant USN 9 December 1814 / Master Commandant USN 3 March 1831 / Captain USN 8 September 1841 / Retired USN 21 December 1861 / Rear Admiral USN Retired 16 July 1862
Chief of Organisation Office March 1861-April 1861 / USS Minnesota April 1861 / Atlantic Blockading Squadron 8 June 1861-18 September 1861
USA: The Gulf Blockading Squadron of the US Navy was established.
USA: Captain William Mervine USN assumed command of the Gulf Blockading Squadron.
Mervine, William / Born 14 March 1791 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / Died Utica, New York 15 September 1868
Midshipman USN 16 January 1809 / Lieutenant USN 4 February 1815 / Master Commandant USN 12 June 1834 / Captain USN 8 September 1841 / Retired USN 21 December 1861 / Commodore USN Retired 21 December 1861 / Rear Admiral USN Retired 25 July 1866 / WIA Niagara River 28 November 1812
USS Colorado May 1861 / Gulf Blockading Squadron 8 June 1861-18 September 1861 / USS Mississippi June 1861 / USS Colorado July 1861 / USS Rhode Island September 1861
USA: The West Indies Squadron of the US Navy was established.
USA: Captain Garrett J Pendergrast USN assumed command of the West Indies Squadron of the US Navy.
Pendergrast, Garrett J / Born 26 December 1809 Kentucky / Died Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 7 November 1862
Midshipman USN 1 January 1812 / Lieutenant USN 3 March 1821 / Commander USN 8 September 1841 / Captain USN 24 May 1855 / Retired USN 21 December 1861 / Commodore USN Retired 16 July 1862
USS Powhatan 186o / USS Cumberland 1861 / Home Squadron 19 April 1861-8 June 1861 / West Indies Squadron 8 June 1861-24 August 1861 / USS Roanoke August 1861 / Philadelphia Navy Yard October 1861-1862
Commander in Chief: President Abraham Lincoln
Vice-President: Hannibal Hamlin
Secretary of War: Simon Cameron
Secretary of the Navy: Gideon Welles
- Atlantic Blockading Squadron USN: Flag Officer Silas Horton Stringham USN
- Gulf Blockading Squadron USN: Flag Officer William Mervine USN
- Pacific Squadron USN: Captain John B Montgomery USN
- Western Gunboat Flotilla USN: Commander John Rodgers USN
- Potomac Flotilla USN: Commander James Harmon Ward USN
General–in-Chief: Winfield Scott
- Department of Annapolis: John Adams Dix interim Nathaniel Prentiss Banks awaited
- 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
- 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 Robert Edward Lee was appointed Military Adviser to the President.
Lee, Robert Edward / Virginia / Born 19 January 1807 Stratford, Westmoreland, Virginia / Died Lexington, Virginia 12 October 1870
USMA 1 July 1829 2/46 Engineers / Cadet USMA 1 July 1825 / 2nd Lieutenant USA Engineers 1 July 1829 / 1st Lieutenant USA 21 September 1836 / Captain USA 7 July 1838 / Superintendent USMA 1 September 1852-31 March 1855 / Lieutenant-Colonel USA 2nd US Cavalry 3 March 1855 / Colonel USA 1st US Cavalry 16 March 1861 / Resigned USA 25 April 1861 / Major-General Commander-in-Chief Provisional Army of Virginia 22 April 1861-8 June 1861 / Brigadier-General ACSA 14 June 1861 to rank from 14 May 1861 / General ACSA 14 June 1861 / General-in-Chief 31 January 1865 / Paroled Appomattox, Virginia 9 April 1865 / WIA Chapultepec 1847 13 September 1847 CIA Appomattox 1865 / Brevet 2nd Lieutenant USA 1 July 1829 Brevet Major USA 18 April 1847 Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel USA 20 August 1847 Brevet Colonel USA 13 September 1847
Military Adviser to the President 8 June 1861-4 November 1861 / Army of the Kanawha 21 September 1861-5 November 1861 / Department of South Carolina Georgia and East Florida 5 November 1861-14 March 1862 / Military Adviser to the President 13 March 1862-31 May 1862 / Department of Northern Virginia 1 June 1862-9 April 1865 / Army of Northern Virginia 1 June 1862-9 April 1865 / General-in-Chief 31 January 1865-9 April 1865
CSA: The Army of the Northwest was established, comprising all forces collected in north-western Virginia.
CSA: Brigadier-General Robert Selden Garnett assumed command of the Army of the Northwest.
Garnett, Robert Selden (Jr) / Virginia / Born 16 December 1819 Essex, Virginia / KIA Corrick’s Ford, (West) Virginia 13 July 1861
USMA 1 July 1841 27 /52 Artillery / Cadet USMA 1 September 1837 / 4th US Artillery 1 July 1841 / 2nd Lieutenant USA 31 January 1842 / 1st Lieutenant USA 18 August 1846 / 7th US Infantry 31 August 1846 / Captain USA 9 March 1851 / Commandant of Cadets USMA 1 November 1852-31 July 1854 / 1st US Cavalry 3 March 1855 / Major USA 9th US Infantry 27 March 1855 / Resigned USA 30 April 1861 / Lieutenant-Colonel ACSA Infantry 16 March 1861 / Colonel Assistant Adjutant-General Provisional Army of Virginia 25 April 1861-7 May 1861 / Colonel Cavalry Provisional Army of Virginia 14 May 1861 / Brigadier-General PACS 6 June 1861 / Brevet 2nd Lieutenant USA 1 July 1841 Brevet Captain USA 23 September 1846 Brevet Major USA 23 February 1847
Army of the Northwest 8 June 1861-13 July 1861 Department of the Northwest 8 June 1861-13 July 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 the Potomac: Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard
- Army of the Potomac: Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard
- Department of Norfolk: Benjamin Huger
- Department of North Carolina: Theophilus Hunter Holmes
- Defences of North Carolina: Theophilus Hunter Holmes
- Department of the Peninsula: Daniel Harvey Hill temporary
- Army of the Peninsula: Daniel Harvey Hill temporary
- 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
David Emanuel Twiggs
Robert Edward Lee
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