June 8 1861 Saturday
Chesapeake Bay Blockade
McClellan’s West Virginia Campaign
Caribbean Sea. The West Indies Squadron of the US Navy was established to restrict the activities of vessels seeking to run the blockade of the Confederate States from ports in the Caribbean Sea.
USA. The establishment of the Sanitary Commission was authorised by the US 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 significant 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 Captain 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, a new position 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 West Indies Squadron of the US Navy was established.
USA: Captain Garrett J Pendergrast assumed command of the West Indies Squadron of the US Navy.
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: 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.
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.
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