1861 June 8th

June 8 1861 Saturday

Tennessee Seceded

Chesapeake Bay Blockade
McClellan’s West Virginia Campaign

Go to June 9 1861

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.

Union Organisation

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

Confederate Organisation

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

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

Major-General PACS

David Emanuel Twiggs

Brigadier-General ACSA

Robert Edward Lee
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

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