1861 March 13th

March 13 1861 Wednesday

Alabama. The Alabama state convention ratified the Confederate Constitution. It also transferred control of the forts, arsenals, and other facilities in the state to the Confederate Government.

Missouri. Captain Nathaniel Lyon (Company B 2nd US Infantry), was assigned to command the St Louis Arsenal. Lyon had exploited his friendship and shared abolitionist views with Francis Preston Blair Jr, to gain command of the arsenal.

The population and state of Missouri were broadly neutral in the secession dispute, but Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson was a strong Southern sympathiser, as were many of the state legislators. Lyon suspected that Jackson would attempt to seize the arsenal in St. Louis if the state seceded and knew that he had insufficient force to prevent the seizure. He attempted to strengthen the defences but met opposition from his superior officer Brigadier-General William Selby Harney, commanding the Department of the West.

Lyon was involved in the St Louis Wide Awakes, a pro-Union paramilitary organisation that he intended to arm and muster into the service of the Federal army to protect the arsenal. After assuming command at the arsenal, Lyon armed the Wide Awakes under the cover of darkness. The excess weapons in the arsenal were moved secretly to Illinois. Lyon discovered a clandestine operation whereby artillery captured at the US arsenal in Baton Rouge was being shipped to the pro-Confederate Missouri State Guard camp in St Louis. Lyon allegedly disguised himself as a farm woman to spy on the State Guard’s camp and claimed to have exposed Governor Jackson’s plot to seize the arsenal for Missouri troops..

Union Organisation

Commander in Chief: President Abraham Lincoln

Vice-President: Hannibal Hamlin

Secretary of War: Simon Cameron

Secretary of the Navy: Gideon Welles

  • African Squadron USN: Captain William Inman USN
  • Brazil Squadron USN: Captain Joshua R Sands USN.
  • East Indian (Asiatic) Squadron USN: Captain Cornelius K Stribling USN
  • European Squadron USN: vacant
  • Home Squadron USN: Captain Garrett J Prendergast USN
  • Mediterranean Squadron USN: Captain Charles H Bell USN
  • Pacific Squadron USN: Captain John B Montgomery USN

General–in-Chief: Winfield Scott

  • Department of the East: John Ellis Wool
  • Department of New Mexico: Thomas T Fauntleroy interim, William Wing Loring awaited
  • Department of the Pacific: Albert Sidney Johnston
    • District of Oregon: George Wright
  • Department of Texas: Carlos Adolphus Waite
  • Department of Utah: Philip St George Cooke
  • Department of the West: William Selby Harney

Confederate Organisation

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

  • “Department of Louisiana”: Braxton Bragg
    • “Forces in New Orleans” “Army of Louisiana”: Braxton Bragg
  • Department of South Carolina: Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard
    • “Forces in Charleston”: Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard
  • Department of West Florida: Braxton Bragg
    • “Forces in Pensacola”: Braxton Bragg

Union Generals

Major-General USA

Winfield Scott

Brigadier-General USA

John Ellis Wool
David Emanuel Twiggs

Brigadier-General USA (Staff)

Joseph Eggleston Johnston

Confederate Generals

Brigadier-General ACSA

Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard
Braxton Bragg

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