1861 March 18th

March 18 1861 Monday

Arkansas. The Arkansas Convention at Little Rock defeated a proposed Ordinance of Secession by 39 votes to 35. The convention achieved a compromise by agreeing to submit the question of cooperation with the Confederacy or secession to the people of the state on the first Monday in August 1861.

Florida. Confederate Brigadier-General Braxton Bragg issued an order forbidding the passage of supplies to the US garrison at Fort Pickens or to the US Navy squadron off Pensacola. Union garrisons remained in possession of two posts in Florida: Fort Taylor at Key West and Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas but the Confederates had no practicable means by which to threaten or occupy these Federal posts.

Florida. US Lieutenant Adam Jacoby Slemmer, commanding the garrison at Fort Pickens, complied with existing laws and returned four fugitive slaves to their masters.

Texas. Samuel Houston was removed from his post as Governor of Texas. Although Houston was a slaveholder and opposed abolition, he also resisted the secession of Texas from the Union. When Texas joined the Confederate States of America on 2 March 1861, Houston refused to recognise its legality but the Texas legislature upheld the legitimacy of secession. He was evicted from office after refusing to take an oath of loyalty to the Confederacy. Lieutenant Governor Edward Clark succeeded him as Acting Governor until 7 November 1861. To avoid bloodshed, Houston turned down an offer from President Lincoln, conveyed by US Colonel Frederick West Lander, to send 50,000 US troops to prevent Texas’s secession.

Washington Territory. Hostile encounters occurred with Indians on the Columbia River near the confluence with the Kootenay River.

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
Edwin Vose Sumner

Brigadier-General USA (Staff)

Joseph Eggleston Johnston

Confederate Generals

Brigadier-General ACSA

Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard
Braxton Bragg



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