1861 March 4th

March 4 1861 Monday

Inauguration of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States of America

Go to March 5 1861

USA. The Inauguration of Abraham Lincoln took place in Washington DC; he was sworn in by Chief Justice Taney as the 16th President of the United States of America. In his inaugural speech, the new president said he had no plans to end slavery in those states where it already existed, but he also said he would not accept the principle of the secession of states from the indivisible Union. He said that he hoped to resolve the national crisis without warfare.

USA. Hannibal Hamlin of Maine took office as Vice-President of the United States.

USA. Forty-two vessels were reported to be in commission in the United States Navy. Twelve ships were assigned duty with the Home Squadron (four of them were already based at Northern ports). The three ships assigned to foreign stations were recalled. The USS Powhatan reached New York and USS Pocahontas arrived at Hampton Roads on 12 March and the USS Cumberland arrived at Hampton Roads on 23 March.

CSA. The first version of the Confederate national flag was adopted and it was first raised by the granddaughter of President John Tyler at the Capitol in Montgomery, Alabama. Designed by Professor Nicola Marshall, the flag had two horizontal red stripes separated by a white one, and seven white stars arranged in a circle on a blue field.

Alabama. The Alabama state convention re-assembled.

Arkansas. The Arkansas state convention met.

District of Columbia. By extraordinary efforts, Union Colonel Charles Pomeroy Stone had raised thirty companies of volunteers for the defence of the capital. These were reinforced by a company of US Engineers and two batteries of the 2nd US Artillery under Captain William Farquhar Barry and Captain Charles Griffin. They were deployed to protect the President during the inauguration, with sharpshooters placed in positions to prevent any assassination attempts.

Missouri. The Missouri state convention passed a resolution appointing a committee to notify Georgia commissioner Luther J Glenn that the Missouri state convention was ready to hear any communication from his state. Glenn read Georgia’s Articles of Secession and made a speech urging Missouri to join the seceded states.

South Carolina. Union Major Robert Anderson reported that his supplies were running low at Fort Sumter and that this might force him to evacuate the fort.

Texas. The Texas state convention formally declared the state to have left the Union. Governor Samuel Houston issued a proclamation confirming the act of secession.

Union Organisation

Commander in Chief: President Abraham Lincoln
Vice-President: Hannibal Hamlin
Secretary of War: Joseph Holt
Secretary of the Navy: Isaac Toucey

African Squadron: William Inman
Brazil Squadron: Joshua Ratoon Sands
East Indian (Asiatic) Squadron: Cornelius Kinchiloe Stribling
European Squadron: vacant
Home Squadron: Garrett J Prendergast
Mediterranean Squadron: Charles H Bell
Pacific Squadron: John Berrien Montgomery

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 awaited

  • “Forces in Charleston”: Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard awaited

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

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