1861 May 15th

May 15 1861 Wednesday

Great Britain. Queen Victoria proclaimed the neutrality of Great Britain, forbidding British citizens from engaging in the conflict or breaking the lawful blockade of the Confederate states.

Panama. US Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles appointed Lieutenant Thomas M Brasher USN to take command of USS Bainbridge and to proceed to Aspinwall in New Granada (Panama). His mission was to protect California steamers against Confederate privateers. California steamers transported large quantities of gold from Aspinwall to New York and were vulnerable to interference.

USA. The US Army continued to rebuild its core of General officers by promoting in June the “Hero of Sumter” Robert Anderson directly from Major to Brigadier-General to rank from this date. A reliable officer the elevation came more because of public clamour than for his seniority or proven merit. Montgomery Cunningham Meigs had been a Captain until 14 May 1861, when he was appointed to command one of the new regiments, the 11th US Infantry. Since 28 April 1861, he had been Acting Quartermaster-General since the defection of Brigadier-General Joseph Eggleston Johnston to the Confederacy so his confirmation in the post was both appropriate and deserved.

CSA. Confederate Colonel Abraham Charles Myers was appointed as Quartermaster-General of the Confederate Army. He had already been appointed on 25 March 1861 as Acting Quartermaster-General. His post was confirmed substantively in December 1861.

Missouri. Expedition to St Louis and Potosi. Pro-Union forces commanded by Brigadier-General Nathaniel Lyon captured some secessionist prisoners and munitions in Potosi and sent them to St Louis.

Missouri. Union Brigadier-General William Selby Harney was suspended from command of the Department of the West by US Representative Francis Preston Blair. Blair had been given Presidential authority to replace Harney with Colonel Nathaniel Lyon at any time after 18 May 1861 if Harney was unable to restrict the pro-Confederate actions of Governor Jackson of Missouri. Blair decided to act decisively to prevent Federal property from falling into Confederate hands.

Union Organisation

USA: Major-General of Pennsylvania Militia George Cadwalader assumed command of the Department of Annapolis, succeeding Major-General Benjamin Franklin Butler who had been nominated but had not assumed command.

Cadwalader, George / Pennsylvania / Born 16 May 1806 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / Died Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 3 February 1879
Brigadier-General Pennsylvania Militia 1844 / Brigadier-General USA March 3 1847 Discharged USA 20 July 1848 / Major-General Pennsylvania Militia 19 April 1861 / Discharged Pennsylvania Militia 19 July 1861 / Major-General USV 25 April 1862 / Resigned USV 5 July 1865 / Brevet Major-General USA 13 September 1847
1st Division Department of Pennsylvania 11 July 1861-25 July 1861 / Department of Annapolis 15 May 1861-15 May 1861 / District of Brandywine 31 July 1864-18 August 1864 / Department of the Susquehanna 22 November 1864-1 December 1864 / Department of Pennsylvania 1 December 1864-27 June 1865 / District of Philadelphia 1 December 1864-16 December 1864

USA: Montgomery Cunningham Meigs was promoted Brigadier-General USA 15 May 1861 Quartermaster-General.

Meigs, Montgomery Cunningham / Georgia-Pennsylvania / Born 3 May 1816 Augusta, Georgia / Died Washington, District of Columbia 2 January 1892
USMA 1 July 1836 5/49 Artillery-Engineers-Quartermaster’s Department / Cadet USMA 1 July 1832 / 2nd Lieutenant USA 1st US Artillery 1 July 1836 / Resigned USA 31 July 1837 / 2nd Lieutenant USA Engineers 1 August 1837 to rank from 1 July 1836 / 1st Lieutenant 1 July 1838 / Captain USA 3 March 1853 / Colonel USA 11th US Infantry 14 May 1861 / Quartermaster-General 28 April 1861 / Brigadier-General USA Quartermaster-General 15 May 1861 / War Board 17 March 1862-23 July 1862 / Quartermaster-General 9 February 1864 / Retired USA 6 February 1882 / Brevet Major-General USA 5 July 1864
Chief Engineer Department of Florida 11 April 1861-23 April 1861 / Quartermaster-General 28 April 1861-1 August 1863 / Quartermaster-General 9 January 1864-6 February 1882 / Emergency Division Defences of Washington 11 July 1864-14 July 1864

USA: Robert Anderson was promoted Brigadier-General USA 17 June 1861 to rank from 15 May 1861.

Anderson, Robert / Kentucky / Born 14 June 1805 Louisville, Kentucky / Died Nice, France 26 October 1871
USMA 1 July 1825 15/37 Artillery / Cadet USMA 1 July 1821 / 2nd Lieutenant USA 3rd US Artillery 1 July 1825 / Colonel USV Illinois Infantry 1832 / Mustered Out USV 1832 / 1st Lieutenant USA 3rd US Artillery 30 June 1833 / Assistant Adjutant-General7 July 1838-30 Nov 1841 / Captain USA 3rd US Artillery 23 October 1841 / Major USA 1st US Artillery 5 October 1857 / Brigadier-General USA 17 June 1861 to rank from 15 May 1861 / Retired USA 27 October 1863 / Brevet 2nd Lieutenant USA 1 July 1825 Brevet Captain USA 2 April 1838 Brevet Major USA 8 September 1847 Brevet Major-General USA 3 February 1865 / WIA Molino del Rey 8 September 1847 CIA Fort Sumter 14 April 1861 Released 1861
Department of Kentucky 28 May 1861-14 August 1861 / Department of the Cumberland 15 August 1861-6 October 1861

USA: George Archibald McCall was appointed Major-General of Pennsylvania Militia and assigned to command the Pennsylvania Reserves (additional regiments furnished above and beyond the state’s specified quota).

McCall, George Archibald / Pennsylvania / Born 16 March 1802 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / Died West Chester, Pennsylvania 26 February 1868
USMA 1 July 1822 26/40 Infantry / Cadet USMA 1 September 1818 / 2ndLieutenant USA 1st US Infantry 1 July 1822 / 4th US Infantry 23 December 1822 / 1st Lieutenant USA 23 January 1829 / Captain USA 21 September 1836 / Assistant Adjutant-General 7 July 1846-26 December 1847 / Major USA 3rd US Infantry 26 December 1847 / Colonel USA Inspector-General 10 June 1850 / Resigned USA 29 April 1853 / Major-General Pennsylvania Militia 15 May 1861 Expired 23 July 1861 / Brigadier-General USV 7 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861 / Resigned USV 31 March 1863 / Brevet Major USA 9 May 1846 Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel USA 9 May 1846 Brevet Major USA 7 July 1846 / WIA & CIA Glendale 30 June 1862 Exchanged 15 August 1862
McCall’s Brigade Military Division of the Potomac 2 August 1861-20 August 1861 / McCall’s Brigade Army of the Potomac 20 August 1861-3 October 1861 / McCall’s Division Army of the Potomac 3 October 1861-13 March 1862 / 2nd Division I Corps Army of the Potomac 13 March 1862-4 April 1862 / 2nd Division I Corps Department of the Rappahannock 4 April 1862-12 June 1862 / 3rd Division V Corps Army of the Potomac 18 June 1862-30 June 1862

USA: Colonel Thomas Lawson Surgeon-General of the US Army died.

Lawson, Thomas / Virginia / Born 29 August 1789 Princess Anne, Virginia / Died Norfolk, Virginia 15 May 1861
Surgeon’s Mate USN 1 March 1809 / Resigned USN 12 January 1811 / Surgeon’s Mate USA 28 January 1811 / Surgeon USA 6th US Infantry 21 May 1813 / 7th US Infantry 17 May 1815 / Medical Department 1 June 1821 / Lieutenant-Colonel USA Surgeon-General 30 November 1836 / Colonel USA Surgeon-General 30 November 1836 / Brevet Brigadier-General USA 30 May 1848
Surgeon-General 30 November 1836-14 May 1861

USA: Colonel Clement Alexander Finley appointed Surgeon-General of the US Army.

Finley, Clement Alexander / Pennsylvania / Born 11 May 1797 Newville, Pennsylvania / Died Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 8 September 1879
Surgeon’s Mate USA 1st US Infantry 10 August 1818 / Assistant Surgeon USA 1 June 1821 / Major USA Medical Corps 13 July 1832 / Colonel USA Medical Corps 15 May 1861 / Surgeon-General USA 15 May 1861-25 April 1862 / Retired USA 14 April 1862 / Brigadier-General USA Retired 10 July 1876 / Brevet Brigadier-General USA 13 March 1865
Surgeon-General 15 May 1861-25 April 1862

Commander in Chief: President Abraham Lincoln

Vice-President: Hannibal Hamlin

Secretary of War: Simon Cameron

Secretary of the Navy: Gideon Welles

  • Coast Blockading Squadron USN: Flag Officer Silas Horton Stringham USN
  • Gulf Blockading Squadron USN: Flag Officer William Mervine USN
  • Pacific Squadron USN: Captain John B Montgomery USN
  • Potomac Flotilla USN: Commander James Harmon Ward USN

General–in-Chief: Winfield Scott

  • Department of Annapolis: George Cadwalader
  • Department of the East: John Ellis Wool
  • Department of Florida: Harvey Brown
  • Department of New Mexico: Edward Richard Sprigg Canby
  • Department of the Ohio: George Brinton McClellan
  • Department of the Pacific: Edwin Vose Sumner
    • District of Oregon: George Wright
  • Department of Pennsylvania: Robert Patterson
  • Department of Texas: Vacant
  • Department of Utah: Philip St George Cooke
  • Department of Washington: Joseph King Fenno Mansfield
  • Department of the West: William Selby Harney

Confederate Organisation

CSA: Brigadier-General Joseph Eggleston Johnston was appointed to command the Forces in Harper’s Ferry, arriving on 24 May 1861.

CSA: Joseph Eggleston Johnston promoted Brigadier-General ACSA 15 May 1861 to rank from 14 May 1861

Johnston, Joseph Eggleston / Virginia / Born 3 February 1807 Farmville, Virginia / Died 21 March 1891
USMA 1 July 1829 13/46 Artillery / Cadet USMA 1 July 1825 / 2nd Lieutenant USA 4th US Artillery 1 July 1829 / 1st Lieutenant USA 31 July 1836 / Resigned USA 31 May 1837 / 1st Lieutenant USA Topographical Engineers 7 July 1838 / Captain USA 21 September 1846 / Lieutenant-Colonel USA Voltigeurs and Rifles 9 April 1847-28 August 1848 / Lieutenant-Colonel 1st US Cavalry 1 March 1855 / Brigadier-General USA Quartermaster-General 28 June 1860 / Resigned USA 22 April 1861 / Brigadier-General Virginia Militia 17 April 1861 Declined / Major-General Virginia Militia 23 April 1861-27 April 1861 / Major-General Provisional Army of Virginia 27 April 1861-4 May 1861 / Brigadier-General Provisional Army of Virginia 4 May 1861-14 May 1861 / Brigadier-General ACSA 15 May 1861 to rank from 14 May 1861 / General ACSA 31 August 1861 to rank from 4 July 1861 / Paroled Greensboro, North Carolina 2 May 1865 / Brevet 2nd Lieutenant USA 1 July 1829 Brevet Captain USA 7 July 1838 Brevet Major USA 12 April 1847 Brevet Colonel USA 17 April 1847 Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel USA 13 September 1847 / WIA Jupiter Inlet 1838 WIA Cerro Gordo 12 April 1847 WIA Chapultepec 13 September 1847 WIA Fair Oaks 31 May 1862
Quartermaster-General USA 28 June 1860- 21 April 1861 / Forces in Richmond 24 April 1861-8 May 1861 / Forces in Harper’s Ferry 15 May 1861-4 July 1861 / District of Harper’s Ferry 4 July 1861-20 July 1861 / Army of the Shenandoah 4 July 1861-20 July 1861 / Department of the Potomac 21 July 1861-22 October 1861 / Army of the Potomac 21 July 1861-14 March 1862 / Department of Northern Virginia 22 October 1861-31 May 1862 / Army of Northern Virginia 14 March 1862-31 May 1862 / Military Division of the West 4 November 1862-16 December 1863 / Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana 4 July 1863-23 August 1863 / Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana 2 December 1863-22 December 1863 / Department of Tennessee 16 December 1863-18 July 1864 / Army of Tennessee 27 December 1863-18 July 1864 / Department of South Carolina Georgia and Florida 22 February 1865-26 April 1865 / Department of Tennessee and Georgia 22 February 1865-26 April 1865 / Army of Tennessee 25 February 1865-15 March 1865 / Department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia 6 March 1865-26 April 1865 / Army of the South 22 February 1865-9 April 1865 / Army of Tennessee 9 April 1865-26 April 1865

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 Alexandria: Philip St George Cocke
    • Alexandria Line: Philip St George Cocke
  • Department of North Carolina: Theophilus Hunter Holmes
    • Defences of North Carolina: Theophilus Hunter Holmes
  • Department of South Carolina: Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard
    • “Forces in Charleston”: Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard
  • Department of Southwestern Virginia: William Wing Loring
  • Department of Texas: Earl Van Dorn
  • Department of West Florida: Braxton Bragg
    • “Forces in Pensacola”: Braxton Bragg
  • District of Louisiana: David Emanuel Twiggs
    • “Forces in New Orleans” “Army of Louisiana”: Braxton Bragg
  • Defences of Savannah: Alexander Robert Lawton
  • Indian Territory: Benjamin McCulloch
  • Potomac Line: Daniel Ruggles
  • Forces in Harper’s Ferry”: Thomas Jonathan Jackson interim, Joseph Eggleston Johnston awaited
  • “Forces in Norfolk”: Walter Gwynn
  • Forces in Richmond: John Bankhead Magruder
  • Forces in the Kanawha Valley: Christopher Quarles Tompkins

Union Generals

Note: Italics, awaiting confirmation of the commission

Major-General USA

Winfield Scott
George Brinton McClellan
John Charles Frémont

Brigadier-General USA

John Ellis Wool
William Selby Harney
Edwin Vose Sumner
Joseph King Fenno Mansfield
Irvin McDowell
Robert Anderson

Brigadier-General USA (Staff)

Montgomery Cunningham Meigs

Confederate Generals

Note: Italics, awaiting confirmation of the commission

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

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