1861 May 16th

May 16 1861 Thursday

USA. The US government appointed the first three Major-Generals of US Volunteers – John Adams Dix, Benjamin Franklin Butler, and Nathaniel Prentiss Banks. Dix and Butler were confirmed immediately and Banks retrospectively in June. All served throughout the war but none achieved spectacular success, having been elevated more for their political importance than their proven military acumen. The US Regular Army also gained a new Brigadier-General in William Starke Rosecrans, who ranked from this date when nominated in June 1861, primarily because of his involvement in the early successful campaign in western Virginia.

CSA. The Confederate Congress authorized the recruiting of 400,000 men for the Provisional Army of the Confederate States. A $10 enlistment bounty was authorised for volunteers.

CSA. Legislation was passed by the Confederate government which stated that “the five general officers provided by existing laws for the Confederate States shall have the rank and denomination of ‘General’, instead of ‘Brigadier-General’, which shall be the highest military grade known to the Confederate States”.

This ruling applied immediately to Samuel Cooper who was promoted immediately on this date. Samuel Cooper was appointed Adjutant-General and Inspector-General of the Provisional Army of the Confederate States of America, with headquarters in Richmond, Virginia. Cooper was the most senior General in Confederate service but he was not appointed as General-in-Chief as he held a staff position and not a line command conferring command seniority.

The new grade was awarded retrospectively to Albert Sidney Johnston, Robert Edward Lee, Joseph Eggleston Johnston, and Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard.

President Jefferson Finis Davis retained direct command of the Army as President and Commander-in-Chief and did not authorise the post of General-in-Chief.

Maryland. Major-General of Pennsylvania Militia George Cadwalader was empowered to arrest any suspected person under certain circumstances to help suppress violent protests and sedition in Maryland.

Missouri. Union Captain Nelson Cole, 5th Missouri Infantry, entered Potosi and arrested a number of pro-Secessionist citizens suspected of treasonable behaviour.

New York. Commander James Harmon Ward USN set out from the New York Navy Yard with three vessels, the USS Thomas Freeborn, USS Reliance and USS Resolute, to form the first active force of the “Flying Flotilla” or Potomac Flotilla. The Flotilla eventually employed between fifteen and twenty-five vessels in the defence of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

Ohio. Commander John Rodgers USN was ordered to establish a naval force to control the strategically vital western rivers. Rodgers purchased three river steamers at Cincinnati for conversion to gunboats; they were renamed as the USS Tyler, USS Lexington and USS Conestoga. This Union Western Gunboat Flotilla was placed under the control of the Union Army rather than the US Navy so that it could operate unequivocally and in direct support of the armies on western rivers. Rodgers was the first commander on the western rivers and he was responsible for the construction and organisation of an entirely new fleet, initially known as the Western Gunboat Flotilla.

Tennessee. The state of Tennessee was officially admitted to the Confederacy under the governorship of Isham Harris.

Virginia. Incident at Fort Darling.

Union Organisation

USA: The Western Gunboat Flotilla was formed under the command of the Union Army to operate in support of the armies on western rivers.

USA: Commander John Rodgers USN assumed command of the Western Gunboat Flotilla.

Rodgers, John (II) / Born 8 August 1812 Havre de Grace, Maryland / Died Washington, District of Columbia 5 May 1882
Midshipman USN 18 April 1828 / Passed Midshipman USN 14 June 1834 / Lieutenant USN 22 January 1840 / Commander USN 14 September 1855 / ADC (S F Du Pont) October 1862-1862 / Captain USN 16 July 1862 / Commodore USN 17 June 1863 /Rear Admiral USN 31 December 1869 / CIA Gosport Navy Yard 21 April 1861 Paroled 24 April 1861
Mississippi River Squadron 16 May 1861-30 August 1861 / USS Tyler August 1861 / USS Lexington August 1861 / USS Flag August 1861 / USS Ottawa November 1861 / USS Unadilla February 1862 / USS Flag 1862 / USS Galena May 1862 / USS Weehawken January 1863 / USS Dictator 1864-1866 / USS Monadnock 1866-1867

USA: Major-General John Adams Dix assumed command of the Department of Annapolis, succeeding State Major-General George Cadwalader.

USA: John Adams Dix promoted Major-General USV 16 May 1861

Dix, John Adams / New Hampshire-New York / Born 24 July 1798 Boscawen, New Hampshire / Died New York, New York 21 April 1879
Ensign USA 14th US Infantry 10 May 1813 / 3rd Lieutenant USA 21st US Infantry 7 March 1814 / 2nd Lieutenant USA 8 March 1814 / Corps of Artillery 9 August 1814 / 1st Lieutenant USA 23 March 1818 / 1st US Artillery 1 June 1821 / 3rd US Artillery 16 August 1821 / Captain USA 30 August 1825 / Resigned USA 31 December 1828 / Adjutant-General New York Militia 1830 / Major-General New York Militia 6 May 1861 / Major-General USV 16 May 1861 / Resigned USV 30 November 1865 / WIA Niagara 25 July 1814
Department of Annapolis 16 May 1861-31 May 1861 / Department of Maryland 17 July 1861-245July 1861 / Department of Pennsylvania 25 July 1861-17 August 1861 / Dix’s Command Department of the Potomac 24 August 1861-22 March 1862 / Middle Department 22 March 1862-1 June 1862 / Department of Virginia 2 June 1862-6 April 1863 / VII Corps Virginia 22 July 1862-16 July 1863 / Department of Virginia 14 April 1863-15 July 1863 / Department of the East 18 July 1863-10 April 1865 / Department of the East 19 April 1865-15 July 1865

USA: Nathaniel Prentiss Banks promoted Major-General USV 3 June 1861 to rank from 16 May 1861

Banks, Nathaniel Prentiss / Massachusetts / Born 30 January 1816 Waltham, Massachusetts / Died Waltham, Massachusetts 1 September 1894
Major-General USV 3 June 1861 to rank from 16 May 1861 / Mustered Out USV 24 August 1865
Banks’ Division Department of Annapolis May `1861-11 June 1861 / Department of Annapolis 11 June 1861-19 July 1861 / Department of the Shenandoah 19 July 1861-17 August 1861 / Banks’ Division Army of the Potomac 17 August 1861-3 March 1862 / V Corps Potomac 13 March 1862-4 April 1862 / Department of the Shenandoah 4 April 1862-26 June 1862 / II Corps Virginia 26 June 1862-23 September 1862 / Military District of Washington (Defences of Washington) 7 September 1862-27 October 1862 / Department of the Gulf 8 November 1862-23 September 1864 / Army of the Gulf 15 December 1862-22 September 1864 / XIX Corps Gulf 16 December 1862-19 August 1863 / Department of the Gulf 18 March 1865-3 June 1865 / Army of the Gulf 22 April 1865-2 June 1865

USA: Benjamin Franklin Butler promoted Major-General USV 16 May 1861

Butler, Benjamin Franklin / New Hampshire / Born 5 November 1818 Deerfield, New Hampshire / Died Washington, District of Columbia 11 January 1893
3rd Lieutenant Massachusetts Militia 1839 / Brigadier-General Massachusetts Militia 1855 / Major-General USV 16 May 1861 / Military Governor of Louisiana 1 May 1862-2 June 1862 / Resigned USV 30 November 1865 /
Colonel 8th Massachusetts Militia 17 April 1861 / Department of Annapolis 27 April 1861-15 May 1861 / Department of Virginia 22 May 1861-17 August 1861 / Department of New England 1 October 1861-20 February 1862 / Army of the Gulf 23 February 1862-14 December 1862 / Department of the Gulf 20 March 1862-17 December 1862 / Department of Virginia and North Carolina 12 November 1863-27 August 1864 / XVIII Corps Virginia and North Carolina 18 November 1863-1 May 1864 / XVIII Corps Virginia and North Carolina 21 April 1864-2 May 1864 / Army of the James 2 May 1864-27 August 1864 / Department of Virginia and North Carolina 7 September 1864-14 December 1864 / Army of the James 18 October 1864-2 November 1864 / Army of the James 18 November 1864-8 January 1865 / Department of Virginia and North Carolina 24 December 1864-8 January 1865

USA: William Starke Rosecrans promoted Brigadier-General USA 16 June 1861 to rank from 16 May 1861.

Rosecrans, William Starke / Ohio / Born 6 September 1819 Little Taylor Run, Ohio / Died Redondo Beach, California 11 March 1898
USMA 1 July 1842 5/56 Engineers / Cadet USMA 1 July 1838 / Engineers 1 July 1842 / 2nd Lieutenant USA 3 April 1843 / 1st Lieutenant USA 3 March 1853 / Resigned USA 1 April 1854 / ADC (G B McClellan) 23 April 1861-June 1861 / Colonel Chief Engineer Ohio Militia 23 April 1861 / Colonel USV 23rd Ohio Infantry 12 June 1861 / Mustered Out USV 17 June 1861 / Brigadier-General USA 16 June 1861 to rank from 16 May 1861 / Major-General USV 17 September 1862 to rank from 25 October 1862 adjusted to rank from 21 March 1862 / Mustered Out USV 15 January 1866 / Resigned USA 28 March 1867 / Brigadier-General USA 27 February 1889 / Retired USA 1 March 1889 / Brevet 2nd Lieutenant USA 1 July 1842 Brevet Major-General USA 13 March 1865
Rosecrans’ Brigade Army of Occupation May 1861-23 July 1861 / Department of the Ohio 23 July 1861-19 September 1861 / Army of Occupation 23 July 1861-19 September 1861 / Department of Western Virginia 19 September 1861-11 March 1862 / Mountain Department 11 March 1862-29 March 1862 / Right Wing Army of the Mississippi May 1862-26 June 1862 / Army of the Mississippi 26 June 1862-24 October 1862 / District of Corinth 1 July 1862-20 October 1862 / 3rd Division Army of the Tennessee 24 September 1862-20 October 1862 / Department of the Cumberland 24 October 1862-17 October 1863 / Army of the Cumberland 24 October 1862-19 October 1863 / XIV Corps Cumberland 24 October 1862-8 January 1863 / Department of the Missouri 22 January 1864-2 December 1864

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: John Adams Dix
  • 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: Samuel Cooper promoted Brigadier-General ACSA and Adjutant-General and Inspector General of the Confederate States’ Army 31 August 1861 to rank from 16 May 1861

Cooper, Samuel / New York / Born 12 June 1798 New Hackensack, New York / Died 3 December 1876
USMA 11 December 1815 36/40 Artillery / Cadet USMA 26 May 1813 / US Light Artillery 11 December 1815 / 2nd Lieutenant USA 15 November 1817 / 1st US Artillery 1 June 1821 / 1st Lieutenant USA 6 July 1821 / 2nd US Artillery 6 August 1821 / 4th US Artillery 31 December 1824 / Captain USA 11 June 1836-15 July 1852 / Chief Clerk War Department 13 March 1837-9 July 1838 / Assistant Adjutant-General 7 July 1838 / Colonel USA Adjutant General 15 July 1852 / Resigned USA 7 March 1861 / Brigadier-General ACSA 16 May 1861 / Adjutant-General and Inspector General ACSA 31 August 1861 to rank from 16 May 1861 / Paroled Charlotte, North Carolina 3 May 1865 / Brevet 2nd Lieutenant USA 11 December 1815 Brevet Captain USA 6 July 1831 Brevet Major USA 7 July 1838 Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel USA 3 March 1847 Brevet Colonel USA 30 May 1848
Adjutant-General and Inspector-General CS Army 16 May 1861-19 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

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 USA (Staff)

Montgomery Cunningham Meigs

Confederate Generals

Note: Italics, awaiting confirmation of the commission

General ACSA

Samuel Cooper

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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