1861 May 18th

May 18 1861 Saturday

Battle of Sewell’s Point, VA

Chesapeake Bay Blockade

Arkansas. The state of Arkansas was admitted to the Confederacy.

California. Operations at Fort Humboldt ended.

Sewell’s Point, Virginia. Two Union gunboats, including USS Monticello commanded by Captain Henry Eagle USN with Lieutenant Daniel L Braine as his second in command, duelled with Confederate batteries on Sewell’s Point near Norfolk, in an attempt to enforce the blockade of the Chesapeake Bay and Hampton Roads. The Confederate forts were commanded by Virginia State Brigadier-General Walter Gwynn and Captain Peyton Colquitt. The Confederate battery was unfinished but it would command the entrance to the Elizabeth River and the harbour at Norfolk when its guns were permanently in place. Some sources describe that USS Monticello’s bombardment of the Sewell’s Point battery as the first gunfire by the Union Navy during the Civil War, but a brief exchange of fire between the Union gunboat USS Yankee and shore batteries manned by Virginia volunteer forces which had not yet been incorporated into the Confederate States Army at Gloucester Point on the York River had occurred on May 7th 1861. The two sides reported ten casualties.

Union Organisations

Commander in Chief: President Abraham Lincoln

Vice-President: Hannibal Hamlin

Secretary of War: Simon Cameron

Secretary of the Navy: Gideon Welles

  • Atlantic 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

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

  • Major-General USA Winfield Scott 5 July 1841 to rank from 25 June 1841 General-in-Chief
  • Major-General USA George Brinton McClellan 14 May 1861 Department of the Ohio
  • Major-General USA John Charles Frémont 3 July 1861 to rank from 14 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USA John Ellis Wool 25 June 1841 Department of the East
  • Brigadier-General USA William Selby Harney 14 June 1858 Department of the West
  • Brigadier-General USA Edwin Vose Sumner 16 March 1861 Department of the Pacific
  • Brigadier-General USA Irvin McDowell 14 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USA Joseph Fenno King Mansfield May 17 1861 to rank from May 14 1861 Department of Washington
  • Brigadier-General USA Montgomery Cunningham Meigs 15 May 1861 Quartermaster-General
  • Brigadier-General USA Robert Anderson 17 June 1861 to rank from 15 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USA William Starke Rosecrans 16 June 1861 to rank from 16 May 1861
  • Major-General USV John Adams Dix 16 May 1861 Department of Annapolis
  • Major-General USV Benjamin Franklin Butler 16 May 1861
  • Major-General USV Nathaniel Prentiss Banks 3 June 1861 to rank from 16 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Nathaniel Lyon 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Jacob Dolson Cox 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Samuel Peter Heintzelman 27 May 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Robert Cumming Schenck 5 June 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV John Pope 14 June 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Joseph Jones Reynolds 14 June 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Stephen Augustus Hurlbut 14 June 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV William Tecumseh Sherman 3 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Andrew Porter 6 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV William Buel Franklin 6 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Charles Pomeroy Stone 6 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Thomas West Sherman 6 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Benjamin Franklin Kelley 6 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Joseph Hooker 6 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV John Alexander McClernand 6 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Frederick West Lander 6 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Erasmus Darwin Keyes 7 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV David Hunter 7 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Don Carlos Buell 7 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Fitz-John Porter 7 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV George Archibald McCall 7 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Rufus King 7 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Franz Sigel 7 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 17 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Charles Smith Hamilton 7 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Samuel Ryan Curtis 7 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Philip Kearny 7 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Alpheus Starkey Williams 9 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV William Reading Montgomery 9 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Israel Bush Richardson 9 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Benjamin Mayberry Prentiss 9 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Darius Nash Couch 9 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 17 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Ulysses Simpson Grant 9 August 1861 to rank from May 17 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV James Cooper 12 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General USV Julius Stahel 12 November 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861
  • Colonel George Wright 3 March 1855 District of Oregon
  • Colonel Philip St George Cooke 14 June 1858 Department of Utah
  • Colonel Edward Richard Sprigg Canby 14 May 1861 Department of New Mexico
  • Colonel Harvey Brown 14 May 1861 Department of Florida
  • State Major-General Robert Patterson Department of Pennsylvania

Confederate Generals

  • General ACSA Samuel Cooper 31 August 1861 to rank from 16 May 1861 Adjutant-General and Inspector General
  • Major-General PACS David Emanuel Twiggs March 22 1861 District of Louisiana
  • Brigadier-General ACSA Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard March 1 1861 Department of South Carolina & Forces in Charleston
  • Brigadier-General ACSA Braxton Bragg March 7 1861 Forces in Louisiana & Department of West Florida & Forces in Pensacola & Forces in New Orleans
  • Brigadier-General ACSA Joseph Eggleston Johnston May 15 1861 to rank from May 14 1861 Forces in Harper’s Ferry interim
  • Brigadier-General ACSA Robert Edward Lee 14 June 1861 to rank from 15 May 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS Alexander Robert Lawton 13 April 1861 Defences of Savannah
  • Brigadier-General PACS Milledge Luke Bonham 23 April 1861
  • Brigadier-General PACS Benjamin McCulloch 11 May 1861 Indian Territory
  • Colonel Earl Van Dorn 16 March 1861 Department of Texas
  • Colonel Theophilus Hunter Holmes March 1861 Department of North Carolina & Defences of North Carolina
  • Colonel Thomas Jonathan Jackson 21 April 1861 Forces in Harper’s Ferry interim
  • Colonel John Bankhead Magruder 16 May 1861 Forces in Richmond
  • Colonel William Wing Loring Department of Southwestern Virginia
  • State Major-General Walter Gwynn 10 April 1861 Forces in Norfolk
  • State Brigadier-General Philip St George Cocke 21 April 1861 Department of Alexandria & Alexandria Line
  • State Brigadier-General Daniel Ruggles May 1861 Potomac Line
  • Colonel Christopher Quarles Tompkins Forces in the Kanawha Valley

 

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