1861 May 20th

May 20 1861 Monday

North Carolina Seceded

Chesapeake Bay Blockade

Go to May 21 1861

CSA. The Confederate Provisional Congress voted to adjourn and to move the Capital of the Confederacy from Montgomery, Alabama, to Richmond, Virginia. Congress resolved to resume its session on 20 July 1861.

CSA. The Confederate Marine Corps was expanded to the size of a regiment following an act of the Provisional Congress. The force was authorized to consist of 1,000 men. The move was spurred by the secession of Arkansas, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.

USA. The US government announced the seizure of control of telegraph offices, equipment and archived dispatches throughout the United States.

District of Columbia. Commander James Harmon Ward USN arrived at the Washington Navy Yard aboard his flagship, the USS Thomas Freeborn to activate the “Flying Flotilla” or Potomac Flotilla. The designation of “Flying Flotilla” was dropped when Ward’s force arrived in the theatre of operations and was referred to by a variety of names, such as the Potomac River Flotilla or Potomac Blockade, or Flotilla in the Chesapeake. In early August 1861, the commander and the Navy Department began to consistently refer to the command as the Potomac Flotilla.

District of Columbia. The garrison of Fort McHenry was reinforced.

Florida. USS Crusader, Lieutenant Thomas A Craven USN, captured Neptune near Fort Taylor.

Kentucky. Kentucky Governor Beriah Magoffin issued a proclamation of neutrality.

Maryland. Union forces in Baltimore seized a store of 1,600 muskets and 4,000 pikes.

Maryland. State Major-General George Cadwalader took command of the Union camp at Federal Hill near Baltimore.

North Carolina. The North Carolina Convention met, ratified the Confederate Constitution, and passed an Ordinance of Secession. North Carolina eventually contributed 125,000 soldiers to the Confederacy, despite some sections in the west of the state having a strong pro-Union and anti-slavery sentiment. The state came to lead the South in blockade-running and provided a significant proportion of supplies to the Confederate armies. The secession of North Carolina left only four slave-holding states officially outside the Confederacy: the so-called Border States of Missouri, Delaware, Maryland, and Kentucky. North Carolina was the eleventh state to secede.

Pennsylvania. The prize ship General Parkhill was brought into Philadelphia by a prize crew from the USS Niagara.

Texas. Fort Duncan was abandoned.

Union Organisation

USA: The Potomac Flotilla of the US Navy was established.
USA: Commander James Harmon Ward assumed command of the Potomac Flotilla of the US Navy

Commander in Chief: President Abraham Lincoln
Vice-President: Hannibal Hamlin
Secretary of War: Simon Cameron
Secretary of the Navy: Gideon Welles

Atlantic Blockading Squadron: Silas Horton Stringham
Gulf Blockading Squadron: William Mervine
Pacific Squadron: John Berrien Montgomery
Western Gunboat Flotilla: John Rodgers
Potomac Flotilla: James Harmon Ward

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: William Wing Loring promoted Brigadier-General PACS 20 May 1861.

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 USV

Samuel Peter Heintzelman
David Hunter
Erasmus Darwin Keyes
Andrew Porter
Fitz-John Porter
William Buel Franklin
William Tecumseh Sherman
Charles Pomeroy Stone
Don Carlos Buell
Thomas West Sherman
Nathaniel Lyon
John Pope
George Archibald McCall
William Reading Montgomery
Philip Kearny
Joseph Hooker
John Wolcott Phelps
Ulysses Simpson Grant
Joseph Jones Reynolds
Samuel Ryan Curtis
Charles Smith Hamilton
Darius Nash Couch
Rufus King
Jacob Dolson Cox
Stephen Augustus Hurlbut
Franz Sigel
Robert Cumming Schenck
Benjamin Mayberry Prentiss
Frederick West Lander
Benjamin Franklin Kelley
John Alexander McClernand
Alpheus Starkey Williams
Israel Bush Richardson
James Cooper

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
William Wing Loring

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