1861 May 21st

May 21 1861 Tuesday

Chesapeake Bay Blockade

Go to May 22 1861

CSA. The Confederate President was authorised to confer temporary grades and commands for officers in the Confederate States’ Provisional Army.

CSA. The Confederate Department of the Navy was given the power by the Congress to grant patents concerning inventions such as armed vessels, floating batteries, and other defences.

Africa. USS Constellation, the oldest United States warship afloat, Captain John S Nicholas, captured the slave brig Triton at the mouth of the Congo River.

Missouri. A convention was held between pro-Confederate Missouri State Major-General Sterling Price and US Brigadier-General William Selby Harney. They came to an agreement with the aim of restoring order and equilibrium to the state. Harney agreed not to bring any Federal troops into the state if Price maintained law and order with the Missouri State Guard. This decision gave effective control to the Pro-Confederate force and abrogated accepted Federal rights in the state.

Virginia. After Virginia’s state forces were consolidated with the Provisional Army of the Confederate States, Virginia State Brigadier-General Philip St George Cocke was appointed Colonel of the 19th Virginia Infantry in the Confederate army. Cocke was superseded in command of the Confederate forces gathering at Manassas by Brigadier General Milledge Luke Bonham.

Virginia. The USS Monticello fired two shots at the Sewell’s Point battery near Norfolk but drew off when the battery returned fire. The Sewell’s Point battery and other batteries in the area continued to engage Union vessels on occasions during the following twelve months.

Virginia. USS Pocahontas, Commander John P Gillis, seized the steamboat James Guy off Machodoc Creek.

Virginia. Commander Stephen Clegg Rowan, commanding USS Pawnee, demanded the surrender of Alexandria. An amphibious expedition embarked secretly overnight and departed Washington Navy Yard to occupy Alexandria. This was the first landing of Union troops on Virginia shores. The landing was protected by the improvised gunboats USS Thomas Freeborn, USS Anacostia, and USS Resolute. Alexandria was the fourteenth most populous city in the Confederacy but its indefensible location meant that it had to be evacuated by the Confederates.

Union Organisation

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: The Hampton Line was established, comprising forces gathering in the Yorktown peninsula of Virginia.
CSA: Colonel John Bankhead Magruder assumed command of the Hampton Line.

CSA: Brigadier-General Milledge Luke Bonham assumed command of the Department of Alexandria, succeeding Colonel Philip St George Cocke.

CSA: Brigadier-General Milledge Luke Bonham assumed command of the Forces in Alexandria, succeeding Colonel Philip St George Cocke.

CSA: Brigadier-General of Virginia Militia Benjamin Huger assumed command of the Forces in Norfolk, succeeding Colonel Walter Gwynn.

CSA: Brigadier-General of Virginia Militia Thomas Turner Fauntleroy assumed command of the Forces in Richmond succeeding Colonel John Bankhead Magruder who moved his force onto the Yorktown peninsula to become the Hampton Line.

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: Milledge Luke Bonham

  • Forces in Alexandria: Milledge Luke Bonham

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

Hampton Line: John Bankhead Magruder

Forces in Harper’s Ferry”: Thomas Jonathan Jackson interim, Joseph Eggleston Johnston awaited

“Forces in Norfolk”: Benjamin Huger

Forces in Richmond: Thomas Turner Fauntleroy

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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