May 21 1861 Tuesday
Chesapeake Bay Blockade
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 Cocke was superseded in command of the Confederate forces gathering at Manassas by Brigadier General Milledge Luke Bonham.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.
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
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
Note: Italics, awaiting confirmation of the commission
George Brinton McClellan
John Charles Frémont
John Adams Dix
Nathaniel Prentiss Banks
Benjamin Franklin Butler
John Ellis Wool
William Selby Harney
Edwin Vose Sumner
Joseph King Fenno Mansfield
William Starke Rosecrans
Samuel Peter Heintzelman
Erasmus Darwin Keyes
William Buel Franklin
William Tecumseh Sherman
Charles Pomeroy Stone
Don Carlos Buell
Thomas West Sherman
George Archibald McCall
William Reading Montgomery
John Wolcott Phelps
Ulysses Simpson Grant
Joseph Jones Reynolds
Samuel Ryan Curtis
Charles Smith Hamilton
Darius Nash Couch
Jacob Dolson Cox
Stephen Augustus Hurlbut
Robert Cumming Schenck
Benjamin Mayberry Prentiss
Frederick West Lander
Benjamin Franklin Kelley
John Alexander McClernand
Alpheus Starkey Williams
Israel Bush Richardson
Brigadier-General USA (Staff)
Montgomery Cunningham Meigs
Note: Italics, awaiting confirmation of the commission
David Emanuel Twiggs
Robert Edward Lee
Joseph Eggleston Johnston
Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard
Alexander Robert Lawton
Milledge Lake Bonham
William Wing Loring