1861 May 23rd

May 23 1861 Thursday

Escaped Slaves defined as “Contraband”

Chesapeake Bay Blockade

CSA. Confederate Colonel Lloyd J Beall was appointed as the first Commandant of the Confederate Marine Corps.

California. Incident at Larabee’s Ranch.

New York. A battery of modern breech-loading 12-pounder Whitworth guns was landed at New York City, as a gift from American patriots abroad.

Virginia. Demonstration at Hampton.

Virginia. The state of Virginia voted overwhelmingly to join the Confederacy. The western part of the state, however, prepared to break away from the rest of Virginia as the majority of its population preferred to remain loyal to the US government.

Virginia. Two companies of Confederate troops surrendered to Union forces at Clarskburg.

Virginia. Virginia State Major-General Walter Gwynn, a former US Army Engineers officer and former railroad engineer and surveyor, sited and supervised the construction of batteries to defend Norfolk, from late April to early May 1861. This included the active battery at Sewell’s Point. Gwynn commanded the defences of Norfolk until he was relieved by regular Confederate forces on May 23 1861.

Virginia. Union Colonel Justin Dimick retained in command of the 415 Regular Army garrison soldiers in Fort Monroe, while Major General Benjamin Franklin Butler of Massachusetts took command of the entire garrison and region around it. With reinforcements arriving continually, Butler planned to advance up the York Peninsula and to threaten Norfolk and other locations on the south side of Hampton Roads.

Virginia. Three slaves of a Virginia owner sought refuge with the Union garrison at Fortress Monroe and the owner demanded their return under the Fugitive Slave Acts. Major-General Benjamin Franklin Butler refused on the grounds that Virginia had seceded and no longer had rights under Federal law. He later referred to the slaves as contraband of war and the term “contraband” came into unofficial usage as a slang term for a former slave. Butler’s ruling that slaves were deemed as property and therefore “contraband of war” provided a convenient improvisation to evade laws requiring the return of escaped slaves to their owners.

Union Organisation

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
  • Western Gunboat Flotilla USN: Commander John Rodgers 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 Virginia: Benjamin Franklin Butler
  • Department of Washington: Joseph King Fenno Mansfield
  • Department of the West: William Selby Harney

Confederate Organisation

CSA: The Forces in Norfolk was discontinued and incorporated into the Department of Norfolk.

CSA: The Department of Norfolk was established, comprising the former Forces in Norfolk.

CSA: State Brigadier-General Benjamin Huger was appointed to command the Department of Norfolk, arriving on 26th May 1861.

Huger, Benjamin | South Carolina | Born 22 November 1805 Charleston, South Carolina | USMA 1825 8/37 Artillery – Ordnance | 2nd Lieutenant USA 3rd US Artillery 1 July 1825 Captain USA Ordnance 30 May 1832 Major USA Ordnance 15 February 1855 Resigned USA 22 April 1861 Lieutenant-Colonel CSA 16 March 1861 Brigadier-General Virginia Militia 16 May 1861 Brigadier-General PACS 17 June 1861 Major-General PACS 7 October 1861 Paroled 12 June 1865 | Died 7 December 1877 | 21 May 1861 – 23 May 1861 Forces in Norfolk, 23 May 1861 – 12 April 1862 Department of Norfolk

CSA: Colonel Jones Mitchell Withers assumed temporary command of the Department of Norfolk.

Withers, Jones Mitchell | Alabama | Born 12 January 1814 Madison, Alabama | USMA 1835 44/56 Dragoons | 1st US Dragoons 1 July 1835 Resigned USA 5 December 1835 Lieutenant-Colonel USA 13th US Infantry 9 April 1847 Colonel USA 9th US Infantry 13 September 1847 Resigned 23 May 1848 Colonel PACS 3rd Alabama 28 April 1861 Brigadier-General PACS 10 July 1861 Major-General PACS 6 April 1862 Resigned PACS July 13 1863 Reappointed Major-General PACS July 21 1863 | Died 13 March 1890 | 23 May 1861 – 25 May 1861 Department of Norfolk, 12 September 1861 – 27 January 1862 District of Alabama, 27 January 1862 – 4 February 1862 Army of Mobile, 30 June 1862 – 2 July 1862 Reserve Corps Mississippi, 5 August 1862 – 20 November 1862 Reserve Corps Mississippi, 6 February 1864 – 27 July 1864 District of Northern Alabama, 30 April 1864 – 4 May 1865 Reserve Forces of Alabama

CSA: John Buchanan Floyd promoted Brigadier-General PACS 23 May 1861

Floyd, John Buchanan | Virginia | Born 1 June 1806 Montgomery, Virginia | Brigadier-General PACS 23 May 1861 Major-General Virginia 17 May 1862 | Died 26 August 1863 | 11 August 1861 – 25 September 1861 Army of the Kanawha

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
    • Alexandria Line: Milledge Luke Bonham
  • Department of Norfolk: Jones Mitchell Withers temporary Benjamin Huger awaited
  • 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 Richmond: Thomas Turner Fauntleroy
  • 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 Department of Virginia
  • 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 Department of Alexandria & Alexandria Line
  • Brigadier-General PACS Benjamin McCulloch 11 May 1861 Indian Territory
  • Brigadier-General PACS William Wing Loring 20 May 1861 Department of Southwestern Virginia
  • Brigadier-General PACS Charles Clark 22 May 1861.
  • Brigadier-General PACS John Buchanan Floyd 23 May 1861
  • 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 Jones Mitchell Withers 28 April 1861 Department of Norfolk temporary
  • Colonel John Bankhead Magruder 16 May 1861 Hampton Line
  • State Brigadier-General Daniel Ruggles May 1861 Potomac Line
  • State Brigadier-General Benjamin Huger Department of Norfolk awaited
  • Colonel Christopher Quarles Tompkins Forces in the Kanawha Valley
  • Colonel Thomas Turner Fauntleroy Forces in Richmond

 

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close