1861 May 24th

May 24 1861 Friday

Alexandria, VA

Chesapeake Bay Blockade

Kentucky. Resolutions of mediation and neutrality were adopted by the Kentucky State authorities.

Louisiana. All US-registered vessels that had arrived in New Orleans since May 6 1861 were seized by the Confederate Marshal.

Virginia. Occupation of Alexandria and Arlington Heights by Union forces.

Virginia. Confederate Colonel John Bankhead Magruder established his headquarters at Yorktown and began to build defences facing the Union forces at Fortress Monroe. Magruder’s small force of Virginians was increased to about 1,500 men by the arrival of Colonel Daniel Harvey Hill’s 1st North Carolina, Lieutenant-Colonel William D Stuart’s 3rd Virginia, a cavalry battalion under Major E B Montague and the Richmond Howitzer artillery battalion under Major George W Randolph. Magruder laid out the line of defence along the marshy Warwick River.

Virginia. Union Brigadier-General USA Joseph King Fenno Mansfield crossed to the south bank of the Potomac River with three columns of infantry. He occupied a line running from Alexandria to the chain-bridge above Washington and began the construction of defences. Union forces also occupied Arlington Heights, overlooking the Potomac River to the west of Alexandria.

Alexandria, Virginia. Union Commander Steven Clegg Rowan USN, commanding USS Pawnee, demanded the surrender of Alexandria. A Union amphibious expedition accompanied by the improvised gunboats USS Thomas Freeborn, USS Anacostia, and USS Resolute departed from Washington Navy Yard, while 10,000 Union troops led by Brigadier-General Charles Pomeroy Stone entered Virginia to occupy the town.

Union Major Ephraim Ellsworth, commanding 11th New York (Fire Zouaves) was killed by James T Jackson, proprietor of the Marshall House Tavern in Alexandria, while removing a Confederate flag. Ellsworth was the first Union officer killed in the war. Jackson was then killed immediately by Private Francis E Brownell. A dramatic report of the episode made by a correspondent of the New York Tribune caused a sensation and inflamed war sentiment in the North. Ellsworth’s pre-war fame as an expert drill instructor attracted even more attention to his dramatic end and he became a hero in the popular imagination.

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 Alexandria Line (Forces in Alexandria) was discontinued.

CSA: The Army of the Potomac was established in the Department of Alexandria from troops of the Forces in Alexandria.

CSA: Brigadier-General Milledge Luke Bonham assumed command of the Army of the Potomac.

Bonham, Milledge Luke / South Carolina / Born 25 December 1813 Red Bank, South Carolina / Died White Sulfur Springs, North Carolina 27 August 1890
Captain USV South Carolina Infantry 9 April 1836 / Mustered Out USV 7 July 1836 / Major-General South Carolina Militia / Lieutenant-Colonel USA 3 March 1847 / 12th US Infantry 9 April 1847 / Colonel USA 12 August 1847 Discharged USA 25 July 1848 / Major-General South Carolina Militia 10 February 1861 / Brigadier-General PACS 23 April 1861 / Resigned PACS 14 July 1861 / Brigadier-General PACS 14 July 1861 / Resigned PACS 29 January 1862 / Brigadier-General PACS 20 February 1865 to rank from 9 February 1865 / No Record of Parole / WIA Contreras 19 August 1847
Department of Alexandria 21 May 1861-30 May 1861 / Forces in Alexandria 21 May 1861-23 May 1861 / Army of the Potomac 24 May 1861-1 June 1861 / Department of the Potomac 31 May 1861-1 June 1861 / Bonham’s Brigade Alexandria Line 31 May 1861-20 July 1861 / 1st Brigade Army of the Potomac 20 July 1861-22 October 1861 / 1st Brigade Longstreet’s Division Army of the Potomac 22 October 1862-9 November 1862 / 1st Brigade Van Dorn’s Division Army of the Potomac 9 November 1861-10 January 1862 / 1st Division Army of the Potomac 10 January 1862 / Bonham’s Brigade Butler’s Division Hampton’s Cavalry Corps Army of Tennessee 2 April 1865-May 1865

CSA: Brigadier-General ACSA Joseph Eggleston Johnston arrived to command the Forces in Harper’s Ferry, succeeding Colonel Thomas Jonathan Jackson.

Johnston, Joseph Eggleston / Virginia / Born 3 February 1807 Farmville, Virginia / Died 21 March 1891
USMA 1 July 1829 13/46 Artillery / Cadet USMA 1 July 1825 / 2nd Lieutenant USA 4th US Artillery 1 July 1829 / 1st Lieutenant USA 31 July 1836 / Resigned USA 31 May 1837 / 1st Lieutenant USA Topographical Engineers 7 July 1838 / Captain USA 21 September 1846 / Lieutenant-Colonel USA Voltigeurs and Rifles 9 April 1847-28 August 1848 / Lieutenant-Colonel 1st US Cavalry 1 March 1855 / Brigadier-General USA Quartermaster-General 28 June 1860 / Resigned USA 22 April 1861 / Brigadier-General Virginia Militia 17 April 1861 Declined / Major-General Virginia Militia 23 April 1861-27 April 1861 / Major-General Provisional Army of Virginia 27 April 1861-4 May 1861 / Brigadier-General Provisional Army of Virginia 4 May 1861-14 May 1861 / Brigadier-General ACSA 15 May 1861 to rank from 14 May 1861 / General ACSA 31 August 1861 to rank from 4 July 1861 / Paroled Greensboro, North Carolina 2 May 1865 / Brevet 2nd Lieutenant USA 1 July 1829 Brevet Captain USA 7 July 1838 Brevet Major USA 12 April 1847 Brevet Colonel USA 17 April 1847 Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel USA 13 September 1847 / WIA Jupiter Inlet 1838 WIA Cerro Gordo 12 April 1847 WIA Chapultepec 13 September 1847 WIA Fair Oaks 31 May 1862
Quartermaster-General USA 28 June 1860- 21 April 1861 / Forces in Richmond 24 April 1861-8 May 1861 / Forces in Harper’s Ferry 15 May 1861-4 July 1861 / District of Harper’s Ferry 4 July 1861-20 July 1861 / Army of the Shenandoah 4 July 1861-20 July 1861 / Department of the Potomac 21 July 1861-22 October 1861 / Army of the Potomac 21 July 1861-14 March 1862 / Department of Northern Virginia 22 October 1861-31 May 1862 / Army of Northern Virginia 14 March 1862-31 May 1862 / Military Division of the West 4 November 1862-16 December 1863 / Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana 4 July 1863-23 August 1863 / Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana 2 December 1863-22 December 1863 / Department of Tennessee 16 December 1863-18 July 1864 / Army of Tennessee 27 December 1863-18 July 1864 / Department of South Carolina Georgia and Florida 22 February 1865-26 April 1865 / Department of Tennessee and Georgia 22 February 1865-26 April 1865 / Army of Tennessee 25 February 1865-15 March 1865 / Department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia 6 March 1865-26 April 1865 / Army of the South 22 February 1865-9 April 1865 / Army of Tennessee 9 April 1865-26 April 1865

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
    • Army of the Potomac: 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”: Joseph Eggleston Johnston
  • 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
Charles Clark
John Buchanan Floyd

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