1861 May 26th

May 26 1861 Sunday

Chesapeake Bay Blockade

McClellan’s West Virginia Campaign

Cuba. A force of 600 US soldiers who had been evacuated by sea from posts in Texas arrived in Havana.

USA. US Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court Roger B Taney issued a writ of habeas corpus. He ordered that John Merryman, who was arrested by Pennsylvania Major-General George Cadwalder while trying to recruit Confederate soldiers, should be set free. This established a precedent regarding the limits of military power under the law.

USA. US Postmaster-General Francis Preston Blair Jr announced that postal services to the Confederate States would be discontinued on 31 May 1861.

Alabama. USS Powhatan, commanded by Lieutenant David Dixon Porter USN, established the naval blockade at Mobile.

California. Operation at Mad River began. Incident at Eel River.

Louisiana. The Union gunboat USS Brooklyn, under Commander Charles H Poor, established the naval blockade of New Orleans from the mouth of the Mississippi River.

Louisiana. The Confederate privateer Calhoun arrived in New Orleans with three whalers and their cargoes as prizes.

Virginia. In response to the burning of bridges on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad near the town of Farmington, Union Major-General George Brinton McClellan ordered Colonel Benjamin Franklin Kelley to advance 70 miles southwest from Wheeling to the area of the sabotage and to secure the important bridge over the Monongahela River at Fairmont. Kelley’s men – the (Union) 1st Virginia Infantry with his regiment and Company A of the 2nd Virginia Infantry- were reinforced by the 16th Ohio under Colonel James Irvine. Meanwhile, the 14th Ohio Infantry under Colonel James Blair Steedman was ordered to occupy Parkersburg and then proceed to Grafton, about 90 miles further east. This rapid movement to control the railroads across western Virginia ensured that these vital lines of communications between Washington, DC, and the Midwestern states were protected.

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 Hampton Line was discontinued.

CSA: The Department of the Peninsula was established with headquarters at Yorktown, comprising the area occupied by the field forces of the Army of the Peninsula.

CSA: Colonel John Bankhead Magruder assumed command of the Department of the Peninsula.

CSA: The Army of the Peninsula was established in the Department of the Peninsula, comprising the field forces of the former Hampton Line on the Yorktown peninsula.

CSA: Colonel John Bankhead Magruder assumed command of the Army of the Peninsula.

Magruder, John Bankhead / Virginia / Born 1 May 1807 Port Royal, Virginia / Died Houston, Texas 18 February 1871
USMA 1 July 1830 15/42 Infantry / Cadet USMA 1 July 1826 / 2nd Lieutenant USA 7th US Infantry 1 July 1830 / 1st US Artillery 11 August 1831 / 1st Lieutenant USA 31 March 1836 / Captain USA 18 June 1846 / Resigned USA 20 April 1861 / Colonel Provisional Army of Virginia 9 May 1861 / Colonel PACS Artillery 16 May 1861 / Brigadier-General PACS 17 June 1861 / Major-General PACS 7 October 1861 / No Record of Parole / Brevet 2nd Lieutenant USA 1 July 1830 Brevet Major USA 18 April 1847 Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel USA 13 September 1847 / Major-General Mexican Imperial Army/ WIA Chapultepec 13 September 1847
Forces in Richmond 8 May 1861-21 May 1861 / Hampton Line 21 May 1861-26 May 1861 / Department of the Peninsula 26 May 1861-31 May 1861 / Army of the Peninsula 26 May 1861-31 May 1861 / Department of the Peninsula 17 June 1861-12 April 1862 / Army of the Peninsula 17 June 1861-12 April 1862 / Magruder’s Division Army of Northern Virginia 12 April 1862-May 1862 / Reserve Northern Virginia 4 May 1862-25 June 1862 / Magruder’s Command Northern Virginia 25 June 1862-14 July 1862 / District of Texas 10 October 1862-27 November 1862 / District of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona 29 November 1862-4 August 1864 / District of Arkansas 4 August 1864-28 January 1865 / II Corps Trans-Mississippi 4 August 1864-31 March 1865 / District of Arkansas 31 January 1865-14 February 1865 / District of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona 20 March 1865-26 May 1865

CSA: Virginia State Brigadier-General Benjamin Huger arrived to command the Department of Norfolk.

Huger, Benjamin / South Carolina / Born 22 November 1805 Charleston, South Carolina / Died Charleston, South Carolina 7 December 1877
USMA 1 July 1825 8 /37 Artillery-Ordnance / Cadet USMA 1 July 1821 / 2nd Lieutenant USA 3rd US Artillery 1 July 1825 / Captain USA Ordnance 30 May 1832 / Major USA 15 February 1855 / Resigned USA 22 April 1861 / Lieutenant-Colonel ACSA Infantry 16 March 1861 / Brigadier-General Virginia Militia 22 May 1861 / Brigadier-General Provisional Army of Virginia June 1861 / Brigadier-General PACS 17 June 1861 / Major-General PACS 7 October 1861 / Assistant Inspector-General 12 June 1862 / Inspector of Ordnance and Artillery 26 August 1862-23 November 1863 / Paroled Shreveport, Louisiana 12 June 1865 / Brevet 2nd Lieutenant USA 1 July 1825 Brevet Major USA 29 March 1847 Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel USA 8 September 1847 Brevet Colonel USA 13 September 1847
Forces in Norfolk 21 May 1861-23 May 1861 / Department of Norfolk 23 May 1861-12 April 1862 / Huger’s Division Army of Northern Virginia May 1862-12 June 1862 / Inspector of Ordnance and Artillery 26 August 1862-23 November 1863 / Assistant Inspector-General Trans-Mississippi Department 26 August 1862-July 1863 / Chief of Ordnance Trans-Mississippi Department July 1863-March 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: Benjamin Huger
  • Department of North Carolina: Theophilus Hunter Holmes
    • Defences of North Carolina: Theophilus Hunter Holmes
  • Department of the Peninsula: John Bankhead Magruder
    • Army of the Peninsula: John Bankhead Magruder
  • 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”: 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
William Henry Talbot Walker

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