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.
California. 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 led the (Union) 1st Virginia Infantry and Company A of the 2nd Virginia Infantry, reinforced by the 16th Ohio Infantry 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 communication between Washington, DC, and the Midwestern states were protected.
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 Virginia: Benjamin Franklin Butler
Department of Washington: Joseph King Fenno Mansfield
Department of the West: William Selby Harney
CSA: The Hampton Line was discontinued and re-established as the Army of the Peninsula.
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.
CSA: Virginia State Brigadier-General Benjamin Huger arrived to command the Department of Norfolk.
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
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
John Buchanan Floyd
William Henry Talbot Walker