1861 May 27th

May 27 1861 Monday

Chesapeake Bay Blockade
McClellan’s West Virginia Campaign

Go to May 28 1861

Alabama.  The Union naval blockade of Mobile was established by USS Powhatan, commanded by Lieutenant David Dixon Porter USN.

California. At the outbreak of the war, the secession of Southern California seemed a distinct possibility. The population was largely in favour of separation from the Union and various militia bands with secessionist sympathies were formed. Bear Flags, the banner of the Bear Flag Revolt, had been flown for several months by secessionists in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. After word of the outbreak of war reached California, there were public demonstrations by secessionists. The only Union garrison in southern California was a small outpost at San Diego. When three companies of US cavalry were moved from Fort Mojave and Fort Tejon into Camp Fitzgerald in Los Angeles during May and June 1861, any chance of secession was extinguished. The former commander of the Department of the Pacific, Colonel Albert Sidney Johnston, evaded arrest and joined a secessionist militia company, the Los Angeles Mounted Rifles as a private. Leaving Warner’s Ranch on 27 May he travelled across the southwestern deserts to Texas, crossing the Colorado River to enter the pro-Confederate Arizona Territory on 4 July 1861. Johnston’s military record was highly regarded and he was soon commissioned as the highest-ranking Confederate General with a “Line” as opposed to a “Staff” commission.

Louisiana. The Union blockade was established off the Outer Pass of the Mississippi Delta by the arrival of the USS Brooklyn.

South Carolina. Confederate Brigadier-General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard left Charleston to take command of forces in Virginia. Command of the forces in South Carolina passed to Colonel Daniel Harvey Hill.

Newport News, Virginia. Union Major-General Benjamin Franklin Butler sent a force eight miles south from Fortress Monroe to occupy the lightly defended town of Newport News, an excellent anchorage for the Union Navy. Butler’s force established and significantly fortified the new Camp Butler and placed a battery at Newport News Point that could cover the entrance to the James River ship canal and the mouth of the Nansemond River.

Virginia. Union Colonel Benjamin Franklin Kelley moved his regiment forward from Wheeling towards Grafton to protect the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.

Union Organisation

USA: The Department of Northeastern Virginia was established, comprising the part of Virginia east of the Allegheny Mountains and north of the James River, and west of the existing Department of Virginia (within sixty miles of Fort Monroe). Its area was detached from the Department of the East.
USA: Brigadier-General USA Irvin McDowell was appointed to command the Department of Northeastern Virginia, arriving on 28 May 1861.

USA: Samuel Peter Heintzelman confirmed as Brigadier-General USV 27 May 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861.

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 Northeastern Virginia: Irvin McDowell awaited

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 District of Louisiana was discontinued and replaced by the extended and renamed Department No 1.
CSA: Department No 1 was established, comprising the state of Louisiana except along the Mississippi River north of the 31st parallel; and also southern Mississippi and southern Alabama including Mobile. Headquarters were at New Orleans, Louisiana. It incorporated the discontinued District of Louisiana.
CSA: Major-General David Emanuel Twiggs was appointed to command Department No 1, arriving on 31 May 1861.

CSA: The Forces in New Orleans was subordinated to Department No 1.
CSA: Brigadier-General ACSA Braxton Bragg retained command of the Forces in New Orleans.

CSA: The Forces in Charleston was discontinued and its forces were subordinated to the Department of South Carolina.
CSA: Colonel Daniel Harvey Hill assumed command of the Department of South Carolina, succeeding Brigadier-General ACSA Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard.

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 No 1: David Emanuel Twiggs awaited

  • “Forces in New Orleans” “Army of Louisiana”: Braxton Bragg

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: Daniel Harvey Hill

Department of Southwestern Virginia: William Wing Loring

Department of Texas: Earl Van Dorn

Department of West Florida: Braxton Bragg

  • “Forces in Pensacola”: 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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