1861 May 30th

May 30 1861 Thursday

Aquia Creek, VA

Chesapeake Bay Blockade
McClellan’s West Virginia Campaign

Go to May 31 1861

USA. US Secretary of War Simon Cameron ordered Major-General Benjamin Franklin Butler at Fortress Monroe not to surrender any fugitive slaves to disloyal owners. This confirmed Butler’s improvised “Contraband” ruling and provided the precedent for escaped slaves to be allowed into Union camps without fear of being returned to their owners. Fugitive slaves provided significant manpower for building fortifications, and other logistical roles until they were accepted in increasing numbers into armed service from 1862 onwards.

CSA. The highly regarded Albert Sidney Johnston was appointed General in the Confederate Army to rank from this date. However, he was still travelling from California and was not confirmed or assigned to command until after his safe arrival in Confederate territory in August 1861. He was the only one of the original Confederate Generals to be appointed directly to this highest grade without previously holding the grade of Brigadier-General ACSA.

California. Incident at Keatuck Creek.

Virginia. After securing Fairmont in western Virginia, the Union 1st Virginia Infantry advanced and seized the important railroad junction of Grafton, about 15 miles to the southwest. As the Union columns advanced Confederate Colonel George A Porterfield’s poorly armed 800 recruits retreated to Philippi, about 17 miles south of Grafton. A covered bridge spanned the Tygart Valley River at Philippi and was an important feature of the vital Beverly to Fairmont Turnpike. Porterfield prepared to defend this valuable asset.

Virginia. The hull of the scuttled and burned USS Merrimack was raised by Confederates at the Gosport Navy Yard in Norfolk. Only its hull remained intact but this was to form the basis for building the ironclad warship CSS Virginia.

Virginia. USS Quaker City, Acting Master S W Mather, seized the schooner Lynchburg, en route to Richmond with a cargo of coffee.

Aquia Creek, Virginia. The USS Thomas Freeborn returned with the USS Anacostia (a 200-ton vessel with 2 guns) and the smaller USS Resolute to engage the Confederate batteries at Aquia Creek. They fired for several hours with little effect. The largest guns of the squadron were 32-pounders, which had little effect against the earthwork defences.

Union Organisation

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 WardGeneral–in-Chief: Winfield Scott

Department of Annapolis: John Adams Dix

Department of the East: John Ellis Wool

Department of Florida: Harvey Brown

Department of Kentucky: Robert Anderson

Department of New Mexico: Edward Richard Sprigg Canby

Department of Northeastern Virginia: Irvin McDowell

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: Albert Sidney Johnston promoted General ACSA 31 August 1861 to rank from 30 May 1861.

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
Albert Sidney Johnston

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

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