May 31 1861 Friday
Aquia Creek, VA
Chesapeake Bay Blockade
McClellan’s West Virginia Campaign
Atlantic Ocean. USS Commodore Perry, Lieutenant Enoch G Parrott, captured the Confederate blockade runner Hannah M Johnson.
Kansas. The Union garrisons which had been ordered to evacuate their forts and posts in the Indian Territory arrived at Fort Leavenworth. The route they followed was named the Chisholm Trail after one of their guides, Jesse Chisholm.
Missouri. Union Brigadier-General Nathaniel Lyon assumed command of the Department of the West, succeeding Brigadier-General William Selby Harney, whose pro-Southern sympathies had brought his loyalty into question. He continued the process of recruiting and arming volunteers to secure the state of Missouri for the Union. Harney was the fifth-ranking General in the US Regular Army but he had failed to prevent the organisation of pro-Confederate forces or protect Unionists in Missouri. His loyalty to the Union as a Tennessee native was questioned and he was summoned to Washington, DC. He was captured en route to Washington and was offered a Confederate command, which he declined. His captors released him and allowed him to continue on to Washington. Harney remained in Washington, serving in various administrative positions. It was impossible to offer him an active field command, so he was permitted to retire honourably on 1 August 1863, in recognition of a long and distinguished career. Lyon’s appointment to command this vital Department and promotion as Brigadier-General indicated the impact he had achieved through his dynamic pro-Union efforts in Missouri as the secession crisis intensified.
Aquia Creek, Virginia. The Union Potomac Flotilla was reinforced during the evening by the powerful warship USS Pawnee, Commander Stephen Clegg Rowan. USS Pawnee added its guns to the continuing naval bombardment of the Confederate batteries at Aquia Creek.
USA: Brigadier-General USV Nathaniel Lyon assumed command of the Department of the West, succeeding Brigadier-General USA William Selby Harney.
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 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: Nathaniel Lyon
CSA: The Department of Alexandria was discontinued and its territory was incorporated into the Department of the Potomac.
CSA: The Department of the Potomac was established, comprising the area of the former Department of Alexandria.
CSA: Brigadier-General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard was appointed to command the Department of the Potomac, arriving on 2 June 1861.
CSA: The Army of the Potomac transferred from the Department of Alexandria to the Department of the Potomac.
CSA: Brigadier-General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard was appointed to command the Army of the Potomac, arriving on 2 June 1861.
CSA: Brigadier-General Milledge Luke Bonham assumed temporary command of the Department of the Potomac.
CSA: Brigadier-General Milledge Luke Bonham retained interim command of the Army of the Potomac.
CSA: Major-General David Emanuel Twiggs arrived to command Department No 1.
CSA: Colonel Daniel Harvey Hill (1st North Carolina Infantry) assumed temporary command of the Department of the Peninsula, succeeding Colonel John Bankhead Magruder.
CSA: Colonel Daniel Harvey Hill assumed temporary command of the Army of the Peninsula, succeeding Colonel John Bankhead Magruder.
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
- “Forces in New Orleans” “Army of Louisiana”: Braxton Bragg
Department of the Potomac: Milledge Luke Bonham temporary Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard awaited
- Army of the Potomac: Milledge Luke Bonham interim Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard awaited
Department of Norfolk: Benjamin Huger
Department of North Carolina: Theophilus Hunter Holmes
- Defences of North Carolina: Theophilus Hunter Holmes
Department of the Peninsula: Daniel Harvey Hill temporary
- Army of the Peninsula: Daniel Harvey Hill temporary
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
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
Albert Sidney Johnston
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