1861 May 4th

May 4 1861 Saturday

Go to May 5 1861

USA. In orders issued on 1 May 1861, US Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles appointed Captain Silas Horton Stringham USN to command the Coast Blockading Squadron. Stringham received this order and took command on 4 May 1861. His headquarters were at Hampton Roads, Virginia, and he took responsibility for the blockade of the Atlantic Coast from the Chesapeake Bay to the southern extremity of Florida and Key West.

Louisiana. The steamship Queen of the West, captured earlier at Indianola, Texas, was commissioned as the receiving ship of the Confederate Navy in New Orleans.

Missouri. The US Ordnance Store at Kansas City was seized by Confederate sympathisers.

Virginia. Confederate Virginia State Colonel George A Porterfield was assigned to command state forces in north-western Virginia. He moved to Grafton to take charge of enlistments in that area and to provide a defence for the strategically vital junction on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.

Virginia. Virginia State Brigadier-General Joseph Eggleston Johnston was ordered to proceed by the Orange & Alexandria Railroad to Harper’s Ferry, accompanied by Lieutenant-Colonel Edmund Kirby Smith as chief of staff and Major William Henry Chase Whiting as chief engineer.

Virginia. USS Cumberland, Captain Garrett J Pendergrast, seized the schooner Mary and Virginia with a cargo of coal, and also reported the capture of the schooner Theresa C, running the blockade off Fort Monroe with cotton on board.

Union Organisation

USA: The Coast Blockading Squadron of the US Navy was established to patrol the coasts of the seceded Southern States.
USA: Captain Silas Horton Stringham USN assumed command of the Coast Blockading Squadron of the US Navy.

Commander in Chief: President Abraham Lincoln
Vice-President: Hannibal Hamlin
Secretary of War: Simon Cameron
Secretary of the Navy: Gideon Welles

Coast Blockading Squadron: Silas Horton Stringham
Pacific Squadron: John Berrien Montgomery
Potomac Flotilla: James Harmon Ward

General–in-Chief: Winfield Scott

Department of Annapolis: Benjamin Franklin Butler awaited

Department of the East: John Ellis Wool

Department of Florida: Harvey Brown

Department of New Mexico: Vacant

Department of the Ohio: George Brinton McClellan awaited

Department of the Pacific: Edwin Vose Sumner awaited

  • District of Oregon: George Wright

Department of Pennsylvania: Robert Patterson

Department of Texas: Vacant

Department of Utah: Philip St George Cooke

Department of Washington: Joseph King Fenno Mansfield

Department of the West: Edmund Brooke Alexander temporary

Confederate Organisation

CSA: The Defences of Savannah was extended to include the entire coastline of Georgia.

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: Philip St George Cocke

  • Alexandria Line: Philip St George Cocke

Department of North Carolina: Theophilus Hunter Holmes

  • Defences of North Carolina: Theophilus Hunter Holmes

Department of South Carolina: Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard

  • “Forces in Charleston”: Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard

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

Potomac Line: Daniel Ruggles

“Forces in Harper’s Ferry”: Thomas Jonathan Jackson

“Forces in Norfolk”: Walter Gwynn

Forces in Richmond: Joseph Eggleston Johnston

Forces in the Kanawha Valley: Christopher Quarles Tompkins

Union Generals

Major-General USA

Winfield Scott

Brigadier-General USA

John Ellis Wool
William Selby Harney
Edwin Vose Sumner

Confederate Generals

Note: Italics, awaiting confirmation of the commission

Major-General PACS

David Emanuel Twiggs

Brigadier-General ACSA

Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard
Braxton Bragg

Brigadier-General PACS

Alexander Robert Lawton
Milledge Lake Bonham

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