1861 May 4th

May 4 1861 Saturday

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 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 northwestern 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 his 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.

Stringham, Silas Horton / Born 7 November 1797 Middletown, New Jersey / Died Brooklyn, New York 7 February 1876
Midshipman USN 15 November 1809 / Lieutenant USN 9 December 1814 / Master Commandant USN 3 March 1831 / Captain USN 8 September 1841 / Retired USN 21 December 1861 / Rear Admiral USN Retired 16 July 1862
Chief of Organisation Office March 1861-April 1861 / USS Minnesota April 1861 / Atlantic Blockading Squadron 8 June 1861-18 September 1861

Commander in Chief: President Abraham Lincoln

Vice-President: Hannibal Hamlin

Secretary of War: Simon Cameron

Secretary of the Navy: Gideon Welles

  • Coast Blockading Squadron USN: Flag Officer Silas Horton Stringham USN
  • Pacific Squadron USN: Captain John B Montgomery USN
  • Potomac Flotilla USN: Commander James Harmon Ward USN

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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