1861 May 6th

May 6 1861 Monday

Arkansas Seceded

Camp Jackson Operations

Great Britain. Great Britain decided to recognize the Confederacy as a belligerent, but not as an independent sovereign nation.

USA. The Gulf Blockading Squadron was formed to patrol the Confederate coasts from Key West to the Mexican border. The squadron became the largest Union fleet in operation for most of the war. It was divided later into the East and West Gulf Blockading Squadrons for greater efficiency.

CSA. The Confederate Congress passed an Act recognising a state of war with the United States of America and authorised the issuing of Letters of Marque to private vessels, with provisions for prizes and prize goods. President Jefferson Finis Davis issued detailed instructions to these armed “privateers”.

Arkansas. The state government of Arkansas at Little Rock passed an Ordinance of Secession by a vote of 69 to 1. Arkansas authorized its delegates to the Provisional Congress to transfer the arsenal at Little Rock and the hospital at Napoleon to the control of the Confederate government.

Maryland. Commissioners Otho Scott, Robert M McLane, and William J Ross reported the results of their interview with US President Abraham Lincoln, expressing the opinion that some modifications of the course of the US government towards Maryland ought to be expected.

Maryland. State Brigadier-General Benjamin Franklin Butler and the 8th New York took possession of the Relay House, nine miles south of Baltimore, at the vital junction of the Baltimore, Washington, and Ohio railroads.

Missouri. The pro-secession Governor of Missouri Claiborne Fox Jackson made efforts to make the state turn to the Confederacy at a state convention but this had been foiled. He planned with the pro-Confederate Brigadier-General of Missouri Militia Daniel Marsh Frost to seize the Union arsenal at St Louis. Frost’s small brigade of militia encamped at Lindell Grove on the outskirts of St Louis which was named Camp Jackson, which was turned into a training camp for new recruits. The Police Commissioners of St Louis demanded that US Army Captain Nathaniel Lyon remove all Federal troops from all locations beyond the US Arsenal.

Tennessee. The Tennessee state legislature in secret session ratified by a vote of 66 to 25 the league entered into by A O W Totten, Gustavus A Henry, Washington Barrow, the Commissioners for Tennessee, and Henry W Hilliard, Commissioner for the Confederate States. Their pact stipulated that until Tennessee became a member of the Confederacy it should place the State’s entire military force under the control of the Confederate States, and thereby turned over to the Confederate States all public property, naval stores, and munitions of war. Also passed were a Declaration of Independence and an ordinance dissolving the relations between Tennessee and the United States, and an ordinance adopting and ratifying the Confederate Constitution. These latter two issues were to be put to a vote on by the people of Tennessee on 8 June 1861. The state of Tennessee thus formed an alliance with the Confederacy as an independent state but did not formally secede on this date.

Union Organisation

USA: The Gulf Blockading Squadron of the US Navy was established to patrol the coasts west of the southern extremity of Florida as far as the Mexican border.

USA: Captain William Mervine USN assumed command of the Gulf Blockading Squadron of the US Navy.

Mervine, William / Born 14 March 1791 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / Died Utica, New York 15 September 1868
Midshipman USN 16 January 1809 / Lieutenant USN 4 February 1815 / Master Commandant USN 12 June 1834 / Captain USN 8 September 1841 / Retired USN 21 December 1861 / Commodore USN Retired 21 December 1861 / Rear Admiral USN Retired 25 July 1866 / WIA Niagara River 28 November 1812
USS Colorado May 1861 / Gulf Blockading Squadron 8 June 1861-18 September 1861 / USS Mississippi June 1861 / USS Colorado July 1861 / USS Rhode Island September 1861

USA: The patrol of the Coast Blockading Squadron of the US Navy was redefined as the coasts from the Chesapeake Bay southwards to the eastern and northern coasts of Florida.

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
Gulf Blockading Squadron: William Mervine
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

  • 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

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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