1861 October 24th

October 24 1861 Wednesday

Completion of Transcontinental Telegraph Line

Disbandment of the Pony Express

East Kentucky Operations

USA. The first transcontinental telegraph line was completed. It connected an existing network in the eastern United States to a small network in California by a link between Omaha and Carson City via Salt Lake City. It was a milestone in electrical engineering and in the formation of the United States of America. It served as the only method of near-instantaneous communication between the east and west coasts during the 1860s.

California. The “Pony” Express was prepared for disbandment after operating for eighteen months. It provided a mail service from 3 April 1860 to 24 October 1861 delivering messages, newspapers, and mail with relays of riders between Missouri and California. Operated by Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company, the Pony Express was a major financial investment and it reduced the time for messages to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to about then days. It was the most direct means of east-west communication before the transcontinental telegraph was established on 24 October 1861, and provided a vital link to California. Despite a heavy subsidy, the Pony Express went bankrupt after the telegraph service was established.

Kentucky. Confederate Colonel R D Allinson (14th Tennessee Infantry) made a raid on Camp Joe Underwood.

Missouri. Incident at Johnstown.

Union Organisation

USA: The Western Army was discontinued.

USA: Major-General David Hunter was appointed conditionally to command the Western Department, with orders to relieve the incumbent Major-General John Charles Frémont if he did not lead his army promptly into a battle.

Hunter, David / District of Columbia-Illinois / Born 21 July 1802 Washington, District of Columbia / Died Washington, District of Columbia 2 February 1886
USMA 1 July 1822 25/40 Infantry-Dragoons / Cadet USMA 14 September 1818 / 2nd Lieutenant USA 5th US Infantry 1 July 1822 / 1st Lieutenant USA 5th US Infantry 30 June 1828 / Captain USA 1st US Dragoons 4 March 1833 / Resigned USA 4 July 1836 / Paymaster USA 13 November 1841 / Major USA Paymaster 14 March 1842 / Colonel USA 3rd US Cavalry 14 May 1861 / Brigadier-General USV 7 August 1861 to rank from 17 May 1861 / 6th US Cavalry 3 August 1861 / Major-General USV 13 August 1861 / Assistant Inspector-General 17 April 1864 / Mustered Out USV 15 January 1866 / Retired USA 31 July 1866 / Brevet Brigadier-General USA 13 March 1865 Brevet Major-General USA 13 March 1865 / WIA First Bull Run 21 July 1861
Hunter’s Brigade Department of Washington 28 May 1861-30 June 1861 / 2nd Division Department of Northeastern Virginia 30 June 1861-21 July 1861 / Hunter’s Brigade Army of the Potomac 4 August 1861-22 August 1861 / 1st Division Western Army 24 September 1861-2 November 1861 / Western Department 2 November 1861-9 November 1861 / Department of Kansas 20 November 1861-11 March 1862 / Department of the South 31 March 1862-5 September 1862 / Department of the South 20 December 1862-3 June 1863 / X Corps South 20 January 1863-12 June 1863 / Assistant Inspector-General 17 April 1864-May 1864 / Department of West Virginia 21 May 1864-8 August 1864 / Army of the Shenandoah 21 May 1864-3 July 1864

Commander in Chief: President Abraham Lincoln

Vice-President: Hannibal Hamlin

Secretary of War: Simon Cameron

Secretary of the Navy: Gideon Welles

  • Atlantic Blockading Squadron USN: Flag Officer Louis Malesherbes Goldsborough USN
  • Gulf Blockading Squadron USN: Flag Officer William McKean USN
  • Pacific Squadron USN: Captain John B Montgomery USN
  • Western Gunboat Flotilla USN: Flag Officer Andrew Hull Foote USN
  • Potomac Flotilla USN: Commander Thomas Tingey Craven USN

General–in-Chief: Winfield Scott

  • Department of the Cumberland: William Tecumseh Sherman
  • Department of the East: Vacant
  • Department of Florida: Harvey Brown
  • Department of New England: Benjamin Franklin Butler
  • Department of the Ohio: Ormsby McKnight Mitchel
    • District of Grafton: Benjamin Franklin Kelley
  • Department of the Pacific: Edwin Vose Sumner interim George Wright awaited
    • District of Oregon: Albemarle Cady
    • District of Southern California: James Henry Carleton
  • Department of the Potomac: George Brinton McClellan
    • District of Harper’s Ferry and Cumberland: Benjamin Franklin Kelley
    • Army of the Potomac: George Brinton McClellan
  • Department of Texas: Vacant
  • Department of Virginia: John Ellis Wool
  • Western Department: John Charles Frémont
    • District of Western Kentucky: Charles Ferguson Smith
    • District of North Missouri: John Pope
    • District of Southeast Missouri: Ulysses Simpson Grant
    • Southern District of New Mexico: Benjamin Stone Roberts
  • Department of Western Virginia: William Starke Rosecrans
    • District of the Kanawha: Jacob Dolson Cox

Confederate Organisation

Commander in Chief: President Jefferson Finis Davis

Vice-President: Alexander Hamilton Stephens

Secretary of War: Judah Philip Benjamin

Secretary of the Navy: Stephen Russell Mallory

Military Adviser to the President: Robert Edward Lee

  • Department No 1: Mansfield Lovell
  • Department of Alabama and West Florida: Braxton Bragg
    • District of Alabama: Jones Mitchell Withers
    • Army of Pensacola Braxton Bragg awaited
  • Department of Henrico: John Henry Winder
  • Department of Middle and Eastern Florida: James Heyward Trapier
  • Department of Norfolk: Benjamin Huger
  • Department of North Carolina: Richard Caswell Gatlin
    • District of Cape Fear: Joseph Reid Anderson
    • District of Pamlico: Daniel Harvey Hill
  • Department of Northern Virginia: Joseph Eggleston Johnston
    • District of Aquia: Robert Augustus Toombs
    • District of the Potomac: Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard
    • Army of the Potomac: Joseph Eggleston Johnston
      • I Corps Potomac: Earl Van Dorn
      • II Corps Potomac: Gustavus Woodson Smith
    • Valley District: Thomas Jonathan Jackson
      • Army of the Valley: Thomas Jonathan Jackson
  • Department of the Peninsula: John Bankhead Magruder
    • Army of the Peninsula: John Bankhead Magruder
  • Department of South Carolina: Roswell Sabine Ripley
  • Department of Southwestern Virginia: William Wing Loring
  • Department of Texas: Paul Octave Hébert
    • District of Galveston: John Creed Moore
  • Western Department: Albert Sidney Johnston
    • First Geographical Division: Leonidas Polk
    • District of Upper Arkansas: William Joseph Hardee
    • District of the Indian Territory: Benjamin McCulloch
    • Army of Central Kentucky: Simon Bolivar Buckner
    • Western Army: Benjamin McCulloch
  • District of Arizona: John Robert Baylor
    • District of East Tennessee: Felix Kirk Zollicoffer
  • Defences of Savannah: Alexander Robert Lawton
  • Forces in Richmond: Charles Dimmock
  • Army of the Northwest: William Wing Loring

Union Generals

Note: Italics, awaiting confirmation of the commission

Major-General USA

Winfield Scott
George Brinton McClellan
John Charles Frémont
Henry Wager Halleck

Major-General USV

John Adams Dix
Nathaniel Prentiss Banks
Benjamin Franklin Butler
David Hunter
Edwin Denison Morgan

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
Erasmus Darwin Keyes
Andrew Porter
Fitz-John Porter
William Buel Franklin
William Tecumseh Sherman
Charles Pomeroy Stone
Don Carlos Buell
Thomas West Sherman
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
James Brewerton Ricketts
Orlando Bolivar Willcox
Michael Corcoran
George Henry Thomas
Ambrose Everett Burnside
Henry Hayes Lockwood
Louis Blenker
Henry Warner Slocum
James Samuel Wadsworth
John James Peck
Ormsby McKnight Mitchel
George Webb Morell
John Henry Martindale
Samuel Davis Sturgis
George Stoneman
Henry Washington Benham
William Farrar Smith
James William Denver
Egbert Ludovicus Vielé
James Shields
John Fulton Reynolds
William Farquhar Barry
John Joseph Abercrombie
John Sedgwick
Charles Ferguson Smith
Silas Casey
Lawrence Pike Graham
George Gordon Meade
Abram Duryée
Alexander McDowell McCook
Oliver Otis Howard
Eleazar Arthur Paine
Daniel Edgar Sickles
Charles Davis Jameson
Ebenezer Dumont
Robert Huston Milroy
Lewis Wallace
Willis Arnold Gorman
Daniel Butterfield
Horatio Gouverneur Wright
Edward Otho Cresap Ord
William Nelson
William Thomas Ward
John Gross Barnard
Innis Newton Palmer
Seth Williams
John Newton
Winfield Scott Hancock
Thomas Leonidas Crittenden
George Wright
Isaac Ingalls Stevens
Thomas Williams
George Sykes
William Henry French
William Thomas Harbaugh Brooks
John Milton Brannan
William Wallace Burns
John Porter Hatch
David Sloane Stanley
William Kerley Strong
Albin Francisco Schoepf
Lovell Harrison Rousseau
James Scott Negley
Thomas John Wood
Richard W Johnson
Adolph Wilhelm August Friedrich Von Steinwehr
Joseph Bennett Plummer
John Gray Foster

Brigadier-General USA (Staff)

Montgomery Cunningham Meigs (Quartermaster-General)
Henry Knox Craig
Lorenzo Thomas (Adjutant-General)
James Wolfe Ripley (Ordnance)

Confederate Generals

Note: Italics, awaiting confirmation of the commission

General ACSA

Samuel Cooper
Albert Sidney Johnston
Robert Edward Lee
Joseph Eggleston Johnston
Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard

Major-General PACS

Leonidas Polk
Braxton Bragg
Earl Van Dorn
Gustavus Woodson Smith
Theophilus Hunter Holmes
William Joseph Hardee
Benjamin Huger
James Longstreet
John Bankhead Magruder
Mansfield Lovell
Thomas Jonathan Jackson
Edmund Kirby Smith

Brigadier-General PACS

Alexander Robert Lawton
Milledge Lake Bonham
Benjamin McCulloch
William Wing Loring
Charles Clark
John Buchanan Floyd
William Henry Talbot Walker
Henry Rootes Jackson
Henry Alexander Wise
Richard Stoddert Ewell
David Rumph Jones
John Clifford Pemberton
Henry Hopkins Sibley
John Henry Winder
Richard Caswell Gatlin
Daniel Smith Donelson
Samuel Read Anderson
Benjamin Franklin Cheatham
Felix Kirk Zollicoffer
Daniel Harvey Hill
Jones Mitchell Withers
Richard Heron Anderson
Robert Augustus Toombs
Samuel Jones
Arnold Elzey
William Henry Chase Whiting
Jubal Anderson Early
Isaac Ridgway Trimble
Daniel Ruggles
George Bibb Crittenden
Roswell Sabine Ripley
Albert Pike
Paul Octave Hébert
Joseph Reid Anderson
Simon Bolivar Buckner
Leroy Pope Walker
Albert Gallatin Blanchard
Gabriel James Rains
James Ewell Brown Stuart
Lafayette McLaws
Thomas Fenwick Drayton
Thomas Carmichael Hindman
Adley Hogan Gladden
John Porter McCown
Lloyd Tilghman
Nathan George Evans
Cadmus Marcellus Wilcox
Philip St George Cocke
Robert Emmett Rodes
Richard Taylor
Louis Trezevant Wigfall
James Heyward Trapier
Samuel Gibbs French
Daniel Marsh Frost

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