1861 September 18th

September 18 1861 Tuesday

Kentucky Declares Loyalty to the Union
Battle of Lexington, MO

Siege of Lexington
Confederate Invasion of New Mexico
Rosecrans’ West Virginia Campaign
Cheat Mountain Campaign, West Virginia

Go to September 19 1861

USA. During the summer of 1861, a four-person Board chaired by Captain Samuel Francis Du Pont USN was formed to study the implementation of the blockade and make recommendations to improve its efficiency. In the Board’s report presented on 16 July 1861, it was recommended that the Atlantic region should be divided into northern and southern sectors. On 18 September 1861, the Navy Department approved  this division with the dividing line being the border between North Carolina and South Carolina, although the implementation of this was delayed for a time. Captain Louis Malesherbes Goldsborough was nominated to command the Atlantic Blockading Squadron, succeeding Captain Silas Horton Stringham who resigned when he believed that his efforts were not properly recognised.

Kentucky. Federal officers arrested employees of a Louisville newspaper, on accusations of writing pro-Confederate newspaper articles

Kentucky. The state of Kentucky declared its support for the Union and authorised the creation of a military force to expel the Confederates from its territory. US President Abraham Lincoln was eager to support Unionists in Kentucky and Tennessee and urged an immediate advance towards the Cumberland Gap in eastern Tennessee. Like the western parts of Virginia, few slaves were owned in the mountainous areas of eastern Kentucky and Tennessee, and the population generally opposed secession. Union sympathisers in Kentucky had already been recruiting and training volunteers at Camp Andrew Johnson in Barbourville for this purpose throughout the summer of 1861. Within days of the pro-secession referendum, a convention of Unionists met at Greenville to discuss ways of resisting secession and firmly declared their loyalty to the Union and the Constitution. The Confederate authorities saw the Greenville declaration as an act of insurrection. A rival Confederate legislature held court at Russellville but it had little influence beyond those Kentuckians who were volunteering to serve in the Confederate army.

Kentucky. General Albert Sidney Johnston was in command of all the Confederate forces from Arkansas to the Cumberland Gap. His troops were spread thinly over an immensely long defensive line. His left flank was fixed on the Mississippi River by Major-General Leonidas Polk at Columbus with 11,000 men. Johnston refused to abandon his designs on conquering all of Kentucky and held this westernmost force in place while he prepared to pivot his right flank forward from East Tennessee under Brigadier-General Felix Zollicoffer. Brigadier-General Simon Bolivar Buckner’s 4,000 men advanced from Nashville, Tennessee, to occupy Bowling Green to provide the central hub of the advance, with the title of the Army of Central Kentucky. Zollicoffer was ordered to lead a force into eastern Kentucky to secure it for the Confederacy.

Kentucky. Brigadier-General Felix Zollicofferwas prominent in Whig Party politics and had originally opposed secession. He seemed an ideal choice to suppress or even win over more people in eastern Kentucky. He also aimed to relieve pressure on Johnston and his troops in western and central Kentucky by conducting raids and posing a threat to Union forces and sympathisers in the area. Zollicoffer occupied Cumberland Gap with some 5,400 men and took up a position at the Cumberland Ford (near present-day Pineville) to counter the Unionist activity in the area. Zollicoffer detached a force of about 800 men under the command of Colonel Joel A Battle to disrupt the Union training activities at Camp Andrew Johnson.

Maryland. Skirmish near Berlin.

Lexington, Missouri. Confederate Missouri State Major-General Sterling Price had besieged the Union garrison in Lexington since 13 September 1861. Price determined to order a new assault on Lexington. Price’s Missouri State Guard advanced under heavy Union artillery fire, pushing the enemy back into their inner works. Price’s guns responded to Union Colonel James A Mulligan’s artillery with nine hours of bombardment, using heated shot in an endeavour to set afire the Masonic College and other Union positions. Mulligan stationed a youth in the attic of the college’s main building, and the boy extinguished all incoming rounds before they could set the building ablaze. Confederate State Brigadier-General Thomas Harris ordered his soldiers from his 2nd Division Missouri State Guard to capture the large and important Anderson house. It was being used as a hospital and, shocked at what he considered a violation of the Laws of War, Union Colonel James A Mulligan ordered the structure to be retaken. Company B 23rd Illinois Infantry, Company B 13th Missouri Infantry, and volunteers from the 1st Illinois Cavalry charged from the Union lines and recaptured the house, suffering heavy casualties in the process. Harris’s troops recaptured the hospital later in the day and it remained in State Guard hands thereafter. The most controversial incident of the battle at Lexington occurred during the Union assault on the Anderson house when Union troops summarily executed three State Guard soldiers at the base of the grand staircase in the main hall. The Confederates claimed that the men had already surrendered and should have been treated as prisoners of war. The Union troops, who had sustained numerous casualties in retaking the residence, considered the prisoners to have been in violation of the Laws of War for having attacked a hospital in the first place and were summarily executed

Virginia. USS Rescue, Master Edward L Haines, captured the Confederate schooner Hartford with a cargo of wheat and tobacco on the Potomac River.

Union Organisation

USA: Command of the Atlantic Blockading Squadron of the US Navy became vacant after the resignation of Captain Silas Horton Stringham USN. Captain Samuel Francis Du Pont USN was nominated to command the southern sector and Captain Louis Malesherbes Goldsborough USN the northern sector.

USA: William Thomas Ward promoted Brigadier-General USV 18 September 1861.

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

Atlantic Blockading Squadron: vacant
Gulf Blockading Squadron: William Mervine
Pacific Squadron: John Berrien Montgomery
Western Gunboat Flotilla: Andrew Hull Foote
Potomac Flotilla: Thomas Tingey Craven

General–in-Chief: Winfield Scott

Department of the Cumberland: Robert Anderson awaited

Department of the East: Vacant

Department of Florida: Harvey Brown

Department of the Ohio: William Starke Rosecrans

  • Cheat Mountain District: Joseph Jones Reynolds
  • District of Grafton: Benjamin Franklin Kelley
  • Army of Occupation: William Starke Rosecrans

Department of the Pacific: Edwin Vose Sumner

  • District of Oregon: Benjamin Lloyd Beall
  • District of Southern California: George Wright awaited

Department of the Potomac: George Brinton McClellan

  • 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

Confederate Organisation

CSA: The Army of Central Kentucky (or, Central Army of Kentucky) was established in the Western Department, comprising the forces formerly known as the “Central Division of Kentucky” or the “Army Corps of Central Kentucky”. Its headquarters were at Bowling Green, Kentucky.
CSA: Brigadier-General Simon Bolivar Buckner assumed command of the Army of Central Kentucky in the Western Department.

CSA: Brigadier-General Paul Octave Hébert arrived to assume command of the Department of Texas, succeeding temporary commander Colonel Henry Eustace McCullough.

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: David Emanuel Twiggs

  • District of Alabama: Jones Mitchell Withers

Department of Fredericksburg: Daniel Harvey Hill

  • District of Aquia: vacant

Department of Middle and Eastern Florida: John Breckinridge Grayson

Department of Norfolk: Benjamin Huger

Department of North Carolina: Richard Caswell Gatlin

  • Defences of North Carolina: Theophilus Hunter Holmes interim Joseph Reid Anderson awaited

Department of the Peninsula: John Bankhead Magruder

  • Army of the Peninsula: John Bankhead Magruder

Department of the Potomac: Joseph Eggleston Johnston

  • Army of the Potomac: Joseph Eggleston Johnston
  • Army of the Valley: Thomas Jonathan Jackson

Department of South Carolina: Roswell Sabine Ripley

Department of Southwestern Virginia: William Wing Loring

Department of Texas: Paul Octave Hébert

  • Defences of Galveston: John Creed Moore

Department of West Florida: Braxton Bragg

  • “Forces in Pensacola”: Braxton Bragg

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 East Tennessee: Felix Kirk Zollicoffer

Defences of Savannah: Alexander Robert Lawton

Forces in Richmond: Charles Dimmock

Army of the Kanawha: John Buchanan Floyd

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

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

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

David Emanuel Twiggs
Leonidas Polk
Braxton Bragg

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
Theophilus Hunter Holmes
Henry Alexander Wise
Earl Van Dorn
William Joseph Hardee
Richard Stoddert Ewell
David Rumph Jones
Benjamin Huger
John Bankhead Magruder
James Longstreet
Edmund Kirby Smith
John Clifford Pemberton
Thomas Jonathan Jackson
Henry Hopkins Sibley
John Henry Winder
Richard Caswell Gatlin
Daniel Smith Donelson
Samuel Read Anderson
Gideon Johnson Pillow
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
John Breckinridge Grayson
Roswell Sabine Ripley
Albert Pike
Paul Octave Hébert
Joseph Reid Anderson
Simon Bolivar Buckner
Leroy Pope Walker

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