1861 September 19th

September 19 1861 Wednesday

First Battle of Lexington, MO
Battle of Barboursville, KY (CWSAC Limited Battle – Confederate Victory)

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

Go to September 20 1861

USA. In the early days of the war, both the Union and Confederate armies were characterised by the appointment of political appointees or those with civilian reputations to high grades  On the Union side, four men now held the grade of Major-General in the Regular Army, Winfield Scott, George Brinton McClellan, John Charles Frémont, and Henry Wager Halleck. At the same time, John Adams Dix, Nathaniel Prentiss Banks, Benjamin Franklin Butler, and David Hunter held commissions in the US Volunteers. Of these eight individuals, only Scott and Hunter were currently serving with the Army at the start of the year.

CSA. On the Confederate side, there was also a tendency to put other accomplishments and political influence above military credentials and potential. On this date, Earl Van Dorn and Gustavus Woodson Smith were promoted to Major-General, joining David Emanuel Twiggs, Leonidas Polk, and Braxton Bragg at that grade and obtained the ninth and tenth places in the seniority lists.  While Van Dorn and Twiggs were serving with the US Army at the start of the year in high positions, Bragg, Polk, and Smith were not. Bragg had strong military credentials but the potential of Smith and Polk was less immediately evident.

Barboursville, Kentucky. Confederate Brigadier-General Felix Kirk Zollicoffer had dispatched a force of about 800 men under the command of Colonel Joel A Battle from Cumberland Ford (near Pineville) to disrupt the Union recruits training at Camp Andrew Johnson near Barboursville. At daylight and in the early morning fog, Battle’s force entered Barbourville and found the recruits gone – they had already moved to the much larger Camp Dick Robinson, where there were about 7,000 Union recruits in training. A small Home Guard force of about 330 men commanded by Captain Isaac J Black met the Confederates, and a sharp skirmish ensued. The Home Guard pulled up the planking of the bridge but the Confederates crossed unhindered. After dispersing the Home Guard with a loss of 15 casualties (1 killed, 1 wounded 13 prisoners), the Confederates destroyed Camp Andrew Johnson and seized the arms found there. Confederate losses were 5 or more probably 7 men killed. (CWSAC Limited Battle – Confederate Victory)

Missouri. Two detachments landed from Union gunboats to reconnoitre near Glasgow clashed during the night. They fired by mistake on each other and four men were reported killed and several wounded.

Lexington, Missouri, also known as the Battle of the Hemp Bales or the First Battle of Lexington. The pro-Confederate Missourians consolidated their positions around Lexington, kept the garrison under heavy artillery fire, and prepared for their final attack. One problem faced by the defenders was a chronic lack of water; wells within the Union lines had gone dry, and State Guard sharpshooters were able to cover a nearby spring, picking off any man who endeavored to approach it. Surmising that a woman might succeed where his men had failed, Mulligan sent a female to the spring. The Missourians held their fire and even permitted her to take a few canteens of water back to the beleaguered Union forces. This gesture could not solve the ever-increasing crisis of thirst among the Union garrison, which would contribute to their ultimate undoing.
Confederate Brigadier-General Thomas A Harris’s 2nd Division (State Guard) began using hemp bales seized from nearby warehouses to construct a moveable breastwork facing the Union entrenchment. These bales were soaked in river water overnight, to render them impervious to any heated rounds fired from the enemy’s guns. Harris’s plan was for his troops to roll the bales up the hill the following day, using them for cover as they advanced close enough to the Union garrison for a final charge. The hemp bale line started in the vicinity of the Anderson house, extending north along the hillside for about 200 yards. In many places, the hemp bales were stacked two high to provide additional protection. The Confederates numbered about 18,000 men, many of them unarmed or ill-equipped, against a Union garrison of around 3,600 men.

North Carolina. USS Gemsbok captured the blockade-running schooner Harmony, en route from Nova Scotia to Ocracoke.

South Carolina. Union Brigadier-General Thomas West Sherman assumed command of the expedition which was preparing to land at Port Royal in November 1861.

Virginia. Union Brigadier-General William Starke Rosecrans’s Army of Occupation completed its acquisition of western Virginia. Rosecrans had 20,000 men organised in eight brigades. One force of four brigades under Brigadier-General Jacob Dolson Cox was located on the Kanawha River. The fifth brigade under Brigadier-General Robert Huston Milroy was between Monterey and Huntsville. Brigadier-General Robert Cumming Schenck held his brigade at Romney. The other two brigades were stationed along the border with Kentucky. His territorial command was designated the Department of Western Virginia.

Union Organisation

USA: The Department of the Ohio was reorganised to include Ohio, Indiana, and the part of Kentucky within 15 miles of Cincinnati, Ohio.
USA: The states of Ohio and Indiana were transferred from the Department of the East to the Department of the Ohio.
USA: The part of Kentucky within 15 miles of Cincinnati transferred from the Department of the Cumberland to the Department of the Ohio.
USA: Brigadier-General Ormsby McKnight Mitchel was appointed to command the Department of the Ohio, arriving on 21 September 1861, to succeed Major-General William Starke Rosecrans.

USA: The Department of Western Virginia was established, comprising Virginia west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Its area was taken from the Department of the East and the Department of the Ohiobut not until 9 November 1861 from the Department of the Potomac.
USA: Brigadier-General William Starke Rosecrans was appointed to command the Department of Western Virginia, arriving on 11 October 1861.

USA: The Cheat Mountain District was discontinued.

USA: The Army of Occupation (West Virginia) was discontinued.

USA: John Blair Smith Todd promoted Brigadier-General USV 19 September 1861 unconfirmed.

Union Organisation

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 interim Ormsby McKnight Mitchel ­awaited

  • District of Grafton: Benjamin Franklin Kelley

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

Department of Western Virginia: William Starke Rosecrans awaited

Confederate Organisation

CSA: Earl Van Dorn promoted Major-General PACS 19 September 1861.

CSA: Gustavus Woodson Smith promoted Major-General PACS 19 September 1861.

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
Earl Van Dorn
Gustavus Woodson 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
Theophilus Hunter Holmes
Henry Alexander Wise
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

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close