1861 September 25th

September 25 1861 Tuesday

Confederate Invasion of New Mexico
Cheat Mountain Campaign, West Virginia

Go to September 26 1861

Brazil. CSS Sumter captured the American ship Joseph Park off the northeastern coast of South America. The ship was burned three days later at sea.

USA. The US Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles instructed Flag Officer Samuel Francis Du Pont, commanding South Atlantic Blockading Squadron regarding the employment of black men as sailors and workers:

“The Department finds it necessary to adopt a regulation with respect to the large and increasing number of persons of colour, commonly known as ‘contrabands.’ now subsisted at the navy yards and on board ships-of-war. These can neither be expelled from the service, to which they have resorted, nor can they be maintained unemployed, and it is not proper that they should be compelled to render necessary and regular services without compensation. You are therefore authorized, when their services can be made useful, to enlist them for the naval service, under the same forms and regulations as apply to other enlistments. They will be allowed, however, no higher rating than ‘boys,’ at a com­pensation of ten dollars per month and one ration per day.”

California. Expedition to Temecula Ranch began.

California.  Expedition to Oak Grove began.

Kentucky. A party of seventeen Confederate recruits, including James Brown Clay, the son of the renowned Senator Henry Clay, was captured at Danville while travelling to join Brigadier-General Felix Kirk Zollicoffer’s forces.

New Mexico Territory. Skirmish at Canada Alamosa.

Virginia. Union Brigadier-General William Farrar Smith led 3,000 men to reconnoitre and forage between the Chain Bridge over the Potomac and Lewinsville. The Union 54th Ohio Infantry engaged a Confederate force at Chapmansville, reporting 29 Confederates killed for the loss of 4 men killed and 8 wounded.

Freestone Point, Virginia. The Confederates had constructed three batteries at Evansport to disrupt traffic on the Potomac River. Two batteries were on the river bank, with another 400 yards inland. Another field battery was located at the mouth of Chopawamsic Creek where it empties to the Potomac, at Shipping Point. More guns were placed at Freestone Point (a four-gun battery on the shore of the Potomac River) and at Cockpit Point (six guns, one heavy in four batteries, a powder magazine, and rear rifle pits, on top of a high cliff known as Possum Nose. These positions restricted Union shipping on the Potomac River and into the Chesapeake Bay. The Freestone Point batteries were commanded by Colonel Louis Trezevant Wigfall (1st Texas Infantry) were exchanged gunfire with the USS Jacob Bell and USS Seminole.

Virginia. To resolve once and for all the situation of disputed command authority in western Virginia, Confederate Brigadier-General Henry Alexander Wise was ordered to Richmond. Wise and his men subsequently moved on to Norfolk and thence in January 1862 to North Carolina to defend Roanoke Island. The remaining Confederate troops in western Virginia established Camp Bartow in the Cheat Mountain area. The Army of the Kanawha was discontinued after its commander, Brigadier-General John Buchanan Floyd was ordered to Bowling Green, Kentucky, with the 20th Mississippi Infantry, 36th Virginia Infantry, and 50th Virginia Infantry. They became part of the 3rd Division of the Army of Central Kentucky. The 45th Virginia Infantry (Colonel Henry Heth) and 22nd Virginia Infantry (Colonel John Q Tompkins) were left at Lewisburg to join Brigadier-General William Wing Loring’s Army of the Northwest. All other Confederates left in western Virginia were under the command of Brigadier-General Henry Rootes Jackson. They had the advantage of knowing the land but their numbers were reduced by sickness to as few as one-third of their original strength.

Virginia. Union forces in Cheat Mountain and Tygart’s Valley were commanded by Brigadier-General Joseph Jones Reynolds. Union spirits had been heartened due to their success in repelling Confederate Brigadier-General William Wing Loring’s recent attack. Reynolds believed that he would be able to defeat Jackson and clear the mountainous route into Virginia. For two days it rained non-stop and the cold weather lost men on both sides to exposure.

Virginia. Skirmish at Kanawha gap near Chapmansville.

Virginia. The Confederate Army of the Potomac around Manassas Junction was reorganised to form two unofficial “Corps” or groups of divisions. The newest group (unofficially II Corps) was assigned to Major-General Gustavus Woodson Smith. Smith’s command mainly comprised the forces of the former Army of the Shenandoah. The unofficial I Corps was also formed under General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard and was mainly made up of Beauregard’s original Manassas brigades.

Union Organisation

USA: Colonel USA Sylvester Churchill, Inspector-General of the US Army, retired.

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

Atlantic Blockading Squadron: Louis Malesherbes Goldsborough
Gulf Blockading Squadron: William McKean
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

Department of the East: Vacant

Department of Florida: Harvey Brown

Department of the Ohio: Ormsby McKnight Mitchel

  • 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
  • Western Army: John Charles Frémont

Department of Western Virginia: William Starke Rosecrans awaited

Confederate Organisation

CSA: The Army of the Kanawha was discontinued.

CSA: “I Corps” (Potomac) was established unofficially in the Army of the Potomac.
CSA: General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard assumed command of I Corps (Potomac).

CSA: “II Corps” (Potomac) was established unofficially in the Army of the Potomac.
CSA: Major-General Gustavus Woodson Smith was appointed to command II Corps (Potomac), arriving on 4 October 1861.

CSA: Lafayette McLaws promoted Brigadier-General PACS 25 September 1861.

CSA: Thomas Fenwick Drayton promoted Brigadier-General PACS 25 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: Joseph Reid Anderson

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
    • I Corps Potomac: Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard
    • II Corps Potomac: Gustavus Woodson Smith
  • 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 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
John Gross Barnard
Innis Newton Palmer
Seth Williams
John Newton
Winfield Scott Hancock

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
Albert Gallatin Blanchard
Gabriel James Rains
James Ewell Brown Stuart
Lafayette McLaws
Thomas Fenwick Drayton

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