1862 April 10th

April 10 1862 Thursday

Battle of Fort Pulaski, GA

Burnside’s Expedition to North Carolina
Peninsula Campaign – Siege of Yorktown
Operations at New Orleans
Siege of Fort Pulaski
Sibley’s Operations in New Mexico

Go to April 11 1862

CSA. Responding to a desperate shortage of firearms and pursuing misguided ideas about tactics, the Confederate Congress authorised each regiment to arm two companies with pikes. Earlier in the year, there had been a resolution to raise twenty regiments of pikemen but it was not implemented. A supply of pikes was manufactured in Georgia and known as “Joe Brown’s Pikes” but there was no serious effort to carry out the plan.

Alabama. The gunboat USS Kanawha, Lieutenant John C Febiger, captured the blockade-running schooners Southern Independence, Victoria, Charlotte, and Cuba off Mobile.

Florida. Skirmish at Fernandina.

Fort Pulaski, Georgia. Fort Pulaski had been built by the US Army before the war and was located on Cockspur Island near the mouth of the Savannah River, blocking access upriver to the port of Savannah. The Confederate garrison of Colonel Charles H Olmstead consisted of five infantry companies with 385 men manning 48 guns, including ten Columbiads, five mortars, and a 4½-inch Blakely rifle. The fort was an enclosed masonry structure of pentagonal design with about 40 guns in casemates and the others en barbette.
After Union forces made their first lodgement on Tybee Island in December 1861, the work on repairing Fort Pulaski progressed slowly. Old Fort Jackson had been armed and strengthened to form an interior barrier. The river channel had been blocked by sunken ships in the water approaches leading behind Fort Pulaski. The city’s floating dock was sunk as another river obstruction. An additional three-gun battery at MacKay’s Point was not intended to stop gunboats, but if they received naval support, they could prevent Union batteries from being built on Elba Island to threaten Old Fort Jackson. Savannah’s existing Fort Jackson, about three miles downriver from the city, was supplemented with two additional batteries. The defenders built fire barges and placed a battery at Causton’s Bluff commanding navigable estuaries leading to the Savannah River behind Fort Pulaski. Another battery was situated farther upriver on Elba Island, blocking all river approaches to Savannah. . The Confederate Tybee Island battery had been dismantled and abandoned and their guns relocated to the fort. The fort had been re-provisioned on January 28 with a six-month supply of food. Olmstead distributed his guns to cover all approaches, and several were placed to cover the westerly marshes and Savannah’s North Channel. Confederate marauders burned sea island cotton crops to prevent them from falling into Union hands. Navigational aids like the Tybee Lighthouse were dismantled and burned.
The Union naval commander, Captain Samuel Francis Du Pont USN conducted a reconnaissance of the Confederate system of defence upriver. Union Chief of Engineers Captain Quincy Adams Gillmore began the bombardment from his guns emplaced on Tybee Island about one to two miles southeast of the fort. Gillmore’s professional reading had examined the test records of an experimental rifled gun that the Army had begun testing in 1859. Conventional military thought considered it impossible to capture the fort by bombardment alone but Gillmore persisted, relying on the new rifled guns to penetrate the defences. Following a reconnaissance of the ground, he proposed an unconventional plan to reduce Fort Pulaski with mortars and rifled guns alone. Gillmore’s plan was approved with a qualified endorsement.
The four Union breaching batteries closest to the fort were each given specific firing missions. Battery McClellan with its heavy James rifled guns was to breach the southeast face and the adjacent embrasure. Battery Totten with 3-inch mortars was assigned to explode shells over the southeast walls and batteries concealed outside the fort. Battery Scott was ordered to breach the same area as Battery McClellan with its Columbiads by solid shot. The fifth breaching battery was Battery Halleck and its mortars were given the task of shelling the arches of the northeast faces with plunging fire . The fuses of the mortar shells were set to explode after striking. The sixth battery, Battery Sigel, was more distant and contained five 30-pounder Parrott rifles and a 24-pounder James rifle. Their mission was to fire on the enemy guns en barbette until they were silenced, and then to switch to firing percussion shells onto the southeast walls and adjacent embrasure, at a rate of 10-12 rounds an hour. The intention was to achieve wall breaches for the planned infantry assaults to come later. The bombardment was to cease at dark although intermittent harassment was sustained on the fort overnight. A signal officer was stationed at Battery Scott to communicate the ranging of the mortar batteries Stanton, Grant, and Sherman.
Following prohibitive rain squalls on 9 April, all was ready on 10 April, and Union Major-General David Hunter sent a demand for the immediate surrender of Fort Pulaski. Olmstead refused, confident in his fortifications. The bombardment began at 8 am after Olmstead’s refusal to surrender the fort. The fire was concentrated against the fort’s southeast corner and it was soon severely damaged. As the day wore on, counter-battery fire from Fort Pulaski was gradually silenced as more and more guns were dismounted or rendered unserviceable. Two Union 10-inch Columbiads recoiled backwards off their carriages but the bombardment nevertheless from the Parrott Rifle and the remaining Columbiads proved very effective . During a lull in the fire, the Confederate gunners resumed a counter-battery duel that forced the Parrott guns to give up their assignment of breaching the wall until the Confederates were silenced again. By nightfall, the wall at the southeast corner had been breached. Despite periodic harassing bombardment throughout the hours of darkness, Olmstead’s garrison put several guns back into service. Fort Pulaski was prepared for a possible infantry attack but never actually faced a direct land assault.

North Carolina. USS Whitehead, Acting Master Charles A French, captured the schooners Comet, J J Crittenden, and the sloop America in Newbegun Creek.

South Carolina. USS Keystone State, Commander Leroy, chased the blockade-runner Liverpool aground outside North Inlet, where it was destroyed by her crew.

Tennessee. Incident at Paris.

Union Organisation

USA: Brigadier-General Samuel Davis Sturgis assumed command of the District of Kansas, succeeding Brigadier-General James William Denver.

USA: Colonel Lewis Merrill (2nd Missouri Cavalry) assumed command of the District of St Louis, succeeding Brigadier-General John McAllister Schofield.

USA: Brigadier-General William Hervey Lamm Wallace died of wounds received at Shiloh.

Commander in Chief: President Abraham Lincoln
Vice-President: Hannibal Hamlin
Secretary of War: Edwin McMasters Stanton
Secretary of the Navy: Gideon Welles

North Atlantic Blockading Squadron: Louis Malesherbes Goldsborough
South Atlantic Blockading Squadron: Samuel Francis Du Pont
West Gulf Blockading Squadron: David Glasgow Farragut
East Gulf Blockading Squadron: William McKean
Pacific Squadron: Charles H Bell
Western Gunboat Flotilla: Andrew Hull Foote
Potomac Flotilla: Robert Harris Wyman

Chairman of the War Board: Ethan Allen Hitchcock

Department of the Mississippi: Henry Wager Halleck

  • District of West Tennessee: Ulysses Simpson Grant
    • Army of West Tennessee: Ulysses Simpson Grant
  • District of the Mississippi: John Pope
    • Army of the Mississippi: John Pope
  • District of the Ohio: Don Carlos Buell
    • Army of the Ohio: Don Carlos Buell
  • District of Cairo: William Kerley Strong
    • Sub-District of Columbus: Isaac Ferdinand Quinby

Department of the Missouri: Henry Wager Halleck

  • District of St Louis: Lewis Merrill
  • District of Central Missouri: James Totten
  • District of Southeast Missouri: Frederick Steele
  • District of Southwest Missouri: Samuel Ryan Curtis
    • Army of the Southwest: Samuel Ryan Curtis
  • District of Northeast Missouri: John Montgomery Glover
  • District of Northwest Missouri: Benjamin Franklin Loan
  • District of Kansas: Samuel Davis Sturgis

Department of the Gulf: Benjamin Franklin Butler

  • Army of the Gulf: Benjamin Franklin Butler

Middle Department: John Adams Dix

  • District of the Eastern Shore of Maryland: Henry Hayes Lockwood

Mountain Department: John Charles Frémont

  • Cheat Mountain District: Robert Huston Milroy
  • Railroad District: Benjamin Franklin Kelley
  • District of the Kanawha: Jacob Dolson Cox
  • District of the Gap: Samuel Powhatan Carter
  • District of the Valley of the Big Sandy River: James Abram Garfield

Department of New Mexico: Edward Richard Sprigg Canby

  • Southern District of New Mexico: Benjamin Stone Roberts

Department of New York: Edward Denison Morgan

Department of North Carolina: Ambrose Everett Burnside

Department of the Pacific: George Wright

  • District of the Humboldt: Francis James Lippitt
  • District of Oregon: Albemarle Cady
  • District of Southern California: James Henry Carleton

Department of the Potomac: George Brinton McClellan

  • Army of the Potomac: George Brinton McClellan
    • II Corps Potomac: Edwin Vose Sumner
    • III Corps Potomac: Samuel Peter Heintzelman
    • IV Corps Potomac: Erasmus Darwin Keyes

Department of the Rappahannock: Irvin McDowell

  • Military District of Washington: James Samuel Wadsworth

Department of the Shenandoah: Nathaniel Prentiss Banks awaited

Department of the South: David Hunter

  • Northern District of the South: Henry Washington Benham
  • Southern District of the South: John Milton Brannan
  • Western District of the South: Lewis Golding Arnold

Department of Texas: Vacant

Department of Virginia: John Ellis Wool

Confederate Organisation

Commander in Chief: President Jefferson Finis Davis
Vice-President: Alexander Hamilton Stephens
Secretary of War: George Wythe Randolph
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: Samuel Jones

  • Army of Mobile: William L Powell

Department of Middle and Eastern Florida: William Scott Dilworth interim Joseph Finegan awaited

Department of East Tennessee: Edmund Kirby Smith

  • Army of East Tennessee: Edmund Kirby Smith

Department of Henrico: John Henry Winder

Department of the Indian Territory: Douglas Hancock Cooper

Department of Norfolk: Benjamin Huger

Department of North Carolina: Theophilus Hunter Holmes

  • District of Cape Fear: Samuel Gibbs French
  • District of Pamlico: Robert Ransom temporary
  • District of Roanoke Island: Henry Marchmore Shaw

Department of Northern Virginia: Joseph Eggleston Johnston

  • District of Aquia: Gustavus Woodson Smith
  • Army of Northern Virginia: Joseph Eggleston Johnston
    • Right Wing Northern Virginia: James Longstreet
    • Left Wing Northern Virginia: Gustavus Woodson Smith
    • Centre Wing Northern Virginia: Daniel Harvey Hill
  • 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 and Georgia: John Clifford Pemberton

  • District of Georgia: Alexander Robert Lawton
  • District of South Carolina: Roswell Sabine Ripley
    • 1st Sub-District of South Carolina: Arthur Middleton Manigault.
    • 2nd Sub-District of South Carolina: Roswell Sabine Ripley
    • 3rd Sub-District of South Carolina: Nathan George Evans
    • 4th Sub-District of South Carolina: Maxcy Gregg
    • 5th Sub-District of South Carolina: Daniel Smith Donelson
    • 6th Sub-District of South Carolina: Thomas Fenwick Drayton

Department of Southwestern Virginia: William Wing Loring

  • District of Lewisburg: Henry Heth

Department of Texas: Paul Octave Hébert

  • Eastern District of Texas: Paul Octave Hébert
  • Western District of Texas: Henry Eustace McCullough
  • Sub-District of Houston: John C Bowen
  • Sub-District of Galveston: Ebenezer B Nichols
  • Sub-District of the Rio Grande: Hamilton Prioleau Bee awaited
  • Defences of Pass Cavallo: John W Glenn

Western Department: Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard

  • Trans-Mississippi District: Earl Van Dorn
  • District of North Alabama: Daniel Ruggles
  • Army of Mississippi: Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard
    • I Corps (Mississippi): Leonidas Polk
    • II Corps (Mississippi): Braxton Bragg
    • III Corps (Mississippi): William Joseph Hardee
    • Reserve Corps (Mississippi): John Cabell Breckinridge
  • Army of the West: Earl Van Dorn

District of Arizona: Henry Hopkins Sibley

  • Army of New Mexico: Henry Hopkins Sibley

Forces in Richmond: Charles Dimmock

Union Generals

Note: Italics, awaiting confirmation of the commission

Major-General USA

George Brinton McClellan
John Charles Frémont
Henry Wager Halleck

Major-General USV

Asterisk indicates concurrently Brigadier-General USA

John Adams Dix
Nathaniel Prentiss Banks
Benjamin Franklin Butler
David Hunter
Edwin Denison Morgan
Ethan Allen Hitchcock
Ulysses Simpson Grant
Irvin McDowell*
Ambrose Everett Burnside
William Starke Rosecrans*
Don Carlos Buell
John Pope
Samuel Ryan Curtis
Franz Sigel
John Alexander McClernand
Charles Ferguson Smith
Lewis Wallace

Brigadier-General USA

Brackets indicates concurrently Major-General USV

John Ellis Wool
William Selby Harney
Edwin Vose Sumner
Joseph King Fenno Mansfield
(Irvin McDowell)
Robert Anderson
(William Starke Rosecrans)
Philip St George Cooke

Brigadier-General USV

Samuel Peter Heintzelman
Erasmus Darwin Keyes
Andrew Porter
Fitz-John Porter
William Buel Franklin
William Tecumseh Sherman
Charles Pomeroy Stone
Thomas West Sherman
George Archibald McCall
William Reading Montgomery
Philip Kearny
Joseph Hooker
John Wolcott Phelps
Charles Smith Hamilton
Darius Nash Couch
Rufus King
Jacob Dolson Cox
Stephen Augustus Hurlbut
Robert Cumming Schenck
Benjamin Mayberry Prentiss
Benjamin Franklin Kelley
Alpheus Starkey Williams
Israel Bush Richardson
James Cooper
James Brewerton Ricketts
Orlando Bolivar Willcox
Michael Corcoran
George Henry Thomas
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
Silas Casey
Lawrence Pike Graham
George Gordon Meade
Abram Duryée
Alexander McDowell McCook
Oliver Otis Howard
Eleazar Arthur Paine
Charles Davis Jameson
Ebenezer Dumont
Robert Huston Milroy
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
George Washington Cullum
Jeremiah Tilford Boyle
Christopher Columbus Augur
Schuyler Hamilton
Jesse Lee Reno
George Washington Morgan
Julius Stahel
John McAllister Schofield
Thomas Jefferson McKean
John Grubb Parke
Zealous Bates Tower
Jefferson Columbus Davis

John McAuley Palmer
William High Keim
James Abram Garfield
Lewis Golding Arnold
Frederick Steele
William Scott Ketchum
Abner Doubleday
John Wynn Davidson
Napoleon Jackson Tecumseh Dana
David Bell Birney
Thomas Francis Meagher
Henry Morris Naglee
Andrew Johnson
James Gallant Spears
Eugene Asa Carr
Thomas Alfred Davies
Daniel Tyler
William Hemsley Emory
Andrew Jackson Smith
Marsena Rudolph Patrick
Isaac Ferdinand Quinby
Hiram Gregory Berry
Orris Sanford Ferry
Daniel Phineas Woodbury
Henry Moses Judah
Richard James Oglesby
John Cook
William Hervey Lamm Wallace DOW
John McArthur
Robert Latimer McCook
Jacob Gartner Lauman
Horatio Phillips Van Cleve
John Alexander Logan
Speed Smith Fry
Alexander Asboth
James Craig
Mahlon Dickerson Manson
Gordon Granger
Edward Richard Sprigg Canby
Grenville Mellen Dodge
Robert Byington Mitchell
James Gilpatrick Blunt

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


Samuel Cooper
Robert Edward Lee
Joseph Eggleston Johnston
Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard
Braxton Bragg

Major-General PACS

Leonidas Polk
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
George Bibb Crittenden
John Clifford Pemberton
Richard Stoddert Ewell
William Wing Loring
Sterling Price
Benjamin Franklin Cheatham
Samuel Jones
John Porter McCown
Daniel Harvey Hill
Jones  Mitchell Withers

Brigadier-General PACS

Alexander Robert Lawton
Charles Clark
John Buchanan Floyd
Henry Alexander Wise
David Rumph Jones
Henry Hopkins Sibley
John Henry Winder
Richard Caswell Gatlin
Daniel Smith Donelson
Samuel Read Anderson
Richard Heron Anderson
Robert Augustus Toombs
Arnold Elzey
William Henry Chase Whiting
Jubal Anderson Early
Isaac Ridgway Trimble
Daniel Ruggles
Roswell Sabine Ripley
Albert Pike
Paul Octave Hébert
Joseph Reid Anderson
Simon Bolivar Buckner
Albert Gallatin Blanchard
Gabriel James Rains
James Ewell Brown Stuart
Lafayette McLaws
Thomas Fenwick Drayton
Thomas Carmichael Hindman
Adley Hogan Gladden
Lloyd Tilghman
Nathan George Evans
Cadmus Marcellus Wilcox
Robert Emmett Rodes
Richard Taylor
James Heyward Trapier
Samuel Gibbs French
William Henry Carroll
Hugh Weedon Mercer
Humphrey Marshall
John Cabell Breckinridge
Richard Griffith
Alexander Peter Stewart
William Montgomery Gardner
Richard Brooke Garnett
William Mahone
Lawrence O’Bryan Branch
Edward Johnson
Maxcy Gregg
Raleigh Edward Colston
Henry Heth
Johnson Kelly Duncan
Sterling Alexander Martin Wood
John George Walker
John King Jackson
George Edward Pickett
Bushrod Rust Johnson
James Patton Anderson
Howell Cobb
George Wythe Randolph
Joseph Brevard Kershaw
James Ronald Chalmers
Joseph Lewis Hogg
Ambrose Powell Hill
James Johnston Pettigrew
Carter Littlepage Stevenson
Daniel Leadbetter
William Whann Mackall
Charles Sidney Winder
Robert Ransom
John Bell Hood
Daniel Marsh Frost
Winfield Scott Featherston
Thomas James Churchill
William Booth Taliaferro
Albert Rust
Patrick Ronayne Cleburne
Samuel Bell Maxey
Hamilton Prioleau Bee
James Morrison Hawes
George Hume Steuart
William Duncan Smith
James Edwin Slaughter
Charles William Field
John Horace Forney
Paul Jones Semmes
Lucius Marshall Walker
Seth Maxwell Barton
Dabney Herndon Maury
John Bordenave Villepigue
Henry Eustace McCullough
John Stevens Bowen
Benjamin Hardin Helm
John Selden Roane
States Rights Gist
William Nelson Pendleton
Lewis Addison Armistead
Joseph Finegan
Martin Luther Smith
Henry Little

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