1862 April 16th

April 16 1862 Wednesday

Siege of Yorktown Commenced, VA
Warwick Line, VA

Burnside’s Expedition to North Carolina
Peninsula Campaign – Siege of Yorktown
Operations at New Orleans
Confederate Evacuation of New Mexico

Go to April 17 1862

USA. The US Congress authorised that the Surgeon-General of the US Army may hold the grade of Brigadier-General and direct all medical services of the army.

CSA. Confederate President Jefferson Finis Davis signed the First Conscription Act, which called for the conscription of able-bodied men between the ages of 18 and 35 for three years’ service. The main reason for its enactment was to replace the army of one year volunteers who had enlisted upon secession in April 1861 and were now being disbanded at an alarmingly rapid rate. Ardent states’ rights advocates in the Confederacy repudiated this as the action of a despot and as a violation of the principles for which they had seceded. Subsequent acts provide exemptions for owners of 20 or more slaves, and the hiring of a substitute, or payment of $500.

Alabama. Tuscumbia occupied by Union troops.

District of Columbia. US President Abraham Lincoln signed a Bill abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia and all Union territories.

Kentucky. Incident at Paris.

Louisiana. Union Captain David Glasgow Farragut USN assembled the attacking flotilla of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron near the Head of the Passes. The ships were positioned below Fort Jackson and Fort St Philip, which guarded the approaches to New Orleans and mounted over a hundred guns. High water in the river had flooded the forts. Confederate garrisons worked night and day to control the water and strengthen the forts against the impending assault. A chain obstruction supported by hulks spanned the river. Above the forts, a Confederate flotilla was collected under Commander John K Mitchell CSN, and it included the potentially invincible but still incomplete ironclad CSS Louisiana. Most of the other Confederate vessels were small, makeshift gunboats. There were also a number of fire rafts readied to be set adrift to flow with the current into the midst of the Union fleet. Against these combined defences, Farragut brought seventeen ships carrying 154 guns and a squadron of 20 mortar boats under Commander David Dixon Porter. Farragut made USS Hartford his flagship.

Missouri. Skirmish at Blackwater Creek involving mounted Confederate bushwhackers.

Missouri. Expedition to Quincy ended.

Missouri. Expedition to Quincy began.

Missouri. Reconnaissance to Camp Shiloh, Montevallo, and Little Niangua ended.

South Carolina. Skirmishes at Whitemarsh Island and Wilmington Island.

Tennessee. Expedition to the Hatchie River and Jackson ended.

Tennessee. Skirmish at Savannah.

Tennessee. Confederate Brigadier-General Gideon Johnson Pillow was relieved of command by President Jefferson Finis Davis as a result of his incompetent leadership at Fort Donelson.

Virginia. The Confederate cavalry of Colonel Turner Ashby was scouting close to New Market, along Stony Creek. Union Brigadier-General Nathaniel Prentiss Banks, holding the opposite bank of Stony Creek, advanced to seize the crossroads at New Market. He sent some of his cavalry up the creek, where they forded at a place unguarded by pickets. The Union troopers surprised and captured sixty of the Confederates.

Virginia. Expedition to Liberty Church by Union Lieutenant-Colonel Willard Sayles (1st Rhode Island Cavalry).

Virginia. Reconnaissance to Rappahannock River by Union Major Robert C Anthony (1st Rhode Island Cavalry). Skirmish at Warrenton Junction

Virginia. Skirmish involving the troops of Union Major-General Nathaniel Prentiss Banks at Columbia Furnace.

Warwick Line, Virginia, also known as Lee’s Mill, Burnt Chimneys, or Dam No 1. The Union Army of the Potomac probed the Confederate Warwick Line at Dam No 1 where a potential weak spot had been located on 6 April. Confederate Major-General John Bankhead Magruder ordered the area strengthened and three regiments under Brigadier-General Thomas Howell Cobb, with six other regiments in reserve, began to improve their position on the west bank of the river overlooking the dam.
Union Major-General George Brinton McClellan became concerned that this strengthening might impede the installation of his siege batteries. He ordered Brigadier-General William Farrar Smith, a division commander in the IV Corps, to disrupt the construction of new Confederate works but to avoid a general engagement.
Following an artillery bombardment at 8am, Union Brigadier-General William Thomas Harbaugh Brooks’ Brigade sent skirmishers forward to fire on the Confederate workers. McClellan told Smith to cross the river if it appeared the Confederates were withdrawing, a movement that Smith got underway by early afternoon. At 3pm, four companies crossed the dam and routed the remaining defenders. Behind the Confederate lines, Cobb organised a new line of defence with his brother Colonel Thomas Reade Rootes Cobb of the Georgia Legion and counter-attacked the Union troops who had occupied the Confederate rifle pits. Lacking reinforcements, the Vermont companies withdrew across the dam, suffering some casualties in their withdrawal. At about 5pm, Smith ordered the 6th Vermont Infantry to attack Confederate positions further downstream from the dam while the 4th Vermont Infantry demonstrated at the dam itself. This manoeuvre failed as the 6th Vermont came under heavy Confederate fire and was forced to withdraw. Some wounded men drowned as they fell into the shallow pond behind the dam. Smith was thrown twice from his unruly horse and was accused of drunkenness on duty, although investigations found the allegation to be groundless. The action cost Union casualties of 35 killed and 121 wounded; the Confederate casualties were between 60 and 75.

Virginia. Failure to exploit the initial success of the attack on the Warwick Line held up Union Major-General George Brinton McClellan’s advance up the Yorktown peninsula for two additional weeks. He failed to convince the US Navy to steam past the Confederates’ coastal guns at Yorktown and Gloucester Point and to ascend the York River to West Point with troop transports, thus outflanking the Warwick Line. Deprived of room to manoeuvre by this absence of naval support, McClellan settled in for a conventional siege of the Yorktown defences. Brigadier-General Fitz John Porter was ordered to direct the siege operations, aided by Brigadier-General William Farquhar Barry (the army’s Chief of Artillery) and Brigadier-General John Gross Barnard (Chief of Engineers).

Union Organisation

USA: The Southern District of New Mexico was discontinued in the Department of New Mexico.

USA: The Central and Northern District of New Mexico was established in the Department of New Mexico, comprising the area north of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
USA: Colonel Benjamin Stone Roberts assumed command of the Central and Northern District of New Mexico.

USA: George Lucas Hartsuff confirmed Brigadier-General USV 16 April 1862 to rank from 15 April 1862.

USA: Rufus Saxton confirmed Brigadier-General USV 16 April 1862 to rank from 15 April 1862.

USA: Benjamin Alvord confirmed Brigadier-General USV 16 April 1862 to rank from 12 April 1862.
Alvord, Benjamin / Vermont / Born 18 August 1813 Rutland, Vermont / Died Washington, District of

USA: Napoleon Bonaparte Buford confirmed Brigadier-General USV 16 April 1862 to rank from 15 April 1862.

USA: William Sooy Smith confirmed Brigadier-General USV 16 April 1862 to rank from 15 April 1862.

USA: Nathan Kimball confirmed Brigadier-General USV 16 April 1862 to rank from 15 April 1862.

USA: Charles Devens confirmed Brigadier-General USV 16 April 1862 to rank from 15 April 1862.

USA: James Henry Van Alen confirmed Brigadier-General USV 16 April 1862 to rank from 15 April 1862.

USA: Carl Schurz confirmed Brigadier-General USV 16 April 1862 to rank from 15 April 1862.

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: Thomas Maley Harris
  • 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

  • Central and Northern 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

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

CSA: Thomas Carmichael Hindman confirmed Major-General PACS 16 April 1862 to rank from 14 April 1862.

CSA: John Cabell Breckinridge confirmed Major-General PACS 16 April 1862 to rank from 14 April 1862.

CSA: Thomas Jordan confirmed Brigadier-General PACS 16 April 1862 to rank from 14 April 1862.

CSA: George Earl Maney promoted Brigadier-General PACS 16 April 1862.

CSA: William Preston confirmed Brigadier-General PACS 16 April 1862 to rank from 14 April 1862.

CSA: Roger Atkinson Pryor promoted Brigadier-General PACS 1 April 1862 to rank from 16 April 1862.

CSA: Henry Little promoted Brigadier-General PACS 5 April 1862 to rank from 16 April 1862.

CSA: John Echols promoted Brigadier-General PACS 16 April 1862.

CSA: George Earl Maney promoted Brigadier-General PACS 16 April 1862.

CSA: Jean Jacques Alfred Alexandre Mouton promoted Brigadier-General PACS 16 April 1862.

CSA: John Stuart Williams promoted Brigadier-General PACS 16 April 1862.

CSA: Julius Adolph De Lagnel promoted Brigadier-General, to rank from 15 April 1862, declined 11 July 1862 and unconfirmed.

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 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 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
Ormsby McKnight Mitchel
Cassius Marcellus Clay

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
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

James Henry Lane
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
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
Francis Engle Patterson
Quincy Adams Gillmore
Amiel Weeks Whipple
Cuvier Grover
George Lucas Hartsuff
Rufus Saxton
Benjamin Alvord
Napoleon Bonaparte Buford
William Sooy Smith
Nathan Kimball
Charles Devens
James Henry Van Alen
Carl Schurz

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
Thomas Carmichael Hindman
John Cabell Breckinridge

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 Ridgeway 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
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
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
Franklin Gardner
William Nelson Rector Beall
Thomas Jordan
William Preston
Roger Atkinson Pryor
Henry Little
John Echols
George Earl Maney
Jean Jacques Alfred Alexandre Mouton
John Stuart Williams

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