1862 February 28th

February 28 1862 Friday

Burnside’s Expedition to North Carolina
Sibley’s Operations in New Mexico
New Madrid Campaign

Go to March 1 1862

Arkansas. Skirmish at Osage Springs near Fayetteville.

Georgia. A Union naval expedition set out for Florida from Wassaw Sound.

Georgia. The heavy guns which the Union forces needed to reduce Fort Pulaski arrived at their planned locations and Union Captain of Engineers Quincy Adams Gillmore decided to locate the batteries at the north-western tip of Tybee Island. After a month of preparatory work, 36 mortars and rifled guns were in position. The Union besiegers had surrounded Fort Pulaski and built another battery on the Savannah River across from Venus Point. They threw a boom across Tybee Creek and cut the telegraph line between Savannah and Cockspur Island. Two infantry companies entrenched nearby to ward off Confederate raiding activity, and a gunboat was detailed to patrol the channel and support the infantry. By the end of February, no supplies or reinforcements could get into Fort Pulaski and the Confederate garrison could not escape. The last link of communications was a weekly courier swimming across the swamp to and from the Fort. Union emplacements were improved continually on Jones Island and Bird Island, Venus Point, and other points along the river.
Confederate Commander Josiah Tattnall CSN laid plans for an assault on the two most advanced Union batteries at Venus Point and Oakley Island but General Robert Edward Lee disapproved of the plan. Although Tattnall’s flagship had been put back into service since the squadron’s resupply sortie in January, one of his three gunboats was still seriously disabled. Lee reasoned that if Tattnall’s plan failed, Savannah would be completely exposed to a naval attack. No further consideration was given to the relief of the fort.

Missouri. Confederate Major-General Leonidas Polk completed the evacuation of Columbus, Kentucky, a fortified stronghold on the Mississippi River. Confederate General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, commanding the Army of the Mississippi, chose Island No 10, about 60 river miles below Columbus, to be the next strongpoint for defending the Mississippi River.
Island No 10 owed its name to the fact that it was at one time the tenth island in the Mississippi River south of its junction with the Ohio River. An evanescent product of the river, it was an enlarged sandbar, roughly one mile long and 450 yards wide at its maximum width, and standing about ten feet above low water. More important than the island itself was the course of the river in its vicinity. Island No 10 was at the southern extremity of a clockwise turn of the river, which was followed immediately by an anti-clockwise turn that left the river moving almost parallel to its original course but displaced to the west by about eight miles. The turns are tight and the distance from the southern limit of the first turn to the northern limit of the second is only nine miles by air, or twelve miles along the river channel.
The mainland behind the island on the south side was connected to the town of Tiptonville, Tennessee, by a good road on the natural levee of the river. This was the only approach to the island on dry land through Tennessee, as the region is otherwise a mixture of lakes, sloughs, and swamps, with the nearest high ground nearly ten miles to the east. Reelfoot Lake, the largest of these, was forty miles long and ten miles wide in places. In high water, the northern end of Reelfoot Lake extended north to beyond the bend. The water was nowhere very deep so individual soldiers could cross it by wading or using makeshift rafts, but an army trying to do so would not be able to move its heavy equipment or supplies. For these reasons, Island No 10 was considered to be invulnerable to land attacks from the Tennessee side. It also meant that the only route either for reinforcements or for escape was along the Tiptonville road. The land on the Missouri side was higher, although not high enough to give guns mounted there the advantage of plunging fire. The river banks, about thirty feet above low water, were no higher than the guns aboard vessels on the river.
The town of New Madrid is at the northern apex of the second turn. Three main batteries had been constructed by the Confederates on the head end of the Island during the winter and work started on five more positions on the Tennessee shore, together with a redoubt behind the land batteries. New Madrid was the weakest point of the position. Polk sent 5,000 men under Brigadier-General John Porter McCown to reinforce the garrison of 2,000 men already at New Madrid and Island No 10 while his main body moved to Humboldt, Tennessee, with an outpost stationed at Union City.
McCown’s division managed to mount about fifty heavy guns (32-pounder and larger) in the Island No 10 area. Another twelve heavy guns were placed in New Madrid. Colonel Edward Gantt’s New Madrid garrison of two Arkansas regiments was reinforced by three Tennessee regiments and two artillery companies. Confederate Brigadier-General Alexander Peter Stewart was placed in command at New Madrid, and he immediately ordered the construction of a second fort to be placed at the mouth of St John Bayou, on the eastern edge of town. The new fort was constructed from sacks of shelled corn covered with dirt and was named Fort Bankhead.
Brigadier-General Lucius Marshall Walker was given command of the new work and Gantt was left in charge of Fort Thompson. The earthen works on the Island proper, together with the five shore batteries on the Tennessee side of the river were reinforced with eight infantry regiments, several cavalry squadrons, and a full regiment of heavy artillerymen. Missouri State Brigadier-General James Trudeau commanded the batteries, while McCown retained direct command of the field troops.

Missouri. Union Brigadier-General John Pope set out from Commerce with the Army of the Mississippi to attack New Madrid, marching overland through swamps, and carrying its supplies and artillery with it. They headed first for Union City.


Department of the Missouri: Henry Wager Halleck
District of the Mississippi: Brigadier-General John Pope
Army of the Mississippi: Brigadier-General John Pope
1st Division (Mississippi): Brigadier-General David Sloane Stanley
1st Brigade, 1st Division (Mississippi): Colonel John Groesbeck
2nd Brigade, 1st Division (Mississippi): Colonel Joseph L Kirby Smith
2nd Division (Mississippi): Brigadier-General Schuyler Hamilton
1st Brigade, 2nd Division (Mississippi): Colonel W H Worthington
2nd Brigade, 2nd Division (Mississippi): Colonel N Perczel
3Rd Division (Mississippi): Brigadier General John McAuley Palmer
1st Brigade, 3rd Division (Mississippi): Colonel James Richard Slack
2nd Brigade, 3rd Division (Mississippi): Colonel G N Fitch
4th Division (Mississippi): Brigadier-General Eleazar Arthur Paine
1st Brigade, 4th Division (Mississippi): Colonel James Dada Morgan
2nd Brigade, 4th Division (Mississippi): Colonel G W Cumming
5th Division (Mississippi): Brigadier-General Joseph Bennett Plummer
1st Brigade, 5th Division (Mississippi): Colonel J Bryner
2nd Brigade, 5th Division (Mississippi): Colonel J M Loomis
Cavalry Division (Mississippi): Colonel Gordon Granger


Western Department: General Albert Sidney Johnston
First Geographical Division: Major-General Leonidas Polk
New Madrid and Island No 10 (Western): Brigadier-General John Porter McCown
1st Brigade, New Madrid and Island No 10 (Western): Colonel E W Gantt
2nd Brigade, New Madrid and Island No 10 (Western): Colonel R P Neely
3rd Brigade, New Madrid and Island No 10 (Western): Colonel S F Mark
4th Brigade, New Madrid and Island No 10 (Western): Brigadier-General Alexander Peter Stewart

Illinois. The first Confederate prisoners, 4,373 enlisted men from Fort Donelson, reached Camp Douglas in south-eastern Chicago. It began service as a training camp for Union recruits but was converted into a prisoner of war camp early in 1862. By the end of Spring 1862, there were 8,962 inmates. There was a high number of escapes, aided by Confederate sympathisers in Chicago. The camp was difficult to secure and in September 1862 it was closed and the prisoners transferred. It was converted into a training camp for 8,000 Union soldiers paroled after their capture at Harper’s Ferry, and they were held until exchanged in November 1862.

New Mexico Territory. Confederate forces under Brigadier-General Henry Hopkins Sibley entered Albuquerque, the capital of the New Mexico Territory. Having left Valverde with only five days of rations it was imperative to capture the Union supply depot reported to be there. However, the Union garrison had burnt all the stores before leaving in the morning for Santa Fe.

North Carolina. CSS Nashville, Lieutenant Pegram, ran the blockade and returned to harbour at Beaufort.

Virginia. Orders were prepared to recall Confederate General Robert Edward Lee to Richmond from his command of the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Eastern Florida.

Virginia. Union Major-General Nathaniel Prentiss Banks advanced from Harper’s Ferry to Charlestown and occupied a line extending for twenty-two miles to guard the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.

Union Organisation

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

General–in-Chief: George Brinton McClellan

Department of Florida: Lewis Golding Arnold

Department of the Gulf: Benjamin Franklin Butler awaited

  • Army of the Gulf: Benjamin Franklin Butler

Department of Kansas: David Hunter

Department of Key West: John Milton Brannan

Department of the Missouri: Henry Wager Halleck

  • District of West Tennessee: Ulysses Simpson Grant
    • Army of West Tennessee: Ulysses Simpson Grant
  • District of Cairo: William Tecumseh Sherman
  • District of the Mississippi: John Pope
    • Army of the Mississippi: John Pope
  • District of St Louis: John McAllister Schofield
  • District of Central Missouri: James Totten
  • District of North Missouri: John McAllister Schofield
  • District of Southeast Missouri: Ulysses Simpson Grant
  • District of Southwest Missouri: Samuel Ryan Curtis
    • Army of the Southwest: Samuel Ryan Curtis

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 Ohio: Don Carlos Buell

  • Army of the Ohio: Don Carlos Buell

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

  • District of Harper’s Ferry and Cumberland: Frederick West Lander
  • Army of the Potomac: George Brinton McClellan

Department of Texas: Vacant

Department of Virginia: John Ellis Wool

Department of Western Virginia: William Starke Rosecrans

  • District of the Kanawha: Jacob Dolson Cox
  • Cheat Mountain District: Robert Huston Milroy
  • Railroad District: Benjamin Franklin Kelley

Confederate Organisation

CSA: James Johnston Pettigrew confirmed Brigadier-General PACS 28 February 1862 to rank from 26 February 1862.

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: Vacant

Department No 1: Mansfield Lovell

Department of Alabama and West Florida: Braxton Bragg

  • Army of Pensacola: Samuel Jones
  • Army of Mobile: John Bordenave Villepigue

Department of East Tennessee: Edmund Kirby Smith awaited

Department of Henrico: John Henry Winder

Department of the Indian Territory: Douglas Hancock Cooper

Department of Norfolk: Benjamin Huger

Department of North Carolina: Richard Caswell Gatlin

  • District of Cape Fear: Joseph Reid Anderson
  • District of Pamlico: Lawrence O’Bryan Branch
  • District of Roanoke Island: Henry Marchmore Shaw

Department of Northern Virginia: Joseph Eggleston Johnston

  • District of Aquia: Robert Augustus Toombs
  • Army of the Potomac: Joseph Eggleston Johnston
    • I Corps Potomac: James Longstreet
    • II Corps Potomac: Gustavus Woodson Smith
  • 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, Georgia and East Florida: Robert Edward Lee

  •  District of Middle and East Florida: William Montgomery Gardner
  • 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: John Clifford Pemberton
    • 5th 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: Albert Sidney Johnston

  • First Geographical Division: Leonidas Polk
  • Trans-Mississippi District: Earl Van Dorn
  • District of North Alabama: Daniel Ruggles
  • Army of Central Kentucky: Albert Sidney Johnston
  • Army of Eastern Kentucky: Humphrey Marshall
  • Army of the West: Benjamin McCulloch interim Earl Van Dorn awaited

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

John Adams Dix
Nathaniel Prentiss Banks
Benjamin Franklin Butler
David Hunter
Edwin Denison Morgan
Ethan Allen Hitchcock
Ulysses Simpson Grant

Brigadier-General USA

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
Don Carlos Buell
Thomas West Sherman
John Pope
George Archibald McCall
William Reading Montgomery
Philip Kearny
Joseph Hooker
John Wolcott Phelps
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
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

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

Leonidas Polk
Braxton Bragg
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

Brigadier-General PACS

Alexander Robert Lawton
Benjamin McCulloch
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
Benjamin Franklin Cheatham
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
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
Thomas Carmichael Hindman
Adley Hogan Gladden
John Porter McCown
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
James McQueen McIntosh
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

Daniel Marsh Frost

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