1862 June 6th

June 6 1862 Friday

Battle of Memphis, TN (CWSAC Major Battle Union Victory)

Peninsula Campaign
Jackson‘s Shenandoah Valley Campaign

Go to June 7 1862

California. Skirmishes with Native Americans near Arcata at Daley’s Ferry and Mad River.

Indian Territory. Skirmish at Grand River.

Kentucky. Skirmish at Tompkinsville involving Union Colonel C Williams (9th Pennsylvania Cavalry).

Mississippi. Reconnaissance to Booneville.

Mississippi. Skirmish at Baldwyn.

South Carolina. A Confederate landing party arrived at Port Royal Ferry and burned the ferry house and crossing flats that were being used by the Union forces.

South Carolina. USS Pembina, Lieutenant John P Bankhead, seized the schooner Rowena in the Stono River.

Tennessee. Union troops drove the Confederates from Jackson, an important rail and road centre for the Confederate forces in West Tennessee.

Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis was an important commercial and economic centre on the Mississippi River. The Confederate River Defence Fleet (the rams CSS General Beauregard, CSS General Bragg, CSS General Price, CSS General Van Dorn, CSS General Thompson, CSS Colonel Lovell, CSS Sumter, and CSS Little Rebel) formed the only naval force available to oppose the Union naval threat to Memphis. The ironclad CSS Tennessee was not finished. The Confederate command arrangements were chaotic. The fourteen cotton-clad warships seized early in 1862 at New Orleans had been converted into rams to defend that city; eight of these were sent north to Memphis when the Confederate forts along the Mississippi were threatened. The other six boats had remained at New Orleans to defend the Mississippi from Union ships in the Gulf of Mexico. The northern group was commanded overall by Captain James E Montgomery, a riverboat captain in civilian life. The other boats were also commanded by former civilian riverboat captains, selected by Montgomery but with no military training. Once underway, Montgomery’s control of the action ceased and the rams each operated independently. The futility of this arrangement was recognised immediately by military observers, but their protests were disregarded. The captains would not learn how to handle the guns and refused to assign crew members to the task so the gun crews had to be drawn from the Confederate Army. The gunners were not integrated into the crews but remained subject to the orders of their army officers.
The five approaching Union gunboats were members of the Western Gunboat Flotilla, commanded by Captain Charles Henry Davis USN. Four of the Union ironclad gunboats were known as Eads gunboats or Pook Turtles, after their constructor designer and their strange appearance (USS Louisville, USS Carondelet, USS Cairo, and USS St Louis). The fifth ironclad gunboat, the flagship USS Benton, was also a product of the Eads shipyards but was converted from a civilian craft. Each of these vessels carried 13 to 16 guns. The other four vessels in the Union flotilla were unarmed “Ellet rams”, converted from civilian riverboats to no common design. These included the US Army Rams Queen of the West and Monarch.
The fighting qualities of the Confederate vessels were far inferior to the Union. Each was armed with only one or two guns of a light calibre that would be ineffective against the armour of the gunboats. The primary weapon of each was its reinforced prow, which was intended to be used in ramming opponents. The Confederate rams were distinguished by a unique feature of their defence against enemy shot. Their engines and other interior spaces were protected by a double bulkhead of heavy timbers, covered on the outer surface by a layer of railroad iron. The gap between the bulkheads, a space of 22 inches, was packed with cotton. Although cotton was the least important part of the armour, it caught the public’s attention, and the boats came to be called “cottonclads”. Ships’ crews were increasingly protected from small-arms fire by bales of cotton placed in exposed positions and these vessels were also referred to as cottonclads but they differed from the originators of the term.
Davis and Ellet led their flotilla from Island No 45 just north of Memphis to attack the defenders of Memphis at about 4 am, and arrived off Memphis around the bend called Paddy’s Hen and Chickens at about 5.30 am. The battle started with an exchange of gunfire at long range. The Union gunboats (with 68 guns, mostly heavy) formed a line of battle across the river and fired their stern guns at the eight Confederate cottonclads (with 28 light guns) coming up to meet them. Two of the four rams advanced beyond the line of the gunboats and rammed or otherwise disrupted the movements of their opponents; the other rams misinterpreted their orders and did not enter the battle at all. With the Union rams and gunboats not coordinating their movements and the Confederate vessels operating independently, the battle was soon reduced to chaos.
The Union ram Queen of the West drew first blood by ramming CSS Colonel Lovell, slicing her almost in two. A second ram dodged between CSS General Price and CSS General Beauregard and the two Confederate ships collided with each other, smashing one of CSS General Price’s side-wheels, forcing it to drift out of action and into the bank. The Union ram then turned about and rammed the CSS General Beauregard. The Confederate ship was hit in the steam drum and surrendered. The CSS Little Rebel, the only screw steamer in the Confederate fleet, was hit in the machinery space and ran into the Arkansas shore where its crew fled into the woods. The CSS Jeff Thompson was set on fire and the CSS Sumter and CSS General Bragg were driven ashore by heavy fire.
By the end of the battle, all but one of the Confederate cotton-clads were either destroyed or captured and only one Union vessel, the ram Queen of the West, was disabled. Four of the captured Confederate vessels were converted for Union use and only one was wrecked beyond salvage. The sole Confederate boat to escape, CSS General Van Dorn, fled from two pursuing ships and reached the protection of the Yazoo River. The hull of the proposed ironclad CSS Tennessee was burned at Memphis to prevent its capture.
The poor performance of the Confederate River Defence Fleet at Memphis and at New Orleans demonstrated that naval operations had to be commanded by trained professionals subject to military discipline and this was the last occasion where American warships were commanded by civilians. The Ellet Rams remained in Union service, but they had no opportunity for combat of the sort for which they were intended. They were soon transformed into an amphibious raiding body, the Mississippi Marine Brigade led by Lieutenant-Colonel Alfred Washington Ellet.
With the occupation of Memphis and Fort Pillow, the Mississippi River was now open for Union gunboats to proceed down to New Orleans, which was already held by the Union army. Losses among the Confederate crews cannot be estimated reliably. Union Colonel Charles Ellet was wounded by a pistol shot in his knee and became the only casualty on the Union side, dying from infection on 21st June. (CWSAC Major Battle Union Victory)


Union Western Gunboat Flotilla: Flag Officer Charles Henry Davis USN
USS Benton, USS Louisville, USS Carondelet, USS Cairo, USS St Louis
Ram Fleet: Colonel Charles Ellet Jr
USS Queen of the West, USS Monarch

Confederate River Defence Fleet: Flag Officer James E Montgomery CSN
CSS General Beauregard, CSS General Bragg, CSS General Sterling Price, CSS General Earl Van Dorn, CSS General M Jeff Thompson, CSS Colonel Lovell, CSS General Sumter, CSS Little Rebel

Virginia. Incidents at Harrisonburg and Mount Jackson.

Virginia. As the Confederate Army of the Valley retreated from Strasburg, Major-General Thomas Jonathan Jackson sought an opportunity to defeat his pursuers in detail. Union Major-General John Charles Frémont, following the North Fork Shenandoah River with 15,000 men, reached Harrisonburg. Union Brigadier-General James Shields led a division of 10,000 men along the South Fork from Front Royal and the Luray valley. Shields halted two miles north of the burned bridge and fourteen miles from Port Republic.
Jackson had the option of withdrawing over the Blue Ridge to Brown’s Gap but decided instead to strike at Shields’ weaker force, which was a day’s march distant at Conrad’s Store and was struggling towards Port Republic over poor roads in heavy rains. The hamlet of Port Republic lies on a neck of land between the North and South Rivers, which conjoin to form the South Fork Shenandoah River. Jackson’s army, numbering about 16,000 men, bivouacked north of Port Republic after a long march in the rain. Major-General Richard Stoddert Ewell’s division moved along the banks of Mill Creek near Goods Mill. He was six miles from Harrisonburg near the hamlet of Cross Keys. Meanwhile, Brigadier-General Charles Sidney Winder’s division lay on the north bank of the North River near the bridge. One regiment (15th Alabama Infantry) was left to block the roads at Union Church. Jackson’s headquarters were set up in Madison Hall at Port Republic.
At Port Republic, Jackson now possessed the last intact bridge on the North River and the fords on the South River by which Frémont and Shields could unite. Jackson determined to check Frémont’s advance at Mill Creek, while meeting Shields on the east bank of the South Fork of the Shenandoah River. A Confederate signal station on Massanutten Mountain monitored the progress of the Union forces. A skirmish occurred at Cedar Ridge.

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: James Lawrence Lardner
Pacific Squadron: Charles H Bell
Western Gunboat Flotilla: Charles Henry Davis
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: Isaac Ferdinand Quinby
    • 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 Missouri: John McAllister Schofield
  • District of Southwest Missouri: Egbert Benson Brown
    • Army of the Southwest: Samuel Ryan Curtis
  • District of Northwest Missouri: vacant

Department of the Gulf: Benjamin Franklin Butler

  • Army of the Gulf: Benjamin Franklin Butler

Department of Kansas: James Gilpatrick Blunt

Middle Department: John Adams Dix interim John Ellis Wool awaited

  • 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: Justis Steinburger
  • District of Southern California: George Washington Bowie

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
    • V Corps Potomac: Fitz John Porter
    • VI Corps Potomac: William Buel Franklin

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 interim John Adams Dix awaited

Confederate Organisation

CSA: Captain William Francis Lynch CSN assumed command of the Mississippi River Naval Squadron.

CSA: Colonel (Brigadier-General unconfirmed) Turner Ashby was killed in a skirmish near Harrisonburg, Virginia.

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: Vacant

Department No 1: Mansfield Lovell

Department of Alabama and West Florida: John Horace Forney temporary

  • Army of Mobile: William L Powell

Department of Middle and Eastern Florida: Joseph Finegan

Department of East Tennessee: Edmund Kirby Smith

  • Army of East Tennessee: Edmund Kirby Smith

Department of Henrico: John Henry Winder

Department of North Carolina: James Green Martin

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

Department of Northern Virginia: Robert Edward Lee

  • District of Aquia: Gustavus Woodson Smith
  • Army of Northern Virginia: Robert Edward Lee
    • Right Wing Northern Virginia: James Longstreet
    • Left Wing Northern Virginia: Gustavus Woodson Smith
    • Reserve Northern Virginia: John Bankhead Magruder
  • 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: Hugh Weedon Mercer
    • 3rd Sub-District of South Carolina: William Stephen Walker
    • 4th Sub-District of South Carolina: Thomas Fenwick Drayton

Department of Southwestern Virginia: William Wing Loring

  • District of Abingdon: Humphrey Marshall

Trans-Mississippi Department: Paul Octave Hébert temporary

  • District of Arkansas: Thomas Carmichael Hindman
  • District of Eastern Texas and Western Louisiana: Paul Octave Hébert
    • Sub-District of Houston: George M Flournoy
  • Western District of Texas: Henry Eustace McCullough
    • Eastern Sub-District of Western Texas: Xavier Blanchard Debray
    • Sub-District of the Rio Grande: Hamilton Prioleau Bee
  • Trans-Mississippi District: Thomas Carmichael Hindman
  • District of Arizona: Henry Hopkins Sibley
  • District of Indian Territory: Douglas Hancock Cooper
  • Defences of Pass Cavallo: John W Glenn

Western Department: Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard

  • District of North Alabama: Daniel Ruggles
  • District of Southern Mississippi and Eastern Louisiana: Earl Van Dorn
  • Army of Mississippi: Braxton Bragg
    • I Corps Mississippi: Leonidas Polk
    • II Corps Mississippi: Samuel Jones
    • III Corps Mississippi: William Joseph Hardee
    • Reserve Corps Mississippi: John Cabell Breckinridge
  • Army of the West: Earl Van Dorn

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
John Ellis Wool

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
Lewis Wallace
Ormsby McKnight Mitchel
Cassius Marcellus Clay
George Henry Thomas
George Cadwalader
William Tecumseh Sherman
Edward Otho Cresap Ord
Edwin Vose Sumner*
Samuel Peter Heintzelman
Erasmus Darwin Keyes
Joseph Hooker
Silas Casey

Brigadier-General USA

Brackets indicates concurrently Major-General USV

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

Brigadier-General USV

Andrew Porter
Fitz-John Porter
William Buel Franklin
Charles Pomeroy Stone
Thomas West Sherman
George Archibald McCall
William Reading Montgomery
Philip Kearny
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
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
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
Willis Arnold Gorman
Daniel Butterfield
Horatio Gouverneur Wright
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
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
Samuel Wylie Crawford
Henry Walton Wessells
Milo Smith Hascall
Leonard Fulton Ross
John White Geary
Alfred Howe Terry
Andrew Atkinson Humphreys
James Henry Carleton
Absalom Baird
John Cleveland Robinson
Truman Seymour
George Dashiell Bayard
Henry Prince
Abram Sanders Piatt
Thomas Turpin Crittenden
Maximilian Weber
Pleasant Adam Hackleman
Jeremiah Cutler Sullivan
Alvin Peterson Hovey
James Clifford Veatch
William Plummer Benton
Henry Bohlen
John Curtis Caldwell
Isaac Peace Rodman
Neal S Dow
George Sears Greene
Samuel Powhatan Carter
John Gibbon
George William Taylor
Erastus Barnard Tyler
James Birdseye McPherson

Brigadier-General USA (Staff)

Montgomery Cunningham Meigs (Quartermaster-General)
Henry Knox Craig
Lorenzo Thomas (Adjutant-General)
James Wolfe Ripley (Ordnance)
William Alexander Hammond (Surgeon-General)

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
Lafayette McLaws
Ambrose Powell Hill

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
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
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
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
James Green Martin
Thomas Lanier Clingman
Wade Hampton
Daniel Weisiger Adams
Louis Hébert
Samuel Garland
John Creed Moore
Ambrose Ransom Wright
James Lawson Kemper
James Jay Archer

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