Union Wartime Organisation: Western Territories and Pacific Coast Theatre

Union Wartime Organisation

Western Territories and Pacific Coast Theatre

April 1861-June 1865

Summary

This theatre broadly covers the state of California, and the Arizona Territory, Colorado Territory, Dakota Territory, Nevada Territory, New Mexico Territory, Oregon Territory, Utah Territory, and adjacent operational regions.

At the outbreak of war, the Department of Utah, Department of New Mexico and the Department of the Pacific were responsible for the area.

In July 1861, the Department of Utah was discontinued, and its territory brought under the Department of the Pacific. Utah transferred to the Department of the Missouri in February 1865 and was never again constituted as a separate military Department.

The Department of New Mexico was also discontinued in July 1861 and its territory transferred briefly to the Western Department. The Western Department proved to be torn between its westward and eastward facing responsibilities, so the Department of New Mexico was re-established in November 1861, after the dissolution of the Western Department.

The Department of the Pacific, the revived Department of New Mexico, and their subordinate Districts, shared military authority in the Far Western theatre. The District of Colorado was attached as a temporary administrative convenience from September to October 1862 during the recreation of the Department of the Missouri.

Both the Department of the Pacific and the Department of New Mexico were discontinued in the general post-war reorganisation of June 27 1865. The territory of the former was divided into the Department of California and the Department of the Columbia, and the territory of the latter was divided between the Department of the Pacific and the Department of the Missouri.

The Department of California (including the District of Arizona), and the Department of the Columbia were assigned to the new Military Division of the Pacific.


Union High Command on April 12 1861 Western Territories and Pacific Coast Theatre

  • Department of New Mexico: William Wing Loring
  • Department of the Pacific: Albert Sidney Johnston interim Edwin Vose Sumner awaited
    • District of Oregon: George Wright
  • Department of Utah: Philip St George Cooke

Department of Utah

(From Pre-War organisation, April 12 1861-July 17 1861, to Department of the Pacific)

  • Philip St George Cooke (April 12 1861-July 17 1861)

April 12 1861: Colonel Philip St George Cooke retained command of the Department of Utah

July 17 1861: The Department of Utah was discontinued, and its territory was incorporated into the Department of the Pacific.


Department of New Mexico

(From Pre-War organisation, April 12 1861–July 3 1861, discontinued, to Western Department)

  • William Wing Loring (April 12 1861-April 30 1861)
  • Edward Richard Sprigg Canby (temporary May 14 1861-June 10 1861, June 11 1861-July 3 1861)

April 12 1861: Colonel William Wing Loring retained command of the Department of New Mexico.

May 1 1861: Command of the Department of New Mexico became vacant after Colonel William Wing Loring resigned to join the Confederacy.

May 14 1861: Colonel Edward Richard Sprigg Canby assumed temporary command of the Department of New Mexico, succeeding Colonel William Wing Loring.

June 11 1861: Colonel Edward Richard Sprigg Canby was appointed to full command of the Department of New Mexico, arriving on 23rd June 1861.

June 23 1861: Colonel Edward Richard Sprigg Canby assumed full command of the Department of New Mexico.

July 3 1861: The Department of New Mexico was discontinued, and its territory incorporated into the Western Department.


Department of the Pacific

(From Pre-War organisation, April 12 1861-June 27 1865, to Department of California and Department of the Columbia)

  • Albert Sidney Johnston (interim April 12 1861-April 24 1861)
  • Edwin Vose Sumner (April 25 1861-October 19 1861)
  • George Wright (temporary October 20 1861-November 1861, November 19 1861-May 20 1864)
  • Irvin McDowell (May 25-1864-June 27 1865)

April 12 1861: Colonel Albert Sidney Johnston retained interim command of the Department of the Pacific.

April 25 1861: Brigadier-General Edwin Vose Sumner arrived to command the Department of the Pacific.

July 17 1861: The Department of Utah was discontinued, and its territory incorporated into the Department of the Pacific.

September 14 18161: The District of Southern California was established in the Department of the Pacific, comprising California from San Francisco southwards.

October 20 1861: Brigadier-General George Wright was appointed to temporary command of the Department of the Pacific, arriving on 26th October 1861, to succeed Brigadier-General Edwin Vose Sumner after his transfer to Virginia.

October 26 1861: Brigadier-General George Wright arrived in temporary command of the Department of the Pacific, succeeding Brigadier-General Edwin Vose Sumner who transferred to Virginia.

November 19 1861: Brigadier-General George Wright assumed full command of the Department of the Pacific after a period in temporary command.

December 12 1861: The District of the Humboldt was established in the Department of the Pacific, comprising Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, Trinity, Humboldt, Klamath and Del Norte counties in California.

August 6 1862: The District of Utah was established in the Department of the Pacific, comprising Utah Territory and Utah Territory.

March 4 1863: The territory of Idaho Territory was added to the District of Oregon.

August 20 1863: Soda Springs, Idaho Territory, transferred to the District of Utah.

May 21 1864: Major-General Irvin McDowell assumed command of the Department of the Pacific, succeeding Brigadier-General George Wright.

August 20 1863: Soda Springs, Idaho Territory, transferred to the District of Utah.

July 1 1864: The District of California was established in the Department of the Pacific, comprising the state of California.

January 20 1865: The Arizona Territory transferred from Department of New Mexico to the Department of the Pacific.

February 17 1865: The District of Utah transferred from the Department of the Pacific to the Department of the Missouri. It comprised Utah Territory and the state of Nevada, and Soda Springs, Idaho Territory.

March 7 1865: The District of Arizona was established in the Department of the Pacific, to comprise the Arizona Territory.

March 14 1865: The District of Oregon was extended to include the entire state of Oregon, including the Rogue and Umpqua River areas. The District of Arizona transferred from the Department of the Pacific to the Department of California.

June 27 1865: The Military Division of the Pacific was established. It included the Department of California and the Department of the Columbia. The new Department of California included California, Nevada, the Arizona Territory, and the New Mexico Territory from the Department of the Pacific. The Department of the Columbia included Oregon, Washington Territory and Idaho Territory from the Department of the Pacific. The District of Arizona transferred from the Department of the Pacific to the Department of California. The District of the Humboldt was discontinued. The District of Oregon was discontinued. The District of California was discontinued. The District of Southern California was discontinued.

District of Oregon

(From Pre-War organisation, April 12 1861-June 27 1865, discontinued)

  • George Wright (April 12 1861-September 12 1861)
  • Benjamin Lloyd Beall (temporary September 13 1861-May 4 1862)
  • Albemarle Cady (May 5 1862-July 8 1862)
  • Julius Steinburger (temporary May 5 1862-July 8 1862)
  • Benjamin Alvord (July 9 1862-March 22 1865)
  • Reuben F Maury (temporary March 23 1865-June 27 1865)

April 12 1861: Colonel George Wright retained command of the District of Oregon.

September 13 1861: Lieutenant-Colonel Benjamin Lloyd Beall assumed temporary command of the District of Oregon, succeeding Colonel George Wright.

October 23 1861: Lieutenant-Colonel Albemarle Cady assumed command of the District of Oregon, succeeding Colonel Benjamin Lloyd Beall.

May 5 1862: Colonel Justus Steinburger assumed temporary command of the District of Oregon, succeeding Lieutenant-Colonel Albemarle Cady.

July 9 1862: Brigadier-General USV Benjamin Alvord assumed command of the District of Oregon, succeeding Colonel Justus Steinburger.

March 4 1863: The territory of Idaho Territory was added to the District of Oregon.

August 20 1863: Soda Springs, Idaho Territory, transferred to the District of Utah.

March 14 1865: The District of Oregon was extended to include the entire state of Oregon, including the Rogue and Umpqua River areas.

March 23 1865: Lieutenant-Colonel Reuben F Maury assumed temporary command of the District of Oregon, succeeding Brigadier-General Benjamin Alvord.

June 27 1865: The District of Oregon was discontinued.

District of Southern California

(Established, September 14 1861-June 27 1865, discontinued)

  • George Wright (September 14 1861-October 13 1861)
  • James Henry Carleton (October 14 1861-January 11 1862)
  • Joseph Rodman West (temporary January 12 1862-February 4 1862)
  • James Henry Carleton (February 5 1862-May 14 1862)
  • George Washington Bowie (temporary May 15 1862-February 6 1863)
  • Harvey Lee (temporary February 7 1863-April 9 1863)
  • Ferris Foreman (temporary April 10 1863-July 6 1863)
  • James Freeman Curtis (July 7 1863-June 27 1865)

September 14 1861: The District of Southern California was established in the Department of the Pacific, comprising California from San Francisco southwards. Colonel George Wright was appointed to command the District of Southern California, arriving on 4th October 1861.

October 4 1861: Brigadier-General George Wright arrived to command the District of Southern California.

October 14 1861: Colonel James Henry Carleton assumed command of the District of Southern California, succeeding Colonel George Wright who took temporary command of the Department of the Pacific.

January 12 1862: Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph Rodman West assumed temporary command of the District of Southern California, succeeding Colonel James Henry Carleton.

February 5 1862: Colonel James Henry Carleton assumed command the District of Southern California, succeeding Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph Rodman West.

May 15 1862: Colonel George Washington Bowie assumed command of the District of Southern California, succeeding Brigadier-General James Henry Carleton.

February 7 1863: Lieutenant-Colonel Harvey Lee assumed temporary command of the District of Southern California, succeeding Colonel George Washington Bowie.

April 10 1863: Colonel Ferris Foreman assumed temporary command of the District of Southern California, succeeding Lieutenant-Colonel Harvey Lee.

July 7 1863: Lieutenant Colonel James Freeman Curtis assumed command of the District of Southern California, succeeding Colonel Ferris Foreman.

June 27 1865: The District of Southern California was discontinued.

District of the Humboldt

(Established, December 12 1861-June 27 1865, discontinued)

  • Francis James Lippitt (December 12 1861-July 12 1863)
  • Stephen Girard Whipple (July 13 1863-February 7 1864)
  • Henry M Black (February 8 1864-June 30 1864)
  • Stephen Girard Whipple (July 1 1864-June 27 1865)

December 12 1861: The District of the Humboldt was established in the Department of the Pacific, comprising Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, Trinity, Humboldt, Klamath and Del Norte counties in California. Colonel Francis James Lippitt assumed command of the District of the Humboldt.

July 13 1863: Lieutenant-Colonel USV Stephen Girard Whipple assumed command of the District of the Humboldt, succeeding Colonel Francis James Lippitt.

February 8 1864: Colonel Henry M Black assumed command of the District of the Humboldt, succeeding Lieutenant-Colonel Stephen Girard Whipple.

July 1 1864: Lieutenant-Colonel Stephen Girard Whipple assumed command of the District of the Humboldt, succeeding Colonel Henry M Black.

June 27 1865: The District of the Humboldt was discontinued.

District of Utah

(Established, August 6 1862-February 17 1865, transferred to Department of the Missouri)

  • Patrick Edward Connor (August 6 1862-February 17 1865)

August 6 1862: The District of Utah was established in the Department of the Pacific, comprising Utah Territory and Utah Territory. Colonel Patrick Edward Connor assumed command of the District of Utah.

August 20 1863: Soda Springs, Idaho Territory, transferred to the District of Utah.

February 17 1865: The District of Utah transferred from the Department of the Pacific to the Department of the Missouri. It comprised Utah Territory and the state of Nevada, and Soda Springs, Idaho Territory.

District of California

(Established, July 1 1864-June 27 1865, discontinued)

  • George Wright (July 1 1864-June 27 1865)

July 1 1864: The District of California was established in the Department of the Pacific, comprising the state of California. Brigadier-General George Wright assumed command of the District of California.

June 27 1865: The District of California was discontinued.

District of Arizona

(Established, March 7 1865-June 27 1865, transferred to Department of California)

  • John Sanford Mason (March 7 1865-June 27 1865)

March 7 1865: The District of Arizona was established in the Department of the Pacific, to comprise the Arizona Territory. Brigadier-General John Sanford Mason assumed command of the District of Arizona.

June 27 1865: The District of Arizona transferred from the Department of the Pacific to the Department of California.


Department of New Mexico

Union High Command on November 9 1861 Western Territories and Pacific Coast Theatre

  • Department of New Mexico: Edward Richard Sprigg Canby
    • Southern District of New Mexico: Benjamin Stone Roberts
  • Department of the Pacific: George Wright
    • District of Oregon: Albemarle Cady
    • District of Southern California: James Henry Carleton

(Established, November 9 1861-June 27 1865, discontinued, to Department of the Pacific and Department of the Missouri)

  • Edward Richard Sprigg Canby (November 9 1861-August 25 1862, interim August 26 1862-September 17 1862)
  • James Henry Carleton (August 26 1862-June 27 1865)

November 9 1861: The Department of New Mexico was established, comprising New Mexico Territory from the Western Department. Colonel Edward Richard Sprigg Canby assumed command of the Department of New Mexico. The Southern District of New Mexico transferred from the Western Department to the Department of New Mexico.

February 14 1862: Fort Garland in the Colorado territory transferred from the Department of Kansas to the Department of New Mexico.

April 16 1862: The Southern District of New Mexico was discontinued in the Department of New Mexico. The Central and Northern District of New Mexico was established in the Department of New Mexico, comprising the territory north of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

June 16 1862: The Central and Northern District of New Mexico was discontinued.

August 26 1862: Brigadier-General James Henry Carleton was appointed to command the Department of New Mexico, arriving on 18th September 1862, to succeed Brigadier-General Edward Richard Sprigg Canby.

August 30 1862: The District of Arizona was established in the Department of New Mexico, comprising the Arizona Territory.

September 18 1862: Brigadier-General James Henry Carleton arrived to command the Department of New Mexico, succeeding Brigadier-General Edward Richard Sprigg Canby.

December 8 1864: The District of Arizona was discontinued.

June 27 1865: Fort Garland, Arkansas, transferred from the Department of New Mexico to the Department of the Missouri. June 27 1865: The Department of New Mexico was discontinued, and its territory transferred to the new Department of California and the Department of the Missouri.

Southern District of New Mexico

(Transferred from Western Department, November 9 1861-April 16 1862, discontinued, to Central and Northern District of New Mexico)

  • Benjamin Stone Roberts (November 9 1861-April 16 1862)

November 9 1861: The Southern District of New Mexico transferred from the Western Department to the Department of New Mexico. Major Benjamin Stone Roberts retained command of the Southern District of New Mexico in the Department of New Mexico.

April 16 1862: The Southern District of New Mexico was discontinued in the Department of New Mexico.

Central and Northern District of New Mexico

(Established, from Southern District of New Mexico, April 16 1862-June 16 1862, discontinued)

  • Benjamin Stone Roberts (April 16 1862-June 16 1862)

April 16 1862: The Central and Northern District of New Mexico was established in the Department of New Mexico, comprising the territory north of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Colonel Benjamin Stone Roberts assumed command of the Central and Northern District of New Mexico.

June 16 1862: The Central and Northern District of New Mexico was discontinued.

District of Arizona

(Established, August 30 1862-December 8 1864, discontinued)

  • James Henry Carleton (August 30 1862-September 4 1862)
  • Joseph Rodman West (September 5 1862-January 28 1864)
  • George Washington Bowie (January 29 1864-November 29 1864)
  • Joseph Rodman West (November 30 1864-December 8 1864)

August 30 1862: The District of Arizona was established in the Department of New Mexico, comprising the Arizona Territory. Brigadier-General James Henry Carleton assumed command of the District of Arizona.

September 5 1862: Colonel Joseph Rodman West assumed command of the District of Arizona, succeeding Brigadier-General James Henry Carleton.

January 29 1864: Colonel George Washington Bowie assumed command of the District of Arizona, succeeding Brigadier-General Joseph Rodman West.

November 30 1864: Brigadier-General Joseph Rodman West assumed command of the District of Arizona, succeeding Colonel George Washington Bowie.

December 8 1864: The District of Arizona was discontinued.

District of Colorado

(Established, September 19 1862-October 11 1862, transferred to Department of the Missouri)

  • John Milton Chivington (September 19 1862-October 11 1862)

September 19 1862: The District of Colorado was established as an independent command reporting to the War Department, comprising the territory of the Colorado Territory taken from the discontinued Department of Kansas. Colonel John Milton Chivington assumed command of the District of Colorado.

October 11 1862: The District of Colorado (apart from Fort Garland) transferred to the Department of the Missouri.


Union High Command on June 27 1865 Western Territories and Pacific Coast Theatre

  • Military Division of the Pacific: Henry Wager Halleck awaited
    • Department of California: Irvin McDowell awaited
      • District of Arizona: John Sanford Mason
    • Department of the Columbia: George Byron Currey temporary George Wright awaited

 

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