|The United States Army's
Department of the South
in the Civil War
South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida
General T. W. Sherman (See his correspondence)
General David Hunter - March 21, 1862 to September 5, 1862
General John Milton Brannon - September 5, 1862 to September 17, 1862 (temporary command)
Major-General O. M Mitchel - September 17, 1862 to October 27, 1862 - Death (see also AMA)
General John Milton Brannan - October 27, 1862 to January 20,1863
Major-General David Hunter January 20, 1863 to June 12, 1863
Major General Quincy A Gillmore June 13, 1863 to May 1, 1864 (Tenth Army Corp moved to Army of
Brig General John Porter Hatch - May 1, 1864 to May 26, 1864
Major- General J. G. Foster, May 26, 1864 to February 9, 1865
Major General Quincy Adams Gillmore - February 9, 1865 to June 28, 1865
Creation of Commands
GENERAL ORDERS WAR DEPARTMENT,
A. G. 0., No. 26. Washington,
March 15, 1862.
The States of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, with the expedition and forces now under Brig.
Gen. T. W. Sherman, will constitute a military department, to be called the Department of the South,
to be commanded by Major-General Hunter. By order of the Secretary of War: L. THOMAS, Adjutant-
General O. M. Mitchel
HDQRS. OF THE ARMY, ADJT. GEN.s OFFICE,
No. 216. Washington, September 1, 1862.
Maj. Gen. 0. M. Mitchel is assigned to the command of the Department of the South. He will
immediately repair to Hilton Head, S.C.
By command of Major-General Halleck:
E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant- General.
GENERAL ORDERS, WAR DEPARTMENT,
ADJT. GEN.S OFFICE, No. 123. Washington, September 3, 1862.
The forces in the Department of the South will constitute the Tenth Army Corps, to be commanded by
Maj. Gen. 0. M. Mitchel. By order of the Secretary of War: E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-
General Brannan (temporary command)
DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH. No. 36.
Hilton Head, Port Royal, S. C.,
Sept. 5, 1862.
I. In obedience to orders from Major-General Hunter the undersigned assumes command of the
Department of the South.
II. The following officers are announced on the staff of the general commanding: Capt. Louis J.
Lambert, assistant adjutant-general and chief of staff; Lieut. Ira V. Germain and Lieut. George W.
Bacon, aides- de-camp.
J. M. Brannan,
Brigadier- General. Commanding.
No. 46. Hilton Head, Port Royal, S. C.,
Maj. Gen. David Hunter, commanding Department of the South, hereby announces that he has been
temporarily relieved from command of the department, and ordered to report to the Adjutant-General,
U. S. Army, for special service, and that Brig. Gen. Q. A. Gillmore has been assigned by the
President to the command of the Department of the South. In turning over command to his successor,
Major-General Hunter congratulates the troops of the department that in General Gillmore they will
find an officer well known to them, and whose worth they have long since learned to estimate; and it is
the earnest hope of General Hunter that the same skill, perseverance, and gallantry, which so largely
contributed to the reduction of Fort Pulaski, more than a year ago, may be equally successful in
whatever enterprises General Gillmore shall next be engaged in.
By command of Maj. Gen. D. Hunter: CHAS. G. HALPINE, Lieut. Col., A. A. G. 10th Army Corps and
Dept. of the South.
GENERAL ORDERS, HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE SOUTH,
No. 47. Hilton Head, Port Royal, S. C.,
By direction of the President, as announced in special orders from the headquarters of the Army,
dated Washington, June 3, 1863, the undersigned hereby assumes command of the Department of
the South. All orders and regulations established by Major-General Hunter, and now in operation, will
remain in full force until otherwise ordered.
Q. A. GILLMORE, Brigadier- General, Commanding.
GENERAL ORDERS, HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH, No. 57.
Hilton Head, S. C., May 1, 1864.
1. Pursuant to orders from the lieutenant-general commanding the armies of the United States, the
undersigned hereby assumes command of the Department of the South.
2. All orders and regulations established by Maj. Gen. Q. A. Gillmore, and now in operation, will
remain in force till otherwise ordered.
3. Capt. W. L. M. Burger is announced as the assistant adjutant- general of the department. All
communications of an official nature for these headquarters will be addressed to him. JNO. P.
HATCH, Brigadier- General, Commanding.
Major General J. G. Foster
SPECIAL ORDERS, WAR DEPT., ADJT. GENERALS OFFICE, No. 168.
Washington, May 5, 1864.
Major. Gen. J. G. Foster, U. S. Volunteers, will immediately repair to the Department of the South and
assume the command.
By order of the Secretary of War:
E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.
August 6 - First Confiscation Act nullifies owners' claims to fugitive slaves who had been employed in
the Confederate war effort.
Oct. 14, 1861.- Hon. Simon Cameron, Secretary of War, authorizes Brig. Gen. Thomas W. Sherman,
U. S. Army, commanding at Port Royal, S. C., to organize and arm, if necessary, squads of fugitive
and captured slaves.
October 21, 1861 - The Expedition under command of Brig. Gen. Thomas W. Sherman, U. S. Army,
sails from Annapolis, Md., for the South Carolina coast.
October 29, 1861 - The Sherman expedition sails from Hampton Roads, Va.
November 7, 1861 - Forts Beauregard and Walker, Port Royal Bay, S. C. captured by the U. S. Navy.
Nov 10-11, 1861 - Expedition from Hilton Head to Braddock's Point, S. C.
Nov. 24, 1861 - Union forces occupy Tybee Island, Ga.
Dec. 6-7, 1861 - Expedition to Port Royal Ferry and Beaufort, S. C.
Dec 20, 1861 - Secretary of Treasury, Salmon Chase sends Col. William H. Reynolds to Port Royal
to collect cotton and prevent slaves from destroying plantations and gins.
Jan 1, 1862 - Engagement at Port Royal Ferry, Coosaw River, S. C.
Jan. 11, 1862 - The Department of Key West, Fla., constituted, under command of Brig. Gen. John M.
Brannan, U. S. Army.
Jan. 15, 1862 - General Thomas Sherman writes letters requesting teachers for the ex-slaves.
Jan. 16, 1862 - Naval descent upon Cedar Keys, Fla.
Jan. 22-25, 1862 - Expedition to Edisto Island, S. C.
Feb 4, 1862 - New England Freedmen's Aid Society formed.
Feb 6, 1862 - General Sherman issued General Order No. 9 calling on Northern societies to assist in
helping freedmen and outlines the general plan of superintendents for plantation labor and teachers.
Feb 11, 1862 - Edisto Island, S. C., occupied by Union forces.
Feb 20, 1862 - The National Freedman's Relief Association formed in New York.
Feb. 28, 1862 - Florida expedition sails from Warsaw Sound.
March 2, 1862 - The steamship Atlantic left New York city with 53 missionaries.
March 4, 1862 - Amelia Island, Fla., occupied by the Union forces.
March 12, 1862 - Jacksonville, Fla, occupied by the Union forces.
March 13, 1862 Congress adopts Act forbidding members of the army and navy to return fugitive
slaves to their owners.
March 11, 1862 - Surrender of St. Augustine
March 15, 1862 - The States of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida constituted the Department of
the South, to be commanded by Maj. General David Hunter, U. S. Army
March 31, 1862 - Major General David Hunter, U. S. Army, assumes command of the Department of
April 3, General David Hunter requests permission to arm black men for military service.
April 5, 1862 - Occupation of Edisto Island, S. C., by the Union forces.
April 9, 1862 Jacksonville, Fla, evacuated by the Union forces.
April 10-11, 1862 - Bombardment and capture of Fort Pulaski, Ga.
April 13, 1862 Maj. Gen. David Hunter, U. S. Army, orders emancipation of slaves at Fort Pulaski and
on Cockspur Island, Ga.
April 15, 1862 The Port Royal Relief Committee of Philadelphia formed.
April 19, 1862 - Brig Gen. Rufus Saxton, U. S. Army, assigned to special duty in the Department of
May 9, 1862 - Maj. Gen. David Hunter, U. S. Army, orders emancipation of slaves in Florida, Georgia,
and South Carolina, and authorizes the arming of all able-bodied negroes in those States.
May 30, 1862 - Rufus Saxton appointed Military Governor.
June 15, 1862 - Naval descent upon Saint Mark's, Fla.
June 16, 1862 - Engagement at Secessionville James Island, S.C.
July 9, 1862 - Expedition to Fenwick's Island, S. C.
July 17, 1862 - Second Confiscation Act - frees the slaves of persons engaged in assisting the
rebellion and provides for the seizure and sale of other property owned by disloyal citizens.
July 17, 1862 - Militia Act provides for the employment of "persons of African descent" in any military
or naval service for which they may be found competent, granting freedom to slaves so employed
(and to their families if they belong to disloyal owners.
July 22, 1862 President Lincoln announces to his cabinet his intention to issue a proclamation freeing
slaves in the rebel states, but agrees to postpone it until after a suitable military victory.
August 8, 1862 - West Florida detached from Department of the South and attached to the Dept of
August 25 War Department authorizes recruitment of black soldiers in the Department of the South.
September 1, 1862 - Major General O. M. Mitchel assigned command of the Department of the South
September 3, 1862 - Troops in the Department of the South become the Tenth Corp under Major
General O. M. Mitchel.
September 5, 1862 - Brig. Gen John M. Brannan assumes temporary command of the Department of
September 17, 1862 - Major General O. M. Mitchel assumes command of the Department of the South
September 22 Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Lincoln.
September 30 to October 13, 1862 - Expedition from Hilton Head to St. John's Bluff.
October 22-23, 1862 - Skirmishes at Coosawhatchie, S.C.
Oct 27, 1862 Brig Gen John M. Brannan assumes command of the Department of the South on death
of Major General O. M. Mitchel.
Nov. 3-10, 1862 - Expedition along the coasts of Georgia and East Florida.
Nov. 18, 1862 - Skirmish on the Doboy River, S. C.
December 23, 1862 Jefferson Davis issues proclamation ordering that black Union soldiers and their
officers captured by Confederate troops are not to be treated as prisoners of war. They are to be
remanded to Confederate state authorities as criminals.
January 1, 1863 - Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Lincoln and announces the United
States intention to enlist black soldiers and sailors.
January 20, 1863 General David Hunter resumes command of the Department of the South.
January 23 to February 1, 1863 Expedition up the St. Mary's River
January 27, 1863 - Naval attack on Fort McAllister, Genesis Point, Ga.
Feb 1, 1863 - Naval attack on Fort McAllister, Genesis Point, Ga.
March 10, 1863 - Union forces reoccupy Jacksonville, Fla.
March 16, 1863 - American Freedmen's Inquiry Commission appointed by Secretary of War Stanton
to investigate the condition of former slaves and recommend measures for their employment and
March 27, 1863 - Skirmish at Palatka.
March 31, 1863 - Jacksonville, Fla., evacuated by the Union forces.
June 3, 1863 - Brig. Gen. Quincy A. Gillmore, U. S. Army, assigned temporarily to command of the
Department of the South.
June 12, 1863 - Brig. Gen. Quincy A. Gillmore, U. S. Army, supersedes Maj. Gen. David Hunter in
command of the Department of the South.
July 11, 1863 - Fort Wagner was unsuccessfully assaulted.
June 18 - Second unsuccessful assault on Fort Wagner.
August 17--Dec. 31, 1863 - Bombardment of Fort Sumter, S. C.
August 21 - Dec. 31, 1863 -- Bombardment of Charleston, S. C.
December 8, 1863 Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction issued by President Lincoln.
Feb 7, 1864 - Occupation of Jacksonville by Union forces.
Feb 20, 1864 - Battle of Olustee.
April 1, 1864 - Destruction of the transport Maple Leaf in St. Johns River, FL
April 4, 1864 - General Quincy A. Gillmore ordered to proceed with all available force to Fort
May 1, 1864 General John Porter Hatch assumes command of the Department of the South
May 26, 1864 Major General J. G. Foster assumes command of the Department of the South
August 13, 1864 - Skirmish at Palatka
August 15-19, 1864 - Union raid on the Florida railroad including action at Gainesville
August 28, 1864 - Skirmish at Milton, Fl.
September 24, 1864 - Skirmish at Magnolia, FL.
November 30, 1864 - Honey Hill South Carolina
January 13-15 Capture of Fort Fisher, North Carolina Union victory that finally isolated Wilmington,
the last southern port capable of helping Lee's army.
January 14, Advance of Union forces from Beaufort to Pocotaligo, S. C.
January 16, 1865 General W. T. Sherman issues Special Field Order 15 setting aside part of coastal
South Carolina, Georgia and Florida forty-acre plots.
February 1, Sherman's army leaves Savannah to begin its march through South Carolina, more
significant and longer than his March to the Sea.
February 1, 1865 Hickory Hill, South Carolina
February 1, St. Andrews Bay, Florida
February 2, St. John's River, Florida
February 2, Lawtonville, South Carolina
February 2, Barker's Mill/ Whippy Swamp, South Carolina
February 2, Duck Branch/ Lopers' Cross Roads, South Carolina
February 2 , Rivers' Bridge/ Salkehatchie River, South Carolina
February 2, Broxton's Bridge/ Salkehatchie River, South Carolina
February 5, Action at Braddock's Farm, near Welaka, Fla.
February 17. Sherman's army capture Columbia, the state capital of South Carolina.
February 18, Charleston occupied by Union Forces
March 6, Natural Bridge Florida
March 16, Battle of Averasborough, North Carolina
March 19, Battle of Bentonville, North Carolina
April 3, Capture of Richmond, the Confederate capitol, and Petersburg, long besieged. Lincoln visits
Petersburg then moves on to Richmond.
April 5-15 Expedition from Charleston to the Santee River
April 9, Last attack by Lee's army, an attempt to break out from Appomattox Courthouse. The failure
of the last attack finally persuaded Lee that he has to surrender.
April 14, Lincoln assassination.
April 19, President Lincoln lies in state in the White House.
April 26 Durham NC, Johnston surrenders
May 10, Jefferson Davis captured in Georgia, on his way to Texas.
May 23-24 200,000 men from the Army of the Potomac and Sherman's Army of Georgia march in
review through Washington.
June 27 Major General J. Q. Gillmore assigned head of the Department of the South.
December 18, 1865 - Ratification of the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution abolishing
General T. W. Sherman Staff, 1861
General T. W. Sherman Staff (Revision)
General David Hunter's Staff, 1862
General O. M. Mitchell's Staff, 1862
General Q. A. Gillmore Staff, 1863
General John P. Hatch Staff, May 1865
Who, What, When, Where
Troop Placements in the Department of the South
Biographies of Regimental Commanders
Col. Louis Bell, 4th New Hampshire
Col. H. S. Putnam, 7th New Hampshire
Col. Thomas Wentworth Higginson, 1 South Carolina/33 USCT
Col James Montgomery 2 South Carolina/34 USCT
Col Joseph R. Hawley 7th Connecticut
Acts of Congress
1st Confiscation Act, August 6, 1861
2nd Confiscation Act, July 17, 1862
Militia Act of 1862, July 17, 1862
American Freedmen Inquiry Commission
Report of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction (Saxton's Testimony)
Abraham Lincoln's Proclamation on Raising Militia, April 15, 1861
Abraham Lincoln's Proclamation on Blockade of Southern Ports - April 19, 1861
Abraham Lincoln Proclamation on Commerce
Abraham Lincoln Response to General Orders No 11
Abraham Lincoln Emancipation Proclamation
Abraham Lincoln Declares Martial Law Key West
Abraham Lincoln Proclamation of Amnesty, December 8 1864
Andrew Johnson Executive Order on Trade - April 29, 1865
Andrew Johnson Proclamation on Trade - June 13, 1865
Andrew Johnson Proclamation on End of War
War of the Rebellion Records
War Records from the War of Rebellion (Biographies and Assorted Records)
Military Treatment of Captured and Fugitive Slaves 1861 - 1862
General John E Woole to Secretary of War Cameron Worst Managed Expedition
General George McClellan sets objectives of Fort Pulaski, Fernandina, and St. Augustine
Pierce to Chase Conflicts in Creating the 1st Black Regiment May 12, 1862
Documents relating to the Impressment of Freedmen for Service in Hunter's Regiment May 12, 1862
Pierce to General David Hunter No. 6 Carrying out order to Impress Freedmen May 13, 1862
G. M. Wells to Pierce Carrying out Impressment May 13, 1862
L. D. Phillips to Pierce Carrying out Impressment May 13, 1862
Chase to Stanton Conflicts in Creating the 1st Black Regiment May 21, 1862
Lieut Col. Oliver T. Beard Report on Expedition along Coasts of Georgia and Florida, Nov 12, 1862
Lieut Col. Oliver T. Beard Report on Doboy River Expedition, Nov. 22, 1862
Col Thomas W. Higgison Report on Up the St. Mary's January 23 to Feb 1, 1863
Rear Admiral Dupont's Instructions for Up the St. Johns, March 6, 1863
Expedition up the Edisto River - Col Higginson's Report, July 11, 1863
Report on Prisoners Jefferson Davis etc. January 4, 1866
Harriet Foote Hawley
The History of the 48th Regiment, New York Volunteers
Perry's Saints (48th New York)
4th New Hampshire
7th New Hampshire
24th Massachusetts Volunteers
Port Royal Experiment
The Port Royal Experiment was the nations attempts to deal with the newly freed slaves in the Sea
Islands. Benevolence societies were created in Boston, New York and Philadelphia to help deal with
the needs of the freedmen. They sent money, supplies, teachers and plantation superintendents
south to populate the Sea Islands and the Department of the South. General Rufus Saxton would be
nominally in charge of this effort as the Military Governor of the Department of the South. They would
be named Gideonites. The American Missionary Association (AMA) was part of this effort.
See the Port Royal Experiment for a full list of documents.
American Missionary Association
General David Hunter to Stephen H. Tying in American Missionary September, 1862
The Freedmen's Bureau was created at the end of the War of the Rebellion. The Port Royal
experiment would be absorbed within the new War Department Bureau. For a few months General
Saxton would command the activities of the Bureau in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. He would
then be restricted to South Carolina and shortly after replaced.
Assorted Documents of the Freedmen's Bureau
Assorted Documents of Freedmen's Bureau Schools
Making of America - War of the Rebellion Records.
Report of the Military Services of General David Hunter
The Calvin Shedd Papers (member of the 4th New Hampshire)
General David Hunter's Letter to Rev. Stephen H. Tyng, President of National Freedmen's Relief
Association July 17, 1862
General David Hunter's Letters to Jefferson Davis
General Rufus Saxton's - Happy New Years January 1, 1863
Littlefield's General Orders No. 3 creating Mitchelville, Hilton Head, February 13, 1865
Freedmen Colony at Pilot Town St Johns River Fl - Dupont to Saxton Nov 26, 1863
|General T. W. Sherman
|General David Hunter
|General O M Mitchel
|General John Mitchel Brannan
|General John Porter Hatch
|General Quincy A Gillmore
|General John G. Foster
|General Rufus Saxton
Department of the South
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