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During the American Civil War, a department was a geographical command within the Union's military organization, usually reporting directly to the War Department. Many of the Union's departments were named after rivers or other bodies of water, such as the Department of the Potomac and the Department of the Tennessee. The geographical boundaries of such departments changed frequently, as did their names. As the armies became larger Departments began to be subordinated to Military Divisions, and the Departments were often sub divided into Districts and from 1862 Subdistricts. Much information on Civil War departments can be found in Eicher & Eicher, Civil War High Commands.

Civil WarEdit

1861Edit

Eastern TheaterEdit

Lower Seaboard TheaterEdit

Western TheaterEdit

Trans-Mississippi TheaterEdit

Pacific TheaterEdit

1862Edit

Eastern TheaterEdit

  • Department of Virginia, - July 15. 1863

Lower Seaboard TheaterEdit

  • Department of the South, March 15, 1862 - June 28, 1865
    • South Carolina Expeditionary Corps - April 1862
    • Western District, 1862
    • Southern District, 1862
    • Northern District, 1862
    • U.S. Forces, Edisto and James Islands, SC, 1862
    • posts at Hilton Head, SC, 1862–64
    • posts at St. Augustine, FL, 1862–63
    • posts at Fort Taylor, FL, 1862
    • posts at Fort Pickens, FL, 1862
    • Troops in West Florida - August 8, 1862 - 63(annexed to Dept. of the Gulf)

Western TheaterEdit

  • Department of the Ohio - August 19, 1862 - January 17, 1865 (Annexed to Department of the Cumberland) [1]
    • District of Louisville, 1862
    • Railroad District of Western Virginia, Sept. 1862 - Jan 1863
    • District of Western Kentucky, 1862–63
    • Army of Kentucky, 1862–63
    • District of Central Kentucky, 1863
    • District of Ohio, 1863
    • Army of Ohio in the Field, 1863
    • (Military) District of Kentucky, 1863–65

Trans-Mississippi TheaterEdit

  • Department of Kansas, - 1865
  • Department of New Mexico, to June 27, 1865
    • District of Santa Fe, - 1862
    • Eastern District of New Mexico, - 1862
    • Southern District of New Mexico, - 1862
    • post at Albuquerque, NM, - 1865
    • post at Fort Canby, NM, 1862–65
    • post at Fort Craig, NM, 1862–65
    • post at Las Cruces, NM, 1862–65
    • post at Los Pinos, NM, 1862–65
    • post at Fort Marcy, NM, 1862–65
    • post at Camp Mimbres, NM, 1862–65
    • post at Fort Sumner, NM, 1862–65
    • post at Fort West, NM, 1862–65

Pacific TheaterEdit

  • Pacific Department, - July 27, 1865
    • District of California, - 1864
    • District of Oregon, - 1865
    • District of Southern California, - 1865
    • California Volunteers, - 1866
    • District of the Humboldt, - 1869
    • Column from California, - August 30, 1862
    • District of Arizona, (headquarters at Franklin, TX) August 30, 1862 - 1865
    • District of Utah August 6, 1862 - July 27, 1865

1863Edit

Eastern TheaterEdit

  • Department of the East, January 3, 1863 - 1873
    • District of Western New York, 1864–65
    • District of Northern New York, 1864–65
    • District of New Jersey, 1865
    • District of Rhode Island and Connecticut, 1865
    • District of Maine, 1865–66
    • District of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont, 1865–66
    • District of Northern and Western New York, 1865–66
    • District of Champlain, 1866
  • Department of Virginia - July 15, 1863
  • Department of North Carolina - July 15, 1863

Lower Seaboard TheaterEdit

  • Department of the South, 1863- June 28, 1865

Western TheaterEdit

  • Department of the Ohio - October 16, 1863
    • Railroad District of Western Virginia, - Jan 1863
    • District of Western Kentucky, - 1863
    • Army of Kentucky, - 1863
    • District of Central Kentucky, 1863
    • District of Ohio, 1863
    • Army of Ohio in the Field, 1863
    • (Military) District of Kentucky, 1863–65

Trans-Mississippi TheaterEdit

  • Department of the Northwest, - June 27, 1865
  • Department of the Missouri, - 1865
  • Department of Kansas, - 1865
  • Department of New Mexico, to June 27, 1865
    • post at Albuquerque, NM, - 1865
    • post at Fort Canby, NM, - 1865
    • post at Las Cruces, NM, - 1865
    • post at Los Pinos, NM, - 1865
    • post at Fort Marcy, NM, - 1865
    • post at Camp Mimbres, NM, - 1865
    • post at Fort Sumner, NM, - 1865
    • post at Fort West, NM, - 1865
    • District of Fort Craig, August 27, 1864 – November 23, 1864
      • post at Fort Craig, NM, August 27, 1864 – November 23, 1864
      • Fort McRae, NM, Oct. 1863 - 1876
    • post at Franklin, TX, 1863-64.

Pacific TheaterEdit

  • Department of the Pacific - July 27, 1865

1864Edit

Eastern TheaterEdit

  • Department and Army of the Potomac, 1864 - June 27, 1865
  • Department of Virginia and North Carolina - January 31, 1865

Lower Seaboard TheaterEdit

  • Department of the South, 1864 - June 28, 1865
    • U.S. Forces, Morris Island, SC, 1864–65;
    • posts at Hilton Head, SC, -1864
    • Northern District, 1864–65
    • District of Florida, 1864–65
  • Department of the Gulf, - May 7, 1864
  • Military Division of West Mississippi May 7, 1864 - May 1865 (Discontinued)
    • consolidated Department of Arkansas and 7th Army Corps, May 7, 1864 - March 21, 1865 (transferred to Military Division of Missouri)
      • District of Little Rock, May 7, 1864 - March 21, 1865
      • Fort Smith and Indian Territory, May 7, 1864 - March 21, 1865
    • Department of the Gulf, May 7, 1864 - May, 1865

Western TheaterEdit

  • Northern Department, January 12, 1864 - June 27, 1865
    • District of Illinois, 1864–65
      • Post at Camp Douglas (Post of Chicago), 1864–65
    • District of Indiana, 1864–65
      • Post at Rock Island Barracks, IL,
      • Post at Camp Carrington, 1864–65
      • Post at Evansville, 1864–65
      • Post at Indianapolis, 1864–65
      • Post at Madison, 1864–65
      • Post at Camp Morton, 1864–65
      • Post atBurnside Barracks (Indianapolis), 1864–65
      • Post at New Albany, IN, 1864–65
    • District of Michigan, 1864–65
      • Post of Detroit, MI, 1864–65
    • U.S. Forces, Johnson's Island, OH, 1864
    • Post at Johnson's Island, OH, 1864-65.
    • Post at Sandusky, OH, 1864-65.
  • Military Division of the Mississippi, - August 6, 1866
    • Department of the Cumberland, - 1865
    • Department of the Ohio, - 1865
    • Department of the Tennessee, - 1864; to Army of Georgia
    • XIX Corps, 1864

Trans-Mississippi TheaterEdit

  • Department of the Northwest, - June 27, 1865
  • Department of the Missouri, - 1865

Pacific TheaterEdit

  • Department of the Pacific - July 27, 1865
    • District of California
    • District of Oregon

1865Edit

Eastern TheaterEdit

  • Department and Army of the Potomac, 1864 - June 27, 1865
  • Department of Virginia and North Carolina, - January 31, 1865
    • Army of the James, - January 31, 1865
      • XXV Corps, - January 31, 1865
      • XXIV Corps, - January 31, 1865
    • Expedition to Fort Fisher, - January 15, 1865
  • Department of Virginia and Army of the James, January 31, 1865 - April 19, 1865
    • Army of the James, January 31, 1865 - August 1, 1865
      • XXV Corps, January 31, 1865 - May, 1865
      • XXIV Corps, January 31, 1865 - August 1, 1865
    • District of Eastern Virginia, 1865
      • Sub District of Appomattox, 1865
      • Sub District of Holston, 1865
    • Provost Marshal field organizations, Bermuda Hundred, Drummondtown, Camp Hamilton, Norfolk, Onancock, and Petersburg, VA, 1865
    • U.S. Forces, Petersburg, VA, 1865
    • Defenses of Norfolk and Portsmouth, VA, 1865
    • Camp of Distribution, Richmond, VA, 1865;
    • Libby Prison, Richmond, VA, 1865
    • Norfolk Military Prison, VA, 1865
    • post at Newport News, VA, 1865.
    • post at Petersburg, VA, 1865.
  • Military Division of the James, April 19, 1865 - June 27, 1865
    • Department of Virginia, April 19, 1865 - June 27, 1865
    • Department of North Carolina, April 19, 1865 - June 27, 1865
    • Army of the James, April 19, 1865 - August 1, 1865
      • XXV Corps, April 19, 1865 - May, 1865
      • XXIV Corps, April 19, 1865 - August 1, 1865

Lower Seaboard TheaterEdit

  • Department of the South, - June 28, 1865
    • U.S. Forces, Morris Island, SC, -1865
    • (Military) District of Eastern South Carolina, 1865
    • District of Savannah, 1865
    • posts at Jacksonville, FL, 1865

Western TheaterEdit

  • Military Division of the Mississippi, - August 6, 1866
    • Department of the Cumberland, - 1865
      • District of East Tennessee, January. 4 - March. 17, 1865 (to Dept. of the Cumberland)
    • Department of the Ohio, - 1865
    • Department of North Carolina, 1865
  • Army of Georgia, November 1864 - June 1, 1865
    • XIV Corps - June 1, 1865
    • XX Corps - June 1, 1865

Trans-Mississippi TheaterEdit

  • Department of the Northwest, - June 27, 1865
  • Department of the Missouri, - June 27, 1865
  • Department of Kansas, - June 27, 1865
    • District of North Kansas, - 1865
    • Districts of South Kansas, - 1865
    • East Sub-district of Nebraska, - 1865

Pacific TheaterEdit

  • Department of the Pacific - July 27, 1865 (Merged into the Military Division of the Pacific)
  • Military Division of the Pacific July 27, 1865 - July 3, 1891
    • Department of California, 1865-1913
    • Department of the Columbia, 1865-1913
      • U.S. Forces, San Juan Island, 1865–72

NotesEdit

  1. Department of the Ohio (Cincinnati), 1862-63, Department of the Ohio (Knoxville), 1863-64, Department of the Ohio (Louisville), 1864-65, and Department of the Ohio (Lexington Branch), 1863-64. Records of United States Army Continental Commands, 1821-1920
  2. "I. All of the Territory of Arizona lying north of the Gila River and west of the Colorado, except that portion occupied by Fort Mojave, which post at present is garrisoned and supplied from the Department of the Pacific, is hereby created into a new military district to be known as the District of Northern Arizona." - GENERAL ORDERS, HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF NEW MEXICO, Numbers 27. Santa Fe, N. Mex., October 23, 1863. OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 50, Part 2 (Pacific), Chapter LXII. CORRESPONDENCE-UNION AND CONFEDERATE. Page 653

ReferencesEdit

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