Robert B. Garnett portrait

Brigadier General Robert S. Garnett commanded the Army of the Northwest from its inception until Union forces killed him at the Battle of Corrick’s Ford on July 13, 1861. Garnett was the first Union officer on either side to die during the American Civil War. [Wikimedia Commons]

Army of the Northwest (CSA) Facts

June 8, 1861–February 9, 1862

Key facts about the Confederate Army of the Northwest.

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Formation Date

  • June 8, 1861

Dissolution Date

  • February 9, 1862

Commanders

Notable Engagements

Significance

  • The Confederate Army of the Northwest existed from June 8, 1861–February 9, 1862.
  • Brigadier General Robert S. Garnett commanded the Army of the Northwest from June 8, 1861–July 13, 1861
  • Brigadier General Henry R. Jackson commanded the Army of the Northwest from July 13, 1861–July 20, 1861
  • Brigadier General William W. Loring commanded the Army of the Northwest from July 20, 1861–February 9, 1862
  • On June 8, 1861, the Confederate War Department issued Special Orders, No. 67 announcing that “Brig. Gen. R. S. Garnett, Provisional Army, will proceed to Staunton, and assume command of the troops to operate in Northwestern Virginia.” By as early as June 24, Confederate officials were referring to Garnett’s force as the Army of the Northwest.
  • Brigadier General William S. Rosecrans’ Union forces defeated the Army of the Northwest at the Battle of Rich Mountain on July 11, 1861.
  • Union forces killed Brigadier General Robert S. Garnett, commander of the Army of the Northwest, at the Battle of Corrick’s Ford on July 13, 1861.
  • Brigadier General Robert S. Garnett, commander of the Army of the Northwest, was the first general officer to be killed during the Civil War.
  • Following Brigadier General Robert S. Garnett’s death, Brigadier General Henry R. Jackson assumed temporary command of the Army of the Northwest from July 13, 1861, to July 20, 1861.
  • On July 20, 1861, the Confederate War Department issued Special Orders, No. 227 announcing that “Brigadier General W. W. Loring, Provisional Army, C. S., is assigned to the command of the Army of the Northwest . . .”;
  • Union forces commanded by Colonel Nathan Kimball and Brigadier General Joseph J. Reynolds defeated the Army of the Northwest at the Battle of Cheat Mountain (September 12-15, 1861).
  • The Army of the Northwest participated in Major General Thomas J. Jackson’s Romney Expedition in January 1862.
  • In late January, disgruntled officers of the Army of the Northwest petitioned the Confederate Secretary of War to have their exposed forces recalled from their isolated position at Romney.
  • On February 7, 1862, Major General Thomas J. Jackson filed charges against Brigadier General William W. Loring, commander of the Army of the Northwest, for “neglect of duty”; and for “conduct subversive of good order and military discipline.”
  • On February 9, 1862, Confederate Secretary of War Judah P. Benjamin issued orders to General Joseph E. Johnston that dissolved the Army of the Northwest.
  • Following the dissolution of the Army of the Northwest, Brigadier General Edward Johnson’s Army of the Allegheny was sometimes informally referred to as the Army of the Northwest.
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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Army of the Northwest (CSA) Facts
  • Coverage June 8, 1861–February 9, 1862
  • Author
  • Keywords army of the northwest
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date August 1, 2021
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update April 2, 2021
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