The Confederate Army the Potomac was organized on June 20, 1861, from all operational forces in northern Virginia, under the command of General P.G.T. Beuregard. It guarded the northern border of Virginia as far west as the mountains.
The Army of the Peninsula under the command of Colonel John Magruder defended the eastern approaches to Richmond. Federal forces under Benjamin Butler clashed with Confederates at Big Bethel, not far from the Union positions at Fort Monroe. The scope of the fighting and casualties was tiny compared to later actions but the incident stands out as one of the earliest fights of the Civil War.
The Department of Norfolk under the command of Brigadier General Benjamin Huger was responsible for the defence of North Carolina and Southern Virginia.