Confederate States Army, June 1861 Confederate Armies & Departments in the Eastern Theater < to May • June 1861 • to July > The Confederate Army of the Shenandoah was organized on June 17, 1861 at Winchester, Virginia, under the command of General Joseph Johnston. 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. The Department of Norfolk under the command of Brigadier General Benjamin Huger was responsible for the defence of North Carolina and Southern Virginia.