On Tuesday, January 8, 1861, Secretary of the Interior Jacob Thompson of Mississippi resigned. He had been the last Southerner left in Buchanan's cabinet. One of his last acts in Washington was to telegraph the authorities in Charleston to let them know that the Star of the West was coming with reinforcements and supplies for Fort Sumter.
Also on this date, in Florida, U.S. troops at Fort Barrancas, guarding the entrance to Pensacola Harbor, fired upon and drove away a raiding party. Fort Mason at St. Augustine had been seized the day before.