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McLean Research Associates is dedicated to presenting little known facts about the US Navy in the Civil War, presentations on a myriad of astronomical topics,STEM workshops, and letterboxing.

In commemoration of the 155 years since the Civil War - or more appropriately in the vernacular of the day - The War of the Slaveholders' Rebellion - we are featuring a quote and picture of the day from the Naval Records

Period Picture
Six U.S. Marines
Fri Apr 22 1864

William L Dayton, US minister to France, writes SECSTATE "Our consul at Bordeaux informs me that the Georgia is still lying 3 miles below that port, and that as she came in to repair her engine by putting force enough at work to tinker about the repairs and not make them, she can remain there as long as she may think proper. The rule is that they need not leave port until the repairs are completed. Our consul says that it is rumored and believed that arms and munitions of war are on the Georgia for the purpose of being supplied to the Yeddo, one of the clippers, when she goes out, and that a crew for the clipper is being kept at a boarding house in Bordeaux. To these reported facts I have, of course, called the attention of Mr. Dronyn de Lhuys.
    Those clipper ships at Bordeaux and at Kantes have all closed up, or rather concealed their portholes, so as, to a casual observer, they would have no appearance of ships of war, and although Arman, the constructor, has repeatedly assured the French Government that these vessels, as well as the ironclads, shall be disposed of to a neutral power, yet they continue to advertise in the Gironde, at Bordeaux, that one will leave for China on the 30th of next month and the other on the 30th of the month after. The time for sailing, you will observe, has been extended one month for each vessel.
    I do not at all doubt the good faith of Mr. Dronyn de Lhuys in reference to the sailing of these vessels, but I have not the least confidence in the statements of Mr. Arman. If by chicanery or prevarication of any kind these vessels can be got out and delivered to the Confederates, he, I have no doubt, will do all in his power to accomplish it. There are a number of rebel naval officers about Paris who seem to be waiting here for employment on some rebel ship."

CDR Foxhall A Parker, Potomac Flotilla, writes SECNAV "Having learned from various sources that the rebel Government had established a ferry at Circus Point, a few miles below Tappahannock, on the Rappahannock River, and was busily engaged in collecting boats at same point on the river for the purpose of attacking the blockading vessels, I proceeded thither with a portion of this flotilla on the 18th instant, where I remained until this evening, visiting both banks of the river and all its various creeks (some of which, I was told, had not before been entered during the war), from Circus Point to Windmill Point, with the following result:
    Two ferries broken up; 7 large lighters each capable of carrying 100 men; 3 pontoon boats, 22 large skiffs and canoes, 200 white-oak beams and knees (large enough for the construction of a sloop of war), 500 cords of pine wood, and 300 barrels of corn destroyed. Twenty-two fine boats (one of which is fitted for carrying small arms), 1,000 pounds of bacon, 2 horses, 60 bushels of wheat, a chest of carpenters tools, and many other articles (a correct list of which will be sent to the Department at an early day) brought off.
    Five refugees and 45 contrabands (men, women, and children) were received on board this vessel and landed in Maryland, with the exception of five stout fellows, whom I shipped.
    At Bowlers Rocks, on the south side of the Rappahannock. the landing ot our men was opposed by a large force of cavalry (said to be 500), which was kept at bay by the fire of the Eureka, commanded by Acting Ensign Hallock, and a howitzer launch in charge of Acting Master's Mate Eldridge. Acting Master W. T. Street, who had charge of this expedition, showed good judgment and proved himself a valuable and efficient officer. He speaks highly of Acting Ensign Roderick and Acting Master's Mate Borden, who accompanied him on shore.
    In Parrott's Creek 8 seamen, led by Acting Ensign Nelson, chased 6 of the rebel cavalry.
    Yesterday afternoon, as the Eureka got within 30 yards of the shore just below Urbana, where I had sent her to capture two boats hauled up there, a large number of rebels, lying in ambush, most unexpectedly opened upon her with rifles and a piece of light artillery. Thus taken by surprise, Acting Ensign Hallock displayed admirable presence of mind, and I think not more than five seconds had elapsed before he returned the fire from his light 12-pounder and with small arms, and, although the little Eureka with officers and men has but sixteen souls on board, for some ten minutes (during which time the fight lasted), she was one sheet of flame, the 12-pounder being fired about as fast as a man would discharge a pocket pistol. The rebels were well thrashed, and I think must have suffered considerably. They fortunately fired too high, so that their shells and bullets passed over the Eureka without injury to the vessel or crew. It was quite a gallant affair and reflects a great deal of credit upon both the officers and men of the Eureka, a list of whom I herewith enclose.
    This morning, observing a party of eighteen men at a distance of about 2 miles from this ship with muskets slung over their backs, crawling on their hands and knees to get a shot at some of our men then on shore, I directed a shell to be thrown at them from a 100-pounder Parrott gun, which struck and exploded right in their midst, killing and wounding, I think, a large number of them, as only four were seen after the explosion, who were, as might be supposed, running inland at the top of their speed.
    Lieutenant-Commander Eastman, who had the detailing of the various expeditions, well sustained in the performance of this duty the reputation which he had already acquired of an officer of marked energy and ability.
    I have it from the best authority that the rebels have placed torpedoes in the Rappahannock just above Bowlers Rocks, where this flotilla was anchored off Fort Lowry, off Brooks barn, opposite the first house above Leedstown, and at Layton's somewhat higher up. All these on the port hand going up.
    Others are said to be placed at various points in the river from Fort Lowry to Fredericksburg. They have also been placed in the Piankatank River and in many of the creeks emptying into Chesapeake Bay."

MGEN Benjamin F Butler, USA, telegrams ASSIST SECNAV "Have received particulars from the surgeon of the Miami.
    Ram floated down the river in the night; passed the battery at Plymouth; first discovered immediately under the bows of the Miami floating with the current. The Southfield and Miami were lashed together. Flusser went forward and sighted his bow gun loaded with shell, 10-second fuze. The shell struck the ironclad, rebounded, and killed Flusser instantly at the gun, one piece cutting his heart out. The ram then went into the Southfield and she sank in five minutes. The Miami cast loose and, being afraid she would run aground, backed down the river, firing at the ram, with what damage is not known. When Miami got into the sound she came to anchor and sent the Whitehead up to see what had become of the ironclad. The Ceres, gunboat, took Flusser's body to Roanoke Island and brought away the surgeon with dispatches for Admiral Lee.
    In the meantime the enemy had invested Plymouth and were threatening an assault. Our last report from General Wessells in command was that he was holding out and the enemy were engaged shelling the town. It is reported Plymouth is captured, but not credibly.
    Ram is 125 feet long, draws 8 feet water, has two independent propellers, can make about 4 knots, has two guns, only 20-pounders. She will have done all the mischief she can do, probably, before our obstructions and your camels could be ready.
    Admiral Lee has sent down a gunboat. I have sent three army gunboats under Graham, carrying 30-pounder Parrotts, light draft and very swift, with orders to Graham to run her down. I think we will get a good account of her yet. Will send your telegraph to Graham with instructions to sink the obstructions if practicable.
    Surgeon thinks she had not power enough to go up the Roanoke against the current.
    So far as I can judge, after Flusser was killed no fight was made."

CDR A K Hughes, USS Cimarron, writes CMDR S C Rowan, South Atlantic Blockading Squadron "Having learned from a contraband whom we picked up on South Island on the 20th instant that the rebels were removing rice from a mill about 5 miles distant to the mainland, I determined if possible to take them prisoners and to destroy it.
    This report was confirmed by Prince, our pilot, a very reliable man, who informed me that the rebels had some 15,000 bushels of rice stored in the mill alluded to.
    At 10 p. m. of that day I sent an armed expedition of 30 men, in charge of Acting Master John K. Crosby, with Acting Ensign George F. Howes and Acting Master's Mate Edward P. Crocker to assist him. with orders to land at a point about a mile distant from the mill, to lie in wait until the morning, seize the persons employed in loading the flats, destroy the building, and return to the ship. A landing was effected without difficulty, and, guided by Prince, the party reached the mill at midnight and remained quartered there until the following morning, the 21st.
    Traces of men, such as footprints, and rice scattered around near the landing of the flatboats, gave unmistakable evidence of their recent presence and of the manner in which they had been employed the day before, but no men were seen, neither were any flatboats discovered. I presume scouts had been stationed on the island to warn them of our approach. They had taken all the rice but about 5,000 bushels, which we had no means of removing, and to prevent it from falling into the hands of the enemy the mill was set on fire and completely destroyed, when the party returned to this vessel."

LT W R Browne, USS Restless, writes RADM Theodorus Bailey, East Gulf Blockading Squadron "I have the honor to report that I fitted out the bark on the afternoon of the 17th for a cruise up East Bay to destroy salt works, which are constantly being put up as fast as opportunities occur after we demolish them. She was absent four days, and destroyed very large works, the only establishment in operation there. There are no other works on East Bay at present, and I hardly think they will attempt to make salt on this bay again, as they are aware of our having mounted a howitzer on the barge. There are some few small concerns in operation on West Bay, and I am only waiting an addition to those now there when I shall fit out another expedition, and am in hopes of making quite a formidable raid, one that will make it worth our while to report."

RADM David Glasgow Farragut, West Gulf Blockading Squadron, writes SECNAV "In your letter of February, 1864, to the United States marshal of New Orleans, you directed him to retain all British blockade runners until further orders. On referring to the letter of the honorable Secretary of State, dated July 23, 1863, to Lord Lyons, there appears to be a little discrepancy, as he concedes to Lord Lyons that blockade runners are not to be detained beyond a certain limit. What that limit is I do not know, unless it be the time required to give in their testimony before the court.
    I beg, however, to call the attention of the Department to the fact that among these blockade runners are many passengers, some of whom are evidently in the employ of the rebels, and when turned at liberty are free to pursue their mission by way of New York or Havana, as the case may be."

LCDR Watson Smith, SOPA Alexandria LA, writes LT Jonathan V Johnston, USS Forest Rose, "If not in opposition to orders already received, give convoy to such transports as may be going down the river. I believe you said you were directed to go down river again.
    Those vessels will be much assisted and relieved by your presence."

Teachers and Educators - we have several Civil War presentations covering the US Navy throughout the Civil War which include our portable museum, Submarines, and key naval and land battles. Check out our Civil War section for more details. We also have several presentations on astronomy for all age groups

Join Rangers Kim and Geoff for some interesting presenations and outings for The Last Green Valley.

16 JUN 2018 Camp Laurel
Lebanon. CT
30 JUL 2018 Ayer's Farm

Mars Party
6 OCT 2018 Sprague Land Trust
Bolton Rd.
Deep Sky Observing
13 OCT 2018 Sprague Land Trust
Bolton Rd.
Deep Sky Observing
15 OCT 2018 Brown Park
Maritime History of Norwich
27 OCT 2018 Brown Park
Maritime History of Norwich

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