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last update Tuesday, 15-May-2018 08:33:08 PDT

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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


date ne current_date
Period Picture
A David class semi-submersible (Confederate)
Tue Aug 18 1863

CMDR J B Montgomery, Boston Navy Yard writes SECNAV "The U. S. bark Ethan Allen arrived at this port this day at 11 o'clock a. m., having been cruising since the 11th July without any event of importance having occurred."

CDR C H Baldwin, USS Vanderbilt, writes Sir Charles Elliot, Governor, St Helena, "For the information of your Excellency, I beg to state the occasion of the return of this ship to this port.
    A careful examination of our coal bunkers proves that we have not so much coal on board as we had believed, and not enough, in the opinion of the chief engineer, to enable us to reach a port where we might obtain a sufficient supply.
    Under these circumstances, I have the honor to ask permission of your Excellency to remain in this port sufficiently long to enable me to take on board a moderate amount of coal."
Elliot replies "I have had the honor to receive your letter of this date, acquainting me, in explanation of the return of the United States ship under your command off this anchorage, that on a careful examination of your remains of coal you find you have not so much on board as you had believed, and not so much as, in the opinion of the chief engineer, would enable you to reach a port where you can obtain a supply. In that situation of circumstances I find myself at liberty to accede to your request to remain in this port sufficiently long to enable you to take on board a moderate amount of coal."

CDR N B Harrison, SOPA New Inlet, writes RADM Samuel P Lee, North Atlantic Blockading Squadron "Lieutenant Cushing leaves to-night for Beaufort.
    In the absence of Captain Case, I have the honor to report that the blockading force is reduced to the Minnesota and Niphon, the latter vessel being nearly out of coal.
    On Sunday, the 16th, a sidewheel steamer ran the blockade. On Monday, at daylight, a bark-rigged propeller was discovered at anchor under the guns of Fort Fisher. On the approach of the Niphon and Shokokon she ran into the inlet. This vessel is evidently one of the English-built privateers, and answers to the description of the Southerner.
    This morning the side-wheel steamer Hebe was run on shore and destroyed by the Niphon and Shokokon. Lieutenant Cushing will make his report."

RADM Jonathan Dahlgren, South Atlantic Blockading Squadron telegrams General Gillmore from off Morris Island, "A detachment of ironclads will be in position at daylight."

LT Maffitt, CSS Florida, writes John Slidell, CS Commissioner, Paris "I am under the necessity of entering a friendly harbor for the purpose of making important repairs on both engines and hull of this vessel.
    Having coaled on the 20th ultimo in an English port, I can not, by the Queens proclamation of neutrality, again enter one of her harbors until the 26th of October next. It thus renders it obligatory to enter a French port, and I have selected Brest as the most favorable in all respects for the vital repairs that are required on this steamer.
    My chief engineer thinks that eighteen days will complete all that is necessary, and I respectfully request your interest in obtaining time, as well as facilities, in the harbor of Brest.
    The Florida has thus far been put to her fullest capacity, and that, too, without opportunity for such necessary repairs as are constantly required on board of a steamer.
     Lieutenant S. W. Averett, of this vessel, will present this and more fully state the absolute necessity that exists for immediate repairs."

RADM Theodorus Bailey, East Gulf Blockading Squadron writes BGEN D P Woodbury, USA Key West "James E. Smith, master of the captured sloop Clara Louisa, and John H. Adams, master of the captured schooner Southern Rights, have been examined and discharged by the court, but, having reason to know that they come within the rule of those who are directed to be sent north, I wish to secure and send them on board the steamer H. Hudson. I would be much obliged to you, therefore, if you would have the kindness to direct the provost-marshal to arrest them and deliver them to my order."

LCO G A Eberhart, 32nd Iowa Infantry, writes COL John Scott, 32nd Iowa, from 8 miles below Clarendon "....Left L'Anguille on the 5th. Reached Clarendon, after a march of 53 miles, on the 8th.
    On the 9th, gunboats 2, 3, 6, and 10 came up. While we were there, our detachment was kept busy going out with forage trains.
    On the 12th, received orders to take the detachment on board gunboat Cricket (6) and Marmora (2). Embarked at dark Companies A and D, under Captain de Tar, on board the Cricket; Companies F and G, myself in command, on the Marmora.
    At 3 a. m., 13th instant, we moved up the river, accompanied by the gunboat Lexington. Captain Bache was in command of the fleet. At Des Arc we took some citizens, and burned a large warehouse containing a quantity of Confederate States Army property.
    While there, by request of Captain Bache, I went on board the Lexington, during the rest of the trip. Anchored at the mouth of Little Red that night.
    Next morning the Cricket went up Little Red River in search of two Confederate steamers. We continued up White River until 12 m., at which time we arrived at Augusta. Threw out skirmishers around the town, but found no soldiers. After remaining there about half an hour, we started on our return down the river; came to the mouth of the Little Red about 3 p. m. when, seeing nothing of the Cricket, the Lexington started up in search of her. (Marmora anchored until we returned.) When up the river about 20 miles we met her, with the two boats she went after. Shortly after she left us in the morning, the captain ascertained, from some negroes on shore, that one of them was about an hour and a half ahead of him, she having laid near us in the river during the night.
    The Cricket continued up the river about 40 miles, when, turning a bend came in sight of the town of Searcy, the two boats, and a good pontoon bridge across the river. Took possession of the boats without trouble. Company D was thrown out around the town. Company A, under Lieutenant M. Ackerman, piled up the bridge and burned it, leaving part of Marmaduke's force yet on the east side of the river. A crew was placed on the prize steamers (Tom Sugg and Kaskaskia) , and Company D placed on the two boats, Company A remaining on the Cricket, Lieutenant W. D. Templin on the Kaskaskia, and Lieutenant R. J. Shannon on the Tom Sugg. When 10 miles below Searcy, on their return, they were fired into by about 500 of Marmaduke's men. The fight lasted about twenty minutes, along the bank, our boys pitching into them in fine style. The pilot of the Kaskaskia was wounded in the arm and head. The boat swung around, but the rebels were driven away before she could go ashore, and the Cricket took her in tow.
    It was very warm work, the firing being at a distance of about 30 yards. Company D had 6 wounded (1 mortally - George Fox - died that night). The rebels had a great many more hurt, or they were seen to fall in a peculiar manner. Ten miles below the scene of the fight we met them, turned around, and accompanied them down. We had not made more than 5 miles when we were again attacked by a number of them. Our boys again fed them pretty well. No one hurt with us. The Cricket opened with her howitzers; the old Lex- ington with her 8-inch guns, which must have given them such a scare as they never had before, for they left very suddenly. We received quite a number of shots on the Lexington, but no one was hurt. Anchored for the night at the mouth of the river. Next day (15th) returned to Clarendon, firing occasional shots at rebel pickets seen on shore.
    Captain Bache and myself waited on the general (Davidson) to make our reports. He (the general) was tickled wonderfully at the unexpected success of the expedition, as we did not think of getting the boats, which we supposed would be up some bayou where we could not run. The general now thinks a great deal of the detachment, but gives us, in consequence, plenty to do, for on the 16th received orders to report, with command and baggage train, at the transports. After loading with part of the Thirteenth Illinois Cavalry and our detachment we ran to this place, landed about dark and threw the troops out, who were fired into by the pickets of the rebels."

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.

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

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




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