About us Civil War Naval Reenactment Media Room Nash Genealogy My Photography Armory Girl Scout Astronomy Boy Scout Astronomy Adventures With Cody
last update Saturday, 08-Apr-2017 12:17:04 PDT


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, 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
USS Onandaga
Tue Jan 20 1863

SECNAV writes RADM Charles Wilkes, West India Squadron "The U. S. ship Shepherd Knapp, Acting Volunteer Lieutenant H. S. Eytinge, is about to sail from New York in search of the 290 and other piratical cruisers. Her instructions are to touch at St. Thomas, and if she meets with you to report as a part of your squadron; if not, she is to proceed through the Windward Islands and along the coast of South America. You are authorized to consider her as attached to your squadron and to issue instructions and send them to her at St. Thomas. The U. S. S. Alabama, Commander E. T. Nichols, may also remain in your squadron. She sailed from Boston January 1 for St. Thomas, in search of the 290. The San Jacinto is intended as the flagship of Acting Rear-Admiral Bailey, who has been directed to retain her on her arrival at Key West. The Connecticut, Commander George H. Cooper, is on special service convoying the treasure steamers from Aspinwall westward",/i>

SECNAV writes LT Eytinge, USS Shepherd Knapp, "Proceed with the U. S. ship Shepherd Knapp under your command to the West Indies in search of the 290 or other piratical vessels that may be cruising in that quarter. You will first touch at St. Thomas, and if Acting Rear-Admiral Wilkes is there report to him for instructions as a part of the squadron under his command. If you do not meet him shape your course through the Windward Islands and along the northeast coast of South America, unless you should receive reliable information of the presence of privateers in other localities which would justify your going in pursuit thereof. When necessary to replenish your supply of provisions return to New York. Communicate with the Department when opportunity offers.
Two suspicious vessels have recently refitted at St. Thomas, the Dixie and the Retribution. There seems to be but little doubt that the object of the latter is to prey upon our commerce, and perhaps the former has a similar purpose. There is also reason to believe there is another steamer, very much like the 290, cruising in the West Indies for piratical purposes. She coaled at the Island of Blanquilla from a schooner and left there on the evening of the 14th ultimo. She gave her name as the Alabama, or 290, and the description answers to her. But there are other circumstances leading to the conclusion that it could not have been the Alabama. It may have been the Oreto, which, it was reported, had escaped from Mobile. She is almost a sister ship to the Alabama, except that she has two smokestacks and the Alabama only one
The Retribution is described as a small black schooner of 150 tons, formerly a steamer, from which fact her masts are set wide apart, sails old and dark, bow perpendicular and rather inclining in, as is the case with our tugboats. The wood filling up the space which the propeller occupied can be easily discerned. The Dixie, a Danish schooner, was purchased by the master of the Retribution, is a small black vessel of 130 to 150 tons.
Whilst your special object will be the search of these piratical cruisers, you will exercise vigilance in other cases, seizing vessels engaged in carrying contraband of war to the insurgents, but at all times respecting neutral rights and neutral waters. Transmitted herewith is a copy of the circular letter issued by the Department on the 18th of August last for the guidance of our cruisers; also some recent general orders."

RADM Wilkes writes CDR Stevens, USS Wachusett, "You will proceed with the Sonoma to Key West, where you will fill up with coal, with as little delay as possible, and then call at The Havannah, where you will find me or orders. Should the Santiago de Cuba be at Key West, you will direct Commander Ridgely to repair to Havana as soon as possible, where he will fiumd me or orders. You will bring with you to Havana the prize officers and crew of the Virginia, unless their services are further required on board that vessel."

Master Linnekin, USS Currituck, writes CMDR Andrew A Harwood, Potomac Flotilla, "I beg to report I left the Wicomico this morning at daybreak for the Rappahannock with mails for the Anacostia. On passing this place I saw a canoe standing in and immediately gave chase. On my getting inside we descried her about one-half mile farther up the creek. I immediately sent two boats in charge of the executive officer, who found her on the beach, the goods removed and the crew escaped. They succeeded, however, with the assistance of a negro, in finding the goods and another canoe, which I am informed ran the blockade a few hours previously. On referring to the accompanying index, you will perceive there were sufficient goods captured to freight the two canoes. Considering the canoes worthless, I have retained one and given the other to the Anacostia; they may be useful in navigating the numerous creeks on this coast."

RADM Samuel P Lee, North Atlantic Blockading Squadron writes SECNAV, "I enclose a copy of a report from Lieutenant-Commander Flusser, commanding U. S. S. Commodore Perry, dated January 5, regarding a contraband trade between Norfolk and Richmond, accidentally omitted from my No. 82 of yesterday." In a second letter he writes "In addition to the statement of contraband trade between Norfolk and Richmond, as reported January 5 by Lieutenant-Commander Flusser, of the Commodore Perry, in Albemarle Sound and referred to the Department in copy in my No. 82 of yesterday, I beg to submit a copy of an additional report from the same officer, dated January 13, on the habitual passage of large quantities of goods from Norfolk over the Perquimans River en route to Richmond, and on his measures to embarrass and destroy this traffic.
I have referred the subject to Major-General Dix in order that proper steps may be taken to put a stop to this reported large and mischievous traffic from Norfolk."
In a third letter he writes "The severe Southerly gale here on the 16th instant gave me much uneasiness for the safety of the vessels on the blockade off Wilmington.
The verbal report of Acting Lieutenant Commanding Baldwin, of the Vanderbilt, of the violence of this gale, as experienced by him, increased my concern, and now I see by the public papers that the Colorado ,which left here on the 8th instant for the southward, has gone into New York damaged, and that one of the blockaders off Wilmington, as quoted from the Richmond papers, was ashore.
It is a relief to know that the Miami, under orders for Wilmington, was at Beaufort on the 3d, awaiting further instructions. I have ordered her to return here.
The report of Captain Drayton, of the 12th instant, that the Passaic was at Beaufort waiting favorable weather, is encouraging, and I trust that she is there still; but I am anxious lest the ironclads at Beaufort like those from New York, put to sea in the favorable weather of yesterday and the day before and that they are exposed to the present easterly gale."
In post script he adds "January 21, a. m. The Richmond Enquirer of the 17th contains a dispatch dated the 16th front Wilmington, stating that the Columbia was ashore at Masonboro Inlet, and that her commander, Couthouy, twelve officers and twenty-eight men, surrendered to the enemy; also that four blockaders who approached to render assistance were kept off by the enemy. I shall have this case investigated thoroughly and ascertain if the Columbia's signal book was lost. If so, the Department will be informed at once."

RADM F Gregory, Superintendent writes Chief Engineer E D Robie, "You will accompany the rafts and shells, etc., to Port Royal, S. C., in the steamer Ericsson, which has been chartered to tow the former and carry the latter.
You will consider the whole as under your especial charge from the time they leave this port until the arrival of Chief Engineer Stimers.
Acting Lieutenant Faucon, U. S. Navy, has been directed to assume the charge of their transportation to Port Royal, and to deliver them to Rear-Admiral Du Pont, commanding South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, to whom you will also report yourself as the officer having charge of them and understanding their use.
If, during their passage, you observe that the rafts or any part of the cargo is receiving any injuries that will militate against their successful operation when put to use, you will represent it to Lieutenant Faucon, that he may, if possible, correct the evil.
You will take with you four ship carpenters and four machinists, selected from those who have been employed in the construction of the rafts and shells, with the view to their employment when they are put to use, one of each to each raft, and you will so instruct these men that they would be enabled to go on, prepare and apply the shells in case of accident to the officers having them in charge.
It is expected that the Ericsson will remain as a storeship of the shells, etc., and a home for your party until they have been used.
Enclosed I send you a copy of the charter of the Ericsson, which may, perhaps, be of use to you in case of dispute."

RADM Du Pont writes CDR J L Worden, USS Montauk, "The tempestuous weather would render it improper to expose the Montauk at sea again until there has been some change. At this moment an inside blockading force is holding Ossabaw Inlet, coast of Georgia, consisting of two regular XI-inch gunboats, with the Dawn and a mortar vessel. The Canandaigua, a formidable ship, is also lying off the bar. The Nashville is up the Great Ogeechee, having been fitted as a privateer, and is lying under a five or seven-gun battery, waiting to run to sea.
We have report that the Fingal (now called the Atlanta), an ironclad, will attempt to aid the Nashville in escaping.
As the most important operations on this coast must be delayed until other vessels arrive, and until those now here can be made ready, it strikes me a very important and handsome thing may be done by capturing this fort on the Ogeechee and in destroying the Nashville, and, should matters go well, in burning the railroad bridge which the gunboats can lay alongside of.
Will you please, then, get ready for this service with the least delay possible? Pilots will be provided, and if the Canandaigua remains outside, the gunboats will be necessarily under your orders as senior officer.
I shall see you myself before you leave, when further details will be arranged."

CAPT John L Worden, USS Montauk,writes SECNAV "I have the honor to report that this ship left the bar of Beaufort, N. C., at 5:30, p. m. on the 17th instant; weather clear, wind northerly, and a little of the old S. W. sea still rolling; continued clear and moderate until sunrise of the 18th, when the wind hauled to the northward and eastward, with cloudy, threatening weather; at times it breezed up quite strongly, with the sea rising until sunset, when it partially cleared and the wind backed into N. by W. and so continued until midnight; sea rather increasing and confused. Toward the morning of the 19th the wind hauled again to the N. E., weather thickening and sea rising and more confused. At 10 o'clock a. m.crossed the S. E. channel bar of Port Royal entrance, and at 11:45 came to at this anchorage. Average speed down, about 6~ knots, ships motion easy both ways; on one occasion the stern overhang struck quite heavily five or six times, as reported by the engineer of the watch but no unusual shock was felt on the turret at the time; soon after, the port overhang limber began to deliver a small stream, indicating either, firstly, that water had made its way more than usual around the rudder-hatch packing; or secondly, that water had made its way up through the rudderhead packing; or thirdly, that she had sprung a small leak in the overhang.
During the whole passage considerable water forced its way into the forward overhang and thence through the joints of the overhang bulkhead into the windlass room; she leaked a great deal about the decks, deadlights, and hatch covers. In rolling, the shock of the impact of side overhang was very perceptible all over the vessel. The sea sometimes broke over the deck as much as 2 or 3 feet deep. In a small, slow sea she is quite buoyant and lively; to a quick, heavy sea, the extent of experience thus far shows little disposition to give to or recover from. She steers well and steadily as long as she has good way on, especially in running before the wind; on the whole, she has behaved so far very well with the moderate test she has had, but gives positive indication that if forced end on into a sea will strain both overhangs greatly; and if she gets into the trough of the sea will wallow very heavily, to such an extent indeed, as to render the breaking of a tolerably high sea over the turret almost certain."

SECNAV writes RADM Theodorus Bailey East Gulf Blockading Squadron "You will not hereafter release on parole any prisoners who are officers in the rebel service, captured by the vessels under your command, but send them North for the Government to dispose of."

RADM Bailey writes SECNAV "The U. S. S. Oneida, Captain Hazard, arrived this evening with the enclosed communication from Rear-Admiral Farragut, from which you will learn that the U. S. S. Hatteras was captured off Galveston by the rebel steamer Alabama, or 290. The Oneida also brings the intelligence that the rebel steamer Florida, or Oreto, escaped from Mobile on the night of 15th January and was hotly pursued by the Cuyler. When last seen the Cuyler was about 4 miles astern of the chase. Having apprehensions that the 290 and the Oreto may have the design of raising the blockade of the ports on my station by uniting and capturing the small blockading steamers and sailing vessels scattered on blockade of the different ports, I send immediately the Huntsville to St. Marks and Apalachicola as a precaution. The San Jacinto, the only remaining steamer in port capable of getting up steam, I shall keep ready to put upon their track when I get information of their whereabouts.
I have the honor to request a reinforcement of steamers of speed and force to pursue and capture the rebel steamers, as well as protect my line of blockade. I am also informed by Lieutenant-Commanders Morris and Crosman that the rebels are building four gunboats on the Chattahoochee River under the direction of Catesby Jones, late of our Navy, and that two of them, heavily armed, are said to be ready to come down to engage our blockading vessels. This information renders it the more necessary that this squadron should receive the support indicated above."
The letter is endorsed "Let Vanderbilt and others be at once put on her track."

RADM David Glasgow Farragut, West Gulf Blockading Squadron, writes CMDR H H Bell, SOPA Galveston, " H. B. M. S. Rinaldo will be off Galveston to communicate with the British consul. Captain Hewett requested me to give you notice of her coming, in order to prevent any accidental misunderstanding after the affair of the Hatteras.
I deeply regret that it has not been in my power to send you the two gunboats sooner, but it has been impossible, and the Itasca and Katahdin will not be ready for three days yet.
I fear the time has passed for your going into Galveston, as I am informed by one of the officers that by working on Sunday they had four guns in battery on Monday morning on the point.
I have directed the Tennessee to call at Sabine Pass and let you know whether all was right there.
If you deem it necessary you can send her to Matagorda and down the coast to see how things are progressing.
Have you heard from Matagorda or from the Kensington?
Let me hear about the state of affairs with you.
The Oreto ran out on the 16th. The R. R. Cuyler is still in chase. When last seen they were both scudding before a gale, the Oreto 4 miles ahead. The Oneida, Captain Hazard, did not give chase but has gone to Key West with the news, etc., and to look for her and the 290.
I have sent coal vessels down to you on the 16th instant."

CMDR Bell writes Monsieur B. Thisron, Consular Agent of France and Vice-Consul of Spain, Galveston "I had the honor to-day of receiving your letter dated 11th January, 1863, forwarded by General Magruder under a flag of truce, expressing the regret which I (the consul) experienced yesterday in witnessing the bombardment which you (Commodore Bell) have thought proper to direct upon the city of Galveston without previous notification to the consuls, according to the customs under the laws of war and of civilized nations, and you proceed to say that act has no precedent in the history of nations, if it is not that of Captain James Alden, of the U. S. steam sloop of war South Carolina, who proceeded precisely in your way by his action of the 3d of August, 1861.
I have not authorized any shots to be fired into the city of Galveston; some few fired at the defenses surrounding the town may have gone wild, and it is a perversion of language to denominate such stray shots a bombardment.
On the 10th instant shells were thrown from these vessels upon troops who were erecting batteries to the northeast from the city and outside of it; also overland at the armed steamer Harriet Lane, which was in view, lying in the upper harbor, and these guns were so well served that she was made to shift her berth twice within a short space of time. Whilst this was occurring, some pieces of field artillery on the beach near the middle of the city opened fire on the blockading vessels. This fire was returned, and it is possible that a very few shots went over into the city, but there was no bombardment. A bombardment for one-half hour by these vessels from the outside beach would set all Galveston in a blaze; this everybody knows.
It becomes my duty to refer to the Government of the United States that clause of your letter which refers to the conduct of Captain James Alden, of the U. S. steam sloop of war South Carolina, August 3, 1861. The allusion which you made to that officer was supererogatory and might have become an open enemy of the United States, but surely not the consular agent of friendly neutrals.
The city of Galveston was on the 10th instant, and is at this day, used as a garrison by the Confederate troops; it has workshops and a foundry in active operation, and is surrounded north, south, east and west, on the harbor side as well as on the seaside, by numerous batteries and armed vessels in its harbor, lying within 100 yards of its houses. It is, in fact, a fortified and strongly garrisoned city, and is therefore subject to the same treatment, proceedings, and casualties that any other fortified city is liable [to].
The foreign consuls, foreigners, and citizens have been warned of their danger again and again, and many of them, foreigners and citizens, did withdraw from the city when the United States naval forces occupied the harbor. It is to be regretted if any of them afterwards accepted the delusive proclamation of General Magruder, dated 4th January, and returned to the city as being open for trade to all friendly nations, its blockading forces having been driven beyond its neighboring waters and the blockade thus raised. That proclamation was communicated to me to-day for the first time and was entirely unknown to me. The invitation which it gives to friendly nations to resume their usual trade with Galveston as an open port is futile as well as deceptive, and the foreign consuls must be aware of this.
It will give me much pleasure, Mr. Consul, to forward your official correspondence, with the seal of your office upon it, by such opportunities as may arise from time to time."

CMDR Bell writes to MGEN Magruder, CSA "I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 13th instant, by the hands of Colonel J. J. Cook, of the Confederate Artillery, together with a letter from Assistant Surgeon Thomas N. Penrose, U. S. Navy, and A. J. Cummings, surgeon of the Forty-second Massachusetts Volunteers.
The nunnery used as a hospital, to which Surgeons Penrose and Cummings and yourself refer, has been pointed out to me by Colonel Cook and will be respected by the vessels under my command if you will further designate it by hoisting a yellow flag over it.
In a postscript to your letter you remark that you understand that the city of Galveston was bombarded on the 10th instant without notice to the inhabitants by the ships under my command.
I have not authorized a bombardment of the city of Galveston, and if shot fell in it they were fired without my knowledge or consent. On that day I directed a few rounds upon your batteries only, situated to the northeast from the city. I also directed the armed steamer Harriet Lane, lying in the upper part of Galveston Harbor, to be fired upon, which was so effectively done that she twice moved her berth; but the city, as far as my knowledge goes, was not bombarded. Some field guns on the edge of the city, east side, fired upon one of the gunboats, and thus invited a return fire. For this I surely am not responsible. Your guns being planted all round the city, gives it in some degree the character of a fortress.
The proclamation which you issued on the 4th instant, and which I had the honor to receive to-day, by which you invite trade to Galveston as an open port, can only delude foreigners into having their property captured. The entire coast has been and is under blockade. Although you drove out from Galveston the United States vessels, you did not drive them off the coast. Manifestly you had not the means, and your steamboats did not come out of port.
I thank you, general, most cordially, for the kind treatment which Surgeons Penrose and Cummings, of the United States Navy and Army, have assured me has been extended to the wounded sailors and soldiers in the service of the United States by your own medical corps.
I am verbally informed by Colonel Cook that the United States troops captured in Galveston on the 1st instant have been forwarded to Vicksburg, and that you will release on parole the captured men from the steamer Harriet Lane, if I make arrangements to receive them. It will give me great pleasure to receive them on board the United States vessels lying off this port any day most convenient to yourself, and I would thank you to let me know in what manner I may contribute toward bringing them out and at what point I can receive them.
No portion of the late Captain Wainwrights property, referred to in your letter, has been received by me.
I will have a communication for the French and Spanish consular agent to-morrow at 10 a. m., and would trouble you to send out for it. My boat will meet yours after she appears outside of the harbor."

MGEN John A McClernand, USA Army of the Mississippi, writes "I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the forces of which, in pursuance of the order of Major-General Grant, commanding Department of the Tennessee, I assumed command on the 4th instant, at Millikens Bend, La., resulting in the reduction of Fort Hindman, more generally known as Post [of] Arkansas:
These forces, styled by me for convenience and propriety of description the Army of the Mississippi, consisted of parts of two corps darmie, viz., the Thirteenth my own, and the Fifteenth, Major General Shermans. Desiring to give my undivided attention to matters affecting the general command, I immediately assigned Brigadier-General George W. Morgan, a tried and meritorious officer, to the command of the Thirteenth Corps dArmie, in which he was the senior division commander....
Having, as already mentioned, assumed command of these forces on the 4th instant after they had retired from the neighborhood of Vicksburg, I sailed with them the same day in execution of a purpose, the importance of which I had suggested to General Gorman at Helena, December 30, on my way down the river. That purpose was the reduction of Fort Hindman, which had been laboriously and skillfully enlarged and strengthened since the commencement of the rebellion, which formed the key to Little Rock, the capital of the State of Arkansas, and the extensive and valuable country drained by the Arkansas River, and from which hostile detachments were constantly sent forth to obstruct the navigation of the Mississippi River and thereby our communications.
A government transport, the Blue Wing, laden with valuable military stores, only a few days before, fell prey to one of these detachments, and ammunition taken from her was used against us in the engagement of which I am giving an account. Without turning my arms in this direction, my forces must have continued comparatively idle at Millikens Bend until you should have altered your plan for the reduction of Vicksburg or recalled them....
Dispatching Colonel Stewart, chief of cavalry, with my escort to explore the ground to the bayou on the right, I hastened back and requested Rear-Admiral Porter, commanding the Mississippi Squadron, to advance the gunboats and open fire on the enemys works for the purpose of diverting his attention while the land forces should gain the positions assigned to them. Promptly complying, the admiral advanced his boats and opened a terrific cannonade upon the fort, which was continued an hour or more and until after nightfall....
Post [of] Arkansas, a small village, the capital of Arkansas County, is situated on elevated ground, above the reach of floods, and defining for some miles the left bank of the river. It was settled by the French in 1685; is 50 miles above the mouth of the river, 117 miles below Little Rock, and is surrounded by a fruitful country, abounding in cattle, corn, and cotton.
Fort Hindman, a square, full- bastioned fort, was erected within this village, upon the bank of the river, at the head of a bend resembling a horseshoe....
Having placed in battery, at the request of Admiral Porter, two 20-pounder Parrotts, as already explained, for the purpose of dismounting the gun in the lower casemate, which had seriously annoyed the gunboats on the previous evening, and all my forces being ready for action, I sent word to the admiral accordingly, and notified him that as soon as he had opened fire I would advance to the attack of the enemys works, and at 12 m. repeated the same communication.
At 1 p. m. the gunboats opened fire, immediately followed by the fire of artillery along the right wing of my line, and soon after by the fire of artillery along the left wing. At the expiration of thirty minutes the infantry were to advance to the charge, and when our men were heard shooting the gunboats, in order to avoid inflicting injury upon them, were to cease firing....
Colonel Lindsey, as soon as a gunboat had passed above the fort, hastened with his brigade down the opposite shore and opened an oblique fire from Fosters two 20 and Lieutenant Wilsons two 10 pounder Parrotts into the enemys line of rifle pits, carrying away his battle flag and killing a number of his men. Eager to do still more, he embarked the Third Kentucky on board of one of the gunboats to cross the river to the fort, but before it got over the enemy had surrendered.
Thus, at 4:30 o'clock, after three and a half hours hard fighting, our forces entered and took possession of all the enemys defenses....
The prisoners of war I forwarded to the commissioner for the exchange of prisoners at St. Louis; and utterly destroying all of the enemy's defenses, together with all buildings used by him for military purposes, I reembarked my command and sailed for Millikens Bend on the 17th instant, in obedience to Major-General Grants order....
The maps and drawings herewith submitted will illustrate the disposition of the land forces, the position of the gunboats, the defenses of the enemy, the field of operations, and the surrounding country."

Master George W Brown, USS forest Rose writes RADM David Dixon Porter, Mississippi Squadron, "In obedience to your order I left the Arkansas River on the 15th and proceeded up White River with the bearer of dispatches to General Gorman. I came up with the fleet at Devalls Bluff on the morning of the 17th, and reported to Lieutenant-Commander Walker, who ordered me to be ready to proceed to Des Arc.
At 11: 30 he came on board and started up the river, the Romeo and one transport following. We arrived at Des Arc about 3 p. m. We landed and proceeded to the post-office and took possession of the mail. We found no troops except 39 in and about the hospital, which I paroled by Lieutenant-Commander Walkers orders and sent him a descriptive list of them. At about 4 o'clock the troops landed and searched the place for arms. They found a small quantity. The Romeo took on board a quantity of 12-pounder ammunition, which was found in a store. I took on board at Des Arc, James Warren and family, who wanted to get to Illinois, and brought them to Devalls Bluff, and sent them over to General Gorman. We left Des Arc at daylight Sunday morning. At 3 p. m. the bearer of dispatches returned on board, when we got underway and have made the best of our way down the river. I stopped at Crocketts Bluff and took on board about 4,000 feet of lumber, the only lot I have seen on the river."

RADM Porter writes LCDR Joshua Bishop SOPA Memphis, "You will please find out who stopped our mortars at Helena, and, hereafter, when anything is sent down in charge of a towboat make an agreement with the master that he is only to be paid on the delivery of the articles."

RADM Porter writes LCDR Bache, USS Cincinnati, "You will remain at the mouth of White River until the Conestoga comes down from Memphis, when you will proceed to Millikens Bend or the mouth of Yazoo River, and report to me there.
You will see that the empty coal barges are taken proper care of until a towboat can tow them to Cairo. The steamer Signal will be left under your command, and will remain at the mouth of White River until further orders from me. When coal barges arrive retain the smallest one here and fill up from it, taking care that it will be secured when you have done coaling, and that it will be pumped out at regular intervals.
The Signal will lie in the mouth of White River to keep watch so that you may not be surprised by the enemy's rams or boats with troops that might board you. Keep your bow guns loaded with solid shot; the others with shell and shrapnel. Keep a good watch all the time, according to the general orders, and do not be taken by surprise, as the Harriet Lane was. If an enemy appear in the river, the lookout vessel will fire a gun or guns and retreat under your protection.
When you come down, give convoy to any steamers towing coal. Run carefully, and see that no accident happens to the coal, which is very scarce just now."

SECNAV writes RADM Porter, "Hereafter you will not release on parole any prisoners who are officers in the rebel service, captured by the vessels under your command, but retain them for the Government to dispose of."

RADM Porter writes LT Brown, USS Forest Rose "You will proceed without delay with dispatches to Helena, which dispatches you will send to Cairo by the mail. If there is no chance of sending by the mail at Helena proceed to Memphis and send the letters from there. As you go along look out for a mortar and two coal barges that are about 20 miles above this or at Island 66 or 56, I do not know which. Secure them so that they can not be destroyed, and when you return bring all you can with you. The commanding officer at Memphis will give you all needful assistance for repairs.
Fill up full with coal at Memphis and return to me without delay. Give convoy to any of our vessels coming down from Memphis."

MGEN Grant, USA, writes General orders #7 "I. All trading, trafficking, or the landing of boats at points south of Memphis other than at military posts, or points guarded by the Navy, is positively prohibited.
II. All officers of boats violating this order will be arrested and placed in close confinement. The boats and cargoes, unless the property of the Government, will be turned over to the quartermasters department for the benefit of the Government
III. All officers of the Army passing up and down the river are directed to report all violations of this order, together with the names of the boats, place, and date, to the first military post on their route, and to the commanding officer at the end of their route.
IV. The Navy is respectfully requested to cooperate in the enforcement of this order."

RADM Porter writes LCDR Thomas O Selfridge, USS Conestoga, "I am anxious that you should get here with the Bragg and Conestoga as soon as possible and relieve the Cincinnati. - Fill up with coal and tow down to this place a barge of coal from Memphis. We are entirely out. When you come here take every precaution against surprise.
Take charge of all empty coal barges and secure them close into the island abreast of where you laid when here. The Pontchartrain is not destroyed yet. Look out for her.
Lieutenant-Commander Bache will show you his orders, which you will carry out."
In post script he adds "Take a look into White River now and then. A good place for one of the vessels to lie is at the cut-off, moving her position at night, showing no light, and striking no bells night or day. It would be desirable to take the Blue Wing, if possible, and prevent all communication by water between the Arkansas and White rivers."

RADM Porter writes COL Charles Rivers Ellet, Ram Fleet, "Our gunboats are 300 miles up White River, the De Kalb, Cincinnati, Glide, Romeo, and Signal. I wish you to enter White River and take position at the cut-off, where we laid the other day, and be ready to take the ram in the rear, if she should dare to come down, or to catch any steamer that may attempt to come from the Arkansas to White rivers. I will leave some dispatches with you for the vessels when they come down. And when they are all out. or when the Conestoga comes, join me at Yazoo River."

RADM Porter writes LCDR Walker, SOPA White River, "I want you to join me at Millikens Bend or the mouth of the Yazoo as soon as possible with all the light-draft vessels excepting the Signal, which vessel will remain with the Cincinnati at the mouth of White River until the latter is relieved by the Conestoga. The commander of the Signal will report to the commander of the Conestoga when she arrives here, and remain with him until further orders. I have left 1,200 bushels of coal for you, perhaps more. If coal arrives here before you leave, take in all you can, and then convoy the remainder down to me, not losing sight of the convoy, and running only by day if the nights are not perfectly clear. When the coal gets down it is to go into the mouth of the Yazoo out of the current."

RADM Porter writes LCDR Selim E Woodworth, USS Glide "When you get down to the mouth of White River, if more coal comes there, fill up and join me at the mouth of Yazoo River.
If there is no vessel outside at the mouth of White River when you arrive, take charge of the empty coal barges and see that the one with the coal is kept for the De Kalb and Cincinnati. It is desirable that none of it be used. It is for those two vessels. The small boats can get down on fence rails and wood piles.
I have sent to Memphis for coal, which will be down in a few days. The Forest Rose has gone up for it."

RADM Porter writes D P Heap, Secretary, Mississippi Squadron, "You will proceed to Washington City, D. C., as bearer of dis-patches, which you will deliver to the honorable Secretary of the Navy, and give him such details of our movements here as he may desire to know, and which, owing to my being much occupied, I am unable to write at the present moment."

LT H A Glassford, USN, writes RADM Porter, "I have the honor to report the special duty performed upon which I was ordered by Rear-Admiral Farragut and the honorable the Secretary of the Navy, and that I am now ready to receive your commands."

MGEN J Bankhead Magruder issus a proclamation "Whereas the port of Velasco, on the Brazos River, in Texas, has ceased to be actually blockaded by the forced withdrawal of the enemys fleet from the same, I hereby issue this proclamation, inviting friendly neutral nations to resume commercial intercourse with this port until an actual blockade has been reestablished, with the usual notice demanded by the law of nations." A second proclamation reads "Whereas the port of Lavaca, on thecoast of Texas, has ceased to be actually blockaded, by the forced withdrawal of the enemy's fleet from the same, I hereby issue this proclamation, inviting friendly neutral nations to resume commercial intercourse with this port until an actual blockade has been reestablished, with the usual notice demanded by the law of nations."

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

DatesUpcoming Civil War EventsTopic
12-14 MAY 2017 Ashbel Woodward Museum
North Franklin, CT
Living History
18-20 AUG 2017 Schulyer Flatts,
Colonie, NY
Living History

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

14 APR 2017 TLGV HQ
Danielson CT
21 APR 2017 Sprague Land Trust
Bolton Rd.
Jupiter and Deep Sky Observing
19 MAY 2017 TLGV HQ
Danielson CT
Light Pollution 101
11 JUN 2017 Camp Laurel
Clubhouse Rd
Acorn Adventures Letterboxing
16 JUN 2017 Sprague Land Trust
Bolton Rd.
Deep Sky Observing
Important News
School teachers - see the Civil War and astronomy pages for how you can add excitement to your classroom on these topics.
Want to know what the Navy was doing 155 years ago? Let us give you a briefing, much as would be given to the President or Congress, outlining what the 6 major squadrons and 1 flotilla were accomplishing.

This website Copyright 1999-2017 McLean Research Associates
This site Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional validated!

The MRA logo is a trademark of McLean Research Associates. All menu buttons and the background anchor are copyright 1999 by MRA