Fri Dec 11 1863|
RADM Hiram Paulding, Commandant New York Navy Yard telegrams SECNAV "Dispatch received. Our three gunboats sailed yesterday." He sends a second telegram later "Since receiving telegram this morning Sebago put back. She is now ready. I have just received information differing from that of the Department. Dispatch is necessary. I am not allowed to communicate further, but ask for discretion." SECNAV replies "Dispatch received. Act according to your own judgment." Paulding then sends Vicksburg stopped at buoys in lower bay to adjust compass. I will detain her. Is it desirable to charter a steamer and have her ready? Dinsmore ready to sail for Key West to-morrow." SECNAV replies "It is not desirable to charter a steamer. Send out any steamer ready, if you have any information as to the Chesapeake. The latest of the Department is that she was at Cape Sable, and several steamers from Boston have gone there." Paulding then sends "After examining charts, I deem the information given this morning incorrect. The water is shoal in the locality, on Shunacade [Shubenacadiej River, 50 miles to the north of Halifax, at Londonderry [Nova Scotia], and probably freezes at this season of the year. I was under an injunction of secrecy, and am now permitted to communicate thus much.
The consul at Halifax might investigate."
CMDR J B Montgomery, Commandant, Charlestown Navy Yard telegrams SECNAV "The Ticonderoga sailed in pursuit of the Chesapeake at 10 o'clock. Commander of the Acacia telegraphed that his vessel is alongside the wharf at Portland, Me., in a sinking condition; he gives no particulars. I have telegraphed to use all appliances to save the vessel. I shall send the naval constructor by the first train for his assistance, and shall telegraph the Department any further information I may obtain."
CMDR G F Pearson, Commandant Portsmouth Navy Yard, telegrams SECNAV "Commander Clary is here, and the Dacota h will be dispatched as soon as possible to search the coast near Cape Sable."
I Washburn, Jr., Customs Collector, Portland Me., telegrams SECSTATE "The folloWing telegram just received from Halifax [Nova Scotia]:
Steamer in Shelburne answering description Chesapeake attempted to get coal here last night. Government applied to. No encouragement given. Want evidence of murder committed. Make affidavit charge to-day. Crown officer deliberating upon it.
Will Lord Lyons send instructions?"
CMDR Montgomery telegrams SECNAV "Commander of Acacia telegraphs:
Through the help of the fire department the Acacia is now alongside a wharf, where she can not sink.
The damage in her I can not yet ascertain."
CDR A C Rhind, USS Agawam writes SECNAV from Portsmouth, NH" A severe illness obliged me to return home from Portland after an unsuccessful attempt on 26th ultimo to get the vessel to the navy yard at this place. On Wednesday, 9th instant, on receipt of the intelligence of the capture of the steamer Chesapeake, I telegraphed to First Assistant Engineer Barry, in charge of the Agawam, to know if she were ready. Yesterday morning I received his reply as follows:
Work is not quite done, but ship is fit to go to sea.
Having reported my return home and the cause of it to Rear-Admiral Gregory, I notified him of my intention to proceed at once to Portland, though not yet entirely well, as I anticipated orders from the Department. Admiral Gregory informed me that the collector of Portland had asked permission to take the vessel, and he thought she had gone to sea. On my arrival here this morning I learned that the Agawam had sailed.
I shall report to Captain Pearson, commandant of the navy yard, and await here the return of the vessel and the orders of the Department, proceeding to Portland to morrow to ascertain the movements of the vessel."
CMDR Thomas T Craven, USS Niagra telegrams SECNAV "Your telegram is just received. I shall sail immediately." He then writes SECNAV "It seems proper that I should inform you that your telegram of yesterdays date was not delivered to me until after 10 o'clock this morning, and that almost immediately after it was brought on board, and before I had commenced reading it, almost every officer of the ship was made cognizant of its purport by the officer who had it in charge, Acting Masters Mate Samuel Jessurun.
Upon sending my clerk to the telegraphic office to acknowledge the receipt of your order he was told by the operator that your telegram was received on yesterday. At the same time he was given to understand that the intended departure and destination of this ship had been made public at least eighteen hours before sending the dispatch to me."
CAPT Jonathan A Winslow, USS Kearsarge, writes SECNAV " I have the honor to inform the Department that I left this port on the 5th instant on a cruise of reconnoissance in the channel, and after communicating at Queenstown and Plymouth with our consuls, and coming to off Cherbourg for information of the Georgia, I returned to this port on the 11th instant. From advices obtained I learned that it was doubtful whether the Rappahannock would go to sea for two or three weeks. Her crew, it was stated, had left to return to London.
The bark Agrippina returned, bound to Bermuda; had sailed the 27th ultimo from Plymouth. The steamer Harriet Pinckney was in dock, having landed her cargo of guns and ammunition to repair damages. I shall remain in this port, governing my movements in accordance with the advice of the enclosed letter (as per copy) to Mr. Dayton." In a second letter he writes "I have the honor to inform you that during the last cruise of the Kearsarge from this port I
took the opportunity of landing at Queenstown sixteen refugees who secreted themselves on board of this vessel prior to her departure from that port on the 5th ultimo. The accompanying papers afford all information of the character of that act, with the correspondence which followed."
CAPT Winslow writes Charles Francis Adams, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, "Your letter, with enclosed memorandum, is at hand. I have just returned from a cruise of reconnoissance up the channel, and while off Cork landed sixteen men who had secreted themselves on board the Kearsarge some time prior to her departure from Queenstown, the 5th ultimo.
I learned from the consul at Queenstown of the seizure of this act by secession agents to make capital of, and left with him originals of the enclosed letter, which will afford you all information in the premises.
I would beg leave to say that, so far as my action is concerned in this case, I was so particular as even to send ashore an American seaman (Boston born), lest it might be said that I had not dealt faithfully.
I should be pleased to receive your views on consideration of this subject, with any information relating [thereto].
It is to be
regretted that the daily papers could not publish the facts and disclose the plot of secession agents to prejudice the public mind,"
H Wilson, Port Captain, Cape Town, writes CAPT O S Glisson, USS Mohican, "I beg to inform you that under the provisions of a proclamation of his Excellency the governor respecting the arrival and departure of Federal and Confederate vessels of war in and from the ports of this colony, it is enacted that any of these vessels shall not remain in such ports for a longer period than twenty-four hours, unless under special circumstances, and in such cases a special authority from his Excellency must be obtained for remaining in port for a longer period."
CAPT Glisson writes Walter Graham, US Consul, Cape Town "I have this moment anchored in this harbor, and am in chase of the Alabama, Georgia, and Tuscaloosa. Will you do me the favor to give me all the information in your possession in relation to the movements of these piratical vessels? My boat is at your service and I shall be glad to welcome you on board of the Mohican."
LT Frederick Rodgers, Xo, USS Grand Gulf, , ENS Charles H Frisbie, and ENS Charles H Cadieu, write CDR George M Ransom, USS Grand Gulf "We respectfully submit the diagram here laid down representing the respective positions and courses steered by the steamers Grand Gulf Fulton, and Banshee, involved in the capture of the latter vessel on the 21st of November last.
B, F, G, represent, respectively, the positions of the Banshee, Fulton, and Grand Gulf when the Banshee was first discovered from the masthead of Grand Gulf.
B1, F1, G1, represent, respectively, the positions of Banshee, Fulton, and Grand Gulf when the Banshee, headed off by effect of our shot, changed her course and ran toward the Fulton. The time which elapsed between the latter event and our arrival alongside the prize was precisely fifteen minutes; we estimated that at the time the Banshee returned to surrender the steamer Delaware was full 10 miles astern of the Fulton.
CAPT J B Marchand, USS Lackawanna, writes CMDR Henry H Bell, West Gulf Blockading Squadron "I have the honor to report that in obedience to your order of the 10th instant, I took passage in the U. S. S. Arizona for forts St. Philip and Jackson, to aid if necessary, in suppressing a revolt amongst the soldiers at the latter fort. The same day at 10 o'clock, on reaching the Quarantine Station, I was shown a telegraphic dispatch from Colonel C. W. Drew, commanding Fort Jackson, to the health officer, stating that quietness was restored, that should gunboats or troops come from New Orleans, they should not come below the Quarantine Station, and that he could preserve order, provided neither gunboats nor troops would come to the fort, in consequence of which the Arizona was anchored at the Quarantine Station and I repaired to the telegraph office, where a number of whites - men, women, and children - who had taken refuge in the woods from supposed danger from the disaffected troops in Fort Jackson, had collected, and where also I met white officers and colored soldiers from that fort. From them I learned that the immediate mutinous conduct of the colored troops in Fort Jackson arose from punishments inflicted the previous evening upon two colored soldiers by Lieutenant-Colonel Benedict, then in command. Immediately after the punishment a portion of the colored soldiers, numbering from 80 to 160, assembled on the parade ground with muskets and commenced firing, using threatening language against Lieutenant-Colonel Benedict.
A portion of the disaffected soldiers left the fort, some of whom formed picket guards about the fort and at the landing on the river, where the army transport steamer Suffolk was lying. From the latter place a number of muskets were fired.
The Suffolk was cut loose from the wharf by her commander and she stood up the river to the Quarantine Station, from where, at about 11 o'clock p. m., a telegraphic communication was sent to New Orleans in relation to the revolt.
By the personal exertions of Colonel Drew, commanding the post, aided by the officers of the regiment, order was restored about 8 o'clock the same night, two hours after the disaffected took their arms. The muskets when discharged by the soldiers did not seem to be aimed at any particular place, as the quarters of nearly all the officers and the workshop near the landing showed marks of the balls.
After obtaining the foregoing information, and having been about two hours at the Quarantine Station, I sent a telegraphic communication to Colonel Drew stating that a gunboat had arrived and desired to know if it would be proper that she should go to the fort, to which no reply was received, and I remained with the Arizona at the Quarantine Station.
About 2 o'clock in the afternoon of the same day two regiments of soldiers arrived from New Orleans, and I communicated with their commanding officer, who soon after went alone by land to the fort, and on his return announced his intention to keep the two regiments at the Quarantine Station until further instructions were received from headquarters at New Orleans.
At 10 o'clock p. m. of the same day, the U. S. gunboat Kanawha arrived at that place, and, agreeably to your orders, I left Lieutenant-Commander Mayo in charge of the Kanawha and Arizona and this evening returned to New Orleans.
Herewith I send copies of telegrams sent to General Banks and Colonel Drew."
Jason Goudy, Acting Fleet Commander telegrams RADM David D Porter, Mississippi Squadron, from Paducah "The Robb arrived here at 1 o'clock."