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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, 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
Unknown gunboat - probably one of the Commodores - converted ferry boats
Sat May 24 1862

MGEN Huger, CSA, responds to FO Goldsborough, North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, on the subject of a surgeon, officers, and men captured while rendering medical assistance to one of his people. His long letter is a tirade on the North. "... your presence has brought death and desolation over the land; families are driven from their homes; estates abandoned; the servants of families who have resided on these estates for more than a century, ruined; the poor negroes themselves deprived of their homes and turned off paupers upon the world and lost to them. The women, the sick and infirm, despoiled of their homes, and property to the amount of millions sacrificed, and for what? That a political party shall cram its tenets down our throats at the point of the bayonet. This is your visit of mercy and humanity. May God in His mercy preserve us from such visits. " "I hope soon to exchange every prisoner, and I shall be most happy to receive and deliver your officers and men to you."

FO Goldsborough, North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, writes to SECNAV that he had already sent the information of the battle at West Point in which CDR Smith describes being fired upon and then shelling the enemy without loss, chasing the enemy away. He forwards LT Murray's letter on the Pamunkey River expedition.

SECWAR writes to SECNAV wondering if he has sent 3 gunboats up to Fredericksburg to assist General McDowell. SECNAV replies that one gunboat, per POTUS was sent to defend the bridge there. 2 other gunboats are cruising below there, and he wonders if there is some other arrangement SECWAR wants. SECWAR responds that is fine.

CDR Green, USS Jamestown, writes to FO Goldsborough, North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, about the supposed escape of the Nashville from Wilmington. He says that the Nashville could not have left via New Inlet as it is too shallow, and the USS Victoria would anchor at night in the middle of the channel near the lighthouse at Federal Point.

FO Du Pont, South Atlantic Blockading Squadron writes to MGEN Hunter that upon his return from an inspection of all his ships along the coast, he found a letter from BGEN Benham "It will be sufficient to you to read it to see that its tone and character are not such as should be addressed to an officer under my command." He states that his rank is now equivalent to a Major General {passed into law by Congress} and there wants to be appraised of any movements that Hunter is contemplating. He learns from CDR Rogers, that informally there are plans, but needs official notice and he will support him as best as he can, within the confines of his own orders.

FO Du Pont orders CDR Marchand, SOPA Charleston to investigate up the Stono River to the battery at Wappoo Cut, which Robert Small says is incomplete. He sends his commendation on the work he and his force have done so far.

CDR Mullany, USS Bienville, writes to FO Du Pont of his capture of the British screw steamer Stettin. At 4:50 he discovered a strange steamer and gave chase. About an hour later they dropped a boat and changed course. He chased the ship instead of the boat and eventually fired 2 shots at her, finally stopping her when it was obvious they could not escape at 6:25. "...part of her cargo saltpeter, pig lead, quinine, tea, coffee, brandy, gin, tin plates, and a large number of boxes and kegs." He has sent a prize crew aboard her and is sending the ship's master, one of her engineers, and one crew member as witnesses.

LT Edward Conroy, US bark Restless, writes to SECNAV that a steam ship came straight for them at Bulls Bay Channel, attempting to run the blockade. He raised his ensign, with no response, then fired a shot which landed close, the ship changing her course. As the wind was calm he could not follow her. The vessel was subsequently captured by the Bienville.

Master Williams, US brig Sea Foam, writes to LT K R Breese, 3rd Division Mortar Flotilla of his capture of the Sarah and the New Eagle loaded with 15 and 32 bales of cotton.

FO Farragut, West Blockading Squadron writes to CAPT S. Lee, SOPA Vicksburg, that the reason for not attacking Vicksburg were "...were the difficulty of navigating the Mississippi River with the large vessels and the impression which seemed to prevail with yourself and the officers of the advance division of the inadequacy of the force at Vicksburg to take the place. {Apparently CAPT Lee was miffed that CAPT Palmer was given the command over him, even though Palmer was senior.}

BGEN Quinby, USA, writes that after a reconnaissance of Fort Pillow, he determined that there were at least 3,000 troops and he had not the force to take. FO Charles Davis, Western Waters, would not run past the fort unless the army set up batteries opposite the fort so that his gunboats could take refuge in case of problems. On the 22nd repairs were completed to the levee and that night one man left the encampment, and upon returning refused to give the password and was shot dead by two sentries. This alarmed the rebels which sent out a force causing the certain discovery of what they had been doing. He thinks it will take at least 5,000 troops to take Fort Pillow and Randall.

BGEN Gist, CSA, writes that "Captain Bonneaus gunboat was left by the steamer Chesterfield at the bridge between Dixons and James islands this morning. The enemy perceiving the steamer Chesterfield as she was placing Captain Bonneaus gunboat in position, fired into her and inflicted a slight injury." The Chesterfield then ran off and was ordered back to bring the gunboat back. The enemy discovered the gunboat and fired some 5 or 6 shots while the gunboat fire some 15 shots after which the enemy vessels withdrew and the gunboat was towed back by Chesterfield to her normal place.

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.

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