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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
USS Carondelet - a river gunboat
Thu Jun 25 1863

William H Cranston Mayor of Newport, RI, telegrams SECNAV "A rebel pirate, supposed to be the Tacony, destroyed several fishing vessels outside our harbor yesterday. Will you not give us an armed steainem? Our harbor is one of the most important of the coast."

SECNAV telegrams CMDR Andrew A Harwood, Potomac Flotilla, "Send one of your small gunboats round to Havre de Grace to protect the ferryboat and other property there." Harwood replies by telegram "The order for the protection of the ferry at Havre de Grace will be dispatched immediately."

RADM Samuel P Lee, North Atlantic Blockading Squadron "I have just received, by Lieutenant Lamson, from Lieutenant-Commander Gillis, commanding the U. S. S. Commodore Morris, and now in York River, a memorandum, hastily written in pencil, from which, and Lieutenant Lamsons verbal report, it appears that Lieutenant-Commander Gillis sent out a man to obtain information, who has returned, reporting that there were no batteries on the Pamunkey; that the Merrimack was just below Fort Darling; the Chickahominy was launched last week; and that the Ladies Gunboat was to be launched by the 4th of July. These three are all ironclads.
    He further stated that all the forces lately in defense of Richmond had left except about 4,000 men, most of whom were at Chaffin's and Drewry's bluffs; that General Wise was in command at White House and vicinity, from which place, as far as West Point, it is represented two companies of the Sixteenth Virginia Cavalry are employed in scouting; that he had seen a man just from Richmond, the defenses of which city had been left very weak, only a few guns being mounted on the fortifications, 2 miles outside the city.
    Yesterday morning, June 24, General Dix was to leave Yorktown for the White House, on the Pamunkey, with about 5,000 troops. His supplies are to be landed at West Point. He was also to move 5,000 men, under General Gordon, from Barhamsville, via Slaterville, to the White House, a distance of from 15 to 20 miles. Fleet-Captain Crosby, with the Commodore Barney (Lieutenant Cushing, commanding), the Commodore Morris (Lieutenant-Commander Gillis), the Morse (Lieutenant-Commander Babcock), and the steamer Western World, which last is also to serve as an army transport, is cooperating in the Pamunkey with General Dix.
    General Dix told me on the 23d instant that if he had 10,000 more men he thought he could go into Richmond without any difficulty. He said he did not know what would come of his present movement. A short time since the general informed me that he had 30,000 effective men in this department. If General Dix had gone up James River, I would have moved up with our two ironclads. I suppose the present demonstrations would not admit the delay which an investment of Fort Powhatan would require. I apprehend it will take sometime to repair the carriage of the Sangamon's XV-inch gun. I hope the Department meditates increasing, as soon as practicable, the ironclad force here.
    The deep draft, the great size, feeble steam power, and structure of the Roanoke will not allow her to act as a substitute for the active, less vulnerable, and lighter draft monitors.
    In view of the casualties of the service, especially in action, I respectfully suggest that in addition to the Roanoke two efficient monitors be kept here.
    The Atlanta's commander says his plans were defeated and this ironclad lost by getting aground. He expected, favored by the Atlanta's speed, to choose his distance, and, with his Brooke rifles, whose projectiles have great penetrating power, to injure the monitors whilst out of reach of the greatest effect of their smoothbores."

RADM Samuel Du Pont, South Atlantic Blockading Squadron "The Department has been informed in previous dispatches of the capture of the Confederate ironclad steamer Atlanta.
    On the 20th instant I ordered a strict and careful survey to be made of her hull, armor, machinery, armament, etc. (enclosed, marked No. 1), and I herewith submit the report made in pursuance thereof (marked No. 2), as well as a drawing made of the vessel by Second Assistant Engineer P. R. Voorhes, of this ship, and a pencil sketch by Mr. Xan- thus Smith, Commander Corbin's clerk.
    I also forward herewith a survey upon the paymaster's stores of the prize (marked No. 3), part of which, as the Department will perceive, are reported as of good quality and fit for use in the storekeepers department of the squadron. The rest of the stores are not considered suitable for that purpose, and it is recommended that they be sold. May I ask the Department to give special directions whether they may be disposed of here if practicable or whether they should be sent north?
    I will forward by the next mail the report showing in detail the quantity and character of the ammunition found on board."

Master Edward Van Sice writes SECNAV "I have the honor to report the safe arrival of the above steamer under my command at this port on the afternoon of the 22d instant, and my reporting to Acting Rear-Admiral Bailey for duty, in obedience to your order bearing date April 22."

COL Richard B Irwin, USA, Assist Adjutant General, writes RADM David Glasgow Farragut, West Gulf Blockading Squadron, "The commanding general is at the front.
    I will forward your dispatch to him immediately.
    Meanwhile I take the liberty of stating our position early this morning.
    Sherman on the left, in advance of the enemy's first line of rifle pits, having his pickets at the front edge of a skirt of woods, separated from the enemy's main line of works by an open plain. His position is in front of the schoolhouse.
    Augur next, on the road from the Plains [Store] to Port Hudson, and well advanced.
    Grover on the Jackson road, holding the front edge of a wood which is within from 250 to 400 yards of the apparent center of the works and in plain sight and easy range of them.
    Weitzel, with his own brigade, Dwights, and Paines (Emorys) division, reduced to about a brigade, on the right, near where the telegraph road from Port Hudson to Bayou Sara crosses the Big Sandy Creek.
    This morning everybody except Grover has closed up, and Grover can not close up without taking the works in front of him.
    Thus the place is completely invested.
    I understand that it is commanding generals intention to make the decisive attack to-morrow morning. But upon this point I do not speak officially or decidedly, as everything, of course, depends upon circumstances, which an hour might totally change."

LCDR Earl English, USS Sagamore writes SECNAV "I have the honor to report to the Department the capture of the English schooner Frolic by this vessel.
    The Frolic had run out of Crystal River and was bound to Havana with a cargo of cotton and turpentine.
    At the time of capture the schooner Two Sisters, tender to the U. S. S. Magnolia, was in sight and within signal distance.
    I have sent the Frolic in to Key West for adjudication."

Master's Mate John Boyle, USS Two Sisters, writes CDR H S Newcomb, USS Magnolia, "I have the honor to inform you that on the 25th instant off Cedar Keys two schooners hove in sight close hauled and presenting a suspicious appearance. Being at a loss to decide which one to chase, I concluded to send the boat in charge of Master's Mate Chester to board the smaller vessel while I chased the larger one, which I gained on gradually, and soon made her out to be a large schooner loaded with cotton. The chase kept off gradually until she steered S. E. The wind freshening, I continued to gain on her rapidly. At 11 a. m. made out the U. S. S. Sagamore standing toward us. At 12:30 we were in 7 feet water and about 2 miles from the chase, when I opened fire on her with the howitzer. She then commenced to heave cargo overboard. Our shot falling short, I ceased firing until I got close to, when I fired a 5-second shell which exploded close alongside of her. She then hauled down her flying jib and hove to, hoisting English colors. I was then in 43 feet of water. Having no boat (my boat being in chase of the other vessel), I kept her hove to at short range until the boats of the Sagamore came up and took possession of her. She proved to be the English schooner Frolic, from Crystal River bound to Havana, with a cargo of 160 bales of cotton and 40 barrels turpentine. Captain English took charge of her, directing me to follow to Cedar Keys. At 6 p. m. our boat returned, having boarded the other vessel, which proved to be the tender Stonewall.
    On 26th instant, at 1 p. m., got underway in company with the prize for Key West, and when off Crystal River I concluded to stand to the eastward in hopes of finding the cotton the prize had thrown overboard during the chase, and I succeeded in finding all of it, which consisted of 7 bales."

Henry A Wise Acting Chief, Bureau Ordnance, writes CAPT A M Pennock, Fleet Captain, Mississippi Squadron, "The Bureau desires you to send to Admiral Farragut, at Port Hudson, with all dispatch, if there is any possible way of doing so, all the XIII-inch mortar shell that can be spared from Admiral Porter's squadron. The demand is urgent, and you will use all means in your power to comply."

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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