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last update Saturday, 17-Jul-2021 07:20:53 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,STEM workshops, and letterboxing.

In commemoration of the 160 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
The USS Hartford's spar deck
Wed May 21 1862

SECNAV writes to CDR Craven, USS Tuscarora, that he is to remain watching the Sumter until otherwise ordered.

CDR Smith, USS Wachusett writes to MGEN Huger, CSA, of the circumstance of the capture of his officers and men. "It seems to me that, considering the charitable object of the visit, the frequent displays of white flags, the absence of an enemy flag, and the absence until then of enemy troops, our party should not have been treated as enemies without some previous hint having been given to discontinue our visits, and that they all, but especially the surgeon, should be released. I hope, therefore, that upon mature reflection you will agree with me in opinion on the subject and act accordingly."

FO Goldsborough writes to CDR Smith to have a survey done on the Galena. Galena was severely damaged, despite being ironclad and is leaking 24 inches of water per day. Goldsborough also expresses surprise that Smith allowed so many people to go ashore. "I trust that the unfortunate affair will serve as a lesson, and induce a great deal more caution hereafter." Goldsborough is sending a replacement medical officer.

LT Amman, SOPA Jacksonville FL, writes to FO Du Pont, South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, that he sent LT Nicholson, up the river and he managed to get almost to Welaka where the river became very narrow and he was fired upon by small arms. He returned as he was ordered to do in this eventuality. Jacksonville is almost deserted now. The "bulwarks are no protection" from musket balls. "An occupation of the line of railroad between Fernandina and Cedar Keys by our troops would cut this supply, as well as any transportation from any part of the Peninsula."

LT Nickelson, USS Isaac Smith writes to LT Ammen, of his trip up the St Johns River. When he was fired upon he anchored ship and returned fire with his guns full of grape and enemy firing ceased. He picked up three persons including one woman under a flag of truce. "I would suggest that the whole establishment about Orange Mills be destroyed, as it is a hotbed of traitors, who are now all in arms against their country. As there is considerable valuable property (now abandoned), it might be seized for the benefit of the Government and the houses burned."

CDR Marchand, USS James Adger, writes to FO Du Pont commending Messrs Boyd and Bradford of the coastal survey ship Bibb for the capture of 6 soldiers from the 24th South Carolina Regiment who were on guard at the old fort. Subassistant Bradford writes in his report that he had landed with his crew and "discovered a rebel soldier armed and skulking in the bushes near us" He surrendered when called upon. They then discovered more men in the bushes and cavalry approaching. The rest of the pickets were in the magazine which he also captured - 6 in total. They are now aboard the Unadilla with their equipment.

COL Stevens, CSA, 24th South Carolina Volunteers writes that he had established a picket of 6 soldiers where a landing boat came ashore. "Before any support could be sent forward one of the enemy's gunboats passed up the river and took a position enfilading the bridge and causeway, where she commenced throwing grape and shrapnel, completely cutting off all communication with the pickets and closing their line of retreat. " It is presumed the pickets took shelter in the magazine and were caught there. If there is a possibility of parole, he wants them back.

CDR Lee, Advanced Naval Division,writes a letter to L Lindsay, Mayor of Vicksburg, requesting the removal of women and children. "It becomes my duty to give you notice to remove the women and children beyond the range of our guns within twenty-four hours, as it will be impossible to attack the defenses without injuring or destroying the town, a proceeding which all the authorities of Vicksburg seem determined to require. I had hoped that the same spirit which [induced] the military authorities to retire from the city of New Orleans, rather than wantonly sacrifice the lives and property of its inhabitants, would have been followed here." Tghe Mayor, having received the letter late in the day writes back that he will consider 24 hours from the morning of the 22nd

SECNAV writes to FO David G. Farragut, West Gulf Blockading Squadron, that in view of the recent actions of CDR John De Camp, that he is revoking the order to send him home. He wants the Santee, if available to be sent home, having been stripped of unnecessary items, food, and crew except to make the journey. She is to be laid up.

FO Davis, Western Waters, writes to SECNAV that General Quinby arrived and is conducting a reconnaissance of fort to determine the path for the troops.

A Thayer telegrams COL E S Sanford that a ship went to the forts under flag of truce to exchange prisoners, and no sign of life was found there or below. Later a steamer came up river under truce and took the prisoners. He thinks the forts are abandoned.

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

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