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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 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
LT Samuel Dana Greene, USN
Wed Jul 02 1862

CDR William Parker, USS Cambridge, writes to FO Goldsborough, North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, that he has chased and caused to beach a large propeller trying to get into Wilmington. She was painted a dull gray and very hard to see. He could not fire the ship, being under attack himself from Federal Point batteries. He hit it several times over the course of 3 hours and it appears to be sinking in the sand. Goldsborough forwards it and SECNAV endorses it "This whole blockade is and has been unsatisfactory from the beginning."

FO Goldsborough writes to SECNAV that the men he employed to blow up the Appomattox bridge did nothing "They became alarmed in consequence of the imposing numbers and the guard kept at the spot of operations."

CDR Totten, USS Brandywine, writes to FO Goldsborough that the submarine is not safe alongside as "The only place to secure her by, a shackle forward, is not trustworthy". He recommends sending her into a sheltered cove.

FO Goldsborough telegrams SECNAV " I scarcely need add that I am doing everything in my power to afford the assistance required, and am here for the purpose of expediting matters." He has sent numerous ships up the James and the Baltimore is going up in an hour or two

CDR Parrott, USS Augusta writes to FO Samuel Du Pont, South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, that three steamers on the Savannah River appear to have headed further up stream past the fort and out of reach. He sends a contraband who has great knowledge of the ironclad ship being built. It has been launched, though it leaked from holes not plugged before getting in the water and mount 10 guns, the draft said to 10 feet and wide, but short.

CDR Prentiss, SOPA Georgetown, SC writes to FO Goldsborough that he sent boats "...into the Santee and captured the steam tug Treaty, the schooner Louisa, of Charleston, bound to Nassau, New Providence, with 147 bales cotton and two lighters of rice."He then went up the Santee and "Passing a second time Blakes plantation, we were fired upon by artillery, riflemen, and cavalry; the shots passed over and near the Andrew, the stern most vessel. We turned back, shelled them into the woods, landed the marines and a party of seamen, burned the mill and dwellings that harbored them, together with about 100,000 bushels of rice."Casualty reports conflict, but 1 marine was wounded in the leg. "Near 400 slaves came down to the steamers and were taken aboard. This plantation has long been the headquarters of a regiment stationed there to protect vessels running the blockade through South Santee and Alligator Creek." Near Georgetown there is an enemy encampment which as soon as he approaches goes into the town. They mean to burn the town and he does not want to so he will leave it alone for now."This afternoon a small schooner, of about 30 tons, ran into this port; she proved to be the Volante, from and of Nassau. The master sup- posed he was running into Wilmington. He is loaded with salt and fish, and under English colors. He says he loaded to run the blockade, though his papers are prepared for Baltimore."He can go no further up the river and so is returning his ships to their stations, while he departs for Boston. He sends 60 contrabands to Du Pont for the USS Vermont. He now has over 600 aboard his ships.

SECNAV writes to FO J L Lardner, East Gulf Blockading Squadron, "To supply your wants you will have to resort to the expediency of enlisting contrabands, as no more men can be sent you. Enlistments do not keep pace with the wants of the service."

FO Lardner writes to SECNAV that he is releasing the captured coal ship Model as she is British carrying British coal to Nassau.

FO Charles H Davis, Western Waters writes to SECNAV that he has joined up with FO Farragut's fleet.

LT Shirk, USS Lexington, writes to FO Davis, that he was unable to reach MGEN Curtis, USA via the white river as it is rapidly dropping - 5 inches per day. He and the army transports have been constantly shot at from the woods along the river.

Leonard Swett, esq. writes to President Lincoln "I went to Pittsburg Landing immediately after the battle there and spent three days riding over the field. From all I could learn I believe the gunboats Lexington and Tyler, commanded by Lieutenants Gwin and Shirk, saved our army from defeat. At least it is within bounds to say they rendered us invaluable services. It seems to me very clear that these gentlemen ought to be promoted for their gallant bearing in this action".

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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