Civil War Naval History March 1864 - History

Civil War Naval History March 1864 - History


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1 Commander George H. Preble, U.S.S. St. Louis, reported that C.S.S. Florida, Lieutenant Morris, succeeded in getting to sea from Funchal, Madeira, where she had sailed after leaving Brest. Preble lamented: "Nelson said the want of frigates in his squadron would be found impressed on his heart. I am sure the want of steam will be found engraven on mine. Had the St. Louis been a steamer, I would have anchored alongside of her, and, unrestricted by the twenty-four hour rule, my old foe could not have escaped me." St. Louis gave chase but could not come up with Florida. Had the crews of these sailing vessels been used to man newly built steamers, the pursuit of the Confederate cruisers might have been more successful.

U.S.S. Connecticut, Commander Almy, took blockade running British steamer Scotia with cargo of cotton at sea off Cape Fear, North Carolina.

U.S.S. Roebuck, Acting Master Sherrill, seized blockade running British steamer Lauretta off Indian River Inlet, Florida, with cargo of salt.

1-2 At the request of Brigadier General Henry W. Wessells, Lieutenant Commander Flusser took double-ender U.S.S. Southfield and tinclad Whitehead up the Chowan River, North Carolina, to aid Army steamer Bombshell which had been cut off by Confederates above Petty Shore. Flusser had received reports earlier of Confederate torpedoes being planted at that point and concluded that he dared not attempt, with boats of such great draft to run by." The gunboats were engaged by shore artillery as night fell, and, unable to fire effectively or navigate safely in the darkness, Flusser dropped down stream about a mile to await morning before continuing operations. On 2 March Southfield and Whitehead kept up a constant bombardment of the Confederate position to enable Bombshell to dash by, which the Army steamer finally did later in the day. It was subsequently learned that the shore batteries had been withdrawn shortly after the gunboats had opened on them in the morning.

2 Rear Admiral Porter, in anticipation of the proposed campaign into Louisiana and Texas, arrived off the mouth of the Red River to coordinate the movements of his Mississippi Squadron with those of the Army. Previous attempts to gain control of Texas by coastal assault had not suc-ceeded (see 8 September 1863), and a joint expedition up the Red River to Shreveport was decided upon. From there the Army would attempt to occupy Texas. Ten thousand men from Major General W.T. Sherman's army at Vicksburg would rendezvous with Major General N.P. Banks' army and Porter's gunboats at Alexandria by 17 March. The naval forces would provide vital convoy and gunfire support up the river to Shreveport, where Major General Frederick Steele was to join them from Little Rock. This date, however, Porter wrote Secretary Welles, advising him of an unforeseen development that cast dark shadows on the entire expedition: "I came down here anticipating a move on the part of the army up toward Shreveport, but as the river is lower than it has been known for years, I much fear that the combined movement can not come off, without interfering with plans formed by General Grant." Porter was referring to the fact that the troops Sherman had detailed for the Red River campaign were committed to Grant after 10 April for his spring campaign. To wait for a rise in the river, Porter feared, would mean failure to meet that deadline; however, to ascend the river at its present stage would also jeopardize the large scale movement. Porter nevertheless pushed swiftly ahead to ready his squadron for the operation.

Rear Admiral Farragut wrote his son Loyall about his recent sighting of the Confederate ram Tennessee, commenting that "she is very long, and I thought moved very slowly." Nevertheless, this heavily armored and well-fought ship was to prove a formidable opponent for the Admiral's squadron in Mobile Bay.

U.S.S. Dan Smith, Acting Master Benjamin C. Dean, seized blockade running British schooner Sophia stranded in Altamaha Sound, Georgia, with an assorted cargo. Sophia was subsequently lost at sea in a heavy gale which disabled her and forced her abandonment on 8 May 1864 by Acting Ensign Paul Armandt and the prize crew.

4 British authorities instructed the Governor of the Cape of Good Hope, Sir Philip E. Wodehouse, to restore C.S.S. Tuscaloosa to Confederate authorities. Tuscaloosa had been captured under the name Conrad by Captain Semmes in C.S.S. Alabama on 20 June 1863 and sent on a cruise under Lieutenant John Low, CSN. On 26 December Tuscaloosa had put into Simon's Bay, Cape of Good Hope, after searching for Union merchantmen off the coast of Brazil. The next day the Governor had the bark seized for violating neutrality laws because she had never been properly adjudicated in a prize court. Low promptly protested on the grounds that he had previously entered Simon's Bay in August, at which time his ship took on supplies and effected repairs "with the full knowl-edge and sanction of the authorities." No protest had been made by the Governor at that time. Unsuccessfully seeking for more than three weeks the release of his ship, Low paid off his crew and with Acting Midshipman William H. Sinclair made his way to Liverpool, where he arrived late in February. The reversal of Governor Wodehouse's action was accounted for by the "pe-culiar circumstances of the case. The Tuscaloosa was allowed to enter the port of Cape Town, and to depart, the instructions of the 4th of November not having arrived at the Cape before her de-parture. The captain of the Alabama was thus entitled to assume that . [Low] might equally bring . [Tuscaloosa] a second time into the same harbor. The decision, however, came too late for the Confederates. Tuscaloosa was never reclaimed by the South and was eventually turned over to the Union. Semmes later said of the incident: "Besides embalming the beauti-ful name 'Tuscaloosa' in history this prize-ship settled the law point I had been so long contesting with Mr. Seward and Mr. Adams, to wit: that 'one nation cannot inquire into the antecedents of the ships of war of another nation;' and consequently that when the Alabama escaped from British waters and was commissioned, neither the United States nor Great Britain could object to her status as a ship of war."

Captain Semmes wrote in his journal: "My ship is weary, too, as well as her commander, and will need a general overhauling by the time I can get her into dock. If my poor service shall be deemed of any importance in harassing and weakening the enemy, and thus contributing to the independence of my beloved South, I shall be amply rewarded." It was her need for upkeep and repairs that three and a half months later brought her under the guns of U.S.S. Kearsarge off Cherbourg, France.

U.S.S. Pequot, Lieutenant Commander Stephen P. Qackenbush, seized blockade running British steamer Don at sea east of Fort Fisher, North Carolina, with cargo including Army shoes, blankets, and clothing. Captain Cory, master of the steamer, reported that he had made nine attempts to run into Wilmington during his career but had succeeded only four times.

5 Commander John Taylor Wood, CSN, led an early morning raid on the Union-held telegraph station at Cherrystone Point, Virginia. After crossing Chesapeake Bay at night with some 15 men in open barges, Wood landed and seized the station. Small Union Army steamers Aeolus and Titan, unaware that the station was in enemy hands, put into shore and each was captured by the daring Southerners. Wood then destroyed the telegraph station and surrounding warehouses, and disabled and bonded Aeolus before boarding Titan and steaming up the Piankatank River as far as possible. A joint Army-Navy expedition to recapture her was quickly organized, but Wood evaded U.S.S. Currituck and Tulip in the still early morning haze. A force of five gunboats under Commander F.A. Parker followed the Confederates up the river on the 7th, where Titan was found destroyed by Wood, "together with a number of large boats prepared for a raid."

Acting Master Thomas McElroy, commanding U.S.S. Petrel, reported a Confederate attack on Yazoo City. Heavy gunfire support by Petrel and U.S.S. Marmora, Acting Master Thomas Gibson, helped drive the Confederate troops off. In addition, McElroy wrote, I am proud to say that the Navy was well represented [ashore] by 3 sailors, who . stood by their guns through the whole action, fighting hand to hand to save the gun and the reputation of the Navy. The sailors are highly spoken of by the army officers.

6 A Confederate "David" torpedo boat commanded by First Assistant Engineer Tomb, CSN, attacked U.S.S. Memphis, Acting Master Robert O. Patterson, in the North Edisto River near Charleston. The "David" was sighted some 50 yards to port and a heavy volley of musket fire directed at her, but Tomb held his small craft on course. The spar torpedo containing 95 pounds of powder was thrust squarely against Memphis' port quarter, about eight feet below the waterline, but failed to explode. Tomb turned away and renewed the attack on the starboard quarter. Again the torpedo struck home, but this time only a glancing blow because Memphis was now underway. The two vessels collided, damaging the "David", and Tomb withdrew under heavy fire. The faulty torpedo had prevented the brave Tomb from adding an 800-ton iron steamer to a growing list of victims.

U.S.S. Morse, Lieutenant Commander Babcock, ascended the York River, Virginia, at the Army's request to assist a Union cavalry detachment under the command of Colonel Ulric Dahlgren, son of the Navy's famous Admiral. From Purtan Island Point Morse, a converted ferryboat, was slowed by the necessity of sweeping the river in front of the ship for torpedoes. Anchoring for the night off Terrapin Point, the gunboat continued upriver next morning and fired signal guns to attract the attention of the cavalry. Off Brick House Farm a boat carrying five cavalry-men put out to Morse. They reported that the Union force had been cut off and captured by a greatly superior Confederate unit of cavalry and infantry. Young Dahlgren, who had lost a leg at Gettysburg, was killed in the engagement. His grief-stricken father wrote in his diary, "How busy is death-oh, how busy indeed!"

Major General W.T. Sherman appointed Brigadier General Andrew J. Smith to command the forces of his Army in the Red River expedition. He directed Smith: ". proceed to the mouth of the Red River and confer with Admiral Porter; confer with him and in all the expedition rely on him implicitly, as he is the approved friend of the Army of the Tennessee, and has been as-sociated with us from the beginning. ." Long months of arduous duty together in the west had forged a close bond between Sherman and Porter.

U.S.S. Grand Gulf, Commander George M. Ransom, captured blockade running British steamer Mar Ann which had run out of Wilmington with cargo of cotton and tobacco.

U.S.S. Peterhoff, Acting Lieutenant Thomas Pickering, was run into by U.S.S. Monticello and sunk off New Inlet, North Carolina. The following day, U.S.S. Mount Vernon destroyed Peter-hoff to prevent possible salvage by the Confederates.

8 U.S.S. Conestoga, Lieutenant Commander Thomas O. Selfridge, was rammed by U.S.S. General Price, Lieutenant J. E. Richardson, about ten miles below Grand Gulf, Mississippi and sank in four minutes with the loss of two crew members. The collision resulted from a confusion in whistle signals on board General Price. Lieutenant Commander Selfridge, who achieved a conspicuously successful record in the war, had singularly bad luck in having his ships sunk under him. He commented later in his memoirs: "Thus for the third time in the war, I had my ship suddenly sunk under me. It is a strange coincidence that the names of these three ships all begin with the letter 'C', and that two of these disasters occurred on the 8th day of March; the other on the 12th of December." Selfridge had been on board U.S.S. Cumberland during her engagement with C.S.S. Virginia in Hampton Roads on 8 March 1862, and had commanded U.S.S. Cairo when she was struck by a torpedo and sank instantly in the Yazoo River on 12 December 1862. Admiral Porter, upon hearing the young officer's report on the sinking of Conestoga, replied: "Well, Selfridge, you do not seem to have much luck with the top of the alphabet. I think that for your next ship I will try the bottom." Thus Lieutenant Commander Selfridge took command of the paddle wheel monitor U.S.S. Osage, and, after she grounded in the Red River, was sent as captain of the new gunboat U.S.S Vindicator further down the alphabet.

U.S.S.Virginia, Acting Lieutenant C. H. Brown, captured blockade running sloop Randall off San Luis Pass, Texas.

9 Rear Admiral Porter directed Lieutenant Commander James A. Greer, U.S.S. Benton, to advise him as soon as General Sherman's troops were sighted coming down river on transports. The Admiral wanted to move quickly upon the arrival of the troops in order to meet Major General Banks at Alexandria on 17 March. Porter had gathered his gunboats at the month of the Red River for the move. They included ironclads U.S.S. Essex, Benton, Choctaw, Chillicothe, Ozark, Louisville, Carondelet, East port, Pittsburg, Mound City, Osage, and Neosho; large wooden steamers Lafayette and Ouachita; and small paddle-wheelers Lexington, Fort Hindman, Cricket, and Gazelle.

Confederate Secretary of War James A. Seddon authorized Thomas E. Courtenay to employ "a band of men, not exceeding twenty-five in number, for secret service against the enemy.

For the destruction of property of the enemy or injury done, a percentage shall be paid in 4 per cent bonds, in no case to exceed 50 per cent of the loss to the enemy, and to be awarded by such officer or officers as shall be charged with such duty. The waters and railroads of the Con-federate States used by the enemy are properly the subjects and arenas of operations. ." Courtenay had aided in the development of the coal torpedo (see 19 January 1864).

U.S.S. Shokokon, Morse, and General Putnam, under Lieutenant Commander Babcock, convoyed an Army expedition up the York and Mattapony Rivers. After disembarking troops from the transports, Babcock remained at Sheppard's Landing throughout the 10th as requested by Brigadier General Isaac J. Wistar. Then the naval force withdrew downriver, arriving at Yorktown on the 12th. While enroute on the 11th, Babcock met a naval force under Acting Lieutenant Edward Hooker of the Potomac Flotilla and arranged for him to "keep a vigilant lookout for our forces, and also prevent any rebels from crossing from the mouth of the Piankatank River to Mosquito Point on the Rappahannock." As Rear Admiral Lee wrote: . the naval part of the expedition was well arranged and executed."

U.S.S. Yankee, Acting Lieutenant Hooker, reconnoitered the Rappahannock River to within a mile of Urbanna, Virginia. "We learned," he reported to Commander F. A. Parker, "that there is now no force of any importance at or near Urbanna, although the presence of troops a short time ago was confirmed." Two days later, "Major General Butler having requested me to 'watch the Rappahannock from 10 miles below Urbanna to its mouth,' " Parker directed Hooker to "lend such assistance . as you can . Continuing operations in the river by the Union Navy tended to deny to the Confederates use of the inland waters for even marginal logistic support of their operations. This decisive function of seapower was just as valid on the inland waters as on the high sea.

10 Confederate steamer Helen, commanded by Lieutenant Philip Porcher, CSN, was lost at sea in a gale while running a cargo of cotton from Charleston to Nassau. Secretary Mallory wrote that Porcher "was one of the most efficient officers of the service, and his loss is deeply deplored.''

U.S.S. Virginia, Acting Lieutenant C. Brown, captured schooner Sylphide off San Luis Pass, Texas, with cargo including percussion caps.

11 U.S.S. Aroostook, Lieutenant Commander Chester Hatfield, captured blockade-running British schooner Mary P. Burton in the Gulf of Mexico south of Velasco, Texas, with cargo of iron and shot.

Boats under Acting Ensign Henry B. Colby, from U.S.S. Beauregard, and Acting Master George Delap, from U.S.S. Norfolk Packet, seized British schooner Linda at Mosquito Inlet, Florida, with cargo including salt, liquor, and coffee.

U.S.S. San Jacinto, Commander James F. Armstrong, captured schooner Lealtad, which had run the blockade at Mobile with cargo of cotton and turpentine.

Schooner Julia Baker was boarded by Confederate guerrilla forces near Newport News, Virginia. After taking $2,500 in cash and capturing the master and five men, the boarders burned the schooner.

U.S.S. Beauregard, Acting Master Francis Burgess, captured blockade running British sloop Hannah off Mosquito Inlet, Florida, with cargo of cotton cloth.

12 Rear Admiral Porter's gunboats moved up the Red River, Louisiana, to open the two month operation aimed at obtaining a lodgement across the border in Texas. U.S.S. East port, Lieutenant Commander Samuel L. Phelps, pushed ahead to remove the obstructions in the river below Fort De Russy, followed by ironclads U.S.S. Choctaw, Essex, Ozark, Osage, and Neosho and wooden steamers Lafayette, Fort Hindman, and Cricket. Porter took ironclads U.S.S. Benton, Chillicothe, Louisville, Pittsburg, and Mound City and wooden paddlewheelers Ouachita, Lexington, and Gazelle into the Atchafalaya River to cover the Army landing at Simmesport. A landing party from Benton, Lieutenant Commander Greer, drove back Confederate pickets prior to the arrival of the trans-ports. Next morning, 13 March, the soldiers disembarked and pursued the Confederates falling back on Fort De Russy. Meanwhile, Eastport and the gunboats which had continued up the Red River reached the obstructions which the Southerners had taken five months to build. 'They supposed it impassable," Porter observed, "but our energetic sailors with hard work opened a passage in a few hours." East port and Neosho passed through and commenced bombarding Fort De Russy as the Union troops began their assault on the works; by the 14th it was in Union hands. Porter wrote: "The surrender of the forts at Point De Russy is of much more importance than I at first supposed. The rebels had depended on that point to stop any advance of army or navy into rebeldom. Large quantities of ammunition, best engineers, and best troops were sent there.

U.S.S. Columbine, Acting Ensign Francis W. Sanborn, supporting an Army movement up the St. Johns River, Florida, captured Confederate river steamer General Sumter. Acting Master John C. Champion, commanding a launch from U.S.S. Pawnee which was in company with tug Columbine, took command of the prize, and the two vessels pushed on up the St. John's, reaching Lake Monroe on the 14th. That afternoon the naval force captured steamer Hattie at Deep Creek. The expedition continued for the next few days, destroying a Southern sugar refinery and proceeding to Palatka, where the Army was taking up a fortified position.

U.S.S. Aroostook, Lieutenant Commander Hatfield, captured schooner Marion near Velasco, Texas, with cargo of salt and iron. Marion sank in a gale off Galveston on the 14th.

U.S.S. Massachusetts, Acting Lieutenant William H. West, captured sloop Persis in Wassaw Sound, Georgia, with cargo of cotton.

15 After ordering ironclads U.S.S. Benton and Essex to remain at Fort De Russy in support of the Army detachment engaged in destroying the works, Rear Admiral Porter convoyed the main body of troops up the Red River toward Alexandria, Louisiana. Porter dispatched U.S.S. East port, Lex-ington, and Ouachita ahead to try to overtake the Confederate vessels seeking to escape above the Alexandria rapids. The Confederate ships were too far ahead, however, and the Union gunboats arrived at the rapids half an hour behind them. Confederate steamer Countess grounded in her hasty attempt to get upstream and was destroyed by her crew to prevent capture.

U.S.S. Nyanza, Acting Lieutenant Samuel B. Washburn, captured schooner J. W. Wilder in the Atchafalaya River, Louisiana.

16 Lieutenant Commander Flusser reported to Rear Admiral Lee on information reaching him regard-ing the Confederates' progress in completing C.S.S. Albemarle on the Roanoke River, North Carolina. The ram was reported to have two layers of iron and to be ready to proceed to Williamston on 1 April. Two days later Flusser again wrote Lee, informing him that he had just heard the rumor that Albemarle was to have 7 inches of plating. "I think," he observed, "the reporters are putting on the iron rather heavy. I am inclined to believe her armor is not more than stated in one of my former letters-3 inches." Albemarle actually carried two layers of 2-inch armor. By 24 March Flusser reported that intelligence, "which would seem reliable," indicated that the ironclad ram was at Hamilton and that the torpedoes placed by the Confederates in the Roanoke River below Williamston were being removed to permit her passage downstream.

Nine Union vessels had arrived at Alexandria, Louisiana, by morning and a landing party under Lieutenant Commander Selfridge, U.S.S. Osage, occupied the town prior to the arrival of Rear Admiral Porter and the troops. At Alexandria, Porter's gunboats and the soldiers awaited the arrival of Major General Banks' Army, which was delayed by heavy rains.

Rear Admiral James L. Lardner, commander of the West Indies Squadron, ordered U.S.S. Neptune, Commander Joseph P. Sanford, and U.S.S. Galatea, Commander John Guest, to convoy Cali-fornia steamers operating in the Caribbean. This was a measure designed to protect the merchant ships, which often carried quantities of vital Union gold, from the highly regarded Confederate cruisers.

18 Lieutenant General F. Kirby Smith, CSA, ordered steamer New Falls City taken to Scopern's Cut-off, below Shreveport on the Red River, where she was to be sunk if the Union movement threatened that far upriver. Next day the General directed that thirty torpedoes be placed below Grand Ecore to obstruct the Red River. An officer from C.S.S. Missouri was detailed for this duty. General Smith's foresight would shortly pay dividends, for the hulk of New Falls City did block the way of the Union gunboats and U.S.S. Eastport was to be severely damaged by a torpedo.

20 Arriving off Capetown, South Africa, Captain Semmes, C.S.S. Alabama, noted that there were no Union cruisers in the vicinity, though he was well aware that many had been dispatched from Northern ports to capture him. He recalled later: "That huge old coal-box, the Vanderbilt, having thought it useless to pursue us farther, had turned back, and was now probably doing a more profitable business, by picking up blockade-runners on the American coast. This opera-tion paid-the Captain might grow rich upon it. Chasing the Alabama did not."

U.S.S. Honeysuckle, Acting Ensign Sears, captured blockade running sloop Florida in the Gulf of Mexico west of Florida, with cargo of powder, shot, nails, and coffee.

U.S.S. Tioga, Lieutenant Commander Edward Y. McCauley, captured blockade running sloop Swallow, bound from the Combahee River, South Carolina, to Nassau, laden with cotton, rosin, and tobacco.

Lieutenant Charles C. Simms, C.S.S. Baltic, wrote Commander C. ap R. Jones that naval con-structor John L. Porter "has made a very unfavorable report on the condition of the ship [Baltic] and recommended that the iron be taken from her and put upon one of the new boats that were built. Between you and I [sic] the Baltic is rotten as punk and is about as fit to go into action as a mud scow." By July Baltic had been dismantled and her armor transferred to C.S.S. Nashville.

21 Confederate forces at Sabine Pass, Texas, destroyed steamer Clifton (ex-U.S.S. Clifton, see 8 Septem-ber 1863) to prevent her capture by blockading Union naval forces. The 900-ton Clifton had been attempting to run out of the Texas port when she grounded and could not be floated.

U.S.S. Hendrick Hudson, Lieutenant Commander Charles J. McDougal, rammed blockade runner Wild Pigeon, hound from Havana to the Florida coast she struck Wild Pigeon amidships and the schooner sank immediately.

Confederate Secretary Mallory wrote Commander Bulloch in Europe disagreeing with Bulloch's conclusion that the Confederacy needed no additional cruisers since . there is no longer any American commerce for them to prey upon." Mallory countered "We have, it is true, inflicted a heavy blow and great discouragement upon the Federal foreign commerce, but the coasting trade and fisheries, embracing the California trade, has suffered but little from our cruisers, and it can and must be struck."

24 A closely coordinated Army-Navy expedition departed Beaufort, North Carolina, on board side-wheel steamer U.S.S. Britannia. Some 200 soldiers were commanded by Colonel James Jourdan, while about 50 sailors from U.S.S. Keystone State, Florida, and Cambridge were in charge of Commander Benjamin M. Dove. The aim of the expedition was the capture or destruction of two schooners used in blockade running at Swansboro, North Carolina, and the capture of a Confederate army group on the south end of Bogue Island Banks. Arriving off Bogue Inlet late at night, the expedition encountered high winds and heavy seas which prevented landing on the beach. Early on the morning of the 25th, a second attempt was made under similarly difficult conditions, but a party got through to Bear Creek where one of the schooners was burned. Bad weather persisted throughout the day and the expedition eventually returned to Beaufort on the 26th with its mission only partially completed.

Rear Admiral Porter reported that his forces had seized more than 2,000 bales of cotton, as well as quantities of molasses and wool, since entering the Red River.

U.S.S. Stonewall, Master Henry B. Carter, captured sloop Josephine in Sarasota Sound, Florida, with cargo of cotton.

25 U.S.S. Peosta, Acting Lieutenant Thomas E. Smith, and U.S.S. Paw Paw, Acting Lieutenant A. Frank O'Neil, engaged Confederate troops who had launched a heavy assault on Northern positions at Paducah, Kentucky. Under the wooden gunboats' fire the Southerners were halted and finally forced to withdraw. The value of the force afloat was recognized by Brigadier General Mason Brayman, who later wrote of the action: "I wish to state during my short period of service here the Navy has borne a conspicuous part in all operations. The Peosta, Captain Smith, and Paw Paw, Captain O'Neil, joined Colonel Hicks at Paducah, and with gallantry equal to his own shelled the rebels out of the buildings from which their sharpshooters annoyed our troops. A large number took shelter in heavy warehouses near the river and maintained a furious fire upon the gunboats, inflicting some injury, but they were promptly dislodged and the build-ings destroyed. Fleet Captain Pennock, of the Mississippi Squadron, representing Admiral Porter in his absence, and Lieutenant Commander Shirk, of the Seventh Division, who had charge above Cairo and on the Tennessee, were prompt, vigilant, and courageous and cooperated in everything. That the river line was kept open, considering the inadequate force at my control, I regard as due in a great degree to the cooperation of the Navy."

Close cooperation and support between land and sea forces continued to mark Northern efforts in the Civil War. On 21 March, Major General Quincy A. Gillmore wrote Commodore Stephen C. Rowan that, though the Army had five steam transports operating in the vicinity of Port Royal on picket duty and as transports, he had "no officer possessing sufficient experience to properly outfit and command such vessels. My steamboat masters are citizens, and know nothing of artillery. My artillery officers are not sailors, and are not acquainted with naval gunnery." The General thus requested that an officer from the blockading squadron be assigned to assist the Army in this regard. "It would," Gillmore wrote, "be of advantage to this army. ." This date, Rowan, temporarily commanding the naval forces in the absence of Rear Admiral Dahlgren, ordered Acting Ensign William C. Hanford to assist the General as requested.

Secretary Welles called President Lincoln's attention to the scarcity of seamen in ships afloat and suggested the transfer of 12,000 men from the Army to the Navy. The transfer was later effected as a result of a bill sponsored by Senator Grimes of Iowa.

Lieutenant Commander Babcock, U.S.S. Morse, submitted a report to Rear Admiral Lee on all the Confederate material seized by his ship between 1 and 12 February on the York River. He wrote that the articles included a small schooner, a sloop, corn, wheat, oats, salt, tobacco, plows, a cultivator, plow points, plow shares, and molding boards. Seemingly inconsequential in them-selves, these articles lost were multiplied manyfold by the ceaseless efforts of the Navy in river and coastal waters; it was their steady attrition which was so sorely felt by Confederate fight-ing men and civilians alike.

A boat expedition under Acting Master Edward H. Sheffield from U.S.S. Winona, Lieutenant Commander A. Weaver, after making extensive reconnaissance of the area, captured blockade runner Little Ada loading cotton at McClellansville in the South Santee River, South Carolina. As Union sailors sought to bring the prize out, Confederate artillery opened on the vessel with devastating accuracy. The attack by Sheffield, carried on deep in Confederate-held territory, had begun in darkness, but as It was now fully light, the riddled prize had to be quickly abandoned to prevent capture of the boarding party.

Major General Banks arrived at Alexandria- a week later than originally planned. The main force of the Red River expedition was now assembled.

28 The versatility of Union gunboat crews was continually tested. Crewmen from U.S.S. Benton, Lieutenant Commander Greer, had gone ashore the 27th near Fort De Russy and taken some 13 bales of cotton from an abandoned plantation. They returned this date, Greer reported, and got 18 bales from the same place, which they baled themselves, using up an old awning for the purpose.

Secretary Welles ordered Commander John C. Carter to have U.S.S. Michigan "prepared for active service as soon as the ice will permit." Michigan, an iron side-wheel steamer, was at Erie, Pennsylvania, and it was rumored that the Confederates were planning a naval raid from Canada against a city on the Great Lakes.

U.S.S. Kingfisher, Acting Master John C. Dutch, ran aground and was totally wrecked in St. Helena Sound, South Carolina.

29 The low level of the Red River continued to hinder Rear Admiral Porter's efforts to get his gun-boats above the rapids at Alexandria for the assault on Shreveport. He reported: "After a great deal of labor and two and a half days' hard work, we succeeded in getting the Eastport over the rocks on the falls, hauling her over by main force. ' All the Army transports maneuvered safely above the rapids, but hospital ship Woodford was battered against the rocks and sank. Porter added: "I shall only be able to take up I part of the force I brought with me, and leave the river guarded all the way through."

C.S.S. Florida, Lieutenant Morris, at 150o11' N, 34o25' W, captured ship Avon with a 1,600 ton cargo of guano. After removing the crew, Morris used the prize for gunnery practice and finally destroyed her by burning.

29-30 A boat expedition under the command of Acting Master James M. Williams, U.S.S. Commodore Barney, with a detachment of sailors under the command of Acting Master Charles B. Wilder, U.S.S. Minnesota, ascended Chuckatuck Creek late at night seeking to capture a party of Con-federate troops reported to be in that vicinity. After landing at Cherry Grove, Virginia, shortly before dawn, the sailors silently surrounded the Confederate headquarters and took 20 prisoners. Rear Admiral Lee reported to Secretary Welles that". it gives me pleasure to commend the energy and zeal displayed by these officers in planning and carrying out to a successful termina-tion an expedition of no little difficulty."

30 Captain John B. Marchand, commanding the Third Division of the Western Gulf Blockading Squadron, reported to Fleet Captain Percival Drayton on the difficulty of trying to maintain a tight blockade through the passes and inlets around Galveston: "This place has great advantages for blockade running, as, in addition to the regular channels, the shores, both to the northward and southward, are represented to be bold. I have been credibly informed that good large schooners have hugged the shore so close as to be dragged along for miles by lines from the land by soldiers and sailors into Galveston."

31 A boat crew under the command of Acting Master's Mate Francisco Silva, returned to U.S.S. Sagamore after destroying two blockade running schooners near Cedar Keys, Florida. Three boats had initiated the search for a blockade runner sighted on the 28th, but two had turned back after an unsuccessful search of nearly six hours, as night was falling and the weather threatening. Silva, however, continued to search for the next two days". with heavy rain squalls and an ugly sea running." Despite the adverse conditions, Silva succeeded in destroying schooner Etta and a second schooner whose name could not be ascertained. Blockade duty was seldom highly dramatic or widely publicized, but the resolute determination of the forces afloat to choke off Confederate commerce took a prohibitive toll of Southern shipping and kept the Confederacy in a constant state of need.


History of the Old Naval Hospital

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Civil War Naval History March 1864 - History

At the beginning of the Civil War, the US Navy had to create a huge fleet to effectively implement the blockade of the Confederate States of America. They did this by a combination of an accelerated program of building new warships, putting captured blockade runners into service, and by acquiring existing merchant vessels and converting them into warships.

Perhaps the most unlikely candidates for the noble title of “US Gunboat” were the ferryboats. Many came from the New York City region, but others came from harbors on the eastern seaboard from Boston to Chesapeake Bay. While they lacked the imposing appearance of their purebred warship cousins, these tough little ships turned out to be ideally suited for the jobs they were given. They were not built for seaworthiness, but their shallow draft and double-ended design made them ideal for blockade work in the shallow inshore waters of the southeastern U.S. and Gulf of Mexico. Typical drafts ranged from 10 feet to as little as 6+ feet. Most were side-wheel steamers.

They were built to carry heavy loads, and so required little modification for mounting big guns. Their deck armament was variable, but the more common guns were VIII and IX inch Dahlgren smoothbores, 100 pdr Parrot rifles, 24 and 32 pdr smoothbores, and various calibers of rifled guns. These were mounted in the platform areas at each end of the ships (see photos), and were positioned to provide fire from forward, quarter, beam and aft positions. Iron plates, which could be raised or lowered, were sometimes mounted along the gunwhales to protect the gun crews from small arms fire. Ferryboats saw service in all four of the US Navy blockading squadrons:


North Atlantic squadron – the ferries Hunchback, Southfield, Commodore Hull, Commodore Perry and others served along the Virginia and North Carolina coasts. The Hull and Southfield were involved in the engagement with the rebel ironclad CSS Albemarle in April 1864. The Southfield sank after being rammed by the ironclad. In sinking, however, she temporarily disabled the ironclad and enabled the rest of the Union ships to escape, forcing the ironclad to withdraw from the engagement.


South Atlantic squadron – the ferry R. B. Forbes (a Boston twin screw steamer, rather than a New York sidewheeler) joined the South Atlantic squadron in October 1861 and was part of Flag Officer DuPont’s fleet which took Port Royal, South Carolina in November of that year. The Commodore McDonough participated in numerous expeditions in the rivers and sounds of South Carolina, where her shallow draft proved invaluable.

East Gulf squadron – the former New York ferry USS Fort Henry established a reputation as the “Terror of the Gulf.” Patrolling the sector of the Florida gulf coast from Tampa Bay north to the St. Marks River area, the ship and its crew, under the command of Acting Lt. Edward Y. McCauley, captured blockade runners, conducted shore raids to destroy salt works, and provided assistance and shelter to escaped slaves and Floridians who were sympathetic to the Union.

West Gulf squadron – the ferries Westfield, Jackson, and Clifton were part of Flag Officer Farragut’s West Gulf squadron. All three ships were participants in the conquest of the Mississippi River, and subsequently assisted with operations along the Texas coast. The Westfield was purposely destroyed by her crew, accompanied by the death of her captain William B. Renshaw, to avoid capture by the Confederates along the Texas coast on New Year’s Day 1863.


84th Infantry Regiment

Mustered in: May to August, 1861.
Mustered out: June 6, 1864.

The following is taken from New York in the War of the Rebellion, 3rd ed. Frederick Phisterer. Albany: J. B. Lyon Company, 1912.
The 14th State Militia, failing to be ordered to the front under the first call for troops, organized, under Col. Alfred M. Wood, and special authority from- the War Department, as a regiment of volunteers it was recruited in Brooklyn, mustered in the service of the.
United States for three years between May and August, 1861, turned over to the State in September, 1861, and received its numerical volunteer designation December 7, 1861. Its engineer company was mustered out August 21, 1861. The men not entitled to be discharged with the regiment served from May 21, 1864, with the 12th Battalion Infantry, and were, June 2, 1864, transferred to the 5th Veteran Infantry.
The regiment left the State May 18, 1861, except Companies I and K, which joined it in July, 1861 served at and near Washington, D. C, from May 19, 1861 in Andrew Porter's Brigade, Army N. E. Virginia, from June, 1861 in Keyes' Brigade, Division Potomac, from August 4, 1861 in same, 1st, Brigade, McDowell's Division, Army of Potomac, from October 15, 1861 in 3d Brigade, McDowell's Division, Army of Potomac, from February, 1862 in Augur's, 1st, Brigade, King's Division, 1st Corps, Army of Potomac, from March, 1862 in same brigade and division, Department Rappahannock, from May, 1862 in 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 3d Corps, Army of Virginia, from June 26, 1862 in 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 1st Corps, Army of Potomac, from September 12, 1862 in 2d Brigade, 1st Division, 1st Corps, Army of Potomac, from June, 1863 in 2d Brigade, 4th Division, 5th Corps, from March, 1864, and, May 21, 1864, it was ordered to New York city, and there, under Col. Edward B. Fowler, honorably discharged and mustered out June 14, to date June 6, 1864.
During its service the regiment lost by death, killed in action, 5 officers, 83 enlisted men of wounds received in action, 3 officers, 61 enlisted men of disease and other causes, 74 enlisted men total, 8 officers, 218 enlisted men aggregate, 226 of whom 17 enlisted men died in the hands of the enemy.

The following is taken from The Union army: a history of military affairs in the loyal states, 1861-65 -- records of the regiments in the Union army -- cyclopedia of battles -- memoirs of commanders and soldiers. Madison, WI: Federal Pub. Co., 1908. volume II.
Eighty-fourth Infantry.&mdashCols., Alfred M. Wood, Edward B. Fowler Lieut.-Cols., Edward B. Fowler, William H. DeBevoice, Robert B. Jourdan Majs., James Jourdan, William H. DeBevoice, Charles F. Baldwin, Robert B. Jourdan, Henry T. Head. The 84th (the 14th militia), recruited in Brooklyn, left the state for Washington, May 18, 1861 was there joined by Cos. K and I in July, and between May and August was mustered into the U. S. service for three years. The regiment served in the vicinity of Washington until the battle of Bull Run, in which it fought gallantly in Porter's brigade, with a total loss of 142 killed, wounded or missing. It then served near Ball's crossroads and Upton's hill, Va., and in March, 1862, was assigned to the 1st brigade, King's division, 1st corps, with which it served in northern Virginia, while the campaign on the Peninsula was carried on under Gen. McClellan. Active in the fighting which culminated in the battle of the second Bull Run, the regiment lost. 129 men. It was engaged at South mountain, Antietam and Fredericks-burg with the 1st brigade, 1st division, 1st corps, to which it was attached on Sept. 12, 1862. After passing the winter in camp near Falmouth, the regiment was active at Chancellorsville in May, 1863, and was prominently engaged in the battle of Gettysburg, where it received the highest official praise for its gallantry in action. It served during this battle with the 2nd brigade, 1st division, 1st corps, and suffered a total loss of 217. It then moved southward with the Army of the Potomac, shared in the Mine Run movement, wintered near Culpeper and at the opening of the Wilderness campaign, was assigned to the 2nd brigade, 4th division, 5th corps. On May 21 the term of service expired. It was mustered out at New York city, June 14, 1864, when the veterans and recruits were transferred to the 5th N. Y. veteran infantry. The total enrollment of the regiment was 1,305, of whom 153 died from wounds and 74 from other causes. Few regiments could boast such a distinguished reputation as the 84th, which served with unfailing bravery through the most severe tests of courage

84th Regiment NY Volunteer Infantry | Regimental Color | Civil War

All that remains from this flag are silk fragments featuring a stylized version of the Arms of the State of New York. The inscription along the bottom…


“Make Georgia Howl”

Sherman believed that the Confederacy derived its strength not from its fighting forces but from the material and moral support of sympathetic Southern whites. Factories, farms and railroads provided Confederate troops with the things they needed, he reasoned and if he could destroy those things, the Confederate war effort would collapse. Meanwhile, his troops could undermine Southern morale by making life so unpleasant for Georgia’s civilians that they would demand an end to the war.

To that end, Sherman’s troops marched south toward Savannah in two wings, about 30 miles apart. On November 22, 3,500 Confederate cavalry started a skirmish with the Union soldiers at Griswoldville, but that ended so badly� Confederate soldiers were killed or wounded, compared to 62 Yankee casualties–that Southern troops initiated no more battles. Instead, they fled South ahead of Sherman’s troops, wreaking their own havoc as they went: They wrecked bridges, chopped down trees and burned barns filled with provisions before the Union army could reach them.

The Union soldiers were just as unsparing. They raided farms and plantations, stealing and slaughtering cows, chickens, turkeys, sheep and hogs and taking as much other food𠄾specially bread and potatoes𠄺s they could carry. (These groups of foraging soldiers were nicknamed 𠇋ummers,” and they burned whatever they could not carry.) The marauding Yankees needed the supplies, but they also wanted to teach Georgians a lesson: “it isn’t so sweet to secede,” one soldier wrote in a letter home, 𠇊s [they] thought it would be.”

Sherman’s troops arrived in Savannah on December 21, 1864, about three weeks after they left Atlanta. The city was undefended when they got there. (The 10,000 Confederates who were supposed to be guarding it had already fled.) Sherman presented the city of Savannah and its 25,000 bales of cotton to President Lincoln as a Christmas gift.Early in 1865, Sherman and his men left Savannah and pillaged and burned their way through South Carolina to Charleston. In April, the Confederacy surrendered and the war was over.


History of the Civil War in 10 Battles, Part 17: Sherman’s March to the Sea

From November to December 1864, Gen. Sherman led over 60,000 soldiers from Atlanta to Savannah, Georgia in a scorched earth campaign to completely demoralized the Southern war effort. Sherman explained that they needed to “make old and young, rich and poor, feel the hard hand of war.” Excursus: The&hellip


The United States vs the Ship Bat: A Civil War Prize Case

When the American Civil War broke out on April 12, 1861, the newly formed Confederate States of America had no ships to speak of in its navy. In the months leading up to the war, the Confederate government sought the help of Great Britain to overcome this deficiency. Many private industries in England secretly worked with the Confederate government since much of their industry depended on cotton exports from the plantations of the South. Although officially neutral, the British became the primary shipbuilders and source of supplies for the Confederacy for the duration of the civil war.

Union General-in-Chief Winfield Scott proposed to President Abraham Lincoln the Anaconda Plan to subdue the rebellion. Scott’s plan emphasized a Union Naval blockade of the Southern ports and called for infantry divisions to advance down the Mississippi River to cut the South in two. Soon after Lincoln announced the blockade, the profitable business of running supplies through the blockade to the Confederacy began. One of the ships purchased by Confederate agents in Great Britain was the ship Bat, a fast, steel hulled, side-wheel steamer built in 1864 in Liverpool, England by The Jones and Quiggins Ship Building Company. The original plan had called for the Bat to run through the Union blockade with military supplies desperately needed by the beleaguered South and then to slip back out to sea again, laden with cotton for the idle textile mills of England. Confederate agent James Bullock, who had purchased the ship for the Confederate Government, requested that the military supplies be sent on another ship. The ship’s cargo was to include heavy machinery, food stuffs, coal, medical supplies, and a large quantity of office supplies needed immediately by Jefferson Davis’ administration. [1]

The Bat put to sea on September 6, 1864 and proceeded to Halifax, Nova Scotia for refueling. Thomas Dudley, American consul in Liverpool, learned of the purchase of the Bat by the Confederacy and that she had already left Liverpool and immediately informed Washington. The ship sailed for the North Carolina coast after refueling in Halifax. As the Bat approached the Cape Fear River in the early morning hours of October 10, 1864, Union warships in the vicinity, which had been alerted thanks to Consular Dudley, were expecting her. As the Bat approached the coast, she encountered the USS Emma, a former blockade runner herself, the ship was a single screw steamer, built in Glasgow, Scotland and purchased by the US Navy from a prize court in New York City because of her speed. Upon spotting the Bat, the Emma gave chase, opened fire, and sent up rockets to announce the presence and course of the fleeing ship. The Bat was much faster than the Emma and quickly began to outdistance the Union ship. The captain of the Emma, James L. Williams later wrote, “I fired 11 times at her, and then ten minutes after ceasing my fire I saw a gun fired from the USS Montgomery.” [2] The USS Vicksburg, a wooden steamship converted to a gunboat by the navy, took up the pursuit but the Bat quickly outran her as well. The crew of the Vicksburg soon lost sight of her prey and hove to when she reached the outer edge of her assigned area. The captain of the Bat thought he had made it, until suddenly from out of pre-dawn darkness came the USS Montgomery. The Montgomery was a wooden screw steamer built for the US Navy in 1858 and mounted one eight-inch gun and 4 large 32 pounders on her deck and could sail at 13 knots. The Montgomery had already captured eight other Confederate blockade runners and set her sights on her ninth. After coming within range of her guns, the Montgomery fired a shot which struck the Bat’s forecastle, killing one of the her crew members. The captain of the Bat attempted to outrun the Montgomery but quickly realized that another shot from the Montgomery’s 32 pounders would severely jeopardize his ship and the crew’s safety, and as a result he surrendered. Captain Faucon reported that the shot from his ship the Montgomery, “entered the forward part of the ship and took off the right leg of one of her crew, who has since died.” [3]

Captain Faucon placed a prize crew on board the Bat under the command of Ensign Robert Wiley and sailed to Beaufort, North Carolina. When the ship reached Beaufort, Lieutenant-Commander D.L. Baines, in command at Beaufort, reported, “the Bat is a fine new steamer, built of molded steel and can sail thirteen knots but will do better when her engines are in good working order.” [4] The Bat was sailed to Boston, Massachusetts where she was condemned by an admiralty court. Among the materials found on the Bat was a box of personal effects marked “Mrs. Jefferson Davis” which contained “dolls and dresses.” The court ordered that the materials be “sold at the sailors fair now being held in Boston.” [5] The cargo also contained one steam engine and boiler, 4 coils of telegraph wire, a machine for making shoes and an assortment of desperately needed drugs for the field surgeries of the Confederate armies including 118 bottles of quinine, 14 cases of morphine and 11 pounds of opium. The ship was purchased by the United States Government for service in the Union Navy for $159,437. The contents of the ship were sold at public auction for $155,645, all of which would be distributed amongst the crew of the Montgomery. The Bat was repaired, fitted out at the Boston Navy Yard, and placed in commission there on December 13, 1864. [6]

The USS Bat would be assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron where she helped in the capture of Fort Fisher, off the coast of North Carolina. One of the last and most notable of its services began on March 20, 1865, when General Ulysses S. Grant invited President Lincoln to visit his headquarters at City Point, Virginia. Since Bat was the fastest vessel in the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, the Navy ordered her to Washington so that she might carry Mr. Lincoln to Grant’s headquarters on the James River. However, the Bat could not be outfitted in time to accommodate the President’s entourage, so another fast steamer, the River Queen, was found for the task. Bat’s role was changed to escorting the President’s unarmed ship during her voyage to the James. She stayed with River Queen throughout the President’s visit and then accompanied them back to Washington D.C. The Bat was decommissioned and sold at public auction in New York City on May 17, 1865. [7]

[2] Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion Series 1, Volume 10 Pages 550.


Today in History, November 15, 1864: Sherman began ‘March to the Sea’ during Civil War

Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman (Photo: Enquirer file)

Today is Nov. 15. On this date:

Explorer Zebulon Pike sighted the mountaintop now known as Pikes Peak in present-day Colorado.

During the Civil War, Union forces led by Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman began their “March to the Sea” from Atlanta the campaign ended with the capture of Savannah on Dec. 21.

The National Broadcasting Co. (NBC) began operating its radio network.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt laid the cornerstone of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The naval Battle of Guadalcanal ended during World War II with a decisive U.S. victory over Japanese forces.

Four members of the Clutter family of Holcomb, Kansas, were found murdered in their home. (Ex-convicts Richard Hickock and Perry Smith were later convicted of the killings and hanged in a case made famous by the Truman Capote book “In Cold Blood.”)

The flight of Gemini 12, the final mission of the Gemini program, ended successfully as astronauts James A. Lovell and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. splashed down safely in the Atlantic after spending four days in orbit.


Civil War: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies

The series has been microfilmed by the National Archives and Records Administration M275, Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies, 1861-1865, contains 31 reels of 16mm microfilm.

Spine titleSeries/Vol.
Operations of the cruisers. January 19, 1861-December 31, 1862. 1 / v. 1
Operations of the cruisers. January 1, 1863-March 31, 1864. 1 / v. 2
Operations of the cruisers. April 1, 1864-December, 1865. 1 / v. 3
Operations: Gulf of Mexico, November 15, 1860-June 7, 1861. Atlantic Coast, January 1-May 13, 1861. Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers, January 5-December 7, 1861 1 / v. 4
Operations: Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers, December 7, 1861-July 31, 1865. Atlantic Blockading Squadron, April 4-July 15, 1861 1 / v. 5
Operations: Atlantic Blockading Squadron, July 16-October 29, 1861. North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, October 29, 1861-March 8, 1862 1 / v. 6
Operations: North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, March 8-September 4, 1862 1 / v. 7
Operations: North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, September 5, 1862-May 4, 1863 1 / v. 8
Operations: North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, May 5, 1863-May 5, 1864 1 / v. 9
Operations: North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, May 6-October 27, 1864 1 / v. 10
Operations: North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, October 28, 1864-February 1, 1865 1 / v. 11
Operations: North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, February 2-August 3, 1865. South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, October 29, 1861-May 13, 1862 1 / v. 12
Operations: South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, May 14, 1862-April 7, 1863 1 / v. 13
Operations: South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, April 7-September 30, 1863 1 / v. 14
Operations: South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, October 1, 1863-September 30, 1864 1 / v. 15
Operations: South Atlantic , October 1, 1864-August 8, 1865. Gulf Blockading Squadron, June 7-December 15, 1861 1 / v. 16
Operations: Gulf Blockading Squadron, December 16, 1861-February 21, 1862. East Gulf Blockading Squadron, February 22, 1862-July 17, 1865 1 / v. 17
Operations: West Gulf Blockading Squadron, February 21-July 14, 1862 1 / v. 18
Operations: West Gulf Blockading Squadron, July 15, 1862-March 14, 1863 1 / v. 19
Operations: West Gulf Blockading Squadron, March 15-December 31, 1863 1 / v. 20
Operations: West Gulf Blockading Squadron, January 1-December 31, 1864 1 / v. 21
Operations: West Gulf Blockading Squadron, January 1, 1865-January 31, 1866. Naval forces on Western waters, May 8, 1861-April 11, 1862 1 / v. 22
Operations: Naval forces on Western waters, April 12-December 31, 1862 1 / v. 23
Operations: Naval forces on Western waters, January 1-May 17, 1863 1 / v. 24
Operations: Naval forces on Western waters, May 18, 1863-February 29, 1864 1 / v. 25
Operations: Naval forces on Western waters, March 1-December 31, 1864 1 / v. 26
Operations: Naval forces on Western waters, January 1-September 6, 1865. Supply Vessels, 1861-1865 1 / v. 27
Spine title Series/Vol.
Part 1, Statistical data of Union and Confederate ships. Part 2, Muster rolls of Confederate Government vessels. Part 3, Letters of marque and reprisal. Part 4, Confederate departmental investigations, etc. 2 / v. 1
Navy department correspondence, 1861-1865, with agents abroad 2 / v. 2
Proclamations, appointments, etc., of President Davis. State Department correspondenve with diplomatic agents, etc. 2 / v. 3
General Index

Office Memoranda

Spine titleSeries/Vol.
Naval war records. Office memoranda v. 1
Naval war records. Office memoranda v. 2
Naval war records. Office memoranda v. 3
Naval war records. Office memoranda v. 4
Naval war records. Office memoranda v. 5
Naval war records. Office memoranda v. 6
Naval war records. Office memoranda v. 7
Naval war records. Office memoranda v. 8

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Medal of Honor citation [ edit | edit source ]

Rank and organization: Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1841, Ireland. Accredited to: Massachusetts. G.O. No.: 32, April 16, 1864.

Off Yazoo City, Miss., March 5, 1864, embarking from the Marmora with a 12-pound howitzer mounted on a field carriage, Laffey landed with the gun and crew in the midst of heated battle and, bravely standing by his gun despite enemy rifle fire which cut the gun carriage and rammer, contributed to the turning back of the enemy during the fierce engagement. Ώ]



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