Sun Mar 05 1865|
CDR Robert Townsend, USS Wachusett writes SECNAV " I have the honor to acknowledge the preparatory sailing orders issued by the Department on the 17th February; also the supplementary orders and accompanying minutes of information, dated March 3.
I am very grateful for the confidence the Department is pleased to repose in me, and I will faithfully endeavor to prove that it is not misplaced. Duty, as well as inclination, will induce me to follow up, within the scope of my orders, the Shenandoah, and strive to win the last sprig of laurel left for the Navy to add to its glorious chaplet gathered in this war."
CDR Foxhall A Parker, Potomac Flotilla, writes SECNAV "I have the honor to report to the Department that on the night of the 3d instant Acting Master Street, commanding the Freeborn, landed with a portion of his men on the north bank of the Piankatank River and captured James H. Jackson, sergeant, Company I, Fifty-fifth Virginia Infantry.
On the same night William Smith, blockade runner, was taken by the Freeborn. All the above-named men have been delivered over to the provost-marshal at Point Lookout, together with many refugees and deserters from the rebel service."
In a second letter he writes "The provost-marshal of Charles County, Md., having informed me that the rebels had secreted a large boat in one of the creeks on the opposite shore of the Potomac for the purpose of making a raid into Maryland, I sent a force of seventy-five men under the command of Acting Ensign McConnell to Chotank [Jotank] Creek on the 3d instant, and to Passpatansy Creek on the 5th instant. On both occasions our men had a skirmish with some of Mosby's guerrillas, driving them, without loss to us, about 4 miles into the interior; and in Passpatansy Creek they discovered and destroyed the boat looked for, which Acting Ensign McConnell reports as a remarkably fine one, painted lead color, and capable of holding fifty men. It had been recently brought from Fredericksburg, and its rowlocks carefully muffled for night service. Five boxes of tobacco were found near the boat, which I have distributed to the captors.
Acting Ensign McConnell in conducting these expeditions displayed energy and intelligence, and I earnestly hope that he may obtain the lieutenancy in the Marine Corps which he has applied for."
CAPT O S Glisson, SOPA Hampton roads, telegrams SECNAV from Fortress Monroe "Your telegram was received this morning at fifteen minutes after midnight; blowing a gale of wind at the time.
U. S. S. Aries sailed at daylight this morning.
The monitors are expected every moment from Cape Fear, and I shall send them up the river immediately."
RADM Jonathan Dahlgren, South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, writes SECNAV "I have received the Department's communication of the 24th, in relation to the rebel ram purchased at Nantes, in France, and beg leave to enclose copy of the squadron order on the subject in order to apprise the Department of the steps taken to meet its wishes.
The principal object of such a vessel would be the destruction of public property at Port Royal, to meet which I ordered there the Canonicus and Mahopac.
The former is now there; the latter has been detained by the reported disability of the Nantucket.
It is hardly possible that the rebel ram would attempt to enter this place or to remain in sight long enough for a monitor to get out.
Savannah will be difficult on account of its long channel and obstructions.
The Monadnock occupied the best channel to the city, and if the ram entered Tybee would quickly block her and capture her, assisted by the Canonicus.
I had intended to throw out some of the larger vessels to cruise, but as they are to go elsewhere others will be selected."
RADM J K Thatcher, West Gulf Blockading Squadron, writes SECNAV "I have the honor to enclose herewith for the action of the Department the reports of Captain Emmons, commanding Second Division (marked No. 1); Lieutenant-Commander Erben and Acting Ensign James W. Brown, of the Pinola (marked Nos. 2 and 3), of the capture and subsequent destruction of the armed rebel schooner Anna Dale, in Pass Cavallo, Texas, on the night of the 18th ultimo.
I have commended Acting Ensign James W. Brown and the officers and men engaged on the expedition for the energy and zeal displayed by them."
ENS Jospeh Sawyer, XO, USS St. Clair, ENS Henry O Proctor, Assistant Paymaster E H Johnson, 1st Assistance Engineer William McLean, Master's Mate James reid, Master's Mate William T Ross, 3rd Assistant Engineer M J Soden, and Surgeon's Steward C E Steadman write a letter "We, the undersigned, officers of the U. S. S. St. Clair, having read an article that appeared in the Army and Navy Journal of the 18th ultimo, respecting gunboat traffic on the Tennessee River, do believe the assertions made therein to be greatly exaggerated, and we do hereby certify that what trading we have done has been solely to furnish our table. And we further certify that we have not, individually or collectively, made any money, or intended to make any money, by any barter or trade with the inhabitants of any State now in insurrection."