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last update Saturday, 08-Apr-2017 12:17:04 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, 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 Exssex in 1864
Tue Sep 23 1862

CMDR Andrew A Harwood, Potomac Flotilla, writes SECNAV that he will send the Delaware under command of her executive officer as her commander, Mr. Foster is inexcusably absent. "I hope the information which I forward to-day from a reliable source will be my excuse for requesting that the flotilla under my command may not be materially diminished or changed. I have endeavored to systematize matters so that the important points will be covered, the earthworks thrown up by the enemy last year rendered unavailable should he attempt to occupy them, and the cover destroyed. The knowledge among the officers of the flotilla of persons and localities is valuable, and I would suggest that until the crossing of the river with recruits and stores is effectually checked, it is desirable to have as few changes as possible, the vessels being barely enough to preserve the police of the river, and requiring frequent repairs."

CMDR Harwood writes to SECNAV that the army should stop giving passes to vessels. A former police detective from Washington says that a large body of men will be escaping from Maryland to Virginia to avoid the draft between now and early October. "A regular commissioned officer of the rebel Army, named Walter A. Bowie, is recruiting in Prince Georges County. He is harbored by a man named Cracroft, near Woodyille [Md.]."The judge in the district knows this going on but is intimidated by popular consent. Several men are very much pro-Union but openly expresses secessionist views for fear.

Master Street, USS Jacob Bell, writes to MCDR McCrea, Adjutant Potomac, Flotilla, that he has taken possession of the schooner Southerner from the USS Wyandank. The Resolute came up without coal or water and was coaled this morning, water supplied by him. The Teaser cruised off Wcomico during the night and captured goods and a boat, and later took a boat with 7 refugees, 3 of them foreigners with passports. Captain Dungan of the revenue cutter Hercules is giving passes to cross into Virginia, but have always had contraband aboard when stopped. He has given instructions that only passes granted by CMDR Harwood would be accepted.

MGEN Mitchell, USA writes RADM Samuel Du Pont, South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, "...yesterday two intelligent negroes came into the fort, having escaped from Savannah the day before. They brought Charleston papers of the 20th instant. From the negroes Colonel Barton learns that the Confederate steamer Nashville has taken in a full cargo of cotton near the [Savannah and] Gulf Railroad bridge, and has dropped down near the battery at Genesis Point, where she now lies, watching her opportunity to make her escape. "In another letter MGEN Mitchel says that he questioned the 2 Negroes and they say the ram will be ready in about three weeks, and the floating battery is in better condition now, but the river is thoroughly blocked and so the ram will not be able to assist the Nashville. RADM Du Pont responds saying that the weather has cleared enough to launch the expedition, though the bar at St John's may not be passable for a day or two. But as the weather is unsettled at this time, he should plan to use Fernandina as a place of refuge and thus recommends that the mission of the expedition be kept secret. "... as there is constant communication between Fernandina and the St. Johns. Please accept my thanks for the information you so kindly sent me to-day in reference to the rams at Savannah. "

LCDR Truxton, USS Alabama, writes to RADM Du Pont, that he has captured the English schooner Nelly from Nassau bound for Baltimore, but within sight if Ossabaw Sound, GA, carrying drugs, hardware, salt, soda ash.

RADM Charles H Davis, Western Flotilla, writes to ASSIST SECNAV enquiring whether the ram fleet is to be turned over to the navy. He thinks they would be a valuable asset and COL Ellet is talking of transferring them to the quartermaster at Cairo.

CMDR Davis issues a general order to ensure that the contrabands are paid and accounted for each month. "Contrabands will in no case, whatever may be their employment, receive a higher rating and pay than that of first-class boys, the lower ratings being given according to age and occupation."

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

DatesUpcoming Civil War EventsTopic
12-14 MAY 2017 Ashbel Woodward Museum
North Franklin, CT
Living History
18-20 AUG 2017 Schulyer Flatts,
Colonie, NY
Living History

Join Rangers Kim and Geoff for some interesting presenations and outings for The Last Green Valley.

14 APR 2017 TLGV HQ
Danielson CT
21 APR 2017 Sprague Land Trust
Bolton Rd.
Jupiter and Deep Sky Observing
19 MAY 2017 TLGV HQ
Danielson CT
Light Pollution 101
11 JUN 2017 Camp Laurel
Clubhouse Rd
Acorn Adventures Letterboxing
16 JUN 2017 Sprague Land Trust
Bolton Rd.
Deep Sky Observing
Important News
School teachers - see the Civil War and astronomy pages for how you can add excitement to your classroom on these topics.
Want to know what the Navy was doing 155 years ago? Let us give you a briefing, much as would be given to the President or Congress, outlining what the 6 major squadrons and 1 flotilla were accomplishing.

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