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last update Thursday, 04-Apr-2019 05:20:15 PDT

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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 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 McDonough
Fri Oct 21 1864

CDR C R P Rodgers, USS Iroquois, writes SECNAV from Pernambuco, Brazil "I have the honor to report that this ship left Teneriffe on the 29th ultimo, having remained at that port one day, and arrived at the Cape Verde Islands on the 5th instant. We were detained at St. Vincent five days by work upon our boilers and machinery, which could not be postponed. The work was prosecuted day and night.
    Sailing from St. Vincent on the 10th instant, we reached Fernando de Noronha on the 18th instant, and sailed the same day for this place, off which we arrived yesterday, having come hither for coals. Not knowing whether they could be obtained, I anchored outside and sent an officer on shore to offer the usual salute, which was fired and promptly returned.
    At the same time I sent to order a supply of coal and to hasten its delivery. Owing to application having to be made to the authorities for permission to purchase it, and delays arising from the tides, I have been unable, in spite of every exertion, to get it alongside as yet, but am promised it at daylight to-morrow and if possible, shall sail to-morrow night for Rio.
    I am informed to-day that upon our approach yesterday we were mistaken for the Wachusett, and the pilots were ordered not to bring us into the harbor.
    A Government pilot was sent on board early this morning, and we entered the port. I made the usual visit of ceremony to the president of the province this morning, who received me with much courtesy and offered me every facility in procuring the supplies of which I stood in need.
    I regret to inform the Department that our boilers continue to leak and give us trouble. The chief engineer reports to me that the lower tube sheets are very thin, and that he is much troubled by the accumulation of salt in the fire surface of the tube boxes. I shall make every effort to overcome this difficulty at Rio."

SECNAV writes RADM Charles H Bell, Pacific Squadron, "I transmit herewith a copy of a dispatch addressed by the U. S. vice-consul-general at Havana on the 3d instant to the U. S. consul at Panama, which has been communicated to me by the Secretary of State, concerning a plot of the insurgents to capture the steamers between California and Panama.
    It behooves the vessels of your squadron to be vigilant and to watch Panama and other important points closely, with a view of aiding to frustrate the intentions of the insurgents."

ASSIST SECNAV telegrams MGEN Benjamin Butler, USA, "Howitzers ordered from New York by express to Hampton Roads. I presume you wanted smoothbores. At any rate, I doubt whether we have six rifles to fill Graham's requisition. Anything we have in that line is at your service. Please declare those naval officers you sent up exchanged as soon as possible. They will fight for their sojourn South."

RADM Jonathan Dahlgren, South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, writes CDR Egbert Thompson, USS New Hampshire "You will proceed by the first conveyance to Stono Inlet, and on your arrival assume command as senior officer at that place, relieving Lieutenant-Commander J. C. Chaplin, commanding U. S. S. Commodore McDonough, to which vessel you will be temporarily attached.
    It will be important to keep a watchful eye on any movements or preparation that the rebels may make, so that if at any time a move is contemplated in that direction the best information may be obtainable.
    This will only be perfectly done when not known to the rebels. Let the boats scout at night, and let scouts be landed occasionally on John's Island and pass up above Grimball's house, along the wood above it, where a good view is had of Battery Pringle."

SECNAV telegrams CAPT Samuel Philip Lee, USN "The Department has received your letter of the 19th instant, accepting the conmand of the Mississippi Squadron, tendered to you in its letter of the 17th instant.
    You can delay your departure until the 26th instant, when you will proceed to Cairo and assume command of the squadron hoisting the flag of an acting rear-admiral."

BGEN G J Rains, CSA, Torpedo Bureau, writes POTCSA "The enemy's report published in the New Orleans Picayune, newspaper, of 9th of August, states the fact that the Tecumseh was sunk by a torpedo, and that so rapidly that two acting masters who escaped from the top of the turret stepped off directly into the water. The time of submersion determines whether shot or torpedo sunk the vessel. We have no evidence that her magazine was penetrated. How otherwise could a shot have occasioned her sinking in half a minute ~ Captain Whitings statement will be referred to Lieutenant Barrett for further particulars."

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



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

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16 JUN 2018 Camp Laurel
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Letterboxing
30 JUL 2018 Ayer's Farm

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6 OCT 2018 Sprague Land Trust
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15 OCT 2018 Brown Park
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Maritime History of Norwich
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