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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 Colorado - One of RADM Farraguts heavy warships
Tue Jul 21 1863

Master Alvin Phinney, USS Racer writes CMDR Andrew A Harwood, Potomac Flotilla, "I have to report that last night about 10 o'clock Acting Master's Mate H. C. Whitmore, with a boats crew from this vessel, captured a boat with three men (two white and one colored), giving their names as Henry A. Suttle, Charles Cunningham, and Addison Marshall (colored), running the blockade from Virginia to Maryland. They stated they were going over to get supplies for their families. Nothing was found upon them except a small sum of money on each, which was given back to them. The boat was destroyed."

SECNAV writes RADM Samuel P Lee, North Atlantic Blockading Squadron "One or two copies of the extracts from consular dispatches printed for your squadron were sent to the Department of State, and in a recent letter Mr. Seward says he would be glad to receive from time to time a few copies of each of them with a view to send them to the consuls to encourage them and to increase their vigilance. If convenient for you to print a few extra copies, this Department would like to comply with the request of the Secretary of State."

CDR George B Balch, SOPA Stono Inlet, writes RADM Jonathan Dahlgren, South Atlantic Blockading Squadron "I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the naval force in Stono since my last report to the admiral commanding.
    For the more perfect safety of the transports in passing the Stono Bar, I had the buoys lifted and placed so as to render the entrance straight and easy, and I am much gratified in being able to state that the transports, which have been going out and coming in constantly, have done so in safety.
    On the 4th of July I received a confidential communication from Colonel Turner, chief of General Gillmores staff, asking that I would give assistance by lighting the buoys, that the troops might enter and disembark at the south end of Folly Island under cover of the night. This I did, and went outside the bar myself and gave all the directions necessary to insure the safe entrance into Stono.
    The officers of the Commodore McDonouqh were detailed as pilots, and discharged their duties zealously and well. I continued to render assistance in this way whilst it was necessary, and on 6th July, under cover of the night, the transports passed in safety to the dock at Folly Island, discharged the troops, and proceeded to sea by 3 a. m. In this duty I was ably seconded by Lieutenant-Commander Bacon, his officers and crew, as also by the officers and crew of the Pawnee.
    On the 7th July, instant, I had the honor to receive your confidential instructions to be ready for a movement in the Stono, and in view of rendering the most efficient support to the troops about advancing against Morris Island, I deemed it proper to fit the Pawnee's launch with two 12-pounder howitzers (a smoothbore and a rifle), as also an army launch, which I borrowed of General Seymour, and fitted with two 24-pounder smoothbore howitzers, taken for the purpose from the Commodore McDonough, and manned by a crew from that vessel; these, with two 12-pounder smoothbore howitzers, from the Wabash, were placed under command of Lieutenant-Commander Bunce, of the Pawnee, who received my orders to cooperate with the army in landing on Morris Island, and particularly to cover the advance, and to act against the enemy when he could do so, and to cover the retreat, should our troops be repulsed.
    The report of Lieutenant-Commander Bunce is herewith enclosed for your information, and I beg leave respectfully to express my gratification that the naval force in Stono should have been able to render the important assistance it did, and to very materially contribute to the success of the movement of our troops. I deem it but an act of justice to call the attention of the admiral commanding to the services rendered by Lieutenant-Commander Bunce and his command.
    I had the honor to receive, on the morning of the 9th instant, your circular dated the 8th, detailing the duties of the vessels under your command in the operations against Morris Island, and by it the Pawnee, Nantucket, and Commodore McDonough were assigned to the convoy of a division of troops up the Stono. In carrying out these instructions, after consultation with General Terry, commanding the division, I got underway in the Pawnee on the afternoon of the 9th instant, followed by the Nantucket, Commodore McDonough, and C P. Williams, and proceeded up the Stono and anchored above Stevens' Landing, and opened fire on James Island. The transports followed us up the Stono, and, immediately on landing, General Terry sent forward a portion of his troops on James Island.
    On the 11th instant the McDonough, being at anchor off Legarêville, where I had stationed Lieutenant-Commander Bacon for the purpose of protecting our transports from attacks of the enemy on Johns Island, made signal that the enemy's batteries were firing on one of our steamers, the General hunter; the Commodore McDonough opened on them, and I immediately sent the C. P. Williams to assist, she being towed to her station at my request by order of General Terry.
    At the request of General Terry I moved up the Stono River on the afternoon of the 11th instant and anchored off Tom Grimball's plantation, and opened fire in the direction of Secessionville, the object of which was that our troops, under cover of the Pawnees guns, might make a forward movement. I continued firing in the direction, and with the ranges agreed upon with General Terry, till he made signal to cease firing; this being done, his troops advanced and took position some 800 or 1,000 yards from the Pawnee. The Commodore McDonough came up and anchored near, in obedience to my orders; she had been employed in aiding the Nantucket in getting to sea, or I should have had her with me when I came up the river.
    Nothing of importance occurred till the morning of the 16th instant, when the Pawnee and Marblehead being at anchor near Tom Grimballs, a heavy fire was opened on us, which, from the impossibility of bringing our guns to bear in the narrow channel, and the danger of the ship taking the bottom, I deemed it prudent to drop down the river, where I could have more room and could bring my guns to bear effectively; the wheel being disabled by splinters rendered our situation for a few minutes extremely perilous, as, had we taken the bottom, we should have been exposed to a raking fire from the enemy's batteries, but with little chance to reply with a sufficient number of guns to drive them off. In the necessity which compelled me to drop down the river, I have the very great satisfaction of knowing that we were enabled to render the most important assistance to the troops of General Terry, who telegraphed that the enemy was advancing in force, and wished me to open fire upon them, which we did, and so effectively as to prevent their advance by a causeway in such force as would have in all probability led to the capture of our troops; our fire was so accurate and so rapid that the enemy, though he endeavored to do so, could not advance to attack our troops on James Island in the direction of our fire.
    I was greatly rejoiced on visiting General Terry at his headquarters during the afternoon to learn from him and his staff the very great assistance we had rendered his forces in the morning. He was attacked in a most spirited manner, and with artillery, a few minutes before the enemy opened on us, and I have learned through rebel prisoners that the design of the enemy in making this combined attack was to disable the Pawnee and thereby prevent her giving support to the division of General Terry, and thus, by bringing a greatly superior force against him, they hoped to defeat him. The position I assumed, and within reach of the enemy's batteries, enabled me to thwart any such design. We continued our fire till General Terry telegraphed that the enemy had retreated, and that his pickets had advanced to the old positions.
    To Lieutenant-Commander Scott, of the Marblehead, his officers and crew, I desire to testify my obligations for the efficient support given me. His vessel was struck two or three times. The small number of hits I attribute to the fact of the Pawnees intercepting shots which would otherwise have struck his vessel, and the channel being so narrow that he could not take a position where he could fire effectively. I am repairing the damages done to the Pawnee as speedily as the small force of carpenters can.
    On the afternoon of the 16th instant I was informed by General Terry that the object aimed at in the advance on James Island had been successfully accomplished, and also that he should, under cover of darkness, embark his troops. I therefore disposed the naval force to the best advantage for covering the embarkation and sent boats to assist. The troops were embarked, and on the afternoon of the 17th instant I proceeded down the Stono to my former anchorage in Stono Inlet with the vessels under my command.
    I regret to report that John B. Patterson (landsman), who was mortally wounded in the action, died at 9 a. m. that morning. He was buried on Coles Island."

CDR H S Stellwagen, USS Mercedita writes SECNAV from Key West "I have to report the capture of the schooner Victoria, Captain Fowler, built at Gloucester, N. J., in 1842; registered in Nassau, New Providence, on the 19th August, 1861. as the property of James Deans, of Ecclefechan, Dumfriesshire, Scotland, merchant, temporarily residing at Wilmington, N. C.; commanded by Stephen Fowler, born in Rhode Island and resident of Washington, N. C.
    She sailed from Shallotte Inlet, near Wilmington, N. C., on 4th July (evading blockade), loaded with some 130 or 140 bales of cotton for Sawyer and Menendez, of Nassau, New Providence, and had no port clearance or manifest. She has run the blockade several times, and was formerly called the Louisa. The captain has been sailing out the small harbors of North Carolina many years, and is a good pilot. Her condemnation, I presume, admits of no doubt.
    On the same day I also captured the schooner Ida, of Nassau, New Providence, formerly the W. H. Howard, of Wilmington, N. C. British register dated Nassau, New Providence, 4th July, 1862. She is fitted out by Adderly & Co., of Nassau, and cleared for Baltimore with a cargo of assorted goods - calicoes, shoes, cottons, needles, salt, etc. - such as are most needed by the rebels, and purchased at prices in Nassau far above what they would bring at Baltimore, her pretended place of destination.
    Her captain, Guthrie, belongs to Washington, N. C., and doubtless intended to run into some inlet south of Hatteras, being minutely acquainted with the coast and having run the blockade before.
    Both vessels being small, I have ordered them to this place for adjudication.
    The Victoria was captured on the 12th July, 1862, about 40 miles S. W. by W. (true) from the Hole in the Wall light-house [Abaco].
    The Ida was captured about 32 miles S. W. by W. (true) from the same light."

RADM J L Lardner, East Gulf Blockading Squadron writes SECNAV "It is with regret I have to forward the report of Master's Mate W. H. Melson, stating the circumstances under which Acting Master David Stearns, commanding the schooner Beauregard, was with a boats crew lost or captured at the mouth of Crystal River.
    It is the opinion of Lieutenant Commanding English of the Somerset that they were captured by the rebels."

LT William C Rogers, USS Huntsville writes SECNAV "I have the honor to report to you the capture this day of the rebel steamer Reliance, three days out from Doboy Bar, Ga., bound to Nassau with a cargo of 243 bales sea-island cotton.
    I fell in with her soon after daylight, a little to eastward of Abaco, and after a chase of about 30 miles, succeeded in bringing her to, after firing 14 shot and shell.
    She is commanded by Lieutenant Gladding, formerly of the Navy and revenue service, and since the rebellion in command of the schooner Parliament, in which he has several times run the blockade.
    The Reliance was chased on leaving Doboy by one of the blockading fleet, but escaped by superior speed.
    I regret extremely not being able to either send or tow this prize to Boston, agreeably to your circular, but she had fuel for only six hours, and my own coal was very nearly exhausted, and would but take us to Key West, to which port I am now towing her.
    Please find enclosed list of officers and muster roll of crew of the Huntsville."

SECNAV writes SECWAR "In reply to your letter of the 18th instant, I have the honor to state that the Bureau of Ordnance of this Department has directed 10 12-pounder rifles, 10 12-pounder smoothbores, and 10 24-pounder howitzers, with boat carriages, equipment, and ammunition, complete, to be prepared and sent to New Orleans, and requested Admiral Farragut to have them mounted on board such vessels as may be desiguated by the quartermasters department of the Gulf; giving at the same time all necessary information relative to their use. These, together with guns now on hand at New Orleans, will, it is thought, meet the wants of the quartermasters department."

CMDR A M Pennock, Fleet Captain, Mississippi Squadron, telegrams SECNAV "Since Morgan crossed into Indiana Lieutenant-Commander LeRoy Fitch, with the gunboats under his command, has been constantly following him up the Ohio River. He has prevented him from crossing at several points and has at last engaged him with great success. I have just received the following telegram:"

U. S. S. MOOSE, Above Buffington Island, Ohio River, July 19, 1863.
    After chasing Morgan nearly 500 miles, I at last met him on the river at this point. I engaged and drove him back, capturing two pieces of his artillery. He abandoned rest to General Judah. His forces broke in confusion from the banks and left his wagon train, many horses, and small arms in my possession. General Judah is now in pursuit of the remnant of his forces. Since writing the above, I followed further on up the river, met another portion of his forces, fording, 14 miles above. Shelled and drove most of them back, killed several; 25 or 30 men wounded; captured 15 or 20 more horses. I have but 2 men wounded slightly; shoal and very swift water has been much to my disadvantage to-day; must move below Buffington to-night in consequence of falling water. Our shell and shrapnel created great confusion in the rebel ranks, killing and wounding many.
    LEROY FITCH
    Lieutenant-Commander, U. S. Navy.
    Rear-Admiral D. D. PORTER,
    Commanding Mississippi Squadron, Vicksburg. (Care Fleet Captain A. M. Pennock, Cairo.)

CDR Isaac Brown, CSN writes General Joseph E Johmston, CSA, " I have the honor to report that the enemy's gunboats, while ascending the Yazoo on the 14th instant, p. m., were attacked by the heavy battery under my command at Yazoo City, and, after an hours firing, were driven back out of sight without loss on our side. While waiting for a renewal of their attempt to ascend the river I re ceived a message from Lieutenant-Colonel [William B.] Creasman, commanding the Twenty-ninth Regiment North Carolina Volunteers, saying that he had abandoned his works and was retreating by the Benton road. This movement left no force between my gunners and the land forces of the enemy, who were close at hand and advancing. I had then either to withdraw or suffer the capture or destruction of my men. We were the last to leave Yazoo City, and the enemy entered it soon after we marched out. It is my opinion that if Colonel Creasman had waited to receive the enemy's attack our whole force would have been captured or destroyed.
    Without doubt this officer will have submitted to you a special report of the conduct of Captain Robert Voigt, commanding a company of Texans of Waul's Legion, who were serving as heavy artillerists at Yazoo City. This Captain Voigt was ordered by Colonel Creasman to join his command on the retreat, and he could, without difficulty, have obeyed the order. If he has fallen into the enemy's hands, as is most probable, it has been because he wished to do so.
    After withdrawing from Yazoo City I ordered my small command, consisting of less than 40 effective men, to make the best of their way to Mobile, Ala. In doing this I was obeying a provisional order of the Navy Department given to me some time ago.
    It gives me pleasure to add, in concluding this report, that while the enemy failed to capture our transports (which we destroyed) they sustained, besides their defeat on the river, the loss of their finest ironclad (the De Kalb, of 13 guns, the flagship of their expedition), which was sunk by one of our torpedoes."

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
Lebanon. CT
Letterboxing
30 JUL 2018 Ayer's Farm

Franklin,CT
Mars Party
6 OCT 2018 Sprague Land Trust
Bolton Rd.
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Deep Sky Observing
13 OCT 2018 Sprague Land Trust
Bolton Rd.
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Deep Sky Observing
15 OCT 2018 Brown Park
Norwich,CT
Maritime History of Norwich
27 OCT 2018 Brown Park
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Maritime History of Norwich




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