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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
CAPT Stephen Rowan, USN Served in various positions on the East Coast
Mon May 23 1864

SECNAV telegrams RADM Hiram Paulding, New York Navy Yard, "Have the Niagara ready to go to sea on Wednesday, June 1."

SECNAV telegrams RADM Samuel P Lee, North Atlantic Blockading Squadron "Shenandoah ordered to Hampton Roads to report to you. Have orders ready for her."

SECNAV writes RADM Jonathan Dahlgren, South Atlantic Blockading Squadron "Direct the New Ironsides to proceed to the navy yard at Philadelphia."

SECNAV writes RADM Theodorus Bailey, East Gulf Blockading Squadron "A complaint has been made to the Department of State by Mr. Tassara, the minister of Spain That on the morning of the 9th or 10th of April last, the United States Navy steamer Marigold, mail steamer from Key West, after annoying and menacing the English merchant vessel Belle, coming from Matamoras, just as she was entering the port of Havana, fired a cannon shot at her at 500 yards distance from the Morro Castle.
    Be pleased to convene a court of enquiry for the purpose of a thorough investigation of the grounds of the complaint made by Mr. Tassara, direct the court to report the facts ascertained, with its opinion, and transmit the record to the Department as early as practicable."

LT W R Browne, USS Restless, writes ENS Henry Eason, Wartappo "You will proceed this 2 p. m.,in the barge Wartappo and second cutter, with 25 men, to the appointed place and cover the landing or retreat, if necessary, of Captain Wood's men; but on no account will you detail more than 5 men to accompany him on his march to Howard's store.
    You must remain in charge of the howitzer in person on board the barge, keeping men enough to work the gun. Be cautious in approaching the shore before landing the troops. It would be wise to send 2 pickets three-fourths of a mile ahead of the main body in case of approaching cavalry or infantry. Do not send any of your men on shore unless Captain Woods requests you to do so, and then on no account send more than 5 at once."

LCDR John Watters, USS Kineo, writes SECNAV "I regret having to report the loss of Acting Ensign Paul Borner, of this vessel, and 4 men under his command, viz, John Smith, seaman; Charles Zimmerman, seaman; Daniel Hennessy, ordinary seaman; John Griffin, landsman. They (with 3 others belonging to the boats crew, who escaped) had charge of a schooner which they were unable to manage, in consequence, as I learned finally, of being drunk - in a beastly state of intoxication. The vessel was run ashore and they were captured by the enemy. I respectfully submit the following account of what we saw, and accompanying is a statement of the officer captured, which I received by flag of truce the following day:
    At daylight on the 22d instant, when cruising before the mouth of the Brazos River, 5 or 6 miles from the town of Velasco, coast of Texas, chased and brought a schooner to by firing. I sent Acting Ensign Paul Borner to board her, with orders to examine all papers and ascertain what cargo she had and any other information concerning her. He returned and reported the British schooner Stingaree [Sting Ray], from Havana to Matamoras, Mexico, and her papers correct, as far as he had seen; she had no bill of lading; was said to be in ballast, with only a few bales of bagging and some coils of rope in her hold. This did not satisfy me, the vessel being a great distance off her course if bound to Matamoras, and I determined to seize her for a further examination, intending, if I could establish no facts or evidence against her, to finally let her go. With this view I ordered Mr. Borner to take charge of her, giving him a boat and 7 men to sail her in, following us to our anchorage in sight of the town of Velasco, from which we were then distant about 15 miles, and had been absent some time, which I did not wish unnecessarily to prolong.
    Before getting to the anchorage,I observed that the schooner was very badly managed, and apprehending that she might get too near the shore, having already fallen to leeward, I ordered the vessel about and steered toward her to tow her up, the distance not being greater than 1 mile. When within a very short distance of her, she suddenly kept away and ran straight for the shore, our boat which she was towing with one man in it being at the same instant cut away we pursued quickly, intending to run her down if we could get to her before she should be in too shoal water, firing at her at the same time with the 20-pounder bow gun, hoping to cripple her. One of our men was seen to go overboard from the schooner; her boat was also thrown out with a man in it we recognized as one of ours. The schooner still kept toward the shore, and by this time we had run into water so shoal that we could pursue no farther without getting aground and were reluctantly obliged to desist, seeing her go soon after plump on the beach, which was soon lined with cavalry of the enemy, rendering it improper to send our boats.
  & nbsp; We also ceased firing, lest we should injure our own people. We picked up our men who escaped from the schooner; one, the fellow who was in the water swimming, enlisted our first attention, and when we got him on board, were surprised to find the chief of the party, the coxswain of the boat, William Morgan, seaman, in a beastly state of intoxication, crazy drunk and howling; one of the others, Joseph Fernandez, ordinary seaman, a negro, was also very drunk; the condition of these two enabled us to surmise the cause of this deplorable affair, although they were unable to give any account of themselves. The next day - i. e., to-day, I received by flag of truce a report from the officer, Mr. Borner, a copy of which I have the honor to append."

LCDR James A Greer, 5th District, Mississippi Squadron, writes Master P Donnelly, USS Nymph, from Natchez "Come down to this place immediately."

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.

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




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