Mon Mar 24 1862|
CDR Pickering, USS Kearsarge, writes to SECNAV, that he must leave Gibraltar and the Sumter to get his engines repaired. The Tuscarora will still have the Sumter under surveillance. He encloses a letter from the British allowing small bots to go to and from the warships to the port provided that they are "...not to approach so close to the Sumter as to give rise to any cause of complaint."
CDR Marin, USS St. Louis writes to SECNAV from Cadiz Spain saying that it is a harbor for the slave trade and that two American vessels were there fitting out as slavers. The Clarissa and Falmouth have both been refused papers by the US government. The Clarissa left port surreptitiously and with out papers and he has requested Spain to refuse papers for the Falmouth and to keep her in port. The Spanish government did not reply to him but to the US Consul, so he feels it is a State Department matter. As the Sumter is already being watched, and not outfitted, he is going to cruise the Atlantic his next port of call will be Lisbon.
LT Wyman, Potomac Flotilla writes to SECNAV that the Yankee's steam guide is broken and will require seven days to repair. As there is no other ship available, he will remain aboard her during repairs. He wants to know if after the last convoy is gone whether his ships are to remain in Hampton Roads.
In another letter to ASSIST SECNAV he writes that he is sending 2 men who came over from Virginia claiming protection, William Talbot and William Maddox. He says Talbot seems very intelligent and that he says the rebels were ordered to fall back 2 days ago and left yesterday. That he was in Fredericksburg last week and a black man told him that the troops were withdrawing 7 miles from the city and morale was extremely poor as men were being pressed into service.
FO Goldsborough, North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, writes to SECNAV that CDR Rowan has requested five mortar mortar boats and requests that if SECNAV knows where some are they would be useful in taking Beaufort and Fort Macon.
ASSIST SECNAV writes to FO Goldsborough that the President agrees that his primary duty is to destroy the Merrimack and Fox is doing all he can to procure ships to help Goldsborough, even taking the Pawnee from FO Du Pont.If he (Goldsborough) along with Burnside can take Beaufort then perhaps only one vessel would be needed for the blockade. He wants Goldsborough to take the town as the Army considers it would save several months of fighting. The Vanderbuilt is charging $3,000 per day. Does he need more rams? The Roanoke is to be iron clad and they are going to build new Monitors with 15inch guns. He thinks Buchanan may be dead and wonders if the Merrimack is moving her guns in dry dock. Chief Engineer Stimers is wanted on the ironclad board.
FO Du Pont, South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, writes to SECNAV that he had ordered the Penguin and Henry Andrew to Mosquito Inlet to blockade it from inside the bar if possible, to lay buoys to mark the channel and capture any rebel vessel within. Master T. A. Budd and Master S W. Mather, together with 43 men and four or five boats went through the channel "...15 or 18 miles without any incident, and while on their return and in sight of the Henry Andrew, the order of the line being no longer observed, the two commanding officers quite in advance, landed under certain earthworks which had been abandoned or never armed, near a dense grove of live oak, with underbrush. A heavy and continuous fire was unexpectedly opened upon them from both these covers. Lieutenant Commanding Budd and Acting Master Mather, with 3 of the 5 men composing the boats crew, were killed the remaining 2 were wounded and made prisoners." The only howitzer was in the last boat, out of range, and couldn't be
fired because there was no mount for it. The men had to flee for cover, but after dark Master McIntosh recovered one of the bodies, arms and ammunition, throwing the howitzer in the water, made his escape past sentries who hailed him. The bodies of the two commanders were recovered under a flag of true, CPT Bird returning personal articles "made some show of courtesy by returning papers and a watch, as if ashamed of this mode of warfare, for these were the very troops that, with sufficient force, means, and material for a respectable defense, had ingloriously fled from St. Augustine on our approach."
LT Williamson, USS Wabash, orders Acting Master Commanding Thomas Harris, USS Penguin, to send relevant documents to the flag ship concerning the events at Mosquito Inlet. "The flag-officer wishes to recover the two prisoners, and if any opportunity offers you can say that the flag-officer pledges himself that two prisoners will be set at liberty in exchange for them. Harris does this and CPT Bird replies that the two men have been removed to a hospital in the interior and that BGEN Trapier will need to be contacted at Baldwin, FL.
FO Du Pont appoint LT Williamson as SOPA at Mosquito Inlet and orders Master Harris of the Henry Andrew to be subordinate and to attempt to recover the bodies of the two dead sailors and bury them next to the others. he is to try and recover the lost boats and rifled howitzer, but only if under the protection of the Andrew.
FO Du Pont writes to SECNAV the they have "...found about 40,000 feet of live oak and 2,000 feet of red cedar. The timber was on the bank of the stream ready for shipment, and had been apparently well cared for, being covered with palmetto leaves and mud to protect it from the sun. It is in all probability the timber referred to by Mr. Elijah Swift. He awaits for orders for it's disposition meanwhile maintaining an armed guard at all times upon it to prevent loss by fire.
LT Wise, Ordnance Department, telegrams CDR Pennock, Fleet Captain, Western Waters,"The Secretary wishes to know if the flag-officer wants 250 more sailors from the Navy."
LT Gwin, uss Tyler writes to CDR Pennock, that he and the Lexington have conducted operations in the Tennessee. 2 Miles south they discovered a battery being constructed and few a few shells at it but got no response. "The battery just below Eastport, consisting of two guns, then opened upon us. Their shot fell short. I stood up just outside of their range and threw three or four 20 [second] shell at that battery, none of which exploded, owing to the very defective fuze (army). The rebels did not respond." "I have heard that the Dunbar and Kobb, rebel transport steamers, which were sunk in Cypress and Kane creeks, near Florence, Ala., have been raised; but in my four visits up the river have not been able to discover any signs of them. I doubt the truth of the report. I have granted a leave of absence to First Master Edward Shaw (subject to your approval), on account of ill health.
BGEN Strong,USA forwards a letter from CPT Jasper Dresser, USA an intelligence report that a man from New Orleans (M. A. Clark) reported the rebels were building 13 gunboats at New Orleans 12 for river and one for sea service. "Murray's" boat mounting 30 guns, all to be ready last week. "Eleven magazines and 200 cars were taken from the Mississippi Central Railroad to the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, to move [A. Sidney] Johnstons forces from Decatur to Corinth.