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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, 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
A P Mason, Confederate foreign minister
Thu Jun 26 1862

CDR Mann, USS St. Louis, writes to SECNAV of his arrival at the island of Fayal "So far as I can learn,commerce meets with no interruption."

CDR Glisson, SOPA Wilmington, writes to FO Louis Goldsborough, North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, that he has captured and burned the Emily carrying a cargo completely of salt. Three ships gave chase to the Emily as she came in sight from a thick haze. She was run aground and a boat was seen to leave. he sent a boat to take possession and tow her off to no avail. Meanwhile Fort Caswell began firing fast and furious with shell landing all about. They took down some of the sail and set her on fire having found no papers, but a British flag and a secesh flag with a lone star. They then left the Emily and as the boats neared their ships, one set out from the fort so more boats from the navy ships were sent back. The enemy boat left one man aboard the burning ship, presumably the captain, who upon spying the navy boats jumped overboard, never to be seen again. The ship managed to get herself free and she was burned to the waters edge and towed out to sink in deep water.

CDR Glisson forwards reports from LT Braine and LT Bunco, USS Monticello. The Monticello picked up 8 contrabands at sea and they told of a warehouse filled with goods to run the blockade up the Little River and there were 2 schooners readying. The Monticello took two boats and pulled 20 miles in 3 and 1/2 hours to reach the stockpiled values at over $50,000 which they burned along with two old and useless schooners. Found at the wharf were 60 bales of cotton, 200 barrels turpentine, and 53 barrels rosin which were burned.

CDR Armstrong, USS State of Georgia, writes to FO Goldsborough of his arrival at Hampton Roads and his need of repairs to the engines and "...repairs to catheads, windlass and hawse pipes are absolutely necessary, as they have been so wont from long use as to be unsafe;"

MGEN McClellan telegrams FO Goldsborough "Captain Rodgers informs me that he can leave his flotilla for a day or two without detriment and would like to communicate personally with me. Will you do me the favor to give him the permission to come?"FO Goldsborough responds by letter "Commander Rodgers is under orders from me to execute an exceedingly important and delicate duty, requiring his whole attention. He must therefore undervalue his services, or the object to be accomplished, if he thinks that he can, before that duty is discharged, leave his station for a day or two without detriment. Before consenting to his proposition to visit you, I must hear further from him.",

SECNAV telegrams FO Goldsborough that MGEN McClellan complained to him and SECNAV says "While the Department does not approve the tone and address of General Van Vliets dispatch, it desires that you will not let it interfere with the public service, but that you will order a convoy for the transports to City Point, and that you will cordially cooperate with the army in its onward movements.?

MGEN McClellan telegrams FO Goldsborough "I take it for granted that Commander Rodgers will execute the service you alluded* to before he visits me. On my return from the field yesterday I saw your reply to General Van Vliet. I regret your complete misunderstanding of the meaning of General Van Vliet's telegram, and can not understand how you could possibly draw from it the inference you did. I did send copies to Secretaries of Navy and War, with the request that orders may be given to you that will insure a prompt compliance with such reasonable requests as I may make. The case of the provision transports in James River is a matter of vital importance to the safety of this army, and you will please pardon me for saying that I do not think this is a time for searching for points of etiquette, and that the tone of your dispatch surprises me exceedingly. It has ever been my endeavor to treat you with the utmost deference and politeness, but my situation is at present too serious to permit me to stand on trifles. I again request that the request made in my name by General Van Vliet in regard to transports in James River may be complied with. It is a matter of vital importance and may involve the existence of the army."

FO Samuel Du Pont, South Atlantic Blockading Squadron forwards to SECNAV a report from LT Rhind, USS Crusader of operations in North Edisto against the enemy at Simmons Bluff. "A few broadsides from the Crusader dispersed the enemy, and Lieutenant Commanding Rhind, on landing with a company of the Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers, under command of Captain Bennett, met with no resistance. About thirty tents and some cabins used as quarters were fired, and a few muskets brought away. We had no casualties." Du Pont recommends Rhinds to receive a better command than he currently holds. LT Rhinds report indicates that Robert Small (the escaped former slave) was his pilot. Upon approaching the rifle pits, the enemy opened musket fire which he returned with a couple of broadsides, clearing them out. He captured a couple of letters. Two of them indicate that the rebel soldiers had been stealing unripe fruit and vegetables wantonly and left to spoil. The commissar wants a stop put to. Another letter describes the action at Stono River to have had 50 KIA and 100 wounded.

CDR Godon, USS Mohican, writes to FO Du Pont of the St. Simons waters. He says that they have found a large quantity of rice and removed over 2,000 bushels. They also found a schooner which they took and are using it to transport the rice. The contrabands are no longer in fear of starvation and with more rice yet he suggests moving it to other commands. "I have selected twenty men from the colony suitable for boating purposes, all I could obtain. I hold them on board subject to your orders." He includes some notes on the St Simon's island indicating that there should be more guards, how he rations the produce and meat, and that the McArthur cotton gin is now working. "I would also remark that idleness, improvidence, theft, and a disposition to vagrancy are the besetting sins of the contraband race on the island. There are some marked exceptions, however. Your utmost efforts will be required to counteract the evil effects of the above vices in the colony."

LT Henry Moore, USS Morning Light orders W S Blunt, ASSIST Paymaster, that he is sell off the cargo of the captured prize Venture from Mobile.

FO Farragut, West Gulf Blockading Squadron, writes to CDR DD Porter, Mortar Flotilla, telling him that in one hour or after after the mortars get the range of Vicksburg, he (Farragut) will proceed with the fleet past it.

FO Charles H Davis, Western Waters, writes to MGEN Grant, "The gunboat Conestoga is ready at any moment to convoy the steamers to the mouth of White River. I will direct Captain Winslow, the commander of the naval detachment at that place, to give them convoy as far up the river as may be practicable."

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.

DatesPlaceTopic
14 APR 2017 TLGV HQ
Danielson CT
Pluto
21 APR 2017 Sprague Land Trust
Bolton Rd.
Franklin,CT
Jupiter and Deep Sky Observing
19 MAY 2017 TLGV HQ
Danielson CT
Light Pollution 101
11 JUN 2017 Camp Laurel
Clubhouse Rd
Lebanon,CT
Acorn Adventures Letterboxing
16 JUN 2017 Sprague Land Trust
Bolton Rd.
Franklin,CT
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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