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last update Saturday, 08-Apr-2017 12:17:04 PDT


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
The Deep Bottom wharf on the James River
Fri Sep 19 1862

CMDR Andrew A Harwood, Potomac Flotilla, writes LCDR McCrea. USS Jacob Bell, "I send copies of a general order in reference to enlistments which are to be distributed to the commanders of vessels of the Potomac Flotilla. Are you in want of the combustible material which I intended you should have taken with you? I particularly desire that the work should be conducted with caution, but thoroughly. The Pacific having been chartered by the Army and only temporarily attached to the Potomac Flotilla will be returned to the Army immediately."

LCDR McCrea writes to CMDR Harwood, "I have a prisoner, 18 boxes of goods, 20 sacks of wheat, and other articles captured last night, which I will bring up with me to-morrow with reports. The schooner Pilot, reported as a prize, I have examined and find nothing to sanction her capture, so have released her under oath from the captain. My dispatches regarding the material for Mathias Point were sent per Freeborn this morning."

SECNAV appoints Edward Hooker as a LT for gallantry in the attack on Washington, NC>

RADM Samuel Du Pont, South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, a letter from James Pollock, US Mint, which says that after the rebels sank the stone fleet the Swash Channel at Charleston was greatly deepened and now any ship can come and go through the channel.

LCDR A A Semmes, SOPA St Simon's writes to RADM Du Pont, that he is sending five men from the prize Defiance taken by the Braziliera. The Captain of the Brazileria says these are old offenders having run the blockade and been caught several times. 1 man was killed and 1 wounded seriously when they were ambushed by rebel pickets reconnoitering Bear River. He is going to destroy a telegraph spotted at Brunswick next week.

LT Truxton, USS Alabama, forwards to RADM Du Pont letters to and from LCOL Clinch, CSA in which Clinch apologizes for firing into a ship flying the flag of truce, but says that 3 barges from St Simons had fired at his troops using a flag of truce. "Allow me to say, however, if correctly informed as to the object of your flag, that it was an extraordinary one, as it is not usual to reward ones deserters and traitors by sending them their families and effects, however much we may desire to rid ourselves of such canaille.",/i> He goes on to say that he is willing to accept prisoners / parolees. "I desire to state that it is unpleasant for me to hold any intercourse whatsoever with you. We are in arms to defend our homes and families from destruction and outrages. Our defenseless towns have been plundered, our churches desecrated, and the widow and orphan robbed of their all. Our very slaves armed and excited against our women and children. Our feelings against your nation can be but of one character. I trust therefore that in future you will confine your flags of truce only to cases demanded by common humanity."Truxton replies saying he has no knowledge of any civilians captured or of barges from St Simon's firing upon a flag of truce, but he will forward the letter to the Admiral. He ends with "I can not but express my regret that you should take advantage of an official dispatch to express your private feelings either toward myself or the Government which I have the honor to serve."

RADM David G. Farragut, West Gulf Blockading Squadron writes to CMDR Morris, SOPA, New Orleans, I perceive from the reports of the officers commanding in the Mississippi that a large number of French flags are displayed on the houses, etc., on that river. At first, when these flags appeared but to a limited extent, I took no notice of them, but the evil is so greatly increased that I now deem it expedient to state that no French or other foreign flags are to be regarded as a legal protection, or to be allowed on any buildings other than those used for consular and other representative purposes. There are but two flags recognized in this country our own and that of the enemy, which latter we are to deliver our fire at wherever found."

RADM Farragut orders CDR Renshaw, Mortar Flotilla, to cruise down the coast to Texas "keeping a good lookout for vessels running the blockade, and whenever you think you can enter the sounds on the coast and destroy the temporary defenses, you will do so and gain the command of the inland navigation. Galveston appears to be the port most likely for you to be able to enter, if the forts are not too formidable. I do not wish you to interfere with the officers now operating inside, unless you deem it absolutely necessary for the good of the country, in which case you will use your discretion as commanding or senior officer."

CMDR Charles H Davis, Western Waters, writes to First Master Grant that he is to stop at Island No. 10 "... and take on board the fragments of a gun known as the Lady Davis, which burst in the hands of the rebels I wish you to stop again at Columbus and to take on board the fragments of a gun known as the Lady Polk, which also burst in the hands of the rebels; the fragments of this gun are lying on the bank near Mr. Davis's house. You will exhibit the enclosed letter from General Quinby to myself to the military commanders at Island No. 10 and Columbus, who will have the goodness to allow you to take away the fragments above designated. Please explain to them that they are to be placed at the disposal of Sister Angela, superior of the Sisters of the Holy Cross, who are the principal nurses in our military hospitals, and that they are to be recast into a statue of peace for one of the religious establishments of which Sister Angela is the superior. You will carry these fragments of guns to Cairo and deliver them to the care of Captain Pennock."

CMDR Hull, SUPSHIPS, St Louis, Mo, writes to CMDR Davis, that in accordance with department orders he is transferring the USS Indianola to him. The engines have not been tested and it is not finished.

CMDR Davis writes to SECNAV on the progress of the Osage and Neosho, finishing her bow and stern. The Winnebago fitting the deck frames. "I have been informed by Mr. J. B. Eads that he has had much difficulty in obtaining the necessary workmen, owing to the different orders from the military authorities requiring the enrollment of all men into the militia."

CMDR Davis writes to CDR Pennock, Fleet Captain, Western Waters, "I have been informed unofficially by the Department that you have asked for drill officers, etc., with the request that I would give the matter my official attention and sanction. Please let me know what drill officers you want. Hereafter you had better make such applications to me."

BGEN Finegan, CSA writes "On the morning of the 17th five gunboats engaged the battery at St. Johns Bluff and Continued the engagement for five hours, when they retired. Our loss, 2 killed and 3 wounded. The enemy, having failed to pass our batteries, may attempt a land attack. I am preparing for it, and will be there to-night. Can you send me one regiment of infantry from the coast of Georgia or Carolina I need them very much."

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.

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