Sat Dec 17 1864|
SECNAV writes CDR Foxhall A Parker, Potomac Flotilla, "The U. S. S. Periwinkle, at Philadelphia, has been ordered to proceed to St. Mary's and report for duty in the Potomac Flotilla."
RADM David D Porter, North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, telegrams Assistant Paymaster E Mellach, USN "Inform me fully by telegraph of Commander Macombs movements and of the force accompanying him; where they now are, and such information as you can obtain of them."
RADM Jonathan Dahlgren, South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, writes CAPT Scott at Vernon River "1. The firing from the Sonoma will be continued at Beaulieu, the distance regulated by your judgment.
2. The Griffith will assist with her mortar, firing very deliberately, bursting two shells overhead and lodging the third, to burst at the rate of twenty per day, and intervals of fifteen minutes.
3. Land one, two, or more rifled howitzers on Green Island, nearest to Beaulieu, and fire at high elevation. They will range 3,500 to 4,000 yards.
4. Have the shoal marked where the Harvest Moon touched, and any other marks that may be convenient for pushing a monitor up toward Beaulieu.
5. The river should be carefully scouted well up and into Burnside [River]. If possible, picket boats all night."
RADM S K Stribling, East Gulf Blockading Squadron, writes SECNAV "I enclose a copy of a letter just received from Acting Volunteer Lieutenant I. B. Baxter, the senior officer of the blockade in St. George's Sound, [Apalachicola Bay]. I have directed him to be prepared to repel the rebel vessels if they should attempt to raise the blockade.
This information is similar to former reports, and although I doubt the account given of the draft of water and force of the ironclad and other vessels referred to, I regret that it is not in my power to increase the force now in St. George's Sound. The Somerset, now there, can be used only as a floating battery, her boilers being worn out and her steam power useless.
The Fort Henry, schooner Beauregard, and steam tugboat Sunflower are the only other vessels at that place. Simply to keep up the blockade, they are sufficient, but not enough if attacked by such a force as referred to in the enclosed letter."
Master Oliver Thatcher, USS O H Lee writes SECNAV "I have the honor to report to you the capture of the English schooner Sort, of Nassau, New Providence. I captured the vessel under the following circumstances: December the 10th, 1864, latitude 28° 38' N., longitude 83° 4' W., Anclote Keys bearing S. E. ½ E., distance from land 24 miles. Saw a schooner bearing N. E., steering to the westward; hauled to wind, beat to quarters. At 6:30 a. m. fired bow gun as a signal for her to heave to. She immediately backed ship and stood in for the land, making all possible speed. On nearing her fired a shot across her bow. She not changing her course, and evidently determined to escape, fired several shells at her, the last one bursting between her masts. Wind dying away, lowered first and second cutters, armed and manned them, and sent them in chase. She, seeing escape impossible, hauled down her jib. On coming up with her found her to be the English schooner Sort, of Nassau, New Providence, having run the blockade loaded with 78 bales of cotton from the Withlacoochee River; overhauled her and found her crew consisted of captain and 4 men and 6 passengers. All documents found on board were sealed up and handed to prize master. Having put a prize crew on board, I sent her to Key West for adjudication. No vessel in sight at time of capture."
MGEN G Granger, writes Master Dyer, US Gunboat 48, "I desire your boat to remain at Goode's mill to-night, and I also wish you to report to me in person as early this evening as convenient to you. Lieutenant-Colonel [John] Bruce, commanding forces at Goode's mill, will furnish you a horse to come over on."
RADM Samuel P Lee, Mississippi Squadron, writes MGEN George H Thomas, USA "I have the honor to acknowledge receiving and to thank you for the early telegraphic copy of your admirable official report to the President of your great and glorious victory over the enemy of our country and of mankind on the 15th and 16th instant. I am deeply impressed with the belief that our whole country will now or here-after appreciate the generalship, statesmanship, and patriotism of your campaign, resulting in the general defeat of General Hood's army, in which centered the strength and hopes of (half) the rebellion, with little loss under great difficulties and with probably political consequences more important than have followed the previous achievements of the war. Permit me on this occasion to express my humble admiration of your distinguished public service, which evinces all the high qualities of virtue, patriotism, and ability characteristic of our first great countryman."