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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
Tue Jun 23 1863

CMDR Andrew A Harwood, Potomac Flotilla, writes SECNAV "I herewith enclose copy of a report made by Acting Volunteer Lieutenant T. P. Ives of the seizure of the stoop yacht Richard Vaux by the U. S. S. Primrose. The sloop is now at this yard.
    The refugees and persons claiming to be stragglers have been turned over to the provost-marshal of the district."
Enclosed is a letter from LT Thomas Poynton Ives, USS Ella " We have brought up the sloop yacht Richard Vaux, taken at Blakistone Island by the Primrose, as she was not furnished with the proper naval pass from the guard vessel at Alexandria. She is painted lead color, would make a valuable blockade runner, and was brought here to sell, so some of the men on board say. I think the circumstances suspicious.
    We have, also brought up refugees and persons claiming to be stragglers from our Army.
    Last evening at a quarter past 8 o'clock the buildings recently occupied by our forces at Aquia Creek were discovered to be on fire. In about an hour they were totally destroyed, together with the greater part of the wharf, the outer end of which, however, does not appear to be badly damaged.
    I was on board the Mahaska at the time, but was unable to see any enemy on shore, although some of the officers of that vessel thought they could see three or four men. The Mahaska fired a few shots, as did also the Resolute and the mortar schooner. The destruction was very complete. All the buildings are burned except one or two small ones that are situated nearly a mile back from the end of the wharf.
    The buildings and wharves at Yubadam and at Windmill Point have not as yet been destroyed by the enemy."
Enclosed is "Potomac Flotilla Certificate of capture.

    Name and character of prize. - Sloop yacht Richard Vaux. Names of crew found on board: John Redman, Charles McCarty, Samuel Winslow, Charles MeKarnan, John Guyer.
    By whom and by what vessel capture made. - Charles Stewart, Master's mate, U. S. S. Primrose.
    When capture made - June 20, 1863.
    Where and for what reasons. - Off Blakistone Island, Potomac River. Having no pass; papers not correct; no captain on board, and for violating the coastwise law.
    The cargo, if any on board. - Old iron and rags.
    What papers found. - Enrollment license, manifest, and clearance from Philadelphia; manifest from Alexandria.
    Remarks. - This vessel was loaded on the 15th instant, bound up the river, but having a pass from the guard vessel and being in ballast was allowed to proceed. Was loaded on her passage down, and found that she had no pass, no clearance, and had stopped at several points on the river to trade.
    SATURDAY, June 20, 1863.
    I hereby certify that the above- mentioned vessel and crew were captured by the undersigned, commanding the U. S. S. Primrose, of the Potomac Flotilla, at the the and place designated, and that the above and annexed statement is true in every particular."

RADM Samuel P Lee, North Atlantic Blockading Squadron writes SECNAV " I have received the report of Commander Bankhead, dated June 14, relative to the capture, by the U. S. S. Florida on the 11th instant, of the Confederate steamer Calypso (reported in my No. 667, of June 20).
    Of the officers and crew of the Calypso, Thomas H. Greaves, first mate, and R. Eldredge, second mate, are reported to be natives and citizens of New York. John C. Beauman, passenger, born in Wilmington and a citizen of North Carolina, is suspected of being an agent of the rebel Government. I enclose a copy of a certificate (June 13) from pilot F. W. Savage, of the Monticello, to that effect.
    I would respectfully represent that the commanding officer of the supply steamer Massachusetts did not report to me on his way up, according to his general orders.
    Commander Bankhead informs me that Acting Volunteer Lieutenant West had been directed to stop at Hampton Roads with the Calypso in tow."

RADM Lee, writes SECNAV "I enclose herewith the original boarding report of the U. S. S. Commodore Jones, cruising from 14th to 18th instant, inclusive, between the capes of Virginia; also a report of her commanding officer, dated June 19., received this morning, embracing two descriptions of the Clarence, or Coquette, one derived from Captain West, of the schooner Lady of the Lake, and the other from Wm. Crooks, of the schooner Kingfisher, the latter expressing it as his firm conviction that she was still owned by J. Crosbie, fruit dealer in Baltimore, for whom she was built, and that she sailed by agreement to meet the Florida.
    The report includes also a statement of the qualities of the Commodore Jones (ferryboat) as a sea boat."

SECNAV writes RADM Lee " I transmit herewith a copy of a dispatch, dated the 1st instant, received by the Secretary of State from the U. S. consul at Nassau. The views and calculations therein contained in reference to the business of blockade running appear worthy of attention."

RADM David Glasgow Farragut, West Gulf Blockading Squadron, writes SECNAV "I have to again report to the Department that I dispatched the steam sloop Oneida in pursuit of the Florida soon after that vessel ran the blockade of Mobile; also to notify the commanding officer at Key West of the fact. Upon the arrival of the Oneida at Key West Admiral Bailey, learning that the Florida was in Havana, sent her over in pursuit. There she fell in with Acting Rear-Admiral Wilkes, who seized upon her and has kept her in his squadron ever since.
I sent Captain Emmons to Key West to take command of the Oneida, intending to bring Captain Hazard before a court of enquiry, but I can neither get possession of the vessel nor the captain. This is but poor inducement for an officer to send a vessel in chase, if the commander of another squadron has the right to seize and appropriate such vessel to his own command.
It is said that Acting Rear-Admiral Wilkes ignores all authority, and says he will seize all vessels suitable to his purpose until he makes up his number. This conduct is respectfully referred to the Department for its interference. Should Admiral Wilkes come within my district I shall be strongly tempted to try the working of his system upon himself. The Department must see that if this system is to be the order of the day, this squadron must be the sufferer, being the most distant; and my vessels having to pass all the other squadrons on their way out, I would have but little prospect of increasing my squadron or even of replacing my crippled vessels. Admiral Du Pont took my money. I did not object, because the exigencies of the service required it, as he promptly explained to me, but Acting Admiral Wilkes takes my vessels and by way of explanation tells me he has taken them, and thinks no further explanation requisite. I understand he has ordered another commander to the Oneida, and has sent her on a cruise. I have therefore ordered Captain Emmons to return here to take command of the Monongahela, to which vessel I have temporarily ordered Commander A. Read, and I trust that by the time Captain Emmons arrives here the Department will have ready for Commander Read a vessel suitable to his rank. I esteem Commander Read as one of my most reliable officers in the day of trial, and I am happy to see such men are not few in the Navy, but still they are to be cherished."

RADM Farragut writes CAPT J R Goldsborough, SOPA Mobile, "Your letter of the 22d of May last, enclosing a list of prisoners captured in the Sea Lion and Isabel, is received with the prisoners themselves.
    Your letter states as follows:

I have now on board of the Colorado Captain Jefferson, of the Isabel. He is a noted rebel and blockade runner. I ask for your wishes concerning him.

    You will send this person north in the Bermuda, and turn him over to the commanding officer of the station with a copy of this letter to be disposed of as the honorable Secretary of the Navy may see fit."

LT William P Randall, USS Pursuit, writes SECNAV "I have the honor to inform you that this morning, the 23d instant, at 6 a. m., a sail was discovered in Indian River, 12 miles north of the inlet. Two boats were immediately dispatched, Acting Ensign Peter Heede and Acting Master's Mate James H. Barry in charge. They succeeded in capturing her and arrived at this vessel at 4 p. m. She proved to be the sloop Kate from Nassau, New Providence, with an assorted cargo. She had no colors or papers of any description on hand. The captain acknowledged that he left Nassau on the 20th instant for the express purpose of running the blockade. The vessel leaves for Key West to-morrow for adjudication. I have the honor to enclose a full list of the officers and crew entitled to share in the prize. No other vessels were in sight at the time of the capture."

RADM Theodorus Bailey East Gulf Blockading Squadron writes LT Randall "I have added the schooner Beauregard to the blockading force on the east coast of Florida, and directed her commanding officer to report to you.
    You will, as a general rule, keep her to the northward of Cape Canaveral and off Mosquito Inlet, unless it should appear that a vessel has been assigned to that station from the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron.
    The Beauregard will return to you for supplies, and generally when occasion demands."

SECNAV writes SECSTATE "I have the honor to return herewith the consular dispatches which accompanied your letter of the 16th instant.
    The suggestions of our commercial agent at Belize, [Honduras], in regard to the traffic carried on by the insurgents via Matarnoras, deserve especial considerations. It appears to me some measures should be taken to interdict this trade, for as now permitted the great purposes and ends of the blockade are measurably defeated. That the clearances which these vessels have ostensibly for Matamoras are, as Mr. Leas remarks, mere subterfuges, decoys to cover up the true designs and purposes of the parties, which are to introduce, through French and other agencies, contraband of war into the hands of our enemies, is notorious.
    It is desirable that the fraudulent practices mentioned by Mr. Liais should be discontinued, and I trust the attention of the British and Mexican Governments is called to them.
    It seems to me that some measures should be taken in concert with Mexico by which illicit traffic with the rebels by the way of the Rio Grande may be prevented, or, if that Government will not come into an arrangement, then by some legitimate means assert our right to carry into effect an efficient and thorough blockade of that river. The trade of Matamoras has nominally increased an hundredfold since the blockade in the insurgent States was instituted. Admiral Bailey informs the Department that over 200 vessels are off the mouth of the Rio Grande, when ordinarily there are but 6 or 8. Our rights as a nation ought not to be sacrificed because a new question has arisen that has not heretofore been adjudicated or settled by diplomatic arrangement. Because the Rio Grande is a neutral highway, it is not to be used to our injury; yet we know such to be the fact, and it seems to me some effectual steps should be taken to correct the evil. It can be done, I apprehend, in a manner satisfactory to both countries, and a principle be established that will be conformable to international law. I must ask you to excuse me for earnestly pressing this subject upon your consideration.
    I would also invite your special attention to that portion of the dispatch which refers to a mail arrangement by which Captain Lombard, of the schooner Robert Anderson, with British papers, was to run a regular mail from Belize to Matarnoras for the Confederate Government. Would it not be well to inform the Secretary of War of the facts in relation to Vallez, at New Orleans, that General Banks may be apprised of the schemes and purposes of that gentleman?"

LCDR James W Shirk, USS Tuscumbia, writes RADM David D Porter, Mississippi Squadron, "I have the honor to inform you that I have got the last hog chain that parted up again, and a strain upon it. I have also about 150 bushels of coal that I obtained from the barge that was sunk in the crevasse.
    I will leave here for Warrenton as soon as the ammunition you speak of arrives. I can, I think, go without any help from the Price and Switzerland, but I will not be able to keep up steam.
    I still have a couple of prisoners brought up from below by the Price. Shall I send them over to you? One of them was sent up by Captain Walke."

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.

16 JUN 2018 Camp Laurel
Lebanon. CT
30 JUL 2018 Ayer's Farm

Mars Party
6 OCT 2018 Sprague Land Trust
Bolton Rd.
Deep Sky Observing
13 OCT 2018 Sprague Land Trust
Bolton Rd.
Deep Sky Observing
15 OCT 2018 Brown Park
Maritime History of Norwich
27 OCT 2018 Brown Park
Maritime History of Norwich

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