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last update Friday, 15-Nov-2019 11:03:12 PST


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
ENS O D Lombard, USN
Fri Nov 18 1864

SECNAV telegrams LCDR George U Morris, USS Shawmut, "Go to Hampton Roads." Morris sends from Yarmouth "Arrived here this morning. No news of the Tallahassee."

SECNAV writes CDR George H Cooper, USS Glaucus, "Convoy the California steamer which sails on the 23d instant as far as the Mariguana Passage, and then return to Beaufort, N. C., and report to the senior commanding officer present for duty in the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron."

CDR N Collins, USS Wachusett writes SECNAV "On the afternoon of the 6th day of October last it was reported to me, then in the harbor of Bahia, Brazil, that a suspicious merchant bark was standing off and on the mouth of the bay without showing any colors. On the forenoon of the 7th of October we saw an ordinary looking bark within 6 or 7 miles of the mouth of the harbor without any colors.
    Having the Florida in tow, and desiring to avoid any communication with the Brazilian men-of-war then following us out, I did not overhaul her.
    From slight intimations I think it probable the rebels may use Elephant Bay, west coast of Africa, as a place of rendezvous or outfitting."

ASSIST SECNAV telegrams RADM David D Porter, North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, "All letters and papers of every kind on board the Florida should be sent to the Department. The Ordnance [Bureau] here would like from the Florida one pivot gun, one broadside gun, and the brass howitzer. Rhode Island has been ordered to you."

SECNAV writes RADM Porter "Your letter of the 16th instant, enclosing a list of prisoners who escaped from the Wachusett at St. Thomas, has been received.
    Were these prisoners a part of those captured in the Florida, and in what manner did they escape? The Department would like the particulars."

CAPT S S Lee, CSN, Office of Orders and Detail writes a general order "Commanding officers of squadrons, and the school ship Patrick Henry, will have the above order read on board each vessel of their respective commands. The ensign and jack will be placed half-mast during the ceremony."

RADM David Glasgow Farragut, West Gulf Blockading Squadron, writes SECNAV "In my dispatch No. 511 I had the honor to enclose to the Department copies of the correspondence which I had had with a Mr. Philips, who claimed to be, with a Mr. S. M. Swenson and C. A. Weed, the agents of Mr. Andrew J. Hamilton, and I transmitted at the same time a copy of my orders to Commander Le Roy, in charge of the blockade off Texas, and also copies of a letter received from Lieutenant-Commander Jones, of the Pocahontas, referring to this Mr. Swenson and to his having communicated with the shore by letter under flag of truce and of my reply thereto.
    Lieutenant-Commander Jones has since informed me by letter, dated the 1st instant, that he had read carefully Mr. Swenson's letter before sending it on shore, that it was addressed to a Mr. McKenney, a resident of, I think, Austin, Tex., and briefly stated the reasons why he was unable to meet McKenney under a flag of truce off this place, as he, Swenson, proposed to him in the letters sent in at Galveston; that his object was purely commercial; that he should endeavor to get back here in about three weeks, when he urged McKenney to meet him, if possible, and concluded with a brief message to Mrs. Swenson of conjugal love.
    I have also received a letter from Commander Le Roy, the commanding officer of the Texas division, under date of October 24, an extract from which is as follows:
    While off Galveston Mr. Swenson sent, through me, a communication to the commanding general, requesting permission through flag of truce to have an interview with certain merchants in Texas. Yesterday Mr. Swensons letter was returned with an endorsement from Headquarters District of Texas (where it was referred by the commanding general at Galveston), that under no circumstances will communication be allowed between the writer of this or any of the class of persons to which he belongs with persons within our lines.
    On the 16th instant I received from New Orleans, through General Canby, the following copy of a telegram from the President of the United States:
    EXECUTIVE MANSION, Washington, November 6. For the Naval Officer in Command in Mobile Bay: Do not, on any account or any showing of authority whatever, from whomsoever purporting to come, allow the blockade to be violated. A. LINCOLN.
    Immediately on the receipt of this I wrote to Captain J. B. Marchand, then senior officer off Texas (copy enclosed, marked No. 1) ,in which, after referring to the previous orders given to Commander Le Roy, I quoted the last telegram from the President and directed him as follows:
    You will therefore consider the instructions given to Commander Le Roy of noneffect and be governed by the orders of the President as contained in the above telegram of the 6th instant, and you will at once instruct the commanding officers of the vessels of your division to the same effect."

RADM Samuel P Lee, Mississippi Squadron, writes a general order "The limits of the Eighth District will hereafter be from Memphis to Mound City; and of the Ninth, from Mound City to Mussel Shoals, Tennessee River. The Tennessee River, from Mussel Shoals to its head, will constitute the Eleventh District."

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

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