Fort Fisher

Fort Fisher
Fort Fisher, NE Bastion. Frank Vizetelly (National Geographic)

Monday, December 5, 2016

Confederate Privateer Neva Fitting Out in China-- Part 4

From Capt. LUCKIE of the ship Lotus, we learn that this man ALLEN worked his passage over on the Surprise, which left this port about four months ago.  He expresses no doubt of the rebel proclivities of LYNCH, who was formerly a midshipman in the United States Navy.

He ran the Antelope for some time in the China Seas, and was perfectly familiar with the coast.

The Neva is a fore-and-aft schooner of about one hundred tons, and can mount not more than four effective guns.

The Naval Storekeeper, after fitting out the Neva with her armament from the property of "Uncle Sam," threw up his charge and went on board of the Neva.  Some ten days prior to the departure of the Lotus, te Saginaw left Hong Kong in pursuit of the rebel craft.  the Captain of the Lotus is of the opinion that her capture is inevitable.

The loyal feeling amongst Americans at Hong Kong is enthusiastic with the exception of Dr. LOCKHART, no prominent man is even suspected of secessionism.

Definitely Some Intrigue Going On Here.  --Old B-Runner

Confederate Privateer Neva Fitting Out In China-- Part 3

Commenting on this statement, the Alta Californian of October 9, 1861, says:  We learn from other sources that LYNCH was formerly a sportsman in San Francisco, and left here about a year ago on the Nor'wester.  For several years he was in command of a steamer on this coast.

The Neva is a small schooner of 60 or 70 tons, formerly a pleasure yacht on the coast of China, and said to be a pretty fast sailer.  Some are of the opinion that she is intended only to rob China men along the coast, as she was too small to carry any large gun..  ALLEN is in command of the Neva.

Old B-Runner

The 48th New York Infantry at the Second Battle of Fort Fisher

I am writing about this regiment in my Saw the Elephant Civil War Blog in connection with its attack on Fort Wagner and death of its Lt.-Col., James M. Green.  A fort on Folly Island, S.C. was named for him.

This regiment was primarily used in coastal operations and was at the Second Battle of Fort Fisher January 13-15, 1865.

You can check out my Civil War blog to read more about it.

--Old B-R'er

155 Years Ago, December 5, 1861: Union Takes Wassaw Sound, Georgia

DECEMBER 5TH, 1861:  Flag Officer Du Pont regarding expedition to Wassaw Sound, Georgia, and plans for the use of the "stone fleet", wrote:  "Ottawa, Pembina, and Seneca penetrated into Wassaw ... the 'stone fleet'  are all at Savannah, and I hardly know what to do with them --- for with Wassaw that city is more effectively closed than a bottle with wire over the cork ....

"I am sending to [Captain James I.] Lardner to know if he can plant them on the Charleston bar ...  One good thing they [the 'stone fleet's appearance at Savannah] did, I have not a doubt they were taken for men-of-war, and led  to giving up the Wassaw defenses...."

Scare Me Once.  --Old B-Runner

Saturday, December 3, 2016

155 Years Ago, December 4, 1861: USS Montgomery Attacked By Confederate Steamers

DECEMBER 4TH, 1861:  Confederate steamers Florida and Pamlico attacked the USS Montgomery, Commander Thompson D. Shaw, off Horn Island Pass, Mississippi Sound.

--Old B-Runner

155 Years Ago, December 3, 1861: The Sumter Destroys Another American Ship

DECEMBER 3RD, 1861:  The CSS Sumter, Commander Semmes, captured and burned at sea the American ship Vigilant, bound from New York to the West Indies.

**  The USS Santiago de Cuba, Commander Ridgely, captured the British blockade running schooner Victoria.

--Old B-Runner

Friday, December 2, 2016

Confederate Privateer Neva Fitting Out at Shanghai, China-- Part 2

WARD is a desperate character, and has a large sum of money, which he has made in the Imperial service.  He was connected with WALKER, and is a sailor by profession.  LYNCH is a Northerner.  We fancy the affair will end in grief.  The craft is too small and a suitable crew can hardly be had in time.

We hear that two of the Saginaw's officers resigned, upon learning the objective of her trip, but subsequently withdrew their resignations.

--Old B-Runner

A Confederate Privateer Fitting Out At Shanghai, China-- Part 1

From the November 3, 1861, New York Times.  Continued from November 14, 2016.

Even before the supposed Confederate privateer Neva sailed to San Francisco and was captured by the Revenue Cutter Mary on November 14, 1861, there was knowledge about it.

Taken directly from the newspaper:

The Hong Kong Press of the 10th of Aug. says:  The United States storekeeper at Shanghai was a politician named 'Judge' Cleary.  We believe he earned the title from having been a magistrate in California.  It seems from the last advices from Shaghai that this man, in connection with Col. WARD, (the celebrated fillibuster), Capt. ALLEN, (who brought the steamship Surprise from California,) and Capt. LYNCH, (for some years in command of the steamer Antelope, and lately of the Contest,) purchased the schooner Neva, equipped her from the United States naval stores, and intend to cruise off the coast as a privateer.

"The steamer Saginaw hurried up yesterday, on the intelligence being made known, and, we make small doubt, will capture her."

So, it would seem that the schooner Neva was purchased by a group of Confederate sympathizers named Ward, Allen and Lynch with the goal of turning her into a privateer to cruise the Chinese waters and prey on U.S. shipping.

Even worse, they were able to arm and equip the Neva with U.S. naval stores supplied them by another Confederate sympathizer named Cleary who was in charge of them in Shanghai.

--Old B-Runner

155 Years Ago, December 2, 1861: CSS Patrich Henry Engages Union Ships

DECEMBER 2ND, 1861:  The CSS Patrick Henry, Commander Tucker, attacked four Union steamers above Newport News; the Patrick Henry was damaged in the two hour action.

**  Lieutenant Robert D. Minor, CSN, reported a laboratory had been organized at New Orleans "for the supply of ordnance stores for the vessels fitting out at this station."

--Old B-Runner

155 Years Ago, December 2, 1861: Welles' First Annual Report

DECEMBER 2ND, 1861:  In his first annual report, Secretary of the Navy Welles reported to President Lincoln that:  "Since the institution of the blockade one hundred and fifty-three vessels have been captured ... most of which were attempting to violate the blockade ... When the vessels now building and purchased are ... ready for service, the condition of the navy will be ... a total of 264 vessels, 2,557 guns, and 218,016 tons.

"The aggregate number of seamen in the service ... is now not less than 22,000 ...  The amount appropriated at the last regular session of Congress for the naval service for the current year was $13,168,675.86.  To this was added at the special session in July last $30,446,875.91 -- making for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1862, an aggregate of $43,615,551.77.

"This sum will not be sufficient...."

Wonder Who Got the 77 Cents?  --Old B-Runner

Thursday, December 1, 2016

155 Years Ago, December 1, 1861: Capturing Runners

DECEMBER 1ST, 1861:  The USS New London, Lieutenant A. Read, captured sloop Advocate in the Mississippi Sound.

**  The USS Seminole, Commander Gillis, seized sloop Lida, from Havana, off St. Simon's Sound, Georgia, with cargo of coffee, lead and sugar.

--Old B-Runner

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

155 Years Ago, November 30, 1861: More Runners Captured

NOVEMBER 30TH, 1861:  The USS Wanderer, Lieutenant James H. Spotts, captured blockade running British schooner Telegraph near Indian Key, Florida.

**  The USS Savannah, Commander John S. Missroon, with other ships in company, seized Confederate schooner E.J. Waterman, after the vessel grounded at Tybee Island with cargo of coffee on board.

--Old B-Runner

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

155 Years Ago, November 29, 1861: Worden Released From Prison and Arrives in Washington, D.C.

NOVEMBER 29TH, 1861:  Lieutenant John Worden, later commanding officer of the USS Monitor, arrived in Washington, D.C. after seven months as a Confederate prisoner.

He had just delivered secret orders to Fort Pickens, Florida, and was on his way back to Washington, D.C. on April 13th, the day after Fort Sumter was fired upon, when he was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama, and subsequently imprisoned.

--Old B-Runner

Monday, November 28, 2016

155 Years Ago, November 28, 1861: Two Runners Seized

NOVEMBER 28TH, 1861:  The USS New London, Lieutenant A. Read, captured Confederate blockade runner Lewis,  with cargo of sugar and molasses, and schooner A.J. View, with cargo of turpentine and tar, off Ship Island, Mississippi.

--Old B-Runner

Friday, November 25, 2016

155 Years Ago, November 27, 1861:

NOVEMBER 27TH, 1861:  The USS Vincennes, Lieutenant Samuel Marcy, boarded and seized blockade running British bark Empress, aground at the mouth of the Mississippi River, with large cargo of coffee.

--Old B-Runner