Fort Fisher

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

Friday, July 20, 2018

CSS Missouri, A Timeline-- Part 1: The Difficulties of Lt. Jonathan Carter

From the Civil War Navies Message Board by Michael Cassamasse, July 30, 2005.

FEB 1, 1863  Lt. Carter urges Confederate Navy Department to send heavy naval guns for his ironclad.  Also upset that the department has decided not to start a second ironclad at Shreveport, Louisiana until the first one is completed.

The Navy has to take into account the depth of the Red River at all times.

A steamboat had been purchased for $65,000 with suitable machinery for an ironclad.

FEBRUARY 15, 1863  Lt. Carter reported that the entire gun deck and most of the frame was mostly up and that planking would soon be applied.

He suggested that the ironclad be named be named Caddo after the name of the parish in Shreveport was the ironclad was being built.

That same day, engineer John W. Parks arrived in Shreveport to supervise installation of machinery.  By the end of February the framework of the Caddo was completed, planking of the botto=m and sidesnearly finished and the spar deck being laid.

--Old B-Runner

Thursday, July 19, 2018

"Beat the Heat" at Fort Fisher This Saturday: General Lee's Immortals"

From Friends of Fort Fisher Powder Keg bulletin.

JULY 21, SATURDAY  2 p.m..

The annual summer "Beat the Heat" lectures continue this Saturday at Fort Fisher with "General Lee's Immortals" given by historian and noted author Michael C. Hardy."

During the Civil War, North Carolina fielded numerous infantry, artillery and cavalry units.  One of those units was the Branch-Lane Brigade in the Army of Northern Virginia.  The unit formed in 1861 and fought in the Seven Days' battles to the final surrender at Appomattox.

Mr. Hardy has written a book on the subject "General Lee's Immortals:  The Battles and Campaigns of the Branch-Lane Brigade in the Army of Northern Virginia, 1861-1865"  He also has a very informative blog, Looking for the Civil War (formerly Looking for North Carolina's Civil War).

The lecture will be given at the Fort Fisher Historic Site in Kure Beach, N.C..

--Old B-R'er

Well-Done U.S. Dredgers: Recovery of CSS Georgia

From the May 4, 2018, Wall Street Journal  "U.S. Dredgers Are Doing What They Should."

Over 50 companies have been awarded federal work each year.  The U.S. flagged dredging fleet consists of over 400 dredges.

The Savannah River dredging finished in March, ahead of schedule and also carefully recovered the Confederate ironclad CSS Georgia.

--Old B-Runner

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Andrew Duppstadt on "North Carolina's Naval Raiders 1700-1865

As I said, i would have liked  to have been there to hear his talk and talk with him.  We have a lot in common.

He will talk about Ottway Burns, a privateer, and Johnston Blakely, USN, both in the War of 1812.  And then there were all  those blockade runners during the Civil War.  Hood topic.

And, Mr. Duppstadt knows what he is talking about and has been fortunate enough to get a job/jobs where he gets to work with his interests.

He is the Program Development and Training Officer, and Historic Weapons Coordinator for the North Carolina Division of State Historic Sites, North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.  he has a BA and MA in history from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.  Also, he is the Assistant Curator of Education for the N.C. Division of State Historic Sites.

At one time he had a very interesting and informative blog called Civil War Navy, the History Profession and Other Historical Musings.  Sadly, he does not keep it going anymore.

--Old B-Runner

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

OK, Missed It, Andrew Duppstadt On "North Carolina Naval raiders, 1700-1865"-- Part 1

Sadly, my Federal Point Historic Preservation Society Newsletter came last week and I didn't get around to reading it until today.  But Andrew Duppstadt spoke on this subject last night at the monthly meeting of the organization.  I sure would have like to be there, but Illinois is just too far away.

He spoke at 7:30 p.m., July 16 at the History Center.

Throughout much of North Carolina's early history, naval raiding was practiced by pirates, privateers, blockade runners, and commerce raiders.

Though often overshadowed by other colonies or states, the Old North State was home to some of the most prolific naval raiders during their prospective periods of history.  This program examines some of the men who undertook the practice of naval raiding, which brought them relative levels of fame during their time.

--Old B-Runner

July 17, 1863: Dahlgren Is Preparing for Renewed Attack on Fort Wahner

JULY 17TH, 1863:  Rear Admiral Dahlgren, preparing to renew the attack on Fort Wagner, wrote Secretary Welles about his critical shortage of men in his squadron.  Men were being required to bombard by day and blockade by night.

The Admiral asked for 500 Marines:  "there will be occasion for them."

On July 28 Welles informed Dahlgren that the USS Aries had departed Boston with 200 men and upon her return from Charleston would bring 200 more sailors from New York to him.  He added, "A battalion of marines, about 400 in number, will leave New York on the steamer Arago on Friday next."

Old B-Runner

Monday, July 16, 2018

Get Photographed at the CSS Neuse

From the July 13, 2018, News 12 ABC North Carolina  "CSS Neuse Center to show Civil War photographs this weekend."

The CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center in Kinston, N.C. will have a display of Civil War tintypes and photographs, plus the opportunity of having yours taken in a period setting. by Harry taylor.

The Civil War was the first conflict to be extensively photographed and there is a temporary exhibit that opened July 14.

The CSS Neuse is the only remaining commissioned Confederate ironclad above water.

--Old B-R'er

A Book on Lt. Jonathan Carter and His CSS Missouri

I came across a whole book written on Carter and the CSS Missouri.  "A Man and His Boat:  The Civil War Career and Correspondence of Lieutenant Jonathan H. Carter, CSN" by Katherine Brash Jeter.

It is the story of a Confederate officer's struggle to complete a warship in the face of severe wartime material shortages.

--Old B-Runner

Saturday, July 14, 2018

CSS Missouri-- Part 3: Surrendered June 3, 1865

In March 1865, the Red River rose and Lt. Jonathan Carter was able to take the CSS Missouri from Shreveport downriver to Alexandria, Louisiana.  On April 8 he anchored and prepared to defend the city.

He didn't have to as the war was in its final stages.  He surrendered June 3, the last Confederate ironclad to surrender.

The Missouri was taken to Mound City, Illinois, and determined to be unsuitable as a Union warship.  Its armor was removed and the ship sold at public auction on 29 November 1865.

--Old B-Runner

Friday, July 13, 2018

CSS Missouri--- Part 2: Lt. Jonathan Carter and the CSS Missouri

Lt. Jonathan Hanby Carter, CSN, signed the papers for the Missouri's construction.  When launched it was commanded by Lt.Cmdr. Charles Fauntleroy who was obviously not happy about his command.  He told Carter that he "hoped the damned boat would sink" and that he "never intended to serve on her if he could help it."

He must have gotten his wish as Lt. Carter commanded the ship later in its career.

Low water prevented the CSS Missouri from leaving Shreveport and taking part in the Red River Campaign.

In September 1864, Carter led a group of sailors and men from the CSS Webb and Missouri in an unsuccessful attempt to capture the USS Rattler.

--Old B-Runner

Thursday, July 12, 2018

CSS Missouri-- Part 1: Dates and Stats

From Wikipedia.

Laid down 14 April 1863 in Shreveport, Louisiana, commissioned 12 September 1863.  Surrendered 3 June 1865.  Sold 19 November 1865.

Casemate ironclad, 183 feet long with a 53.8 foot beam.  Could make 5.3 knots.

Mounted one 11-inch Dahlgren smoothbore, one 9-inch Dahlgrean smoothbore and one 32-pounder smoothbore.

The iron casemate was made of railroad tracks and extended 130 feet so part of its paddlewheels were exposed.

--Old B-Runner

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

"Beat the Heat" Lecture at Fort Fisher July 14: Yellow Fever



During the Civil War, the mosquito carried a dark and deadly secret.  Learn how this little bug and its pathological comrades waged their own biological warfare upon unsuspecting soldiers and citizens.

Shannon Walker, interpreter at Brunswick Town Fort Anderson State Historic Site will discuss this insect and the deadly Civil War medical issues it brought.

Not to mention the blockade runners carrying the disease into Wilmington.

--Old B-Runner

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

July 10, 1863: Fox Congratulates Farragut for Vicksburg and Port Hudson

JULY 10TH, 1863:  Assistant secretary Fox wrote Rear Admiral Farragut, congratulating him upon "the final opening of the Mississippi" through the Union victories at Vicksburg and Port Hudson.

"You smashed in the door [at New Orleans] in an unsurpassed movement and the success above became a certainty....  Your last move past Port Hudson has hastened the downfall of the Rebs."

--Old B-Runner

Monday, July 9, 2018

CSS Missouri and Other Ships By That Name

From the June 18, 2018, News Tribune  "Perspective:  A history of the Missouri Navy" by Sam Bushman.

This was a list and short summary of all the ships in the U.S. (and Confederate) Navy by the name Missouri.

The first USS Missouri was a paddleboat frigate built in 1841 that soon caught fire and exploded.

The second Missouri was the Confederate CSS Missouri built on the Red River at Shreveport, Louisiana.  It never saw action and surrendered at the end of the war.  It was found to be badly built and was towed to Mound City, Illinois, and scrapped.

It was never officially commissioned into the U.S. Navy, but many historians count her as a Navy ship.

The third ship was the battleship USS Missouri (BB-11) commissioned in 1903

The 4th was the most famous of all, the battleship USS Missouri (BB-13) where Japan surrendered at the end of WW II and now a museum ship in Pearl Harbor.

The 5th is the submarine USS Missouri (SSN-780), a Virginia-class fast attack submarine.

I'll write about these other Missouris in my Cooter's History Thing blog.

--Old B-R'er

Rear Admiral Foote's Death-- Part 2: Buried in New Haven, Connecticut

The wound he received at Fort Donelson eventually killed him a little over a year later.

He was on his way to take command of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron and in New York City when he took ill.  He spent ten days at the Astor House Hotel there in great agony and suffering.

Admiral Foote died June 26, 1863 and his body lay in state at the State House in New Haven, Connecticut before burial.

--Old B-Runner