Fort Fisher

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

Friday, August 29, 2014

Some More on Henry Marmaduke, CSN

Henry Marmaduke received a light wound in the fight with the USS Monitor on March 8, 1862.  His ship, the CSS Virginia, went into battle without its ensign showing Missouri on one of its stars.  (Marmaduke was from Missouri.)

His father, Meredith Miles Marmaduke remained a Unionist and his brother was Confederate General John Sappington Marmaduke.

A Split Family.  Old B-R'er

Henry H. Marmaduke, CSN-- Part 3

In 1865, Marmaduke commanded Confederate batteries on the James River in Virginia and commanded a company in the Navy Brigade after the fall of Richmond.  He was wounded and captured at the Battle of Saylor's Creek.  The end of the war found him as a prisoner on Johnson's Island in Lake Erie.  Two of his brothers were killed in action fighting for the Confederacy.

He spent most of his life after the Civil War in Washington, D.C., part of that time as Superintendent of the  Consular Bureau in South American Republics.  In 1902, the government asked Marmaduke to take command of the warship Bogote and chase rebel ships.  He was very successful and received the thanks of that government.

--Old B-Runner

Thursday, August 28, 2014

More Torpedo Problems at Mobile Bay

AUGUST 29TH, 1864:  While removing Confederate obstructions from the channel leading into Mobile Bay, five sailors were killed and nine others injured when a torpedo exploded.

Farragut regretted the loss, but resolutely pressed on with the work:  "As it is absolutely necessary to free the channel of these torpedoes, I shall continue to remove them, but as every precaution will be used, I do not apprehend any further accident."

Like the loss of the monitor USS Tecumseh, this event demonstrated although that some torpedoes had been made inactive by long immersion, many were very much alive when Farragut made his famous instant decision, "Damn the Torpedoes...."

Farragut Was a Very Lucky Soul That August 5th Day.  --Old B-Runner

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Expedition to North Carolina's Masonboro Inlet

AUGUST 27TH, 1864:  The USS Niphon and USS Monticello conducted an expedition up Masonboro Inlet, N.C., (near Wilmington) to silence a Confederate battery which was reported to have been erected in the vicinity.  The two steamers shelled the shoreline and a number of buildings in Masonboro.

Landing parties went ashore and captured a quantity of rifles, ammunition and foodstuffs.

--Old B-Runner

Farragut Asks to Be Relieved of Duty

AUGUST 27, 1864:  In failing health and with the assault on Mobile delayed indefinitely awaiting adequate troops, Rear Admiral Farragut wrote Secretary Welles requesting to be relieved of duty:  "It is evident that the army has no men to spare for this place beyond those sufficient to keep up an alarm, and thereby make a diversion in favor of General Sherman....

"Now, I dislike to make of show of attack unless I can do something more than make a menace, but so long as I am able I am willing to do the biding of the Department to the best of my abilities.  I fear, however, my health's giving way.

"I have now been down in this Gulf and the Caribbean Sea nearly five years out of six, with the exception of  the short time at home last fall, and the last six months have been a severe drag on me, and I want rest, if it is to be had."

Two months later the great leader set course to the North for a well-deserved leave.  This, however, was to be his last sea duty.

A Well-Deserved Rest.  --Old B-R'er


Henry H. Marmaduke, CSN-- Part 2

The name Marmaduke made me think that there was a Confederate general by that name and there was.  And, that general, John Sappington Marmaduke was one of Henry's brothers.  So, he came from quite an important family as far as notables.

I came across mention of John Marmaduke in the book "Crimsom Confederates: Harvard Men Who Fought for the South" by Helen Trimpi.  It said that John Marmaduke entered Yale in 1851, transferred to Harvard in 1852 and then transferred to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1853 and graduated from there in 1857.

Anyway, back to Henry Marmaduke.  Henry entered the U.S. Naval Academy at age 16.  In 1861, he became a midshipman in the Confederate States Navy and initially served at New Orleans.  In 1862, he was assigned to the new Confederate ironclad ram CSS Virginia where he directed a 14-man gun crew during the famous battle with the USS Monitor.  He was seriously wounded in the battle and was recognized by  the Virginia's commander Franklin Buchanan.

He was later assigned to the CSS Shenandoah and was on the CSS Albemarle when it was sunk by William Cushing in 1864.

--Old B-Runner.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Henry Hungerford Marmaduke, Captain, CSN: Last Survivor of Virginia-Monitor Battle-- Part 1

I have been going through the list of North Carolina Confederates buried at Arlington National Cemetery and came across this man, who, although not from  the state, had an interesting history and since he was in the Confederate Navy, I will write about him here.

Henry Hungerford Marmaduke is regarded as the last surviving participant in the famous battle between the CSS Virginia and USS Monitor.  He died in Washington, D.C., on November 14, 1924, at age 82.  He was interred in the Confederate Section of Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.

He was born in Saline County, Missouri in 1844, the son of M.M. Marmaduke, the governor of Missouri.  His older brother, John S. Marmaduke was elected Missouri governor in 1884.

And, then, I was thinking that there was a Confederate General by the name Marmaduke.  Was Henry related to him?

--Old B-Runner

Monday, August 25, 2014

CSS Tallahasee Returns to Wilmington

AUGUST 25TH, 1864:  The CSS Tallahassee, Commander Wood, successfully ran the blockade into Wilmington, N.C., after being chased and fired at by several blockading vessels.  Rear Admiral Lee issued orders urging "utmost vigilance" to prevent her from going back out.

In her cruise, cut short by lack of coal, Wood took some 31 prizes, all but eight of which were destroyed.

Job Well Done.  --Old B-R'er

150 Years Ago: Blockade-Runner Lilian Captured Off Wilmington

AUGUST 24TH, 1864:  The USS Keystone State, Commander Peirce Crosby,  and USS Gettysburg, Lt. R.H. Lamson, captured the blockade-runner Lilian off Wilmington with cargo of cotton.  Both ships fired on the Lilian and when she finally hove to she was in sinking condition.

Crosby managed to repair the damage and sent her to Beaufort. She was later purchased by the Union Navy and assigned to the squadron under the same name.

--Old B-Runner

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Fort Morgan Surrenders

AUGUST 23RD, 1864:  Having doggedly withstood naval bombardment as well as a land siege for two weeks, Brigadier General Page surrendered Fort Morgan, the last Confederate bastion in lower Mobile Bay.

"My guns and powder had all been destroyed, my means of defense gone, the citadel, nearly all the quartermaster stores and a portion of the commissariat burned by the enemy's shells," he reported.

"It was evident the fort could hold out but a few hours longer under a renewed bombardment.  The only question was: Hold it for this time, gain the eclat, and sustain the loss of life from the falling of the walls, or save life and capitulate?"

And, sadly, one of the ships mercilessly pounding Fort Morgan was a former defender of it5, the CSS, now USS, Tennessee.

--A Valiant Fight.  --Old B-Runner

Another Union Reconnaissance Up the Roanoke River to Check on the Albemarle

AUGUST 23RD, 1864:  Acting Masters' Mate John Woodman made his second dangerous reconnaissance up the Roanoke River, N.C., to gather intelligence on the CSS Albemarle and the defenses of Plymouth.

Woodman reported:  "At 10 a.m. I arrived on the Roanoke River, opposite Plymouth.  The ram Albemarle was lying alongside of the wharf at Plymouth, protected by timbers, extending completely around her...."

Woodman, who would make yet another reconnaissance mission, gained much vital information upon which Lt. Cushing planned the expedition that ended the Albemarle's service to the Confederacy.

--Old B-R'er

Boat Expedition in Georgia

AUGUST 22-24TH, 1864:  A boat expedition from the USS Potomska captured prisoners and some small arms and destroyed over 2,000 barrels of rosin and turpentine on the Satilla and White rivers in Georgia..

If it was on the water anywhere in the Confederacy, Confederate supplies were fair game for Union naval forces.

--Old B-Runner

Friday, August 22, 2014

Pontoosuc Misses the Tallahasse By Just Seven Hours

AUGUST 20TH, 1864:  The USS Pontoosuc entered Halifax and learned that the Tallahassee had sailed late the night before and that he had failed to intercept her by only seven hours.  The Pontoosuc departed immediately in pursuit.

Based on information reported by Consul Jackson, the Pontoosuc steamed north into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, while Wood, feeling that he did not have sufficient coal to actively pursue his raid, had set a course for Wilmington, N.C..

This date, the Tallahassee captured the brig Roan and burned her.  She  was the last prize taken on this brief bur most effective raid.

--Old B-R'er

The CSS Tallahassee Puts in Halifax-- Part 2: Getting More Coal

Nova Scotia's Lt. Gov. Richard G. MacDonnell, did, however, ask Admiral Sir James Hope to advise him on the amount of coal he considered sufficient to reach Wilmington, N.C.,   The next day, MacDonnell advised Wood, who had put into port with just 40 tons of coal, that he could depart with no more than 100 tons.

However, the Confederate cruiser, which put to sea on the night of the 19th, sailed with more than that quantity.

Wood later reported: "I am under many obligations to our agent, Mr. Wier, for transacting our business, and through his management about 120 tons of coal were put aboard, instead of half that quantity."

Sliding Right On Out of There.  --Old B-Runner

Thursday, August 21, 2014

CSS Tallahassee Puts Into Halifax, Nova Scotia-- Part 1

AUGUST 18TH, 1864:  The CSS Tallahassee, Commander Wood, put into Halifax to replenish its coal supply.  U.S. Consul Mortimer M. Jackson wire Secretary Welles:  "Tallahassee has just come into port.  Will protest against her being coaled here."

Welles in turn, wired the USS Pontoosuc which had put into port at Eastport, Maine, the preceding day to steam to Halifax without delay.

Consul Jackson protested the sale of coal, but was informed that "...his excellency does not consider it his duty to detain the Tallahassee, or any man-of-war of a belligerent state, on the chance of evidence being hereafter found of her having violated international law, and in the absence of proof to that effect he cannot withhold from her commander the privilege of obtaining  as much coal as may be necessary to carry him to a port in the Confederate  States...."

--Old B-R'er