Friday, June 11, 2021

New Hampshire Elks Honor Union Sailor Recipients of Medal of Honor-- Part 5: Robert Anderson



Union Navy Civil War

Interred at Cavalry Cemetery

All five of these Union sailors are buried in cemeteries around Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  Pictures of each of their graves accompany the article.

Anderson served aboard the USS Crusader and the USS Keokuk during various actions in these vessels.

Carrying out his duties skillfully while serving aboard the Crusader, Quartermaster Robert Anderson, on all occasions, set forth the greatest  intrepidity and devotion.

During the attack on Charleston, while serving on board the USS Keokuk, Robert Anderson was stationed at the wheel of the ship when shot penetrated the ironclad and with the scattering of iron from it, shielded  the body of his commander with his body.

He survived.

--Old B-R'er

New Hampshire Elks Honor Navy Medal of Honor Recipients-- Part 4: John Jones



Union Navy Civil War

Interred at Saint Mary's Cemetery

John Jones served on the USS Rhode Island, which engaged  in saving the lives of the officers and crew of the sinking USS Monitor.

Participating in this hazardous  rescue effort in a major storm, Jones after recuing several men, became separated in a heavy gale with other members of the cutter that had set out from the Rhode Island, and spent many hours in a small boat at the mercy of the weather and high seas until finally  picked up by a schooner  50 miles east of Cape Hatteras.

--Old B-Runner

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Elks Honor Navy Medal of Honor Recipients: Frederick Franklin



U.S. Navy Korean Campaign

Interred at Proprietors  Cemetery (South Cemetery)

Franklin was on board the USS Colorado during the attack and capture of the Korean forts., June 11, 1871.

Assuming command of  Company D after Lieutenant  McKee was wounded, Franklin handled the company with great credit until relieved.

Born on 1840 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

He was one of 15  U.S. sailors and Marines to be awarded the Medal of Honor for this little-known military action.  (I never heard of it either.)

Franklin also might have been in the Navy during the Civil War.  The USS Colorado was at the Battles of Fort Fisher.

--Old B-Runner

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

N.H. Elks Honor Navy Medal of Honor Recipients: Mark Ham

MARK HAM  (1820-1869)

Union Navy Civil War

Interred at Harmony Grove Cemetery (South Cemetery)

Ham served on the USS Kearsarge when she sank the Confederate raider CSS Alabama off Cherbourg, France, on June 19, 1864.

Performing his duties  intelligently and faithfully, Ham distinguished himself in the face of bitter enemy fire and was highly recommended by his divisional officer.

--Old B-Runner

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

New Hampshire Navy Medal of Honor Recipients Honored on Memorial Day-- Part 1: John Sullivan of USS Monticello

From the June 4, 2021, Seacoastonline "Portsmouth (New Hampshire) Elks honor Medal of Honor recipients on Memorial Day"

The Portsmouth Lodge of Elks No. 97 purchased wreaths to place on the graves of  five veterans  over memorial Day weekend.

JOHN SULLIVAN (1839-1913 Union Navy Civil War.  Interred at Harmony Grove Cemetery (South Cemetery)

Sullivan served as a seaman on the USS Monticello during  the reconnaissance  of the harbor and water defenses of Wilmington, North Carolina, June 23-24, 1864.  This would have been under the command of Lt. William Cushing.

The reconnaissance took part over  two days and nights.

Sullivan courageously carried out his duties during this action, which resulted in the capture of a mail carrier and mail, the cutting of telegraph wire and the capture of a large group of prisoners.

Although in immediate danger  from the enemy at all times, Sullivan showed gallantry and coolness throughout this action which resulted in the gaining  of much vital information on the rebel defenses.

His Medal of Honor was issued December 31, 1864.

--Old B-Runner

Monday, June 7, 2021

It Must Be a 6th Thing in My Civil War Blogs Right Now: Charles F. Fisher and Edward S. Bragg

I just noticed that I am writing about two colonels right now.  One of them was a Union colonel and the other a Confederate.

They both commanded infantry regiments with the number 6.

Edward S. Bragg was from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin and commanded the 6th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment.  I have been writing about him in my Saw the Elephant: Civil War blog.  A Wisconsin legislator is calling for the consideration of renaming Fort Bragg after Edward Bragg.  That way you keep the same name and save a lot of money that it will cost to change names.

So, instead  of Fort Bragg being named after the Confederate General Braxton Bragg it will be named for the Union General Bragg.  Problem solved.  (Also, I have seen at least one source saying that Braxton Bragg and Edward Bragg were related as cousins.

Of course, I have been writing about Charles F. Fisher in this blog. He commanded the 6th North Carolina Infantry Regiment at the First Battle of Bull Run (Manassas) and unfortunately was killed leading his men.  

So, why would I write about an infantry regiment commander in this Civil War Navy blog?  The reason is that Fort Fisher was named for him.

Both 6th regiments garnered accolades for service during the war and fought in most of the major battles in the Eastern Theater of the war.  Both had huge losses at the Battle of Gettysburg.  The 6th Wisconsin later became part of the famed Iron Brigade of the Army of the Potomac.

--Old B-Runner

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Death of Col. Charles F. Fisher at First Manassas-- Part 1

Referred to as the First Battle of Manassas by Confederates and the First Battle of Bull Run by the Union.

From the July 24, 2016, Civil War  Day By Day.

24 July 1861:  "We fear that the reported death of Col. Fisher, of the Sixth Regiment  of North Carolina State Troops, is only too true."

From the July 24, 1861, Wilmington, N.C.  Daily Journal.

"Yesterday at St. James' Episcopal Church, a Te Deum was chanted and other  religious services were had in acknowledgement  of the victory which crowned  our arms a Manassas on Sunday.  At night, fire-works were discharged and other demonstrations made, but all in a quiet and becoming manner.

"We appreciate highly  the great moral effect of our victory.  It can hardly be overestimated -- but at the same time it has been dearly purchased by the blood of some of out best and bravest, who bared their breasts to the storm of battle."

--Old Secesh

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Col. Charles F. Fisher-- Part 3: His Legacy

Charles Fisher was buried at the Old Lutheran Cemetery in Salisbury, North Carolina.  He became an early hero of the Confederacy with his death.  His troops erected a marker where he fell, which was later damaged by souvenir hunters and is now replaced by a U.S. flagpole.

His friend, Sewall Lawrence Fremont came to command the coast defense of North Carolina and named the defensive work at the mouth of the Cape Fear River's New Inlet Fort Fisher.

Later, the United Confederate Veterans and Daughters of the Confederacy established memorial markers.

North Carolina chief justice  Benjamin Franklin White, formerly a Confederate captain, published a laudatory  account of Fisher's death in 1901.

His hat is in the North Carolina Museum of History.

--Old B-Runner

Friday, June 4, 2021

Col. Charles F. Fisher-- Part 2: Railroad President and Killed at First Bull Run

Continued from May 27, 2021.

While still the North Carolina Railroad's president,  he was selected its principal contractor to build a line to Morgantown, North Carolina.  Slow construction progress and high costs produced much criticism, especially from Jonathan Worth, president of the competing Fayetteville  and Western Plank  Road Company and first postwar governor of North Carolina.

In 1859, despite Worth's criticism, the railroad stockholders reelected Fisher president.  During this time, Fisher also became friends with Vermont-born Sewall Lawrence Fremont, a former Army artilleryman who had become chief engineer  and superintendent of the Wilmington & Weldon  Railroad in eastern North Carolina in 1854.  The Wilmington and Weldon Railroad served as a major supply route of Confederate forces in Virginia and Lee's Army of Northern Virginia.

During the Civil War, Fisher became the commander of the 6th North Carolina Infantry Regiment.  He died leading a charge  on a Union battery at the First Battle of Bull Run, supporting  North Carolina  General Thomas Lanier Clingman as well as Fisher's cousin Jubal Early, who became a Confederate general after that.

Whether the fatal bullet came from friendly fire from the 4th Alabama or 2nd or 11th Mississippi or from the New York Zouaves or other Union soldiers from the Sudley Road will never be known.

--Old B-Runner

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Col. Charles F. Fisher-- Part 1: Early Life

From Wikipedia.


(December 26, 1816 to July 21, 1861)

Namesake of Fort Fisher.

American attorney, legislator, engineer and soldier from Salisbury.  he served as the president of the North Carolina  Railroad and died at the Battle of Bull Run while leading his 6th North Carolina Infantry Regiment.

He was born in Salisbury, N.C., to plantation owner Charles Fisher and his wife Christine Beard Fisher.    His paternal father, Frederick Fisher had come from the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia and was an officer in the American militia during the Revolutionary War.    His maternal great grandfather had been an ardent Tory (Loyalist) during the war.

He had a private education and entered  Yale in  1835, but failed to finish freshman year.  Back home, he married  Ruth Caldwell and became a miner, farmer and journalist.  he supported his father who was a politician  through his Western Carolinian publication.

In 1854, he became a state senator and the next year became the president of the North Carolina Railroad.

--Old B-Runner

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Charles Fisher (Namesake of Fort Fisher) Buried in Salisbury, North Carolina.

From the May 30, 2021, Salisbury (NC) Post  "My turn, Ed Norvell::  Salisbury's  oldest cemetery   best location of 'Fame'.

"Fame" is the Confederate monument in Salisbury that will be moved.  Mr. Norvell was writing about why the cemetery on North Lee Street would be a good place for the statue.  It is owned and maintained by the City of Salisbury and has decorative security fencing and cameras.

However, its beauty could be enhanced.

The original cemetery was known as the German  Burying Ground and was given to the Lutheran Church.

Plus, many people important to Salisbury's history are buried there.

But, the one of most interest to me is that one Charles Fisher is buried there.  He was the second president of the North Carolina  Railroad and the person a Fort Fisher was named after.  That would be MY Fort Fisher, of course.

Before this, I never knew he was buried there.

There are also markers for 175 Confederate graves there.

--Old B-Runner

Friday, May 28, 2021

Confederate Navy Officers: Richard Fielder Armstrong (At Fort Fisher)

Born in Georgia.  Appointed from Georgia.

Resigned as Acting Midshipman, U.S. Navy, January 30, 1861.

Midshipman April 17, 1861.

Acting master September 24, 1861.

Lieutenant for the war, February 8, 1862.

Second lieutenant, October 23, 1862, to rank from October 2, 1862.

First lieutenant Provisional Navy, June 2, 1864, to rank from  January 6, 1864


Served on the CSS Sumter 1861-1862.  (He probably would have been there when J.T. Hester murdered William Andrews.)

CSS Alabama, 1864

Assisted in the defense of Battery Buchanan in the Union attack of Fort Fisher, December 23-25, 1864; gallant conduct commended.

--Old B-Runner

Thursday, May 27, 2021

USCSS Walker Commanders-- Part &: Alban C. Stimers, Chief Engineer of the U.S. Navy During the Civil War

As this list of the USCSS Robert J. Walker shows,  as an early steamer in the service of the U.S. Government, the ship served as a training platform for  a number of officers eager to learn the operation of steamships at a time when there was not enough of such vessels to go around for all those with the desire to learn their operation.

Among those assigned to the Walker by the U.S. Navy was Albam C. Stimers, a 25-year-old second engineer attached to the ship  on November 18, 1852.  Stimers rose rapidly in naval ranks and during the Civil War served as the Chief Engineer of the U.S. Navy.

He played a major role in working with John Ericsson on the construction of the USS Monitor, and sailed with the ironclad, although not a member of the crew,  on its famous voyage south in 1862 and the resulting battle with the CSS Virginia, the former USS Merrimac.

--Old B-Runner

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

USCSS Walker Commanders-- Pt. 6 Benjamin Franklin Sands-- Part 2: Distinguished Service

Benjamin Sands commanded the ship until 1857 and spent much of the remaining time mapping the Gulf Coast of the United States.

During this time, he wrote:

"I was engaged  upon this interesting hydrographic work in  the Gulf of Mexico, the fields of my especial  surveys being the Florida Keys and the west coast of that state, including Cedar Keys, Tampa Bay and Pensacola Harbor, thence west, taking in the Bay of Biloxi, Chaudeleur  Sound, the Deltas of the Mississippi, and  the westward thereof, including Atchafalaya Bay and Sabine Pass on the Texas Coast."

Sands and his crew also plotted portions of the Gulf Stream from Florida to Cape Hatteras in 1855, which was of key interest to  Superintendent  Bache.

Benjamin Sands, like his predecessors, enjoyed a prominent career that included early Coast Survey duty in the 180s and early 1840s and service in the Gulf of Mexico during the Mexican War.

He served with distinction on post-Mexican War Coast Survey duty, including his time on the Walker.  Sands' Civil War service was as  a captain on blockade squadron duty on the Atlantic and Gulf (and he was at both Battles of Fort Fisher).  He also was appointed  Superintendent of the  U.S. Naval Observatory.

In 1871, he was appointed rear admiral.

--Old B-Runner

Monday, May 24, 2021

USCSS Walker Officers- Pt. 5: Benjamin Franklin Sands-- Part 1

The next commanding officer of the Walker after Lee was Benjamin Franklin  Sands (1811-1883).  he commanded the Walker longer than anyone.

Sands' autobiography says he took command in 1851 in Mobile, Alabama, and commenced   surveys along the Gulf Coast between Pensacola and the mouth of the Mississippi River.  After that, he took the Walker to Hampton Roads, Virginia, and then to Baltimore , where the ship was laid up.

He and his crew then continued working the local waters in two smaller  coastal schooners.

When the Walker was put back into commission in December 1852,  Sands took the steamer back to the Gulf of Mexico, where he continued command  through 1857.

--Old B-Runner