Fort Fisher

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

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Walk Around Fort Fisher-- Part 1

Hey, this was the thing that got me interested in the Civil War and, from there, history in general.  This goes way back to when I was seven years old.

While out at the fort for Second Saturday, I had the opportunity to take a guided tour walk around the remains.  I've done this before and it is always interesting to see what the person says, especially since I have more than just a passing knowledge of the fort.

I am right now reading about what I was doing thirty years ago in July 1982.  i was starting my second week of an extended vacation to Carolina Beach and jogging and swimming during the morning and then going either out to Fort Fisher or the Blockade-Runner Museum in the afternoon and doing research.  This was a great vacation that also involved many bars at CB and nearby Kure Beach.

The walk around the remaining Fort Fisher traverses was led by an older man I took to be ex-Marine DI, but, he said he was in the Army.  The words just easily flowed Marine.

More to Come.  --Old B-Runner

Monday, July 30, 2012

Reillys Buried at Wilmington's Oakdale Cemetery

I looked up the burial records of Oakdale Cemetery in Wilmington, North Carolina, and found the following Reilly's buried there.  I did not see if they were on the same lot, but they may have been according to the dates.  That is, family of James Reilly.

James Aloyisus Reilly, died December 14, 1870 at age 17 months.
James Owen Reilly, died February 6, 1936 at age 56.
Major James Reilly, died November 5, 1894 at age 71.
Martha E. Henry Reilly, wife, died December 27, 1919 at age 78.
James Gibbons Reilly, died December 13, 1975 at age 2 years.

The Major and His Family.  --Old B-R'er

Naval Happenings 150 Years Ago: July 29th to July 31st-- Farragut's Not Buying It

JULY 29TH

The USS Mount Vernon and USS Mystic capture blockade-runner British brig Napier near Wilmington.

Rear Admiral Farragut writes about Union land losses back east and how Union generals are deceived by false reports of Confederate strength, saying, "The officers say I don't believe anything.  I certainly believe very little that comes in the shape of reports...I mean to be whipped or to whip my enemy, and not be scared to death."


JULY 31ST-AUGUST 1ST

Confederate batteries at Coggins' Point attacked Union forces on the James River and sink two Army transports.  USS Cimarron returned fire.  Commander Woodhull (a good name for a sailor) wrote in praise of Gunner's Mate John Merrett, who was very ill and waiting transfer to a hospital but nonetheless manned his station in the powder magazine.  "Merrett is an old man-of-warsman; his discipline, courage and patriotism would not brook inaction when his ship was in actual battle.  His conduct, I humbly think, was a great example to all lovers of the country and its cause...it is the act of a fine speciman of the old Navy tar."

Not Too Sick to Fight.  --Old B-Runner

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Confederate Major Reilly-- Part 5

Major James Reilly was taken prisoner and sent to Fort Delaware.  While there, the commander of the Army of the Potomac's artillery, General Hunt, visited him.  Reilly had served under Hunt before the war and the general was so impressed with his abilities that he offered Reilly a commission in the U.S. Army if he'd join him.  Reilly refused.  Now, this is something I bet didn't happen very often during the war.

Reilly returned to Wilmington after the war and lived there.  He is buried in the Oakdale Cemetery, not too far from Whiting's grave.

An Interesting career and Great Talk.  Thanks Black Jack Travis.  --Old B-Runner

Friday, July 27, 2012

Anyway, Back to Confederate Major James Reilly-- Part 5

Anyway, Major Reilly was the senior Confederate officer present who was not wounded and it came time to surrender Fort Fisher.  Reilly surrendered to Captain E. Lewis Moore of the 7th Connecticut, the first Union officer he could find as federal troops were converging on Battery Buchanan from two directions.

Years later, a newspaper wanted to know actually surrendered the fort.  Reilly wrote that he had and that he had actually surrendered to Captain J. Homer Edgerly of the 3rd New Hampshire Infantry.

Later, Whiting and Lamb officially surrendered the fort to Union General Terry.

Whiting was taken to Fort Columbus in New York Harbor and while recovering from his wounds, was visited by General Butler and thoroughly questioned while Butler was trying to come out from the investigation of why he didn't capture Fort Fisher.

Whiting recovered from his wound, but unfortunately came down with the soldier's disease, a chronic case of dysentery and died March 10, 1865.

More to Come.  --Old B-Runner

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Naval Happenings 150 Years Ago: July 23rd to July 28th, 1862-- The Alabama Gets Underway

JULY 23RD

Asst. Secretary of the US Navy wrote that work on the ironclads was progressing, "We have forty underweigh, and are putting others in hand as fast as contracts for engines shall be made.  The machinery for manufacturing marine engines is limited."  The Union Navy's rapid change from wood to iron doomed the Confederate  effort to break the Union stranglehold with those of their own.


JULY 24TH

Rear Admiral Farragut's fleet departs it station below Vicksburg due to the falling Mississippi River.  The ships.  hey ended up at Baton Rouge and New Orleans.  Confederate control of Vicksburg allowed some supplies to reach the Confederacy from west of the river.


JULY 28TH

The brig Agrippa was ordered to rendezvous with steamer Enrica, afterwards known as the CSS Alabama in the Azores to transfer guns, ammunition, coal and other cargo to the Alabama.

Old B-Runner

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Naval Happenings 150 Years Ago: July 21st to 22nd , 1862

JULY 21ST

US steamers carrying troops arrive to protect Evansville, Indiana, at request of the states's Governor Morton.  Confederate guerrillas had captured Henderson, Kentucky, across the Ohio River, and were now driven away. These coordinated Army-Navy attacks help keep Confederates from reoccuppying positions along the interior rivers.


JULY 22ND

USS Essex and Queen of the West attack the CSS Arkansas which was at anchor with a disabled engine at Vicksburg.  Many of the Confederates on board the Arkansas were ashore sick and wounded from the action of July 15th.  Queen of the West rammed the Arkansas, but with little effect and the Essex exchanged close quarter gunfire.  Both Union ships were badly damaged.

Confederate commander Brown described one of the Essex's broadsides from twenty feet away  like "nothing that I had ever heard before....We were so close that out men were burnt by the powder of the enemy's guns..."

President Davis telegraphs Mississippi Governor John J. Pettus that the CSS Arkansas desperately needs boatmen and with the blockade becoming more effective, there has to be a lot of them out of work and wants the governor to find some.

Old B-Runner

Monday, July 23, 2012

Cincinnati's Fort Fisher Connection

When we got back from Washington Park last night, I did a bit of research on it and found out it had been a series of cemeteries before 1855 when it was turned into the park.  Bodies were reinterred in Cincinnati's Spring Grove Cemetery.  My buddy Denny said that the Proctor and Gamble and Kroger of those companies are buried there.

Looked the cemetery up and found quite a list of other notables including Lincoln's Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase and a whole lot of Union generals (and even one Confederate one) were there.  Two of the Union names particularly jumped out at me as having Fort Fisher and Wilmington connections.

Godfrey Weitzel was involved in the the first attack on Fort Fisher.  If I recall, he was supposed to be in command until his commanding general, Ben Butler, superceded him.  The other one was Jacob D. Cox who was very involved in the capture of Wilmington in the five weeks following the fall of Fort Fisher.

We're Off to see Them in a Little Bit.  --Old B-R'er

Farragut's Cannon in Cincinnati

Yesterday, I arrived in Cincinnati and that night went to the newly redeveloped Washington Park downtown for a concert featuring two popular local bands.  While walking around, I espied off in the distance what appeared to be a 19th century naval cannon.

Obviously, I had to check it out.  Turned out to be a 30-pdr Parrott cannon that had been on one of Admiral Farragut's ships at the 1864 Battle of Mobile Bay in Alabama.  Unfortunately, it did not say what ship.  A plaque by it said that it had been in Washington Park since 1870 and had been acquired by the War Department and had been a gift to the city by T.W. Seig of the 6th Ohion Infantry regiment.

It had been restored in the mid-1970s using anonymous donations and volunteer labor and was rededicated Aug. 5, 1997, 133 years after the Battle of Mobile Bay.

After I got back to Denny's, I went online but could find no new information about it.

Sure would like to know what ship it was on.

Old B-Runner

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Confederate Major James Reilly-- Part 4

Confederate General Whiting was wounded at Fort Fisher and taken to New York where he died.  The clergyman who officiated at his funeral was the general's brother.  He was buried in New York City and remained buried until late in the 1890s when his body was disinterred and brought back to Wilmington. where he was buried next to his wife.  There  are those who wonder why his wife would wait that long to do that.

Meanwhile, Colonel Lamb was dropped off in Virginia and was treated at Chesapeake Hospital where one of his foes from the battle, Newton Curtis was also being treated for a bad wound that cost him an eye.  .    During the course of their recovery, the two become good friends, a friendship that lasted until both died.  They even worked together to make Fort Fisher a national park.

Old B-Runner

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Confederate Major James Reilly-- Part 3

Reilly earned the nickname "Old Tarantula."  Despite being in many battles in several wars, he was wounded only one time during the Mexican War.

After Gettysburg, he was promoted from sergeant to major, owing to his great storehouse of artillery knowledge.  He hadn't been promoted before because he wasn't on the Army of Northern Virginia's command pipeline.  He wasn't rich, wasn't a Virginian and he wasn't a West Pointer.

He was sent to Fort Fisher where that knowledge came into great use by Colonel Lamb.

Confederate Navy Captain Robert T. Chapman was in command of Battery Buchanan at the final day of Fort Fisher on January 15, 1865.  He was drunk and abandoned his position, taking the boat that could have transported the wounded Gen. Whiting and Col. Lamb to safety.

Chapman, of course, escaped capture and later guarded Jefferson Davis in the flight from Richmond in April.

More to Come.  --Old B-Runner

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Confederate Major James Reilly-- Part 2

Jack Travis had been a re-enactor for twenty years, many of which were with Reilly's Battery, considered during the war to be one of the best artillery units in the Army of Northern Virginia. 

James Reilly was born in Ireland and was a devout Catholic.  The battery would hold a prayer service before each battle and after the war he created a Catholic Church in Mako. 

On coming to America, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served during the Seminole and Mexican Wars with the artillery.  He was stationed at Fort Johnson in Smithville, NC, near the entrance of the Cape Fear River when South Carolina seceded in December 1860.  Wilmington militia units immediately assembled and in early January, marched on Fort Johnson, forcing Reilly, as the lone ordnance sergeant manning the place, to surrender.  North Carolina's governor immediately ordered the militia to return Fort Johnson and Fort Caswell to Reilly as the state had not yet seceded.

Once North Carolina did secede, Reilly turned in his resignation and joined the Confederate Army.

More to Come.  --Old B-Runner

Monday, July 16, 2012

Confederate Major James Reilly

The main reason I wanted to go to Fort Fisher this past weekend for the Second Saturday series, was to see both the firing of the 32-pounder on Sheppard's Battery at the western end (Cape Fear River side) of the fort and to hear Jack Travis' presentation on the man who surrenedered Fort Fisher to Union forces on January 15, 1865.

About 35 people assembled in the theater, several of whom I learned afterwards were actual direct descendants of Major Reilly who were in town for the funeral of a family member.  Many had also been there a short while ago when the major's sword, the one he used to surrender the fort, was put on permanent display at the fort's museum.

The presenter Jack "Colonel Black Jack" Travis, has been a re-enactor for twenty years. mostly in Reilly's Battery, in which the major served while in the Army of Northern Virginia, where it was considered to be one of the best units.

More to Come.  --Old B-Runner

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Driving To Fort Fisher

This morning, about 9:30, we drove from Topsail Beach, NC, on the barrier island of Topsail Island to Fort Fisher, at the end of the peninsula/island south of Wilmington.  It's a long drive by car and a whole lot shorter by boat.

First off, we drive seven miles to downtown Surf City just to get out over the famous swing bridge (and you definitely hope that it doesn't swing open for a boat, as that is always good for a ten minute delay).  Then, it is a several mile jaunt out to US-17 and then a many mile drive south to Wilmington through Hamstead and some smaller communities.

This is when driving hell starts as we have reached the land where everyone drives all the time, and just try to go an eight of a mile or less and not find a stoplight.  And I found the vast majority of them in the red color, a truly delightful encounter.  US-17 is bad, but then you hit College Avenue which is even more congested out to Monkey Junction.

Not only do you have Wilmingtonians who love to drive all the time, but also there are hundreds of vacationers heading to the beaches in the area.

Heavy traffic continues on on US-421 all the way to Carolina Beach and finally lightens up at Kure Beach and then the short distance to Fort Fisher.  To drive the 50 miles took us almost two hours, and we got to the fort just in time for the presentation on Major Reilly.

Beep!  Beep! His Horn Went Beep, Beep, Beep!!  --  Old B-Runner/Sorry CarDriver

Friday, July 13, 2012

Focus On Medical Care and Major Reilly

From the July 12th Wilmington NC) Star-News.

Civil War re-enactors will be at Fort Fisher tomorrow for the summer monthly Second Saturday series, this time focussinbg on the medical care a sick or wounded Civil War soldier or sailor could expect.  Period equipment and surgical tools will be on hand as will experts to talk about it.  Even better, this time I will be there.

In addition there will be cannon firings (I'm especially up for the 32-pounder mounted on Battery Sheppard).  Guided tours of the fort will also take place throughout the day.

I'm looking forward to Col. "Black Jack" Travis' presentation on Confederate Major James Reilly who surrendered the fort to Union forces after Colonel Lamb and General Whiting were wounded.  Of interest, Reilly was the lone YU.S. Army ordnance sergeant at Fort Caswell, guarding Old Inlet of the Cape Fear River at the beginning of the war when North Carolina militia jumped the gun and seized it before the state had seceded.  The governor ordered his troops to return the fort to Reilly, representing the U.S. government.
Should be a Great Time.  --Old B-Runner

Thursday, July 12, 2012

It's a Fort Fisher Second Saturday Thing

I've written about them, but now it appears I will finally get a chance to go to the North Carolina State Historical Sites Second Saturday series they offer during the summer, every second Saturday of the month.  And, it will be at my favorite Civil War site, Fort Fisher.

I'm here right now at Topsail Beach about fifty miles away, much less if I could go directly to the fort, but, unfortunately, the car does not do well in water.  And, I'm going to take advantage and finally see that huge 32-pounder coast defense gun fire from Sheppard's Battery in the fort, something I've wanted to do ever since they installed it.

I was really happy to read about the event taking place in today's Wilmington (NC) Star-News.

And, who knows, but hopefully we'll be able to catch Britt's Donuts at Carolina Beach open and get some of those absolutely-heaven morsels, two-three or so.

Old B-Runner

Monday, July 9, 2012

Henry T. Davis, USN

From the June 6, 2011, Falmouth (Mass) Patch.

Henry T. Davis was born in 1838 and grew up in a home with a fine view of the sea.  By 1860, he had attained master mariner status.  By October 1863, Davis had a commission in the US Navy and was posted to the gunboat USS Pembina Nov. 5, 1863, after it was commissioned in New York.

The ship had nine officers aboard (4 from Massachusetts) and the ship was detached to the West Gulf Blockading Squadron.  Later, it mainly operated off the coasts of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida providing artillery support, blockade duty, escort duty and operations to catch blockade-runners.

At one time it captured the Dutch-owned blockade-runner Geziena Hilligenda with a cargo of medicines, iron and cloth.  Davis was ordered to take the ship to New Orleans.

After the war, he served on the USS Chocura and USS Tahoma until discharged in 1867 when he went into the whaling business before becoming a land-based meat merchant.

On May 26, 1902, he committed suicide by hanging himself after falling into debt $1600.  he is buried in Woods Hole Cemetery.

The Story of An Officer.  --Old B-R'er

Naval Happenings 150 Years Ago: July 17th to 19th,1862

JULY 17TH TO 19TH

Force of 40 Marines and sailors from USS Potomac, New London and Grey Cloud go up Pascagoula River, Mississippi, to capture or destroy a steamer and two schooners rumored to be loading cotton and to destroy telegraph between Pascagoula and Mobile. 

Succeeded in disrupting communications but forced to turn back when encountered Confederate cavalry and infantry.

Many such actions like this oocurred all salong the coasts during the war.


JULY 18TH

The US Secretary of Navy notifies all flag officers that the president now can appoint three midshipman to the Naval Academy from the enlisted boys of the Navy.  Each flag officer requested to appoint one boy.


JULY 19TH

Confederate Naval court martial in Richmond acquits Flag officer Tattnall with honor for destruction of the CSS Virginia on May 11 during the evacuation of Norfolk.

Old B-Runner

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Naval Happenings 150 years Ago: July 15th to 17th, 1862: Lots of Big Stuff Happening

JULY 15TH

USS Carondolet, Tyler and Queen of the West engage ironclad CSS Arkansas on the Yazoo River and are forced to withdraw with two ships partially disabled.  The Arkansas then runs through the Union fleet and anchors under the guns of Vicksburg.


JULY 16TH

David Farragut, in recognition of his victory at New Orleans, is promoted to Rear Admiral, the first officer in the history of the US Navy to hold that rank.

The measure passed by Congress to create the rank also revamped the command structure to include Commodore and Lieutenant Commander and established the number of rear admirals at 9, Commodores at 18, Captains at 36, Commanders at 72, and the remainder through Ensign at 144 each.

Rear Admirals were to rank with Army Major Generals.

Congress approved bill transferring the western gunboat fleet from the War department )Army) to the Navy Department


JULY 17TH

Congress passed an act establishing that every officer, seaman, or Marine disabled in the line of duty should receive for life or duration of the disability, a pension according to the nature and degree of their disability, not to exceed his monthly pay at the time of the injury.

Old B-R'er

Naval Happenings 150 Years Ago: July 11th to 14th ,1862-- No More Grog!!

Heading out of town for awhile and I don't want to bring that really big Civil War Naval Chronology book with me so will proceed ahead a bit.


JULY 11TH

President Lincoln appreciated the role of the Navy recommended Congress pass a vote of thanks for Captains Lardner, Davis and Stringham and to Commanders Dahlgren, D.D. Porter and Rowan.

Congress passed an act for the relief of relatives of the officers and men who died on the USS Cumberland and Congress when the CSS Virginia attacked them four months earlier.

JULY 13TH

Commodore Davis of the James River Flotilla reports his ships covering transports and flanks of the Union Army.  He also wanted some Congreve rockets to drive Confederate sharpshooters out of the woods.  The Congreve rockets were the "rockets red glare" in the Star-Spangled Banner and still in use.


JULY 14TH

Congress passed an act abolishing the spirit ration in the Navy.  From now on, the only spirits allowed on ships were for medicinal purposes.  However, to make up for it (obviously an unpopular move with the men) everyone entitled to it would receive an extra five cents per day pay.

Old B-Runner

Friday, July 6, 2012

Well, We Missed It, But Anyway...

From the June 16th Island Gazette "Open House at Fort Fisher Underwater Archaeology Branch June 27" by Super User.

I've already mentioned this in this blog, but the North Carolina Underwater Archaeology Branch (UAB) hosted a rare behind-the-scenes tour June 27th, the 150th anniversary of the loss of the blockade-runner Modern Greece, whose discovery in 1962 led to the founding of the unit.  This ship was the first major runner lost in the Cape Fear River area.

That same day, a wayside sign was unveiled at the Fort Fisher North Gazebo, which is just inshore from the wreck of the Modern Greece.

On June 27, 1862, the Modern Greece ran aground right by Fort Fisher and was completely destroyed.  The wreck was rediscovered in 1962 and thousands of artifacts removed from it.

Sure Would Have Liked to Have Been There.  --Old B-R'er

Digging Those Blockade-Runners-- Part 4

According to Kevin Foster, the recently retired head of the National Park Service's Maritime Heritage Program, who is writing a book on the blockade-runners, the ships would try to cut across the waters of the Gulf Stream in late afternoon, keeping a sharp lookout for the masts of the first of the three picket lines of blockaders. 

Captains would be shooting to make landfall well north or south of the Cape Fear River at night, then run close into shore just outside the line of breakers.  With luck, if spotted, Confederate artillery could keep the Union ships off until the runner reached either New or Old Inlet.

Lights were all snuffed out and crew members were not allowed to smoke.  Whenever possible, anthracite coal was burned because it was much more smokeless.

The toughest obstacle was the inner picket line which had the fastest blockaders.  Often, these were captured blockade-runners and extremely fast.

Running the Blockade.  A good name for a Blog.  Someone Should Use It.  --Old B-Runner

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Naval Happenings 150 Years Ago: July 5th to 9th,1862-- US Navy Department Reorganized

JULY 5TH

The U.S. Navy Department is reorganized into eight Bureaus: Yards and Docks, Equipment and Recruiting, Navigation, Ordnance, Construction and Repair, Steam Engineering, Provisions and Clothing, and Medicine and Surgery.  This was pushed through Congress by Senator Grimes of Iowa who was a big supporter of seapower.


JULY 6TH

Commodore Wilkes ordered to command the James River Flotilla as a division of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron.


JULY 7TH

President Lincoln and military party depart Washington on board the USS Ariel to confer with Gen. McClellan at Harrison's Landing, Virginia, in the aftermath of the defeat at the Seven Days Battles.


JULY 9TH

Gen. Lee wrote Confederate President Davis that he was unable to attack Union troops because of the presence of Union gunboats.

Old B-Runner

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Digging Those Blockade-Runners-- Part 4

Continued from the June 24th Raleigh News & Observer.  My last entry for this long, but informative article was June 27th.

THE BLOCKADE

Well, it was the job of the blockade-runners to do just that.  On the other side, it was the job of the Union Navy to prevent that from happening.  And that job was generally extremely tedious.  Month after month of cruising back and forth, scanning horizons day and night, but especially being ready on moonless nights, a favorite running time. 

And, it could get quite hot and quite cold and let's not forget storms.

Still, many sailors considered this a better alternative than fighting ashore.  The runners weren't generally armed and wouldn't fight back.  Crews of them were often foreign-born, and if captured could only be held temporarily.

Besides regular pay, blockaders could divvy up prize money if their ship captured a runner, as much as a year's pay in some instances.  There were accusations of some blockaders chasing runners out of sight of others before capturing the vessel.  All blockaders in sight got to split the prize money.

THE RUNNERS

Life aboard the runners was generally tense as they had to "run" through the blockade, which generally was going to entail some shellfire and tense moments.  Chances of getting through were around 75%.  The ships would leave from neutral ports like Bermuda, especially for Wilmington, but also occasionally from Nassau.  Larger ships brought goods to those ports from overseas (mostly England) where they were off-loaded onto smaller, quicker runners.  They would depart, timing their final approach to coincide with night.

Still More to Come.  --Old B-Runner

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Enoch Greenleafe Parrott

From Wikipedia.

1814-1879.

Fought in the Mexican and Civil wars and later became a rear-admiral.  Entered the Navy in 1831 as a midshipman.  In 1843 took part in anti-slavery expedition of Commander Matthew C. Perry's African Squadron.

In the Mexican War he served on the 52-gun frigate USS Congress and took part in John C. Fremont's expedition from Monterrey to Los Angeles and the capture of the Guaymas and Mazatlan.

Commissioned commodore in 1861 and took part in destruction of the Norfolk Navy Yard.  On the USS Perry, captured the Confederate privateer Savannah and received a commendation from the Navy Department.

Commanded the USS Augusta from 1861-1863.  At the Battle of Port Royal and fought Confederate ironclads CSS Chicora and Palmetto State at Charleston, SC, on Jan. 31, 1863.

Commanded the ironclad monitor USS Canonicus in the North Atlantic Blockading squadron and engaged Confederate ironclads in the James River in 1864 and at Howlett's Battery.

Commanded the ironclad monitor USS Monadnock at the first and second battles of Fort Fisher and present at the surrender of Charleston.  Became captain in 1866, commodore in 1870, rear admiral in 1873 and retired in 1874.

Quite a Naval Career.  --Old B-Runner

Monday, July 2, 2012

What's a Brown Water Navy? -- Part 2

Despite receiving orders from the Army, Foote and the Navy were responsible for fitting out vessels and  recruiting experienced sailors.

The War Department meanwhile had commissioned Eads to construct seven ironclad vessels.  They were to be 175 feet long and draw only six feet of water and were not completely covered in iron, but had 2 1/2 inches on the bow and stern, and over the paddle wheels.

They were heavily armed with 8-inch guns and 12- 32- and 42-pound rifles. 

By the time they were completed in November 1861, several other retrofitted gunboats had also joined the squadron.  The Alleghenny Arsenal near Pittsburgh was also busy producing a new type of ship that mounted a 13-inch Army mortar.

So, That's a Brown Water Navy.  --Old B-R'er

Naval Happenings 150 Years Ago: July 1st to 4th, 1862: Meeting on the Mississippi

In honor of my new extended antique auro tags on the '85 Firebird.  The license number is "1862).

JULY 1ST

The Western Flotilla, under Flag Officer Davis joined Flag Officer Farragut's fleet above Vicksburg.  Farragut thinks Davis' irnclads "are curious looking things ro us salt-water gentlemen, but no doubt they are better calculated for this river than our ships....  They look like great turtles."  The meeting of the salt water and fresh water fleets had great psychological impact in the North.

President Lincoln recommended to Congress that Flag Officer Foote be given a vote of thanks for his service in western inland waters.


JULY 1ST-2ND

Flag Officer L.M. Goldsborough's fleet covered the withdrawal of McClelan's army after the Battle of Malvern Hill.


JULY 4TH

The USS Maratanza engaged the CSS Teaser at Haxall's on the James River.  Teaser abandoned and captured after a shell exploded in her boiler.  In addition to placing mines, the Teaser had gone downriver with an balloon onboard to observe McClellan's retreating army.  Both armies using aeriel balloon reconnaissance.  The Teaser was the counterpart of the USS G.W. Parke Curtis, the first aircraft carriers.  The balloon found on board as well as six shells with "peculiar fuses" which were sent to the Washington Navy Yard for examination.

Old B-Runner