DECEMBER 30TH, 1863: Boats from the USS Pursuit destroy two salt works at the head of St. Joseph's Bay, Florida.
DECEMBER 31ST: USS Sciota and USS Granite City made reconnaissance of Port Cavallo, Texas, and landed troops on Gulf shore of Matagorda Peninsula. Shelled Confederate positions. Confederate gunboat John F. Carr engaged them, but was driven ashore by a severe gale and burned.
** Secretary Welles ordered Rear Admiral C.H. Bell of the Paific Squadron to keep at least one ship continuously on duty in San Francisco in order to "give greater security to that important city...." and promised to send two more steamers to his squadron.
** Welles noted in his dairy: "The year closes more satisfactorily than it commenced.... The War has been waged with success, although there have have been in some instances errors and misfortunes. But the heart of the nation is sounder and its hopes better."