Fort Fisher

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

Thursday, December 5, 2013

State of Confederate Naval Affairs November 1863

NOVEMBER 30TH: Mallory noted that there were presently 693 officers and 2,250 enlisted men in the Confederate Navy. Union victories at Little Rock, Arkansas, and the Yazoo River had ended department efforts at constructing ships there, but, construction was "making good progress at Richmond, Wilmington, Charleston, Savannah, Mobile, on the Roanoke, Peedee, Chattahoochee and Alabama Rivers...." //// Two major problems Mallory faced the whole war was acquiring the skilled labor necessary to build the ships as well as adequate iron to clad them. This was not a factor in the industrial North. //// Confederate naval forces not only manned ships, but also shore batteries. On this date, Mallory praised the naval command at Drewry's Bluff guarding the James River approach to Richmond. He wrote that the battery: "composed of seamen and marines, is in a high state of efficiency, and the river obstructions are believed to be sufficient, in connection with the shore and submarine batteries, to prevent passage of the enemy's ships. An active force is employed on submarine batteries and torpedoes." Not Only Did Richmond Have to Be Guarded On Land, But By Water As Well. --Old B-Runner

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