Fort Fisher

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

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Want to Work At Historic Fort Fisher?

From March 24, 2014, Beach Carolina Magazine "State Historic Sites and Museums Seek Volunteers for Park Day Saturday, April 5."

Now's your chance to get out to the fort to help clean it up.  We are commemorating the 150th anniversary sesquicentennial of the Civil War.  The call has gone out.  One-day enlistments are needed.

North Carolina State Historic Sites of Bentonville Battleground, Fort Fisher, Brunswick  Town/Fort Anderson, Bennett Place and the N.C. Maritime Museum will be participating in the April 5th National Park Day program.

Historians, history buffs, community leaders and preservationists will be teaming up with the Civil War Trust at more than 98 historic sites across the country in the 18th annual Park Day.

If I Was Still Here, I's Be There.  --Old B-Runner

Friday, March 28, 2014

Fort Fisher Celebrates National Medal of Honor Day

From the March 22, 2014, WMBF News NBC. //// This past Saturday 19 Medal of Honor recipients from North Carolina were recognized. The 69 recipients from the 1865 Second Battle of Fort Fisher and three from New Hanover County also were acknowledged. //// A Civil War re-enactor showed visitors to the fort various Civil War ammunition. A history of the nation's highest military honor was also given. //// --Old B-Runner

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Hampton Roads Burns During the Civil War

From the March 29, 2014, Hampton Roads (Va,) Daily Press "Hampton Roads' greatest fires" Mark St.John Erickson. //// I knew about the first fires, but not the last one. ///// SHIPYARD SCORCHED-- Gosport Navy Yard in Potsmouth was burned twice during the Civil War by Union and then Confederate trying to destroy its drydock, workshops and storehouses. But each time it recovered. ///// FIERY SACRIFICE-- Confederates put Hampton to the torch on August 10, 1861, razing 500 structures but leaving the charred shell of St. John's Episcopal Church. //// CATASTROPHIC EXPLOSION-- Crammed with Union ammunition, the Yorktown Courthouse catches fire on Dec. 16, 1863, erasing at least a dozen buildings., including the Swan Tavern, in a nightlong series of blasts heard miles away. //// ---Old B-Runner

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Wilmington's Fort Anderson Study

From the January 24, 2014, WECT NBC, Wilmington, NC. "Fort Anderson study reveals new details about Civil War" by Ben Powell. //// Fort Anderson is being surveyed by experts. The last detailed study of the fortification was done in 1965 when surveying techniques were quite primitive compared to today's. //// Another hyper-detailed survey was done in 2012. //// Paul Shiver, of Highfill Infrastructure in Wilmington is running it. He will be examining the different methods of construction used as well as how the garrison lived and worked. A 3-D computer model will be made of the site. //// He is volunteering his time and the effort is 70% complete. //// --Old B-Runner

Friday, March 21, 2014

Looking For Philadelphia Medal of Honor Graves

From the November 11, 2011, Philadelphia Inquirer. //// There are 104 Medal of Honor winners from the Civil War who had ties to Philadelphia. Only the graves of 94 have been found. //// Andy Barry is one of the people looking for graves without markers. //// Waskie and Kelly are looking for the grave of Navy Seaman George Moore, who nearly lost his life rescuing crewmen from the sinking Monitor during a gale off Cape Hatteras December 30, 1862. //// "During another rescue attempt, with giant waves crashing around them, Moore and others managed to survive 50 miles off the coast, when a schooner picked them up." //// Hope They Found Them. --Old B-Runner

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Civil War History Becomes "Real" for Pennsylvania High School Students

From the March 1, 2014, Philadelphia Inquirer by Edward Colimore. //// The Historical Society of Moorestown brought their exhibit "Moorestown During the Civil War" to school. //// The students got to "meet" Joseph Hugg, a Navy surgeon on the USS Hartford, Admiral Farragut's flagship and William Gold, a sailor on the USS Cumberland, which was sunk by the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia. //// They also met George Wiltshire, a farmer who joined the Army at age 19, was wounded twice and held prisoner at Belle Island in Richmond. --Old B-Runner

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Problems With Blockading Galveston

MARCH 30, 1864: Captain John B. Marchand, commanding the Third Division of the Western Gulf Blockading Squadron, reported on the difficulty maintaining a tight blockade of the passes and inlets around Galveston, Texas: "This place has great advantages for blockade running, as, in addition to the regular channels, the shores, both to the northward and southward, are represented to be bold. //// I have been credibly informed that good large schooners have hugged the shore so close as to be dragged along for miles by lines from the land by soldiers and sailors into Galveston." //// Well, That Is a New Way To get In. --Old B-R'er

150 Years Ago-- March 29th-31st, 1864

MARCH 29-20TH, 1864: A boat expedition from the USS Commodore Perry ascended Chuckatuck Creek late at night to capture Confederate troops and took 20 prisoners. //// MARCH 31ST, 1864: The USS Sagamore destroyed two blockade-running schooners near Cedar Keys, Florida. //// --Old B-Runner

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Low Water on Red River Causing Porter Problems

MARCH 29TH, 1864: The low level of the Red River continued to hinder Admiral Porter's efforts to get his gunboats above the rapids at Alexandria, Louisiana, for the assault on Shreveport. //// He reported: "After a great deal of labor and two and a half day's hard work, we succeeded in getting the Eastport over the rocks on the falls, hauling her over by main force...." All the transports got above the rapids, but the hospital ship Woodford was battered against the rocks and sank. //// --Old B-R'er

150 Years Ago-- March 28th-29th, 1864

MARCH 28TH, 1864: Secretary Welles ordered Commander John C. Carter to have the USS Michigan "prepared for active service as soon as the ice will permit." The Michigan was at Erie, Pennsylvania, and it was rumored that the Confederates were planning a naval raid from Canada against a city on the Great Lakes. //// MARCH 29TH, 1864: The CSS Florida, now commanded by Lt. Morris, captured the ship Avon with a cargo of 1600 tons of guano. After removing its crew, Morris used his prize for gunnery practice. I guess he was having problems finding a prize crew for a ship loaded with s___. //// --Old B-Runner

Monday, March 17, 2014

1000th Post

Well, actually, post #1016 as I missed the pointing out the 1000th. This blog grew out of my Saw the Elephant Civil War blog. When I saw that I was writing so many entries on Fort Fisher and the Civil War Navy in it, I decided to branch this blog off it back in 2012. //// Saw the Elephant grew out of my Cooter's History Thing blog which grew out of my Down Da Road I Go blog. //// Around here, one dumb blog leads to another. //// --Old B-Runner

Looking For CSS Neuse Artifacts-- Part 2

From the March 10, 2014, Raleigh (NC) News & Observer "High water delays search for pieces of Civil War ironclad in Kinston." //// A high-tech search for missing pieces of the CSS Neuse was delayed Monday because of high water. State underwater archaeologists want to try again to use their side-scan sonar and magnetometer on Friday. //// They are looking specifically for the ship's anchors, armor plating or anything else from the ship that muight have been lost when it was destroyed. //// The hull of the ship is now enclosed in the CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center in downtown Kinston which opened last year. (Its move there was perhaps the last move that will ever be made by a Confederate ship.) //// People have been searching for lost artifacts from the ship for years. Ghosting pipes have been built on the ship's hull to give museum visitors an idea what the ship appeared like back in 1865. Kinston also had a full-scale CSS Neuse on display downtown as well. //// Worth Visiting. --Old B-R'er

Looking for Parts of the CSS Neuse--- Part 1

From the March 8, 2014, Raleigh (NC) News & Observer "N.C. team to search for Civil War ironclad's artifacts" by Andrew Kenney. //// A 23-foot boat will sweep a half mile stretch of the Neuse River by Kinston with sonar waves and a magnetic-field instrument looking for the CSS Neuse's propeller, cannon, anchor and perhaps some of its iron armor. These items have been lost in the river's mud. //// The search begins almost 149 years to the day after the ship was detsroyed and sunk by Confederates to prevent its capture by advancing Union forces. //// The decision to do the research was decided just this path Wednesday (March 5th) as the Neuse River is running high, some 20 feet deep and 300 feet across due to Spring flooding, Sonar woks better in deeper water. //// Side-scan sonar is used to search underwater shapes and the magnetometer looks for traces of iron. The team expects to report its findings Monday, but any items discovered will remain in place for now. //// Hoping They Find Something They Can Put In That Wonderful New Museum in Kinston. --Old B-R'er

150 Years Ago-- March 24th-25th, 1864: We Need Sailors

MARCH 24TH, 1864: Rear Admiral Porter reported his forces had seized more than 2,000 bales of cotton since beginning the Red River Campaign. //// MARCH 25TH 1864: The USS Peosta and USS Paw Paw engaged Confederate troops attacking Army units at Paducah, Kentucky, forcing them to withdraw. //// More Army-Navy cooperation in that General Gillmore reported that the Army had five steam transports operating in the Port Royal vicinity on picket duty and transports, but didn't have any seafaring officers. He requested Navy officers a to assist the ships. An officer was placed on temporary duty this date. //// Welles called President Lincoln's attention to scarcity of seamen and suggested the transfer of 12,000 soldiers from the Army to Navy. This was later accomplished by a bill sponsored by Senator Grimes of Iowa. //// Major General Banks' Army arrived at Alexandria, Louisiana, a week later than originally planned. The main force of the Red River Campaign was now assembled. --Old B-Runner

Expedition Against Swansboro, NC

MARCH 24TH, 1864: An Army-Navy expedition departed Beaufort, NC, on USS Britannia with 200 soldiers and 50 sailors from the USS Keystone Stae, Florida and Cambridge. The object was to capture or destroy two schooners used in blockade-running at Swansboro, NC, and the capture of Confederate troops on the south end of Bogue Island Banks. //// They arrived off Bogue Island late at night and encountered high winds and heavy seas which prevented landing. On the 25th, a second attempt succeeded, but a group got to Bear Creek where one of the schooners was burned. //// Bad weather continued and the expedition returned, only partially successful. //// -- Old B-R'er

150 Years Ago-- March 21st, 1864: Confederate Cruisers to California

MARXH 21ST, 1864: Confederate forces at Sabine Pass, Texas, destroyed steamer Clifton (ex-USS Clifton captured 9 Sept. 1863) to prevent capture while attempting to run out as a blockade-runner after she grounded and could not be reflaoted. //// Confederate Secretary of Navy Mallory wrote Commander Bulloch in Europe, disagreeing with Bulloch's decision that the Confederacy didn't need any more cruisers since "... there is no longer any American commerce for them to prey opon." Mallory countered: "We have, it is true, inflicted a heavy blow and great discouragement upon the Federal foreign commerece, but the coasting trade and fisheries, embracing the California trade, has suffered but little from our cruisers, and it can and must be struck." //// --Old B-Runner

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The CSS Baltic Is a Mud Scow

MARCH 20TH, 1864: Lt. Simms, CSN, commanding the CSS Baltic, wrote Commander C. ap R. Jones that naval constructor John. L. Porter "has made a very unfavorable report on the condition of the ship and recommended that the iron be taken from her and put upon one of the new boats that were built.... Between you and I the Baltic is rotten as punk and is about as fit to go into action as a mud scow." // By July the Baltic had been dismantled and her armor transferred to the CSS Nashville. //// A mud scow is a boat used for dredging mud. ////A Worthless Ship. --Old B-R'er

150 Years Ago-- March 20th, 1864: Alabama At Capr Town

MARCH 20TH, 1864: The CSS Alabama arrives off Capetown, South Africa. Captain Semmes noted their were no Union cruisers in the area. //// He recalled later: "That huge old coal-box, the Vanderbilt, having thought it was useless to pursue us further, had turned back, and was now probably doing a more profitable business, by picking up blockade-runners on the American coast. This operation paid-- the Captain might grow rich upon it. Chasing the Alabama did not." A little bragging there, Raphael. //// --Old B-Runner

Friday, March 14, 2014

Confederate Preparations For Union Red River Campaign

MARCH 18TH, 1864: Lt. gen. E. Kirby Smith, CSA, ordered steamer New Falls City taken to Scopern's Cut-Off below Shreveport, Louisiana, on the Red River where she was to be sunk as an obstruction. On the 19th, he directed that 30 torpedoes be placed at Grand Ecore. //// The sunken steamer did block the Union gunboats and the USS Eastport was badly damaged by a torpedo (and Selfridge wasn't even on it). //// --Old B-R'er

Union West Indies Squadron

MARCH 16TH, 1864: Rear Admiral James L. Lardner, commander of the West Indies Squadron (and I didn't know there was a West Indies Squadron) ordered the USS Neptune and USS Galatea to convoy California steamers across the Caribbean. //// The California ships often carried much-needed gold for the Union war effort. And, there was a big fear of Confederate cruisers. //// --Old B-Runner

Here Comes the CSS Albemarle

MARCH 16TH, 1864: Lt.Cmdr. Flusser wrote Rear Admiral Lee on Confederate progress on CSS Albemarle on the Roanoke River, NC. The ram was reported to have two layers of iron to be ready to proceed to Williamston on 1 April. //// Flusser wrote again on the 18th, saying he'd heard the Albemarle was to have seven inches of iton plating: "I think the reporters are putting on the iron rather heavy. I am inclined to believe her armor is not more than stated in one of my former letters-- 3 inches." //// The Albemarle actually ended up with two inches. More iron would have been better, but did not happen due to shallow nature of the Roanoke River and difficulty in getting iron plating. Not to mention that Confederate ironclads had poor engines. The more iron, the harder to move them. //// By 24 March, Flusser reported that the Albemarle was at Hamilton and that torpedoes there had been removed so the ship could proceed down the river. //// Here Comes the Albemarle. --Old B=R'er

150 Years Ago-- March 13-16th, 1864: Red River Campaign

I'll be going ahead this month with 150 years ago as I will be out of town most of the rest of the month. //// MARCH 15TH, 1864: Ironclads Benton and Essex remained at Fort De Russy to support the Army detachment destroying the fort. Porter's fleet then convoyed the main part of the Army upriver toward Alexandria, Louisiana. // Three ships went ahead to try to capture fleeing Confederate ships, but arrived too late at the rapids. One Confederate steamer, the Countess, had grounded and was destroyed by its crew. //// MARCH 16TH, 1864: Nine Union vessels arrived at Alexandria by morning and a landing made. Lt.Cmdr. Selfridge in the USS Osage occupied the town prior to the arrival of Porter and the Army. Waited there until Banks' Army arrived, delayed by rain. //// --Old B-Runner

Fort Fisher #7, Fort Macon #4 in NC Tourism

From the Feb. 24, 2014, Yahoo! Finance "Biltmore Top NC Museum and Historic Attraction." The results are in for 2013. #1 in state attractions was Biltmore, the largest privately-owned home in the United States with 1,210,000 visitors. //// #2. NC Museum of Natural Sciences with 1,026,000 //// #3. NC Zoo with 740,000 //// #4. Fort Macon with 722,000 //// #5. Charlotte Discovery Place with 706,000 //// Fort Fisher was #7 with 448,000 and #20 was the Battleship USS North Carolina with 212,000. //// Seeing That Stuff in the Old North State. --Old B-R'er

Camp Lejeune Marines Retrace Army's Approach on Fort Fisher in 1865

From the Feb. 27, 2014, WECT 6, Wilmington, NC. //// Marines from Camp lejeune took a march back through history when they marched nine miles from Carolina Beach, NC, through Kure Beach and on to Fort Fisher, taking the same route as Union troops back January 13-15, 1865, in the Second Battle of Fort Fisher. //// Today, that route follows Old Dow Road, Harper Avenue and Lake Point Boulevard. //// And, I'm sure some of it was along US-421, which has a terminus at the Rocks by Battery Buchanan. //// And, we still have no idea why General Bragg did not attempt to attack them. //// --Old B-Runner

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

150 Years Ago-- March 12th, 1864: Red River Campaign Kicks Off

MARCH 12TH, 1864: Rear Admiral Porter's fleet moved up the Red River, Louisiana, intending to get across the border into Texas. Obstructions were removed below Fort De Russy. The next morning, March 13th, soldiers disembarked and chased Confederates back into the fort. Fort De Russy was captured on the 14th. //// The USS Columbine, supporting an Army movement up the St. John's River, Florida, captured the Confederate river steamer General Sumter. The expedition proceeded all the way to Palatka. //// --Old B-Runner

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

150 Years Ago-- March 11th, 1864: Good Day for the USS Beauregard

MARCH 11TH, 1864: Earlier in the day, boats from the USS Beauregard and Norfolk Packet seized the British schooner Linda at Mosquito Inlet, Florida, with cargo of salt, liquor and coffee. Later, the Beauregard captured blockade-running British sloop Hannah off Mosquito Inlet with cargo of cotton cloth. Oh Boy!! Prize Money!! //// USS Aroostock captured British schooner Mary P. Burton in the Gulf of Mexico off Velasco, Texas. //// USS San Jacinto captured schooner Lealtad which had run the bklockade at Mobile with cargo of cotton and turpentine. //// The schooner Julia Baker was boarded by Confederates near Newport News, Virginia. After taking $2,500 in cash and capturing the master and five men, the boarders burned the schooner. //// Lots Going On. --Old B-Runner

Monday, March 10, 2014

150 Years Ago-- March 9th-10th, 1864

MARCH 9TH, 1864: A joint Army Navy expeditionup the York and Mattapony Rivers in Virginia. // USS Yankee reconnoitered the Rappahannock River to within a mile of Urbana, Virginia. //// MARCH 10TH, 1864: Confederate steamer Helen (formerly CSS Juno), under Lt. Philip Porcher, CSN, was lost at sea in a gale while running cotton from Charleston to Nassau. Secretary Mallory wrote that the loss of Porcher was a big one. // USS Virginia captured schooner Sylphide off San Luis Pass, Texas, with cargo of percussion caps. //// --Old B-R'er

150 Years Ago-- March 9th, 1864: Confederate Secret Service

MARCH 9TH, 1864: Confederate Secretary of War James A. Seddon, authorized Thomas E. Courtenay to employ "a band of men, not exceeding twenty-five in number, for secret service against the enemy.... For destruction of property of the enemy or injury done, a percentage shall be paid in 4 per cent bonds, in no case to exceed 50 percent of the loss to the enemy, and to be awarded bu such officer or officers as shall be charged with such duty.... The waters and railroads of the Confederate States used by the enemy are properly the subjects and arenas of operations...." Courtenay had aided in the development of the coal torpedoes. //// --Old B-Runner

Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Selfridge Curse Strikes Again-- Part 2

MARCH 8TH, 1864: Thomas O. Selfridge had been aboard the USS Cumberland during her engagement with the CSS Virginia at Hampton Roads on 8 March 1862, which resulted in her sinking and had commanded the USS Cairo when she struck a torpedo and sank instantly in the Yazoo River on 12 December 1862. //// Rear Admiral Porter, upon hearing of his young officer's latest mishap, replied: "Well, Selfridge, you do not seem to have much luck with the top of the alphabet. I think that for your next shop I will try the bottom." //// Selfrisge's next command was the paddle wheel monitor USS Osage and after it grounded (but did not sink) in the Red River, he went on to command the new gunboat USS Vindicator-- even further down the alphabet. Of interest, the USS Osage also sank, but Selfridge was not in command at the time. (Must have been a curse carry-over.) //// Good thing that Selfridge obviously was a favorite of Porter. //// It's Who You Know Sometimes. --Old B-Runner

Ther Selfridge Curse Strikes Again: He Loses Another Ship March 8, 1864-- Part 1

MARCH 8TH, 1864: The USS Conestoga, Lt. Cmdr. Thomas O. Selfridge, was rammed by the USS General Price about ten miles below Grand Gulf, Mississippi, and sank in four minutes with the loss of two crew members. The collision resulted from a confusion in whistle signals aboard the General Price. //// Selfridge had the singular bad luck of having ships under his command sink. He commented in his memoirs: "Thus for the third time in the war, I had my ship suddenly sunk under me. It is a strange coincidence that the names of these three ships all begin with the letter 'C'., and that two of these disasters occurred on the 8th day of March; the other on the 12th of December." //// See the next post to find out the other two "C" ships. //// It's Like Deja Vu All Over Again. --Old B-R'er

150 Years Ago-- March 7th-9th, 1864

MARCH 8TH, 1864: The USS Virginia captures blockade-running sloop Randall off San Luis Pass, Texas. //// MARCH 9TH, 1864: Porter directs the USS Benton to advise him as soon as General Sherman's troops were sighted coming downriver in transports. Porter was anxious to get underway and had gathered his gunboats at the mouth of the Red River which included the ironclads Essex, Benton, Choctaw, Chillicothe, Ozark, Louisville, Carondelet, Eastport, Pittsburg, Mound City, Osage, and Neosho and the steamers Lafayette, Quachita, Lexington, Fort Hindman, Cricket and Gazelle. The Red River Campaign is about to kick-off. //// --Old B-Runner

Friday, March 7, 2014

Cushing's Surprise Attack on Fort Johnston Anniversary Commemorated

From the Feb. 26, 2014, State Port Pilot (NC). //// On February 29, 1864, Union Lt. Cmdr. William Cushing with twenty men in two boats, led an expedition from his ship, the USS Monticello, to capture Fort Johnston's commanding officer, General Louis Hebert. //// Fort Johnston was located at Smithville (now Southport) near the mouth of the Cape Fear River leading to Wilmington, NC. Fortunately, for Hebert, he wasn't there or he would have been captured by the daring Cushing. //// The North Carolina Maritime Museum in Southport commemorated this event on its 150th anniversary from 9 to 5 on Feb. 28th. //// Cushing found blockade duty to be tedious and was looking for excitement. The museum and Chris Fonvielle have developed a new display focusing on the raid. //// --Old B-Runner

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Confederate "David" Attack at Charleston

MARCH 6TH, 1864: A Confederate "David" torpedo boat commanded by First Assistant Engineer Tomb, CSN, attacked the USS Memphis in the North Edisto River near Charleston, SC. //// The "David" was sighted 50 yards to port and a heavy roll of musket fire directed at itm but the ship continued course. The spar torpedo, containing 95 pounds of gunpowder was thrust directly against the Memphis about eight feet below the water, but failed to explode. //// The David backed off and tried again on the other side. Again, it struck home, but only a glancing blow as the Memphis was now underway. //// The two vessels collided with damage to the David. The torpedo again didn't explode and the Memphis was certainly one lucky ship. //// --Old B-R'er

Action Off Wilmington This Date

MARCH 6TH, 1864: The USS Grand Gulf captured the blockade-running British seamer Mary Ann which had run out of Wilmington with cargo of cotton and tobacco. //// The USS Peterhoff was run into by the USS Monticello and sunk off New Inlet, NC. The following day, the USS Mount Vernon destroyed the Peterhoff to prevent possible salvage of the ship by Confederates. //// --Old B-Runner

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

150 Years Ago-- March 5th, 1864: Confederate Attack on Yazoo City

MARCH 5TH, 1864: The USS Petrel and USS Marmora helped drive off Confederates attacking Yazoo City, Mississippi. The ships did their part as well as three sailors ashore who stood by their guns and "are highly spoken of by the Army officers...." //// Old B-Runner

150 Years Ago: March 4th, 1864: The Blockade-Runner Don Seized Off Wilmington

MARCH 4TH, 1864: The USS Pequotseized blockade-running steamer Don east of Fort Fisher, North Carolina, with cargo including Army shoes, blankets and clothing. //// The ship's commander, Captain Cory,said that during his career he had tried to run into Wilmington nine times but was only successful four times. //// --Old B-R'er

The Strange Case of the CSS Tuscaloosa

MARCH 4TH, 1864: British authorities instructed the Governor of the Capr of Good Hope to restore the CSS Tuscaloosa to the Confederacy. The Tuscaloosa had formerly been the Conrad and had been captured by the CSS Alabama on June 20, 1863, and sent on a cruise under Lt. John Low, CSN. On 26 December, the Tuscaloosa had put into Simon's Bay, Capeof Good Hope after searching for Union merchant ships off Brazil. //// The next day, the governor had had the ship seized for violating the laws of neutrality since it had never been adjucated in prize court. //// Low promptly protested saying the Tuscaloosa had previously entered the harbor in Aigust and taken on supplies and repairs. The governor had done nothing at that time. //// The Tscaloosa, however, was never reclaimedby the South and was eventually turned over to the Union. //// Old B-Runner

Just One North Carolina Wreck in March

From the NC Wreckdiving site. //// MARCH 6, 1864: USS Peterhoff collided with Lt. Cushing's Monticello of the Cape Fear. //// However, during March 1942 there were 24 ships sunk by German U-boats off the North Carolina coast. //// I will be listing them later today on my Tattooed On Your Soul World War II blog. //// --Old B-Runner

Ships Sunk Off the North Carolina Coast During the Civil War in January

From the NC Wreckdiving site. //// B-R stands for Blockade-Runner. //// JANUARY 1865: B-R's Cape Fear and North Heath lost in the Cape Fear River. Probably destroyed after the fall of Wilmington or Fort Fisher. //// During 1864, in the space of seven days, three B-R's were wrecked: Jan. 4th-- Bendigo at Lockwood's Ferry; Jan. 10th-- Vesta at Tubb's Inlet and Jan. 11th-- Ranger at Lockwood's Folly. //// JANUARY 14, 1863: USS Columbia lost in Masonboro Inlet //// JANUARY 15, 1862: City of New York, federal transport, lost off Hatteras //// JANUARY 15, 1865: CSS Tallahassee, near Cape Fear. //// --Old B-Runner

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Farragut Sees the Tennessee and the Alabama Badly Needs repairs

MARCH 2ND, 1864: Admiral Farragut sees the Confederate ironclad CSS Tennessee in Mobile Bay for the first time and describes her as very long and very slow. //// MARCH 4TH, 1864: Captain Semmes of the CSS Alabama, wrote in his journal: "My ship is weary, too, as well as her commander, and will need a general overhauling by the time I can get her into dock. If my poor service shall be deemed of any importance in harrassing and weakening the enemy, and thus contributing to the independence of my beloved South, I shall be amply rewarded." It was this pressing need for repairs that caused the Alabama to engage the USS Kearsarge off Cherbourg, France some three and a half months later. //// --Old B-Runner

Mighty Dumb Blogging On My Part

When I finish typing in the Naval Happenings 150 Years Ago for today in this blog, that will be the third time I typed it!! And, I am definitely not happy about it. //// And, sadly, both times I lost the entries, I was just about finished with them. //// The first time, I accidently hit the dadburn "Escape" key. Gone!! //// Tnen, I retyped it, only to find when I was doing the labels, I was typing it in my Saw the Elephant Blog. //// Some Days, It Just Doesn't Pay to Even Bother. --Old B-Runner

Monday, March 3, 2014

Red River Campaign About to Kick Off

MARCH 2ND, 1864: Rear Admiral Porter arrived off the mouth of the Red river to coordinate movements of the Mississippi Squadron and the Army. A joint expedition up the Red river to Shreveport had been decided on and from there the Army would occupy Texas. //// Ten thousand men from Sherman's Army would rendezvous with Gen. Banks' Army and the gunboats at Alexandria by March 17th. The Navy would provide convoy and gunfire support. //// A problem, however, was noted in how low the river was, but Porter pushed ahead anyway. //// Old B-R'er

Saving the Bombshell

MARCH 1ST-2ND, 1864: At the request of General Wessells, Lt. Cmdr. Flusser, USN, took the double-ender USS Southfield and tinclad Whitehead up the Chowan River, NC, to aid the Army steamer Bombshell which had been cut off by Confederates above Petty Shore. //// Having been warned of torpedoes, Flusser stopped and engaged Confederate shore batteries as night fell, then dropped downriver to await morning. //// On 2 March, the ships kept up a constant bombardment and enabled the Bombshell to dash by later in the day. //// --Old B-Runner

Saturday, March 1, 2014

150 Years Ago-- March 1, 1864: Escape of CSS Florida

MARCH 1ST, 1864: The CSS Florida escaped from Funchal, Madeira, eluding the USS St. Louis. The escape was blamed on the fact that the St. Louis was not a steamer. //// USS Connecticut captured blockade-running British steamer Scotia at sea with cargo of cotton of Cape Fear, NC. //// USS Roebuck had been capturing quite a few blockade-runners in Florida. This date, it seized British steamer Lauretta off Induan River Inlet wit cargo of salt. //// --Old B-R'er

150 Years Ago-- Feb. 29 to March 5th, 1864: Preliminary Red River Campaign Action

FEBRUARY 29TH TO MARCH 5, 1864: Prior to launching the Red River Campaign, Rear Admiral Porter sent a reconnaissance mission under Lt. Cmdr. Ramsay to the Black and Ouachita rivers. The force included the paddle wheel monitor Osage and gunboats Ouachita, Lexington, Fort Hindman, Conestoga and Cricket. //// Met resistance on the Black River March 1st. March 2nd, entered Black River where the Osage's turret was disabled by Confederate artillery. Shelled Harrisonburg, Louisiana, March 2nd and the Fort Hindman took 27 hits and her starboard engine was disabled, forcing the ship to drop back. Ramsay transferred his command to the Ouachita which took three hits but silenced Confederate firing from shore. //// Ramsay proceeded as far as Catahoula Shoals and Bayou Louis without further incident. Reported that the rivers were falling.

Cushing's Raid on Smithville "...the General Was Not In When I Called"

FEBRUARY 29TH, 1864: Two boats from the USS Monticello led by Lt. William B. Cushing, landed at Confederate-held Smithville, NC, at the mouth of the Cape Fear River at night in an attempt to capture General Louis Hebert. //// The daring Cushing and three men made their way to the general's quarters in the middle of town and within fifty yards of the Confederate barracks. Cushing found that the general had gone to Wilmington earlier in the day, but reported to Rear Admiral S.P. Lee: "I send Captain Kelly, C.S. Army, to you, deeply regretting that the general was not in when I called."

Confederate Cruiser CSS Rappahannock Preparing for Sea?

FEBRUARY 29TH, 1864: The U.S. consul at Calaid, France, sent Captain Winslow of the Kearsarge a detailed description of the CSS Rappahannock with the idea that the Confederate ship was planning to begin a cruise on the high seas soon. //// The Rappahannock had been purchased by Commander Matthew Fontaine Maury in 1863 and brought to Calais in November for repairs. //// Late in January, Flag Offiver Barron, CSN, had ordered it to rendezvous with the CSS Georgia to receive the Georgia's guns. The Georgia went to the appointed spot, but the Rappahannock never left Calais, a victim of lack of crew and the French government. It finished her career as a depot for men and supplies in France. //// Old B-Runner