Fort Fisher

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

Friday, January 29, 2016

155 Years Ago: Two More Revenue Cutters Surrendered

JANUARY 30, 1861:  U.S. revenue Cutter Lewis Cass, Captain John J. Morrison, USRM, was surrendered at Mobile to state authorities.

JANUARY 31, 1861:  U.S. Revenue Cutter Washington, Captain Robert K. Hudgins, USRM,  was seized by state authorities at New Orleans while undergoing repairs.

--Old B-R'er

155 Years Ago: Orders to USS Brooklyn and Louisiana Secedes

JANUARY 29, 1861:  The secretaries of the Navy and War ordered the Marines and troops on board the USS Brooklyn, Captain Walker, en route to Pensacola, not to be landed to reinforce Fort Pickens unless it was under attack by Confederates.

Louisiana, having passed the ordinance of secession on 26 January, Secretary of the Treasury John A. Dix wired Agent William H. Jones at New Orleans ordering him not to surrender the U.S. Revenue Cutter there and to defend the American flag with force if necessary.

The revenue Cutter Robert McClelland surrendered by Captain John G. Bushrod, USRM, to Louisiana authorities despite contrary command by Agent Jones.

--Old B-Runner

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Civil War History Signs in Wilmington, N.C.-- Part 1

From the Jan. 13, 2015, Wilmington (N.C.) Star News "9 local signs of Civil War history" by Ben Steelman.

Here is a list of nine Civil War-related North Carolina Historical highway markers around town.

1.  WILMINGTON & WELDON RR  (3rd and Brunswick)  Once longest stretch of railroad in the world.  "Lifeline of the Confederacy" linked port of Wilmington to Confederate capital Richmond.

2.  STATE SALT WORKS  (S. College Rd. and Mohican Trail)  To combat a salt shrtage, N.C.'s state government operated a large salt works- evaporating salt from sea water- using a furnace-- along Myrtle Grove Sound.  The tradition inspired the name of The Salt Works restaurant.

--Old B-R'er


155 Years Ago: "A Bloody Conflict Seems Inevitable"

JANUARY 28, 1861:  Stephen R. Mallory, later Confederate Secretary of the Navy, hearing that the USS Brooklyn, Captain William S. Walker, was en route to reinforce Fort Pickens at Pensacola, wired John Slidell that, if attempted, "resistance and a bloody conflict seems inevitable."

--Old B-Runner

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Albemarle's 6.4-Inch Brooke Rifle

From the CS Navy.org site.

An existing 6.4-inch double-banded Brooke Rifle from the CSS Albemarle (the ship mounted two of them) was made at Tredegar Foundry in Richmond, Virginia.  It was serial number 1854-- Year 1863.

Its weight was 10,420 lbs and was inspected by ADB (Lt. Aleaxander M. DeBree, Asst. Inspector of Ordnance, Richmond ordnance Works.)

Nine 6.4-inch Brooke Rifles still survive.  Four are from the CSS Tennessee and one from the CSS Albemarle.

--Old B-R'er

CSS Albemarle After Sinking

From Wikipedia.

The CSS Albemarle remained sunk in the Roanoke River until after the fall of Plymouth, North Carolina.  The U.S. Navy then raised it and temporarily hull-patched the ship.  Near the end of the war, it was towed by the USS Ceres to Norfolk Navy Yard in Virginia.

The Albemarle arrived there 27 April 1865.  On 7 June orders were received to repair her hull and she entered dry dock. Work on that was completed 14 August 1865.  Two weeks later the ram was condemned by the Washington , D.C. prize court.

The ship was then placed in ordinary and never saw Navy service.  It was sold at public auction on 15 October 1867 to J.N. Leonard & Co. and later probably scrapped for salvage.

--Old B-Runner

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Civil War Quiz Bowl in Fayetteville, N.C.

From the Jan. 15, 2016, Fayetteville (NC) Observer "Quiz Bowl tests Civil War knowledge Jan. 28."

The Museum of the Cape Fear in Fayetteville, N.C. will be hosting its 15th annual Civil War Quiz Bowl Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. in the Pate Room.

Contestants will be able to choose from 14 categories and host and Quiz Bowl founder Jim Greathouse will be asking the questions.

Categories include: 1861, 1862, 1863, 1864, 1865, Literature, From Fayetteville to Durham's Station, True or False, Mixed Bag, Multiple Choice, Who Am I?, North Carolina's Story, Chronology and Aye Aye Capt'in.

It is open for up to 20 contestants.

--Old B-R'er

The 3/8 Scale CSS Albemarle

The State of North Carolina is home to two recreated models of Confederate ironclads, sister ships CSS Albemarle and CSS Neuse II.  The Neuse is a full-sized model but on land.

The replica CSS Albemarle is a 3/8 scale, 63-foot ship that is able to move under its own power and is anchored at Port O' Plymouth Museum in Plymouth.  (The Neuse is at Kinston along with the remains of the hull of the original.)

The new Albemarle was built in 2002 and is self-powered.

Each year it is taken out during the Living History Weekend held the last weekend in every April.

--Old B-IronRunner

Monday, January 25, 2016

Prize Court Adjudication of Confederate Ram Albemarle

Ship Type:  Ram
Prize Name:  Albemarle

Gross Proceeds:  $79,944
Costs and Expenses:  $2,645.30

Amount for Distribution:  $77,298.70
Where Adjudicated:  Washington

Sent to 4th Auditor for Distribution:  23 August 1865
Vessels Entitled to Shares:  Lt. Cmdr. Cushing and party.

Cushing Made a Lot of Money.  --Old B-R'er

155 Years Ago: Southern Officers Resigning from U.S. Navy

JANUARY 25, 1861:  Captain Samuel F. Du Pont wrote to Commander Andrew Hull Foote about the number of naval officers resigning their commissions to go to their home states in the South.  "What made me most sick at heart, is the resignations from the Navy...I [have been] nurtured, fed and clothed by the general government for over forty years, paid whether employed or not, and for what--why to stand by the country, whether assailed by enemies from without or foes within--my oath declared 'allegiance to the United States' as well as to support the Constitution...

"I stick by the flag and the national government as long as we have one, whether my state does or not and she knows it."

--Old B-Runner

Friday, January 22, 2016

155 Years Ago: Fear of Possible Attack on Washington Navy Yard

JANUARY 23, 1861:  Commander John A. Dahlgren noted that as a precaution against an attack on the Washington Navy Yard, he had the cannon and the ammunition from the Yard magazine removed to the attic of the main building.

--Old B-R'er

155 Years Ago: Georgia Guns Seized in New York

JANUARY 22, 1861:  Guns and ammunition sold to and destined for Georgia were seized by New York authorities.  This action was protested by Georgia Governor Joseph E. Brown in a letter to New York Governor Edwin Morgan.

In retaliation, Governor Brown seized northern ships at Savannah on 8 and 21 February 1861.

Marine Guard at Brooklyn Navy Yard put under arms as a precaution against difficulty with Confederate sympathizers.

--Old B-Runner

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Some More on the USS/CSS Arctic-- Part 4

Historical Notes on the ship.

1855  Named Arctic by the U.S. Navy to serve in the polar expedition of Dr. Elisha Ken Kane.  Returned and machinery taken off and sold to U.S. Lighthouse service.

1860  Arrived at Smithville, N.C. (now Southport) for use as a relief vessel.

1860  Seized by Confederates and sunk in the Cape Fear River.  (The date here should be 1861 for seizure.  Most likely it was sunk in the Cape Fear River in January 1865 after the fall of Fort Fisher.)

1866   Raised and repaired

1867   May 4 assigned to Hen and Chickens Shoal, Massachusetts

1875   Dragged off station by ice.

1876   April  Broke adrift in a heavy gale.

1877  Assigned as relief at Woods Hole, Mass.

--Old B-R'er


Hen and Chickens Shoal, Massachusetts

The Lightship LV-8 was posted for most of its active career as a lightship at Hen and Chickens Shoal in Massachusetts.

The shoal is located one mile south of Hen and Chickens Reef and two miles off Horseneck Beach about 3.7 miles from Cuttyhunk Lighthouse.

These are near Westport, Massachusetts in the southwest corner of the state's coastline.

Lightship service was discontinued in 1954 after having buoys placed.

--Old B-Runner

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Some More on the USS/CSS Arctic-- Part 3: Service Assignments

Service Assignments

1860--  Frying Pan Shoals, North Carolina.  Arrived at Smithville (at the mouth of the Cape Fear River leading to Wilmington) on May 14, 1860 for use as a relief vessel.  When the state seceded, it was seized by Confederates.  According to this source, it seems that the ship was sunk in the same year, but I think most likely it was sunk at some point during the attacks on Fort fisher in late 1864, early 1865.

It was later raised, repaired and towed north by the tender Iris in 1866.

From 1867 to 1877 it was lightship LV-8 at Hen and Chickens, Massachusetts.

From 1877 to 1879 it was a Relief in Massachusetts.  I'm thinking this to be use as a relief ship.

--Old B-Runner

Some More About the USS/CSS Arctic-- Part 2: LV-8

From the U.S. Coast Guard Lightship site.

The Arctic was built 1853-1855 for $10,000.  It was wood frame and planked and fitted to lightship use in 1859.

The ship was 98 feet long and had a beam of 23.6 feet.  Draft was 11.6 feet and 232 tons.  Propulsion was steam, but machinery removed by the U.S. Navy prior to sale to U.S. Light House Service.  It was converted to schooner rigging when modified.

Illumination apparatus consisted of a single lantern on the mainmast which had eight lard oil lamps with reflectors.

--Old B-R'er

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Some More on the USS/CSS Arctic-- Part 1

From America's Lighthouses by Francis Ross Holland.

The Arctic was seized and sunk in the Cape Fear River where it remained until the end of the war.  After the war, it was raised, repaired and refitted for further lightship duty.

In 1867, it was stationed at Hen and Chicks Shoals off Massachusetts for nine years.  It was found to be "old and worn out" and not worth repair and removed from service in 1876.  It was sold at public auction three years later.

--Old B-Runner

Monday, January 18, 2016

USS Arctic-- Part 2: Service Before the Civil War

Continued from Jan. 8, 2016.  This is continuing with the story of the CSS Arctic, located at Wilmington, N.C., during the war.

In July 1856, the USS Arctic put to sea to make depth soundings in preparation for the laying of the first transatlantic cable.  Late in the month the Arctic was at St. John's, Newfoundland and 23 August 1856, was at Queenstown (now Cobh) in Ireland.

After completion of this, it was commissioned into the Coast Survey and in 1857 and early 1858 made further cable soundings in the Atlantic Ocean.

Recommissioned into the U.S. navy, from May to July 1858 was part of the American squadron off Cuba protecting American ships from British ships using their "right of search and seizure."

In early 1859, the Arctic's propulsion machinery was removed and the ship was turned over to the U.S. Lighthouse Board as a lightship.  It was placed off the coast of North Carolina where it was captured by Confederate forces and turned into a warship.

After the war, it was raised and repaired and served another career as a lightship before being sold at public auction 16 April 1879.

--Old B-R'er

155 Years Ago: Confederates Seize Lighthouse Tender and Ship Island

JANUARY 18TH, 1861--  Confederates seize  U.S. lighthouse tender Alert at Mobile.

JANUARY 20TH, 1861--  The fort on Ship island, Mississippi, seized by Confederates;  Ship Island was a key base for operations in the Gulf of mexico and at the mouth of the Mississippi River.

--Old B-Runner

Friday, January 15, 2016

Fort Fisher 151st Commemoration Jan. 16-- Part 2

Saturday, january 16, volunteer re-enactors will set up camps, have infantry drills and discuss soldier life.

The fort's 32-pdr., 12-pdr. Napoleon and 10-pdr. Parrott Rifle cannons will be fired several times.

Youngsters can participate in the program "Attention, Cannoneers" and get to see how artillery works by using water balloons.

The fort's new temporary exhibit for the 72 Union soldiers, sailors and Marines who received Medals of Honor in the battle will also be opened.  It will have five actual Medals of Honors given to them that were not presented to them.

Speakers will be David Meiskey who will talk about Confederate currency and Richard Triebe who will discuss the fate of the Confederates taken prisoner at Fort fisher.  many of them died in the few months remaining in the war.

The whole event is made possible by The Friends of Fort Fisher.

--Old B-Runner

Fort Fisher Anniversary Commemoration Tomorrow-- Part 1

Today marks the 151st anniversary of the fall of Fort Fisher and closing of the Confederacy's last port open to outside trade, Wilmington, North Carolina.

Last year, the Fort Fisher State Historic Site put on a huge commemoration, drawing the biggest crowds ever.  This year's, however, will be much moire subdued.

The site expects between 2,000 and 3,000 people to attend (down from the 22,000 who came to last year's event which was over two days)  Attendance usually spikes every five years for one of the big anniversaries when the call is put out for re-enactors and many participate).

--Old B-R'er

155 Years Ago: Fort Washington Essentially Defenseless

JANUARY 16TH, 1861:  Captain Taylor, USMC, commanding Fort Washington, wrote Colonel John Harris, Marine Corps Commandant, regarding the "defenseless and pregnable condition" of the fort.  Taylor requested reinforcements, commenting that he did "not wish to be placed in a position to detract from the high character of my corps."

Fort Washington was Washington, D.C.'s major defense on the Potomac River.

--Old B-Runner

Thursday, January 14, 2016

155 Years Ago: S.C. Declares Fort Sumter Reinforcing Act of War

JANUARY 14, 1861:  South Carolina legislature declared that any attempt to reinforce Fort Sumter would be an act of war.

--Old B-Runner

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Maine's Fort Scammell-- Part 2

From Forts of Maine: Silent Sentinels of the Pine Tree State.

There is some question as to whether or not cannon shots were actually fired from the fort during the War of 1812.  But an article in a period Boston paper mentions that in August 1813 the fort fired on a British privateer lurking outside Portland Harbor.

Thomas Lincoln Casey also worked on Fort Gorges and Fort Preble in Portland, Maine.

During the Spanish-American War, six 15-inch Rodman guns were mounted at Fort Scammell and it also became a center for laying mines.

During World War I, anti-aircraft gun emplacements were built.

House Island, on which Fort Scammell is located, became a transfer area for local run runners.

--Old B-Runner


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Friends of Fort Fisher Meet This Saturday for 151st Anniversary

From the Friends of Fort Fisher (FoFF) (which I belong to).

The FoFF will be hosting "Descendants and friends Member program" on the morning of January 16, 2016, at Carolina Beach Courtyard by Marriott Hotel.

Featured speaker will be historian and author of "Confederate Goliath: Fort Fisher" Rod Gragg who will share personal stories of soldiers, sailors and Marines on both sides during the battle.  he wrote the first major book on the battle.

Also, Diane Richard, a professional genealogist, who was recently featured on the TLC show "Who Do You  Think You Are?" will speak on researching Civil War records.

Following the meeting, the FoFF will have their annual meeting.

They have special rates at the hotel for $69.

After that, everyone will move to the Fort Fisher site in the afternoon.  The site will be hosting the 151st anniversary observance of the fall of the fort from 10 to 5.

From 1 to 1:30 p.m./, a dedication ceremony for the new Fort Fisher Medal of Honor exhibit will take place.

I Sure Would Have Liked to Be there.  --Old B-Rer

155 Years Ago: Confederate Seize Pensacola Navy Yard

JANUARY 12, 1865:  Fort Barrancas and the Pensacola Navy Yard, Captain James Armstrong, USN, were seized by the Florida and Alabama militia.  Union troops escaped across the bay to Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Island, a position which remained in Union hands throughout the war.

--Old B-Runner

Monday, January 11, 2016

Maine's Fort Scammell-- Part 1

I have been writing about this fort in my War of 1812 blog, but its use continued into the Civil War and beyond.

From Fort Wiki.

This fort was built to protect Portland, Maine.

During the Civil War, stone bastions were erected on the east and west sides of the island with major earthworks connecting them.  It was to mount 71 guns, including seven mortars, but the post was never fully armed or garrisoned.

Work continued after the war and modifications were made to mount 10-inch and 15-inch Rodman cannons.

A funding freeze in the 1870s stopped work altogether.  By 1903 Fort Scammell was listed as unarmed and not garrisoned.

Two 3-inch anti-aircraft guns were put in place in 1917, but it is not known whether they were ever employed.

--Old B-R'er

155 Years Ago: U.S. Marine Hospital Occupied

JANUARY 11, 1861:  U.S. Marine Hospital two miles below New Orleans was occupied by Louisiana State troops.

(This was not a Marine Corps hospital as I initially thought.  It was for seamen.

--Old B-Runner

Friday, January 8, 2016

USS Arctic-- Part 1: Looking for Kane

From Wikipedia.

Not much in Wiki about the CSS Arctic, but a lot about the USS Arctic.

Steamer 125 tons, 172 feet long, 24 foot beam and mounted one 12-pdr. cannon.In the U.S. Navy 1855-1856 and 1858-1859.  Also a U.S. Coast Survey ship and lightship for the U.S. Lighthouse Board from 1859-1879.

Constructed by the Philadelphia Navy Yard in 1855 and commissioned for the purpose of rescuing the Arctic Expedition of Elisha K. Kane.  It put to sea with the USS Release on 4 June 1855 and found Kane and his men at Diska Island in Baffin Bay on the west coast of Greenland.  They had survived and 84-day journey across pack ice and open water in open boats.

The two ships returned to the U.S. in Autumn 1855.

--Old B-Runner

155 Years Ago: Star of the West Fired On

JANUARY 9TH, 1861--  U.S. steamer Star of the West, Captain McGowan, was fired on by Confederate troops from Morris Island and Fort Moultrie as she attempted to enter Charleston Harbor, S.C..  Cadets from the Citadel took part in this action  Fort Sumter was not relieved.  These were the first Confederate shots fired at a vessel flying the United States flag.  The Star of the West returned to to New York.

**  Thirty Marines from the Washington Navy Yard under First Lt. Andrew J. Hays, USMC, garrisoned Fort McHenry, Baltimore, until U.S. Army troops could relieve them.

JANUARY 10TH, 1865--  Forts Jackson and St. Philip, Mississippi River, Louisiana, were seized by Louisiana State troops.

--Old B-R'er

Taking Most Saturdays Off This Year

I spend way too much time on these seven blogs and, in the past, have placed posts six times a week.  Sundays were my day off.

This year I will also not post on most Saturdays, unless it falls on or near the beginning of each month.

--Old B-Runner

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Numbering the Light Vessels

Vessels in the Lighthouse Service (LHS) were given letter designations to identify individual ships.  The first series went from the letters A-Z.  The second series went AA-ZZ.

Then the numbering system was changed and ships given the letter-number combination LV-1, LV-2.The Arctic was formerly the U.S. Navy Ship "D" when stationed off Frying Pan Shoals before the war.

After the war, it became LV-8 and was stationed off Hens and Chickens and then off Relief.

--Old B-R'er


Lightships Off the Southern Coast

From Civil War Talk by Bil R.

The Confederates seized Union light vessels to prevent the Federals from using them.

Before the war, there were 24 stations in Southern waters maintained by light stations.

Southern Station names were:  Willoughby's Spot, York Spit, Wolf Trap, Wind Mill Point, Bowler's Rock, Smith Point, Lower Cedar Point, Roanoke River, Roanoke Island, Long Shoal, Royal Shoal, Harbor island, Brant island Shoal, Neuse River, Frying Pan Shoal (by Wilmington, the Arctic's station), Horseshoe Shoal, Rattlesnake Shoal, Combahee Bank, Martin's Industry, Calibouge Sound, Tybee Island Knoll, Dames Point, Merrill's Shell Bank and Galveston.

Ship names included Spencer, Legare, McLane and Arctic.

--Old B-Runner


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

CSS Arctic-- Part 7: Scuttled, Raised, Becomes a Lightship Again

In early 1865, the CSS Arctic was scuttled, but not destroyed, to prevent capture by Union forces after the fall of Fort Fisher.

After the war, the wreck was raised and found to be structurally sound and again outfitted as a lightship and continued to serve for many years using its original name

Comments on Civil War Talk.

One person not sure where it was moored.  Perhaps near Fort Caswell.

Someone else had a picture of the USS Arctic from the Illustrated London News from the late 1850s with the caption "The American Steam ship 'Arctic' employed in sounding for the Atlantic Telegraph."

--Old B-R'er

CSS Arctic-- Part 6: USS Arctic to CSS Arctic

From 1858-1859, the USS Arctic was taken out of service and converted back into a lightship at Norfolk and turned over to Lightship Services.  Its engine and boiler were placed in storage.  After Norfolk was seized by Confederates it is possible that they were sent to Wilmington, N.C. for use on an ironclad.

Now as the Lightship Arctic, it was placed in service off Wilmington where it too was seized by Confederates in 1861 and converted into a floating battery/guard ship and became the CSS Arctic.  It is possible that the original sheet iron on its hull was still in place which might be why some classified it as an ironclad floating battery.  However, sheet iron wouldn't help much in stopping a shell.

It is also possible that more sheet iron was placed on the hull.

It likely also had three cannons arranged along center pivots in open mounts.

--Old B-Runner

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

155 Years Ago: Star of the West Departs New York for Fort Sumter Relief, Arming Fort Washington, Fort Morgan Seized

155 Years Ago.

JANUARY 5TH, 1861:  The U.S. steamer Star of the West, Captain John McGowan, USRM, , departed New York wit an Army detachment for the relief of Fort Sumter, Charles Harbor, S.C..

Secretary of the Navy Toucey ordered Fort Washington on the Maryland side of the Potomac River garrisoned  "to protect public property."  Forty Marines from Washington Navy Yard under Captain Algeron S. Taylor, USMC, were sent to the fort, a vital link to the defense of the nation's capital.

Fort Morgan, at the entrance to Mobile Bay, Alabama, was seized and garrisoned by Alabama militia.

--Old B-R'er

Picking Up on the Naval War, 155 Years Ago

I will begin using the Civil War Naval Chronology book today.

I will enter the events as close to the day it happened as possible and continue it to 1863.

--Old B-Runner

Monday, January 4, 2016

CSS Arctic-- Part 5: Background on the Franklin Expedition

The USS Arctic was bought by the U.S. Navy specifically for use in the continuing search for the Sir John Franklin lost Arctic expedition.

From Wikipedia.

The Franklin expedition was a British voyage of Arctic exploration led by Captain Sir John Franklin in 1845.  Franklin had been on three previous Arctic explorations, looking for the Northwest Passage through the Canadian Arctic.

His two ships became ice bound in Victoria Strait near King William Island.

Every member of the expedition, including Franklin perished (129 men).

There were many expeditions sent out to look for him back then and they have continued to this day.

A famous American, Elisha Kane, an explored and U.S. Navy medical officer,  led the second Grinnel Expedition in 1853, the one the Arctic accompanied.  They did not find Franklin.

Of interest, when Kane died in Cuba in 1857, his body was taken to New Orleans and placed on a funeral train that was met at nearly every platform on the way by a memorial delegations.  It was said to be the longest funeral train in the United States during the 19th-century except for that of Lincoln.

--Old B-R'er

CSS Arctic-- Part 4: Looking for Arctic Explorer John Franklin

Continued from December 24, 2015.

There is some confusion as to whether the CSS Arctic was the USS Arctic, a lightship.

In 1854, the U.S. Navy authorized a search mission for the Franklin.  A strong, stout ship was needed which could be modified for use in far north waters.  They found a lightship under construction in Philadelphia and believed it was just what they needed.  They named it the USS Arctic.

The engines were intended for a tugboat and sheet iron was placed on the hull for protection against ice.  (This could be a reason why some sources list the CSS Arctic as an ironclad.)

The Kane Mission returned without find the Franklin and the USS Arctic was laid up.  It was then fitted out for cable laying and coastal survey work.

--Old B-Runner

Saturday, January 2, 2016

New Year Hikes at Fort Fisher and Carolina Beach State Park

From the Jan. 1, 2016, WECT NBC TV (Wilmington, N.C.)  "NC parks celebrate centennial anniversary with hikes" by Brandon Joyner.

Walks were held at 46 sites across the state to celebrate the beginning of the North Carolina State Parks' 100th anniversary.

At Fort Fisher, Park Trooper  Patrick Amico guided one for two miles from the Visitors Center to an observation deck and back.

Further to the north, another two mile hike took place at Carolina Beach State Park from the Marina Trailhead to Sugarloaf Dune and back.  Sugarloaf Dune was the site of a major Confederate camp during the war.

--Old B-R'er

December 1860: Anderson Removes Troops to Fort Sumter

DECEMBER 26TH, 1860:  Following the secession of South Carolina (Dec. 20) Major Robert Anderson removed his garrison from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter, on an island in Charleston Harbor for easier defense.

This created special need for sea-borne reinforcements of troops and supplies.

DECEMBER 27TH, 1860:  U.S. Revenue Cutter Aiken was surrendered to South Carolina authorities.

--Old B-Runner

Friday, January 1, 2016

November 1860: Securing Key West

NOVEMBER 15, 1860:  Lieutenant Thomas A. Craven, Commanding U.S. Naval Forces at Key West, notified Secretary of Navy Isaac Toucey that due to "the present deplorable condition of affairs in the Southern States" he had moved to prevent the seizure "by any bands of lawless men" of Forts Taylor and Jefferson.

Craven, on the USS Mohawk, defended Fort Jefferson and Lieutenant Fabius Stanly, USS Wyandotte, held Fort Taylor.  Fort Jefferson was located a ways from Key West on Fry Tortugas Key.  Fort Taylor was in Key West.

The far-sighted action on the part of Craven, who distinguished himself throughout the war, enabled the Union to retain the vital Key West posts, the importance of which, Craven noted "can not be overestimated, commanding as they do the commerce of the Gulf of Mexico."

--Old B-R'er

November 1860: Building Up the Navy

NOVEMBER, 1, 1860:  The United States Navy planned to convert seven sailing ships into steam ships of war at a cost of $3,064,000.

War clouds on the horizon.

--Old B-Runner

Actually, I've Decided to Go Back and Start at the Beginning of the Civil War Naval Chronology Book

The Civil War Naval Chronology (CWNC) book actually started with a couple items from 1860 and then picked up regularly in 1861.  I have decided to go back and start the CWNC from the beginning as we are now in the 155th anniversary of the war.

So, here goes a lot more typing.

--Old B-R'er

Reached the End of the Civil War Naval Chronology

Yesterdays posts marked the end of the "Civil War Naval Chronology" book that I have been using for the past three years.  It ends with December 1865, but I would have liked to have had it continue through the wind-down of the Union Navy at the end of the war.  That would be a good subject for a book.

When I broke this blog off from my "Saw the Elephant Civil War" blog I did not use this book at first.  But after awhile, I thought it would be interesting to occasionally take a look at what was happening in navy history back 150 years ago because of the sesquicentennial.

At first, it was to just be covering the big things, but as I read it on a daily basis, it became apparent that there were so many overlooked and minor aspects to the Navy's role on both sides during the war, I decided to write about every one of them and to do it in newspaper-style with headlines and occasional comments.

There are a lot of sites where you can get the information, or better yet, buy the book, which I have.  It is a very heavy and massive book.  This book belongs in any serious Civil War naval library.

--Old B-Runner