Fort Fisher

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

Monday, February 29, 2016

Benjamin F. Sands, USN-- Part 1: Much Survey Work

From Wikipedia.

February 11, 1811 to June 30, 1883.  Rear Admiral.  Born in Baltimore, appointed midshipman in April 1828.  By 1834 had served in the Mediterranean and West Indies squadrons.

In 1834 to 1841, he was involved with the coastal survey of the United States.

During the Mexican War he was with the Home squadron and served off Tabasco and Tuxpan on the brig USS Washington.  In 1850 he commanded the steamship Walker in the Gulf of Mexico.  He also invented a sounding apparatus and other hydrographic instruments.

In 1861 he was serving on the West Coast doing survey work and commanding the Active.

Friday, February 26, 2016

155 Years Ago: More Ships for the Union Navy

FEBRUARY 27TH, 1865:  The U.S. Congress authorized construction of seven steam sloops to augment existing naval strength.  Gideon Welles, soon to Secretary of the Navy, noted, "for steam as well as heavy ordnance, has become an indispensable element of the most efficient naval power."

--Old B-R'er

Captain (Later Rear Admiral) Benjamin F. Sands-- Part 1: Some Confusion

From Wikipedia.

Yesterday I posted about coming across a photograph taken in the 1870s-1880s of a naval officer with the inscription "Sanders, Adm. B.T. U.S.N.. Active at Fort Fisher, N.C.."  I am really interested in any and all things dealing with Fort Fisher so wanted to know more.

But I was unable to find any information on him.  I went to the Civil War Talk site and asked if someone knew who this man was.  I found out his real name was Benjamin F. Sands.  Then, I found a photo of him which was the same one I had seen.

So the problem was that someone had given the wrong name.

That's the Guy!!  --Old B-Runner

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Who Was Admiral B.T. Sanders, USN?

A couple nights ago, while perusing eBay, I came across a couple places where they had the photograph of an older man with full beard and the caption "Sanders, Admiral, B.T., U.S.N., Active at Fort Fisher, N.C.."  I have never heard of such a person and looked around but could not find any mention of him, either in the Navy or at Fort Fisher.

Just Wonderin'.  --Old B-Runner

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Was the Fort in Last Night's "NCIS: New Orleans" Show Fort Jackson or Fort St. Phillip?

Last night, February 23, 2016, "NCIS: New Orleans, Second Chance" the good agents raided a drug-making operation at what was called an old Confederate fort which they located on an aerial map.  It was by a river and the boss said Confederates had built forts for the protection of New Orleans during the war.

It was a large fort and one made of bricks and other masonry, but somewhat in ruins, and, of course, since drugs were being made there, largely inaccessible and obviously not open to the public.

I have to wonder if the drug fort was either Fort Jackson or Fort St. Phillip, downriver from the city?

Just Wonderin'.  --Old B-Runner

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

CSS Georgia Salvage Team Receives Award

From the Feb. 19, 2016, Virginia-Pilot "Norfolk-based Navy dive team that salvaged Confederate ship receive superior performance award" by Courtney Mabeus.

The Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit Two, based at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, that salvaged the CSS Georgia was honored in a change of command ceremony.  They received the Battle "E" Award for continued performance and readiness.

Commander William C. Wirtz took over command of the unit from Cmdr. Jeffrey Morgan Thaler.

--Old B-R'er

The New York Times Reports Early News of Fort Macon's Surrender: A Question of Conditionality

From the May 3, 1862, New York Times "The Surrender of the Fort Macon Garrison."

"[???] The only accounts thus far received from Fort Macon trickle through rebel channels.  There is enough, however, to discredit the statement that the surrender was conditional.  When the rebel rag was hauled down, the Fort, we are told, was wholly [???] and its garrison at the mercy of our forces.

"There was not the slightest ground for negotiation on the part of the National commander.  It will require, therefore, something more than rebel authority to satisfy as the Gen [???] with the enemy entirely in his power, [???] so far from the fixed precedents of the war as to make terms with traitors.

"It will be only a day or two before our own accounts will be at hand, and we can afford to wait for the truth."

Rag?  Really?  --Old B-Runner


Monday, February 22, 2016

North Carolina's Fort Macon-- Part 2: Guarding Beaufort

The War of 1812 revealed how defenseless the United States coast was so construction of Fort Macon began in 1826.  The Army Corps of Engineers built it over eight years according to General Simon Bernard's design.  It was named for Nathaniel Macon, an important North Carolinian of the time.

Beaufort had been attacked several times over the previous years.  The first time was by Tuscarora Indians, then Blackbeard and in August 26, 1747, by Spanish privateers.  During the American Revolution, the British attacked in 1782 and during the War of 1812, British ships would demand supplies from the town.

There had been a previous small fort at the site, but it was washed away by a hurricane in 1825.

Fort Macon was a five-sided star fort built of brick and stone.  Its outer walls were 4.5 feet thick.

It was leased by the U.S. government from the state during World War II.  It became North Carolina's second state park in 1926 (Mt. Mitchell was the first one).  The park consists of 424 acres.

--Old B-R'er

North Carolina's Fort Macon-- Part 1

From the February 16, 2016, Coastak review Online "Our Coast:  Fort Macon and Elliott Coues" by Jared Lloyd.

On April 23, 1862, Fort Macon surrendered to Major General Ambrose Burnside after a less-than 24-hour battle, then began a months-long ordeal trying to get the Confederate troops there to vacate the premises.  (I am unaware of the problems getting them to leave and have done a little more research and found no mention of them not leaving.)

Fort Macon guarded Beaufort Inlet which led to the Beaufort, North Carolina's only deep water port.

Four hundred Confederates surrendered and it was in Union hands for the rest of the war  Beaufort became the major coaling and provisioning base for the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron for the war's duration.

Sixty years later, the fort and surrounding land became one of North Carolina's first state parks.

--Old B-Runner

Friday, February 19, 2016

USS Pennsylvania, Ship of the Line: Alexander DeBree Served On It

From Wikipedia.

As near as I have been able to determine, Alexander M. DeBree served on at least three ships before the Civil War.  The first was the USS Pennsylvania, then the USS Preble and the USS Cyane.

The USS Pennsylvania was ordered in 1816 to combat English ships-of-the-line.  It was built at Philadelphia Navy Yard and laid down in 1821 but not launched until 1837 and commissioned later that year.  It was one of the ships burned at Norfolk when the Navy Yard fell to Confederates 20 April 1861.

It was 3,105 tons, 210 feet long with a 56.9 foot beam.  Crewed by 1,100 officers and men, it mounted sixteen 8-inch shell guns and 104 32-pdrs..

It went to Norfolk in 1838 and its crew was transferred to the USS Columbia.  It then remained in ordinary until 1842 when it became Norfolk's receiving ship which station it remained until it was burned to prevent capture.

--Old B-R'er

155 Years Ago: Confederate Navy Dept. Established and Mallory Appointed to Head It

FEBRUARY 20TH--  The Confederate Navy department formally established by act of the Confederate Congress.

FEBRUARY 21ST--  Jefferson Davis appointed Stephen R. Mallory of Florida Secretary of the Confederate States Navy.

--Old B-Runner

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Alexander M. DeBree, CSN-- Part 15: Treble-Banded Brooke Rifles

From Seacoast Artillery.

Three treble-banded Brooke guns produced at Tredegar Works in Richmond.  One, No. 1597, cast on June 13, 1862, installed on the CSS Richmond in November 1862.  Before that, it was successfully tested by its designer John M. Brooke and Lt. Alexander DeBree.

It appears that the other two were shipped to Charleston, South Carolina.  No. 1706, cast Dec. 6, 1962 was destined for the CSS Charleston but probably diverted by General Beauregard for harbor defense.

--Old B-R'er

155 Years Ago: Pres. Davis Calls for Creation of Confederate Navy

FEBRUARY 18TH, 1861:  In his inaugural address as President of the Provisional Government of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis said:  "I ... suggest that for the protection of our harbors and commerce on the high seas a Navy adapted to those objects will be required...."

--Old B-Runner

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Alexander M. DeBree, CSN-- Part 14: Commander of Richmond Naval Ordnance Works

From Civil War Artillery.

A.M. DeBree joined the U.S. Navy in 1841 and the Confederate Navy August 1862.  Stationed at Tredegar as assistant inspector of ordnance 1862 to 1 October 1863 , when he became commander of the Richmond Naval Ordnance Works.

He apparently used the initials "A.D.B.", generally prefixed by "P" (Proved).

--Old B-R'er

Some of the Imprisoned at Fort Warren-- Part 2: Gen. Butler Sets a Precedent

Also three Confederate Marines signed the book: Robert Tansill, John Tattnall and Thomas Wilson.

There were  also 34 Confederate officers from North Carolina military units (mostly 7th N.C.) captured by general Butler at Fort Hatteras in August 1861  These were some of the earliest Confederate prisoners captured during the war and to his credit, Benjamin Butler set the precedent that captured Confederate soldiers be treated as POWs and not traitors.

Confederate Navy and Marine Corps Officers held at Fort Warren who signed the book:

Samuel Barron Sr.
Hilary Cenas
Alexander M. DeBree
Dulaney A. Forrest
Richard W. Jeffery
William I. Glassell
James E. Lindsay
Julian Myers
William Meade Page
Edward s. Ruggles
John R.F. Tattnall
William H. Ward
Robert Tansill
Arthur Dickson Wharton
Thomas S. Wilson

The book was at auction on April 9, 2015, but failed to sell  Now it is priced at $4,375.

--Old B-Runner

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Some of the Imprisoned at Fort Warren-- Part 1: Baltimore's Mayor and Mason and Slidell

In my last post, I mentioned that Robert Renwick had collected the signatures of Baltimore men and Confederates imprisoned at Fort Warren in Boston Harbor.  One of the men was none other than our Alexander M. DeBree.

Of the 124 signatures he gathered were the names of Baltimore's mayor, George William Brown and Confederate agents John Mason and James Slidell.  Maryland had been placed under martial law by the Lincoln administration for its Southern sympathies.  Mason and Slidell had been removed illegally from the British ship Trent, setting off the Trent Affair.

Also there were naval officers, many of whom who had refused to take an Oath of Allegiance to the United States after their vessels returned to port in the North.

Among them were Flag Officer Samuel Barron Sr., Commodores William Ward and Willaim Glassell (a pioneer in submarine warfare).

--Old B-Runner

Monday, February 15, 2016

Alexander M. DeBree, CSN-- Part 13: A List of Fort Warren Prisoners

From the Civil War in Northeast North Carolina Blog.

Continued from Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016.

"Autographs of Prisoners Confined at Fort Warren December 12th, 1861.  This was a letter book owned by Robert Renwick of Baltimore, Maryland.  He was released on parole Feby. 10th 1862."

Robert Renwick was a noted cabinet maker from Baltimore who was arrested for aiding the Southern Cause by procuring a large number of concealed weapons and enlisting men into the Confederate Army.

One of the men signing the book was Alexander M. DeBree.

--Old B-R'er

155 Years Ago: Raphael Semmes Resigns His U.S.N. Commission

FEBRUARY 15TH, 1861:  Raphael Semmes, later captain of the CSS Alabama and CSS Sumter, resigned his commission in the United states Navy.

--Old B-Runner


Friday, February 12, 2016

Civil War Quiz in Fayetteville Last Month-- Part 3: What Was the Home Port of the Confederate Raider Chickamauga?

Some other questions the contestants had to answer:

Who was the Devil's Errand Boy?

What was the home port of the Confederate commerce raider Chickamauga?

We all now that the firing on Fort Sumter started the war, but what installation did the first shot come from?

What battle featured  an area known as "The Mule Shoe?"

Answers, in order:  Union Gen. Lafayette Baker, Wilmington, N.C., Fort Johnson, Battle of Spottsylvania.

I missed the first question, but knew the next three.

Fifteen contestants started and within the first three rounds, five had been eliminated.

Division winners got a $50 gift card from Barnes & Noble.

--Old B-R'er

155 Years Ago: Confederate Congress Wants Naval Experts

FEBRUARY 14TH, 1861:  The Confederate Congress passed  a resolution authorizing "the Committee on Naval Affairs to procure attendance in Montgomery, of all such persons versed in naval affairs as they may deem it advisable to consult with."

The beginning of the Confederate Navy.

--Old B-Runner

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Civil War Quiz in Fayetteville-- Part 2: Who Was Sarah Blalock?

A total of 15 contestants took the challenge.  After three rounds, five were eliminated.

The contest had two categories of contestants, above and below the age of 16.  David Bourhenne and Robert Byrd were the two finalists above 16.  T

hey were almost joined by a third participant, 12-year-old Meghan Croteau of Poquson, Virginia, a self-professed history buff and horse-lover who challenged the adults until the question "Who was Sarah Blalock?  (I would have missed this question as well.)  Turns out, Sarah Blalock was a Union sympathizer who dressed as a Confederate soldier to help her husband escape to the North.  (I'd never heard of her before.)

According to Wikipedia, Malinda Sarah Blalock is one of the best-known combatants of the war and originally dressed as a Confederate soldier to fight along side her husband in the Confederate Army, but later she and her husband went to the hills and mountains of western North Carolina and fought for the Union as a marauder.

I'll have to do more research on her in my Civil War blog "Saw the Elephant."

Some of the other questions:


Civil War Quiz in Fayetteville-- Part 1: What Was a Bean Boiler?

From the Jan. 29, 2016, Fayetteville (NC) Observer "Civil War Trivia:  Bean boilers to 'Stonewall' Jackson, even a 'Devil's Errand Boy'" by Chick Jacobs.

Last month, I wrote about the 14th annual Civil War Quiz Bowl in Fayetteville, North Carolina, which took place Jan. 28th, but hadn't heard anymore about it.

I looked it up and found this article.

David Bourhenne and Robert Byrd stood toe-to-toe through 11 rounds of sudden death showdown with questions like who were bean boilers, the nationality of Union officer Arthur Fremantle and the battle which gave "Stonewall" Jackson his nickname?

(I knew "Stonewall" got his name at Bull Run.  Arthur Fremantle I knew as an Englishman who toured the Confederacy, but I didn't know him as a Union officer.  I looked him up and he toured the Civil War on both sides and was an Englishman.  Bean Boilers was a term I did not know, but you heat up coffee beans so probably something with that drink.  I looked it up and found it to be a name they sometimes called company cooks during the war.)

David Bourhenne won.

--Old B-R'er

155 Years Ago: Dahlgren Urges Congress for an "Iron-Cased" Ship

FEBRUARY 11TH, 1861:  Commander Dahlgren urged Congress to approve the building of more gun-sloops and an "iron-cased" ship.

--Old B-Runner

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Alexander M. DeBree, CSN-- Part 12: Held Prisoner at Fort Warren

From the Civil War in Northeast North Carolina Blog.

Alexander M. DeBree was held prisoner at Fort Warren in Boston Harbor between December 1861 and February 1862.  He was one of 124 Confederate prisoners held there.

But, if you had to be in a Union prison, this was the one you wanted to be at as it had the reputation for treating its prisoners the most humanely.

Now, this is a bit surprising as he was not in Confederate service before this time.  Why was he held?  What had he done to be put into prison like this?

I am thinking he was probably out on a Navy warship and oversees when the war broke out.  When the ship returned, most likely he refused to take the Oath of Allegiance to the United states (because of his Southern upbringing) and was summarily dismissed from U.S. navy service and imprisoned.  It was not long after his release that he entered Confederate Navy service.

--Old B-Runner

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

In Case You're Wondering: What Is a Trunnion?

From Wikipedia.

Since I have been mentioning trunnions in the last several posts, I decided to look it up to be sure what they were.  It was as I had figured.

A cannon's trunnion is the part that protrudes from the barrel near the rear which rests on the carriage and is used to pivot the cannon up and down.

--Old B-R'er

6.4-Inch Brooke Rifles on CSS Atlanta

From To the Sound of Guns and other sources.

There are also two 6.4-inch Brooke Rifles from the CSS Atlanta at Willard Park in Washington Navy Yard.

#1610 was on the starboard side and #1587 was the port side gun.

Trunnion marks "J.R.A. & Co. //  T.F. and 1862"

J.R.A. stood for Joseph Reid Anderson, owner of T.F. (Tredegar Foundry).

--Old B-R'er

Alexander M. DeBree, CSN-- Part 11: His Cannons on the CSS Atlanta

From the To the Sound of the Guns blog.  "Guns of the CSS Atlanta:  Part 2.

The CSS Atlanta mounted 7-inch Brooke Rifles on its bow and stern.  The bow was #1740 Tredegar and stern #1652.

The trunnions bear stamp "P" for proofed along with the initials of their inspector, Alexander M. DeBree.

When first equipped, the Atlanta had 7-inch Brookes #1641 and #1652.  In May 1863, Cmdr. Richard Page, in command of the Savannah Naval Station called for the replacement of #1641.

The cannons are on display at the Washington Navy Yard in D.C..

--Old B-Runner


Alexander M. DeBree, CSN-- Part 10: Birth and Death

Ancestry,com has Alexander M. DeBree born in 1825 and dying in 1869.

--Old B-R'er

155 Years Ago: USS Brooklyn Arrives at Pensacola, Standoff Continues

FEBRUARY 9, 1861:  The USS Brooklyn, Captain Walker, arrived off Pensacola.  Troops were not landed at Fort Pickens in compliance with the order of 29 January, based on an interim agreement with Florida officials in which the status quo would be maintained (i.e., Forts Barrancas and McRee and Navy Yard remained in Confederate hands, while the Union held Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Island).

The Brooklyn, Sabine, Macedonian and St. Louis remained off the harbor, but reinforcements were not put ashore at Fort Pickens until 12 April.

Attempting to Diffuse the Situation.  --Old B-Runner

Friday, February 5, 2016

Barrancas National Cemetery, Pensacola, Florida

From Wikipedia.

Used as a burying ground ever since the construction of Fort Barrancas 1839-1844.  In 1838 it was established as a U.S. navy cemetery  Many soldiers and sailors from both sides buried there during the Civil War, either being killed in battle or dying at one of the hospitals.  It became a national cemetery in 1868.

Consists of 94.9 acres with 32,642 interments. It is located on the grounds of Pensacola Naval Air Station.

Two of them or those of Alexander M. DeBree's wife, Charlotte Elizabeth DeBree, and daughter.Charlotte Louisa DeBree.

--Old B-R'er

Alexander M. DeBree, CSN-- Part 9: Charlotte Elizabeth DeBree Grave and Grave of Charlotte Louisa DeBree

From Find-a-Grave for Charlotte Elizabeth DeBree.  Born 1837  Died Oct. 22, 1858, age 21 yrs. 7 months.

The 1860 census for Norfolk in Norfolk County, Virginia lists a John DeBree, 63, born in Pennsylvania as purser in U.S. Navy and Alexander M. DeBree, 35, born in Virginia and lieutenant U.S. Navy.  Also John DeBree, Jr. , age 30, born Virginia, physician.

An Alexander M. DeBree enlisted in the Confederate States Navy May, 8, 1862, and made 1st lieutenant  August 5, 1862.  death records for Norfolk, Virginia, show that an Alexander M. DeBree died there June 1, 1869.

On the gravestone, as far as I could read on the photo, it read "Charlotte Elizabeth DeBree, wife of Alexander M. DeBree, USN."

There is also the name of Charlotte Louisa DeBree, born 1858, died Jan. 16, 1859.  It appears they were both interred in the same plot or near each other.  Mother and daughter died nearly the same time.  I wonder if it was because of disease?  Was Alexander based in Pensacola and at home when they died, or was he away at sea.

--Old B-Runner

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Alexander M. DeBree-- Part 8: Charlotte Elizabeth Debree

From Find-a-Grave.I have been unable to find out where Alexander M. DeBree was buried.  Most likely it would be in Norfolk, Virginia, but also possible is that he was buried in Pensacola where his wife and child are buried.

CHARLOTTE ELIZABETH DEBREE  Born 1837  Died October 22, 1858

Gravestone reads that she is the wife of Alexander M. DeBree.

There is also a Charlotte Louisa DeBree, born 1858 and died Jan. 16, 1859 buried in the grave.

I believe this to be his wife and daughter.  Evidently, he was stationed in Pensacola at this time if they are his wife and daughter which I believe them to be.

--Old B-Runner

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Alexander M. DeBree, CSN-- Part 7: Father and Brother Births and Deaths

Alexander M. DeBree  1825-1869

Father;  John R. DeBree  1798-1869.

Brother: John DeBree  1830-1911

Apparently, both father and brother also served in Confederate Navy.  Alexander and his father bith died in 1869.

--Old B-R'er

Alexander M. DeBree, CSN-- Part 6:Passed Midshipman Pay and the Bureau

I came across this in a 1852 U.S. Navy pay chart:

"A.M. DeBree, passed midshipman, pay  $511.63, Rations $50,  Travel $44.  Gross Amount $555.83 for Fiscal Year ending June 30, 1852."

A mighty rich man.

Also under the Confederate States Navy:

Bureau of Ordnance & Hydrography in Richmond.

Robert D. Minor 1861
Alexander M. DeBree

I'm guessing this would be from 1861 to 1865 and referring to the head of it?

--Old B-Runner


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Alexander M. DeBree, CSN-- Part 5: Served on USS Pennsylvania and USS Preble Before the War

From the 18 July 1857, Baltimore Sun:  The United States sloops of war Germantown and Preble (practice ship) dropped down from Norfolk, on Wednesday, to the naval anchorage.

"The latter is expected to sail on a practice cruise in a few days.

"Lieut. Alexander M. DeBree has been detached from U.S. receiving ship Pennsylvania, and ordered to the Preble."

So, these are two ships he served on while in the U.S. Navy.  The Pennsylvania was an old ship-of-the-line based at Norfolk and the Preble was being used as a practice ship for the USNA.

--Old B-R'er

Alexander M. DeBree, CSN-- Part 4: U.S. Navy 1841-1861

From Confederate States Navy site.

Joined Confederate Navy August 21, 1862 and appointed lieutenant from Virginia, late a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy.  Son of John and Mary DeBree.  Served U.S. Navy 1841-1861.  Dismissed in 1861 for failure to take Oath of Allegiance to United States and eventually served in Confederate Navy.

His father also served in the U.S. Navy and served at Norfolk, Virginia.

--Old B-Runner

Monday, February 1, 2016

Alexander M. DeBree, CSN-- Part 3: Tested Brooke's Guns

From John M. Brooke's journal.

Alexander M. Brooke was a lieutenant dismissed from the U.S. Navy on December 6, 1861.  On 18 November 1862, John Brooke tested his 7-inch Treble banded gun by firing it across the James River at Tredegar.  Lt. DeBree had already placed a target "on the opposite side or rather the foot of the hill on Belle Isle.  We fired three bolts at it."

Lt. DeBree estimated the target distance at 750 yards "but to the eye it appeared less."

The first bolt shot weighed 17 pounds and passed above the target and penetrated into the bank.   Brooke believed it missed because of an inaccurate distance given him.  The other shots better as distance dropped on setting of cannon.

Lt. DeBree helped much with the test and fired at least one shot himself.

--Old B-Runer

Alexander M. DeBree, CSN-- Part 2: His Father and Brother Also Served Confederacy

From Confederate States Navy..

JOHN DEBREE-- (Father)   Born in New Jersey  Appointed to Navy from Virginia.  Formerly paymaster USN until June 10, 1861.  Paymaster CSN Oct. 23, 1862.  Chief of Bureau of Provisions and Clothing 1862-1864.

JOHN DEBREE, JR.--   (Brother)   Born Virginia.  Appointed from Virginia.  Assistant Surgeon for War July 18, 1862.  Assistant Surgeon May 1, 1863.  Assistant Surgeon Provisional Navy June 2, 1964.

Surgeon Naval defenses St. Marks, Florida from 1862-1863.  Naval Hospital, Richmond, Virginia in 1864.


I also came across a John DeBree who was acting purser U.S. Navy on December 15, 1817.  This may or may not have been the father.

--Old B-R'er

Alexander M. DeBree, CSN-- Part 1: Formerly of U.S.N.

Back on January 27, I wrote about him accepting a 6.4-inch Brooke Rifle at Tredegar Foundry in Richmond, Va., into Confederate service.  This cannon was eventually placed on the CSS Albemarle and today can be seen in Norfolk, Virginia.

I have been spending quite a lot of time since then finding out more about this man.

From Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of USN.  Also Confederate States Navy.

Alexander M. DeBree had been a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy before the Civil War. Born and appointed from Virginia.   On September 15, 1855, he was promoted to 1st Lt.  Also, DeBree taught philosophy at the U.S. Naval Academy as a passed midshipman.

He resigned and was dismissed Dec. 6, 1861.  He was held a prisoner at Fort Warren in Boston Harbor from late 1861 to early 1862 as a result of his disloyalty.

Appointed First Lt. CSN Oct. 5, 1862.  On ordnance duty 1862-1863 and at Ordnance Works in Richmond, Virginia in 1864.

--Ild B-Runner