MAY 24TH, 1861: Commander Rowan, commanding the USS Pawnee, demanded the surrender of Alexandria, Virginia; amphibious expedition departed Washington Navy Yard, after embarking secretly at night under Commander Dahlgren's supervision, and occupied Alexandria.
Admiral D.D. Porter later noted of this event: "The first landing of Northern troops upon the Virginia shores was under cover of these improvised gunboats [USS Thomas Freeborn, Anacostia, and Resolute] ... at Alexandria... Alexandria was evacuated by the Confederates upon demand of a naval officer-- Commander S.C. rowan ... and ..the American flag was hoisted on the Custom House and other prominent places by the officer in charge of a landing party of sailors-- Lieutenant R.B. Lowry.
"This ... gave indication of the feelings of the Navy, and how ready was the service to put down secession on the first opportunity offered."