Fort Fisher

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

Monday, July 31, 2017

Someone Vandalized Boston's Famous Robert Gould Shaw Memorial

From the February 21, 2017, Mass Live.

His sword on the memorial was snapped off and found on the ground.  The friends of Public Garden have a "stockpile" of similar swords , though.

The memorial was created by Augustus Saint-Geaudens and unveiled in 1897 after almost 14 years of work.  A patented plaster version of the memorial is on display at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C..

And, the memorial has been vandalized before.  In 2015, a Charleston man ripped off the sword in a similar manner.  In 2012, a woman threw yellow paint at it according to the Boston Globe.

It Is a Sad Thing When Memorials and Statues Get Vandalized.  --Old B-Runner

Friday, July 28, 2017

Junior Reserves Rally at Fort Fisher This Weekend

From the July 24, 2017, Wilmington (N.C.) Star-News "'Jr. Reserves' to rally at Fort Fisher."

North Carolina needed more troops in the waning years of the Civil War and raised several companies of young boys, referred to as the Junior Reserves.  They were no more than age 17 and usually assigned to guard key military points.

The Fort Fisher State Historic Site will hold a Junior Reserves program and encampment this weekend, July 29-30 and will have plenty of family-friendly activities.  Admission is free.

There will be musket demonstrations, artillery firing, a "paint a toy soldier" workshop and a "School of the Soldier" to give young "recruits" a taste of drilling.  re-enactors will be on site dressed in period attire to tell the story of the Junior reserve units, several of which were stationed at Fort Fisher.

The times of this will be Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m..

This program is made possible through the support of the Friends of Fort Fisher, New Hanover County and the towns of Carolina Beach and Kure Beach.

--Old B-Ruunner

Michael Hardy to Speak at Fort Fisher's "Beat the Heat" Lecture Series This Saturday

Historian Michael C. Hardy, author of "North Carolina in the Civil War" and other Civil War books, will give a lecture at 2 p.m. Saturday July 29 at the Fort Fisher Museum's E. Gehrig Spencer Theatre.

His topic will be "North Carolina's Twisted History in the Civil War."

This program, like the concurrent one on North Carolina's Junior Reserves which occurs outside the whole weekend are sponsored by the Friends of Fort Fisher, New Hanover County, and the towns of Kure Beach and Carolina Beach.

--Old B-Runner

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Col. Shaw's Sword Found-- Part 3: Sword Given to His Sister

Two years later a Confederate officer recovered the sword and returned it to Shaw's parents in Boston.

Col. Shaw had no children and the sword ended up with his sister Susanna Minturn and there the sword's history ended.

She was believed to have given it it to a teenage grandson.

That was probably correct as it was found in the attic of one of Minturn's great-grandchildren late last year.

--Old B-Runner

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Col. Shaw's Sword Found-- Part 2: Commanded the First All-Black Union Regiment

From the July 17, 2017, Massachusetts Live "Sword of Robert Gould Shaw, Colonel of first all-black unit in the Civil War, found in home north of Boston."

After being lost for more than 150 years, his sword was given to the Massachusetts Historical Society on Tuesday.

Society President Dennis Fiorri called Shaw's sword "The Holy Grail of Civil War swords.  A Confederate soldier stripped the sword from the lifeless Shaw, along with the rest of his belongings following the battle.

--Old B-Runner

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Col. Shaw's Sword Found: Commanded the 54th Massachusetts

From the July 13, 2017, CBS News, Boston "Civil War Col. Robert Gould Shaw's long-lost sword found in attic."

He was commanding officer of the Union's first all-black regiment and his sword is now in the possession of the Massachusetts Historical Society.  It was given to them by the descendants of Robert Shaw.

There is a statue honoring Col. Shaw outside the Massachusetts State House.

Shaw led the 54th Massachusetts in the famous 1863 attack on Fort Wagner, guarding Charleston, South Carolina.  He was killed in the attack along with many of his men.  The 54th was made even more famous by the acclaimed film "Glory."  His sword was then stolen by a Confederate soldier.

The sword was recently discovered in a Boston North Shore family attic by Mary Minturn Wood and her brother, descendants of Shaw's sister, Susanna.

When they saw the initials "R.G.S.," they knew they had a historical artifact.  Instead of offering it at auction, they gifted it to the historical society where it will be on display Tuesday.

More Power to Them for Gifting It.  --Old B-Runner

Monday, July 24, 2017

July 24, 1862: The Growing Importance of Vicksburg

JULY 24TH, 1862:  Rear Admiral Farragut's fleet departed its station below Vicksburg, as the falling water level of the river and sickness among his ships' crews necessitated withdrawal to Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

Farragut's return to the lower Mississippi made abundantly clear the strategic importance of Vicksburg for, although the Navy held the vast majority of the river, Confederate control of Vicksburg enabled the South to continue to get supplies for her armies in the East from Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana.

To prevent as much of this as possible, Rear Admiral Davis and Major General Samuel R. Curtis provided for combined Army-Navy expeditions along the banks of the Mississippi River from Helena, Arkansas, to Vicksburg.

Though supplies continued to move across the river, this action prevented the Confederates from maintaining and reinforcing batteries at strategic points, an important factor in the following year's operations.

--Old B-Runner

Friday, July 21, 2017

Diving On the Condor- Part 2: Easy Self-Guided Tour... Underwater, Though.

In between the hull and stern there is outer hull plating,  intact I-beam frames, the water tank, "beehive" boilers, both engines, paddle wheel shafts, paddle wheel hubs, the keelson and too many other pieces to be listed here.

The engine room is clearly defined by the bottom of the bulkheads while having enough room to swim between the engines in full dive gear.

There is a diving travel line running down her middle and buoys on the surface locating the ends of the ship.  Dive slates have been made for the site, which will provide the diver the ability to take a self-guided tour around the complete wreck.

Of course, the diving saying "Take only pictures and leave only bubbles" applies here.

Hopefully, the blockade-runner Beauregard (General Beauregard/Havelock) will be the next one the become a state dive site.  This ship is located right in front of where my grandparents' beach cottage was on Carolina Beach before Hurricane Haze hit in 1954.

--Old B-Runner

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Diving On the Condor-- Part 1: More Than a Beginner's Rating

From the North Carolina State Archives.

A real nice sit with a map and cutaway views of the Condor's wreck.

The Condor is in relatively shallow, 24 foot of water on a rocky bed.  Parts of its machinery are only 13 feet below the waterline.  This would normally mark the site of a beginner's rating in diving.  However, the sometimes less-than-clear water and 150-year-old iron makes it higher rating than beginner.

The 218.6 foot iron hulled steamship is relatively intact.  The ship's bow is still attached along with the stern post and rudder.

--Old B-Runner

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Fort Fisher's Beat the Heat Summer Lectures Continue

The lectures take place at the Fort Fisher Museum's E. Gehrig Spencer Theater at 2 p.m. and are put on by the Fort Fisher State Historic Site and the Friends of Fort Fisher.

JULY 22

TOPIC:  Burrington, Dobbs and Tryon:  The Cape Fear's Royal Governors.  These men ruled North Carolina before the American Revolution.

Speaker will be Jack Fryer, historian, author and educator.

JULY 29

TOPIC:  "The Twisted History of North Carolina and the Civil War."

Speaker will be Michael Hardy, Civil War historian and author.

Again, Sure Wish I Could Be There.  Just Watch the Traffic on Saturdays During the Summer.  --Old B-Runner

The Blockade-Runner Condor-- Part 2: Rose O'Neal Greenhow Drowned

More famous than the ship herself was one of her passengers,famous Confederate spy and supporter Rose O'Neal Greenhow, who died in the surf when her small boat overturned while making her escape from the vessel.

Tradition maintains that she was weighed down with vital dispatches to Confederate President Jefferson Davis and $2,000 in gold.

There is a diorama of her death from the old Blockade Runner Museum at the Carolina Beach Town Hall on US-421.  She was buried in Wilmington's Oakdale Cemetery.

--Old B-R'er

The Blockade-Runner Condor-- Part 1: Made It Through Blockade, But Ran Aground

From Wide Open Space--  Famous Blockade Runners.

Earlier this summer, the state of North Carolina opened the Condor Dive Site.

The blockade-runner Condor was 270 feet long, with a 24-foot beam and crew of fifty.

It was chased on its maiden voyage by blockaders but arrived under the guns of Fort Fisher safely on 1 October 1864 at Swash Channel Bar at the New Inlet entrance to the Cape Fear River and Wilmington, its destination.

However, it ran aground, possibly while avoiding the wreck of the blockade-runner Night Hawk.

--Old B-Runner

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

July 18, 1862: USNA Open for Navy "Boys"

JULY 18TH, 1862:  Secretary of Navy Welles notified Flag Officers commanding squadrons of a bill authorizing the President to appoint annually three midshipmen to the Naval Academy from the enlisted boys of the Navy.

"They must be of good moral character, able to read and write well, writing from dictation and spelling with correctness, and to perform with accuracy the various operations of the primary rules of  arithmetic, viz, numeration, and the addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of whole numbers."

Each Flag Officers was requested to nominate one candidate from his command "not over 18 years of age."

We Need More Officers.  --Old B-Runner

Monday, July 17, 2017

PCU Minnesota Unveils New Logo and a Werden Connection

From the December 16, 2011, American Navy "PCU Minnesota Officially Unveils New Logo" by Lt.Cmdr. Jennifer Cragg.

To start with, PCU Minnesota is the Pre-Commission Unit and the Minnesota in question is the new nuclear submarine (SSN-783).

This was quite an interesting article to come across in light of what I have been writing about.

More than 100 high school and college students submitted logos to the Pre-Commissioning Unit Minnesota (SSN-783).

Jakob Bartels' design won and received a $1,500 college scholarship and an all-expense-paid trip to the submarine's commissioning in Norfolk in late 2013.

His family members have served in the U.S. military.  Including the great uncle of his great grandmother, Mary Werden Whiteside.  Her middle name, Werden, looks very familiar in the last several posts.  We are talking about U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Reed Werden, who, in another coincidence, once served on the steam frigate USS Minnesota and was at the first battle between ironclads, the USS Monitor and CSS Virginia.

I am not sure he was on the Minnesota at the Battle of Hampton Roads, however.

Very Interesting, Though.  --Old B-Runner

Friday, July 14, 2017

Reed Werden, USN-- Part 3: Blockaded the CSS Stonewall in Havana Harbor

He was Fleet Captain in the East Gulf Blockading Squadron from 1864-1865 and commanded the steamer USS Powhatan.  He blockaded the Confederate ram CSS Stonewall in the port of Havana until she was surrendered by Spanish authorities.

Commissioned captain 25 July 1866 and commodore 27 April 1871.  Promotion to rear admiral came 4 February 1875 and later became commander-in-chief of the South Pacific Station 1875-1876.

He was placed on the retired list at his own request.

--Old B-R'er

Reed Werden, USN-- Part 2: Served in NABS and SABS

Reed Werden was on the steam frigate USS Minnesota when the Civil War began and participated in the attacks of the forts at Hatteras Inlet and operations in the North Carolina Sounds in Stringham's fleet.  The USS Stars and Stripes, his former ship, was also there.

He commanded the steamers USS Yankee and USS Stars and Stripes in the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron 1861-1862.  While in command of the Stars and Stripes, he led the First Division in the capture of Roanoke Island, North Carolina.

He was commissioned to the rank of commander 16 July 1862, and commanded the USS Conemaugh in the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron 1862-1863.

--Old B-Runner

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Reed Werden, USN-- Part 1 Commanded the USS Stars and Stripes

From the Hall of North and South Americans.

He was the first commander of the USS Stars and Stripes which I have been writing about.Reed Werden was born in Delaware County, Pennsylvania 28 February 1818 and died at Newport, Rhode Island 13 July 1886.  He was appointed midshipman from Ohio 9 January 1834 and became passed midshipman 16 July 1840.  Commissioned lieutenant 27 February 1847.

Served on the sloop USS Germantown during the Mexican War 1847-1848  where he commanded a detachment from that ship during action againstTuspan and Tampico.

--Old B-Runner


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

McHenry County Civil War Round Table Meeting Tonight: Topic Is Show and Tell

It has been a busy three days for me as far as Civil War events are concerned.  And, that is considering that I am all the way up here in Illinois, by the Wisconsin line and about 30 miles west of Lake Michigan.

Sunday, I attended the Civil War Days re-enactment in Wauconda, Illinois, and saw some interesting presentations by people playing the roles of  Abraham Lincoln and Sojourner Truth.  And then I saw the second day of the Battle of Shiloh (which didn't go so well for our boys in gray, you know).

I sat at the Camp Douglas Sons of Confederate Veterans tent and had conversation with members of the 154th Tennessee Re-enactors.

Today I am going to Woodstock, Illinois, for the monthly meeting of the McHenry County Civil War Round Table at the Woodstock Library.  Tonight's topic will be  Show and Tell.  Members will bring items and talk about them, but we have been seriously fore-warned not to bring any weapons.

The meeting starts at 7 in the downstairs meeting room.

Before the meeting, a bunch of us will get together for dinner at Three Brothers Restuarant on Illinois Highway 47.

Getting Me Civil War On.  --Old B-R'er

July 11, 1862: A Congressional Act of Relief for the Cumberland and Congress Dead's Families

JULY 11TH, 1862:  Congress passed an act for the relief of relatives of officers and enlisted men who died on board the USS Congress and Cumberland when the CSS Virginia destroyed those vessels and threatened to break the blockade of Norfolk four months earlier.

--Old B-Runner

Monday, July 10, 2017

New 'Battle' of Charleston's Fort Bull Won

From the July 2, 2017, Charleston (SC) Post & Courier "Winning the 'battle' of Fort Bull:  Civil War site protected from West Ashley waterline path" by Bo Peterson.

Fort Bull consists of earthen berms back in the woods on private land and was in danger of partly being destroyed by the laying of water pipes.  It was dug by Confederate soldiers neat today's Bees Ferry Road and was part of the massive defensive defenses of Charleston, S.C., during the war.

It was designed by General Beauregard and even Robert E. lee had a part in its early design before he took command of the Army of Northern Virginia.  Over 200 defenses were constructed during the war in Charleston County.  Most like Fort Bull were vacant most of the time, but could be easily defended in case of Union attack.

Persons interested in preserving history caused the Charleston Water System, which was laying pipe in the area to swing around the fort's remains.

--Old B-R'er


Friends of Fort Fisher Attend Elmira Prison Dedication in New York

Most of the enlisted men captured at Fort Fisher on January 15, 1865, were sent here and a large number died during their several months of confinement.

Eight members of the Friends of Fort Fisher attended the dedication of one of the camp's restored original building.

I have an entry about it in my Saw the Elephant blog of today.

--Old B-Runner

Saturday, July 8, 2017

USS Stars and Stripes-- Part 5: Became the SS Metropolis (Famous Shipwreck)

In 1864, the Stars and Stripes Captured the blockade running steamer Laura off Ochlockonee on 18 January. and attacked an extensive Confederate fishery at Marsh Island 19 and 20 October.

On 3 December, she joined three other gunboats and destroyed saltworks at Rocky Point, in Tampa Bay.

At the end of the war, the Stars and Stripes was decommissioned at Philadelphia 30 June 1865 and sold at auction 10 August 1865, to Thomas Watson & Sons out of New York City.

On 18, 1865, the ship was renamed the Metropolis and was in the merchant service until 31 January 1878, when, while going from Philadelphia to Brazil, she was wrecked on the outer bar at Currituck Beach, North Carolina.  The ship and cargo were a total loss.

During the Civil War, the Stars and Stripes had operated a whole lot in that area of North Carolina.

There is a whole lot to this wreck, which I will go into next.

--Old B-Runner

Friday, July 7, 2017

Fort Fisher's Beat the Heat Series Continues: Elmira Prison Camp and the CSS Neuse

From the Powderkeg Magazine of the Friends of Fort Fisher.

A great way to get out of the heat and learn something at the same time.  These presentations are held at the E. Gehroig Spencer Theater at the Fort Fisher Visitors Center at the Fort Fisher State Historic Site in Kure Beach, North Carolina.

They begin on Saturdays at 2 p.m..

JULY 8 TOPIC

Elmira Prisoner of War Camp:  The North's Answer to Andersonville

The speaker will be Richard Triebe, historian and author who has written a book about the prison.

The majority of the enlisted Confederate captured at Fort Fisher were brought here and an alarming number of them died in a few months of imprisonment.

JULY 15 TOPIC

The Final Days of the CSS Neuse - and Beyond.  The speaker will be Andrew Duppstadt of the North Carolina State Historic Sites.

This was the sister ship of the CSS Albemarle.

Again, I Sure Wish I Could Be There For These, But 1200 Miles Is JUST Too Far.  --Old B-Runner

Changing Some of the Content of This Blog

In the last year or so I have been doing a lot of coverage on the chronology of the Naval Civil War which was getting a bit too much.

So what I will be doing now is writing about an event that took place 155 years ago and then going into greater detail on it.  Much of these last several weeks I have been writing about the happenings around the St. Marks River, Florida, during the war which is why I have been writing about the USS Stars and Stripes which operated off that place.

--Old B-R'er

USS Stars and Stripes-- Part 4: Transferred to the East Gulf Blockading Squadron

On August 24, the Stars and Stripes captured the British ship Mary Elizabeth attempting to run into Wilmington with a cargo of salt and fruit.

After that, the ship went to Philadelphia for repairs and was decommissioned September 14, though quickly repaired and back in service.  On September 29, the Stars and Stripes was assigned to the East Gulf Blockading Squadron where she remained for the rest of the war. This is when she had the encounters with the CSS Spray and the St. Marks area.

In 1863, she captured the sloop Florida in St. Marks Bay with a cargo of cotton and tar. on June 3.  Then, its boats along with those of the USS Somerset went to Marsh Island, Florida to destroy saltworks.  Later she destroyed the blockade runner schooner Caroline Gertrude aground at the mouth of the Ochlockonee River December 29.

--Old B-Runner

Thursday, July 6, 2017

USS Stars and Stripes-- Part 3: Still Operating in North Carolina Waters

On February 7, 1862, the Stars and Stripes took part in the attack on Roanoke Island, N.C.  On February 20, while transferring ammunition to Isaac N. Seymour, that ship struck the submerged anchor of the USS Louisiana and sank.  Most of the crew were saved by the Stars and Stripes.

The ship operated in North Carolina waters and helped capture New Bern in mid-March.

It returned to Norfolk on 4 June for badly needed repairs and six days later returned to blockade duty off North Carolina.

Shortly before dawn June 27, 1862, the Stars and Stripes helped the USS Cambridge destroy the blockade runner Modern Greece near the Cape Fear River off Fort Fisher.  (I wrote about this on June 27 only it did not mention the USS Stars and Stripes being involved, just the USS Cambridge.)

--Old B-Runner

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

USS Stars and Stripes-- Part 2: Service Off North Carolina

After commissioning, the USS Stars and Stripes was assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron and arrived at Hampton Roads 26 September 1861.  Two days later it towed schooners of the Great Stone Fleet to Hatteras Inlet.  It arrived October 1 and then operated in the that vicinity for the next several months.

During that time, Lt. Reed Werden was also in charge of the USS Ceres, General Putnam and Underwriter.  Because of the drafts of the Stats and Stripes and the Underwriter, Werden refused to allow these two ships to enter shallow Pamlico Sound.

On 2 November, the Stars and Stripes fought a Confederate gunboat, but neither ship was within each other's range so no damage done.

On November 5 and 6, 1861, the ships under Werden's command attempted to provide assistance to the French corvette Prony, which had run aground, but weather and Confederate activity prevented them from doing so and the ship was lost.

On 15 December, the Stars and Stripes captured the schooner Charity and sent it to New York City for adjudication.

--Old B-Runner

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

July 4, 1862: Loss of the Confederate "Aircraft Carrier" CSS Teaser

JULY 4TH, 1862:  The USS Maratanza, Lt. Stevens, engaged the CSS Teaser, Lt. Davidson, at Haxall's on the James River.  The Teaser was abandoned and captured after a shell from Maratanza exploded her boiler.  In addition to placing mines in the river, Davidson had gone down the river with a balloon on board for the purpose of making an aerial reconnaissance of Union General McClellan's positions at City Point and Harrison's Landing.

By this time both Union and Confederate forces were utilizing the balloon for gathering intelligence; the Teaser was the Southern counterpart, the USS G.W. Parke Custiss, from whose deck aerial observations had been made the preceding year.

Well, essentially they were early aircraft carriers.

The Teaser's balloon, as well as a quantity of insulated wire and mine equipment, were found on board the Teaser.  Six shells with "peculiar fuzes" were also taken and sent to Captain Dahlgren at the Washington Navy Yard for examination.

Mines and Balloons, Oh My.  --Old B-Runner

Monday, July 3, 2017

USS Stars and Stripes-- Part 1: With a Name Like That...Perfect for These Days

From Wikipedia.

Since the USS Stars and Stripes was such an adversary to the CSS Spray, I decided to do some more research on the ship.

The USS Stars and Stripes was built at Mystic, Connecticut, and purchased by the U.S. Navy 27 July 1861.  Commissioned in New York navy Yard and commanded first by Lt. Reed Werden.

It was decommissioned in Philadelphia 30 June 1865, sold on 10 August, 1865, and sank 31 January 1878.

It was 407 tons, 124.3 feet, 34.6 feet beam and had a crew of 94.

Armament consisted of four 8-in cwt cannons and one 20-pdr Parrott rifle.

Lt. Reed Werden was in command.

--Old B-Runner

Some More On the CSS Spray-- Part 9: USS Stars and Stripes Vs. CSS Spray

Prior to the chase of the CSS Spray, the USS Stars and Stripes had spotted a Confederate encampment at Long Bar and had fired on it.  The Spray had come down the St. Marks River to about Fourmile Point to return fire, but had withdrawn when the Union ship fired at her.

The Stars and Stripes also reported that it knew about the foundry/machine shop operating at Newport, but had made no attempt to destroy it.

On 12 September 1863, the Stars and Stripes made another attempt to capture or destroy the Spray as it lay at anchor in the St. Marks River, but the attempt failed.  Two Confederate sailors were captured.

--Old B-R'er


Some More on the CSS Spray-- Part 8: The Spray Makes An Escape

In January 1863, the sloop Florida beached at the mouth of the St. Marks River as it was preparing to run the blockade.  It was spotted at daylight and a Federal gunboat came in.  It shelled both the Florida and the lighthouse and then captured the sloop, but the crew escaped.

In February 1863, the British schooner Pacifique was captured at St. Marks River.

In April of that year, the USS Stars and Stripes gave chase for more than three hours to a "side-wheeled schooner-rigged steamer of unknown registry that sailed out of the St. Marks River.  Later, the Union vessel reported that they had been chasing the CSS Spray and that it was steaming at 14 knots and managed to get away.

--Old B-Runner

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Some More on the CSS Spray-- Part 7: Action on St. Marks and Aucilla Rivers

Sailors from the USS Tahoma and Somerset came ashore and burned what was left.  They also set fire to the interior of the lighthouse keeper's house.

A few months later, another Union gunboat fired at the saltworks at Goose Creek, but did little damage.

Just prior to that, two armed Federal ship's boats, on their way to get fresh water, were attacked and sunk by Confederate forces on the Aucilla River.  Two sailors were killed and the rest taken prisoner.

Two days after Christmas 1862, the British schooner Kate was captured by the USS Roebuck as it attempted to enter the channel at the mouth of the St. Marks River with a cargo of salt, coffee, copper and liquor.

--Old B-Runner

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Some More on CSS Spray-- Part 6: Fighting Around the Mouth of the St. Marks River

A few months later, the CSS Spray, now stationed at St, Marks, moved downriver to below Port Leon and shelled the bay.

In February 1862, the USS Mohawk positioned itself off Lighthouse Point and began shelling the saltworks near the lighthouse.  Captain Scott's cavalry, the Tallahassee Guards, moved up to prevent a landing and the Mohawk eventually retired out into the Gulf.

Four months later, the USS Tahoma and Somerset crossed the St. Marks River bar and bombarded Confederate Fort Williams and the saltworks near the lighthouse.The shelling destroyed the barracks and caused the artillerymen stationed there to withdraw.

This is the story that I wrote about back on June 15 which led to all of these stories about the St. Marks River, Fort Williams and the CSS Spray.

--Old B-Runner

June 30, 1862--Part 2: McClellan Withdrawing From Peninsula Campaign

McClellan noted one of the many instances of invaluable naval support as the Confederates pressed to cut off the Union movement to the river:  "The rear of the supply trains and the reserve artillery of the army reached Malvern Hill about 4 p.m.  At about the same time the enemy began to appear in General Fitz John Porter's front, and at 5 o'clock advanced in large force against his flank, posting artillery under cover of a skirt of timber, with a view to engage our force on Malvern Hill....

"The gunboats rendered most efficient aid at this time, and helped drive back the enemy."

Naval gunfire support was controlled through a system of liaison in which "fall-of-shot" information was sent by the Army signal personnel ashore to Army signal personnel afloat in the gunboats by the Myer's system of signalling.

--Old B-Runner