Fort Fisher

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

Friday, March 16, 2018

Walk the "Sugar Loaf Line of Defense" March 17

From the Federal Point Historical Preservation Society.  Carolina Beach, N.C.  (south of Wilmington)

Saturday, March 17, 2018, people will be able to walk the Confederate Sugar Loaf Line of Defense with noted Civil War historian, professor and author Chris Fonvielle.  I doubt that there is anyone who knows more about Fort Fisher and the Wilmington Campaign.

The walking tour will be from 2 to 4 p.m..  A $10 donation would be appreciated.

This will also include Confederate entrenchments in the proposed "Ryder Lewis Park."

After the fall of Fort Fisher on January 15, 1865, Confederates used this line of defense to slow the Union advance on Wilmington.

--Old B-R'er

Patrick Mullen, USN-- Part 2: Two-Time Medal of Honor Winner

Patrick Mullen received his second Medal of Honor a month and a half later aboard the USS Don.

General order No. 62, June 29, 1865.

"Served as a boatswain's mate aboard the USS Don,  1 May 1865.  Engaged in picking up the crew of picket launch No. 6, which had swamped.  Mullen, seeing an officer who at the time was no longer able to keep up and was below the surface of the water, jumped overboard and brought the officer to the boat, thereby rescuing him from drowning which brave action, which brave action entitled him to wear a bar on the medal he had already received at Mattox Creek, 17 March 1865."

Two Medals of Honor!!  --Old B-Runner

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Patrick Mullen USN, Two-Time Medal of Honor Recipient-- Part 1: His First One on USS Wyandank

Patrick Mullen received his first Medal of Honor during the same action that Aaron Anderson received his.  Only 19 U.S. military personnel have ever received two Medals of Honor.

He was born in Ireland on May 6, 1844, and died February 14, 1897.

His first medal came while he was stationed on the USS Wyandank on March 17, 1865.

His citation reads:  "Served as boatswain's mate on the USS Wyandank during a boat expedition on Mattox Creek March 12, 1865.  Rendering gallant assistance to his commanding officer, Mullen, lying on his back, loaded the howitzer and then fired so carefully as to kill and wound many rebels causing their retreat."

--Old B-Runner

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The USS Wyandank, Aaron Anderson's Ship

From Wikipedia.

Last month I was writing about a black sailor from this ship by the name of Aaron Anderson who received a Medal of Honor for his actions at Mattox Creek, Virginia in March 1865.  I'd never heard of the ship.

USS Wyandank (1847)

Acquired by Navy 12 December 1861.  Out of service circa 1879

132'5" long, 31'5" beam.  Mounted two 12-pdr. guns.

Wooden-hulled, sidewheel ferry boat built in New York City in 1847.  Sometimes documented as the Wyandanck.  Acquired from the Union Ferry Company of New York City.

Used as a store ship for the Potomac Flotilla.

After the war, the ship was stationed in Annapolis, Md., and served into the 1870s as  a floating barracks for the U.S. Marines assigned to the USNA.

Broken up there in 1879.

--Old B-Runner

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

March 13, 1863: Naval Engagement at Fort Pemberton, Yazoo Pass

MARCH 13TH, 1863:  The USS Chilcothe, Lieutenant-Commander J.P. Foster, USS Baron De Kalb, Lieutenant-Commander J.G. Walker and a mortar schooner, reengaged the Confederate works at Fort Pemberton as the Yazoo Pass Expedition attempted to move down the Tallahatchie River to Greenwood, Mississippi.

In action described by Walker as "severe,"  Chillicothe sustained 38 hits in an exchange of fire lasting about an hour and a half.  her ammunition exhausted, the Chillicothe retired; the De Kalb continued to engage the fort for some 3 more hours before withdrawing.

Lt. Col.  James H. Wilson, USA, remarked:  "The rebel position is a strong one by virtue of the difficulties of approach ...."  The gunboats were unable to bring their full fire power to bear on the works, and the Army was unable to render effective assistance.  Thus, though the fort was damaged by the attack, the follow up operations could not be pressed to make the Confederates withdraw.

--Old B-R'er

Fort Anderson, New Bern, N.C.-- Part 3: Mounted 6 Cannons

One source said Lt. Col. Hiram Anderson was later killed at the Battle of Cold Harbor in 1864.  I  couldn't find anything else on his death, but one source did say that the 92nd New York, his regiment suffered heavy losses there.

From N.C. Military Installations Civil War

One of a series of Union forts built 1862-1863 to protect New Bern, N.C.  Mounted four 32-pounders carronades, 24-pdr. howitzer, a 12-pdr. howitzer.  Named for Hiram Anderson.  The 92nd New York garrisoned it.

--Old B-Runner

Monday, March 12, 2018

Fort Anderson, N.C.-- Part 2: Fear of the CSS Neuse and Readiness to Fight

A newspaper article dated February 28, 1863, had this to say about Fort Anderson:

"Fort Anderson is in excellent trim for fighting, if attacked by a land force; and it is occupied by troops not likely to give it up before it becomes actually necessary.

"If the ram the enemy now has nearly ready (CSS Neuse) above Kinston should succeed in making its passage down the Neuse (River) it might alter circumstances materially.  There is much hope that the machine will not be able to navigate the Neuse above here, for the channel is narrow, and in many places shallow.

"Vessels have been sunk to obstruct the passage about one mile above us; but that will not place us out of range.  Our rifle gun, however, would enable us to return compliments.

--Old B-R'er

Fort Anderson, N.C.-- Part 1: the 92nd New York and Hiram Anderson

From the Thomas Legion site.

Not to be confused with the Confederate fort on the Cape Fear River.  This was a Union fort across the Neuse River from New Bern, North Carolina.

A relatively small fort named for Union Lt. Col. Hiram Anderson.  The fort was built flanked on both sides by swamps and approachable from the front only be a long narrow causeway.

It was garrisoned by the 92nd New York, commanded by Anderson.

--Old B-Runner

Friday, March 9, 2018

Battle of Hampton Roads Weekend Coming Up

From the March 8,2018, Hampton Roads (Va.) Daily Press  "Battle of Hampton Roads Weekend."

The Mariners' Museum and Park (100 Museum Drive, Newport News, Va.) will be marking the 156 anniversary of the Battle Between the Monitor and Virginia (which took place March 9, 1862. today).

To mark the battle, there will be family-friendly activities, lectures, tours, hands-on-activities, cannon firings and re-enactors on hand from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.

--Old B-Runner

156th Anniversary of the Battle of the Ironclads

Also called the Battle of Hampton Roads.  On this date 156 years ago, the Union's USS Monitor fought the Confederacy's CSS Virginia in the first battle of ironclads ever.  The battle ended in a draw, but forever changed naval architecture.

--Old B-R'er

Black Soldier Bruce Anderson Receives Medal of Honor at Fort Fisher

From African American Medals of Honor Wikipedia.

While I am on the subject of Blacks receiving Medals of Honor, this one got his at Fort Fisher.  Plus, you didn't often see Blacks serving in white regiments.


Army, private 142nd New York at the Second Battle of Fort Fisher, January 15, 1865.

Voluntarily advanced with the head of the column and cut down palisades.

--Old B-Runner

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Black Sailors Receiving Medals of Honor-- Part 2: Three of seven at Mobil Bay

WILSON BROWN--  Landsman--  USS Hartford--  Mobile Bay--  August 5, 1864

JOHN HENRY LAWSON--  Landsman--  USS Hartford--  Mobile Bay--  August 5, 1864

JAMES MIFFLIN--  Engineer's Cook--  USS Brooklyn--  Mobile Bay--  August 5, 1864

JOACHIM PENSE--  Seaman--  USS Kearsarge--  off France vs. CSS Alabama--  June 19, 1864

--Old B-R'er

March 8, 1863: USS Sagamore Captures a Blockade Runner

MARCH 8TH, 1863.  155 Years Ago.

The USS Sagamore, Lieutenant Commander English,  captured sloop Enterprise bound for Mosquito Inlet, Florida, to Nassau with cargo of cotton.

--Old B-Runner

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Black Sailors Receiving the Medal of Honor-- Part 1

From Wikipedia  "African American Medal of Honor recipients."

AARON ANDERSON--  Landsman--  USS Wyandank--  March 17, 1865--  Mattox Creek, Va.

ROBERT BLAKE--  contraband--  USS Marblehead--  Dec. 25, 1863--  Stono River, S.C.

WILLIAM H. BROWN--  Landsman--  USS Brooklyn--  Aug. 5, 1864--  Mobile Bay

--Old B-R'er

Battle of Fort Anderson, New Bern N.C.

From Wikipedia.

Not to be confused with the Fort Anderson on the Cape Fear River below Wilmington, N.C..

Also called the Battle of Deep Gully.  Fought March 13-15, 1863.  We are coming up on the 155th anniversary of it.

Part of the Longstreet Tidewater Campaign.

Confederate General D.H. Hill advanced on New Bern, North Carolina.  Confederate Gen. W.H.C. Whiting at Wilmington refused to cooperate and send men.

Hill had initial success at Deep Gully on March 13 and the federals retreated to Fort Anderson on the opposite side of the Neuse River from New Bern.  Investing it, Confederate forces were forced to withdraw with the arrival of Union gunboats.

Hill then moved to threaten Union forces at Washington, North Carolina.

--Old Secesh