Thursday, December 31, 2015

Welles' Annual Report for 1865-- Part 5: Cutting Back, But Not Too Much

"In the details of the policy and the measures by which our naval power is now brought down to the dimensions and distributed top the important operations of peace establishment, the country will see with relief and gratitude a large and signal reduction of the national expenditure.  I need hardly to say that this great object is kept constantly and carefully in view by this department.

""Such alleviations of the public burdens is the plain dictate of a wise policy.  Yet true wisdom directs that this policy of retrenchment in the naval branch of the public service must not be carried too far.

"It is still wise--the wisest--economy to cherish the navy, to husband its resources, to invite new supplies of youthful courage and skill to its service, to be amply supplied with all needful facilities and preparations for efficiency, and thus to hold within prompt and easy reach its vast and salutary power for the national defence and self-vindication."

--Old B-R'er

Welles' Annual Report for 1865-- Part 4: Protecting American Commerce

Gideon Welles added:  "In time of peace our naval force should be actively employed visiting every commercial port where American capital is employed, and there are few available points on the globe which American enterprise has not penetrated and reached.  But commerce needs protection, and our squadrons and public vessels in commission must not be inactive.

"One or more of our naval vessels ought annually to display the flag of the Union in every port where our ships may trade.  The commerce and navy of a people have a common identity  and are inseparable companions.

"Wherever our merchant ships may be employed, there should be within convenient proximity a naval force to protect them and make known our national power."

The Secretary concluded his report:  "As peace is being restored among us, the country now puts off the formidable naval armor which it had assumed to vindicate upon a mighty scale  that supremacy of the national law which is the very life of our Union."

--Old B-Runner

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Welles' Annual Report for 1865-- Part 3: Re-establishing the Foreign Squadrons

Secretary Welles went on to report the joint operations leading to the evacuation of Mobile and the capitulation of the Confederacy through the Gulf coast.  "On the 2nd of June, Galveston was surrendered, and the supremacy of the government was once more established on the entire coast, from Maine to and including Texas.

"With only limited means at the command of the department to begin with," he wrote, "the navy became suddenly an immense power."

During the war, the Navy had increased from 42 active commissioned ships to a fleet of nearly 700.  Welles noted that 208 ships had been built or begun during that period, and 418 others, primarily steamers, had been purchased.  The number of men in the service grew from 7,600 at the outset of the war to 51,500 at its close.

"An unrelaxing blockade was maintained for four years from the capes of the Chesapeake to the Rio grande, while a flotilla of gunboats, protecting and aiding the army in its movements, penetrated and patrolled our rivers, through an internal navigation almost continental, from the Potomac to the Mississippi.

"After the capture of Forts Hatteras and Clark, in August, 1861, port after port was wrested from the insurgents, until the flag of the Union was again restored in every harbor along our coast, and the rebellion was eventually wholly suppressed."

Welles continued:  "As soon as our domestic troubles were overcome, the duty of attending to our interests abroad prompted the re-establishing of the foreign squadrons which had been suspended.  The European, Brazil, and the East India squadrons have been organized anew upon as economical a scale as is consistent with their efficiency, the interests of commerce, and a proper regard for our position as a nation.""

--Old B-Runner

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Welles Annual Report for 1865-- Part 2: Capture of Charleston

Farther down the coast, Welles continued:  "...Rear Admiral Dahlgren was engaged with assisting in the transfer of the right wing of the army to Beaufort, S.C., and in the course of General Sherman's march northward that officer and his army were aided by all needful naval operations.

"On the night of the 12th and 13th of February a joint movement was made along the approaches from Bull's Bay to Mount Pleasant, with a view of embarrassing the military commandant at Charleston, blinding him as to the actual military design....  Other less extensive movements than that at Bull's Bay were made about that period....  They were intended simply to attract the attention of the rebels and aiding General Sherman in accomplishing his great purpose of moving toward Richmond....

"The morning of the 18th [of February] revealed the fact that Charleston was evacuated.  Thus, without a final struggle, the original seat of the rebellion, the most invulnerable and best protected city on the coast, whose defenses had cost immense treasure and labor, was abandoned, and the emblem of unity and freedom was again reinstated upon the walls of Sumter."

--Old B-Runner

Monday, December 28, 2015

December 27, 1865: Welles Annual Report-- Part 1: Fort Fisher's Fall Key to Confederacy's Collapse

DECEMBER 27, 1865:  In his fourth annual report to the President, Secretary Welles summarized naval activity during 1865 and reviewed the contributions of the Navy to the North's war effort.  "The demands upon the naval service," he wrote, "which for four years had been exacting, were relaxed upon the fall of Fort fisher.

"That event, and the possession of Cape Fear river, closed all access to Wilmington, the port of rebel supplies, put an end to illicit traffic with the states in insurrection, and extinguished the last remnants of that broken commerce which foreign adventurers had, notwithstanding constant and severe losses persisted in carrying on by breach of blockade."

--Welles noted that the evacuation of Wilmington "was preliminary to the fall of Richmond and the surrender of rebel armies, which were thenceforward deprived of supplies from abroad."

But while general Lee's soldiers were thus cut off from their source of supplies,  the Union troops were assured full logistic support and freedom of movement because the North dominated the waterways at General Grant's vital base at City Point.

--Old B-Runner

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Secretary Welles Has It In for Semmes-- Part 2

Raphael Semmes was released from prison in April 1866 without ever having been brought to trial.

The government considered its legal case against him inadequate as Semmes had never been in actual custody of Union forces when the Alabama was sunk off Cherbourg, France, on 19 June 1864.  he had been rescued by the English yacht Deerhound.

--Old B-R'er

December 27, 1865: Welles Greatly Dislikes Admiral Semmes-- Part 1

From the Civil War Naval Chronology.

Dec. 27, 1865:  Secretary Welles observed in his diary that his orders to arrest Raphael Semmes had been carried out and that the ex-Confederate raider captain was being brought to Washington to stand trial for breaking parole.

"He did not belong in the Rebel region, "wrote Welles, "and has not therefore the poor apology of those who shelter themselves under the action of their States; he was educated and supported by that government which he deserted in disregard of his obligations and his oath; he made it his business to rob and destroy ships and property of his unarmed countrymen engaged in peaceful commerce; when he finally fought and was conquered he practiced a fraud, and in violation of his surrender broke faith, and without ever being exchanged fought against the Union at Richmond."

Semmes definitely had something to worry about once in Washington as Welles definitely had it in for him.  At the end of the diary entry, Welles was referring to the battle between the USS Kearsarge and CSS Alabama which resulted in the latter's being sunk.  However, Semmes was not captured at the time and as such had not agreed to a parole.

--Old B-Runner

Friday, December 25, 2015

Four Major Military Events That Took Place on Christmas Day: Fort Fisher

From the DoDLive by Katie Lange.

These events took place on Christmas Day:

1775--  Washington's famous crossing of the Delaware River and attack on the British at Trenton.  A big victory.

1864--  The First Battle of Fort Fisher, North Carolina.  A Confederate victory, Union loss.

1896--  "Stars and Stripes Forever" written by John Philip Sousa.

1972--  Operation Linebacker II begins against North Vietnam.

--Old B-Runner

Thursday, December 24, 2015

CSS Arctic-- Part 3: Did the USS Arctic Become the CSS Arctic?

I ended up doing a whole lot of research on this ship yesterday.  It's probable history started becoming apparent.

From the Civil War Talk site.

Another person found two references to Civil War ships named Arctic.  One was the CSS Arctic, a floating battery stationed at Wilmington, N.C.  It was destroyed in December 1864 or early 1865 depending upon the source.

The other was the USS Arctic, commissioned by the U.S. Navy and having service with the U.S. Coast Survey.  In 1859, it was transferred to the Lighthouse Board and saw duty as a lightship for twenty years.

Another person said the CSS Arctic was converted from a lightship and mounted three cannons.

It was possibly raised and put back into service again.

He believes the Confederate and Union Arctics were one and the same ship.

--Old B-Runner

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

CSS Arctic-- Part 2: Union Ship/Confederate Ship?

Another person wrote some information that I have seen in several places concerning the CSS Arctic.

Flt. Btry: 3 guns  (Floating battery)

Built in Wilmington 1863, as ironclad floating battery and additional duty as a receiving ship for Flag Officer Robert F. Pinckney's Naval Forces Station Cape Fear River from 1862-1864 with Lt. C.B. Poindexter, CSN, in command.

Her machinery removed in the latter part of 1862 for ironclad CSS Richmond then completing in Richmond.

With threat of First Attack on Fort Fisher, it was sunk 24 December 1864 to obstruct the Cape Fear River channel.

Another person commented that the Arctic's engine was removed in 1859 and was providing power to a sawmill when the CSS Richmond was commissioned with engines built by Naval Ironworks in Richmond, Virginia.

--These are some conflicting accounts Indeed.  --Old B-Runner

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

CSS Arctic-- Part 1: Somewhat of a Mystery Ship

I have been writing about J.J. Ingraham who at least at times was stationed as a boatswain on the CSS Arctic.  There is not a lot written about the CSS Arctic at the Wilmington (N.C.) Naval Station in the Cape Fear River.

Civil War Talk had a thread running on it at one time "CSS Arctic--what do we know?"  Not much.

A person wrote that he knew it was a floating battery with a "nifty" name, but that was about it.

Another commented that it was a receiving ship and at one time 38 Confederate Marines were stationed there after the loss of their ship, the CSS Raleigh.

Wikipedia lists it as an ironclad floating battery, burned in 1865, but had no article on it.

--Old B-R'er

J.J. Ingraham, CSN-- Part 3: Service on the Arctic and Raleigh and What Is a Boatswain?

J.J. Ingraham was listed with the crew of the CSS Arctic of the Wilmington (NC) Naval Station in the June 1862; July 1863; April-Nov. 1864 rosters.  The CSS Arctic was the station's receiving ship evidently.

He was listed as a boatswain.  At one point, the Arctic was under the command of Lt. C.B. Poindexter and W.T. Muse is also listed as commander.

He also appears as a boatswain on the crew list for the CSS Raleigh on Jan., Feb., and March 1862; Jan. to June 1864 rosters.  Lt. Commanding was James W. Alexander.

I had the idea that a boatswain was an enlisted man of high rank and according to Wikipedia, a boatswain is a senior crewman of the deck department and supervises others.

--Old B-Runner

Monday, December 21, 2015

J.J. Ingraham CSN-- Part 2: Service Aboard CSS Chickamauga.

From "British Ships in the Confederate Navy" by Joseph McKenna.

Officers on the CSS Chickamauga 26 September-15 December 1864.  This was when Lt. John Wilkinson took the ship on a raid from Wilmington up the U.S. east coast and captured several prizes.

John Wilkinson, lt. commanding
W,G. Dozier, lst lt and Executive Officer
F.M. Roby, lt.
Clarence L. Stanton, lt.
Clarence Cary, passed midshipman
D.M. Lee, passed midshipman
I.M. Barien, passed midshipman
J.J. Ingraham, boatswain

The cruise left Wilmington on October 28, 1864, and returned to Wilmington on Nov. 19, 1864.

--Old B-R'er

J.J. Ingraham, CSN-- Part 1: Boatswain

From Confederate States Navy Arthur Wyllie.

J.J. Ingraham was appointed to the USNA from Virgibia and entered CSS Navy Jan. 16, 1864 as boatswain.  One source has him as boatswain of the CSS Arctic in 1863.  Served on the steam gunboat CSS Raleigh and ironclad sloop CSS North Carolina. and Wilmington Station in 1864 and later

Boatswain  Confederate States Navy on Jan. 16, 1864.

Boatswain Provisional Confederate States Navy June 2, 1864.Assigned to the ironclad CSS Raleigh 1863-1864, the CSS Arctic and the CSS Chickamauga and Wilmington Naval Station in 1864.

I was unable to find any mention of him as being in the U.S. Naval Academy.

--Old B-Runner

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Captain Duncan Nathaniel Ingraham, CSN-- Part 2: Confederate Service

Captain Ingraham resigned his commission in the USN on 4 February 1861 to enter the CSN with the rank of captain.  He commanded the Charleston Naval Station from 1862 to the city's evacuation in 1865.

He died in Charleston 16 October 1891.

Four ships in the USN have been named in his honor.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Captain Duncan Nathaniel Ingraham-- Part 1: A Distinguished USN Career

From Geni. site.

Born Dec. 6, 1802.  Died 16 October 1891.  USN and CSN.

Native of Charleston, S.C..  Appointed midshipman 18 June 1812 at age ten.   Served during War of 1812 and Mexican War.  Served with distinction.  Commissioned captain 14 December 1853.

While in command of the sloop-of-war USS St. Louis in July 1853 in the Mediterranean, he interfered with the detention by the Austrian consul at Smyrna. Turkey, of Martin Koszta, a Hungarian who had declared in New York of his intention of becoming and American citizen, and who had been seized and confined on the Austrian ship Hussar.

For his role, Duncan Ingraham was voted the thanks of Congress and awarded the Gold medal.

Afterwards, Ingraham served as Chief of Bureau of Ordnance and Hydrographer of the Navy from 1856-1860.

--Old B-R'er

The Ingraham Family in the Confederate Navy

While looking up information about John Ingraham, I came across a lot of other Ingrahams involved in the confederate Navy.

Someone on was looking for information on the Ingraham family of Charleston, S.C. and had a list of names:

Duncan Nathaniel Ingraham:  Captain U.S. and CS navies

Henry Laurens Ingraham:  Lieutenant in U.S. and C.S. navies

John Hazlehurst Ingraham--  Midshipman U.S. Navy and Lieutenant C.S. Navy

George H. Ingraham:  Paymaster's Clerk, C.S. Navy

J.J. Ingraham:  Boatswain C.S. Navy

Sure Hope None of Them Had a Statue Put Up in New Orleans.  The Slavery Thing You Know.  --Old B-Runner

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Confederate Officer John Hazelhurst Ingraham-- Part 2: Duty in Charleston

Served on receiving ship CSS Indian Chief in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina.  Also on the ironclad CSS Chicora and Huntress in the Charleston Squadron in 1862.  Posted abroad in '63 and'64.  Became 1st lieutenant on January 6, 1864.  Back on the CSS Chicora and later commanded a battery in Charleston Harbor in '64.

Promoted to 1st lieutenant Provisional Navy June 2, 1864.

Assigned to Battery Wood on the James River in October 1864.

--Old B-R'er

Confederate Officer John Hazelhurst Ingraham-- Part 1: Native South Carolinan

From the Crew of the CSS Virginia "The CSS Virginia: Sink Before Surrender."

Born in South Carolina and appointed from there to the U.S. Naval Academy.  Tendered resignation Feb. 10, 1861 and accepted four days later.

Appointed midshipman in Confederate States Navy on April 23, 1861.  Served in the Savannah Station in 1861, made acting master on September 24,1861.

Served on CSS Nashville in 1861-1862.  Promoted to second lieutenant and lieutenant for war February 8, 1862.  He was boarding officer of the Nashville when it captured the Robert Gilfillan on Feb. 26, 1862.

Assigned to the ironclad CSS Virginia March 9, 1862.  This was the day that it engaged the USS Monitor in that famous sea battle.

--Old B-Runner

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Confederate Receiving Ship CSS Indian Chief-- Part 5

When Charleston, S.C. was evacuated by the Confederates, along with the other naval vessels, the CSS Indian Chief was burned.

Henry F. River, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in charge of dredging Charleston Harbor and environs from 1926-1948 noted that in 1929, that while dredging Town Creek, they struck a large obstruction.  They returned with the snag boat Wateree and using a clamshell bucket and dynamite, removed the remains of the vessel.

He had no doubt that it was the CSS Indian Chief.

--Old B-Runner

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Receiving Ship CSS Indian Chief-- Part 4: Used As a Practice Ship for the Hunley

As I mentioned last week, the Confederate submarine Hunley used the Indian Chief for practice, though it seemed most often the ship towed a fake torpedo instead of having one mounted on a long spar in front of it as it had in the Housatonic attack.

On October 15, 1863, a practice was held with inventor and namesake of the sub H.L. Hunley at the helm.  Thisd time it did not resurface on the other side of the Indian Chief.  Minutes went by, then hours.  The Hunley was found under the Indian Chief three days later.

A short time later, the usual commander of the Hunley, Lt. George E. Dixon was on board the Indian Chief raising anew crew.

--Old B-Runner

Monday, December 14, 2015

Receiving Ship CSS Indian Chief-- Part 3: In the Torpedo Service

On November 10, 1862, a Confederate Navy paymaster approved a pay voucher of $12.50 to the Mount Pleasant Ferry Company for the transfer of 52 seamen and their baggage to the Indian Chief.  This would be in keeping with its duty as a temporary home for sailors awaiting transfer.

In 1863, the Indian Chief's role expanded when it became an auxiliary to serve as a workshop and assembly platform for Confederate torpedo boats..

On August 24, 1863, Flag Officer J.R. Tucker ordered Lt. Dozier to have "as many boats fitted with torpedoes as you can hoist up to the davits of the Indian Chief and have them ready for service."  It would seem W.G. Dozier was also put in charge of torpedo boat operations as he is mentioned as "commanding special operations."

--Old B-R

Receiving Ship CSS Indian Chief-- Part 2: Picket Boat Headquarters Duty

The CSS Indian Chief became a receiving ship in 1862.  I found no mention of what it was before that.  A Confederate naval veteran after the war claimed he was assigned picket boat duty in Charleston in 1863 and wrote that headquarters was in the "full rig ship Indian Chief."  So, the Indian Chief also served as headquarters for the harbor picket ships.

A "full rig ship" is one with three masts and square-rigged ship.

On October 22, 1862, Lt. W.G. Dozier was relieved of command of the Confederate steamer Huntress and given command of the Indian Chief, replacing Lt. Ingraham.

Lt. Dozier was native South Carolinian and had been in the US Navy before the war and served as lieutenant and acting master of the frigate USS Richmond

As war approached, he resigned his commission and offered his services to his native state and was appointed to coast and harbor police before his transfer to the Confederate Navy.

--Old B-Runner

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Some More on Civil War Receiving Ships-- Part 1

From "The Day the Johnboat Went Up to the Mountains: Stories From my Twenty Years in South Carolina Maritime Archaeology" by Carl Naylor.

Civil War Receiving Ships

Receiving ships functioned as barracks for transient sailors, as "boot camps" for training new sailors and headquarters for other functions.  Invariably older vessels, no longer useful as warships and no longer seaworthy became receiving ships.

The next stop generally for these ships was scrapping.

Confederate receiving Ships:

CSS United States at Norfolk

CSS Arctic at Wilmington

CSS Indian Chief at Charleston

CSS  Sampson at Savannah

CSS Dalman at Mobile

CSS St. Philip at New Orleans

--Old B-R'er

Civil War Receiving Ships-- Part 1

In the last post on the CSS Indian Chief in Charleston Harbor, I mentioned that it was a receiving ship.  I, at one time, believed that receiving ships were posted in harbors to receive ships into the the environs, register them and meet foreign dignitaries.  That is not so.

From the U.S. Militaria Forum.

A receiving ship is any vessel serving as a point of induction into the naval service for new recruits.  Naval vessels are not built specifically for this duty.  They are relegated to it, normally at the end of their careers.

After the ship's condition is such that it had best remain in port and/or at anchor, they become receiving ships.

Modifications might include the removal of weaponry and the erecting of housing structures on the main deck.

Usually upon release from receiving duties, the ship is decommissioned or turned over to state naval militias.

Another person commented says a receiving ship was where sailors reported after training and before their permanent assignment and not a place of induction.

--Old B-Runner

Friday, December 11, 2015

CSS Indian Chief-- Part 2: Connection to the Hunley

In 1864, crowds gathered on Charleston's Cooper River docks to watch the H.L. Hunley make successful dives under the Charleston receiving ship CSS Indian Chief.  The submarine would drag a dummy torpedo, a, empty cannister, at the end of a 100+-foot rope.

The submarine would then dive under it and reappear minutes later on the other side.  Sometimes, the practces were held several times in one day.

However, on October 15, after another such run, the Hunley, this time commanded by inventor Horace L. Hunley, it failed to surface on that other side.

All hands were lost.

--Old B-R'er

The CSS Indian Chief-- Part 1: Receiving Ship in Charleston Harbor

In the last post, I mentioned a Confederate ship named the Indian Chief in connection to Joseph Ridgaway, a crew member of the doomed submarine Hunley..  I didn't know anything about it so did some more research.

The CSS Indian Chief was the receiving ship for Charleston and many naval recruits served on it.  The ship was also involved in mine laying operations and was described as a schooner.  It was burned during the Confederate evacuation of Charleston on February 18, 1865 in Town Creek.

In 1929, its wreck was leveled with dynamite and clamshell dredging..

--Old B-Runner

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Seaman Joseph Ridgaway of the Hunley-- Part 2

His new duties as second in command was to secure the aft hatch, manning the seventh crank operating the aft pump, seacock and flywheel.

He was one of the most experienced seamen on board the Hunley.

His body and those of the others were not found until 1995.

During the Hunley's excavation, his body was found with a slouch hat, pencil and wooden pope.  But the most interesting artifact found on his remains was an id for a Union soldier named Ezra Chamberlin who died at the Battle of Morris Island in 1863.

Best guess as to how it came into Ridgaway's possession was that he picked it up at some point when he was on picker duty at Morris Island. probably while he was assigned to the CSS Indian Chief.  Four other members of the Hunley's crew had also been on that ship.

After the Hunley didn't return from its attack on the Housatonic, a friend of Ridgaway's from the Indian Chief, James Joiner, brought his personal possessions back to his family in Maryland and eventually married one of Ridgaway's four sisters.

Joseph Ridgaway and the other Hunley crew members are buried at Magnolia Cemetery in Charleston, S.C..

--Old B-R'er

Seaman Joseph Ridgaway, of the Hunley-- Part 1

From Find-A-Grave.

Seaman Joseph F. Ridgaway.

second in command of the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley when it sank the USS Housatonic in 1864.  Born late 1833 to James and Elizabeth Ridgaway of Talbot County, Maryland.  He earned his experienced seaman certificate at age 16.

On August 29, 1862, he joined the Confederate States Navy in Richmond, Virginia.

Eventually he ended up in Charleston, S.C. and served on the CSS Indian Chief and later the submarine H.L. Hunley where he initially only had the duty to operate a crank used in its propulsion.  But, when William Alexander, one of the sub's builders, was transferred back to Mobile in early 1864, Lt. Dixon, its commander, promoted Ridgaway to second in command.

--Old B-Runner

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Seaman Joseph Ridgaway, Submarine Hunley

Another Marylander from Talbot County, Maryland, like Admiral Buchanan, was Joseph Ridgaway who was serving on one of his father's merchant ships at the outbreak of the Civil War.

He saw service in the Confederate Navy and in 1864, was second-in-command of the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley in its famous attack on and sinking of the USS Housatonic.  He also disappeared with that ship.

--Old B-R'er

Admiral Franklin Buchanan, CSN-- Part 2

Continued from Dec. 1st, 2015.

Franklin Buchanan commanded the CSS Virginia on the first day of battle at Hampton Roads, Virginia, but was wounded and Catesby ap Jones commanded the ship in its battle against the USS Monitor.

He was promoted to admiral and the ranking officer in the Confederate Navy and sent to Mobile to command the fleet there.  he oversaw construction of the ironclad CSS Tennessee and fought Union Admiral Farragut at the Battle of Mobile Bay.

Fort Fisher's formidable Battery Buchanan was named after him.

After the war, he served briefly as president of the Agricultural College of Maryland and the manager of an insurance company.

Admiral Franklin is described as "a champion of unsurpassed ability and bravery" and "a man of heroic mould, and one whose acts will be the theme of historians, and whose character will be the study and admiration of coming years."

--Old B-Runner

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Fort Fisher Celebrating 2015 Holiday Open House Today

From the Fort Fisher site.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015, today, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the free and open to the public open house will e held at the visitor's center at the fort, located at 1610 Fort Fisher Boulevard in South Kure Beach.

It is sponsored by the Fort Fisher Chapter 2325 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the friends of Fort Fisher and their sustaining members.

Seasonal refreshments, decorations and entertainment will be offered all day.  Holiday musical selections will be provided by the Murray Middle School Jazz Band.  Also storyteller and musician John Golden and John Bennett and Masonboro Parlor will be on hand.  The group consists of local musicians who combine lively dance and period music.

In addition, today there will be a 20% discount on all merchandise at the museum store.

--Old B-Runner

Fort Fisher Pillars

From the Oct. 29, 2015, Wilmington (NC) Star-News "Fort Fisher Pillars."

Two photos and a caption accompanied were included.  These are the two pillars standing on either side of US-421 north of Fort Fisher.  The actually fort, however, does not begin at this point.  The newspaper is not sure, but think the two pillars were erected in 1932 at the same time the Fort Fisher monument was built at Battle Acre by the North Carolina Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

The pillars were once surrounded by trees and brush, but now by homes because of the build up.

Two photos accompanied it.  One shows the pillars in the 1930s-1940s.  The other one is current.

Several comments accompanied the article.  One says he will do more research on it, several more eluded to the Confederate Flag controversy.

This article is part of the Star-News Throwback Thursday series.

--Love Those Pillars.  --Old B-R'er


Despite Bill, the "Rocks" Going Nowhere Anytime Soon

From the October 20, 2015, Wilmington (NC) Star-News by Cammie Bellamy.

The North Carolina General Assembly debated the future of the New Inlet Dam for months.  Now there is a provision in the budget for the removal of part of it, though it could stay open for years and possibly never removed.

The dam was built across the much-used by blockade-runners New Inlet to the Cape Fear River and Wilmington after the Civil War.  Fort Fisher was built to guard  New Inlet.

Discussion began in April for its removal of part of it south of Zeke's Island.  The Senate Bill 160 was introduced by Senator Michael Lee, Republican, of New Hanover.  It stalled in committee and ended up as funding for a study on its removal.

Any actual removal could not start until a study is completed.

--Old B-Runner

Monday, December 7, 2015

Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor-- Part 2: Western Michigan Men There

LOUIS J. HAMMOND JR.--  Hesperia,  US Army Air Corps, died Dec. 19, 1994.

FLOYD HENRY--  Grand Haven, died April 27, 1996.

MAX D. JENSEN--  Hesperia, US Army Air Corps, deceased.

LEO V. JOHNSON--  Norton Shores, Staff Sergeant, US Army Air Corps, 92

Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor-- Part 1: Western Michigan Men at Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941

Every year, I observe this date in all my blogs.

From the Dec. 3, 2012, M Live.

Western Michigan Men at Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941, WITH DARE OF DEATH:

HARRY BRILL--  Muskegon, died Oct. 1, 1981.

RUSSELL E. BURKHARDT--  Twin Lake, US Army Master Sergeant, died Jan. 18, 1973.

JOHN CATES--  Muskegon, USN, Fireman 1st Class, died July 27, 1980.

JAMES E. FERRO--  Muskegon, nurse at Schofield Barracks, died Oct. 26, 1996.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The End of the CSS Florida-- Part 1

From the November 27, 2015, Daily Press (Newport News, Va.) "Civil War raider sinks off Newport news" by Mark St. John Erickson.

The captured CSS Florida, Confederate commerce raider, steamed into Hampton Roads in November 1864.  For two years this ship had savaged the American merchant marine fleet, seizing and burning dozens of them.

The ship's very questionable capture by the Union Navy caused huge foreign diplomatic problems, especially with Brazil, where it was captured.    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, France and Britain denounced the capture in Brazilian waters.

Hampton Roads Naval museum curator Joe Judge said, "As far as the North was concerned, the CSS Florida had been built by a foreign country under the shadiest of circumstances-- skirting international law and a full diplomatic outcry-- then unchivalously preyed upon the weakest of vessels while never standing  up to a Union warship in a fair fight."

The CSS Florida was at sea even before the CSS Alabama.

--Old B-R'er

Irvine Stephens Bulloch-- Part 4

After the war, he was denied amnesty and remained in Liverpool working as a cotton merchant with his half brother, James Bulloch.

In 1869, his sister Mittie and the Roosevelt family toured Europe and a joyous reunion took place.  Teddy Roosevelt, future president, was with his mother Mittie who had filled him with stories of the sea and his uncles.  He later wrote "The Naval War in 1812."

Irvine Bulloch's sword is at the Merseyside Maritime Museum in Liverpool.  He lived the rest of his life in England, dying at age 58 and is buried at Toxteth Park cemetery in Liverpool.

Quite an Interesting Life.  --Old B-Runner

Friday, December 4, 2015

Irvine Stephens Bulloch-- Part 3: Promoted, But No Country to Serve

Continued from November 21st.

After the loss of the his ship, the CSS Alabama, Irvine Bulloch returned to Liverpool and set out on the ship Laurent on October 1864 to join the CSS Shenandoah as its sailing master.  It was Bulloch who navigated the ship from off San Francisco when they found out for sure that the war was over, to Liverpool where the ship surrendered to English authorities on November 6, 1865.

Once there, he found that he had been promoted to lieutenant, but he now had no country to serve.

--Old B-Runner

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Admiral Franklin Buchanan, CSN-- Part 1

From The Star Democrat "Newspeak vs. The 'Talbot Boys' by Philip Carey Foster.

Recounting Marylanders fighting for the Confederacy.

Franklin Buchanan joined the U.S. Navy shortly after the War of 1812 and served as a midshipman on a ship commanded by Commodore Perry.  He volunteered for service in the Mexican War and participated in the capture of Vera Cruz.  Later he served as second in command for Commodore Perry's expedition to Japan and is believed to be the first American officer ever to set foot on Japanese soil.

He became persuaded that the Navy needed a school like the Army had at West Point to properly train officers which led to the establishment of the Naval Academy.   As such, he served as its first superintendent, overseeing the development of both its academic and military aspects.

Maryland was ambivalent about which side it was on at the outbreak of the Civil War, but he resigned after the Baltimore Massacre, but soon afterward tried to recall it.

--Old B-R'er

The Exploits of Confederate John Yates Beall-- Part 2

Beall and his men attempted a raid on the prison at Johnston Island in September 1864 as they commandeered a ferry boat to transport those who they were attempting to rescue.  The raid failed when an informant tipped off Federal authorities.

Not to be denied, Beall decided to instead derail a passenger train carrying other Confederate officers.  That plan also failed  and he was arrested in Niagara, New York.  He was tried, found guilty and sentenced to death.

He had friends, however, in high places.  Six U.S. Senators and ninety-one members of Congress signed an appeal to have the conviction overturned, but President Lincoln did not intervene and Beall was hanged on February 24, 1864.

There is a tale about John Wilkes Booth being a friend of John Yates Beall and that he killed Lincoln partly because of his refusal to intervene but this has never been substantiated.

Beall is buried in the Zion Church Cemetery in Charles Town, West Virginia.

--Old B-Runner