Each year is divided into two halves (January through June and July through December)

1861 January - June       1861 July - December
1862 January - June     1862 July - December
1863 January - June     1863 July - December
1864 January - June     1864 July - December
1865 January - April    
(718kb Zipped Word document)

Civil War Naval Chronology 1861-1865
Published 1966 by Naval History Division , Office of the Chief of Naval Operations , Navy Department , Washington D.C.

Entries in blue are information concerning submarine warfare derived from Mark Ragan's book.


July - August - September - October - November - December

July 1861

1 USS Minnesota, Flag Officer Stringham. captured schooner Sally Mears at Hampton Roads.

Confederate privateer Petrel evaded blockaders and put to sea from Charleston.

2 USS South Carolina, Commander James Alden, initiated blockade of Galveston.

3 CSS Sumter, Commander Semmes, captured and burned American ship Golden Rocket near Isle of Pines, off the coast of Cuba.

4 USS South Carolina. Commander Alden, captured blockade running schooners Shark, Venus, Ann Ryan, McCanfield, Louisa. and Dart off Galveston.

5 USS South Carolina, Commander Alden, captured blockade running schooners Falcon and Coralia off Galveston.

USS Dana, Acting Master's Mate Robert B. Ely, captured sloop Teaser in Nanjemoy Creek, Maryland.

6 USS South Carolina, Commander Alden, captured blockade running schooner George G. Baker, off Galveston.

Confederate privateer Jefferson Davis captured American brig John Welsh and schooner Enchantress east of Cape Hatteras.

CSS Sumter, Commander Semmes, arrived at Cienfuegos, Cuba, with seven U.S. vessels taken as prizes Cuba, Machias, Ben Dunning, Albert Adams, Naiad, West Wind, Lewis Kilham. Semmes appointed a Cuban agent for custody of the prizes, expressing to the Governor there that he had entered that port "with the expectation that Spain will extend to cruisers of the Confederate States the same friendly reception that in similar circumstances she would extend to the cruisers of the enemy.

7 USS South Carolina, Commander Alden, captured schooner Sam Houston off Galveston.

Confederate privateer Jefferson Davis captured American schooner S. J. Waring about 150 miles off Sandy Hook, New Jersey.

USS Pocahontas, Commander Benjamin M. Dove, fired on and damaged CSS George Page in Aquia Creek, Virginia.

Two floating torpedoes (mines) in the Potomac River were picked up by U. S. S. Resolute, Acting Master W. Budd the earliest known use of torpedoes by the Confederates. During the course of the war a variety of ingenious torpedoes destroyed or damaged some 40 Union ships, forecasting the vast growth to come in this aspect of underwater naval warfare.

Du Pont’s report on de Villeroi’s submarine is favorable, and the vessel is recommended to the Navy.

9 USS South Carolina, Commander Alden, seized and destroyed schooner Tom Hicks with cargo of lum­ber off Galveston.

Confederate privateer Jefferson Davis captured American brig Mary E. Thompson of Bangor en route Antigua, and schooner Mary Goodell of New York en route Buenos Aires.

10 USS Minnesota, Flag Officer Stringham, captured Confederate brig Amy Warwick in Hampton Roads.

12 USS South Carolina, Commander Alden, captured Confederate schooner General T. J. Chambers off Galveston with cargo of lumber.

13 USS Massachusetts, Commander M. Smith, seized schooner Hiland near Ship Island, Mississippi.

14 USS Daylight, Commander Samuel Lockwood, initiated blockade of Wilmington, North Carolina.

15 Captain Du Pont wrote: "The Department are [sic] worried about the privateers increasing so. Lieutenant Semmes has sent . . . [vessels] into Cuba, but the Captain General ordered them to be imme­diately restored to their commanders." Du Pont also noted that the privateer Jefferson Davis, "which has ventured so far north," was also causing concern. Confederate privateers struck out boldly against Northern commerce and generated distress among shipping interests. However, as the naval blockade tightened and ports and coastal havens were seized by amphibious assault and other naval actions, opera­tions of Confederate raiders became increasingly difficult and restricted.

16 Blockade Strategy Board reported to Secretary of the Navy Welles on the necessity of halting Con­federate commerce: ". . . it is an important object in the present war that this trade, home and foreign, should be interrupted . . . The most obvious method of accomplishing this object is by putting down material obstructions; and the most convenient form of obstruction, for transportation and use, is that of old vessels laden with ballast . . . sunk in the appropriate places." This was the first sug­gestion for the "stone fleet". Elimination of water-borne trade by the Union Navy blockade (more ef­fective than the "stone fleet" obstructions at harbor entrances), meant the economic ruination of the Confederacy.

USS St Lawrence, Captain Hugh Y. Purviance, captured British blockade runner Herald, bound from Beaufort, North Carolina, to Liverpool.

William Tilghman, a Negro, overwhelmed Confederate prize crew on board schooner S.J. Waring and took possession of the vessel, carrying her into New York on 22 July.

18 Confederate schooner Favorite was captured by USS Yankee, Commander T. T. Craven, on Yeocomico River; Favorite was sunk later at Piney Point on the Potomac River.

Commander Ridgely, U.S. Receiving Ship Allegheny, reported his ship had received a battery of guns from the Washington Navy Yard and was standing by in the harbor for the protection of Annapolis.

Confederate Secretary of the Navy Mallory reported: "The frigate Merrimack [later CSS Virginia] has been raised and docked at an expense of $6,000, and the necessary repairs to hull and machinery to place her in her former condition is estimated by experts at $450,000. The vessel would then be in the river, and by the blockade of the enemy's fleets and batteries rendered comparatively useless. It has therefore been determined to shield her completely with 3 inch iron [4-inch armor was used], placed at such angles as to render her ball-proof, to complete her at the earliest moment, to arm her with the heaviest ordnance, and to send her at once against the enemy's fleet. It is believed that thus prepared she will be able to contend successfully against the heaviest of the enemy's ships and to drive them from Hampton Roads and the ports of Virginia. The cost of this work is estimated by the con­structor and engineer in charge at $172,523, and as time is of the first consequence in this enterprise I have not hesitated to commence the work and to ask Congress for the necessary appropriation."

19 Captain General of Cuba released all vessels brought into Cuban ports as prizes by CSS Sumter.

20 USS Mount Vernon, Commander Oliver S. Glisson, seized sloop Wild Pigeon on the Rappahannock River.

USS Albatross, Commander George A. Prentiss, recaptured Enchantress off Hatteras Inlet.

21 USS Albatross, Commander Prentiss, engaged CSS Beaufort, Lieutenant R. C. Duvall, in Oregon In­let, North Carolina. Albatross, heavier gunned, forced Beaufort to withdraw.

Confederate privateer Jefferson Davis captured American bark Alvarado in Atlantic (25o 04' N, 50o 00' W).

U.S. Marines commanded by Major Reynolds took part in the First Battle of Bull Run: 9 Marines killed, 19 wounded, 16 missing in action. Commander Dahlgren wrote of the loss of two naval howitzers in the battle. The Confederates also had a naval battery at Manassas.

24 Congress approved bill authorizing the appointment of an Assistant Secretary of the Navy.

Act "to provide for the temporary increase of the Navy" passed by Congress; gave President authority to take vessels into the Navy and appoint officers for them, to any extent deemed necessary; this con­firmed action that had been taken by President Lincoln since April.

25 John LaMountain began balloon reconnaissance ascensions at Fort Monroe, Virginia.

CSS Sumter, Commander Semmes, captured schooner Abby Bradford in the Caribbean Sea and, denied the right to enter Venezuela with Confederate prizes, dispatched her to a Southern port.

Confederate privateer Mariner, Captain W. B. Berry, captured American schooner Nathaniel Chase off Ocracoke Inlet, North Carolina.

Confederate privateer Gordon captured American brig William McGlivery off Cape Hatteras with cargo of molasses.

Confederate privateer Dixie captured American schooner Mary Alice off the cast coast of Florida.

USS Resolute, Acting Master W. Budd, brought two schooners and one sloop as prizes into Washing­ton, D.C.

27 CSS Sumter, Commander Semmes, captured American bark Joseph Maxwell off Venezuela.

28 USS Union, Commander J. R. Goldsborough, destroyed former American brig B. T. Martin north of Cape Hatteras, where she had been run aground by Confederates. B. T Martin had been captured previously by Confederate privateer York.

Confederate privateer Gordon captured American schooner Protector off Cape Hatteras.

USS St Lawrence, Captain Purviance, sank Confederate privateer Petrel off Charleston.

29 USS Yankee, Commander T. T. Craven, and USS Reliance, Lieutenant Mygatt, engaged Confederate battery at Marlborough Point, Virginia.

Four U.S. steamers engaged Confederate battery at Aquia Creek, Virginia, for three hours.

31 Confederate privateer Dixie captured American bark Glenn and took her to Beaufort, North Carolina.

August 1861

1 President Lincoln appointed Gustavus V. Fox Assistant Secretary of the Navy. Fox, the energetic naval officer who had led the unsuccessful Fort Sumter expedition in April, became Secretary Welles’ right hand man in the Department. His large acquaintance among naval officers and forthright, “unofficial” style made him a useful troubleshooter. By the informal correspondence which he elicited from the chief naval commanders, the Navy Department was able to keep in intimate touch with problems in the several squadrons.

3 John LaMountain made first ascent in a balloon from Union ship Fanny at Hampton Roads to observe Confederate batteries on Sewell’s Point, Virginia—a small beginning for the potent aircraft carrier in the tri-dimensional Navy of the twentieth century.

Congress authorized Secretary of the navy Welles to “appoint a board of three skillful naval officers to investigate the plans and specifications that may be submitted for the construction or completing of iron or steel-clad steamships or steam batteries . . . there is hereby appointed . . . the sum of one million five hundred thousand dollars.” Commodore Joseph Smith, Captain Hiram Paulding, Commander Charles H. Davis appointed to the Ironclad Board on 8 August.

USS Wabash, Captain Mercer, recaptured American schooner Mary Alice, which had been taken by Confederate ship Dixie, and captured brig Sarah Starr, a blockade runner, off Charleston.

USS South Carolina, Commander Alden, engaged Confederate batteries at Galveston.

4 Cutter from USS Thomas Freeborn, Lieutenant Eastman, captured schooner Pocahontas, loaded with wood, and sloop Mary Frey in Pohick Creek, Virginia.

5 USS Jamestown, Commander Charles Green, burned Confederate prize bark Alvarado near Fernandina, Florida.

Confederate privateer Jefferson Davis capture large American brig Santa Clara off Puerto Rico.

7 War Department contracted with J.B. Eads of St. Louis for construction of seven shallow-draft ironclad river gunboats. The Eads gunboats—Cairo, Carondolet, Cincinnati, Louisville, Mound City, Pittsburg, and St. Louis—were the core of the Union force on the western waters. Built with the aid of Naval Constructor Samuel M. Pooks, USN, they were the key to Grant’s great series of campaigns that, beginning in February 1862, ultimately split the South and had a decisive influence on the war.

USS Massachusetts, Commander M. Smith, captured blockade running sloop Charles Henry near Ship Island, Mississippi.

8 USS Santee, Captain Eagle, captured schooner C.P. Knapp in the Gulf of Mexico.

9 Confederate privateer York captured schooner George G. Baker. USS Union, Commander J.R. Goldsborough, recaptured George G. Baker. York was set afire off Cape Hatteras by her crew to prevent capture by Union.

11 Blockade runner Louisa, pursued by USS Penguin, Commander John L. Livingston, struck shoal near Cape Fear, North Carolina, and sank.

12 Gunboats USS Tyler, Lexington, and Conestoga, procured and fitted out by Commander J. Rodgers, arrived at Cairo, Illinois, to protect the strategic position at the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, and to scout the rivers for Confederate batteries and troop movements.

13Commander Bulloch, CSN, writing from London to Confederate Secretary of the Navy Mallory, said: “After careful examination of the shipping lists of England, and inspecting many vessels, I failed to find a single wooden steamer fit for war purposes, except one paddle steamer, too large and costly for our coast. Wood as a material for ships has almost entirely gone out of use in the British merchant service, an their iron ships, though fast, well built, and staunch enough for voyages of traffic, are too thin in the plates and light in the deck frames and stanchions to carry guns of much weight. I therefore made arrangements to contract with two eminent builders for a gun vessel each . . .”

USS Powhatan, Lieutenant D.D. Porter, recaptured schooner Abby Bradford off the mouth of the Mississippi River.

15 USS Tyler and Conestoga, Lieutenant S.L. Phelps, scouted the Mississippi for Confederate fortifications and movements as far south as New Madrid, Missouri, while USS Lexington, Lieutenant Roger N. Stembel, operating with the Army, made a similar reconnaissance  of the river north to Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

USS Resolute, Acting master W. Budd, while on a reconnaissance mission, engaged Confederate troops at Mathias Point, Virginia.

16 President Lincoln declared the inhabitants of the Confederate States to be in a state of insurrection and forbade all commercial intercourse with them.

17 Lieutenant Reigart B. Lowry wrote Assistant Secretary of the navy Fox regarding the progress for sinking a stone fleet to block the inlets to the North Carolina sounds: “We have nineteen schooners properly loaded with stone, and all our preparations are complete to divide them in two divisions and place them in tow of this steamer [Adelaide] and of the Governor Peabody. I think all arrangements are complete, as far as being prepared to ‘sink and obstruct’ . . . the obstructing party could place their vessels in position, secure them as we propose, by binding chains, spars on end in the sand to settle by action of the tide, anchors down, and finally sink them in such a way as to block the channel so effectually that there could be no navigation through them for several months to come, at least till by the aid of our new gunboats the outside blockade could be effectual.”

18 Confederate privateer Jefferson Davis, Captain Coxetter, wrecked on the bar trying to enter St. Augustine, Florida, ending a most successful cruise. Charleston Mercury (26 August 1861) said: “The name of the privateer Jefferson Davis has become a word of terror to the Yankees. The number of her prizes and the amount of merchandise which she captured have no parallel since the days of the Saucy Jack [1812 privateer].”

19-21 Assistant Secretary of the Navy Fox ordered 200 Marines to report to Commander Dahlgren at the Washington Navy Yard for duty on board ships of the Potomac Flotilla for the purpose of scouting the Maryland countryside—especially Port Tobacco—for locations suspected of being Confederate depots for provisions and arms to be used for invading Maryland.

21 USS Vandalia, Commander Samuel Phelps Lee, captured Confederate blockade runner Henry Middleton off Charleston with a cargo of spirits, turpentine, and rosin.

22 Commander J. Rodgers reported that six hundred Confederate troops occupying Commerce, Missouri, withdrew at the approach of the Union gunboats. This action prevented the erection of Confederate batteries at a location which would have effectively impeded navigation.

USS Lexington, Commander Stembel, seized steamer W.B. Terry at Paducah, Kentucky, for trading with Confederates.

Steamer Samuel Orr was seized by Confederates at Paducah, Kentucky, and taken up the Tennessee River.

23 USS Release and Yankee engaged Confederate batteries at the mouth of Potomac Creek, Virginia.

24 President Davis appointed James M. Mason Special Commissioner to the United Kingdom and John Slidell Special Commissioner to France.

26 Squadron under Flag Officer Stringham, USS Minnesota, Monticello, Pawnee, Revenue Cutter Harriet Lane, US tug Fanny, and two transports carrying about 900 troops under Major General Butler, departed Hampton Roads (later joined by USS Susquehanna and Cumberland) for Hatteras Inlet, NC, for first combined amphibious operation of the war. Hatteras Inlet was the main channel into Pamlico Sound and the most convenient entrance for blockade runners bringing supplies to the Confederate Army in Virginia. The Navy early recognized the strategic importance of the inlet and invited the Army to cooperate in its capture. The operation was designed to check Confederate privateering and to begin the relentless assault from the sea that would divert a large portion of Confederate manpower from the main armies.

Captain A.H. Foote ordered to relieve Commander J. Rodgers in command of the Army’s gunboat flotilla on the western rivers.

US tug Fanny, Lieutenant Crosby, reported the capture of the blockade running sloop Mary Emma at the headwaters of the Manokin River, Maryland.

USS Daylight, Commander Lockwood, recaptured brig Monticello in Rappahannock River.

27 Flag Officer Stringham’s squadron anchored off Hatteras Inlet and prepared to land the troops and take Forts Hatteras and Clark under attack.

28 Flag Officer Stringham’s squadron commenced bombardment of Forts Hatteras and Clark; Marines and troops were landed from surf boats above the forts under over of naval gunfire. The ships’ heavy cannonade forced the Confederates to evacuate Fort Clark. Commodore Samuel Baron, CSN, with two small vessels joined the defenders that evening.

Commander Dahlgren, Commandant of Washington Navy Yard, sent 400 seamen on steamboat Philadelphia to Alexandria, to report to Brigadier General William B. Franklin for the defense of Fort Ellsworth. This timely naval reinforcement strengthened the fort’s defenses and consequently that of the nation’s capital.

USS Yankee, Commander T.T. Craven, captured schooner Remittance near Piney Point, Virginia.

29 Hatteras Inlet was secured as Forts Hatteras and Clark surrendered unconditionally to Flag Officer Stringham and General Butler. The Union triumph sealed off commerce raiding and blockade running from Pamlico Sound. Hatteras Inlet became a coal and supply depot for the blockading ships. Of this most successful joint operation Admiral D.D. Porter later wrote: “This was our first naval victory, indeed our first victory of any kind, and should not be forgotten The Union cause was ten in a depressed condition, owing to the reverses it had experienced. The moral effect of this affair was very great, as it gave us a foothold on Southern soil and possession of the Sounds of North Carolina if we chose to occupy them. It was a death blow to blockade running in that vicinity, and ultimately proved one of the most important events of the war.”

USS R.R. Cuyler, Captain Francis B. Ellison, seized and burned Confederate ship Finland, which was prepared to receive cargo of cotton and run the blockade off Apalachicola, Florida.

30 Confederate tug Harmony attacked USS Savannah, Captain Joseph B. Hull, at Newport News, inflicting damage before withdrawing.

31 CSS Teaser shelled Newport News.

USS George Peabody, Lieutenant Lowry, captured brig Henry C. Brooks in Hatteras Inlet.

USS Jamestown, Commander Green, captured British blockade running schooner Aigburth off Florida coast.

September 1861

William Cheney’s three-man submarine nearing completion at the Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond , Virginia . A demonstration of the vessel is witnessed by Mrs. Baker, a Union  spy, who reports its existence—and effectiveness—to Allan Pinkerton and the Navy. The vessel was reported to have a three-man crew, one of whom was a diver who exited the craft through an airlock in order to attach a timed bomb to the hull of the target ship. Air was supplied via a rubber hose suspended on the surface by a camouflaged sea green float.

1 President Lincoln received news late at night from Secretary of the Navy Welles of Flag Officer Stringham's victory at Hatteras Inlet, in the initial Army- Navy expedition of the war. Coming shortly after the defeat at Bull Run, it electrified the North and greatly raised morale.

USS Dana, Acting Master's Mate Ely, captured blockade running schooner T.J. Evans off Clay Island, Maryland, with a cargo including blankets, surgical instruments, and ordnance supplies.

4 Captain Du Pont wrote: "The first fruits of the labors of [the Blockade Strategy Board] came out on the North Carolina coast [Hatteras lnlet] . . . we will secure the whole of those inland sounds and passages and hold all that coast by a flotilla the great morale effect and encouragement to the country are of incalculable service just now."

CSS Yankee (also known as CSS Jackson) and Confederate batteries at Hickman, Kentucky, fired on USSTyler, Commander J Rodgers, and Lexington. Commander Stembel, while the gunboats were reconnoitering Mississippi River south from Cairo.

USS Jamestown Commander Green, captured Confederate schooner Colonel Long. removed her cargo, and scuttled her off the coast of Georgia.

5 Captain A.H. Foote reported at St. Louis, Missouri, to relieve Commander J. Rodgers in command of naval operations on the western rivers.

6 Gunboats USS Tyler, Commander J. Rodgers, and USS Lexington. Commander Stembel, spearheaded operations by which General Grant, in his first move after taking command at Cairo, seized strategic Paducah and Smithland, Kentucky, at the mouths of the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers. Captain Foote, newly designated naval commander in the west, participated in the operation. This initial use of strength afloat by Grant, aimed at countering a Confederate move into the State, helped preserve Kentucky for the Union, and foreshadowed the General's great reliance on naval mobility and support throughout the campaigns which divided the Confederacy and placed the entire Mississippi under Union control.

U.S. consul in London reported purchase by Confederates of steamers Bermuda, Adelaide, and Victoria.

9 USS Cambridge, Commander William A. Parker, captured schooner Louisa Agnes off Nova Scotia.

10 USS Conestoga, Lieutenant S. L. Phelps, and USS Lexington, Commander Stembel, covering a troop advance, silenced the guns of a Confederate battery and damaged gunboat CSS Yankee at Lucas Bend, Missouri.

USS Pawnee, Commander Rowan, captured schooner Susan Jane in Hatteras Inlet. Other blockade runners, unaware that the Union Navy now controlled the inlet, were also taken as prizes.

USS Cambridge, Commander W. A. Parker, captured British blockade running schooner Revere off Beaufort, North Carolina, with cargo of salt and herring.

11 USS South Carolina, Commander Alden, captured Soledeid Cos with a cargo of coffee off Galveston.

13 USS Susquehanna, Captain John S. Chauncey, captured blockade running British schooner Argonaut, with cargo of fish, bound from Nova Scotia to Key West.

CSS Patrick Henry. Commander John R. Tucker, exchanged fire with USS Savannah, Captain Hull, and USS Louisiana, Lieutenant Alexander Murray, off Newport News; shot on both sides fell short.

14 In the early morning darkness sailors and Marines from USS Colorado, rowing in to Pensacola Har­bor, boarded and burned Confederate privateering schooner Judah and spiked guns at Pensacola Navy Yard.

USS Albatross. Commander Prentiss, captured schooner Alabama near the mouth of the Potomac River.

16 Ironclad Board reported to Secretary of the Navy Welles: "For river and harbor service we consider ironclad vessels of light draught, or floating batteries thus shielded, as very important . . . Armored ships or batteries may be employed advantageously to pass fortifications on land for ulterior objects of attack, to run a blockade, or to reduce temporary batteries on the shores of rivers and the approaches to our harbors.'' The Board recommended construction of three ironclads (Monitor. Galena, and New Ironsides). These ships, and those that followed, revolutionized naval warfare.

USS Conestoga, Lieutenant S. L. Phelps, captured Confederate steamers V.R. Stephenson and Gazelle on Cumberland River, Kentucky.

16-17 Landing party from USS Pawnee, Commander Rowan, destroyed guns and fortifications on Beacon Island, closing Ocracoke Inlet, North Carolina. Admiral D. D. Porter later wrote: "The closing of these inlets [Hatteras and Ocracoke] to the Sounds of North Carolina sent the blockade runners elsewhere to find entrance to Southern markets, but as channel after channel was closed the smugglers' chance diminished. . ."

17 Confederates evacuated Ship Island, Mississippi; landing party from USS Massachusetts took possession. Ship Island eventually became the staging area for General Butler's troops in the amphibious opera­tions below New Orleans.

18 USS Rescue, Master Edward L. Haines, captured Confederate schooner Hartford with cargo of wheat and tobacco on the Potomac River.

Flag Officer Du Pont was appointed Commander South Atlantic Blockading Squadron. Du Pont wrote : "My appointment as a flag officer will be dated today . . . Things have taken an active turn, and this day is an epoch in naval history–seniority and rotation have seen their last day. Selection with as much regard to seniority as the good of the service will admit is now the order of the day.''

Secretary of the Navy Welles wrote Flag Officer Louis M. Goldsborough, appointed to command North Atlantic Blockading Squadron: "It is essentially necessary that the Navy should at this time put forth all its strength and demonstrate to the country and to foreign powers its usefulness and capa­bility in protecting and supporting the Government and the Union. There must be no commercial intercourse with the ports that are in insurrection, and our Navy must, by its power, energy, and ac­tivity, enforce the views of the President and the Government on this subject. Privateers to depredate on our commerce and rob our countrymen pursuing their peaceful avocations must not be permitted..."

19 USS Gemsbok, Acting Master Edward Cavendy, captured blockade running schooner Harmony, en route Nova Scotia to Ocracoke, North Carolina.

21 Boat under Midshipman Edward A. Walker from USS Seminole, Commander Gillis, captured sloop Maryland on the Potomac River.

22 USS Gemsbok, Acting Master Cavendy, captured schooner Mary E. Pindar off Federal Point, North Caro­lina, attempting to run the blockade with cargo of lime.

Flag Officer McKean assumed command of the Gulf Blockading Squadron.

23 USS Lexington, Commander Stembel, proceeded to Owenshoro, Kentucky, "for the purpose of keeping the Ohio River open" and in order to protect Union interests in the area. Such expeditions deep into territory with Confederate sympathies were fundamental in containing Southern advances in the border states.

U.S S. Cambridge, Commander W.A. Parker, captured British schooner, Julia bound for Beaufort, North Carolina.

Flag Officer L.M. Goldsborough assumed command of North Atlantic Blockading Squadron including operations in the Chesapeake.

24 USS Dart, Acting Master William M. Wheeler, captured Confederate schooner Cecelia off Louisiana, thereafter fitted out as Union cruiser by USS Huntsville, Commander Cicero Price.

25 CSS Sumter, Commander Semmes. captured American ship Joseph Park off northeast coast of South America; three days later burned her at sea.

USS Jacob Bell, Lieutenant Edward P. McCrea, and USS Seminole, Lieutenant Charles S. Norton, engaged Confederate battery at Freestone Point, Virginia.

Secretary of the Navy Welles instructed Flag Officer Du Pont, commanding South Atlantic Blockading Squadron: "The Department finds it necessary to adopt a regulation with respect to the large and increasing number of persons of color, commonly known as 'contrabands.' now subsisted at the navy yards and on board ships-of-war. These can neither be expelled from the service, to which they have resorted, nor can they be maintained unemployed, and it is not proper that they should be compelled to render necessary and regular services without compensation. You are therefore authorized, when their services can be made useful, to enlist them for the naval service, under the same forms and regulations as apply to other enlistments. They will be allowed, however, no higher rating than 'boys,' at a com­pensation of ten dollars per month and one ration per day."

28 USS Susquehanna, Captain Chauncey, captured Confederate schooner San Juan, bound for Elizabeth City, North Carolina, with cargo of salt, sugar, and gin.

29 USS Susquehanna, Captain Chauncey, captured schooner Baltimore off Hatteras Inlet.

30 USS Dart, Acting Master Wheeler, captured schooner Zavalla off Vermillion Bay, Louisiana.

USS Niagara, Captain John Pope, captured pilot boat Frolic at South West Pass of the Mississippi River.

Cecelia, prize and render to USS Huntsville, Commander Price, captured blockade running schooner Ranchero west of Vermillion Bay.

October 1861

1 Confederate naval forces, including CSS Curlew, Raleigh, and Junaluska. under flag Officer William F. Lynch, CSN, captured steamer Fanny in Pamlico Sound with Union troops on board. Colonel Claiborne Snead, CSA, reported: "The victory was important in more respects than one. It was our first naval success in North Carolina and the first capture made by our arms of an armed war- vessel of the enemy. and dispelled the gloom of recent disasters. The property captured [two rifled guns and large amount of army stores] was considerable, much needed, and highly esteemed. . ."

Secretary Welles, in a letter to Secretary Seward, opposed issuing letters of marque because it would be "a recognition of the assumption of the insurgents that they are a distinct and independent nationality."

3 Captain Eagle, commanding USS Santee, reported return of USS Sam Houston to Galveston with schooner Reindeer, captured off San Luis Pass, Texas. The schooner, deemed worthless, was sunk.

4 USS South Carolina, Commander Alden, captured Confederate schooners Ezilda and Joseph H. Toone off South West Pass of the Mississippi River with four to five thousand stand of arms.

5 Two boats from USS Louisiana, Lieutenant A. Murray, destroyed Confederate schooner being fitted out as a privateer at Chincoteague Inlet, Virginia.

USS Monticello, Lieutenant Daniel L. Braine, drove off Confederate troops and steamers attacking Union soldiers in the vicinity of Hatteras Inlet.

6 USS Flag, Commander Louis C. Sartori, captured Confederate blockade running schooner Alert near Charleston.

7 USS Tyler, Commander Walke, and USS Lexington, Commander Stembel, exchanged fire with Confederate batteries at Iron Bluffs, near Columbus, Kentucky.

USS Louisiana, Lieutenant A. Murray, captured schooner S.T. Garrison, with cargo of wood, near Wallops Island, Virginia.

9 Confederate steamer Ivy, Lieutenant Joseph Fry, attacked U.S. blockading vessels at Head of Passes, Mississippi River; no damage caused but long range of Ivy's guns concerned naval officers.

First documented attempt to sink an enemy ship with a submarine in the Civil War. The target was the U.S.S. Minnesota  in Hampton Roads. The submarine became fouled in grappling hanging from the jib boom (which its occupants thought was the anchor cable). The vessel escaped. A 12 October newspaper report based upon testimony from a Confederate deserter claims the submarine employed an India rubber suction plate to attach to its target and plant a timed bomb.

10 USS Daylight, Commander Lockwood, silenced Confederate battery attacking American ship John Clark anchored in Lynnhaven Bay, Virginia.

Confederate troops at Tampa Bay captured American sloop William Batty.

11 Lieutenant Abram D. Harrell of USS Union. with three boat crews cut out and burned Confederate schooner in Dumfries Creek on the Potomac River.

12 Confederate metal-sheathed ram Manassas, Commodore Hollins, CSN, in company with armed steamer Ivy and James L. Day, attacked USS Richmond, Vincennes, Water Witch, Nightingale, and Preble near Head of Passes, Mississippi River. In this offensive and spirited action by the small Confederate force, Manassas rammed Richmond, forced her and Vincennes aground under heavy fire before withdrawing. Acting Master Edward F. Devens of Vincennes observed: "From the appearance of the Richmond's side in the vicinity of the hole, I should say that the ram had claws or hooks attached to her . . . for the purpose of tearing out the plank from the ship's side, It is a most destructive invention . . . [Manassas] resembles in shape, a cigar cut lengthwise, and very low in the water. She must be covered with railroad iron as all the shells which struck her glanced off, some directly at right angles. You could hear the shot strike quite plainly. They did not appear to trouble her much as she ran up the river at a very fast rate."

Confederate ship Theodora ran the blockade at Charleston with Mason and Slidell, Commissioners to Eng­land and France respectively, on board.

Confederate privateer Sallie captured American brig Granada in the Atlantic (33o N, 71o W):

USS Dale, Commander Edward M. Yard, captured schooner Specie east of Jacksonville, bound for Havana with large cargo of rice.

Secretary of the Navy Welles wrote Flag Officer Du Pont: "In examining the various points upon the coast, it has been ascertained that Bull's Bay, St. Helena, Port Royal, and Fernandina, are each and all accessible and desirable points for the purposes indicated [Fleet coaling and supply stations], and the Government has decided to take possession of at least two of them." Coaling and supply depots seized by the Navy on the Southern coast allowed blockaders to remain on station for longer periods without returning to Northern navy yards.

Warning given that Confederates had lined James River with powerful submarine batteries (mines).

13 USS Keystone State, Commander Gustavus H. Scott, captured Confederate steamer Salvor near the Tortugas Islands with cargo of coffee, cigars, and munitions.

14 In the presence of Lieutenant A. Murray of USS Louisiana, citizens of Chincoteague Island, Virginia, took the oath of allegiance to the United States and presented a petition in which they stated their "abhorrence of the secession heresy."

15 USS Roanoke, Flag, Monticello, and Vandalia captured and burned blockade runner Thomas Watson on Stono Reef, off Charleston.

16 USS South Carolina, Commander Alden, captured schooner Edward Barnard with cargo of turpentine on board at South West Pass, Mississippi River.

17 Flag Officer Du Pont wrote: 'There is no question that Port Royal is the most important point to strike, and the most desirable to have first and hold . . . Port Royal alone admits the large ships– and gives us such a naval position on the sea coast as our Army is holding across the Potomac." Sub­sequently, the strategic importance of Port Royal to the Union Navy and the blockade substantiated this judgment.

Confederate privateer Sallie, Master Henry S. Lebby, captured American brig Betsey Ames opposite the Bahama Banks with cargo including machinery.

18 USS Gemsbok, Acting Master Cavendy, captured brig Ariel off Wilmington with cargo of salt.

19 USS Massachusetts, Commander M. Smith, engaged CSS Florida, Lieutenant Charles W. Hays, in Mississippi Sound. Though the battle was inconclusive, Captain Levin M. Powell of USS Potomac noted one result that could be bothersome to Union naval forces: "The caliber and long range of the rifled cannon [of Florida] . . . established the ability of these fast steam gunboats to keep out of the range of all broadside guns, and enables them to disregard the armament or magnitude of all ships thus armed, or indeed any number of them, when sheltered by shoal water."

21 Charles P. Leavitt, Second Virginia Regiment, wrote the Confederate Secretary of War: "I have invented an instrument of war which for a better name I have called a submarine gunboat. . . My plan is simple. A vessel is built of boiler iron of about fifty tons burden . . . but made of an oval form with the propeller behind. This is for the purpose of having as little draft of water as possible for the purpose of passing over sand-bars without being observed by the enemy. The engines are of the latest and best style so as to use as little steam as possible in proportion to the power received. The boilers are so constructed as to generate steam without a supply of air. The air for respiration is kept in a fit condition for breathing by the gradual addition of oxygen, while the carbonic acid is absorbed by a shower of lime water . . . I propose to tow out my gun-boat to sea and when within range of the enemy's guns it sinks below the water's surface so as to leave no trace on the surface of its ap­proach, a self-acting apparatus keeping it at any depth required. When within a few rods of the enemy it leaps to surface and the two vessels come in contact before the enemy can fire a gun. Placed in the bow of the gun-boat is a small mortar containing a self-exploding shell. As it strikes the engines are reversed, the gun-boat sinks below the surface and goes noiselessly on its way toward another ship. After a few ships are sunk the enemy can scarcely have the temerity to remain in our waters . . . I have written you on this subject in order to obtain an opportunity to draft out my invention, which with the means at command in Richmond can be done in a week . . ." Although Leavitt's scheme was not adopted, it was an interesting indication of early thinking about submarines in the South. Ultimately the Confederacy built H. L. Hunley, first submarine to be used successfully in combat.

22 Captain T. T. Craven, commanding Potomac River Flotilla, reported the Potomac River was com­manded by Confederate batteries at all important points below Alexandria.

23 Officers and men of privateer Savannah went on trial in New York charged with "piracy."

25 John Ericcson began construction of single-turret, two-gun ironclad USS Monitor at Greenpoint, New York.

Flag Officer Du Pont wrote Assistant Secretary of the Navy Fox of the continuing importance of am­phibious training: "Landing a brigade today to exercise Ferry boats and Surf boats-reaping immense advantages from the experiment by seeing the defects."

USS Rhode Island, Lieutenant Stephen D. Trenchard, captured schooner Aristides off Charlotte Harbor, Florida.

26 USS Conestoga, Lieutenant S. L. Phelps, transported Union troops to Eddyville, Kentucky, for attack on Confederate cavalry at Saratoga.

CSS Nashville, Lieutenant Pegram, ran the blockade out of Charleston.

27 USS Santee, Captain Eagle, captured brig Delta off Galveston.

CSS Sumter, Commander Semmes, captured and burned American schooner Trowbridge in the Atlantic after removing a five months' supply of provisions.

27-28 Boat expedition from USS Louisiana led by Lieutenant Alfred Hopkins surprised and burned three Confederate vessels at Chincoteague Inlet, Virginia.

29 Large Union expedition to Port Royal, South Carolina, sailed from Fort Monroe, under command of Flag Officer Du Pont in USS Wabash. Comprising 77 vessels, it was the largest U.S. Fleet ever as­sembled to that date. Army forces numbered about 16,000 men, commanded by Brigadier General Thomas W. Sherman. Port Royal Sound, about equidistant from Savannah and Charleston, was of recognized importance, and one of the first locations fortified by the Confederates against the entrance of Union ships.

30 Confederate privateer Sallie captured American brig B. K. Eaton.

Confederate forces sank stone-filled barges to obstruct Cumberland River near Fort Donelson, Tennessee, against the advance of Union gunboats.  

William Cheney’s submarine—either the model reported on by Mrs. Baker or a larger version—is sunk in the James River while attempting to attack Union  vessels. Navy pickets patrolling the river spotted the camouflaged float and sliced the rubber hose to the craft.

November 1861

1 Violent storm struck the Port Royal Sound Expedition off the Carolina coast, widely scattering naval vessels, transports, and supply ships and jeopardizing the success of this major undertaking. However, the damage to the Fleet was less than could have been expected. All ships had been furnished with secret instructions to be opened at sea only in case of separation from the Fleet.

2 USS Sabine, Captain Cadwalader Ringgold, rescued Major John G. Reynolds and a battalion of U.S. Marines under his command from U.S. transport Governor, unit of the Port Royal Sound Expedition, sinking off Georgetown, South Carolina.

British steamer Bermuda ran the blockade at Charleston with 2000 bales of cotton.

4 Coast Survey Ship Vixen entered Port Royal Sound to sound channel escorted by USS Ottawa and Seneca. Confederate naval squadron under Commodore Tattnall took Union ships under fire.

Fearing further attacks by Confederate “infernal machines,” Captain William Smith of the U.S.S. Congress, devises the first anti-submarine nets of chains suspended from spars lashed in a frame around his vessel.

5 USS Ottawa, Pembina, Seneca, and Pawnee engaged and dispersed small Confederate squadron in Port Royal Sound, fired on Fort Beauregard and Fort Walker.

6 USS Rescue, Lieutenant William Gwin, captured and burned schooner Ada hard aground in Corroto­man Creek, Virginia.

Captain Purviance, commander of USS St Lawrence, reported capture of British schooner Fanny Lee, running the blockade at Darien, Georgia, with cargo of rice and tobacco.

7 Naval forces under Flag Officer Du Pont captured Port Royal Sound. While Du Pont's ships steamed in boldly, the naval gunners poured a withering fire into the defending Forts Walker and Beauregard with extreme accuracy. The Confederate defenders abandoned the Forts, and the small Confederate naval squadron under Commodore Tattnall could offer only harassing resistance but did rescue troops by ferrying them to the mainland from Hilton Head. Marines and sailors were landed to occupy the Forts until turned over to Army troops under General T. W. Sherman. Careful planning and skillful execution had given Du Pont a great victory and the Union Navy an important base of operations. The Confederates were compelled to withdraw coastal defenses inland out of reach of naval gunfire. Du Pont wrote: "It is not my temper to rejoice over fallen foes, but this must be a gloomy night in Charleston."

USS Tyler, Commander Walke, and USS Lexington, Commander Stembel, supported 3000 Union troops under General Grant at the Battle of Belmont, Missouri, and engaged Confederate batteries along the Mississippi River. The arrival of Confederate reinforcements compelled Grant to withdraw under pressure. Grape, canister, and shell from the gunboats scattered the Confederates, enabling Union troops to re-embark on their transports. Grant, with characteristic restraint, reported that the gunboats' service was "most efficient," having "protected our transports throughout."

8 USS San Jacinto, Captain Wilkes, stopped British mail steamer Trent in Old Bahama Channel and removed Confederate Commissioners Mason and Slidell. The action sparked a serious international incident.

Boat expedition under Lieutenant, James E. Jouett from USS Santee surprised and captured Confederate crew of schooner Royal Yacht, and burned the vessel at Galveston.

USS Rescue, Lieutenant Gwin, shelled Confederate battery at Urbana Creek, Virginia, and captured large schooner.

9 Gunboats of Flag Officer Du Pont's force took possession of Beaufort, South Carolina, and, by block­ing the mouth of Broad River, cut off this communication link between Charleston and Savannah.

Major General Robert E. Lee wrote Confederate Secretary of War Judah P. Benjamin regarding the effects of the Union Navy's victory at Port Royal: "The enemy having complete possession of the water and inland navigation, commands all the islands on the coast and threatens both Savannah and Charleston, and can come in his boats, within 4 miles of this place [Lee's headquarters, Coosawhatchie, South Carolina]. His sloops of war and large steamers can come up Broad River to Mackay's Point, the mouth of the Pocotaligo, and his gunboats can ascend some distance up the Coosawhatchie and Tulifinny. We have no guns that can resist their batteries, and have no resources but to prepare to meet them in the field."

11 Thaddeus Lowe made balloon observation of Confederate forces from Balloon-Boat G.W. Parke Custis anchored in Potomac River. G. W. Parke Custis was procured for $150, and readied for the service at the Washington Navy Yard. Lowe reported: "I left the navy-yard early Sunday morning, the 10th instant– . . . towed our by the steamer Coeur de Lion, having on board competent assistant aeronauts, together with my new gas generating apparatus, which, though used for the first time, worked admi­rably. We located at the mouth of Mattawoman Creek, about three miles from the opposite or Vir­ginia shore. Yesterday [11 November] proceeded to make observations accompanied in my ascensions by General Sickles and others. We had a fine view of the enemy's camp-fires during the evening, and saw the rebels constructing new batteries at Freestone Point."

12 Fingal (later CSS Atlanta ), purchased in England, entered Savannah laden with military supplies– the first ship to run the blockade solely on Confederate government account.

USS W.G. Anderson, Acting Lieutenant William C. Rogers, captured Confederate privateer Beauregard near Abaco.

13 USS Water Witch, Lieutenant Aaron K. Hughes, captured blockade running British brigantine Cornu­copia off Mobile.

14 U.S. cutter Mary, Captain Pease, seized Confederate privateer Neva at San Francisco, California.

15 Confederate Commissioners Mason and Slidell disembarked from USS San Jacinto, Captain Wilkes, at Fort Monroe.

USS Dale, Commander Yard, captured British schooner Mabel east of Jacksonville.

16 Confederate Secretary of the Navy Mallory advertised for plans and bids for building four seagoing ironclads capable of carrying four heavy guns each.

17 U.S.S Connecticut, Commander Maxwell Woodhull, captured British schooner Adeline, loaded with mili­tary stores and supplies off Cape Canaveral, Florida.

18 USS Monticello, Lieutenant Braine, engaged Confederate battery near New Inlet, North Carolina.

USS Conestoga, Lieutenant S. L. Phelps, on expedition up Cumberland River, dispersed Confederate forces and silenced battery at Canton, Kentucky.

19 CSS Nashville, Lieutenant Pegram, captured and burned American clipper ship Harvey Birch, bound from Le Havre to New York.

21 USS New London, Lieutenant Abner Read, with USS R. R. Cuyler and crew members of USS Massachusetts, captured Confederate schooner Olive with cargo of lumber in Mississippi Sound; same force took steamer Anna, with naval stores, the following day.

22 Two days of combined gunfire commenced from USS Niagara, Flag Officer McKean, USS Richmond, Captain Francis B. Ellison, and Fort Pickens against Confederate defenses at Fort McRee, the Pensa­cola Navy Yard, and the town of Warrington, terminating the following day with damage to Confed­erate positions and to USS Richmond.

U.S. Marine Corps authorized to enlist an additional 500 privates and proportionate number of non­-commissioned officers.

23 CSS Sumter, Commander Semmes, evaded USS Iroquois at Martinique and steamed on course for Europe.

Confederate gunboat Tuscarora accidentally destroyed by fire near Helena, Arkansas.

24 Landing party from USS Flag, Commander J. Rodgers, USS Augusta, Pocahontas, Seneca, and Savan­nah, took possession of the Tybee Island, Savannah Harbor. "This abandonment of Tybee Island," Du Pont reported, "is due to the terror inspired by the bombardment of Forts Walker and Beauregard, and is a direct fruit of the victory of the 7th [capture of Port Royal Sound]."

25 First armor plate for shipment to CSS Virginia (ex-USS Merrimack) accepted by Confederate Secre­tary of the Navy Mallory.

USS Penguin, Acting Lieutenant Thomas A. Budd, captured blockade running schooner Albion near North Edisto, South Carolina, with cargo of arms, munitions, and provisions.

CSS Sumter, Commander Semmes, captured American brig Montmorenci off Leeward Islands.

26 CSS Savannah, Commodore Tattnall, and three steamers sortied against Union fleet in Cockspur Roads, Savannah; unsuccessful in effort to draw blockading vessels within range of Fort Pulaski's guns.

Flag Officer Du Pont observed the blockade's increasing pressure on the South's economy: "The flag is hoisted on the lighthouse and martello tower at Tybee . . . Shoes are $8 a pair in Charleston. Salt $7 a bushel, no coffee– women going into the interior– [Captain James L.] Lardner has closed the port so effectively that they can no longer get fish even."

CSS Sumter, Commander Semmes, captured and burned American schooner Arcade north of Leeward Islands.

27 USS Vincennes, Lieutenant Samuel Marcy, boarded and seized blockade running British bark Empress, aground at the mouth of the Mississippi River, with large cargo of coffee.

28 USS New London, Lieutenant A. Read, captured Confederate blockade runner Lewis, with cargo of sugar and molasses, and schooner A. J. View, with cargo of turpentine and tar, off Ship Island, Mississippi.

29 Lieutenant Worden, later commanding officer of USS Monitor, arrived in Washington after seven months as a prisoner in the South.

30 USS Wanderer, Lieutenant James H. Spotts, captured blockade running British schooner Telegraph near Indian Key, Florida.

USS Savannah, Commander John S. Missroon, with other ships in company, seized Confederate schooner E.J. Waterman, after the vessel grounded at Tybee Island with cargo of coffee on board.  

Late autumn
Keel of the Crescent City Project boat is laid in New Orleans ; the vessel is to be 34’ long with a three-man crew.

December 1861

1 USS New London, Lieutenant A. Read, captured sloop Advocate in Mississippi Sound.

USS Seminole, Commander Gillis, seized sloop Lida, from Havana, off St. Simon's Sound, Georgia, with cargo of coffee, lead, and sugar.

2 In his first annual report, Secretary of the Navy Welles reported to President Lincoln that: "Since the institution of the blockade one hundred and fifty-three vessels have been captured . . . most of which were attempting to violate the blockade . . . When the vessels now building and purchased are ready for service, the condition of the navy will be . . . a total of 264 vessels, 2,557 guns, and 218,016 tons. The aggregate number of seamen in the service . . . Is now not less than 22,000 . . . The amount appropriated at the last regular session of Congress for the naval service for the current year was $13,168,675.86. To this was added at the special session in July last $30,446,875.91- making for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1862, an aggregate of $43,615,551.77. This sum will not be sufficient. . ."

CSS Patrick Henry, Commander Tucker, attacked four Union steamers above Newport News; Patrick Henry damaged in the two hour action.

Lieutenant Robert D. Minor, CSN, reported a laboratory had been organized at New Orleans "for the supply of ordnance stores for the vessels fitting out at this station."

3 CSS Sumter, Commander Semmes, captured and burned at sea American ship Vigilant, bound from New York to the West Indies.

USS Santiago de Cuba, Commander Ridgely, captured British blockade running schooner Victoria.

4 Confederate steamers Florida and Pamlico attacked USS Montgomery, Commander Thompson D. Shaw, off Horn Island Pass, Mississippi Sound.

5 Flag Officer Du Pont, regarding expedition to Wassaw Sound, Georgia, and plans for the use of the "stone fleet," wrote: "Ottawa, Pembina, and Seneca penetrated into Wassaw the 'stone fleet' are all at Savannah, and I hardly know what to do with them- for with Wassaw that city is more effectively closed than a bottle with wire over the cork . . . I am sending to [Captain James L.] Lardner to know if he can plant them on the Charleston bar . . . One good thing they [the 'stone fleet's' appearance at Savannah] did, I have not a doubt they were taken for men-of-war, and led to giving up the Wassaw defenses . . ."

6 USS Augusta, Commander Parrott, captured British blockade runner Cheshire off South Carolina.

8 CSS Sumter, Commander Semmes, captured and burned American bark Eben Dodge in the mid-Atlantic (30o 57' N, 51o 49' W), equipped for whaling voyage in Pacific.

USS Rhode Island, Lieutenant Trenchard, seized British blockade runner Phantom with cargo of sugar off Cape Lookout, North Carolina.

9 USS New London, Lieutenant A: Read, captured schooner Delight and sloops Express and Osceola off Cat Island Passage, Mississippi.

USS Harriet Lane, Lieutenant Robert H. Wyman, and other vessels of the Potomac Flotilla engaged Confederate forces at Freestone Point, Virginia.

10 USS Isaac Smith, Lieutenant James W. A. Nicholson, on expedition up Ashepoo River, South Caro­lina, landed on Otter Island and took possession of abandoned Confederate fort; Nicholson turned over command of the fort to the Army.

11 USS Bienville, Commander Steedman, captured schooner Sarah and Caroline off St. John's River, Florida.

USS South Carolina, Commander Alden, captured Confederate sloop Florida off lighthouse at Timbalier, Louisiana.

12 USS Alabama, Commander Edward Lanier, captured British ship Admiral off Savannah, attempting to run the blockade.

USS Isaac Smith, Lieutenant J. W. A. Nicholson, on a reconnaissance in the Ashepoo River, South Carolina, with Marine detachment embarked, scattered Confederate troops by gunfire and landed Marines to destroy their quarters.

15 USS Stars and Stripes, Lieutenant Reed Werden, captured blockade running schooner Charity off Cape Hatteras.

USS Jamestown, Commander Green, captured Confederate sloop Havelock near Cape Fear, North Carolina.

17 Flag Officer Foote, Commanding U.S. Naval Forces, Western Waters, issued General Order regarding observance of Sunday on board ships of his flotilla: "It is the wish. . . that on Sunday the public worship of Almighty God may be observed . . . and that the respective commanders will either them­selves, or cause other persons to pronounce prayers publicly on Sunday. . ." Foote added: "Discipline to be permanent must be based on moral grounds, and officers must in themselves, show a good example in morals, order, and patriotism to secure these qualities in the men." Since 1775 Navy Regulations have required that religious services be held on board ships of the Navy in peace and war.

Seven "stone fleet" vessels sunk at entrance of Savannah Harbor.

19 Confederate forces demolished lighthouse on Morris Island, Charleston.

20 "Stone fleet" sunk at Charleston by Captain C. H. Davis, Steamer Gordon ran the blockade off Wilmington.

21 U.S. Congress authorized Medal of Honor, the Nation's highest award.

24 USS Gem of the Sea, Lieutenant Irvin B. Baxter, captured and destroyed British blockade runner Prince of Wales off Georgetown, South Carolina.

Confederate Secretary of the Navy Mallory wrote Major General Leonidas Polk, commanding troops at Columbus, Kentucky, requesting furlough of troops to assist in construction of ironclad gunboats at Memphis. Mallory commented: "One of them at Columbus would have enabled you to complete the annihilation of the enemy."

25 USS Fernandina, Acting Lieutenant George W. Browne, captured schooner William H. Northrup off Cape Fear, North Carolina.

26 Confederate Fleet, including CSS Savannah, Commodore Tattnall, Resolute, Sampson, Ida, and Barton, attacked Union blockading ships at mouth of Savannah River. Before returning to his anchorage under the guns of Fort Pulaski, Tattnall forced the blockaders to move seaward temporarily.

USS Rhode Island, Lieutenant Trenchard, captured Confederate schooner Venus southeast of Sabine Pass, off the Louisiana coast.

27 Flag Officer Du Pont wrote regarding the "Trent Affair": "I hope now that our politicians will begin to learn, that something is necessary to be 'a great universal Yankee Nation etc.' than politics and party. We should have armies and navies and have those appurtenances which enable a nation to de­fend itself and not be compelled to submit to humiliation [releasing Mason and Slidell] . . . Thirty ships like the Wabash would have spared us this without firing a gun, with an ironclad frigate or two."

28 USS New London, Lieutenant A. Read, captured Confederate schooner Gipsey with cargo of cotton in Mis­sissippi Sound.

29 CSS Sea Bird, Flag Officer Lynch, evaded Union gunfire and captured large schooner near Hampton Roads carrying fresh water to Fort Monroe.

30 USS Santee, Captain Eagle, captured schooner Garonne off Galveston.

Flag Officer Foote wrote Assistant Secretary of the Navy Fox of the pay scale he was using: "In the case of Masters, and Pilots, I have been obliged, in order to secure the services of efficient Men, to pay 1st Masters $150. per month, 2nd Masters $125, 3rd Masters $100, and 4th Masters $80. per month, while Pilots are paid $175. per month. These prices are much less than the incumbents received in ordinary times, while they have before been provided with table furniture and stores, bedding & c., which I have not allowed them."

31 Biloxi, Mississippi, surrendered to a landing party of seamen and Marines covered by USS Water Witch, New London, and Henry Lewis; a small Confederate battery was destroyed, two guns and schooner Captain Spedden captured.

Flag Officer Foote wrote Assistant Secretary of the Navy Fox about the delay in fitting out mortar boats: "I did say and still consider the mortar boats very defective. They are built of solid timber and when armed and manned will be awash with the deck . . - all will leak more or less. Still I would have them fitted out, with all their defects." Foote made excellent use of the mortar boats later at Island No. 10.

USS Augusta, Commander Parrott, captured Confederate schooner Island Belle attempting to run the blockade near Bull's Bay, South Carolina.

Two boats, under Acting Masters A. Allen and H. L. Sturges, from USS Mount Vernon, destroyed lightship off Wilmington which had been fitted out as a gunboat by Confederates.

E. Biedermann posts a letter to Gideon Welles describing a submarine built by a Wilhelm Bauer six years previous and used in the Crimean War. His note includes detailed schematics of the vessel, “Diable Marin” (“Sea Devil”), which supposedly made 134 successful dives. Bauer was an experienced submariner, having built his first vessel “Brandtaucher” (“Incendiary Diver”) in 1850 and using it to force blockading Danish ships away from the German harbor of Kiel .

31-2 January Naval squadron under Commander C. R. P. Rodgers, including gunboats Ottawa, Pembina, and Seneca and four armed boats carrying howitzers, joined General Stevens' troops in successful am­phibious attack on Confederate positions at Port Royal Ferry and on Coosaw River. Gunboat fire covered the troop advance, and guns and naval gunners were landed as artillery support. Army signal officers acted as gunfire observers and coordinators on board the ships. The action disrupted Confederate plans to erect batteries and build troop strength in the area intending to close Coosaw River and iso­late Federal troops on Port Royal Island. General Stevens wrote: "I would do great injustice to my own feelings did I fail to express my satisfaction and delight with the recent cooperation of the command of Captain Rodgers in our celebration of New Year's Day. Whether regard be had to his beau­tiful working of the gunboats in the narrow channel of Port Royal, the thorough concert of action established through the signal officers, or the masterly handling of the guns against the enemy, nothing remained to be desired. Such a cooperation . . . augurs everything, propitious for the welfare of our cause in this quarter of the country."

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