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 1863

Hunley is launched at Mobile , Alabama .

1 Major General Rosecrans asked Captain Pennock in Cairo for gunboat assistance in operations on the Tennessee River . The Confederates repeatedly attempted to establish bases along this waterway, but the Union Navy had several gunboats stationed on the Tennessee and Cumberland   Rivers to frustrate such moves. These unheralded but nonetheless eventful actions by the forces afloat, as Admiral Mahan later wrote, showed ' the unending and essential work performed by the navy in keeping the communications open, aiding isolated garrisons, and checking the growth of the guerilla war."

Commander Caldwell, upon being detached from command of USS Essex and the mortar flotilla at Port Hudson, reported to Rear Admiral Farragut: From the 23 of May to the 26 of June there followed a constant succession of bombardments and artillery fights between the Essex and mortar vessels on one side and the rebel batteries on the other. We have fired from this vessel 738 shells and from the mortar vessels an aggregate of 2,800 XIII-inch shells." The continued bombardment of the strong Southern works was instrumental in forcing its surrender after the fall of Vicksburg .

James M. Tindel wrote Confederate Secretary of State Judah P. Benjamin from Mobile
, proposing the capture of Pacific Mail Steamers, Union ships carrying on an active trade along the west coast. The expedition, Tindel wrote, would proceed first to Matamoras. There the expedition would be divided, one portion to proceed overland to San Francisco to make an attempt to capture one of the steamers plying between that port and the Isthmus, the other to sail as a neutral from some port near Aspinwall [Panama], to make a similar attempt on the steamer sailing from that port. The Confederates recognized that the success of such a mission would cause considerable excitement and greatly disrupt shipping in the area, but the Union moved to strengthen its Pacific Squadron in the last 6 months of the year and Confederate plans bore no fruit.

J.B. Jones, a clerk in the Confederate War Department, noted in his diary that President Davis had "decided that the obstructions below the city [ Richmond ] shall not be opened for the steam ironclad Richmond to go out until another ironclad be in readiness to accompany her."


Colonel E. H. Angamar claims to have made an attack upon the Union  blockaders off Mobile on this date with his rocket-propelled submarine. There is no record of this from the Union side.

2 General Grant, before Vicksburg , wrote Rear Admiral Porter that "the firing from the mortar boats this morning has been exceedingly well directed on my front. One shell fell into the large fort, and several along the line of the rifle pits. Please have them continue firing in the same direction and elevation." USS General Sterling Price, Benton, and Mound City had shelled the heavy battery, which had earned the sobriquet ''Whistling Dick'' because of is power and effectiveness.

CSS Alabama, Captain Semmes, captured ship Anna F. Schmidt in the South Atlantic with cargo of clothes, medicines, clocks, sewing machines, and ''the latest invention for killing bed-bugs." Semmes put the torch to the prize. "We then wheeled about and took the fork of the road again, for the Cape of Good Hope ."

USS Samuel Rotan, Acting Lieutenant William W. Kennison, seized schooner Champion off the Piankatank River, Virginia.

USS Cayuga, Lieutenant Commander Dana, captured blockade running sloop Blue Bell in Mermentau River , Louisiana , with cargo of sugar and molasses.

USS Covington, Acting Lieutenant George P. Lord, captured steamer Eureka near Commerce, Mississippi , with cargo of whiskey.

USS Juniata, Commander Clitz, seized blockade running British schooner Don Jose at sea with cargo of salt, cotton, and rum.

3 Major General Grant and Lieutenant General Pemberton, CSA, the gallant and tireless commander of the Vicksburg defenses, arranged an armistice to negotiate the terms of capitulation of the citadel. Only with the cessation of hostilities did the activity of the fleet under Rear Admiral Porter come to a halt off Vicksburg .

Boats from USS Fort Henry, Lieutenant Commander McCauley, captured sloop Emma north of Sea Horse Key, Florida , with cargo of tar and Confederate mail.

4 Vicksburg , long under assault and siege by water and land, capitulated to General Grant. W. T. Sherman congratulated Rear Admiral Porter for the decisive role played by the Navy in effecting the surrender: 'No event in life could have given me more personal pride or pleasure than to have met you to-day on the wharf at Vicksburg a Fourth of July so eloquent in events as to need no words or stimulants to elevate its importance. . . . In so magnificent a result I stop not to count who did it; it is done, and the day of our nation's birth is consecrated and baptized anew in a victory won by the United Navy and Army of our country." Observing that he must con-tinue to push on to finish the operations in the west by seizing Port Hudson, Sherman added: It does seem to me that Port Hudson, without facilities for supplies or interior communication, must soon follow the fate of Vicksburg and to leave the river free, and to you the task of prevent-ing any more Vicksburgs or Port Hudsons on the banks of the great inland sea. Though farther apart, the Navy and Army will still act in concert, and I assure you I shall never reach the banks of the river or see a gunboat but I will think of Admiral Porter, Captain Breese, and the many elegant and accomplished gentlemen it has been my good fortune to meet on armed or unarmed decks of the Mississippi squadron." Major General Herron spoke as warmly in a letter to Porter. ''While congratulating you on the success of the Army and Navy in reducing this Sebastopol of Rebeldom, I must, at the same time, thank you for the aid my division has had from yourself and your ships. The guns received from the Benton , under charge of Acting Master Reed, a gallant and efficient officer, have formed the most effective battery I had, and I am glad to say that the officer in charge has well sustained the reputation of your squadron. For the efforts you have made to cooperate with me in my position on the left, I am under many obligations." Porter noted the statistical contributions of the Squadron in compelling the fall of Vicksburg . Writing Secretary Welles
 that 13 naval guns had been used ashore, many with officers and men from the fleet to work them, he added: "There has been a large expenditure of ammunition during the siege; the mortars have fired 7,000 mortar shells, and the gunboats 4,500; 4,500 have been fired from the naval guns on shore, and we have supplied over 6,000 to the different army corps. General Grant wrote: "The navy, under Porter, was all it could be during the entire campaign. Without its assistance the campaign could not have been successfully made with twice the number of men engaged." Reflecting on the fall of Vicksburg , Porter wrote: "What bearing this will have on the rebellion remains yet to be seen, but the magnitude of the success must go far toward crushing out this revolution and establishing once more the commerce of the States -bordering on this river. History has seldom had an opportunity of recording so desperate a defense on one side, with so much courage, ability, perseverance, and endurance on the other. . . without a watchful care over the Mississippi, the operations of the army would have been much interfered with, and I can say honestly that officers never did their duty better than those who have patrolled the river from Cairo to Vicksburg. . . . The capture of Vicksburg leaves us a -large army and naval forces free to act all along the river. . . . The effect of this blow will be felt far up the tributaries of the Mississippi ." Indeed, the effect was felt throughout the North and South, for, as Porter had noted, Port Hudson could not long hold Out, and the war in the west was won. The great produce of the Midwest could flow freely down the Mississippi to New Orleans , and the South was severed. Raphael Semmes later wrote: ''This [the surrender of Vicksburg ] was a terrible blow to us. It not only lost us an army, but cut the Confederacy in two, by giving the enemy the command of the Mississippi River . . . . Vicksburg and Gettysburg mark an era in the war. ... We need no better evidence of the shock which had been given to public confidence in the South, by those two disasters, than the simple fact, that our currency depreciated almost immediately a thousand per cent!" President Lincoln could write: "The Father of Waters again goes unvexed to the sea. . . . Nor must Uncle Sam's web feet be forgotten. At all the watery margins they have been present. Not only on the deep sea, the broad bay, the rapid river, but also up the narrow, muddy bayou, and wherever the ground was a little damp, they have been and made their tracks."

USS Tyler, Lieutenant Commander Prichett, repulsed an attack on Helena , Arkansas , by a large body of Confederate troops. The Southerners had penetrated the outposts of the outnumbered Union Army, under Major General Benjamin M. Prentiss, when Tyler steamed into action and, in Porter's words, "saved the day Tyler 's heavy fire halted the Confederate attack and compelled a withdrawal. The Southern losses were heavy; Lieutenant Commander S.L. Phelps, commanding the Second Division of the Mississippi Squadron, reported that "our forces have buried 380 of his killed, and many places have been found where he had himself buried his dead. His wounded number 1,100 and the prisoners are also 1,100 . ..." Mahan, later analyzing the contributions of Tyler 's action at Helena , wrote that “. . . to her powerful battery and the judgment with which it was used must be mainly attributed the success of the day; for though the garrison fought with great gallantry and tenacity, they were outnumbered two to one.” Prentiss advised Porter of Prichett's "valuable assistance" during the battle: ''I assure you, sir, that he not only acquitted himself with honor and distinction during the engagement proper, but with a zeal and patience as rare as they are commendable, when informed of an attack on this place lost no time and spared no labor to make himself thoroughly acquainted with the topography of the surrounding country. And I attribute not a little of our success in the late battle to his full knowledge of the situation and his skill in adapting the means within his com-mand to the end to be obtained." The Union 's force afloat, lead by capable and tireless com-manders, repeatedly shattered Confederate hopes for taking the offensive.

5 Rear Admiral S.P. Lee, commanding the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, wrote Assistant Secretary Fox regarding measures for a successful blockade: ''The blockade requires smart, active vessels to move about close inside, large vessels with heavy batteries, if ironclads cannot he got to protect the blockade and well armed swift steamers to cruise in pairs outside." Captain Raphael Semmes later paid tribute to the effectiveness of this cordon thrown up by the Union fleet around the lengthy Confederate coast: "We were being hardpressed too, for material, for the enemy was maintaining a rigid blockade of our ports.

6 Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren
 relieved Rear Admiral Du Pont as Commander, South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, at Port Royal . Since April, when Du Pont's ironclads had proved unequal to the task of beating down Fort Sumter , Du Pont had wanted to explain to the country the reason for their failure, i.e., the weaknesses of the monitors in their cast-iron and wrought-iron parts. To have published this would have cleared the Admiral, hut it also would have lowered the Union Navy's most widely publicized weapon in public opinion. Du Pont and Secretary Welles fell out over this difference, and Du Pont's retirement from active duty resulted. Dahlgren did not fare any better in his later attempts to take Charleston  than did his predecessor.

USS De Soto, Captain W.M. Walker, captured blockade runner Lady Maria off Clearwater , Florida , with cargo of cotton.

CSS Alabama , Captain Semmes, captured and burned ship Express off the coast of Brazil . She was carrying a cargo of guano.

7 Confederate forces under General John H. Morgan captured steamers John T. McCombs and Alice Dean at Brandenburg , Kentucky . The famous "Morgan's Raiders" moved up the Ohio , causing great concern in the area. The Union Navy blunted the Southern thrust.

USS Monongahela, Commander Read, and USS New London, Lieutenant Commander George H. Perkins, engaged Confederate field batteries behind the levee about 12 miles below Donaldsonville, Louisiana. Read, characterized by Farragut as "one of the most gallant and enterprising officers in my squadron," was mortally wounded in the action.

CSS Florida , Commander Maffitt, captured ship Sunrise , hound from New York to Liverpool . Maffitt released her on $60,000 bond.

8 Lieutenant Commander Fitch, USS Moose, received word at Cincinnati that General Morgan, CSA, was assaulting Union positions and moving up the banks of the Ohio River. He had also captured steamers John T. McCombs and Alice Dean (see 7 July). Fitch immediately notified the ships under his command stationed along the river, and got underway himself with USS Victory in company Next day the ships converged on Brandenburg , Kentucky , only to find that Morgan's troops, 6,000 strong, had just beaten them to the river and crossed into Indiana . "Not knowing which direction Morgan had taken," Fitch reported, "I set the Fairfield and Silver Take to patrol from Leavenworth, [Indiana] up to Brandenburg during the night, and the Victory and Springfield to patrol from Louisville down [to Brandenburg]." By thus deploying his forces, Fitch was able to cover the river for some 40 miles. The morning of 10 July Fitch learned the Confederates were moving northward and, joined by USS Reindeer and Naumkeag, ascended the Ohio , "keeping as near Morgan's right flank as I possibly could." The chase, continuing until 19 July, was conducted by USS Moose, Reindeer, Victory, Springfield , Naumkeag, and steamer Alleghany Belle. USS Fairplay and Silver Lake remained to patrol between Louisville and Cannelton , Indiana .

Under command of Acting Ensigns Henry Eason and James J. Russell, two cutters from USS Restless and Rosalie captured schooner Ann and one sloop (unnamed) in Horse Creek , Florida , with cargoes of cotton.

CSS Florida , Commander Maffitt, captured and burned brig W.B. Nash and whaling schooner Rienzi off New York . The latter carried a cargo of oil.

9 Port Hudson , Louisiana , surrendered after a prolonged attack by Union naval and land forces, The journal of USS Richmond recorded: "This morning at daylight our troops took possession of the rebel stronghold. . . . At 10 a.m. the Hartford and Albatross came down from above the batteries and anchored ahead of us, General Banks raised the stars and stripes over the citadel and fired a salute of thirty-five guns." A week later Rear Admiral Farragut wrote from New Orleans : "We have done our part of the work assigned to us, and all has worked well. My last dash past Port Hudson was the best thing I ever did, except taking New Orleans . It assisted materially in the fall of Vicksburg and Port Hudson." The long drive to wrest control of the entire Mississippi River, beginning in the north at Fort Henry and in the south at New Orleans early in 1862, was over.

Farragut, off Donaldsonville, Louisiana, wrote Rear Admiral Porter: "The Department, I presume, anticipated the fall of Vicksburg and Port Hudson by the time their dispatch would reach me, in which they tell me that 'I will now be able to turn over the Mississippi River to you and give my more particular attention to the blockade on the different points on the coast.' . . . There are here, as above, some 10,000 Texans, who have 15 or 20 pieces of light artillery, and have cut embrasures in the levee and annoy our vessels very much." Farragut requested Porter to send down one or two ironclads which ''would then be able to keep open the communications perfectly between Port Hudson and New Orleans ."

Commander Bulloch wrote Secretary Mallory
 from Paris regarding the ironclads being built in Europe for the South, Noting that it had not been difficult to sign crews for commerce raiders CSS Alabama and Florida because they held out to the men, "not only the captivating excitement of adventure but the positive expectation of prize money, he revealed that it was a much greater problem to man the ironclads. ''Their grim aspect and formidable equipment,'' he wrote, clearly show that they are solely intended for the real danger and shock of battle. ...".

Recognizing that Wilmington
 was the key port through which blockade runners were finding passage, Bulloch recommended that the warships be sent to that port "as speedily as possible . . . [to] entirely destroy the blockading vessels." Once this was accomplished, the ships could turn their attentions elsewhere for "a decisive blow in any direction, north or south." Bulloch suggested that they could steam up the coast, striking at Washington , Philadelphia , and Portsmouth , New Hampshire . The high hopes placed on these ironclads were to no avail, however, for they were seized by the British prior to their completion and never reached Confederate waters.

Boat crew from U.S.S, Tahoma, Lieutenant Commander A. A. Semmes, captured an unnamed flatboat with cargo of sugar and molasses near Manatee River, Florida,

10 Under Rear Admiral Dahlgren, ironclads USS Catskill, Commander G.W. Rodgers; Montauk, Commander Fairfax; Nahant, Commander Downes; and Weehawken, Commander Colhoun, bombarded Confederate defenses on Morris Island, Charleston harbor, supporting and covering a landing by Army troops under Brigadier General Quincy A. Gillmore. Close in support of the landing was rendered by small boats, under Lieutenant Commander Francis M. Bunce, armed with howitzers, from the blockading ships in Light House Inlet, The early morning assault followed the plan outlined by General Gillmore a week earlier in a letter to Rear Admiral Du Pont: "I cannot safely move without assistance from the Navy. We must have that island or Sullivan's Island as preliminary to any combined military and naval attack on the interior defenses of Charleston harbor. . . . I consider a naval force abreast of Morris Island as indispensable to cover our advance upon the Island and restrain the enemy's gunboats and ironclads." The ironclads were abreast of Fort Wagner by midmorning and bombarded the works until evening, but could not dislodge the determined and brave defenders. The Confederates poured a withering fire into Dahlgren's ships. "The enemy," the Admiral reported, "seemed to have made a mark of the Catskill." She was hit some 60 times, many of which were very severe." Despite the battering she received, Rodgers had Catskill ready to renew the attack the following day. Dahlgren added: "The Nahant was hit six times, the Montauk twice, and the Weehawken escaped untouched." Colonel Robert F. Graham, CSA, reported that during the attack, as the Confederates were forced to withdraw within Fort Wagner , "the iron monitors followed us along the channel, pouring into us a fire of shell and grape," and that casualties were heavy. The prolonged, continuing bombardment of the Southern works at Charleston had begun.

Commodore Montgomery, commandant of the Boston Navy Yard, ordered USS Shenandoah
, Captain Daniel B. Ridgely, and USS Ethan Allen, Acting Master Pennell, to search for CSS Florida , Commander Maffitt. Two days before, the commerce raider had destroyed two ships near New York , and now was reported to be "bound for the Provincetown mackerel fleet." The recent exploits of Lieutenant Read in CSS Clarence, Tacony, and Archer had created great concern as to the safety of even New England waters.

The activity of Florida reinforced these fears, which had already been expressed to Lincoln in a resolution urging "the importance and necessity of placing along the coast a sufficient naval and military force to protect the commerce of the country from piratical depredations of the rebels. ..." On 7 July the President had requested Secretary Welles to "do the best in regard to it which you can. . ."

Assistant Secretary Fox wrote Rear Admiral Farragut, congratulating him upon the final opening of the Mississippi " through the Union victories at Vicksburg and Port Hudson. You smashed in the door [at New Orleans in an unsurpassed movement and the success above became a cer-tainty. . . . Your last move past Port Hudson has hastened the downfall of the Rebs."

USS New London, Lieutenant Commander G.H. Perkins, en route from Donaldsonville to New Orleans , was taken under fire and disabled by Confederate artillery at White Hall Point. Perkins went to Donaldsonville to obtain troops to prevent the ship's capture. While Farragut commended Perkins' handling of the ship, he informed him that 'the principle was wrong a commander should never leave his vessel under such circumstances."

Commander Bulloch informed Secretary Mallory that he was going to sell the bark Agrippina, which had been purchased initially to take stores and armament to CSS Alabama at Terceira (see 28 July 1862). During the year she had made three voyages but had lost contact with Captain Semmes, the unresting commerce raider, and it would be too costly to maintain her as a tender.

11 General Grant, acting on reports that the Confederates were building their strength at Yazoo City, wrote Rear Admiral Porter:" Will it not be well to send up a fleet of gunboats and some troops and nip in the bud any attempt to concentrate a force there?" Porter agreed to escort troops up the river next day.

Charles Francis Adams, U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain , protested the building of ironclads and the outfitting of blockade runners by citizens of Great Britain to Foreign Secretary Earl John Russell. Such acts, Adams noted, "procrastinate the struggle" and increase the "burden of war." The Ambassador's diplomatic protests served the Union cause well and helped to frustrate Confederate efforts to obtain additional support in Britain .

USS Yankee, Acting Ensign James W. Turner, captured schooner Cassandra at Jones Point on the Rappahannock River with cargo of whiskey and soda.

Rear Admiral Hiram Paulding, Commandant of the New York Navy Yard, stationed gunboats around Manhattan to assist in maintaining order during the Draft Riots.

12 General Beauregard, commanding the Confederate defenses at Charleston, wrote Captain Tucker, commander of the forces afloat at that city, regarding grave danger which the Union ironclads presented not only to the defenses of Fort Wagner but to the complete defense of Charleston. "It has therefore," he noted, "become an urgent necessity to destroy, if possible, part or all of these ironclads. . . ." He suggested an attack by a gunboat and a ''torpedo ram." Within the week, he was again pressing the need to make ''some effort . . . to sink either the Ironsides or one of the monitors. . . . The stake is manifestly a great one, worthy of no small risk. . . . One monitor destroyed now will have greater moral and material effect, I believe, than two sunk at a later stage in our defense." This was a forecast of the daring and colorful attempts to be made by the Charleston defenders in the David attack on New Ironsides and the heroic assault by H. E. Hunley, the first submarine successfully used in action.

USS Penobscot, Lieutenant Commander Joseph F. De Haven, chased blockade runner Kate ashore at Smith's Island , North Carolina . Some three weeks later (31 July), Kate was floated by the Con-federates and towed under the protecting batteries at New Inlet, but was abandoned on the approach of Union ships.

13 A combined expedition up the Yazoo River captured Yazoo City , Mississippi . USS Baron de Kalb , Kenwood, Signal, New National, and Black Hawk, under Lieutenant Commander J. G. Walker, convoyed some 5,000 troops under Major General Herron in the oration. Arriving below Yazoo City in midafternoon, Baron de Kalb , leading the force, struck a torpedo and sank within 15 minutes. "Many of the crew were bruised by the concussion, which was severe, but no lives were lost," Rear Admiral Porter reported. As the troops landed, the Confederates evacuated the city.

Commander I. N. Brown, commander of the heavy artillery and ships at Yazoo City , ordered ship-ping in the area destroyed to prevent its falling into Union hands. Subsequently, a correspondent for the Atlanta Appeal wrote: ''Though the Yankees gained nothing, our loss is very heavy in boats and material of a character much needed. Commander Brown scuttled and burned the Magenta, Mary Keene, Magnolia, Pargoud, John Walsh, R. J. Lockland, Scotland, Golden Age, Arcadia, Fred Kennett, F.J. Gay, Peytona, Prince of Wales, Natchez and Parallel in the Yazoo River, and Dewdrop, Emma Bett, Sharp and Meares in the Sunflower. We have only left, of all the splendid fleet which sought refuge in the Yazoo River , the Hope, Hartford City , Ben McCulloch and Cotton Plant, which are up the Tallahatchie and Yalobusha. . . . This closes the history of another strongly defended river.'' In addition, the Union force captured steamer St. Mary. The spectacular Union victories in the West did not eliminate the need for continued attention by the forces afloat on the rivers. "While a rebel flag floats anywhere," Porter observed, "gunboats must follow it up."

USS Forest Rose, Acting Lieutenant G. W. Brown, with USS Petrel in company, captured steamer Elmira on the Tensas River, Louisiana. Meanwhile, another phase of the expedition under Lieutenant Commander Selfridge, USS Rattler
 and Manitou, captured steamer Louisville in the Little Red River. She was described as "one of the finest of the Mississippi packets.'' Selfridge reported to Porter: ''The result of the expedition is the capture of the steamers Louisville and Elmira, two small steamers burned, 15,000 rounds smoothbore ammunition, 1,000 rounds Enfield [rifle shells], ditto. . . . He also destroyed a large sawmill "with some 30,000 feet of lumber and a quantity of rum, sugar and salt.

USS Katahdin, Lieutenant Commander P.C. Johnson, seized British blockade runner Excelsior off San Luis Pass, Texas. "With the exception of two bales of cotton," Johnson reported, "she had no cargo."

A landing party from USS Jacob Bell, Acting Master Gerhard C. Schulze, went ashore near Union Wharf on the Rappahannock River , and seized contraband goods consisting of blockade running flatboats and cargo of alcohol, whisky, salt, and soda. Lacking transport for the cap-tured goods, Schulze destroyed them.

14 Naval forces under Rear Admiral S. P. Lee, including USS Sangamon, Lehigh, Mahaska, Morse, Commodore Barney, Commodore Jones, Shokokon, and Seymour, captured Fort Powhatan
 on the James River, Virginia. Acting on orders from Secretary Welles to threaten Richmond and assist military movements in the vicinity, Lee reported: "We destroyed two magazines . . . and twenty platforms for gun carriages today." The last Confederate defense below Chaffin's and Drewry's Bluff had fallen.

J. B. Jones, clerk in the Confederate War Department, recorded in his diary that General Beauregard had written from Charleston ''for a certain person here skilled in the management of torpedoes, but Secretary Mallory says the enemy's gunboats are in the James River and he cannot be sent away. I hope," he added, "both cities [ Charleston and Richmond ] may not fall!". A lack of technicians in adequate numbers was one of many hindrances to the Confederate efforts.

USS R. R. Cuyler
, Lieutenant Commander Jouett, captured steamer Kate Dale off Tortugas with cargo of cotton.

USS Jasmine, Acting Master Alfred L. B. Zerega, captured sloop Relampago near the Florida Keys bound from Havana with cargo including copper boiler tubing.

15 Rear Admiral Farragut wrote Rear Admiral Porter: ''I feel that the time has now arrived con-templated by the honorable Secretary of the Navy, when I should turn over the Mississippi to you down to New Orleans, and then pay my attention to the blockade of the Gulf. ... Far-ragut noted that he would take a brief leave, offered by Secretary Welles, "prior to the work he expects of me in the fall. I suppose some work to be done by the vessels yet to be sent to me, Galveston and Mobile perhaps, and that will finish my work. . . ." On 1 August Porter wrote Welles that he had "assumed the charge of the Mississippi . . . ."

Boat crews from USS Stars and Stripes and Somerset , under Lieutenant Commander Crosman, landed at Marsh's Island , Florida , and destroyed some 60 bushels of salt and 50 salt boilers.

USS Yankee, Acting Ensign Turner, captured schooner Nanjemoy in the Coan River, Virginia.

USS Santiago de Cuba, Commander Wyman, captured steamer Lizzie east of the Florida coast.

Batteries at Grimball's Landing on the Stone River, South Carolina, opened a heavy fire on USS Pawnee
, Commander Balch, and USS Marblehead, Lieutenant Commander Scott while Confederate troops assaulted a Union position on James Island under command of Brigadier General Alfred H. Terry. Though Pawnee, struck some 40 times by the accurate shorefire, and Marblehead were compelled to drop downriver, they nonetheless provided important support for the Union troops and were instrumental in forcing the Confederates to break off the attack. Brigadier General Terry reported that the ships "opened a most effective fire upon my left. The enemy, unable to endure the concentric fire to which they were exposed, fell back and retreated. . . I desire to express my obligations to Captain Balch, U.S. Navy, commanding the naval forces in the river, for the very great assistance he rendered to me. . ."

Porter wrote Farragut from Vicksburg : "The plan of the enemy is, to have flying batteries all along the river, and annoy us in that way. They have already planted one twenty-five miles below here, one at Rodney, and are going to put another at Ellis's Cliffs. We shall be kept busy chasing them up.'' Nonetheless, on this date the merchant steamer Imperial arrived at New Orleans . She had left St. Louis on 8 July and her arrival at the Mississippi 's port city without incident illustrated that the great river truly ''again goes unvexed to the sea.''

Commander Bulloch awarded a contract to Lucien Arman, a naval constructor at Bordeaux, France, for the construction of ''two steam rams, hulls of wood and iron, 300 horsepower, two propellers, with two armored turrets. . . . The general plans had been drawn up by Com-mander M. F. Maury and approved by Secretary Mallory. The Confederate agent also specified that the ships would have to have a speed of "not less than 12 knots" in a calm sea. Only one of the rams, later commissioned CSS Stonewall, ever reached Confederate hands. She arrived in Havana late in the war and was eventually surrendered to the Union . Without the material and industrial capacity to fill their naval needs at home, the South turned with increasing frequency to Europe in hopes of building a Navy capable of breaking the North's stranglehold.

Expedition from USS Port Royal, Lieutenant Commander G. U. Morris, captured cotton ready to be run through the blockade at Apalachicola, Florida,

CSS Georgia, Lieutenant W. L. Maury, captured ship Prince of Wales, of Bath, Maine, in the mid-South Atlantic; Maury released her on bond.

17 Rear Admiral Dahlgren, preparing to renew the attack on Fort Wagner , wrote Secretary Welles about the critical shortage of men in his squadron. Men were being required to bombard by day and blockade by night. The Admiral asked for 500 Marines: " ... there will be occasion for them.'' On 28 July Welles informed Dahlgren that USS Aries had departed Boston with 200 men and upon her return from Charleston would bring 200 more sailors from New York to him. He added, ''A battalion of marines, about 400 in number, will leave New York on the steamer Arago on Friday next."

U.S. ram Monarch, with troops embarked, participated in the reoccupation of Hickman , Kentucky , which had been taken by Confederate cavalry 2 days earlier. Brigadier General Alexander Asboth had high praise for the ram and her mobility: ''It would be in the best interests of the service to place the ram Monarch on the Mississippi between Island No. 10 and Columbus, where she could operate with my land forces appearing at any point threatened or attacked on this part of the river, so much exposed to rebel raids. Without the cooperation of a ram or gunboat it will be difficult for my very limited force to act with efficiency and the desired degree of success. . . ."

The combined attack on Fort Wagner , Charleston harbor, was renewed. Rear Admiral Dahlgren's force consisted of USS Montauk, New Ironsides, Catskill, Nantucket , Weehauken, and Patapsco. The gunboats USS Paul Jones, Ottawa , Seneca, Chipewa, and Wissahickon provided long-range support with effect. The heavy fire from the ironclads commenced shortly after noon, the range closing as the tide permitted to 300 yards. The naval bombardment at this distance silenced the fort "so that for this day not a shot was fired afterwards at the vessels. . . ." At sunset Gillmore ordered his troops to attack the fort. "To this moment," Dahlgren reported, an incessant and accurate fire had been maintained by the vessels, but now it was impossible [in the dim light to distinguish whether it took effect on friend or foe, and of necessity was suspended.'' Deprived of naval gunfire support, the Union assault ashore was repulsed with heavy losses.

A delegation from Portsmouth , New Hampshire , bearing a letter from the Governor, was received by Secretary Welles. The group was seeking additional defenses for the city. ''Letters from numerous places on the New England coast are received to the same effect,'' Welles wrote in his diary. "Each of them wants a monitor, or cruiser or both. The Secretary pointed out that the shore defenses came under the war Department rather than the Navy, and that the local municipality should bear some of the responsibility for its own defense. The successful raid along the New England coast by Lieutenant Read in CSS Tacony the preceding month and per-sistent rumors of other Confederate cruisers in the area since his capture had alarmed the northern seaboard.

USS De Soto, Captain M.W. Walker; USS Ossipee, Captain Gillis; and USS Kennebec, Lieutenant Commander Russell, seized steamers James Battle and William Bagley in the Gulf of Mexico. The cargo of the former was cotton and rosin, and she was described by Rear Admiral Bailey as "the finest packet on the Alabama River and was altered to suit her for a blockade runner, at a large expense." William Bagley, too, carried a cargo of cotton from Mobile .

Boat crews from USS Vincennes, Lieutenant Commander Henry A Adams Jr. and USS Clifton, Acting Lieutenant Frederick Crocker, captured barge H. McGuin, in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.

USS Jacob Bell, Acting Master Schulze, with USS Resolute and Racer in company, drove off Confederate troops firing on ship George Peabody, aground at Mathias Point , Virginia .

19 After seeking to intercept the troops of General Morgan for some 10 days and 500 miles, the gun-boat squadron under Lieutenant Commander Fitch engaged the Confederate raiders as they attempted to effect a crossing of the Ohio River at Buffington Island - USS Moose and steamer Alleghany Belle repeatedly frustrated the Southerners' attempts to cross, Pressed from the rear by Union troops and subjected to heavy fire from the gunboats, Morgan's soldiers made a scat-tered retreat into the hills, leaving their artillery on the beach. This audacious Southern thrust into the North was broken up. Some 3,000 Confederates were taken prisoner. Major General Ambrose E. Burnside heralded the "efficient services" of Fitch in achieving the "brilliant success of the engagement. "Too much praise,'' he wrote Rear Admiral Porter, cannot be awarded the naval department at this place for the promptness and energy manifested in this movement. And Brigadier General Jacob D. Cox noted: "The activity and energy with which the squadron was used to prevent the enemy recrossing the Ohio , and to assist in his capture, was worthy of the highest praise."

Feeling that " Morris Island must be held at all cost," Brigadier General Thomas Jordan, General Beauregard's chief of staff, asked for reinforcements from Fort Sumter . Brigadier General Roswell S. Ripley replied that he had reinforcements but doubted that they could be transported to Morris Island . ''The Sumter is here with [Colonel] Graham's regiment, but it is broad daylight, and she can not land within 2,000 yards or the Ironsides and monitors."

Major General W. T. Sherman wrote Rear Admiral Porter of the Army's capture of Jackson , Mississippi . No longer could the Confederates utilize it as a base kit organizing attacks on Mississippi River steamer traffic." The operation was not as complete a success as either Sherman or Porter had hoped. "Having numerous bridges across the Pearl River ,'' the General wrote, ". . . and a railroad in full operation to the rear, he [General Joseph F. Johnston, CSA succeeded in carrying off most of his material and men. Had the Pearl River been a Mississippi , with a patrol of gunboats, I might have accomplished your wish in bagging the whole. . . ." Sherman added in an aside that during a supper held for the general officers at the governor's mansion in Jackson , " 'Army and Navy Forever' was sung with a full and hearty chorus."

USS Canandaigua, Captain Green, sighted sidewheel steamer Raccoon attempting to run the blockade into Charleston and headed her off. The blockade runner, going aground near Moultrie House, was destroyed next day by her crew to prevent capture.

20 USS Shawsheen, Acting Master Phelon, captured schooners Sally, Helen Jane, Elizabeth , Dolphin, and James Brice near Cedar Island , Neuse River , North Carolina .

21 Rear Admiral Dahlgren wrote Secretary Welles of the continuing operations against Fort Wagner: "I have already silenced Fort Wagner and driven its garrison to shelter [on the 18th], and can repeat the same, but this is the full extent to which artillery can go; the rest can only be accom-plished by troops. General Gillmore tells me he can furnish but a single column for attack, and it is, of course, impossible for me to supply the deficiency, when the crews of the vessels are al-ready much reduced in number and working beyond their strength to fulfill the various duties of blockade, cannonading, and boat patrols by night. Time is all important," he added, "for the enemy will not fail to use it in guarding weak points. He is already putting up fresh works."

Boats from USS Owasco, Lieutenant Commander Madigan, and USS Cayuga, Lieutenant Commander Dana, captured and destroyed schooner Revenge at Sabine

22 In a move to bolster Union Army strength ashore, Rear Admiral Dahlgren ordered Commander F. A. Parker to take charge of a four-gun naval battery to be placed on Morris Island ''for the work against Fort Sumter .'' General Gillmore, expressing appreciation to Dahlgren for the battery, noted that he would cooperate fully with Commander Parker: "His guns and men will, of course, remain under his immediate control.''

According to figures compiled by the New York Chamber of Commerce on the effectiveness of Confederate raiders, ''150 vessels, including two steamers, representing a tonnage of upward of 60,000 tons and a value of over $12,000,000 have been captured by the rebel privateers Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and the vessels seized and armed by them. . . . The result is, that either American ships lie idle at our own and foreign ports, unable to procure freights, and thus practically excluded from the carrying trade, or are transferred to foreign flags.''

23 Brigadier General Ripley proposed the use of a fire ship against USS New Ironsides and other Union ships at Charleston . The fire ship, he suggested, would be loaded with explosives. ''Should this explode close to the Ironsides, or other vessel, the effect must be to destroy her; and if two or three are in juxtaposition, the two or three may be got rid of.'' He pointed out that some 20 Union ships were generally stationed in a narrow waterway. Though Ripley thought the chances of success were ''fair,'' General Beauregard asked the advice of the Confederate naval leaders, Commodore Ingraham and Captain Tucker, and, when Ingraham reported his estimate of the odds for success at "five in one hundred" and Tucker's at "thirty in one hundred," he determined not to carry out the plan. Late in 1864 the Union acted on a similar proposal by General Butler at Wilmington . Over 200 tons of powder were exploded on a ship to cover an Army assault on Fort Fisher . The experiment was unsuccessful.

24 Rear Admiral Dahlgren's ironclads and gunboats, including USS New Ironsides, Weehauken, Patapsco, Montauk, Catskill, Nantucket, Paul Jones, Ottawa, Seneca, and Dai Ching, bombarded Fort Wagner in support of Army operations ashore. Dahlgren reported the effort a success, noting that the ship's fire "silenced the guns of Wagner and drove its garrison to shelter. This enabled our army to progress with the works which they had advanced during the night and to arm them." The Admiral added in his diary that "General Gillmore telegraphed that his operation had succeeded, and thanked me for the very efficient fire of the vessels.'' The next day, learning from Gillmore that a Confederate offensive was planned for the 26th, Dahlgren quickly brought his forces afloat into action once again. Issuing detailed instructions to prevent an attack, Dahlgren added: "The enemy must not obtain the advantage he seeks, nor attempt it with impunity."

Because of the French occupation of Mexico City some 6 weeks before and the apparently hostile attitude of Emperor Napoleon III toward the United States . General Banks at New Orleans was ordered to prepare an expedition to Texas . For some time Secretary Welles had advocated a similar move in order to halt the extensive blockade running via Matamoras and the legally neutral Rio Grande River. ''The use of the Rio Grande to evade the blockade," he recorded in his diary, "and the establishment of regular lines of steamers to Matamoras did not disturb some of our people, but certain movements and recent givings-out of the French have alarmed Seward, who says Louis Napoleon is making an effort to get Texas; he therefore urges the immediate occupation of Galveston and also some other point.'' The expedition could take two routes: striking by amphibious assault along the Texas coast, or via the Red River into the interior. In either case, a joint Army-Navy assault would be necessary. The expedition, after a beginning marked by delays and frustrations, got underway early in 1864.

Dahlgren again wrote Welles about "how much I am pushed in order (first; to conduct operations on Morris Island, (second) to maintain the blockade, (third) to cover the points which have been exposed by the withdrawal of troops concentrated here. ..." In addition, Dahlgren's duties required his forces to be active at Wassaw Sound where a Confederate ram was being built and at Port Royal where the Southerners had long hoped to recapture the vital Union supply station, as well as along the entire southeastern Atlantic coast. Squadron commanders were always faced with demands greater than they had ships and men to meet.

Rear Admiral Porter directed that all ships in his Mississippi Squadron be provided with an apparatus to destroy torpedoes while on expeditions up narrow rivers. Since a torpedo exploding with 100 pounds of powder would not injure a ship 10 feet away, Porter proposed "that each vessel be provided with a rake projecting 20 or 30 feet beyond the bow. ..." The rake will be provided with iron teeth (spikes will do) to catch the torpedo or break the wires.'' The serious threat of the Confederate torpedoes, even in waters dominated by the Union , could never be ignored by naval commanders and dictated persistent caution.

Secretary Mallory wrote President Davis asking that men he transferred from the Army to man ships at Mobile , Savannah , Charleston , and Wilmington . "The vessels at these points," he wrote, ''have not the men to fight their own guns and men to spare for any enterprises against the enemy." The Navy had no conscription and suffered from a critical want of seamen.

USS Iroquois, Captain Case, captured blockade runner Merrimac off the coast of North Carolina with cargo of cotton, turpentine, and tobacco.

USS Arago, Commander Henry A. Gadsden, captured steamer Emma off Wilmington with cargo of cotton, rosin, and turpentine.

27 CSS Florida , Commander Maffitt, sailed from Bermuda after having coaled and refitted. Three weeks later, Maffitt put into harbor at Brest , France , for extensive repairs, which would consume six months and take from the seas one of the most successful of the Confederate commerce raiders. During this period, Maffitt, in poor health, asked to be relieved of his command.

General Beauregard asked Captain Tucker, commanding Confederate naval forces at Charleston , to ''place your two ships, the ironclads, in a position immediately contiguous to Cumming's Point. . . ." Beauregard noted that the addition of the ironclads would "materially strengthen our means of defense" and the Confederate hold on Morris Island . Tucker subsequently replied: "Flag Officer Ingraham, commanding station, Charleston , has informed me officially that he has but 80 tons of coal to meet all demands, including the ironclads, and has admonished me of the necessity of economy in consumption." However, a fresh supply of coal arrived in August in time to enable the ironclads to help evacuate Fort Wagner . Critical shortages of coal hampered Southern efforts afloat and even that which was obtained was "soft" rather than "hard" coal. It burned with a heavy smoke and was much less efficient than anthracite coal.

USS Clifton, Lieutenant Crocker, with USS Estrella, Hollyhock, and Sachem in company on a reconnaissance of the Atchafalaya River to the mouth of Bayou Teche, Louisiana , engaged Confederate batteries.


Permanent Commission endorses construction of Professor Hortsford’s submarine Soligo.

28 Under the command of Lieutenant Commander English, USS Beauregard and Oleander and boats from USS Sagamore and Para attacked New Smyrna, Florida. After shelling the town, the Union force "captured one sloop loaded with cotton, one schooner not laden; caused them to destroy several vessels, some of which were loaded with cotton and about ready to sail. They burned large quantities of it on shore. . . . Landed a strong force, destroyed all the buildings that had been occupied by troops." The Union Navy's capability to strike swiftly and effectively at any point on the South's sea perimeter kept the Confederacy off balance.

Commander John C. Carter, commanding USS Michigan on a cruise visiting principal cities on Lake Erie to recruit men for the Navy, reported that his call at Detroit was particularly opportune. ''I found the people suffering under serious apprehensions of a riot in consequence of excitement in reference to the draft. . . . The presence of the ship perhaps did something toward overawing the refractory, and certainly did much to allay the apprehensions of the excited, doubting people. All fears in reference to the riot had subsided before I left.'' During August, Michigan was called on for similar service at buffalo, New York .

29 Rear Admiral Farragut recalled Commodore H. H. Bell from blockade duty on the Texas coast to assume command of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron during his absence. Bell hoisted his broad pennant on board USS Pensacola.

USS Rosalie, Acting Master Peter F. Coffin, seized blockade running British schooner Georgie in the Caloosahtchee River , near Fort Myers , Florida . The schooner had been abandoned and carried no cargo.

USS Niphon, Acting Master Joseph B. Breck, seized British blockade runner Banshee at New Inlet , North Carolina .

USS Shawsheen, Acting Master Phelon, captured schooner Telegraph in Rose Bay, North Carolina. She had been abandoned after a chase of some 16 miles.

30 Rear Admiral Dahlgren advised Secretary Welles that "the position of affairs" at Morris Island had not "materially changed" in the last 5 days. He reported that the Army's advanced batteries, 600 yards from Fort Wagner, were in operation and that "Every day two or three of the ironclads join in and sweep the ground between Wagner and Cumming s Point, or else fire directly into Wagner. . . . It is to be remembered,'' he added, that Wagner is the key to Sumter , wherefore the enemy will spare no effort for the defense, and will protect any result to the last.'' Dahlgren also observed that one of the "many little things" which would be of assistance to him would be the electric light which Professor Way exhibited here, and which Professor Henry (Smithsonian Institution) knows of; it would either illuminate at night, if needed, or would serve to signal. . . ." As a man of science as well as an operational commander, the Admiral was quick to seek the advantages offered by new developments. The calcium light was brought down and enor-mously assisted in the capture of Fort Wagner by slowing down and halting Confederate repairs to the fort which previously were made under cover of night.

31 CSS Tuscaloosa
, Lieutenant John Low, captured ship Santee, bound from Akyab to Falmouth with cargo of rice. Santee was released on bond.

August 1863

1 Prior to departing for the North on board USS Hartford, Rear Admiral Farragut wrote Rear Admiral Porter from New Orleans: "I congratulate you upon your arrival at this city and rejoice that we have been able to meet here to make the transfer of the charge of the Mississippi River from New Orleans to the headwaters, and at the same time to receive the announcement from you that the entire Mississippi to St. Louis is free from the annoyances of the rebels, and that I can carry with me the glad tidings that it is open to commerce. . . . I hope that it will not be closed or interrupted again, but that peace and tranquillity will soon follow these glorious events."

Confederate steamer Chesterfield , landing troops and ammunition at Cumming's Point, Morris Island , Charleston
 harbor, was taken under fire by a Union gunboat. She was forced to seek safety at Fort Sumter  before she completed the landing of her stores. Brigadier General Ripley noted that the Union was "for the first time, attempting to interrupt our communication with Morris Island ." Urging that some measures he taken to protect the Confederate transports, Ripley observed that if such actions continued, "our transportation, which is already of the weakest kind, will soon be cut up, and when that is gone our first requisite for carrying out the defense of Charleston is taken from us." General Beauregard asked Flag Officer Tucker on 2 August to provide "at least one of the ironclad rams. . . to drive away such vessels as disturbed and interrupted our means of transportation last night."

USS Yankee, Acting Ensign Turner, captured sloop Clara Ann near Coan River , Virginia , with cargo including whiskey.

2 The day after assuming command of the entire Mississippi River, Rear Admiral Porter wrote Secretary Welles
: "The wharves of New Orleans have a most desolate appearance, and the city looks less thriving than it did when I was last here, a year since. It is to be hoped that facilities will be afforded for the transportation of produce from above. Almost everything is wanted, and provisions are very high. . . . I think we have arrived at a stage . . . when trade and commerce should be encouraged. With trade, prosperity will again commence to enter this once flourishing city, and a better state of feeling be brought about."

4 Four boat crews under Lieutenants Alexander F. Warley and John Payne from CSS Chicora and Palmetto State and a Confederate Army detachment captured a Union picket station and an unfinished battery at Vincent's Creek, Morris Island . The sharp engagement took place at night, after Confederates discovered that the Union men, under Acting Master John Haynes, USN, had been observing Southern movements at Cumming's Point and signaling General Gillmore's batteries so that effective artillery fire could be thrown on transports moving to the relief of Fort Wagner .

5 USS Commodore Barney, Acting Lieutenant Samuel Hose, was severely damaged when a 1,000-pound electric torpedo was exploded near her above Dutch Gap, Virginia. The explosion, reported Captain Guert Gansevoort, senior officer present, produced "a lively concussion" and washed the decks 'with the agitated water." "Some 20 men," he added, "Were either swept or jumped overboard, two of whom are missing and may have been drowned." Had the anxious Confederate torpedoman waited another moment to close the electrical circuit, Commodore Barney surely would have been destroyed. The incident took place during a joint Army-Navy recon-naissance of the James River which had begun the previous day. "This explosion...," wrote Lieutenant Hunter Davidson, CSN, in charge of the Submarine Battery Service, "effectively arrested their progress up the river. . . " On 6 August USS Sangamon, Cohasset, and Commodore Barney were taken under fire by Confederate shore artillery' and Commodore Barney was again disabled, this time by a shot through the boilers. Returning downstream, the expedition was subjected to a heavy shorefire, Commodore Barney receiving more than 30 hits.

CSS Juno, Lieutenant Philip Porcher, captured a launch, commanded by Acting Master Edward Haines, from USS Wabash
 in Charleston harbor. The launch was a part of the night patrol on guard duty; Haines, hearing the report that a Confederate steamer was coming out into the harbor, went to investigate. "Soon after getting underway," he reported, 'I made out a steamer standing down the channel close to Morris Island ." He opened on her with the launch's howitzer. Juno, reconnoitering the harbor with a 65-pound torpedo attached to her bow in the event that she should meet a Union ship, was otherwise unarmed, for she had been trimmed down to become a blockade runner, and her only means of defense was to run the launch down. Engineer James H. Tomb, CSN, reported: "We immediately headed for her, striking her about amidships; but not having much headway on the Juno, the launch swung around to port, just forward of the wheel. . ." Haines' men then tried to carry Juno by boarding despite heavy musket fire but were overwhelmed by superior numbers.

Rear Admiral Porter praised the work of the Coast Survey men assigned to him in a letter to A. D. Bache, Superintendent of the Coast Survey. The charts prepared by the Survey were of great value to the Navy in its efforts on the western water, for they "have added a good deal to the geographical knowledge already procured." Because of the charts, Porter added, "gunboats have steamed through where the keel of a canoe never passed, and have succeeded in reaching points in the enemy's country where the imagination of man never dreamed that he would be molested by an enemy in such a shape. You will see by the charts that what was once considered a mere ditch, capable of passing a canoe, is really a navigable stream for steamers. . . I have found them [officers of the Coast Survey always prompt and ready to execute my orders, never for a moment taking into consideration the dangers and difficulties surrounding them."

A detachment of Marines arrived at Charleston harbor to augment Union forces. Rear Admiral Dahlgren
 quickly cut the number of Marines on board the ships of his squadron to a minimum and sent the resulting total of some 500 Marines, under Major Jacob Zeilin, ashore on Morris Island . Dahlgren ordered that the Marines be ready "to move on instant notice;” rapidity of movement is one of the greatest elements of military power.

CSS Alabama, Captain Semmes, captured bark Sea Bride off Table Bay, Cape of Good Hope, with cargo of provisions. The capture took place within view of cheering crowds ashore. A local newspaperman wrote: "They did cheer, and cheer with a will, too. It was not, perhaps, taking the view of either side, Federal or Confederate, but in admiration of the skill, pluck and daring of the Alabama , her Captain, and her crew, who afford a general theme of admiration for the world all over." Semmes subsequently sold the bark to an English merchant.

6 USS Fort Henry, Lieutenant Commander McCauley, captured sloop Southern Star at St. Martin's Reef, Florida , with cargo of turpentine.

CSS Florida, Commander Maffitt, captured and released on bond Francis B. Cutting in the mid-North Atlantic .

USS Antona, Acting Master Lyman Wells, seized blockade running British schooner Betsey off Corpus Christi .

USS Paw Paw, Acting Master Augustus F. Thompson, struck a snag in the Mississippi River and sank within 15 minutes near Hardin's Point, Arkansas .

7 With Charleston under heavy attack by combined Union forces, General Beauregard asked that the "transportation of Whitney's submarine boat from Mobile
 here" be expedited. "It is," he added, "much needed." Beauregard was referring to the submarine constructed at Mobile on plans furnished by Horace L. Hunley, James R. McClintock, and Baxter Watson. She was the H. L. Hunley, a true submersible fashioned from a cylindrical iron steam boiler, which comprised her main center section, and tapered bow and stern sections. Designed for a crew of nine--one to steer her and eight to turn her hand-cranked propeller--H.L. Hunley, according to McClintock, was 40 feet in length, 3 1/2 feet in breadth at her widest point, and 4 feet in depth. Her speed was about 4 knots. In the next 6 months the little craft would become famous and her gallant crews would launch a new era in war at sea.

Secretary Mallory
 sent Lieutenant Maffitt his appointment as a commander in the Confederate States Navy, effective 29 April 1863. He congratulated the intrepid captain of CSS Florida and the officers and men under your command upon the brilliant success of your cruise, and I take occasion to express the entire confidence of the Department that all that the skill, courage, and coolness of a seaman can accomplish with the means at your command will he achieved." The value of Maffitt's exploits in Florida, as well as those of Confederate captains in other commerce raiders, was far greater than even the large number of merchant ships that were captured and destroyed, for their operations required the Union to use many ships and men and expend huge sums of money in attempts to run them down that could otherwise have been diverted to the war effort in coastal waters and the rivers.

USS Mound City, Lieutenant Commander Wilson, fired on and dispersed Confederate cavalry making a raid on an encampment at Lake Providence , Louisiana .

8 USS Sagamore, Lieutenant Commander English, seized British sloop Clara Louisa off Indian River , Florida . Later the same day he captured British schooners Southern Rights and Shot and Confederate schooner Ann off Gilbert's Bar.

10 Rear Admiral Farragut arrived at New York . In a message of welcome Secretary Welles said: "I congratulate you on your safe return from labors, duties, and responsibilities unsurpassed and unequaled in magnitude, importance, and value to the country by those of any naval officers. I will not enumerate the many signal achievements you have accomplished from that most splendid one which threw open the gates of the Mississippi and restored the Crescent City again to the Union to the recent capture of Port Hudson, the last formidable obstruction to the free navigation of the river of the great central valley." Three days later, a group of leading New York citizens sent a letter of tribute to the Admiral: 'The whole country, but especially this commercial metropolis, owes you a large debt of gratitude for the skill and dauntless bravery with which, during a long life of public duty, you have illustrated and maintained the maritime rights of the nation, and also for the signal ability, judgment, and courtesy with which, in concert with other branches of the loyal national forces, you have sustained the authority of the government, and recovered and defended national territory."

USS Princess Royal, Commander Melancthon B. Woolsey, seized brig Atlantic off the mouth of the Rio Grande River with cargo of cotton. Sent to New Orleans for adjudication she was recaptured by her master and crew and taken to Havana .

USS Cayuga, Lieutenant Commander Dana, captured blockade running schooner J. T. Davis off the mouth of the Rio Grande River with cargo of cotton.

11 Rear Admiral Dahlgren, seeking to clear the way for his ironclads through the heavy Confederate obstructions in Charleston harbor, suggested that "a vessel constructed of corrugated iron" and fashioned like a boat, but closed perfectly on the top, so that it could he submerged very quickly" could be a means of delivering a large amount of powder directly upon the obstructions. Such a weapon, Dahlgren wrote Secretary Welles, "would dislocate any nice arrangements. Dahlgren later described to Welles the nature of the formidable harbor defenses at Charleston against which the Admiral pitted his ironclads. There was a "continuous line of works" extending from Fort Moultrie on the right to Fort Johnson on the left. Fort Ripley , supported by CSS Chicora, Charleston , and Palmetto State, and Castle Pickney were to the right beyond Moultrie. A line of piles had been driven into the harbor in front of Fort Ripley. Rope obstructions were stretched between Forts Sumter and Moultrie, and anchored torpedoes were placed in the harbor as well.

In the North, the Permanent Commission examines plans submitted by Ensign Andrew Hartshorn for a one-man submarine. At least one such vessel was built, as records refer to tests being made with the boat.

12 Rear Admiral Charles H. Bell, commanding the Pacific Squadron, ordered USS Narragansett, Commander Stanly, to cruise regularly between San Francisco and Acapulco, Mexico, for the protection of Pacific mail steamers. In addition, he warned Stanly to keep two-thirds of his officers on board the ship at all times, and to maintain a regular sea watch whenever in a port with Confederate sympathies to avoid being boarded and taken.

USS Princess Royal, Commander Woolsey, seized British schooner Flying Scud at Brazos , Texas . She was reported to have run the blockade and landed 65,000 pounds of powder, 7 tons of horse-shoes, and thousands of dollars worth of medical supplies.

13 -14 A naval force under Lieutenant Bache reconnoitered the White River above Clarendon, Arkansas, to gain information as to the whereabouts of [Confederate General Sterling] Price's Army, to destroy the telegraph at Des Arc and capture the operator, and catch the steamboats Kaskaskia and Thos. Sugg." The force, including USS Lexington, Lieutenant Bache; USS Cricket, Acting Lieutenant Langthorne; and USS Marmora, Acting Lieutenant R. Getty, with Army troops embarked, burned a large warehouse at Des Arc, destroyed the telegraph lines for a half a mile, and "obtained some information that we wanted . . . ." Next day, the gunboats proceeded upriver, Lexington and Marmora advancing to Augusta , and Cricket searching the Little Red River for the Confederate steamers. At Augusta , Bache learned that "the Southern army were [sic] concentrating at Brownsville , intending to make their line of defense on Bayou Meto. Price was there and Kirby Smith in Little Rock . Marmaduke had recrossed the White some days before, and was then crossing the Little Red." Returning downstream, Bache left Marmora to guard the mouth of the Little Red River and ascended the tributary himself, meeting Cricket. Langthorne had captured steamers Kaskaskia and Thomas Sugg with cargoes of cotton, horses, and arms at Searcy and had also destroyed General Marmaduke's pontoon bridge across the river, thereby slowing his movements. Reporting on the successful expedition, Bache noted: "The capture of the two boats, the only means of trans-portation the rebels had on this river, is a great service to us." Though operations of this nature passed almost unnoticed by the public, it was precisely the Navy's ability to thrust incessantly into the vitals of the Confederacy that helped to keep the South on the defensive.

14 Timely intelligence reports played an important role in alerting the Union blockaders. This date, Rear Admiral Bailey advised Lieutenant Commander McCauley, USS Fort Henry: "I have information that the steamers Alabama and Nita sailed from Havana on the 12th, with a view of running the blockade, probably at Mobile, but possibly between Tampa Bay and St. Marks [Florida]; also that the steamers Montgomery (formerly Habanero), the Isabel, the Fannie, the War-rior, and the Little Lily were nearly ready for sail, with like intent. . . the Isabel, which sailed on the 7th, has undoubtedly gone either to Bayport, the Waccasassa, or the Suwanee River. You will therefore keep a sharp lookout for any of these vessels. . . ." Four of the seven ships were captured by the blockading forces within a month.

USS Bermuda, Acting Master J. W. Smith, seized British blockade runners Carmita, with cargo of cotton, and Artist, with cargo including liquor and medicine, off the Texas coast.

15 Submarine H. L. Hunley had arrived in Charleston on two covered railroad flat cars. Brigadier General Jordan advised Mr. B.A. Whitney that a reward of $100,000 dollars would he paid by John Fraser and Company for the destruction of USS New Ironsides. He added that "a similar sum for destruction of the wooden frigate Wabash , and the sum of fifty thousand dollars for every monitor sunk" was also being offered. The next day, Jordan ordered that "every assistance be rendered in equipping the submarine with torpedoes. Jordan noted that General Beauregard regarded H. F. Hunley as the most formidable engine of war for the defense of Charleston now at his disposition & accordingly is anxious to have it ready for service. . . ."

16 USS Pawnee
, Commander Balch, escaped undamaged when a floating Confederate torpedo exploded under her stern, destroying a launch, shortly after midnight at Stono Inlet , South Carolina . Four hours later, another torpedo exploded within 30 yards of the ship. In all, four devices exploded close by, and two others were picked up by mortar schooner C. P. Williams. In addition, a boat capable of holding 10 torpedoes was captured by Pawnee. Commander Balch informed Rear Admiral Dahlgren that the torpedoes were ingenious and exceedingly simple" and suggested that 'they may be one of the means" which the Confederates would use to destroy Northern ships stationed in the Stono River . The threat posed by the torpedoes floating down rivers caused grave concern among Northern naval commanders, and Dahlgren came to grips with it at once. Within 10 days, Lieutenant Commander Bacon, USS Commodore McDonough reported from Lighthouse Inlet that a net had been stretched across the Inlet "for the purpose of stopping torpedoes. . . ."

Rear Admiral Porter wrote Assistant Secretary Fox regarding an attack on Mobile : "I think the only way to he successful is a perfect combination of Army and Navy it is useless for either branch of service to attempt anything on a grand scale without the aid of the other." Though joint operations were planned for some time, it was Rear Admiral Farragut who, a year later, was to steam into Mobile Bay , achieve a great naval victory and close the last Gulf port open to the Confederacy.

USS Rhode Island, Commander Trenchard, seized blockade running British steamer Cronstadt north of Man of War Cay, Abaco, with cargo of turpentine, cotton, and tobacco.

USS De Soto, Captain W. M. Walker, captured steamer Alice Vivian in the Golf of Mexico with cargo of cotton.

USS Gertrude, Acting Master Cressy, captured steamer Warrior bound from Havana to Mobile with cargo of coffee, cigars, and dry goods.

17 Naval forces under Rear Admiral Dahlgren, including ironclads USS Weehawken, Catskill, Nahant, Montauk, Passaic, Patapsco, New Ironsides, and gunboats Canandaigua, Mahaska, Cimarron, Ottawa, Wissahickon, Dai Ching, Seneca, and Lodona, renewed the joint attack on Confederate works in Charleston harbor in conjunction with troops of Brigadier General Gillmore. The naval battery ashore on Mossie Island under Commander F. A. Parker contributed some 300 rounds to the bombardment, "the greater portion of which," Parker reported, struck the face of Sumter or its parapet." USS Passaic and Patapsco also concentrated on Fort Sumter , though the Navy's chief fire mission, as it would be for the next five days of the engagement, was to heavily engage Confederate batteries and sharpshooters at Fort Wagner in support of Gillmore's advance.

In the face of the Union threat, Flag Officer Tucker, flying his flag in CSS Chicora, ordered Lieutenant Dozier to have the torpedo steamers under his command ready for action without the least delay" in the event that the ironclads passed Fort Sumter. During the day's fierce exchange of fire, Dahlgren's Chief of Staff, Captain G. W. Rodgers, USS Catskill, was killed by a shot from Fort Wagner . "It is but natural that I should feel deeply the loss thus sustained, for the close and confidential relation which the duties of fleet captain necessarily occasion im-pressed me deeply with the worth of Captain Rodgers. Brave, intelligent, and highly capable, [he was] devoted to his duty and to the flag under which he passed his life. The country, added the Admiral in his report to Secretary Welles, "can not afford to lose such men."

USS De Soto, Captain W.M. Walker, captured steamer Nita, from Havana , in Apalachicola Bay , Florida , with cargo of provisions and medicines. Walker observed: "The fact that steamers are employed at great cost with all the attendant risk, in transporting provisions from Havana to Mobile is the most conclusive evidence I have yet had of the scarcity of supplies in the Gulf States ."

USS Satellite, Acting Master Robinson, seized schooner Three Brothers in Great Wicomico River , Maryland .

USS Crocus, Acting Ensign J. LeGrand Winton, ran aground at night and was wrecked at Bodie's Island , North Carolina .

18 USS Niphon, Acting Master Breck, chased steamer Hebe north of Fort Fisher , Wilmington
. She was carrying a cargo of drugs, clothing, coffee, and provisions when she was run aground and abandoned. Because of a strong gale, Breck determined to destroy her rather than attempt to get her off. Three boat crews sent to the steamer for that purpose were captured by the Confederates when the boats were either stove in or swamped by the heavy seas. USS Shokokon, Lieutenant Cushing , assisted in the destruction of Hebe by commencing a heavy fire, that soon riddled her." Rear Admiral Lee reported in summation: "She was as thoroughly burned as the water in her would allow."

CSS Oconee, Lieutenant Oscar F. Johnston, foundered in heavy seas near St. Catherine's Sound, Georgia , after running the blockade out of Savannah the night before. She was carrying a cargo of cotton "on navy account," Secretary Mallory reported. All hands were saved, but 2 days later a boat containing four officers and 11 men was captured by USS Madgie, Acting Master Woodbury H. Polleys. Polleys noted that "it was probably her [Oconee's] intention to obtain plate iron on her return trip, in order to ironclad the new rams now building at Savannah"

19 Boat expedition from USS Norwich and Hale, under Acting Master Charles F. Mitchell, destroyed a Confederate signal station near Jacksonville. "The capture of this signal station," Acting Master Frank B. Meriam, commander of Norwich, reported, "will either break up this end of the line or it will detain here to protect it the troops, five small companies (about 200 men) of infantry, two full companies of cavalry, and one company of artillery, that I learn are about being forwarded to Richmond." Throughout the war the Navy's ability to strike repeatedly at a variety of places pinned down Confederate manpower that was vitally needed on the main fronts.

USS Restless, Acting Master William R. Browne, captured schooner Ernti with cargo of cotton southwest of the Florida Keys .

21 Confederate torpedo boat Torch, Pilot James Carlin, formerly a blockade runner, made a gallant night attempt to sink USS New Ironsides, Captain Stephen C. Rowan, in the channel near Morris Island . The small steamer, which was constructed from the hulk of an unfinished gunboat at Charleston , sailed low in the water, was painted gray and burned anthracite coal to avoid detection. She took on much water and her engines were of dubious quality when she made her run on the heavy Union blockader. When but 40 yards away from New Ironsides, Carlin ordered the engines cut and pointed her at his prey. The boat failed to respond properly to her helm, and as New Ironsides swung about her anchor slowly with the tide, the torpedo failed to make contact with the ship's hull. While alongside the Union ship, Carlin could not start the engines for some minutes, but the daring Confederate kept up a cool conversation with the officer of the deck on New Ironsides, who finally became alarmed but was unable to depress any of the guns sufficiently to fire into the little craft. At this moment, the torpedo boat's engines started, and Carlin quickly made his way back to Charleston , two shots from New Ironsides, falling 20 feet to either side of his torpedo boat. General Beauregard, seeking to lift the blockade and the continuing bombardment of his forces at Forts Wagner and Sumter, wrote Carlin: "I feel convinced that another trial under more favorable circumstances will surely meet with success, notwithstanding the known defects of the vessel."

CSS Florida , Commander Maffitt, captured and burned ship Anglo Saxon with cargo of coal near Brest , France .

21–22 Following four day's of intensive bombardment of Forts Wagner, Sumter, and Gregg from afloat and ashore, naval forces under Rear Admiral Dahlgren moved to press a close attack on heavily damaged Fort Sumter late at night. USS Passaic, Lieutenant Commander Edward Simpson, in advance of the other ironclads, grounded near the fort shortly after midnight. "It took so much time to get her off," the Admiral wired Brigadier General Gillmore, "that when I was informed of the fact that I would have had but little time to make the attack before daylight [the assault] was unavoidably postponed . . . ." Dahlgren wrote Secretary Welles of the diffi-culties attendant upon an all-out naval offensive because of the multitude of duties his ships had to perform. He noted that one ironclad had to be stationed at Savannah and that another was repairing at Port Royal . The remaining five had to work closely in support of Army operations ashore, for the trenches can not be advanced nor even the guns kept in play, unless the ironclads keep down Wagner, and yet in doing so the power of the ironclads is abated proportionally." This same date, Brigadier General Johnson Hagood, CSA, commanding Fort Wagner , testified to the effectiveness of the Union Navy's gunfire support: The fire from the fleet, enfilading the land face and proving destructive, compelled us to cease firing. As soon as the vessels withdrew the sharpshooters resumed their work."

22 Boat crew from USS Shokokon, Lieutenant Cushing, destroyed schooner Alexander Cooper in New Topsail Inlet , North Carolina . "This was," Rear Admiral Lee wrote, a handsome affair, showing skill and gallantry." Ten days before, Cushing had sighted the blockade runner while he was on a reconnaissance of the Inlet. "This schooner," be said, "I determined to destroy, and as it was so well guarded I concluded to use strategy." The evening of the 22nd, he sent two boats' crews ashore under command of Acting Ensign Joseph S. Cony. The men landed, shouldered a dingy, and carried it across a neck of land to the inlet. Thus the assault took place from behind the Confederate works with marked success. In addition to burning Alexander Cooper, Cony destroyed extensive salt works in the vicinity and took three prisoners back to Shokokon.

USS Cayuga, Lieutenant Commander Dana, captured schooner Wave with cargo of cotton south-east of Corpus Christi .

23 Confederate boat expedition under Lieutenant Wood, CSN, captured USS Reliance, Acting Ensign Henry Walter, and U.S.S Satellite, Acting Master Robinson, off Windmill Point, on the Rappa-hannock River. Wood had departed Richmond 11 days before with some 80 Confederates and 4 boats placed on wheels. These were launched on the 16th, 2 miles from the mouth of the Piankatank River and rowed into the bay. Concealing themselves by day and venturing forth by night, the Confederates sought for a week to find Union ships in an exposed position. Shortly after 1 o'clock in the morning, 23 August, Reliance and Satellite were found at anchor "so close to each other," Wood reported, "that it was necessary to board both at the same time." The two ships were quickly captured and taken up the Rappahannock to Urbanna. A "daring and brilliantly executed" plan, the capture of the two steamers shocked the North. Only a limited supply of coal on board the prizes and poor weather prevented Wood from following up his initial advantage more extensively. (See 25 August.)

As operations against the Charleston defenses continued, ironclads under Rear Admiral Dahlgren, including USS Weehawken, Montauk, Nahant, Passaic, and Patapsco, opened on Fort Sumter shortly: after 3 a.m. Confederate batteries at Fort Moultrie replied, and three of the monitors turned their attention to that quarter as fog set in, obscuring the view of both sides. "Finding Sumter pretty well used up," Dahlgren wrote, "I concluded to haul off [at daybreak], for the men had been at work two days and two nights and were exhausted." Much of the firing had been within a range of 1,000 yards. Later that morning USS New Ironsides, Captain Rowan, steamed abreast of and engaged Fort Wagner for an hour. In the exchange New Ironsides lost a dinghy which was cut away by a shot from a Confederate X-inch gun.

24 General Dabney H. Maury, CSA, reported: "The submarine boat sent to Charleston found that there was not enough water under the Ironsides for her to pass below her keel; therefore they have decided to affix a spike to the bow of the boat, to drive the spike into the Ironsides, then to back out, and by a string to explode the torpedo which was to be attached to the spike." H. L. Hunley had originally been provided with a floating copper cylinder torpedo with flaring triggers which she could tow some 200 feet astern. The submarine would dive beneath the target ship, surface on the other side, and continue on course until the torpedo struck the ship and exploded. When the method proved unworkable, a spare torpedo containing 90 pounds of powder was affixed to the bow. A volunteer crew commanded by Lieutenant Payne, CSN, of CSS Chicora took charge of H. L. Hunley in the next few days.

25 The recently captured USS Satellite, now commanded by Lieutenant Wood, CSN, seized schooners Golden Rod, with cargo of coal, Coquette, and Two Brothers with cargoes of anchor and chain, at the mouth of the Rappahannock River ; the schooners were taken up river by their captors. "The Golden Rod," Wood wrote, "drawing too much water to go up, was stripped and burned. The other two were towed up to Port Royal . . . ." There they, too, were stripped of useful parts and destroyed together with ex-USS Reliance and Satellite which Wood had taken by boarding just two days earlier.

Reviewing the effect of the joint operations at Charleston , Secretary Welles noted in his diary: "The rebel accounts of things at Charleston speak of Sumter in ruins, its walls fallen in, and a threatened assault on the city. I do not expect immediate possession of the place, for it will defended with desperation, pride, courage, nullification chivalry, which is something Quixotic, with the Lady Dulcineas to stimulate the Secession heroes but matters are encouraging. Thus far, the Navy has been the cooperating force, aiding and protecting the army on Morris Island ."

USS William G. Anderson, Acting Lieutenant F. S. Hill, captured schooner Mack Canfield off the mouth of the Rio Grande River with cargo of cotton.

26 Secretary Welles ordered USS Fort Jackson, Captain Alden, to cruise the track taken by blockade runners steaming between Bermuda and Wilmington. Information had reached Welles that two large Whitworth guns, weighing 22 tons each, had been carried to Bermuda by the blockade runner Gibraltar, formerly CSS Sumter, and he was hoping to intercept the guns at sea before the ship carrying them could even make an attempt to run the blockade.

Welles requested that Rear Admiral Dahlgren submit weekly reports and sketches of damage inflicted on the ironclads by Confederate guns at Charleston harbor. "These reports and sketches," he wrote, "are important to the Bureau and others concerned, to enable them to under-stand correctly and provide promptly for repairing the damages; and frequently measures for improving the ironclads are suggested by them."

Boat crew from USS Beauregard, Acting Master Francis Burgess, seized schooner Phoebe off Jupiter Inlet , Florida .

27 USS Sunflower, Acting Master Van Sice, captured schooner General Worth in the straits of Florida.

USS William G. Anderson, Acting Lieutenant F. S. Hill, captured schooner America off the coast of Texas with cargo of cotton.

USS Preble, Acting Master William F. Shankland, was destroyed by accidental fire at Pensacola .

28 CSS Alabama , Captain Semmes, and CSS Tuscaloosa
, Lieutenant Low, joined briefly in the Bay of Angra Pequena on the African coast. Semmes ordered Tuscaloosa to proceed on a cruise to the coast of Brazil .

Lieutenant George W. Gift, CSN, wrote that he had just visited CSS Tennessee and Nashville which were building above Mobile . Of Nashville , he reported: "She is of immense proportions and will be able to whip any Yankee craft afloat-when she is finished . . . ." In an earlier letter he had written of her: "She is tremendous! Her officers' quarters are completed. The wardroom, in which I am most interested, is six staterooms and a pantry long, and about as broad between the rooms as the whole Chattahoochee . Her engines are tremendous, and it requires all her width, fifty feet, to place her boilers. She is to have side wheels. The Tennessee is insignificant alongside her. She will mount fourteen guns.

29 Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley, Lieutenant Payne, sank in Charleston harbor for the first time. After making several practice dives in the harbor, the submarine was moored by lines fastened to steamer Etiwan at the dock at Fort Johnson . When the steamer moved away from the dock unexpectedly, H. L. Hunley was drawn onto her side. She filled with water and rapidly sank, carrying with her five gallant seamen. Payne and two others escaped. H. L. Hunley was subsequently raised and refitted, as, undaunted by the "unfortunate accident," another crew volunteered to man her.

Secretary Mallory wrote Commander North in Glasgow , Scotland , urging the rapid completion of the ships being built for the Confederacy. "The terrible ordeal through which our country is passing and the knowledge that our ships in England , would, if present here, afford us incal-culable relief, intensifies my deep regret at their non-completion. . . . Mallory wrote Commander Bulloch this day on the same subject. Remarking on his "regret and disappointment" that the ships building in England were unfinished, the Secretary added: "Their presence at this time upon our coast would he of incalculable value, relieving, as they would be able to do, the blockade of Charleston and Wilmington . . . . From the beginning of the war, the Confederacy had sought full recognition from the European powers. After Vicksburg and Gettysburg , the South found assistance from Europe increasingly difficult to obtain.

Commodore H.H. Bell ordered Lieutenant Commander Cooke to "proceed in the Estrella up the river to Donaldsonville or as far as Morganza, and report your presence to Commander Robert Townsend, of the U.S. ironclad Essex , for assisting in patrolling the river as far as Morganza against the operations of guerrillas." The need for gunboats to patrol the Mississippi to guard transports and merchantmen against surprise raids never ended.

30 A detachment of the Marine Brigade, assigned to Rear Admiral Porter's Mississippi Squadron, captured three Confederate paymasters at Bolivar, Mississippi. The paymasters, escorted by 35 troops who were also taken prisoner, were carrying $2,200,000 in Confederate currency to pay their soldiers at Little Rock . "This," Porter commented, "will not improve the dissatisfaction now existing in Price's army, and the next news we hear will be that General Steele has posses-sion of Little Rock ."

Captain Samuel Barron, CSN, was ordered to England , "by the first suitable conveyance from Wilmington or Charleston ." Secretary Mallory hoped that the ships being constructed there under the direction of Commander Bulloch would be completed by the time that Barron arrived, and that he could proceed to sea at once. Such was not to be, however, and 18 months later Barron resigned his Navy commission while he was still overseas.

CSS Georgia, Lieutenant W. L. Maury, captured and bonded ship John Watts with cargo of teakwood in the mid-South Atlantic .

Confederate transport steamer Sumter was sunk by batteries on Sullivan's Island, Charleston harbor, when Southern artillerists on the island mistook her for a Union monitor in the fog and heavy weather.

31 USS Gem of the Sea, Acting Lieutenant Baxter, captured sloop Richard in Peace Creek , Florida, with cargo of cotton.

September 1863

1 Rear Admiral Lee issued the following instructions to the officers of his North Atlantic Block-ading Squadron: "Blockaders must not waste fuel by unnecessary moving about in the day-time. . . . The blockaders must not lie huddled together by day or night, and especially in thick weather; there must he specified day anchorages and night positions. . . . Vessels should weigh anchor before sunset and be in their night positions by dark, as when the draft of vessels or stage of the tide permits, escapes are made out at or near to evening twilight, without showing black smoke, and inward in the morning at daylight. The distance to be kept from the bar, the batteries, and the beach must be regulated by the state of the weather and atmosphere and the light. When vessels anchor at night, they must he underway one hour before dawn of day, so as not to expose their position, and to he ready to chase.

Major General Whiting, CSA, issued regulations for blockade runners at the port of Wilmington
. The specific instructions were intended to prevent Union spies from having ready access to the best remaining haven for blockade runners.

Commander Catesby ap R. Jones, commanding the Confederate naval gun foundry and ordnance works at Selma , Alabama , ordered a small quantity of munitions to Admiral Franklin Buchanan
 for the defense of Mobile . Munitions were in increasingly short supply, and the bulk of those available were being ordered to Charleston .

1-2 Dahlgren
, flying his flag in USS Weehawken, took the ironclads against Fort Sumter  late at night following an intensive, day-long bombardment by Army artillery. Moving to within 500 yards of the Fort, the ships cannonaded it for five hours, "demolishing," as Brigadier General Ripley, CSA, reported, "nearly the whole of the eastern scarp . . . ." Confederates returned a heavy fire from Fort Moultrie , scoring over 70 hits on the ironclads. One shot struck Weehawken 's turret, driving a piece of iron into the leg of Captain Oscar C. Badger, severely wounding him. Noting that he was the third Flag Captain he had lost in 2 months, Dahlgren wrote: "I shall feel greatly the loss of Captain Badger's services at this time." The Admiral broke off the attack as the flood tide set in, "which," Dahlgren said, had he remained, "would have exposed the monitors unnecessarily.

2-3 Boat expedition under Acting Ensign William H. Winslow and Acting Master's Mate Charles A. Edgcomb from USS Gem of the Sea, Acting Lieutenant Baxter, reconnoitered Peace Creek , Florida . The expedition was set in motion by Baxter because of "reliable information that there was a band of guerrillas, or regulators, as they style themselves, organizing in the vicinity of Peace Creek, with the intention of coming down this harbor [Charlotte Harbor] for the purpose of capturing the refugees on the islands in this vicinity and also the sloop Rosalie. . . "The Union force destroyed buildings used as a depot for blockade runners and a rendezvous for guerrillas as well as four small boats. Baxter reported: "I think this expedition will have a tendency to break up the blockade running and stop the regulators from coming down here to molest the refugees in this vicinity."

4 Commodore H. H. Bell, commanding the West Gulf Blockading Squadron in the absence of Farragut, notified Welles
 of a joint amphibious expedition to he mounted at New Orleans aimed at the capture of Sabine  Pass, Texas. ". . . Major General Banks," he wrote, "having organized a force of 4,000 men under Major General [William B.] Franklin to effect a landing at Sabine Pass for military occupation, and requested the cooperation of the navy, which I most gladly acceded to, I assigned the command of the naval force to Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Frederick Crocker, commanding USS Clifton, accompanied by the steamer Sachem, Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Amos Johnson; USS Arizona, Acting Master Howard Tibbits; and USS Granite City Acting Master C. W. Lamson. These being the only available vessels of sufficiently light draft at my disposal for that service. . . . It was concerted that the squadron of four gunboats . . . shall make the attack alone, assisted by' about 180 sharpshooters from the army; and having driven the enemy from his defenses, and destroyed or driven off the rams the transports are then to advance and land their troops. All possible secrecy was to be observed in carrying out the joint operation, which was planned as the first step in preventing any possible moves by the French troops in Mexico to cross the Rio Grande River . Sabine Pass in Union hands could serve as a base for operations into the interior of Texas .

Major General Jeremy F. Gilmer wrote Secretary Mallory
, seeking assistance in holding Morris Island " to the last extremity." He requested " the service of as many sailors as you can possibly give us from Richmond , Wilmington , Savannah , and other points not less that [sic] 200 to be employed as oarsmen to convey troops and materiel to and from that island." For some time Confederate sailors had been performing this vital mission, for, as the siege and intensive bom-bardment progressed, it had become necessary to relieve the embattled soldiers at Fort Wagner every three days. As Union batteries found the range of Cumming's Point, where the Southern transport steamers were landing troops and supplies, most of these movements then had to be carried on by rowboats crossing Vincent's Creek. This was hazardous, for armed small boats from the blockading ships closely patrolled the area throughout the night. Nonetheless, Confederate sailors worked tirelessly to support the Army garrison on Morris Island until Fort Wagner was finally evacuated.

Small boats manned by Union sailors under Lieutenant Francis J. Higginson transported troops in an attempted night assault on Fort Gregg at Cumming's Point, Morris Island . "The object," Brigadier General Gillmore reported, "was to spike the guns and blow up the magazine." At the mouth of Vincent's Creek a boat carrying a wounded Confederate soldier was captured, but the shots fired alerted the defenders at Fort Gregg and the secret attack was called off. A similar attempt the next night found the Southerners ready and no further attempts were made. Gillmore reported that Lieutenant Higginson "has rendered good service. Major [Oliver S.] Sanford . . . speaks highly of his presence of mind and personal bravery, as well as his efficiency as a commander. I give this testimonial unasked because it is deserved."

6 Having been under constant bombardment from land and sea for nearly 60 days, Confederate forces secretly evacuated Morris Island by boat at night. Two days before, Colonel Lawrence M. Keitt, commanding Fort Wagner , had reported the "rapid and fatal" effects of the shore bombardment combined with the accurate firing from USS New Ironsides, Captain Rowan. One hundred of his 900 defenders had been killed in the bombardment of 5 September. "Is it desirable to sacrifice the garrison?" he asked. "To continue to hold it [ Fort Wagner ] is [to] do so." The next day, 6 September, General Beauregard wrote that Forts Wagner and Gregg had undergone a "terrible bombardment" for some 36 hours. Describing Wagner as much damaged; repairs impossible," the commander of the Charleston defenses added: "Casualties [the last 2 days] over 150; garrison much exhausted: nearly all guns disabled. Communications with city extremely difficult and dangerous; Sumter being silenced. Evacuation of Morris Island becomes indispensable to save garrison. . . . That night Confederate transports assembled between Fort Johnson , on James Island , and Fort Sumter under protection of ironclad CSS Charleston , and barges manned by seamen from CSS Chicora and Palmetto State effected the evacuation. Not until the last group of Confederate soldiers was being evacuated did the Union commanders become aware of what was taking place. "Then," Brigadier General Ripley reported, "his guard boats discovered the movement of our boats engaged in the embarkation, and, creeping up upon the rear, succeeded in cutting off and capturing three barges containing Lieutenant Hasker [CSN] and boat's crew of the Chicora, and soldiers of the Army'." The Richmond Sentinel of 7 September summarized: "The enemy now holds Cumming's Point, in full view of the city."

Landing party from USS Argosy, Acting Ensign John C. Morong, seized Confederate ordnance supplies and 1,200 pounds of tobacco at Bruinsburg , Mississippi .

6-7 Army transports and naval warships of the joint amphibious expedition arrived at Sabine Pass and anchored off the bar. Union plans called for the seizure of Sabine Pass as a base for strategic operations against western Louisiana and eastern and central Texas . Through a series of mishaps, as Major General Franklin reported, "the attack, which was intended to be a surprise, became an open one, the enemy having had two nights' warning that a fleet was off the harbor, and during Monday [7 September] a full view of most of the vessels comprising it . . . ."

7-8 Following the evacuation of Morris Island, Rear Admiral Dahlgren demanded the surrender of Fort Sumter on the 7th; the fort had been so hammered by sea and shore bombardment that one observer noted that its appearance "from seaward was rather that of a steep, sandy island than that of a fort." "I replied," General Beauregard wrote, "to take it if he could." Preparatory to renewing the assault, Dahlgren ordered USS Weehawken, Commander Colhoun, between Cumming's Point, Morris Island , and Fort Sumter . Weehawken grounded in the narrow channel and could not be gotten off until the next day. That evening USS New Ironsides, Nahant, Lehigh, Montauk, and Patapsco reconnoitered the obstructions at Fort Sumter and heavily engaged Fort Moultrie . "I drew off," Dahlgren recorded in his diary, "to give attention to Weehawken ." Beginning the morning of 8 September the grounded ironclad was subjected to heavy fire from Fort Moultrie and Sullivan's and James Islands . Weehawken gallantly replied from her helpless position as other Union ironclads closed to assist. "Well done Weehawken ," Dahlgren wired Colhoun, praising his effective counter-fire; "don't give up the ship." USS New Ironsides, Captain Rowan, positioned herself between Weehawken and the Fort Moultrie batteries, drawing off Confederate fire. Struck over 50 times, New Ironsides finally withdrew "for want of ammunition"; Weehawken was finally floated with the aid of tugs.

8 The joint Army-Navy attack on Sabine Pass opened as USS Clifton, Acting Lieutenant Crocker, crossed the bar and unsuccessfully attempted to draw the fire of the fort and cottonclad steamer CSS Uncle Ben. Clifton was followed across the bar by USS Sachem, Arizona , Granite City , and Army transports. Sachem and Arizona advanced up the Louisiana (right) channel and Clifton and Granite City moved up the Texas (left) channel; they opened on the Confederate batteries preparatory to landing the troops. The Confederate gunners withheld fire until the gunboats were within close range and then countered with a devastating cannonade. A shot through the boiler totally disabled Sachem, another shot away the wheel rope of Clifton and she grounded under the Confederate guns. Crocker fought his ship until, with 10 men killed and nine others wounded, he deemed it his duty "to stop the slaughter by showing the white flag, which was done, and we fell into the hands of the enemy." Sachem, after flooding her magazine, also surrendered and was taken under tow by CSS Uncle Ben. With the loss of Clifton 's and Sachem's firepower, the two remaining gunboats and troop transports recrossed the bar and departed for New Orleans . The Sabine Pass expedition had, in the words of Commodore H. H. Bell, "totally failed." Nevertheless, Major General Banks reported: "In all respects the cooperation of the naval authorities has been hearty and efficient. Fully comprehending the purposes of the Government, they entered upon the expedition with great spirit. Commodore Bell gave all the assistance in his power, and Captain Crocker, of the Clifton , now a prisoner, deserves especial mention for his conspicuous gallantry." In a vote of thanks to the small defending garrison for the victory which prevented "the invasion of Texas ," the Confederate Congress called the action "one of the most brilliant and heroic achievements in the history of this war."

8-9 Rear Admiral Dahlgren mounted a boat attack on Fort Sumter late at night. Commander Stevens led the assault comprising more than thirty boats and some 400 sailors and Marines. The Confederates, appraised in advance of the Union's intentions because they had recovered a key to the Northern signal code from the wreck of USS Keokuk, waited until the boats were nearly ashore before opening a heavy fire and using hand grenades. CSS Chicora contributed a sweep-ing, enfilading fire. Dahlgren noted that " Moultrie fired like the devil, the shells breaking around us and screaming in chorus." The attack was repulsed, and more than 100 men were captured. For the next several weeks, a period of relative quiet at Charleston prevailed.

10 As Little Rock , Arkansas , was falling to Major General Frederick Steele, USS Hastings, Lieu-tenant Commander S.L. Phelps, arrived at Devall's Bluff on the White River to support the land action. Though the river was falling rapidly, Phelps advised the General: "I shall be glad to be of service to you in every way possible." Phelps added that he would have gone over to Little Rock to congratulate Steele if he "could have obtained conveyance. . . . Horseback riding," he wrote dryly, "for such a distance is rather too much for the uninitiated." A week later Phelps reported to Rear Admiral Porter: "I have been up this river 150 miles, where we found a bar over which we could not pass. Numerous bodies of men cut off from General Price's army [after the fall of Little Rock to Steele] were fleeing across White River to the eastward. We captured three rebel soldiers, two cavalry horses and equipments, and brought down a number of escaped conscripts, who have come to enlist in our army." This type of naval operation far into the Confederate interior continued to facilitate shore operations.

11 USS Seminole, Commander Henry Rolando, seized blockade running British steamer William Peel off the Rio Grande River with large cargo of cotton.

12 USS Eugenie, Acting Master's Mate F. H. Dyer, captured steamer Alabama off Chandeleur Islands , Louisiana .

Blockade running steamer Fox was destroyed by her own crew to prevent capture at Paseagoula , Mississippi , by USS Genesee, Commander William H. Macomb.

13 USS Cimarron, Commander Hughes, seized British blockade runner Jupiter in Wassaw Sound , Georgia . The steamer was aground when captured and her crew had attempted to scuttle her.

Some 20 crew members from USS Rattler
, Acting Master Walter E. H. Fentress, were captured by Confederate cavalry while attending church services at Rodney , Mississippi .

USS De Soto, Captain W.M. Walker, captured steamer Montgomery in the Gulf of Mexico south of Pensacola .

16 USS San Jacinto, Lieutenant Commander Ralph Chandler, captured blockade running steamer Lizzie Davis off the west coast of Florida . She had been bound from Havana to Mobile with cargo including lead.

USS Coeur de Lion, Acting Master W. G. Morris, seized schooner Robert Knowles in the Potomac River for violating the blockade.

17 Reports of Confederate vessels building in the rivers of North Carolina were a source of grave concern to the Union authorities. Secretary Welles wrote Secretary of War Stanton suggesting an attack to insure the destruction of an ironclad– which would be CSS Albemarle and a floating battery, reported nearing completion up the Roanoke River . Should they succeed in getting down the river, Welles cautioned, "our possession of the sounds would be jeoparded [sic]."

USS Adolph Hugel, Acting Master Frank, seized sloop Music off Alexandria , Virginia , for a violation of the blockade.

19 Small boat expedition under command of Acting Masters John Y. Beall and Edward McGuire, CSN, captured schooner Alliance with cargo of sutlers' stores in Chesapeake Bay . The daring raid was continued 2 days later when schooner J.J. Houseman was seized. On the night of the 22nd, the force took two more schooners, Samuel Pearsall and Alexandria . All but Alliance were cast adrift at Wachapreague Inlet. Beall attempted to run the blockade in Alliance but she grounded at Milford Haven and was burned on the morning of 23 September, after USS Thomas Freeborn, Acting Master Arthur, opened fire on her. Beall escaped and returned to Richmond . A joint Army-Navy effort was mounted to stop these raids, but Beall and his men destroyed several lighthouses on Maryland 's Eastern Shore prior to being captured on 15 November 1863.

Horace L. Hunley wrote General Beauregard requesting that command of the submarine hearing his name be turned over to him. "I propose," Hunley said, 'if you will place the boat in my hands to furnish a crew (in whole or in part) from Mobile who are well acquainted with its management and make the attempt to destroy a vessel of the enemy as early as practicable." Three days later, Brigadier General Jordan, Beauregard's Chief of Staff, directed that the submarine be "cleaned and turned over to him with the understanding that said Boat shall be ready for service in two weeks." Under Hunley's direction, a crew was brought to Charleston from Mobile , the H. F. Hunley was readied, and a number of practice dives carried out preparatory to making an actual attack.

Coal schooner Manhasset was driven ashore in a gale at Sabine Pass. The wreck was subsequently seized by Confederate troops.

20 The general report submitted this date by Lieutenant Commander J.P. Foster, commanding the second district of the Mississippi Squadron, to Rear Admiral Porter illustrated the restrictive effect gunboat patrols had on Confederate operations along the Mississippi . Foster had taken command of the Donaldsonville, Louisiana to the mouth of the Red River section of the Missis-sippi in mid-August. From Bayou Sara he wrote: "Since taking command of the Lafayette I have made a tour of my district and find everything quiet below Bayou Sara and very little excitement between this place and Red River, no vessels having been fired into since the rebels were shelled by the Champion [30 August]. The disposition of this ship, Neosho , and Signal, I think, has had a beneficial influence upon the rebels, insomuch as they have not shown themselves upon the river banks since I have been down here."

22 Acting Master David Nichols and a crew of 19 Confederate seamen captured Army tug Leviathan before dawn at South West pass, Mississippi River, but were taken prisoner later that morning when USS De Soto, Captain W. M. Walker, recaptured the prize in the Gulf of Mexico some 40 miles off shore. Nichols and his men had departed Mobile 2 or 3 days before in the small cutter Teaser. Reaching South West Pass , they pulled the cutter into the marshes and made their way on foot to the coal wharf where Leviathan lay. They seized the tug, described by Captain Walker as a new and very fast screw steamer, amply supplied with coal and provisions for a cruise," and put to sea at once. Shortly thereafter, Commodore Bell ordered Navy ships in pursuit. At midmorning, USS De Soto fired three shots at the tug and brought her to.

Flag Officer Tucker assigned Lieutenant William T. Glassell, CSN, to command CSS David, "with a view of destroying as many of the enemy's vessels as possible Glassell, who had arrived in Charleston on 8 September from Wilmington on "special service," would take the torpedo boat against USS New Ironsides two weeks later.

Expedition under Acting Master George W. Ewer from USS Seneca destroyed the Hudson Place Salt Works near Darien , Georgia . Ewer reported that the works, producing some 10 or 15 bushels of salt a day, were now "completely useless."

USS Connecticut, Commander Almy, seized blockade running British steamer Juno off Wilmington with cargo of cotton and tobacco.

25 Epidemic sickness was one of the persistent hazards of extended blockade duty in warm climate. This date, to illustrate, Commodore H. H. Bell reported to Secretary Welles from New Orleans : "I regret to inform the Department that a pernicious fever has appeared on board the United States steamers repairing at this port from which some deaths have ensued. Some of the cases have been well-defined yellow fever, and others are recognized here by the names of pernicious and congestive fever."

USS Tioga, Commander Clary, captured steamer Herald near the Bahamas with cargo of cotton, turpentine, and pitch.

27 USS Clyde, Acting Master A. A. Owens, seized schooner Amaranth near the Florida Keys with cargo including cigars and sugar.

28 Secretary Welles noted in his diary that the chances of European intervention in the war on behalf of the Confederacy were dimming. He wrote: "The last arrivals indicate a better tone and temper in England , and I think in France also. From the articles in their papers . . . I think our monitors and heavy ordnance have had a peaceful tendency, a tranquilizing effect. The guns of the Weehawken have knocked the breath out of the British statesmen as well as the crew of the Atlanta [see 17 June 1863]."

29 USS Lafayette, Lieutenant Commander J.P. Foster, and USS Kenwood, Acting Master John Swaney, arrived at Morganza , Louisiana , on Bayou Fordoche to support troops under Major General Napoleon J. T. Dana. More than 400 Union troops had been captured in an engagement with Confederates under Brigadier General Thomas Green. Foster noted, "the arrival of the gunboats was hailed . . . with perfect delight." Next day, the presence of the ships, he added, "no doubt deterred [the Confederates] from attacking General Dana in his position at Morganza as they had about four brigades to do it with, while our forces did not amount to more than 1,500." Foster ordered gunboats to cover the Army and prevent a renewal of the action.

USS St. Louis, Commander George H. Preble, returned to Lisbon , Portugal , after an unsuccessful cruise of almost a hundred days in search of Confederate commerce raiders. Preble reported significantly to Secretary Welles that although the St. Louis had "repeatedly crossed and recrossed the sea routes (to and from) between the United States and the Mediterranean and Europe, we have in all this cruise met with but one American merchant vessel at sea. This fact, on a sea poetically supposed to be whitened by our commerce, illustrates the difficulties attendant upon a search after the two or three rebel cruisers afloat." In addition, the scarcity of American flag merchant sail testified to the effectiveness of the few Southern raiders.

30 USS Rosalie, Acting Master Peter F. Coffin, seized British schooner Director attempting to run the blockade at Sanibel River , Florida , with cargo of salt and rum.  

Major E.B. Hunt of the Engineers dies while testing the Navy’s Long Island submarine. He is the first (and only) Union  submarine casualty of the war.

October 1863

The U.S. Navy Long Island project develops a one-man submarine.

2 USS Bermuda, Acting Master J.W. Smith, seized blockade running British schooner Florrie near Matagorda, Texas, with cargo including medicine, wine, and saddles.

4 Admiral Dahlgren off Charleston possibly accepts delivery of at least two small submarines.  On this date, Confederate observers spot a small submarine being towed over the bar in Charleston Harbor , but no mention is made of them in Union  records. A Confederate report of 8 October cites three additional USN submarines.

5 CSS David, Lieutenant Glassell, exploded a torpedo against USS New Ironsides, Captain Rowan, in Charleston
 harbor but did not destroy the heavy warship. Mounting a torpedo containing some 60 pounds of powder on a 10-foot spar fixed to her bow, the 50-foot David stood out from Charleston early in the evening. Riding low in the water, the torpedo boat made her way down the main ship channel and was close aboard her quarry before being sighted and hailed. Almost at once a volley of small arms fire was centered on her as she steamed at full speed at New Ironsides, plunging the torpedo against the Union ship's starboard quarter and "shaking the vessel and throwing up an immense column of water As the water fell, it put out the fires in David's boilers and nearly swamped her; the torpedo boat came to rest alongside New Ironsides. Believing the torpedo boat doomed, Lieutenant Glassell and Seaman James Sullivan abandoned ship and were subsequently picked up by the blockading fleet. However, Engineer Tomb at length succeeded in relighting David's fires and, with pilot Walker Cannon, who had remained on board because he could not swim, took her back to Charleston . Though David did not succeed in sinking New Ironsides, the explosion was a "severe blow" which eventually forced the Union ship to leave the blockade for repairs. "It seems to me," Rear Admiral Dahlgren  wrote, noting the tactical implications of the attack, "that nothing could have been more successful as a first effort, and it will place the torpedo among certain offensive means." Writing of the attack's "unsurpassed daring," Secretary Mallory  noted: "The annals of naval warfare record few enterprises which exhibit more strikingly than this of Lieutenant Glassell the highest qualities of a sea officer." The near success of David's torpedo attack on New Ironsides prompted Dahlgren to emphasize further the need for developing defensive measures against them. "How far the enemy may seem encouraged," he wrote Welles , "I do not know, but I think it will be well to be prepared against a considerable issue of these small craft. It is certainly the best form of the torpedo which has come to my notice, and a large quantity of powder may as well be exploded as 60 pounds. . . .The vessels themselves should be protected by outriggers, and the harbor itself well strewn with a similar class of craft. . . . The subject merits serious attention, for it will receive a greater development." He added to Assistant Secretary Fox: "By all means let us have a quantity of these torpedoes, and thus turn them against the enemy. We," Dahlgren said, paying tribute to the industrial strength that weighed so heavily in the Union 's favor, "can make them faster than they can.

British blockade runner Concordia was destroyed by her crew at Calcasieu Pass , Louisiana , to prevent her capture by boats from USS Granite City, Acting Master Lamson.

6 USS Beauregard, Acting Master Burgess, captured sloop Last Trial at Key West with cargo of salt. USS Virginia, Lieutenant C. H. Brown, seized British blockade runner Jenny off the coast of Texas with cargo of cotton.

7 An expedition under Acting Chief Engineer Thomas Doughty from USS Osage captured and burned steamers Robert Fulton and Argus in the Red River . Acting Lieutenant Couthouy, com-manding Osage, had ordered the operation upon learning that a Confederate steamer was tied up to the river bank. The naval force travelled overland from the Mississippi to the Red "after great labor in getting through entanglements of the bushes and other undergrowth . . . ." Doughty succeeded in capturing Argus shortly before Robert Fulton was sighted steaming downriver. He ordered her to come to. "She did so," he reported, "and I found myself in possession of 9 prisoners and two steamboats." Doughty burned Argus immediately and then destroyed Robert Fulton when he was unable to get her over the bar at the mouth of the Red River . "This is a great loss to the rebels at this moment," Rear Admiral Porter wrote, "as it cuts off their means of operating across that part of Atchafalaya where they lately came over to attack Morganza. This capture will deter others from coming down the Red River ."

Boat crew from USS Cayuga, Lieutenant Commander Dana, boarded and destroyed blockade runner Pushmataha which had been chased ashore and abandoned off Calcasieu River , Louisiana . Pushmataha carried a cargo of a ram, claret, and gunpowder, and had been set on fire by her crew. "One of a number of kegs of powder had been opened," reported Dana, "and a match, which was inserted in the hole, was on fire; this was taken out and, with the keg, thrown overboard by Thomas Morton, ordinary seaman" an unsung act of heroism. Dana chased ashore another schooner carrying gunpowder which was blown up before she could be boarded.

9 Secretary Welles commended Rear Admiral Dahlgren on the work of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron off Charleston the preceding month and cited Brigadier General Gillmore's "brilliant operations" on Morris Island. Noting that, though the first step in the capture of Charleston was taken, the remainder would be full of risk, he added: "While there is intense feeling per-vading the country in regard to the fate of Charleston . . . the public impatience must not be permitted to hasten your own movements into immature and inconsiderate action against your own deliberate convictions nor impel you to hazards that may jeopardize the best interest of the country without adequate results. . . ."

CSS Georgia, Lieutenant W. L. Maury, captured and burned ship Bold Hunter off the coast of French West Africa . She had been bound for Calcutta with cargo of coal.

10 Secretary Welles transmitted to Rear Admiral Porter a War Department request for gunboat assistance for the operations of Major General W. T. Sherman on the Tennessee River . Porter replied that the shallowness of the water prevented his immediate action but promised: "The gunboats will be ready to go up the moment a rise takes place. . . . " Ten days later, General Grant urged: "The sooner a gunboat can be got to him [Sherman] the better." Porter answered that gunboats were on their way up the Tennessee and Cumberland
  Rivers . "My intention," he wrote, "is to send every gunboat I can spare up the Tennessee . I have also sent below for light-drafts to come up. Am sorry to say the river is at a stand." By the 24th two gunboats were at Eastport to join Sherman 's operations.

USS Samuel Rotan, Acting Lieutenant Kennison seized a large yawl off Horn Harbor , Virginia , with cargo including salt.

11 USS Nansemond, Lieutenant Roswell H. Lamson, chased ashore and destroyed at night steamer Douro near New Inlet , North Carolina . She had a cargo of cotton, tobacco, turpentine, and rosin. Douro had been captured previously on 9 March 1863 by USS Quaker City, but after being con-demned she was sold and turned up again as a blockade runner . Noting this, Commander Almy, senior officer at New Inlet, wrote: "She now lies a perfect wreck . . . and past ever being bought and sold again." Rear Admiral S.P. Lee informed Assistant Secretary Fox: "The Nansemond has done well off Wilmington
. She discovered followed & destroyed the Douro at night, the first instance of the kind, I believe."

USS Union, Acting Lieutenant Conroy, seized steamer Spaulding at sea east of St. Andrew's Sound, Georgia . She had run the blockade out of Charleston the previous month with cargo of cotton and was attempting to return from Nassau , "which," Conroy wrote, we have spoiled . . . . "

USS Madgie, Acting Master Polleys, in tow of USS Fahkee, Acting Ensign Francis R. Webb, sank in rough seas off Frying Pan Shoals, North Carolina .

12 USS Kanawha
, Lieutenant Commander Mayo, and USS Eugenie, Lieutenant Henry W. Miller, attempted to destroy a steamer aground under the guns of Fort Morgan in Mobile  Bay and were taken under fire by the fort. Kanawha was damaged during the engagement.

13 USS Victoria, Acting Lieutenant John MacDiarmid, seized a sloop (no name reported) west of Little River, North Carolina, with cargo of salt and soap.

Guard boat from USS Braziliera, Acting Master William T. Gillespie, captured schooner Mary near St. Simon's , Georgia .

13-14 USS Queen City, Acting Lieutenant G. W. Brown, with troops embarked, departed Helena, Arkansas, for Friar's Point, Mississippi, where the soldiers landed and surrounded the town. The morning of the 14th, the warehouses were searched and more than 200 hales of cotton and several prisoners were seized.

15 Confederate submarine H. F. Hunley, under the command of the part owner for whom she was named, sank in Charleston harbor while making practice dives under Confederate receiving ship Indian Chief. A report of the "unfortunate accident" stated : The boat left the wharf at 9:25 a.m. and disappeared at 9:35. As soon as she sunk, air bubbles were seen to rise to the surface of the water, and from this fact it is supposed the hole in the top of the boat by which the men entered was not properly closed. It was impossible at the time to make any effort to rescue the unfortunate men, as the water was some 9 fathoms deep." Thus the imaginative and daring Horace L. Hunley and his gallant seven man crew perished. The submarine had claimed the lives of its second crew. When the submarine was raised for a second time, a third crew volunteered to man her. Her new captain was Lieutenant George Dixon, CSA. Under Dixon and Lieutenant William A. Alexander, H.L. Hunley was reconditioned, but, as a safety precaution, General Beauregard directed that she not dive again. She was fitted with a spar torpedo. Time and again in the next 4 months the submarine ventured into the harbor at night from her base on Sullivan's Island , but until mid-February 1864 her attempts to sink a blockader were to no avail. The fact that the Union's ships frequently remained on station some 6 or 7 miles away and put out picket boats at night; the condition of tide, wind, and sea; and the physical exhaustion of the submarine crew who sometimes found themselves in grave danger of being swept out to sea in the underpowered craft were restricting factors with which Lieutenant Dixon and H. L. Hunley had to cope.

USS Honduras, Acting Master Abraham N. Gould, seized British steamer Mail near St. Petersburg , Florida . She had been bound from Bayport to Havana with cargo of cotton and turpentine. The capture was made after a three hour chase in which USS Two Sisters, Sea Bird, and Fox also participated.

USS Commodore, Acting Master John R. Hamilton, and USS Corypheus, Acting Master Francis H. Grove, destroyed a Confederate tannery at Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. Grove wrote that they had "completely destroyed the buildings, vats, and mill for grinding bark; also a large amount of hides stored there, said to be worth $20,000."

16 Mr. Jules David wrote from Victoria, Vancouver Island, "as president of a Southern association existing in this and the adjoining colony of British Columbia," requesting Confederate Secretary of State Benjamin to assist him in obtaining for his organization "a letter of marque to be used on the Pacific." Mr. David added that much could be done on that coast "to harass and injure our enemies," and stated that the group he represented had "a first-class steamer of 400 tons, strongly built, and of an average speed of 14 miles." Southern sympathizers like Mt. David hoped to strike a blow for the Confederacy by raiding Union commerce.

Commodore H. H. Bell reported that USS Tennessee, Acting Lieutenant Wiggin, had seized blockade running British schooner Friendship off Rio Brazos, Texas, with cargo of munitions from Havana , and caused schooner Jane to be destroyed by her own crew to prevent capture.

16-17 Upon learning that blockade runners Scottish Chief and Kate Dale were being loaded with cotton and nearly ready to sail from Hillsboro River, Florida, Rear Admiral Bailey sent USS Tahoma, Lieutenant Commander A. A. Semmes, and USS Adela, Acting Lieutenant Louis N. Stodder, to seize them. "It was planned between myself and Captain Semmes," Bailey reported, "that he should, with the Tahoma, assisted by the Adela, divert attention from the real object of the expedi-tion by shelling the fort and town [Tampa], and that under cover of night men should be landed at a point on old Tampa Bay, distant from the fort to proceed overland to the point on the Hillsboro River where the blockade runners lay, there to destroy them." This plan was put into effect and some 100 men from the two ships Marched 14 miles overland. At daylight, 17 October, as the landing party boarded the blockade runners, two crew members made good their escape and alerted the garrison. Nevertheless, the Union sailors destroyed Scottish Chief and Kate Dale. A running battle ensued as they attempted to get back to their ships. Bailey reported 5 members of the landing party killed, 10 wounded, and 5 taken prisoner. Lieutenant Commander Semmes noted: "I regret sincerely our loss, yet I feel a great degree of satisfaction in having impressed the rebels with the idea that blockade-running vessels are not safe, even up the Hillsboro River .

17 Boat crews from USS T.A. Ward, Acting Master William L. Babcock, destroyed schooner Rover at Murrell's Inlet, South Carolina . The schooner was laden with cotton and ready to run the blockade. Three days later, a landing party from T.A. Ward went ashore under command of Acting Ensign Myron W. Tillson to reconnoiter the area and obtain water. They were surprised by Confederate cavalry and 10 of the men were captured.

Lieutenant Commander William Gibson, USS Seneca, reported to Rear Admiral Dahlgren that the blockaded steamer Herald had escaped the previous night from Darien, Georgia and recom-mended that the ships of the blockading squadron there be "properly armed." Gibson noted: "One gunboat in this sound can not guard all the estuaries and creeks formed by the flowing of the Altamaha to the sea, especially since the port of Charleston has been effectually closed and the enemy seeks other channels of unlawful commerce."

18 Rear Admiral Dahlgren, writing Secretary Welles that the role of the Navy in the capture of Morris Island was "neither known nor appreciated by the public at large," noted that in the two-month bombardment of the Confederates the ironclads of his squadron had fired more than 8,000 shot and shells and received nearly 900 hits. The Admiral added: "By the presence and action of the vessels the right flank of our army and its supplies were entirely covered; provisions, arms, cannon, ammunition . . . were landed as freely as if an enemy were not in sight, while by the same means the enemy was restricted to the least space and action. Indeed, it was only by night, and in the line from Sumter , that food, powder, or relief could be introduced, and that very sparingly. The works of the enemy were also flanked by our guns so that he was confined to his works and his fire quelled whenever it became too serious. . .

The sunken Confederate submarine, H. L. Hunley, was found in 9 fathoms of water by a diver in Charleston  harbor. Efforts were begun at once to recover the little craft, deemed vital to the defenses of Charleston .

20 Commander Bulloch advised Secretary Mallory
 from Liverpool that the ironclads known as 294 and 295, being built in England , had been seized by the British Government. Bulloch felt the action stemmed from the fact that "a large number of Confederate naval officers have during the past three months arrived in England . The Florida came off the Irish coast some six weeks since, and proceeding to Brest , there discharged the greater portion of her crew, who were sent to Liverpool . These circumstances were eagerly seized upon by the United States representative here, and they have so worked upon Lord RUSSell as to make him believe that the presence of these officers and men has direct reference to the destination of the rams . . . . "

USS Annie, Acting Ensign Williams, seized blockade running British schooner Martha Jane off Bayport , Florida , bound to Havana with cargo of some 26,600 pounds of sea island cotton.

21 USS Nansemond, Lieutenant R. H. Lamson, chased blockade running steamer Venus ashore near Cape Fear River , North Carolina . Four shots from the blockader caused the steamer to take on water.. Lamson attempted to get Venus off in the morning but found it "impossible to move her, [and] I ordered her to be set on fire." A notebook found on board Venus recorded that 75 ships had been engaged in blockade running thus far in 1863, of which 32 had been captured or destroyed.

USS Currituck, Acting Lieutenant Hooker, and USS Fuchsia, Acting Master Street, captured steamer Three Brothers in the Rappahannock River, Virginia.

USS J.P. Jackson, Lieutenant Lewis W. Pennington, captured schooner Syrena near Deer Island , Mississippi .

22 Union steamer Mist was boarded and burned at Ship Island , Mississippi , by Confederate guerrillas when she attempted to take on a cargo of cotton without the protection of a Union gunboat. A week later Rear Admiral Porter wisely wrote Major General W. T. Sherman: "Steamers should not be allowed to land anywhere but at a military port, or a place guarded by a gunboat.

23 USS Norfolk Packet, Acting Ensign George N. Wood, captured schooner Ocean Bird off St. Augustine Inlet , Florida .

24 USS Hastings, Lieutenant Commander S.L. Phelps, and USS Key West, Acting Master Edward M. King, arrived at Eastport , Mississippi , to support Army operations along the Tennessee River . Low water had delayed the movement earlier in the month and would prevent full operations for some time, but Major General W.T. Sherman was "gratified" with the gunboats' arrival. The joint operations extended into mid-December as the Union moved to solidify its position in the South's interior. Sherman wrote Rear Admiral Porter of Phelps' arrival: "Of course we will get along together elegantly. All I have he can command, and I know the same feeling pervades every sailor's and soldier's heart. We are as one.

USS Calypso, Acting Master Frederick D. Stuart, captured blockade running British schooner Herald off Frying Pan Shoals, North Carolina , with cargo of salt and soda.

USS Conestoga, Acting Master Gilbert Morton, seized steamer Lillie Martin and tug Sweden , suspected of trading with the Confederates, near Napoleon, Mississippi .

25 USS Kittatinny, Acting Master Isaac D. Seyburn, captured schooner Reserve, off Pass Cavallo , Texas .

26 Union ironclads began an intensive two week bombardment of Fort Sumter
. At month's end, General Beauregard wrote of the "terrible bombardment" and noted that the land batteries and ships had hammered the fort with nearly 1,000 shots in 12 hours. Within a week of the bombardment's opening, Commander Stevens, USS Patapsco, called the effect of the tiring hardly describable, throwing bricks and mortar, gun carriages and timber in every direction and high into the air." But, as Rear Admiral Dahlgren  noted: 'There is an immense endurance in such a mass of masonry, and the ruins may serve as shelter to many men." The embattled defenders heroically held on.

27 Colonel L. Smith, CSA, commanding the Marine Department of Texas, reported the status of the small gunboats in the area. CSS Clifton , Sachem, and Jacob A. Bell were at Sabine
  Pass ; CSS Bayou City , Diana, and Harriet Lane  were at Galveston Bay ; CSS Mary Hill was at Velasco, and CSS John F. Carr was at Saluria. Bayou City and Harriet Lane were without guns and the remainder mounted a total of 15 cannon.

Union expedition to capture Brazos Santiago, and the mouth of the Rio Grande River departed New Orleans convoyed by USS Monongahela, Commander Strong; USS Owasco, Lieutenant Commander Edmund W. Henry; and USS Virginia, Acting Lieutenant C.H. Brown. This was the beginning of another Union move not only to wrest Texas from Confederate control but to preclude the possibility of a movement into the State by French troops in Mexico .

USS Granite City, Acting Master C. W. Lamson, captured schooner Anita off Pass Cavallo, Texas , with cargo of cotton.

28 CSS Georgia, Lieutenant W. L. Maury, anchored at Cherbourg , France , concluding a seven-month cruise against Union commerce. During this period the raider destroyed a number of prizes and bonded the remainder for a total of $200,000. A short time later, Flag Officer Samuel Barton, CSN, advised Secretary Mallory that the ship had been laid up: "The Georgia, Commander W.L. Maury, arrived in Cherbourg a few days ago almost broken down; she has lost her sped, not now
going under a full head of steam over 6 knots an hour, and is good for nothing as a cruiser under sail."

29 With a sizable naval force already supporting Army operations along the Tennessee River, Rear Admiral Porter ordered the officers of his Mississippi Squad run "to give all the aid and assistance in their power" to Major General W. T. Sherman. Next day Porter advised Secretary Welles
 "The Lexington , Hastings , Key West , Cricket, Robb, Romeo, and Peosta are detached for duty in the Tennessee River ; and the Paw Paw, Tawah, Tyler, and one or two others will soon join them, which will give a good force for that river.

30 USS Vanderbilt, Commander Baldwin, captured bark Saxon, suspected of having rendezvoused with and taken cargo from CSS Tuscaloosa
 at Angra Pequena, Africa.

USS Annie, Acting Ensign Williams, seized blockade running British schooner Meteor off Bayport , Florida .

31 During October instruction began for 52 midshipmen at the Confederate States Naval Academy . Lieutenant W.H. Parker, CSN, was Superintendent of the "floating academy" housed on board CSS Patrick Henry at Drewry's Bluff on the James River . The initial move to establish a Naval Academy was taken in December 1861 when the Confederate Congress passed a bill calling for "some form of education" for midshipmen. Further legislation in the spring of 1862 provided for the appointment of 106 acting midshipmen to the Naval Academy . In May 1862, the Patrick Henry was designated as the Academy ship, and alterations were undertaken to ready her for this role. In general the curriculum, studies, and discipline at the new school were patterned after that of the United States Naval Academy . The training was truly realistic as the midshipmen were regularly called upon to take part in actual combat. When they left the Academy, they were seasoned veterans. Commander John M. Brooke, CSN, wrote to Secretary Mallory about the midshipmen as follows "Though but from 14 to 18 years of age, they eagerly seek every opportunity presented for engaging in hazardous enterprises; and those who are sent upon them uniformly exhibit good discipline, conduct, and courage." Mallory reported to President Davis: "The officers connected with the school are able and zealous, and the satisfactory progress already made by the several classes gives assurance that the Navy may look to this school for well-instructed and skillful officers." The Naval Academy continued to serve the Confederate cause well until war's end.

November 1863

2 -3 The report of Lieutenant Commander Greenleaf Cilley, USS Catskill, indicated extensive Confederate preparations to meet any Union attempt to breach the obstructions between Forts Sumter and Moultrie as the furious Northern bombardment of Fort Sumter
 continued. Two boats under sail were seen moving from Sumter toward Sullivan's Island ," Cilley wrote. "About 11 p.m. a balloon with two lights attached rose from Sumter and floated toward Fort Johnson . . . . At midnight a steamer left Sumter and moved toward Fort Johnson . At sunrise . . . observed the three rams [CSS Charleston , Chicora, and Palmetto State ] and the side-wheel steamer anchored in line of battle ahead from Johnson toward Charleston , and each with its torpedo topped up forward of the bows."

3-4 Naval forces under Commander Strong, including USS Monongahela, Owasco, and Virginia, convoyed and supported troops commanded by General Banks at Brazos Santiago, Texas. The landing began on the 2nd and continued the next day without opposition. On the 4th Brownsville , Texas , was evacuated, and the Union foothold on the Mexican border was secured. Major General Dana wrote Commander Strong thanking him for the "many services you have rendered this expedition, particularly for the gallant service rendered by Captain Henry and the crew of the Owasco in saving the steam transport Zephyr from wreck during the late storm [encountered enroute on 30 October] and towing her to the rendezvous, and to you and your crew for assisting the steam transport Bagley in distress; also especially for the signal gallantry of your brave tars in landing our soldiers through the dangerous surf yesterday at the mouth of the Rio Grande" The naval force also quickly effected the capture of several blockade runners in the vicinity.

3 Rear Admiral Dahlgren
 closely examined Fort Sumter from his flagship during the evening and "could plainly observe the further effects of the firing; still," he added, "this mass of ruin is capable of harboring a number of the enemy, who may retain their hold until expelled by the bayonet. . . . "

USS Kenwood, Acting Master Swaney, captured steamer Black Flank off Port Hudson, Louisiana, with cargo of cotton.

4 USS Virginia, Acting Lieutenant C. H. Brown, seized blockade running British schooner Matamoras at the mouth of the Rio Grande River with cargo including shoes, axes, and spades for the Confederate Army.

5 Ships of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron continued to cannonade Fort Sumter in concert with Army batteries ashore on Morris Island . Rear Admiral Dahlgren described the results of the combined bombardment: "The only original feature left is the northeast face, the rest is a pile of rubbish."

USS Virginia, Acting Lieutenant C.H. Brown, seized blockade running British bark Science, and, in company with USS Owasco, Lieutenant Commander Henry, captured blockade running British brigs Volante and Dashing Wave at the mouth of the Rio Grande River .

Rear Admiral Porter wrote Major General Banks in response to the General's long expressed request for gunboats near and below New Orleans . The Admiral advised him that a dozen gun-boats were being fitted out, and added "This will give you 22 gunboats in your department, with those now there, and I may be able to do more after we drive the rebels back from the Tennessee River ." Banks wrote in mid-December that this assistance would "render it impossible for the enemy to annoy us, as they have heretofore done, by using against us the wonderful network of navigable waters west of the Mississippi River ."

Blockade runner Margaret and Jessie was captured at sea east of Myrtle Beach , South Carolina , after a prolonged chase by Army transport Fulton and USS Nansemond, Lieutenant R. H. Lamson. The chase had been started the preceding evening by USS Howquah, Acting Lieutenant Mac-Diarmid, which kept the steamer in sight throughout the night. USS Keystone State, Commander Edward Donaldson, joined the chase in the morning and was at hand when the capture was effected, putting an end to the career of a ship that had run the blockade some 15 times.

USS Beauregard, Acting Master Burgess, seized blockade running British schooner Volante off Cape Canaveral , Florida , with cargo including salt and dry goods.

6 Faced with the problem of passing through the maze of complicated Confederate obstructions near Fort Sumter if the capture of Charleston was to be effected from the sea, the North experi-mented with another innovation by John Ericsson, celebrated builder of USS Monitor. This date, USS Patapsco, Commander Stevens, tested Ericsson's anti-obstruction torpedo. The device, which was a cast-iron, shell some 23 feet long and 10 inches in diameter containing 600 pounds of powder, was suspended from a raft which was attached to the ironclad's bow and held in position by two long booms. The demonstration was favorable, for the shock of the explosion was "hardly perceptible" on board Patapsco and, though a "really fearful" column of water was thrown 40 or 50 feet into the air, little of the water fell on the ironclad's deck. Even in the calm water in which the test was conducted, however, the raft seriously interfered with the ship's maneuverability. Rear Admiral Dahlgren noted significantly that "perfectly smooth water" was "a miracle here. . . ." Stevens expressed the view that the torpedo was useful only against fixed objects but that for operations against ironclads "the arrangement and attachment are too complicated" and that "something in the way of a torpedo which can be managed with facility" was needed.

CSS Alabama , Captain Semmes, captured and destroyed bark Amanda in the East Indies with cargo of hemp and sugar.

7 Merchant steamer Allen Collier, with cargo of cotton, was burned by Confederate guerrillas at Whitworth's Landing, Mississippi , after she left the protection of USS Eastport, Acting Ensign Sylvester Pool. The uneasy quiet on the river required constant gunboat cover.

Cutter from U.SS. Sagamore, Lieutenant Commander Charles E. Fleming, captured blockade running British schooner Paul off Bayport , Florida .

8 USS James Adger, Commander Thomas H. Patterson, and USS Niphon, Acting Master Breck, captured steamer Cornubia north of New Inlet, North Carolina.

9 USS James Adger, Commander Patterson, captured blockade runner Robert E. Lee off Cape Lookout Shoals, North Carolina . The steamer had left Bermuda two days before with cargo including shoes, blankets, rifles, saltpeter, and lead. She had been one of the most famous and successful blockade runners. Her former captain, Lieutenant John Wilkinson, CSN, later wrote: "She had run the blockade twenty-one times while under my command, and had carried abroad between six thou-sand and seven thousand bales of cotton, worth at that time about two millions of dollars in gold, and had carried into the Confederacy equally valuable cargoes."

Intelligence data on the Confederate naval capability in Georgia waters reached Union Army and Navy commanders. CSS Savannah , Commander Robert F. Pinkney, had two 7-inch and two 6-inch Brooke rifled guns and a torpedo mounted on her bow as armament. She carried two other torpedoes in her hold. Her sides were plated with 4 inches of rolled iron and her speed was about seven knots "in smooth water." CSS Isondiga, a wooden steamer, was reported to have old boilers and "unreliable" machinery . The frames for two more rams were said to be on the stocks at Savannah , but no iron could be obtained to complete them. CSS Resolute, thought by the Union commanders to be awaiting an opportunity to run the blockade, had been converted to a tender, and all the cotton at Savannah was being transferred to Wilmington
 for shipment through the blockade. CSS Georgia , a floating battery commanded by Lieutenant Washington Gwathmey, CSN, was at anchor near Fort Jackson and was reported to be "a failure." Such information as this enabled Union commanders to revise their thinking and adjust their tactics to the new conditions in order to maintain the blockade and move against the coast with increasing effectiveness.

Rear Admiral Porter wrote Secretary Welles
 suggesting that the Coast Survey make careful maps of the area adjacent to the Mississippi River "where navigation is made up of innumerable lakes and bayous not known to any but the most experienced pilots." The existence of these water-ways, he added, "would certainly never be known by examining modern charts." A fortnight later, the Secretary recommended to the Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase that surveys similar to those completed by the Coast Survey for Rear Admiral S.P. Lee along the North Carolina coast be made in accordance with Porter's request. Welles noted that the operations of the Mississippi Squadron and the transport fleet would be "greatly facilitated" and volunteered naval assistance for such an effort.

Admiral Buchanan
 ordered Acting Midshipman Edward A. Swain to report to Fort Morgan to take "command of the CSS Gunnison and proceed off the harbor of Mobile  and destroy, if possible, the USS Colorado or any other vessel of the blockading squadron. . . . " Gunnison was a torpedo boat.

USS Niphon, Acting Master Breck, captured blockade runner Ella and Annie off Masonboro lnlet, North Carolina , with cargo of arms and provisions. In an effort to escape, Ella and Annie rammed Niphon, but, when the two ships swung broadside, the runner was taken by boarding.

10 As an intensive two-week Union bombardment of Fort Sumter drew to a close, General Beauregard noted: "Bombardment of Sumter continues gradually to decrease. . . . Total number of shots [received] since 26th, when attack recommenced, is 9,306."

Major General James B. McPherson reported to Lieutenant Commander E. K. Owen, USS Louisville, that he anticipated an attack by Confederate troops near Goodrich's Landing, Louisiana. "I have to request," the General wrote, "that you will send one or two gunboats to Goodrich's Landing to assist General [John P.] Hawkins if necessary." For more than two months McPherson relied on naval support in the face of Southern movements in the area.

USS Howquah, Acting Lieutenant MacDiarmid, captured blockade running steamer Ella off Wilmington .

CSS Alabama , Captain Semmes, captured and burned clipper ship Winged Racer in the Straits of Sunda off Java, with cargo of sugar, hides, and jute. "She had, besides," wrote Semmes, "a large supply of Manila tobacco, and my sailors' pipes were beginning to want replenishing."

11 CSS Alabama , Captain Semmes, captured and destroyed clipper ship Contest after a long chase off Gaspar Strait with cargo of Japanese goods for New York .

14 USS Bermuda, Acting Lieutenant J.W. Smith, recaptured schooner Mary Campbell after she had been seized earlier the same day by Confederates under command of Master Duke, CSN, whose daring exploits five months before (see 8 June 1863) had resulted in the capture of a Union ship near New Orleans. Bermuda also took an unnamed lugger which the Confederates had used to capture Mary Campbell. The captures took place off Pensacola after the ships had come out of the Perdido River under Duke's command. Lieutenant Smith reported that . . . the notorious James Duke . . . also captured the Norman , with which vessel he, with 10 of his crew, had made for the land upon my heaving in sight, and I have reason to believe that he beached and burned her. . . ."

The relentless pressure exerted on the Confederacy by the Union Navy was becoming increasingly apparent. Paymaster John deBree, CSN, reported to Secretary Mallory
: "Restricted as our resources are by the blockade and by the reduced number of producers in the country, it has . . . .been the main object to feed and clothe the Navy without a strict regard to those technicalities that obtain in times of peace and plenty." DeBree noted that the Confederate Navy had to purchase its cloth largely from blockade runners and "necessarily had to pay high prices. . . . Still, the closing of the Mississippi River losing us the benefit of a full supply of shoes, blankets and cloth, . . . rendered the necessity so urgent that we were obliged to adopt this method of clothing our half naked and fast increasing Navy. . . ." The paymaster reported that the lack of shoes was "our great difficulty" and that shoes were being made out of canvas rather than leather. "For leather shoe we will have to await the arrival of shipments from abroad, and in this, more than any other particular, we feel the inconvenience caused by the loss of our goods. . . . by the closing of the Mississippi River ." The Confederacy's ability to continue the war was be-coming ever more dependent on supplies run through the blockade, and the blockade was tightening.

General Beauregard commented on the limitations of the Confederate ships at Charleston : "Our gunboats are defective in six respects: First. They have no speed, going only from 3 to 5 miles an hour in smooth water and no current. Second. They are of too great draft to navigate our in-land waters. Third. They are unseaworthy by their shape and construction. . . . Even in the harbor they are at times considered unsafe in a storm. Fourth. They are incapable of resisting the enemy's XV-inch shots at close quarters. . . . Fifth. They can not fight at long range. . . . Sixth. They are very costly, warm, uncomfortable, and badly ventilated; consequently sickly." Nonetheless, the General was forced to rely heavily on them in his plans for the defense of Charles-ton from sea attack. Lacking the industrial capacity, funds and material to construct in strength the desperately needed ships of war, the Confederacy nevertheless accomplished much with in-adequate ships.

USS Dai Ching, Lieutenant Commander James C. Chaplin, captured schooner George Chisholm off the Santee River, South Carolina , with cargo of salt.

15 USS Lodona, Acting Lieutenant Brodhead, seized blockade running British schooner Arctic southwest of Frying Pan Shoals, North Carolina, with cargo of salt.

15-16 Fort Moultrie opened a heavy, evening bombardment on Union Army positions at Cumming's Point, Morris Island . Brigadier General Gillmore immediately turned to Rear Admiral Dahlgren for assistance. "Will you have some of your vessels move up, so as to prevent an attack by boats on the sea face of the point," he wired late at night. The Admiral answered "at once" and ordered the tugs on patrol duty to keep "a good lookout." USS Lehigh, Commander Andrew Bryson, grounded while covering Cumming's Point and was taken under heavy fire the next morning before USS Nahant, Lieutenant Commander John J. Cornwell, got her off. Landsmen Frank S. Gile and William Williams, gunner's mate George W. Leland, coxswain Thomas Irving, and seaman Horatio N. Young from Lehigh were subsequently awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism while carrying a line from their ship to Nahant, thus enabling Lehigh to work free from her desperate position.

16 The effect of the Union 's western successes was severely felt by the Confederate effort in the cast. Commander John K. Mitchell wrote Secretary Mallory that there was a critical shortage of fuels for manufacturing purposes and naval use. "The occupation of Chattanooga by the enemy in August has effectually cut off the supply from the mines in that region, upon which the public works in Georgia and South Carolina and the naval vessels in the waters of those States were dependent. Meager supplies have been sent to Charleston from this place [ Richmond ] and from the Egypt mines in North Carolina . . . ." He reported that there was a sufficient amount of coal in the Richmond area to supply the Confederate ships operating in Virginia waters and rivers, and he felt that wood was being successfully substituted for coal at Charleston and Savannah . Mitchell paid tribute to the thoroughness of the Union blockade when he wrote of the economic plight of the Confederate States: "The prices of almost all articles of prime necessity have advanced from five to ten times above those ruling at the breaking out of the war, and, for many articles, a much greater advance has been reached, so that now the pay of the higher grades of officers, even those with small families, is insufficient for the pay of their board only; how much greater, then, must be the difficulty of living in the case of the lower grades of officers, and, the families of enlisted persons. This difficulty, when the private sources of credit and the limited means of most of the officers become exhausted, must soon, unless relief be extended to them by the Govern-ment, reach the point of destitution, or of charitable dependence, a point, in fact, already reached in many instances."

16-17 USS Monongahela, Commander Strong, escorted Army transports and covered the landing of more than a thousand troops on Mustang Island , Aransas Pass , Texas . Monongahela's sailors manned a battery of two howitzers ashore, and the ship shelled Confederate works until the out-numbered defenders surrendered. General Banks wrote in high praise of the "great assistance" rendered by Monongahela during this successful operation.

17 USS Mystic, Acting Master William Wright, assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, seized schooner Emma D. off Yorktown , Virginia . The same day, Assistant Secretary Fox wrote Rear Admiral S.P. Lee praising the effectiveness of the squadron: "I congratulate you upon the captures off Wilmington . Nine steamers have been lost to the rebels in a short time, all due to the 'fine spirit' of our people engaged in the blockade. It is a severe duty and well maintained and Jeff Davis pays us a higher compliment than our own people when he declares that there is but one port in 3500 miles (recollect that the whole Atlantic front of Europe is but 2900 miles) through which they can get in supplies."

18 Merchant schooner Joseph L. Garrity, 2 days out of Matamoras bound for New York , was seized by five Southern sympathizers under Thomas E. Hogg, later a Master in the Confederate Navy. They had boarded the ship as passengers. Hogg landed Joseph L. Garrity's crew "without injury to life or limb" on the coast of Yucatan on 26 November, and sailed her to British Honduras where he entered her as blockade runner Eureka and sold her cargo of cotton. Three of the crew were eventually captured in Liverpool , England , and charged with piracy, but on 1 June 1864, Confederate Commissioner James Mason informed Secretary of State Benjamin that they had been acquitted of the charge. In the meantime, Garrity was turned over to the custody of the U.S. commercial agent at Belize , British Honduras , and ultimately returned to her owners.

Acting Master C. W. Lamson, USS Granite City, reported the capture of schooner Amelia Ann and Spanish bark Teresita, with cargo of cotton, both attempting to run the blockade at Aransas Pass, Texas.

Captain Thomas A. Faries, CSA, commanding a battery near Hog Point , Louisiana , mounted to interdict the movement of the Union shipping on the Mississippi River , reported an engagement with USS Choctaw, Franklin, and Carondelet. "The Choctaw, left her position above, and, passing down, delivered a very heavy fire from her bow, side, and stern guns, enfilading for a short time the four rifle guns in the redoubt."

20 Rear Admiral Farragut, eager to return to sea duty in the Gulf, informed Secretary Welles from New York that USS Hartford and Brooklyn
 "will not be ready for sea in less than three weeks, from the best information I can obtain. I particularly regret it, because I see that General Banks is in the field and my services may be required." The Admiral noted that he had received a letter from Commodore Bell, commanding in his absence, which indicated that there were not enough ships to serve on the Texas coast and maintain the blockade elsewhere as well. Farragut noted that some turreted ironclads were building at St. Louis and suggested: "They draw about 6 feet of water and will be the very vessels to operate in the shallow waters of Texas , if the Department would order them down there." Three days later, the Secretary asked Rear Admiral Potter to "consider the subject and inform the Department as early as practicable to what extent Farragut's wishes can be complied with." Porter replied on the 27th that he could supply Farragut with eight light drafts "in the course of a month" and that "six weeks from today I could have ten vessels sent to Admiral Farragut, if I can get the officers and men. . . ."

21 USS Grand Gulf, Commander George M. Ransom, and Army transport Fulton seized blockade running British steamer Banshee south of Salter Path, North Carolina.

22 USS Aroostook, Lieutenant Chester Hatfield, captured schooner Eureka off Galveston . She had been bound to Havana with cargo of cotton.

USS Jacob Bell, Acting Master Schulze, transported and supported a troop landing at St. George's Island , Maryland , where some 30 Confederates, some of whom were blockade runners, were captured.

23 The threat of Confederate torpedoes in the rivers and coastal areas became an increasing menace as the war progressed. The necessity of taking proper precautions against this innovation in naval warfare slowed Northern operations and tied up ships on picket duty that might otherwise have been utilized more positively. This date, Secretary Welles wrote Captain Gansevoort, USS Roanoke, at Newport News : "Since the discovery of the torpedo on James River, near Newport News , the Department has felt some uneasiness with regard to the position of your vessel, as it is evidently the design of the rebels to drift such machines of destruction upon her. . . . Vigilance is demanded." Upon receipt of this instruction, Gansevoort replied 2 days later: "The Roanoke lies in the deepest water here, and until very lately, when the necessary force has been temporarily reduced by casualties to machinery, a picket boat has been kept underway during all night just above this anchorage to prevent such missiles from approaching the ship. This pre-caution has been renewed now that the Poppy has been added to this disposable force, and in addition I have caused . . . a gunboat to be anchored above us to keep a sharp lookout for torpedoes."

24 Rear Admiral Lee wrote Secretary Welles regarding a conversation with General Benjamin F. Butler while reconnoitering the Sounds of North Carolina: "I gave him my views respecting the best method of attacking Wilmington, viz, either to March from New Berne and seize the best and nearest fortified inlet on the north of Fort Fisher, thence to cross and blockade the Cape Fear River, or to land below Fort Caswell (the key to the position) and blockade the river from the right bank between Smithville and Brunswick." Four days later, Commander W. A. Parker supported the Admiral's views after making his own observations. Recommending a joint Army-Navy assault to capture Fort Fisher , he wrote: "I am of the opinion that 25,000 men and two or three ironclads should be sent to capture this place, if so large a force can be conveniently furnished for this purpose. . . . The ironclads . . . should be employed to divert the attention of the garrison at Fort Fisher during the landing of our troops at Masonboro Inlet, and to prevent the force there from being used to oppose the debarkation. . . . Fort Fisher would probably fall after a short resistance, as I have been informed that the heavy guns all point to seaward, and there is but slight provision made to resist an attack from the interior." Union efforts in the east were concentrated on the capture of Charleston at this time, however, and a thrust at Wilmington was postponed. The city continued as a prime haven for blockade runners until early 1865.

Under cover of USS Pawnee
, Commander Balch, and USS Marblehead, Lieutenant Commander Richard W. Meade, Jr., Army troops commenced sinking piles as obstructions in the Stono River above Legareville , South Carolina . The troops, protected by Marblehead , had landed the day before. The naval force remained on station at the request of Brigadier General Schimmelfennig to preclude a possible Confederate attack.

25 The valiant but overpowered Confederate Navy faced many problems in the struggle for survival. One of them was the inability to obtain enough ordnance. Commander Brooke reported to Secretary Mallory this date that ordnance workshops had been established at Charlotte , Richmond , Atlanta , and Selma , Alabama . While great efforts were made to meet Southern needs, Brooke wrote: "The deficiency of heavy ordnance has been severely felt during this war. The timely addition of a sufficient number of heavy guns would render our ports invulnerable to the attacks of the enemy's fleets, whether ironclads or not.

USS Fort Hindman, Acting Lieutenant John Pearce, captured steamer Volunteer off Natchez Island , Mississippi .

26 USS James Adger, Commander Patterson, seized British blockade runner Ella off Masonboro Inlet , North Carolina , with cargo of salt.

USS Antona, Acting Master Zerega, captured schooner Mary Ann southeast of Corpus Christi with cargo of cotton.

27 USS Two Sisters, Acting Master Charles H. Rockwell, seized blockade running schooner Maria Alberta near Bayport , Florida .

28 USS Chippewa, Lieutenant Commander Thomas C. Harris, convoyed Army transport Monohassett and Mayflower up Skull Creek , South Carolina , on a reconnaissance mission. Though Confederate troops had established defensive positions from which to resist attacks, Chippewa's effective fire prevented them from halting the movement. "The object of the expedition was fully accomplished," Harris reported, "and the reconnaissance was complete."

29 USS Kanawha
, Lieutenant Commander Mayo, captured schooner Albert (or Wenona) attempting to run the blockade out of Mobile, with cargo of cotton, rosin, turpentine, and tobacco.

At the request of Major General Banks, a gun crew from USS Monongahela, Commander Strong, went ashore to man howitzers in support of an Army attack on Pass Cavallo, Texas.

30 Secretary Mallory emphasized the necessity for the proper training of naval officers in his annual report on the Confederate States Navy. It was, he wrote, "a subject of the greatest importance." He observed: "The naval powers of the earth are bestowing peculiar care upon the education of their officers, now more than ever demanded by the changes in all the elements of naval warfare. Appointed from civil life and possessing generally but little knowledge of the duties of an officer and rarely even the vocabulary of their profession they have heretofore been sent to vessels or batteries where it is impossible for them to obtain a knowledge of its most important branches, which can be best, if not only, acquired by methodical study." Mallory noted that there were 693 officers and 2,250 enlisted men in the Confederate Navy. He reported that while Union victories at Little Rock and on the Yazoo River had terminated the Department's attempts to construct ships in that area, construction was "making good progress at Richmond , Wilmington, Charleston, Savannah, Mobile, on the Roanoke, Peedee, Chattahoochee, and Alabama Rivers . . . ." Two major problems Mallory enumerated troubled the Confederacy throughout the conflict the lack of skilled labor to build ships and the inability to obtain adequate iron to protect them. In the industrial North, neither was a difficulty–a factor which helped decide the course of the war.

Confederate naval officers and men played vital roles in Southern shore defenses throughout the war. This date, Secretary Mallory praised the naval command at Drewry's Bluff which guarded the James River approach to Richmond . The battery, he reported, "composed of seamen and marines, is in a high state of efficiency and the river obstructions are believed to be sufficient, in connection with the shore and submarine batteries, to prevent the passage of the enemy's ships. An active force is employed on submarine batteries and torpedoes."  

End November
A Union  foraging party along the Mississippi  captures detailed plans of a Triton Company submarine. Confederate General Gilmer’s evaluation of the boat six weeks earlier suggests the company had built other submarines as well.

December 1863

2 Rear Admiral Porter reported: "In the operations lately carried on up the Tennessee and Cumberland
 rivers, the gunboats have been extremely active and have achieved with perfect success all that was desired or required of them. . . . With the help of our barges, General Sherman's troops were all ferried over in an incredibly short time by the gunboats, and he was enabled to bring his formidable corps into action in the late battle of Chattanooga, which has resulted so gloriously for our arms. The Mississippi Squadron continued to patrol the rivers relentlessly, restricting Confederate movements and countering attempts to erect batteries along the banks.

Commodore H. H. Bell, pro tem commander of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron, reported to Secretary Welles
 the estimated Confederate naval strength at Mobile   Bay . CSS Gaines and Morgan mounted ten guns; CSS Selma mounted four, as did the nearly completed ironclad CSS Nashville . All were sidewheelers. Ironclad rams CSS Baltic, Huntsville , and Tennessee all mounted four guns each. The latter, Admiral Buchanan 's flag ship, was said to be "strong and fast." CSS Gunnison was fitted as a torpedo boat carrying 150 pounds of powder and another screw steamer was reported being fitted out, though a fire had destroyed her upper works. In addition to two floating batteries mounting 3 guns each and 10 transport steamers at Mobile Bay , the report noted: "At Selma there is a large vessel building, to be launched in January. There are three large rams building on the Tombigbee River , to be launched during the winter." Rear Admiral Farragut would face four of these ships in Mobile Bay the following year. Lack of machinery, iron, and skilled mechanics prevented the rest from being little more than the phantoms which rumor frequently includes in estimates of enemy strength.

Boat expedition from USS Restless, Acting Master William R. Browne, reconnoitered Lake Ocala , Florida . Finding salt works in the area, the Union forces destroyed them. "They were in the practice of turning out 130 bushels of salt daily." Rear Admiral Bailey reported. "Besides destroying these boilers, a large quantity of salt was thrown into the lake, 2 large flatboats, and 6 ox carts were demolished, and 17 prisoners were taken. . . . " These destructive raids, destroy-ing machinery, supplies, armament, and equipment, had a telling and lasting effect on the South, already short of all.

3 Rear Admiral Dahlgren
 issued the following orders to emphasize vigorous enforcement of the blockade and vigilance against Confederate torpedo boats: "Picket duty is to be performed by four monitors, two for each night, one of which is to be well advanced up the harbor, in a position suitable for preventing the entrance or departure of any vessel attempting to pass in or out of Charleston  Harbor, and for observing Sumter and Moultrie, or movements in and about them, taking care at the same time not to get aground, and also to change the position when the weather appears to render it unsafe. The second monitor is to keep within proper supporting distance of the first, so as to render aid if needed." The Admiral added: "The general object of the monitors, tugs, and boats on picket is to enforce the blockade rigorously, and to watch and check the movements of the enemy by water whenever it can be done, particularly to detect and destroy the torpedo boats and the picket boats of the rebels."

USS New London, Lieutenant Commander Weld N. Allen, captured blockade running schooner del Nile near Padre Pass Island , Texas , with cargo including coffee, sugar, and percussion caps.

5 Boat crew under Acting Ensign William B. Arrants from USS Perry was captured while reconnoitering Murrell's Inlet, South Carolina , to determine if a ship being outfitted there as a blockade runner could be destroyed. Noting that a boat crew from T.A. Ward had been captured in the same area 2 months before, Rear Admiral Dahlgren wrote: "These blunders are very annoying, and yet I do not like to discourage enterprise and dash on the part of our officers and men. Better to suffer from the excess than the deficiencies of these qualities."

6 USS Weehawken , Commander Duncan , sank while tied up to a buoy inside the bar at Charleston harbor. Weehawken had recently taken on an extra load of heavy ammunition which reduced the freeboard forward considerably. In the strong ebb tide, water washed down on an open hawse pipe and a hatch. The pumps were unable to handle the rush of water and Weehawken quickly foundered, drowning some two dozen officers and men.

USS Violet, Acting Ensign Thomas Stothard, and USS Aries, Acting Lieutenant Devens, sighted blockade running British steamer Ceres aground and burning at the mouth of the Cape Fear River, North Carolina. During the night, Ceres floated free and, the flames having been extinguished, was seized by Violet.

7 In his third annual report to the President, Secretary Welles wrote: "A blockade commencing at Alexandria , in Virginia , and terminating at the Rio Grande , has been effectively maintained. The extent of this blockade . . . . covers a distance of three thousand five hundred and forty-nine statute miles, with one hundred and eighty-nine harbor or pier openings or indentations, and much of the coast presents a double shore to be guarded . . . a naval force of more than one hundred vessels has been employed in patrolling the rivers, cutting off rebel supplies, and co-operating with the armies. . . . The distance thus traversed and patrolled by the gunboats on the Mississippi and its tributaries is 3,615 miles, and the sounds, bayous, rivers and inlets of the States upon the Atlantic and the Gulf, covering an extent of about 2,000 miles, have also been . . . watched with unceasing vigilance." Welles reported a naval strength of 34,000 sea-men and 588 ships displacing 467,967 tons, mounting 4,443 guns. More than 1,000 ships had been captured by alert blockaders, as the results of weakness at sea were driven home to the beleaguered South. The North's mighty force afloat had severed the Confederacy along the Mississippi and pierced ever deeper into her interior; amphibious assaults from the sea had driven her still further from her coasts; and the vise of the blockade clamped down more tightly on an already withering economy and military capability.

Steamer Chesapeake of the New York and Portland Line, en route to Portland , Maine , was seized off Cape Cod by a group of 17 Confederate sympathizers led by John C. Braine. The bizarre undertaking had been planned at St. John, New Brunswick, by Captain John Parker (whose real name seems to have been Vernon G. Locke), former commander of the Confederate privateer Retribution. Parker ordered Braine and his men to New York where they purchased side arms and boarded Chesapeake as passengers. At the appropriate moment they threw aside their disguises. and after a brief exchange of gunfire in which the second engineer was killed, took possession of the steamer. They intended to make for Wilmington
 after coaling in Nova Scotia . Captain Parker came on board in the Bay of Fundy and took charge. News of the capture elicited a quick response in the Navy Department. Ships from Philadelphia northward were ordered out in pursuit. On 17 December USS Ella and Annie, Acting Lieutenant J. Frederick Nickels, recaptured Chesapeake in Sambro Harbor , Nova Scotia . She was taken to Halifax where the Vice Admiralty Court ultimately restored the steamer to her original American owners. Most of the Confederates escaped and John Braine would again cause the Union much concern before the war ended.

Assistant Secretary Fox transmitted a list of ships reported to be running the blockade and urged Rear Admiral Lee to prosecute the blockade even more vigorously. "While the captures are numerous, it is not the less evident that there are many that escape capture." Some ships would successfully run the blockade until the end of the war.

8 The disabled merchant steamer Henry Von Phul was shelled by a Confederate shore battery near Morganza , Louisiana . USS Neosho, Acting Ensign Edwin P. Brooks, and USS Signal, Acting Ensign William P. Lee, steamed up to defend the ship and silenced the battery. Union merchantmen were largely free from such attacks when convoyed by a warship.

9 USS Circassian, Acting Lieutenant Eaton, seized blockade running British steamer Minna at sea east of Cape Romain , South Carolina . The steamer was carrying cargo including iron, hardware, and powder. In addition, Eaton reported, "she has also as cargo a propellor and shaft and other parts of a marine engine, perhaps intended for some rebel ironclad."

10 Confederate troops burned schooner Josephine Truxillo and barge Stephany on Bayou Lacomb, Louisiana . Next day they burned schooner Sarah Bladen and barge Helana on Bayou Bonfouca.

11 Confederate troops fired on USS Indianola in the Mississippi in an attempt to destroy her, but the effective counterfire of USS Carondelet, Acting Maser James C. Gipson, drove them off. The Union Navy was exerting great effort to get Indianola off the bar on which she had sunk in February, and on 23 November Gipson had written Rear Admiral Porter: "I will do all that lies in my power to protect her from destruction."

Major General D. H. Maury, CSA, wrote of reports that had reached him of a Union naval attack on Mobile "at an early day." Maury prophetically stated that "I expect the fleet to succeed in running past the outer forts," but he added, I shall do all I can to prevent it, and to hold the forts as long as possible."

14 General Beauregard ordered Lieutenant Dixon, CSA, to proceed with submarine H. L. Hunley to the mouth of Charleston harbor and "sink and destroy any vessel of the enemy with which he can come in conflict." The General directed that "such assistance- as may he practicable" he rendered to Lieutenant Dixon.

15 Captain Semmes, after cruising for some time in Far Eastern waters, determined to change his area of operations. Leaving the island of Condore in C.S.S Alabama, he wrote: "The homeward trade of the enemy is now quite small, reduced, probably, to twenty or thirty ships per year, and these may easily evade us by taking the different passages to the Indian Ocean . . . . there is no cruising or chasing to be done here, successfully, or with safety to oneself without plenty of coal, and we can only rely upon coaling once in three months. . . . So I will try my luck around the Cape of Good Hope once more, thence to the coast of Brazil , and thence perhaps to Barbados for coal, and thence? If the war be not ended, my ship will need to go into dock to have much of her copper replaced, now nearly destroyed by such constant cruising, and to have her boilers overhauled and repaired, and this can only be properly done in Europe ." The cruise of the most famous Confederate commerce raider went into its final six months.

Captain Barron advised Secretary Mallory
 from Paris of the great difficulty encountered in purchasing or seeking to repair Confederate ships in European ports. The "difficulties and expense and some delay," he said, were due to "the spies" of U.S. Ambassador Charles Francis Adams in London . Barron reported that they "are to be found following the footsteps of any Confederate agent in spite of all the precautions we can adopt. . . . The shrewd U.S. diplomat moved time and again to frustrate Southern efforts in Europe .

Admiral Buchanan wrote Commander C. ap R. Jones regarding CSS Tennessee: "The Tennessee will carry a battery of two 7-inch Brooke guns and four broadsides, 6.4 or 9 inch. . . . There is a great scarcity of officers and I know not where I will get them. I have sent the names of 400 men who wish to be transferred from the Army to the Navy, and have received only about twenty. Jones replied, "Strange that the Army disregard the law requiring the transfer of men."

16 In acknowledging resolutions of congratulations and appreciation passed by the Chamber of Commerce of New York for "one of the most celebrated victories of any time" the capture of New Orleans Rear Admiral Farragut wrote: "That we did our duty to the best of our ability, I believe; that a kind Providence smiled upon us and enabled us to overcome obstacles before which the stoutest of our hearts would have otherwise quailed, I am certain."

Thomas Savage, U.S. Consul-General at Havana , reported to Commodore H. H. Bell regarding blockade runners in that port: "A schooner under rebel colors, called Roebuck, 41 tons, with cotton arrived from Mobile yesterday. She left that port, I believe, on the 8th. She is the only vessel that has reached this port from Mobile for a very long time. . . . The famous steamer Alice, which ran the blockade at Mobile successfully so many times, is now on the dry dock here fitting out for another adventure."

USS Huron, Lieutenant Commander Stevens, captured blockade runner Chatham off Doboy Sound , Georgia , with cargo of cotton, tobacco, and rosin.

USS Ariel, Acting Master William H. Harrison, captured sloop Magnolia off the west coast of Florida . She was inbound from Havana with cargo of spirits and medicines.

17 Lieutenant Commander Fitch, USS Moose, reported that he had sent landing parties ashore at Seven Mile Island and Palmyra, Tennessee, where they had destroyed distilleries used by Con-federate guerrilla troops.

USS Roebuck, Acting Master Sherrill, seized blockade-running British schooner Ringdove off Indian River , Florida , with cargo including salt, coffee, tea, and whiskey.

19 Expedition under Acting Master W. R. Browne, comprising USS Restless, Bloomer, and Caroline, proceeded up St. Andrew's Bay, Florida, to continue the destruction of salt works. A landing party went ashore under Bloomer's guns and destroyed those works not already demolished by the Southerners when reports of the naval party were received. Browne was able to report that he had "cleared the three arms of this extensive bay of salt works. . . . Within the past ten days," he added, "290 salt works, 33 covered wagons, 12 flatboats, two sloops (3 ton each) 6 ox carts, 4,000 bushels of salt, 268 buildings at the different salt works, 529 iron kettles averaging 150 gallons each, 103 iron boilers for boiling brine [were destroyed], and it is believed that the enemy destroyed as many more to prevent us from doing so."

20 Steamer Antonica ran aground on Frying Pan Shoals, North Carolina , attempting to run the blockade. Boat crews from USS Governor Buckingham, Acting Lieutenant William G. Salton-stall, captured her crew but were unable to get the steamer off. Rear Admiral S. P. Lee noted: She will be a total loss. . . ." Antonica had formerly run the blockade a number of times under British registry and name of Herald, "carrying from 1,000 to 1,200 bales of cotton at a time."

USS Connecticut, Commander Almy, seized British blockade running schooner Sallie with cargo of salt off Frying Pan Shoals, North Carolina .

USS Fox, Acting Master George Ashbury, captured steamer Powerful at the mouth of Suwannee River , Florida . The steamer had been abandoned by her crew on the approach of the Union ship, and, unable to stop a serious leak, Ashbury ordered the blockade runner destroyed.

21 Rear Admiral Dahlgren wrote Secretary Welles that, after 10 days of "wretched" weather at Charleston, a quantity of obstructions had been washed down from the upper harbor by the "wind, rain, and a heavy sea." The Admiral added: "The quantity was very considerable, and besides those made of rope, which were well known to us, there were others of heavy timber, banded together and connected by railroad iron, with very stout links at each end. . . . This is another instance of the secrecy with which the rebels create defenses; for although some of the deserters have occupied positions more or less confidential, not one of them has even hinted at obstructions of this kind, while, on the other hand, the correspondents of our own papers keep the rebels pretty well posted in our affairs.

Admiral Buchanan wrote Commander C. ap R. Jones at the Confederate Naval Gun Foundry and Ordnance Works, Selma , Alabama : "Have you received any orders from Brooke about the guns for the Tennessee ? She is all ready for officers, men, and guns, and has been so reported to the Department many weeks since, but none have I received."

22 Captain Semmes of CSS Alabama noted the effect of Confederate commerce raiding on Northern shipping in the Far East: "The enemy's East India and China trade is nearly broken up. Their ships find it impossible to get freights, there being in this port [ Singapore ] some nineteen sail, almost all of which are laid up for want of employment. . . . the more widely our blows are struck, provided they are struck rapidly, the greater will be the consternation and consequent damage of the enemy.

23 Rear Admiral Farragut advised Secretary Welles from the New York Navy Yard that USS Hartford, which had served so long and well as his flagship in the Gulf, was again ready for sea save for an unfilled complement. The Admiral, anxious to return to action, suggested that the sailors might be obtained in Boston and other ports.

Rear Admiral Dahlgren ordered retaliatory steps taken against the Confederates operating in the Murrell's Inlet area where two Union boat crews had recently been captured (see 17 October and 5 December). "I desire . . . ." he wrote Captain Green, USS Canandaigua, "to administer some corrective to the small parties of rebels who infest that vicinity, and shall detail for that purpose the steamers Nipsic, Sanford, Geranium, and Daffodil, also the sailing bark Allen and the schooner Mangham, 100 marines for landing, and four howitzers, two for the boats, two on field carriages, with such boats as may be needed." The force left its anchorage at Morris Island on 29 December.

24 Commander C. ap R. Jones wrote Admiral Buchanan that guns for CSS Tennessee would be sent from the Selma Gun Foundry "as soon as they are ready." Jones added: "We had an accident that might have been very serious. An explosion took place while attempting to cast the bottom section of a gun pit. The foundry took fire, but was promptly extinguished. Fortunately but two of the molds were burned. I had a narrow escape, my hat, coat, and pants were burned. Quite a loss in these times, with our depreciated currency and fixed salaries. As a large casting is never made without my being present, I consider my life in greater danger here than if I were in command of the Tennessee , though I should expect hot work in her occasionally. What chance have I for her?"

USS Fox, Acting Master Ashbury, seized blockade running British schooner Edward off the mouth of the Suwannee River, Florida, after a two hour chase during which the schooner at-tempted to run down the smaller Union ship. She was carrying a cargo of lead and salt from Havana .

CSS Alabama , Captain Semmes, captured and burned bark Texan Star in the Strait of Malacca with cargo of rice.

USS Sunflower, Acting Master Van Sice, captured blockade runner Hancock near the lighthouse at Tampa Bay with cargo including salt and borax.

USS Antona, Acting Master Zerega, seized blockade running schooner Exchange off Velasco , Texas , with cargo including coffee, nails, shoes, acids, wire, and cotton goods.

25 Confederate batteries on John's Island opened an early morning attack on USS Marblehead, Lieutenant Commander Meade, near Legareville , South Carolina , in the Stono River . Marblehead sustained some 20 hits as USS Pawnee
, Commander Balch, contributed enfilading support, and mortar schooner C.P. Williams, Acting Master Simeon N. Freeman, added her firepower to the bombardment. After more than an hour, the Confederates broke off the engagement and withdrew. Meade later seized two VIII-inch sea coast howitzers.

USS Daylight, Acting Lieutenant Francis S. Wells, and USS Howquah, Acting Lieutenant MacDiarmid, transported troops from Beaufort, North Carolina, to Bear Inlet, where the soldiers and sailors were landed without incident under the Daylight's protecting guns. Wells reported: "Four extensive salt works in full operation were found at different points along the coast and near the inlet, which were all thoroughly destroyed.

26 CSS Alabama , Captain Semmes, captured and burned ships Sonora and Highlander, both in ballast, at anchor at the western entrance of the Straits of Malacca. "They were monster ships," Semmes wrote, "both of them, being eleven or twelve hundred tons burden." One of the masters told the commerce raider: “Well, Captain Semmes, I have been expecting every day for the last three years to fall in with you, and here I am at last. . . . The fact is, I have had constant visions of the Alabama , by night and by day; she has been chasing me in my sleep, and riding me like a nightmare, and now that it is all over, I feel quite relieved."

As the year drew to a close, it became evident that the much-hoped-for European aid, if not actual intervention, on behalf of the Confederacy would not be forthcoming. This was expressed by Henry Hotze, Confederate Commercial Agent in London, in a letter this date to Secretary of State Benjamin: . . . it is absolutely hopeless to expect to receive any really serv-iceable vessels of war from the ports of either England or France, and . . . our expenditure should therefore be confined to more practicable objects and our naval staff be employed in eluding, since we can not break, the blockade."

26-31 USS Reindeer, Acting Lieutenant Henry A. Glassford, with Army steamer Silver Lake No. 2 in company, reconnoitered the Cumberland River at the request of General Grant. The force moved from Nashville to Carthage without incident but was taken under fire five times on the 29th. The Confederates' positions, Glassford reported, "availed them nothing, however, against the guns of this vessel and those of the Silver Lake No. 2; they were completely shelled out of them. The gunboats continued as far as Creelsboro , Kentucky , before "the river gave unmistakable signs of a fall." The ships subsequently returned to Nashville .

29 Under Captain Green, USS Nipsic, Sanford, Geranium, Daffodil, and Ethan Allen departed Morris Island for Murrell's Inlet to destroy a schooner readying to run the blockade and disperse Confederate troops that had been harassing Union gunboats. The force arrived at an anchorage some 15 miles from Murrell's Inlet the following day, rendezvousing with U.S.S George Mangham.

Preparations for landing commenced immediately, but debarkation was delayed by heavy seas. With surprise lost, part of the purpose of the landing was frustrated. However, on 1 January, USS Nipsic, Commander James H. Spotts, landed sailors and Marines at Murrell's Inlet and succeeded in destroying the blockade runner with cargo of turpentine. The ships then returned to Charleston .

Boat crews from USS Stars and Stripes, Acting Master Willcomb, destroyed blockade running schooner Caroline Gertrude aground on a bar at the mouth of Ocklockonee River , Florida . Attempting to salvage the schooner's cargo of cotton, the Union sailors were taken under heavy fire by Confederate cavalry ashore and returned to their ship after setting the blockade runner ablaze.

30 Expedition under command of Acting Ensign Norman McLeod from USS Pursuit, destroyed two salt works at the head of St. Joseph's Bay, Florida.

31 USS Kennebec, Lieutenant Commander McCann, captured blockade runner Grey Jacket, bound from Mobile to Havana , with cargo of cotton, rosin, and turpentine.

USS Sciota, Lieutenant Commander Perkins, and USS Granite City, Acting Master Lamson, with troops embarked, made a reconnaissance from pass Cavallo , Texas , and landed the soldiers on the Gulf shore of Matagorda Peninsula in action continuing through 1 January. While Granite City covered the troops ashore from attacks by Confederate cavalry, Sciota reconnoitered the mouth of the Brazos River . Returning to the landing area, Sciota anchored close to the beach and shelled Confederate positions. Granite City fell down to Pass Cavallo to call up USS Monogahela, Penobscot, and Estrella to assist. Confederate gunboat John F. Carr closed and fired on the Union troops, "making some very good hits," but was driven ashore by a severe gale and destroyed by fire. The Union troops were withdrawn on board ship. Report-ing on the operation, Lieutenant Colonel Frank S. Hasseltine wrote: "Captain Perkins, of the Sciota, excited my admiration by the daring manner in which he exposed his ship through the night in the surf till it broke all about him, that he might, close to us, lend the moral force of his XI-inch guns and howitzers, and by his gallantry in bringing us off during the gale. To Captain Lamson, of the Granite City , great credit is due for his exertion to retard and drive back the enemy. By the loss he inflicted upon them it is clear but for the heavy sea he would have freed us from any exertion.

Though the war's decisive areas of combat were east of the Mississippi , the attention of the Navy Department continued to be nationwide. Secretary Welles advised Rear Admiral C. H. Bell, commanding the Pacific Squadron, that it would be wise to keep at least one ship constantly on duty in San Francisco in order to give "greater security to that important city. . . . Welles promised to send Bell two additional steamers to augment his squadron.

Secretary Welles noted in his diary: "The year closes more satisfactorily than it commenced. . . The War has been waged with success, although there have been in some instances errors and misfortunes. But the heart of the nation is sounder and its hopes brighter."

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