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.


January - February - March - April - May - June

January 1862

1 USS Yankee, Lieutenant Eastman, and USS Anacostia, Lieutenant Oscar C. Badger, exchanged fire with Confederate batteries at Cockpit Point, Potomac River; Yankee was damaged slightly. Attacks by ships of the Potomac Flotilla were instrumental in forcing the withdrawal of strong Confederate emplacements along the river. Batteries at Cockpit and Shipping Point were abandoned by 9 March 1862.

Flag Officer Foote reported to Secretary of the Navy Welles that he was sending USS Lexington, Lieutenant Shirk, to join USS Conestoga, Lieutenant S. L. Phelps, which had been rendering valu­able service in her river cruising ground, protecting "Union people" on the borders of the Ohio River and its tributaries; indeed, the control of the rivers advanced Union frontiers deep into territory sympathetic to the South. Foote added: "I am using all possible dispatch in getting all the gunboats ready for service. There is great demand for them in different places in the western rivers.''

Confederate Commissioners Mason and Slidell left Boston for England , via Provincetown , Massachusetts , where they boarded H.M.S. Rinaldo.

2 Flag Officer L. M. Goldsborough ordered USS Louisiana, Lockwood, I. N. Seymour, Shawsheen, and Whitehall (forced to return to Newport News because of engine trouble) to Hatteras Inlet, "using a sound discretion in time of departing." Goldsborough wrote Secretary of the Navy Welles the next day: "When they arrive there, twelve of this squadron will have been assembled in that quarter. With the rest we are driving on as fast as possible." Since early December extensive preparations for the joint attack on Roanoke Island- the key to Albemarle Sound-had been underway in a move not only to seal off the North Carolina coast, but also to back up General McClellan's Peninsular Campaign by threatening Confederate communications.

Flag Officer Foote wrote Secretary of the Navy Welles: "I hope to be able to send 60 men on board of each gunboat within the week. We are waiting for the 1,000 men to fill up our complement . . . The carpenters and engineers are behindhand in their work." Eads' completion of the gun­boats had been much delayed beyond his contract time. This placed a great strain upon the wooden gunboats, whose daily service in the rivers was demonstrated by General Grant's typical communication with Foote: "Will you please direct a gunboat to drop down the river . . . to protect a steamer I am sending down to bring up produce for some loyal citizens of Kentucky ?"

Steamer Ella Warley evaded USS Mohican, Commander Godon, in a heavy fog and ran the blockade into Charleston .

5 Flag Officer L. M. Goldsborough, replying to a telegram from Brigadier General Ambrose E. Burnside, the Army commander for the Roanoke Island expedition, wrote that "the sooner you start your first brigade [for Hatteras Inlet] the better, and so, too, with all vessels you have which are to be towed or which require choice weather in order to arrive safely." President Lincoln was reported as "anxious to hear of the departure of the expedition."

A letter sent to the Confederate Army examiner of the defenses of Mobile complains that “someone” had boarded and sunk in the Mobile River an operational submarine several days earlier. Submarine possibly built by Reverend Smith.

6 One of Flag Officer Foote's primary problems was the manning of the new ironclad gunboats, which were becoming available behind contract date at St. Louis and Mound City . The Navy Department sent a draft of 500 seamen; the rest had to be recruited or detailed from the Army. That the Army was reluctant to give up its best men for service afloat was demonstrated by Grant's letter to Major General Halleck, in which he wrote that he had a number of offenders in the guardhouse and suggested, "In view of the difficulties of getting men for the gunboat service, that these men be transferred to that service. . ."

7 Lieutenant S. L. Phelps, USS Conestoga, on an expedition up the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers gained valuable intelligence about Confederate activity at Forts Henry and Donelson. ''The rebels," he reported to Flag Officer Foote, "are industriously perfecting their means of defense both at Dover and Fort Henry . At Fort Donelson (near Dover) they have placed obstruc­tions in the river, 12 miles below their battery, on the left bank and in the bend where the battery comes in sight . . . The fire of gunboats here [at Fort Donelson] would be at a bad angle . . . The forts are placed, especially on the Cumberland, where no great range can be had, and they can only be attacked in one narrow and fixed line . . . It is too late now to move against the works on either river, except with a well- appointed and powerful naval force." As early as mid-December 1861, Phelps had reconnoitered the Cumberland and warned of the immense difficulties involved in a naval assault on Fort Donelson , the strategically located Confederate stronghold. "None of the works can be seen," he observed, "till approached to within easy range." The difficult assault on Fort Donelson five weeks later gave truth to Phelps' care­ful observation. Meanwhile, Flag Officer Foote reconnoitered down the Mississippi with USS Tyler, Lexington , and Essex, the latter one of the first two ironclads ready. Pursuing a Confederate gunboat, Foote proceeded within range of the batteries at Columbus and found "one of the submarine batteries." But learning that the river was generally clear of these, he was able to report that "my object was fully attained."

General McClellan's orders to Brigadier General Burnside illustrated the Army's reliance on strength afloat: ". . . you will," he wrote, "after uniting with Flag- Officer Goldsborough at Fort Monroe, proceed under his convoy to Hatteras Inlet . . . [the] first point of attack will be Roanoke Island and its dependencies. It is presumed that the Navy can reduce the batteries ... and cover the landing of your troops . . . ' McClellan also detailed the Army's follow-up operations in conjunction with the gunboats at Fort Macon , New Bern , and Beaufort.

8 General Robert E. Lee, confounded by the strength and mobility of the Union Navy, observed. "Wherever his fleet can be brought no opposition to his landing can be made except within range of our fixed batteries. We have nothing to oppose to its heavy guns, which sweep over the low banks of this country with irresistible force. The farther he can be withdrawn from his floating batteries the weaker he will become, and lines of defense, covering objects of attack, have been selected with this view.''

9 Orders from the Navy Department appointed Flag Officer Farragut to command Western Gulf Blockading Squadron, flagship USS Hartford, then at Philadelphia . The bounds of the command extended from West Florida to the Rio Grande , but a far larger purpose than even the important function of blockade lay behind Farragut's appointment. Late in 1861 the administration had made a decision that would have fateful results on the war. The full list of senior officers in the Navy was reviewed for a commander for an enterprise of first importance---the capture of New Orleans, the South's "richest and most populous city," and the beginning of the drive of sea-based power up the Father of Waters to meet General Grant, who would soon move south behind the spearhead of the armored gunboats. On 21 December 1861, in Washington , Farragut had written his wife; ''Keep your lips closed, and burn my letters; for perfect silence is to be observed- the first injunction of the Secretary. I am to have a flag in the Gulf and the rest depends upon myself. Keep calm and silent. I shall sail in three weeks.'' Meanwhile, the tight blockade was causing grave concern in New Orleans . The Commercial Bulletin reported: ''The situation of this port makes it a matter of vast moment to the whole Confederate State that it should be opened to the commerce of the world within the least possible period ... We believe the blockading vessels of the enemy might have been driven away and kept away months ago, if the requisite energy had been put forth . . . The blockade has remained and the great port of New Orleans has been hermetically sealed. . ."

10 Concern continued to grow in the Union fleet as to what preparations should be taken to meet the unfinished ex-Merrimack. As early as 12 October 1861, Flag Officer L. M. Goldsborough had written Secretary of the Navy Welles: " . . . I am now quite satisfied that. . . she will, in all probability, prove to be exceedingly formidable . . . Nothing, I think, but very close work can possibly be of service in accomplishing the destruction of the Merrimack, and even of that a great deal may be necessary." Goldsborough ordered tugs Dragon and Zouave to remain constantly in company with USS Congress and Cumberland, "so as to tow them into an advantageous position in case of an attack from the Merrimack or any other quarter.'' However, at this date two months before the historic engagements in Hampton Roads-Union naval commanders were seeking a defense against the powerful Confederate ironclad. Commander William Smith, captain of the ill-fated Congress, had said earlier, ''I have not yet devised any plan to defend us against the Merrimack , unless," he added, "it be with hard knocks."

Flag Officer Foote's gunboats convoyed General Grant's troops as diversionary moves were begun a short distance down the Mississippi and later up the Tennessee to prevent a Confederate build-up of strength at Fort Henry .

Brigadier General John C. Pemberton, CSA, reported on the effectiveness of the Union gunboats at Port Royal Ferry and on the Coosaw River (see last entry, 31 December-1 January 1861): Although the enemy did not land in force at Page's Point or Cunningham's Bluff, it was entirely practicable for him to have done so under cover of his gunboats. . . .At no time during his occupation of the river bank did he leave their [the gunboats'] protection, and, finally, when withdrawing to the island, did so under a fire from his vessels almost as heavy as that under which he had landed . . . by far the larger proportion of the [Confederate] casualties being from the shells of the fleet.''

11 USS Essex, Commander W. D. Porter, and USS St. Louis, Lieutenant Leonard Paulding, engaged Confederate gunboats in a running fight in the Mississippi River , near Lucas Bend, Mis­souri. The Confederates withdrew under the protecting batteries at Columbus .

Responding to inquiries from the Navy Department on the mortar boats, Flag Officer Foote wrote: ''I am aware that an officer of great resources can overcome almost insuperable difficulties.'' Foote had the enormous problem of being thrown into a region without naval bases or the usual resources of the seacoast. In his own words, the western rivers area was '' this wilderness of naval wants"

Having sent similar orders the previous day to USS Henry Brinker, Flag Officer L. M. Goldsborough ordered USS Delaware, Philadelphia, Hunchback, Morse, Southfield, Commodore Barney, Commodore Perry, and schooner Howard to Hatteras Inlet as the build up of forces in the area for the assault on Roanoke island continued.

12 Union amphibious expedition to Roanoke Island, North Carolina, departed Fort Monroe under Flag Officer L. M. Goldsborough and General Burnside. Seizure of Hatteras Inlet by the Navy the previous August allowed Federal control of Pamlico Sound, but heavily fortified Roanoke Island dominated the narrow connection between Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds, the latter of which Confederates used for active blockade running. Capture of strategic Roanoke Island, which one Confederate general termed ''that post which I regard as the very key of the rear defenses of Norfolk and the navy yard," would give the Union control of Albemarle Sound and the waters penetrating deeply into North Carolina, over which passed important railroad bridges south of Norfolk.

USS Pensacola, Captain Henry W. Morris, successfully ran down the Potomac past the Con­federate batteries at Cockpit and Shipping Points. Pensacola reached Hampton Roads on 13 January, demonstrating that the restriction of travel on the river, imposed by the Confederate batteries, was being steadily lessened.

13 Lieutenant Worden ordered to command USS Monitor. Three days later Worden wrote Secretary of the Navy Welles from New York : ". . . I have this day reported for duty for the command of the U.S. Steamer building by Captain Ericsson." Within two months, Monitor, Worden, and Ericsson were to have their names written indelibly in the annals of naval warfare.

Flag Officer Foote ordered three gunboats up the Cumberland and two up the Tennessee River on demonstrations.

15 Flag Officer Foote advised Lieutenant Paulding of USS St. Louis, "I must enjoin you to save your ammunition. No gun must be fired without your order . . . You will be particular in noting the range of the first shot, its height and distance. I was surprised yesterday, at Columbus, to see three or four of your shells bursting at such an elevation . . . I am aware of your difficulties in a new and undisciplined crew and officers, hut make these criticisms rather as indicative of correcting things in the future. Save your ammunition and let the first gun show you how to aim for the second." Foote was constantly beset with the problem of having too much to do with too little material, even to the point of being unable to train adequately his crews in gunnery. That he met these difficulties successfully, however, was demonstrated in the' Union 's steady sweep down the western rivers.

Major General Mansfield Lovell, CSA, at the request of Confederate Secretary of War Benjamin, with the assistance of Lieutenant Thomas B. Huger, CSN, took over 14 steamers at New Orleans to be armed and used to bolster defenses in the area. The plan which came from the War Depart­ment was to outfit the steamships with iron rams to attack the Union river gunboats. Secretary of War Benjamin wrote: Each Captain will ship his own crew, fit up his own vessel, and get ready within the shortest possible delay. It is not proposed to rely on cannons, which these men are not skilled in using, nor on firearms. The men will be armed with cutlasses. On each boat, however, there will be one heavy gun, to be used in case the stern of any of the [ Union ] gunboats should be exposed to lire, for they are entirely unprotected behind, and if attempting to escape by flight would be very vulnerable by shot from a pursuing vessel."

16 Gunfire and boat crews, including Marine, from USS Hatteras, Commander Emmons, destroyed a Confederate battery, seven small vessels loaded with cotton and turpentine ready to run the blockade, a railroad depot and wharf, and the telegraph office at Cedar Keys, Florida . A small detachment of Confederate troops was taken prisoner. Such unceasing attack from the sea on any point of her long coastline and inland waterways cost the South sorely in losses, economic disruption, and dispersion of strength in defense.

Flag Officer Foote reported: The seven gunboats built by contract were put in commission today." The Eads gunboats augmented Foote's wooden force and would turn the tide in the Union 's effort to split the Confederacy.

USS Albatross, Commander Prentiss, destroyed British blockade runner York near Bogue Inlet , North Carolina , where York had been run aground.

17 USS Conestoga, Lieutenant S. L. Phelps, and USS Lexington, Lieutenant Shirk, reconnoitered the Tennessee River below Fort Henry, attempting to determine the location of a reported "masked battery" at the foot of Panther Creek Island. Having become convinced that the battery had been removed, Phelps fired "a few shells" at the fort, hot the range was too great for his guns to reach. ". . . our batteries," reported General Albert S. Johnston, CSA, "though ready, did not reply.'' As early as October 1861, the Navy had initiated a careful examination of the Confederate works in the area in preparation for the projected Army-Navy assault on Fort Henry . Lieutenant Phelps reported the results of a 5 October reconnaissance: ''J examined the fort [Henry] carefully at a distance of from 2 to 21/2 miles . . . The fortification is quite an extensive work and armed with heavy guns, mounted en barbette, and garrisoned by a considerable force. It is situated about 11/2 miles above the head of Panther Creek Island . . . There is no channel upon one side of the island, and a narrow and somewhat crooked one upon the other, which continues so till within a mile of the fort, where the water becomes of a good depth from bank to bank, some 600 yards." Detailed knowledge and careful preparations in large measure provided for the ultimate success of the February offensive operations against both Forts Henry and Donelson with the objective of driving the Confederates out of Kentucky where they held a line across the southern part of the state.

General Robert E. Lee's orders to Brigadier General James H. Trapier, commanding in Florida , illustrated the growing impact of the Union blockade: "Arrangements have been made for running into Mosquito Inlet, on the east coast of Florida , arms and ammunition, by mans of small fast steamers. The department considers it necessary that at least two moderate sized guns he placed at New Smyrna, to protect the landing in the event of our steamers being chased by the enemy's gunboats. . . . The cargoes of the steamers are so valuable and vitally important, that no precau­tion should be omitted."

USS Connecticut, Commander Woodhull, captured blockade running British schooner Emma off the Florida Keys .

18 USS Midnight, Lieutenant James Trathen, and USS Rachel Seaman, Acting Master Quincy A. Hooper, shelled Velasco , Texas . Lieutenant Trathen reported that "One object had been gained in this instance, making the enemy expend his ammunition." Colonel Joseph Bates, commanding at Velasco, wrote: ''While the enemy remain on their vessels, with their long-range guns, &c., they can annoy and harass us, but when they come on land we will whip them certain."

CSS Sumter, Commander Semmes, captured and burned bark Neapolitan, with cargo of fruit and sulphur, in the Straits of Gibraltar and captured and bonded bark Investigator with cargo of iron.

USS Kearsarge was ordered to Cadiz , Spain , in an effort to track her down.

19 USS Itasca, Lieutenant Charles H. B. Caldwell, captured schooner Lizzie Weston off Florida en route Jamaica with cargo of cotton.

20 Secretary of the Navy Welles ordered the Gulf Blockading Squadron divided into two squadrons upon the arrival of Farragut at Key West : Eastern Gulf Blockading Squadron, Flag Officer Mc­Kean, and Western Gulf Blockading Squadron, Flag Officer Farragut. Farragut's area of respon­sibility began on the Florida coast at the mouth of the Choctawhatchee River and extended over the Gulf to the west; McKean's jurisdiction covered the Florida Gulf and east coasts as far as Cape Canaveral and also included Cuba and the Bahamas .

Boarding party from USS R. R. Cuyler, Lieutenant F. Winslow, assisted by USS Huntsville and two cutters from USS Potomac, captured blockade running schooner. J.W. Wilder, grounded about 15 miles east of Mobile .

Flag Officer L. M. Goldsborough, having arrived at Hatteras Inlet on 13 January, ordered Com­mander Rowan to he certain that all officers in the squadron had been instructed in the use of the Bormann fuze in the 9-inch shrapnel shells, which were to he used in the attack on Roanoke Island. Careful planning and training were essential elements of victory at Roanoke Island as elsewhere.

20-21 CSS Sea Bird, Flag Officer Lynch, with CSS Raleigh in company, reconnoitered Hatteras Inlet and "there saw a large fleet of steamers and transports. Lynch pointed out in a letter to Confederate Secretary of the Navy Mallory the importance of the area which Roanoke Island controlled: ''Here is the great thoroughfare from Albemarle Sound and its tributaries, and if the enemy obtain lodgments or succeed in passing here he will cut off a very rich country from Norfolk market."

21 Lieutenant S. L. Phelps, on the basis of his own reconnaissance missions and intelligence reports reaching him, re-emphasized the advisability of using mortar boats at Fort Donelson, noting that "the position of Fort Donelson is favorable for the greatest effect of bombshells, both in and about it. Effective mortar boats must prove the most destructive adversaries earth forts can have to contend with." However, Flag Officer Foote, urged into early action by the Army commanders, was unable to use mortar boats to "soften up" the Confederate works at Donelson.

USS Ethan Allen, Acting Lieutenant William B. Eaton, captured schooner Olive Branch bound from Cedar Keys, Florida , to Nassau with cargo of turpentine.

22 USS Lexington , Lieutenant Shirk, with Brigadier General Charles F. Smith on board, conducted one of the frequent gunboat reconnaissances up the Tennessee River, and fired a few long-range shots at Fort Henry . The rising waters were making operations feasible as the new armored gunboats were becoming available. Shirk reported: "The river is so full at present (and is still rising) that whenever there is water there is a channel."

Lieutenant Worden reported the steady progress toward completion of USS Monitor. Awaiting the 11-inch guns which would make up the ironclad's battery, Worden noted that "It will take four or five days to sight them after they arrive."

23 Flag Officer L. M. Goldsborough wrote from Hatteras Inlet that the 17 naval vessels present (two others reported later) for the Roanoke Island expedition were over the bar inside Pamlico Sound . Bad weather and the shallow, tortuous channel, which Goldsborough termed "this perplexing gut,'' delayed entry of the naval vessels into the Sound, and presented extreme diffi­culties when attempting to get the heavily-laden troop transports over the bar.

Flag Officer Foote sent another insistent plea for men to Secretary of the Navy Welles, this time cutting his needs to the bone: "Can we have 600 men? Army officers object to their men shipping. Boats, except the Benton , are in commission waiting for men.'' Twelve days later, Assistant Secretary of the Navy Fox wired Foote: 'The Secretary of War today gave directions to detail from several Massachusetts regiments those soldiers who have been seamen up to the number of 600. These will be sent to you without arms or officers in detachments of 100, commencing next Monday."

Schooner Samuel Rotan, tender to USS Colorado, Captain Bailey, captured steamer Calhoun in East Bay , Mississippi River, with cargo of powder, coffee, and chemicals.

24 USS. Mercedita, Commander Stellwagen, and other ships of the Gulf Blockading Squadron chased aground schooner Julia and an unidentified bark attempting to run the blockade at the mouth of the Mississippi River ; both were laden with cotton and were burned to prevent capture. A Union lightboat off Cape Henry went aground and was captured by Confederates.

25 Flag Officer French Forrest, CSN, commanding the Navy Yard at Norfolk, wrote Major General Huger: ''I have just learned that one of the enemy's vessels has been driven ashore with several hundred gallons of oil on board . . . We are without oil for the Merrimack, and the importance of supplying this deficiency is too obvious for me to urge anything more in its support. As was true throughout the economy of the blockaded Confederacy, lack of critical supplies delayed the construction of the ironclad ram.

Secretary of the Navy Welles wrote Flag Officer Du Pont, commanding the South Atlantic Block­ading Squadron: "The importance of a rigorous blockade at every point under your command can not be too strongly impressed or felt. By cutting off all communication we not only distress and cripple the States in insurrection, but by an effective blockade we destroy any excuse or pre­text on the part of foreign governments to aid and relieve those who are waging war upon the Government."

USS Arthur, Acting Lieutenant John W. Kittredge, captured schooner J. J. McNeil off Pass Cavallo, Texas .

26 The second "stone fleet" sunk in Charleston harbor at Maffitt's Channel. The first "stone fleet" had been sunk in the Main Channel on 20 December 1861.

26-29 Union squadron commanded by Captain Davis, comprising USS Ottawa, Seneca, and other vessels, with 2400 troops under Brigadier General Horatio G. Wright conducted a strategic reconnaissance of Wassaw Sound , Georgia . Telegraph lines between Fort Pulaski and Savannah were severed. Five Confederate gunboats under Commodore Tattnall were engaged while attempting to carry stores to Fort Pulaski . Though the exchange of fire was sharp, three of Tattnall's steamers made good their passage to the fort, the other two being unable to get through. In his report of the reconnaissance operation, Captain Davis noted: ''As a demonstration the appearance of the naval and military forces in Wilmington and Wassaw Sound has had complete success. Savannah was thrown into a state of great alarm, and all the energies of the place have been exerted to the utmost to increase its military defenses for which purpose troops have been withdrawn from other places.'' On the Confederate side, General Robert E. Lee commented: ''If the enemy succeeds in removing the obstacles [in Wall's Cut and Wilmington Narrows] there is nothing to prevent their reaching the Savannah River, and we have nothing afloat that can contend against them."

28 Flag Officer Foote wrote Major General Halleck: ''General Grant and myself are of the opinion that Fort Henry, on the Tennessee River, can be carried with four gunboats and troops and be permanently occupied.'' Halleck replied the next day that he was waiting only for a report on the condition of the road from Smithland to the fort, and would then give the order for the attack. Seeking to push forward, Foote hurried an answer the same day, noting: ''Lieutenant Phelps has been with me [at Cairo] for a day or two, and in consultation with General Grant we have come to the conclusion that, as the Tennessee will soon fall, the movement up that river is de­sirable early next week (Monday), or, in fact, as soon as possible.'' Flag Officer Foote and General Grant worked closely and cooperated fully with each other throughout the planning and preparations for the attack. Though inclement weather was to prevent Grant and his troops from taking part in the action at Fort Henry, the understandings and mutual respect formed here were to serve the Union cause brilliantly in other joint operations on the western waters as well as in General Grant's later campaigns in the east.

"On the 28th..."Flag Officer L. M. Goldsborough reported to Secretary of the Navy Welles, "all the vessels composing the naval branch of our combined expedition, intended by my arrange­ments to participate in the reduction of Roanoke Island and operate elsewhere in its vicinity, were over the bulkhead at Hatteras Inlet and in readiness for service, but . . . it was not until the 5th [of February].... that those composing the army branch of it were similarly situated.'' Goldsborough, however, used the time lapse to good advantage: "During our detention at the inlet,'' he wrote, ''we resorted to every means in our power to get accurate information of the enemy's position and preparation

Captain John Marston wrote Secretary of the Navy Welles that ''as long as the Merrimack is held as a rod over us, I would by no means recommend that she [USS Congress ] should leave this place.'' Marston wrote in reply to a letter from the Secretary four days earlier in which he had suggested that Congress should go to Boston . Varying rumors as to the readiness of Virginia ex-Merrimack) kept Union blockading forces in Hampton Roads in a constant state of vigilance.

Boat crews under Acting Master William L. Martine from USS De Soto boarded and captured blockade runner Major Barbour at Isle Derniere , Louisiana , with cargo including gunpowder, niter, sulphur, percUSSion caps, and lead.

29 U.S. Storeship Supply, Commander George M. Colvocoresses, captured schooner Stephen Hart south of Sarasota , Florida , with cargo of arms and munitions.

30 USS Monitor, the Union's first sea-going ironclad vessel, launched at Greenpoint , New York . Assistant Secretary of the Navy Fox wired John Ericsson, referring to Monitor's launching: ''I congratulate you and trust she will be a success. Hurry her for sea, as the Merrimack is nearly ready at Norfolk , and we wish to send her here.''

Major General Halleck ordered the combined operation up the Tennessee, warned General Grant that the road were quagmires, and directed that the movement of troops, munitions, and supplies be convoyed by gunboats.

USS Conestoga, Lieutenant S. L. Phelps, and USS Lexington, Lieutenant Shirk, reconnoitered the Tennessee River, making final preparations for the attack on Fort Henry . Phelps, who performed yeoman service on the western waters, reported: ''In the right channel, and near the foot of the island, are numerous buoys, evidently marking the location of some kind of explosive machine or obstruction; these I think we can rake out with our boats.''

USS Kingfisher, Acting Lieutenant Joseph P. Couthouy, captured blockade runner Teresita, bound from Havana to Matamoras.

Confederate Commissioners Mason and Slidell arrived at Southampton , England .

31 Lieutenant Henry A. Wise wrote Flag Officer Foote regarding a conversation with President Lincoln on the western operations. The Commander in Chief was interested in the mortars because he wanted Foote to have enough gunpower "to rain the rebels out." Wise stated: "He is an evidently practical man, understands precisely what he wants, and is not turned aside by anyone when he has his work before him. He knows and appreciates your past and present arduous services, and is firmly resolved to afford you every aid in the work in hand. The additional smooth howitzers you asked for were ordered two days ago." Meanwhile, Foote telegraphed the Bureau of Ordnance, requesting powder and primers. He added: "I am apprehensive that the Army will not permit the men, as the colonels and captains do not readily give their assent. I am shipping men by 'runners at Chicago and elsewhere.' I can move with four armed [armored] and three other gunboats at any moment, and am only waiting for men (with the exception of the Benton ) to be ready with all the gunboats." The Army could not he blamed, as Foote well understood, for reluctance to weaken its units. They, too, had been given jobs to do and had to present trained, effective units in the hour of need.

A British memorandum reaching the Confederacy, regarding the effectiveness of the Union blockade and sinking of the stone fleet in Charleston harbor, presented the views of various European nations: "About 10 days ago the English foreign office submitted the two following questions to the maritime powers of Europe: First. Is the sinking of the stone fleet. . an outrage on civilization? Second. Is the blockade effective . . . Is it now binding? France . . . pronounces the destruction of the harbor . . . 'vindictive vandalism' . . . the blockade to be 'ineffective and illegal' . . . PrUSSia winds up by declaring the sinking of the stone fleet to be a crime and outrage on civilization . . . Sardinia agrees with France, but . . . in even stronger terms .

Austria declares 'blockade altogether illegal' . . . Spain declares blockade . . . 'altogether ineffective . . . On the other hand, Secretary of the Navy Welles strongly maintained that the effectiveness of the blockade did ''destroy any pretext on the part of foreign governments to aid the Confederacy."

F ebruary 1862

1 Flag Officer Foote telegraphed Washington from Cairo : "I leave early to-morrow with four armored gunboats on an expedition cooperating with the Army. Senior officer will telegraph you during my absence. Nothing new about the mortars. Twenty-nine men shipped from regiments yesterday and three to-day."

USS Portsmouth, Commander Swartwout, captured blockade running steamer Labuan at the mouth of the Rio Grande River with cargo of cotton.

USS Montgomery, Lieutenant Jouett, captured schooner Isabel in the Gulf of Mexico .

2 USS Hartford , Flag Officer Farragut, departed Hampton Roads for Ship Island , Mississippi , where Farragut took command of the Western Gulf Blockading Squadron preparatory to the assault on New Orleans .

In his battle plan and orders to gunboats, Flag Officer Foote emphasized the need for coolness and precision of fire: ''Let it be also distinctly impressed upon the mind of every man firing a gun that, while the first shot may be either of too much elevation or too little, there is no excuse for a second wild fire, as the first will indicate the inaccuracy of the aim of the gun, which must be elevated or depressed, or trained, as circumstances require. Let it be reiterated that random firing is not only a mere waste of ammunition, but, what is far worse, it encourages the enemy when he sees shot and shell falling harmlessly about and beyond him . . . The Commander in Chief has every confidence in the spirit and valor of officers and men under his command, and his only solicitude arises lest the firing should be too rapid for precision, and that coolness and order, so essential to complete success, should not be observed, and hence he has in this general order expressed his views, which must be observed by all under his command." He directed Lieutenant S. L. Phelps, upon the surrender of Fort Henry, to proceed with ''Conestoga, Tyler, and Lexington up the river to where the railroad bridge crosses, and, if the army shall not already have got possession, he will destroy so much of the track as will entirely prevent its use by the rebels. He will then proceed as far up the river as the stage of water will admit and capture the enemy's gunboats and other vessels which might prove available to the enemy."

3 Having left his headquarters at Cairo on 2 February en route Fort Henry, Flag Officer Foote ordered USS Essex and St. Louis to proceed from Paducah to Pine Bluff, 65 miles up the Ten­nessee, ''for the purpose of protecting the landing of the troops on their arrival at that point." The. Army commanders had recognized for some time that the mobility and fire power of the gunboats were viral in support of land forces operating along the rivers. Brigadier General C. F. Smith had well expressed this earlier: "The Conestoga, gunboat, admirably commanded by Lieuten­ant Phelps of the Navy, is my only security in this quarter. He is constantly moving his vessel up and down the Tennessee and Cumberland ." The same day, Foote wrote Secretary of the Navy Welles that he would have had more ships to take against the fort but for want of men. "The volunteers from the Army to go in the gunboats exceed the number of men required, but the derangement of companies and regiments'' had permitted few to transfer afloat. Major General Halleck wired Foote from St. Louis : ''General Grant is authorized to furnish men for temporary gunboat duty by detail. Men will be sent from here as soon as collected. Arrange with General Grant for temporary crews, so that there may be no delay." The following day, Commander Kilty, left in charge of naval matters at Cairo by Foote, advised Halleck that permanent details were needed, not temporary ones. Grant advised Halleck: ''Will be off up the Tennessee at 6 o'clock. Command, 23 regiments in all." Grant's troops embarked in transports at Cairo and Paducah ; Foote's gunboats took the lead. Behind this spearhead and battering ram, the dismemberment of the South began.

CSS Nashville , Lieutenant Robert B. Pegram, departed Southampton , England . H.M.S. Shannon stood by to enforce the Admiralty ruling that USS Tuscarora could not leave the port for twenty-four hours after the sailing of Nashville .

4 Brigadier General Lloyd Tilghman, gallant defender of Fort Henry , informed General John B. Floyd: "Gunboats and transports in Tennessee River . Enemy landing in force 5 miles below Fort Henry ." After initiating the debarkation of troops below Fort Henry , Flag Officer Foote, in USS Cincinnati with General Grant on board, took the four ironclad gunboats that he had been able to man up the Tennessee for reconnoitering, and exchanged shots with the Confederate gunners. Torpedoes, planted in the river but torn loose by the flooding waters, floated by. Foote had some fished out for inspection. He and Grant went aft to watch the disassembling of one. According to a reminiscence, suddenly there was a strange hiss. The deck was rapidly cleared. Grant beat Foote to the top of the ladder. When Foote asked the General about his hurry, Grant replied that ''the Army did not believe in letting the Navy get ahead of it.''

5 USS Keystone State, Commander William E. Le Roy, captured British blockade runner Mars with cargo of salt off Fernandina , Florida .

6 Naval forces under Flag Officer Foote, comprising the partially ironclad gunboats USS Essex, Carondelet, Cincinnati, St. Louis and wooden gunboats USS Tyler, Conestoga, and Lexington, cap­tured strategic Fort Henry on the Tennessee River. Originally planned as a joint expedition under Flag Officer Foote and General Grant, heavy rains the two days before the attack delayed the troop movements, and the gunboats attacked alone. Accurate fire from the gunboats pounded the fort and forced Brigadier General Tilghman, CSA, with all but four of his defending guns useless, to strike his flag and surrender to Foote. USS Essex, Commander W. D. Porter, was disabled during the engagement. In continuing operations the three days following the capitu­lation of Fort Henry, USS Tyler, Conestoga, and Lexington, under Lieutenant S. L. Phelps, swept and one he deeply mourned.'' The evacuation of Norfolk three months later, caused in part by the loss of Roanoke Island , was a far greater loss. The abandonment of the great industrial navy yard and the destruction of CSS Virginia were serious reverses that had far-reaching effect upon the Confederacy's ability to resist at sea.

8 A Confederate gunner captured at Fort Henry made the following statement attesting to the extreme effectiveness of USS Carondelet's gunfire during the attack: ' The center boat, or the boat with the red stripes around the top of her smokestacks, was the boat which caused the greatest execution. It was one of her guns which threw a ball against the muzzle of one of our guns, disabling it for the remainder of the contest. The Carondelet (as I subsequently found her name to be) at each shot committed more damage than any other boat. She was the object of our hatred, and many a gun from the fort was leveled at her alone. To her I give more credit than any other boat in capturing one of our strongest places." The success of Flag Officer Foote's armored gun­boats spread panic and exaggerated their capabilities in Confederate as well as Union minds. General Johnston wrote in a letter to the Confederate War Department: ''The slight resistance at Fort Henry indicates that the best open earthworks are not reliable to meet successfully a vigorous attack of ironclad gunboats." He concluded that Fort Donelson would also fall. This would open the way to Nashville . ''The occurrence of the misfortune of losing the fort will cut off the communication of the force here under General Hardee from the south bank of the Cumberland . To avoid the disastrous consequences of such an event, I ordered General Hardee yesterday to make, as promptly as it could be done, preparations to fall back to Nashville and cross the river. The movements of the enemy on my right flank would have made a retrograde in that direction to confront the enemy indispensable in a short time. But the probability of having the ferriage of this army corps across the Cumberland intercepted by the gunboats of the enemy admits of no delay in making the movement. Generals Beauregard and Hardee are, equally with myself, impressed with the necessity of withdrawing our force from this line at once.''

Captain Buchanan ordered CSS Patrick Henry, Commander Tucker, and CSS Jamestown, Lieu­tenant Joseph N. Barney, to be kept in a constant state of readiness '' to cooperate with the Merrimack when that ship is ready for service.

USS Conestoga, Lieutenant S. L. Phelps, seized steamers Sallie Wood and Muscle at Chickasaw, Alabama . The Confederates destroyed three other vessels to prevent their capture, bringing the total losses resulting from the fall of Fort Henry to nine.

10 Following the capture of Roanoke Island, a naval flotilla, including embarked Marines, under Commander Rowan in USS Delaware, pursuing Flag Officer Lynch's retiring Confederate naval force up the Pasquotank River , engaged the gunboats and batteries at Elizabeth City, North Caro­lina. CSS Ellis was captured and CSS Seabird was sunk; CSS Black Warrior, Fanny, and Forrest were set on fire to avoid capture; the fort and batteries at Cobb's Point were destroyed. Of Commander Rowan's success, Admiral Daniel Ammen later wrote: ''Nothing more brilliant in naval 'dash' occurred during the entire Civil War than appears in this attack.'' One example of "dash" was called to Flag Officer L. N. Goldsborough's attention by Commander Rowan. ''I would respectfully call your attention to one incident of the engagement which reflects much credit upon a quarter gunner of the Valley City and for which Congress has provided rewards in the shape of medals. A shot passed through her magazine and exploded in a locker beyond containing fireworks. The commander, Lieutenant Commander Chaplain, went there to aid in sup­pressing the fire, where he found John Davis, quarter gunner, seated with commendable coolness on an open barrel of powder as the only means to keep the fire out.'' For demonstrating such courage, ''while at the same time passing powder to provide the division on the upper deck while under fierce enemy fire,'' Davis was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor by General Order 11, 3 April 1863.

Flag Officer Foote, amidst repairing battle damages and working feverishly to get other gunboats ready, received repeated requests from Major General Halleck to ''send gunboats up the Cumber­land. Two will answer if he can send no more. They must precede the transports. I am strain­ing every nerve to send troops to take Dover and Clarksville . Troops are on their way. All we want is gunboats to precede the transports.''

Secretary of the Navy Welles forwarded to Commander D. D. Porter the names of 22 sailing vessels and 7 steamers which would comprise the Mortar Flotilla. This potent force, to which would be added USS Owasco," as soon as she can be got ready," conducted an intensive bombardment of Forts Jackson and St. Philip, preparatory to Flag Officer Farragut's drive past these heavy works to New Orleans.

General Robert E. Lee wrote Confederate Secretary of War Benjamin: 'From the reports of General Mercer as to the inability of the batteries of Saint Simon's and Jekyl Islands to with­stand the attack of the enemy' s fleet, the isolated condition of those islands, and the impossibility of reenforcing him with guns or men, I have given him authority, should he retain that opinion upon a calm review of the whole subject, to act according to his discretion; and, if deemed ad­visable by him, to withdraw to the mainland and take there a defensible position for the protec­tion of the country

Captain Buchanan reported that Merrimack had not yet received her crew, "not withstanding all my efforts to procure them from the Army.'' Shortage of trained seamen restricted the Con­federacy's efforts to build naval strength.

11 Flag Officer Foote, foreseeing the realities of the situation into which he was being pulled by the tide of events, wrote Secretary of the Navy Welles: ''I leave [Cairo again to-night with the Louisville, Pittsburg, and St. Louis for the Cumberland River, to cooperate with the army in the attack on Fort Donelson.
I shall do all in my power to render the gunboats effective in the fight, although they are not properly manned. If we could wait ten days, and I had men, I would go with eight mortar boats and six armored boats and conquer.'' Despite the serious difficulties they faced, Foote and his gunboat fleet made what General Grant was to term ad­miringly ''a gallant attack.''

13-15 USS Pembina, Lieutenant John P. Bankhead, discovered a battery of ''tin-can'' torpedoes (mines) while engaged in sounding Savannah River above the mouth of Wright's River. The mines, only visible at low tide, were connected by wires and moored individually to the bottom. The following day, Bankhead returned and effected the removal of one of the '' infernal machines'' for purposes of examination. On the 15th Bankhead ''deemed it more prudent to endeavor to sink the remaining ones than to attempt to remove them,'' and sank the mines by rifle fire. Tor­pedoes were planted in large numbers in the harbors and rivers of the Confederacy, constituting a major hazard which Union commanders had to consider and reckon with in planning operations.

14 Gunboats USS St. Louis, Carondelet, Louisville , Pittsburg , Tyler, and Conestoga under Flag Officer Foote joined with General Grant in attacking Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River . Donel­son, on high ground, could subject the gunboats to a plunging fire and was a more difficult objec­tive than Fort Henry . Foote did not consider the gunboats properly prepared for the assault on Donelson so soon after the heavy action at Fort Henry ; nevertheless, at the ''urgent request'' of both Grant and General Halleck to reduce the fortifications, Foote moved against the Confederate works. Bitter fire at close range opened on both sides. St. Louis , the flagship, was hit fifty-nine times and lost steering control, as did Louisville . Both disabled vessels drifted down stream; the gunboat attack was broken off. Flag Officer Foote sustained injuries which forced him to give up command three months later. Fort Donelson surrendered to Grant on 16 February. Major General Lewis Wallace, speaking of the renewed gunboat support on 15 February, summed up the substantial role of the gunboats in the victory: "I recollect yet the positive pleasure the sounds [naval gunfire] gave me . . the obstinacy and courage of the Commodore Was the attack ''of assistance to us''? ''I don't think there is room to question it. It distracted the enemy S attention, and I fully believe it was the gunboats . . . that operated to prevent a general movement of the rebels up the river or across it, the night before the surrender.'' Coining quickly after the fall of Fort Henry , the capture of Fort Donelson by a combined operation had a heavy impact on both sides. News of the fall of Fort Donelson created great excitement in New Orleans where the press placed much blame on Secretary of the Navy Mallory because ''we are so wretch­edly helpless on the water." With their positions in Kentucky now untenable, the Confeder­ates had to withdraw, assuring that state to the Union . On the Mississippi , Confederate forces fell back on Island No. 10. Nashville could not be held, and the Union armies were poised to sweep down into the heart of the South.

Armed boat from USS Restless, Acting lieutenant Edward Conroy, captured and destroyed sloop Edisto and schooners Wandoo, Eliabeth, and Theodore Stony off Bull's Bay, South Carolina; all ships carried heavy cargoes of rice for Charleston.

Confederate ships sank obstructions in Cape Fear River near Fort Caswell , North Carolina , in an effort to block the channel.

USS Galena, experimental seagoing ironclad, launched at Mystic, Connecticut .

15 Four Confederate gunboats under Commodore Tattnall attacked Union batteries at Venus Point, on Savannah River , Georgia , but were forced back to Savannah . Tattnall was attempting to effect the passage of steamer Ida from Fort Pulaski to Savannah .

16 Gunboats of Flag Officer Foote's force destroyed the "Tennessee Iron Works" above Dover on the Cumberland River . General McClellan wired Flag Officer Foote from Washington .' "Sorry you are wounded. How seriously? Your conduct magnificent. With what force do you return? I send nearly 600 sailors for you to-morrow.

17 Ironclad CSS Virginia (ex-USS Merrimack ) commissioned, Captain Franklin Buchanan commanding.

Flag Officer Foote informed Secretary of the Navy Welles: ''I leave immediately with a view of proceeding to Clarksville with eight mortar boats and two ironclad boats, with the Conestoga, wooden boat, as the river is rapidly falling. The other ironclad boats are badly cut up and require extensive repairs. I have sent one of the boats already since my return and ordered a second to follow me, which, with eight mortars, hope to carry Clarksville ."

18 USS Ethan Allen, Acting Lieutenant Eaton, entered Clearwater harbor, Florida , and captured schooner Spitfire and sloops Atlanta and Caroline.

19 Confederates evacuated Clarksville , Tennessee . Colonel W. H. Allen, CSA, reported to General Floyd: ''Gunboats are coming; they are just below point; can see steamer here. Will try and see how many troops they have before I leave. Lieutenant Brady set bridge on fire, but it is burning very slowly and will probably go out before it falls." Asking in a postscript that any orders for him be sent "promptly," Allen noted that "I will have to go in a hurry when I go." Union forces under Flag Officer Foote occupied Fort Defiance and took possession of the town. Foote urged an immediate move on Nashville and notified Army headquarters in Cairo : "The Cumberland is in a good stage of water and General Grant and I believe we can take Nashville ."

Trial run of two-gun ironclad USS Monitor in New York harbor. Chief Engineer Alban C. Stimers, USN, reported on the various difficulties that were presented during the trial run of Monitor and concluded that her speed would be approximately 6 knots, "though Captain Ericsson feels confident of 8."

USS Delaware, Commander Rowan, and USS Commodore Perry, Lieutenant FlUSSer, on a recon­naissance of the Chowan River , engaged Confederate troops at Winton , North Carolina . The following day Rowan's force covered the landing of Union troops who entered the town, de­stroying military stores and Confederate troop quarters before re-embarking.

USS Brooklyn, Captain T. T. Craven, and USS South Carolina, Lieutenant Hopkins, captured steamer Magnolia in the Gulf of Mexico with large cargo of cotton.

General Robert E. Lee, harassed by the Confederate inability to cope with the guns of the Union fleet, wrote Brigadier General Trapier regarding the defenses of Florida: ''In looking at the whole defense of Florida, it becomes important to ascertain what points can probably be held and what points had better be relinquished. The force that the enemy can bring against any position where he can concentrate his floating batteries renders it prudent and proper to withdraw from the islands to the mainland and be prepared to contest his advance into the interior. Where an island offers the best point of defense, and is so connected with the main that its communica­tions cannot be cut off, it may be retained. Otherwise it should be abandoned."

20 Flag Officer Farragut arrived at Ship Island to begin what Secretary of the Navy Welles termed the "most important operation of the war" the assault on New Orleans . In his instruction of 10 February to the Flag Officer, Welles observed: "If successful, you open the way to the sea for the great West, never again to be closed. The rebellion will be riven in the center, and the flag to which you have been so faithful will recover its supremacy in every State." For some weeks prior to Farragut's arrival, Union forces had been gathering at the Ship Island staging area. As early as 30 December, General Bragg, CSA, had written from Mobile : "The enemy's vessels, some twenty, are below, landing supplies and large bodies of troops on Ship Island ." With an inadequate naval force, however, the Confederates were unable to contest the steady build-up of Northern strength.

Major General John E. Wool at Fort Monroe, on hearing a report that Newport News was to be attacked by Virginia, wrote Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton: ''We want a larger naval force than we have at present. Meanwhile, the same day, Secretary of the Navy Welles was writing Lieutenant Worden: "Proceed with the USS Monitor, under your command, to Hampton Roads, Virginia.

Brigadier General George W. Cullum, General Halleck's Chief of Staff at Cairo, relayed an urgent message from General McClellan regarding the gunboats to Lieutenant S. L. Phelps: ''General McClellan gives most emphatic order to have gun and mortar boats here ready by Monday morn­ing. Must move on Columbus with at least four serviceable gunboats and mortar boats. Only two gunboats at all serviceable here, and but one mortar boat, three being ashore.''

Flag Officer L. M. Goldsborough wrote Assistant Secretary of the Navy Fox: "At Washing­ton , and also at Newberne [ North Carolina ] the obstructions in the river are very formidable, and admirably placed. They consist of a double row of piles thoroughly well driven by steam, and sunken vessels. The rows are at right angles to the shore and parallel with each other. One stretches all the way from the right bank nearly over to the left, and the other all the way from the left bank nearly over to the right, and there is a battery of considerable force on either bank between them; so that attacking vessels must first go bows on to one, and then after passing it, be raked aft by one and forward by the other at the same time.'' The Confederates sought to reduce the Union Navy's effectiveness by well-placed obstructions, making passage of shore batteries difficult and costly.

Armed boat expedition from USS New London, Lieutenant A. Read, captured 12 small sloops and schooners at Cat Island , Mississippi , suspected of being used as pilot vessels by blockade runners.

USS Portsmouth, Commander Swartwout, captured sloop Pioneer off Boca Chica , Texas , with cargo of tobacco.

21 Flag Officer Farragut formally relieved Flag Officer McKean as Commander, Western Gulf Block­ading Squadron. As his other ships arrived, he assembled them at the Southeast Pass and sent those whose draft permitted over the bar to conduct the blockade ''in the river.'' Secretary of the Navy Welles had sent Farragut supplementary confidential instructions, spelling out what had been discUSSed in conference: ''When the Hartford is in all respects ready for sea, you will proceed to the Gulf of Mexico with all possible dispatch . . . There will be attached to your squadron a fleet of bomb-vessels and armed steamers, enough to manage them," under Commander D. D. Porter. Key West , preserved for the Union by the energy and foresight of naval commanders, would play the key role it has played throughout the United States ' history as a naval base, rendezvous and training center for operations east, west, and south. He instructed Farragut to ''proceed up the Mississippi River and reduce the defenses which guard the approaches to New Orleans, when you will appear off that city and take possession of it under the guns of your squadron, and hoist the American flag therein, keeping possession until troops can be sent to you. . . There are other operations of minor importance which will commend themselves to your judgment and skill, but which must not be allowed to interfere with the great object in view the certain capture of the city of New Orleans.''

22 Union naval vessels entered Savannah River through Wall's Cut, isolating Fort Pulaski .

Flag Officer Farragut ordered Coast Survey team to sound the Mississippi passes and to mark out the safest channel.

23 Flag Officer Du Pont wrote Senator James W. Grimes from Iowa, a member of the Committee on Naval Affairs of his departure for continued operations on the South Atlantic Coast: "I am off tomorrow with a large division of my squadron to complete my work on the lower coast, and if God is with us, in some three weeks I hope to hold everything by and inside or outside blockade from Cape Canaveral to Georgetown, S.C." The Confederacy would withdraw inland as a result of Du Pont's efforts.

Flag Officer Foote, with Brigadier General Cullum, reconnoitered the Mississippi River down to Columbus , the anchor of the powerful Confederate defenses. He reported proceeding "with four ironclad boats, two mortar boats and three transports containing 1,000 men." Lieutenant Gwin, in USS Tyler, conducted a reconnaissance of the Tennessee River to Eastport , Missis­sippi . At Clifton , Tennessee , Gwin seized 1,100 sacks and barrels of flour and some 6,000 bushels of wheat.

Charles Wilkinson drowns in Savannah harbor when the submarine that he and Charlie Carroll sinks during diving trials.

24 Captain Buchanan, CSN, ordered to command James River, Virginia, naval defenses, and to fly his flag on board CSS Virginia; the squadron consisted of CSS Virginia, and the small gunboats CSS Patrick Henry, Jamestown, Teaser, Raleigh, and Beaufort. In his orders to Buchanan Secretary of the Navy Mallory added: "The Virginia is a novelty in naval construction, un­tried, and her powers unknown; and hence the department will not give specific orders as to her attack upon the enemy. Her powers as a ram are regarded as very formidable, and it is hoped you will be able to test them. Like the bayonet charge of infantry, this mode of attack, while the most destructive, will commend itself to you in the present scarcity of ammunition. It is one also that may be rendered destructive at night against the enemy at anchor. Even without guns the ship would, it is believed, be formidable as a ram. Could you pass Old Point and make a dashing cruise in the Potomac as far as Washington , its effect upon the public mind would be important to our cause. The condition of our country, and the painful reverses we have just suffered, demand our utmost exertions; and convinced as I am that the opportunity and the means for striking a decisive blow for our navy are now, for the first time, presented, I congratu­late you upon it, and know that your judgment and gallantry will meet all just expectations. Action, prompt and successful just now, would be of serious importance to our cause.

USS Harriet Lane , Lieutenant Jonathan M. Wainwright, captured schooner Joanna Ward off the coast of Florida . Wainwright was the grandfather of the General of the same name who was compelled to surrender Bataan in World War II.

25 USS Monitor commissioned in New York , Lieutenant John L. Worden commanding. Captain Dahlgren described Monitor as ''a mere speck, like a hat on the surface.''

USS Cairo, Lieutenant Nathaniel Bryant, arrived at Nashville , convoying seven steam transports with troops under Brigadier General William Nelson, one of two ex-naval officers assigned to duty with the Army. Troops were landed and occupied the Tennessee capital, an important base on the Cumberland River , without opposition. Meanwhile, the demand for the gunboats mounted steadily. From President Lincoln to widely separated field commanders, everyone recog­nized their importance. General McClellan wired Major General Halleck: ''I learn from tele­graph of Commodore Foote to the Navy Department that you have ordered that no gunboats go above Nashville . I think it may greatly facilitate Buell's operations to send a couple at least of the lighter ones to Nashville . Captain Maynadier, Tenth Infantry, will be ordered to Commo­dore Foote, at his request, as his ordnance officer for mortar boats." With the fall of Forts Henry and Donelson the Confederates retreated precipitously, abandoning strong positions, valu­able ordnance, and supplies. Moreover, at Nashville and elsewhere on the river they lost badly needed manufacturing facilities. Flag Officer Foote quoted a Nashville paper as stating: ''We had nothing to fear from a land attack, but the gunboats are the devil."

USS Kingfisher, Acting Lieutenant Couthouy, captured blockade runner Lion in the Gulf of Mexico after a three day chase.

USS Mohican, Commander Godon, and USS Bienville, Commander Steedman, captured block­ade running British schooner Arrow off Fernandina, Florida.

USS R. B. Forbes, Acting Lieutenant William Flye, grounded in a gale near Nag's Head, North Carolina , and was ordered destroyed by her commanding officer to prevent her falling to the Confederates. She had been ordered to the mortar flotilla below New Orleans .

26 CSS Nashville , Lieutenant Pegram, captured and burned schooner Robert Gilfillan, bound from Philadelphia to Haiti with cargo of provisions.

USS Bienville, Commander Steedman, captured schooner Alert off St. John's , Florida . New Orleans "Committee of Safety" reported to President Davis regarding the "most deplorable condition" of the finances of the Navy Department there, stating that it was preventing the enlistment of men and that the "outstanding indebtedness can not be less than $600,000 or $800,000" owing to foundries and machine shops, draymen, and other suppliers, and that for months "a sign has been hanging over the paymaster's office of that department, 'No funds.'

The Committee stated that ''unless the proper remedy is at once applied, workmen can no longer be had."

27 Delayed one day by a lack of ammunition for her guns, USS Monitor, Lieutenant Worden, departed the New York Navy Yard for sea, but was compelled to turn back to the Yard because of steering failure. The same day at Norfolk , Flag Officer Forrest, CSN, commanding the Navy Yard, reported that want of gun powder, too, was delaying the readiness of Virginia to begin operations against the Union blockading ships.

28 CSS Nashville , Lieutenant Pegram, ran the blockade into Beaufort , North Carolina .

March 1862

1 USS Tyler, Lieutenant Gwin, and USS Lexington, Lieutenant Shirk, engaged Confederate forces preparing to strongly fortify Shiloh (Pittsburg Landing), Tennessee . Under cover of the gunboats' cannon, a landing party of sailors and Army sharpshooters was put ashore from armed boats to determine Confederate strength in the area. Flag Officer Foote commended Gwin for his successful "amphibious" attack where several sailors met their death along with their Army comrades. At the same time he added: "But I must give a general order that no commander will land men to make an attack on shore. Our gunboats are to be used as forts, and as they have no more men than are necessary to man the guns, and as the Army must do the shore work, and as the enemy want nothing better than to entice our men on shore and overpower them with superior numbers, the commanders must not operate on shore, but confine themselves to their vessels."

Flag Officer Foote again requested funds to keep the captured Eastport. He telegraphed: "I have applied to the Secretary of the Navy to have the rebel gunboat, Eastport, lately captured in the Tennessee River , fitted up as a gunboat, with her machinery in and lumber. She can be fitted out for about $20,000, and in three weeks. We want such a fast and powerful boat. Do telegraph about her, as we now have carpenters and cargo ahead on her and she is just what we want. I should run about in her and save time and do good service, Our other ironclad boats are too slow. The Eastport was a steamer on the river, and she, being a good boat, would please the West. No reply yet from the Secretary and time is precious." Had the Confederates been able to complete this fine ship, over 100 feet longer than the armored gunboats, before the rise of the rivers enabled the Federal forces to move with such devastating effect, she could well have disrupted the whole series of Union victories and postponed the collapse of Confederate defenses.

USS Mount Vernon, Commander Glisson, captured blockade running British schooner British Queen off Wilmington with cargo including salt and coffee.

3 Flag Officer Du Pont, commanding joint amphibious expedition to Fernandina , Florida , reported to Secretary of the Navy Welles that he was "in full possession of Cumberland Island and Sound, of Fernandina and Amelia Island , and the river and town of St. Mary 's." Confederate defenders were in the process of withdrawing heavy guns inland from the area and offered only token resist­ance to Du Pont's force. Fort Clinch on Amelia Island , occupied by an armed boat crew from USS Ottawa, had been seized by Confederates at the beginning of the war and was the first fort to be retaken by the Union . Commander Drayton on board Ottawa took a moving train under fire near Fernandina, while launches under Commander C. R. P. Rodgers captured steamer Darlington with a cargo of military stores. Du Pont had only the highest praise for his association with Brig­adier General Wright, commanding the brigade of troops on the expedition: "Our plans of action have been matured by mutual consultation, and have been carried into execution by mutual help." The Fernandina operation placed the entire Georgia coast actually in the possession or under the control of the Union Navy. Du Pont wrote Senator Grimes three days late? that: "The victory was bloodless, but most complete in results." Du Pont also noted that: ''The most curious feature of the operations was the chase of a train of cars by a gunboat for one mile and a half-two soldiers were killed, the passengers rushed out in the woods The expedition was a prime example of sea-land mobility and of what General Robert E. Lee meant when he said: "Against ordinary numbers we are pretty strong, but against the hosts our enemies seem able to bring everywhere, there is no calculating."

4 Union forces covered by Flag Officer Foote's gunboat flotilla, now driving down the Mississippi , occupied strongly fortified Columbus , Kentucky , which the Confederates had been compelled to evacuate. Foote reported that the reconnaissance by USS Cincinnati and Louisville two days earlier had hastened the evacuation, the rebels leaving quite a number of guns and carriages, ammunition, and large quantity of shot and shell, a considerable number of anchors, and the rem­nant of chain lately stretched across the river, with a large number of torpedoes.'' The powerful fort, thought by many to be impregnable, had fallen without a struggle. Brigadier General Cullum wrote: "Columbus, the Gibraltar of the West, is ours and Kentucky is free, thanks to the brilliant strategy of the campaign, by which the enemy's center was pierced at Forts Henry and Donelson, his wings isolated from each other and turned, compelling thus the evacuation of his strongholds at Bowling Green first and now Columbus."

Confederate Secretary of the Navy Mallory summarized his Navy's needs to President Davis: fifty light-draft and powerful steam propellers, plated with 5- inch hard iron, armed and equipped for service in our own waters, four iron or steel-clad single deck, ten gun frigates of about 2,000 tons, and ten clipper propellers with superior marine engines, both classes of ships designed for deep- sea cruising, 3,000 tons of first-class boiler-plate iron, and 1,000 tons of rod, bolt, and bar iron are means which this Department could immediately employ. We could use with equal advantage 3,000 instructed seamen, and 4,000 ordinary seamen and landsmen, and 2,000 first rate mechanics.''

Commander Daniel B. Ridgely, USS Santiago de Cuba, reported the capture of sloop O.K. off Cedar Keys, Florida , in February. Proceeding to St. Mark's , Florida , O.K. foundered in heavy seas.

5 Flag Officer Foote observed that the gunboats could not immediately attack the Confederate defenses at Island No. 10, down the river from Columbus . "The gunboats have been so much cutup in the late engagements at Forts Henry and Donelson in the pilot houses, hulls, and disabled machinery, that I could not induce the pilots to go in them again in a fight until they are repaired. I regret this, as we ought to move in the quickest possible time, but I have declined doing it, being utterly unprepared, although General Halleck says go, and not wait for repairs; but that can not be done without creating a stampede amongst the pilots and most of the newly made officers, to say nothing of the disasters which must follow if the rebels fight as they have done of late." Two days later he added other information: "The Benton is underway and barely stems the strong current of the Ohio, which is 5 knots per hour in this rise of water, but hope, by putting her between two ironclad steamers to-morrow, she will stem the current and work comparatively well . . . I hope on Wednesday [12 March] to take down seven ironclad gunboats and ten mortar boats to attack Island No. 10 and New Madrid. As the current in the Mississippi is in some places 7 knots per hour, the ironclad boats can hardly return here, therefore we must go well prepared, which detains us longer than even you would imagine necessary from your navy-yard and smooth-water standpoint . . . We are doing our best, but our difficulties and trials are legion."

Flag Officer Farragut issued a general order to the fleet in which he stressed gunnery and damage control training. ''I expect every vessel's crew to be well exercised at their guns . . . They must he equally well trained for stopping shot holes and extinguishing fire. Hot and cold shot will no doubt be freely dealt us, and there must be stout hearts and quick hands to extinguish the one and stop the holes of the other."

USS Water Witch, Lieutenant Hughes, captured schooner William Mallory off St. Andrew's Bay, Florida .

6 Lieutenant Worden reported USS Monitor had passed over the bar in New York harbor with USS Currituck and Sachem in company. "In order to reach Hampton Roads as speedily as possi­ble,'' Worden wrote Secretary of the Navy Welles, ''whilst the fine weather lasts, I have been taken in tow by the tug [Seth Low]."

Commander Semmes, CSS Sumter, wrote J. M. Mason, Confederate Commissioner in London, it is quite manifest that there is a combination of all the neutral nations against us in this war and that in consequence we shall be able to accomplish little or nothing outside of our own waters. The fact is, we have got to fight this war out by ourselves, unaided, and that, too, in our own terms . . . The foreign intervention so much hoped for by the Confederacy was in large measure forestalled by the impressive series of Union naval successes and the effectiveness of the blockade.

USS Pursuit, Acting Lieutenant David Cate, captured schooner Anna Belle off Apalachicola , Florida .

8 Ironclad CSS Virginia, Captain Buchanan, destroyed wooden blockading ships USS Cumberland and USS Congress in Hampton Roads. Virginia , without trials or under way-training, headed directly for the Union squadron. She opened the engagement when less than a mile distant from Cumberland and the firing became general from blockaders and shore batteries. Virginia rammed Cumberland below the waterline and she sank rapidly, "gallantly fighting her guns," Buchanan reported in tribute to a brave foe, "as long as they were above water. Buchanan next turned Virginia 's fury on Congress, hard aground, and set her ablaze with hot shot and incen­diary shell. The day was Virginia 's but it was not without loss. Part of her ram was wrenched off and left imbedded in the side of stricken Cumberland , and Buchanan received a wound in the thigh which necessitated his turning over command to Lieutenant Catesby ap R. Jones. Secretary of the Navy Mallory wrote to President Davis of the action: "The conduct of the Officers and men of the squadron . . . reflects unfading honor upon themselves and upon the Navy. The report will be read with deep interest, and its details will not fail to rouse the ardor and nerve the arms of our gallant seamen. It will be remembered that the Virginia was a novelty in naval architecture, wholly unlike any ship that ever floated; that her heaviest guns were equal novelties in ordnance; that her motive power and obedience to her helm were untried, and her officers and crew strangers, comparatively, to the ship and to each other; and yet, under all these disadvan­tages, the dashing courage and consummate professional ability of Flag Officer Buchanan and his associates achieved the most remarkable victory which naval annals record.''

USS Monitor, Lieutenant Worden, arrived in Hampton Roads at night. The stage was set for the dramatic battle with CSS Virginia the following day. ' Upon the untried endurances of the new Monitor and her timely arrival,'' observed Captain Dahlgren, ''did depend the tide of events. . . "

Flag Officer Foote's doctor reported on the busy commander's injury received at Fort Donelson where, as always, he was in the forefront: ''Very little, if any, improvement has taken place in consequence of neglect of the main [requirements] of a cure, viz, absolute rest and horizontal position of the whole extremity."

USS Bohio, Acting Master W. D. Gregory, captured schooner Henry Travers off Southwest Pass , mouth of the Mississippi River .

9 Engagement lasting four hours took Place between USS Monitor, Lieutenant Worden, and CSS Virginia, Lieutenant Jones, mostly at close range in Hampton Roads. Although neither side could claim clear victory, this historic first combat between ironclads ushered in a new era of war at sea. The blockade continued intact, but Virginia remained as a powerful defender of the Norfolk area and a barrier to the use of the rivers for the movement of Union forces. Severe damage inflicted on wooden-hulled USS Minnesota by Virginia during an interlude in the fight with Monitor underscored the plight of a wooden ship confronted by an ironclad. The broad impact of the Monitor-Virginia battle on naval thinking was summarized by Captain Levin M. Powell of USS Potomac writing later from Vera Cruz: ''The news of the fight between the Monitor and the Merrimack has created the most profound sensation amongst the professional men in the allied fleet here. They recognize the fact, as much by silence as words, that the face of naval warfare looks the other way now and the superb frigates and ships of the line. . . supposed capable a month ago, to destroy anything afloat in half an hour . . . are very much diminished in their proportions, and the confidence once reposed in them fully shaken in the presence of these astounding facts." And as Captain Dahlgren phrased it: ''Now comes the reign of iron and cased sloops are to take the place of wooden ships."

Naval force under Commander Godon, consisting of USS Mohican, Pocahontas, and Potomska, took possession of St. Simon's and Jekyl Islands and landed at Brunswick , Georgia . All locations were found to be abandoned in keeping with the general Confederate withdrawal from the sea­coast and coastal islands.

USS Pinola, Lieutenant Crosby, arrived at Ship Island , Mississippi , with prize schooner Cora, captured in the Gulf of Mexico .

Landing party from USS Anacostia and Yankee of the Potomac Flotilla, Lieutenant Wyman, destroyed abandoned Confederate batteries at Cockpit Point and Evansport , Virginia , and found CSS Page blown up.

10 Amidst the Herculean labors of lightening and dragging heavy ships through the mud of the "19 ft. bar" that turned out to be 15 feet, and organizing the squadron, Flag Officer Farragut reported: I am up to my eyes in business. The Brooklyn is on the bar, and I am getting her off. I have just had Bell up at the head of the passes. My blockading shall be done inside as much as pos­sible. I keep the gunboats up there all the time . . . Success is the only thing listened to in his war, and I know that I must sink or swim by that rule. Two of my best friends have done me a great injury by telling the Department that the Colorado can be gotten over the bar into the river, and so I was compelled to try it, and take precious time to do it. If I had been left to myself, I would have been in before this."

Tug USS Whitehall, Acting Master William J. Baulsir, was accidentally destroyed by fire off Fort Monroe .

11 Landing party from USS Wabash, Commander C. R. P. Rodgers, occupied St. Augustine , Florida , which had been evacuated by Confederate troops in the face of the naval threat.

Two Confederate gunboats under construction at the head of Pensacola Bay were burned by Confederate military authorities to prevent their falling into Northern hands in the event of the anticipated move against Pensacola by Union naval forces.

12 Landing party under Lieutenant Thomas H. Stevens of USS Ottawa occupied Jacksonville , Florida , without opposition.

USS Gem of the Sea, Lieutenant Baxter, captured British blockade runner Fair Play off Georgetown, South Carolina .

Gunboats USS Tyler, Lieutenant Gwin, and USS Lexington, Lieutenant Shirk, engaged a Confederate battery at Chickasaw, Alabama, while reconnoitering the Tennessee River.

Baxter Watson and William McClintock launch Pioneer I in New Orleans .

13 Major General John P. McCown, CSA, ordered the evacuation of Confederate troops from New Madrid, Missouri, under cover of Flag Officer Hollins' gunboat squadron consisting of CSS Livingston, Polk, and Pontchartrain.

Flag Officer Foote advised Major General Halleck of the problems presented the partly armored ironclads by an attack downstream, much different difficulties than those encountered going up rivers in Tennessee: ''Your instructions to attack Island No. 10 are received, and I shall move for that purpose tomorrow morning. I have made the following telegram to the Navy Depart­ment, which you will perceive will lead me to be cautious, and not bring the boats within short range of the enemy's batteries. Generally, in all our attacks down the river, I will bear in mind the effect on this place and the other rivers, which a serious disaster to the gunboats would involve. General Strong is telegraphing Paducah for transports, as there are none at Cairo . The ironclad boats can not be held when anchored by stern in this current on account of the recess between the fantails forming the stern yawing them about, and as the sterns of the boats are not plated, and have but two 32-pounders astern, you will see our difficulty of fighting downstream effectually. Neither is there power enough in any of them to back upstream. We must, therefore, tie up to shore the best way we can and help the mortar boats. I have long since expressed to General Meigs my apprehensions about these boats' defects. Don't have my gunboats for rivers built with wheels amidships. The driftwood would choke the wheel, even if it had a powerful engine. I felt it my duty to state these difficulties, which could not be obviated, when I came here, as the vessels were modeled and partly built.''

Commander D. D. Porter reported the arrival of the mortar flotilla at Ship Island , and five days later took them over the bar and into the Mississippi in preparation for the prolonged bombard­ment of Forts Jackson and St. Philip.

14 Joint amphibious attack under Commander Rowan and Brigadier General Burnside captured Confederate batteries on the Neuse River and occupied New Bern, North Carolina, described by Rowan as "an immense depot of army fixtures and manufactures, of shot and shell Com­mander Rowan, with 13 war vessels and transports carrying 12,000 troops, departed his anchorage at Hatteras Inlet on 12 March, arriving in sight of New Bern that evening. Landing the troops, including Marines, the following day under the protecting guns of his vessels, Rowan continued close support of the Army advance throughout the day. The American flag was raised over Forts Dixie, Ellis, Thompson, and Lane on 14 Match, the formidable" obstructions in the river including torpedoes were passed by the gunboats, and troops were transported across Trent River to occupy the city. In addition to convoy, close gunfire support, and transport operations, the Navy captured two steamers, stores, munitions, and cotton, and supplied a how­itzer battery ashore under Lieutenant Roderick S. McCook, USN. Wherever water reached, combined operations struck heavy blows that were costly to the Confederacy.

Flag Officer Foote departed Cairo with seven gunboats USS Louisville was soon forced to return for repairs) and ten mortar boats to undertake the bombardment of Island No. 10, which stood astride the sweep of Union forces down the Mississippi . Foote wired Major General Halleck: " . . . I consider it unsafe to move without troops to occupy No. 10 if we [naval forces] capture it . . . should we pass No. 10 after its capture, the rebels on the Tennessee side would return and man their batteries and thus shut up the river in our rear."

15 Flag Officer Foote's flotilla moved from Hickman , Kentucky , down river to a position above Island No. 10. Foote reported, "The rain and dense fog prevented our getting the vessels in po­sition [to commence the bombardment] .

16 Union gunboats and mortar boats under Flag Officer Foote commenced bombardment of strongly fortified and strategically located Island No. 10 in the Mississippi River . After the loss of Forts Henry and Donelson, and as General Grant continued to wisely use the mobile force afloat at his disposal, the Confederates fell back on Island No. 10, concentrated artillery and troops, and prepared for an all-out defense of this bastion which dominated the river. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Gwin reported the operations of the wooden gunboats on the Tennessee River into Mississippi and Alabama where they kept constantly active: ''I reported to General Grant at Fort Foote on the 7th instant and remained at Danville Bridge, 25 miles above, awaiting the fleet of transports until Monday morning, by direction of General Grant, when, General Smith arriving with a large portion of his command, forty transports, I convoyed them to Savannah, arriving there without molestation on the 11th. The same evening, with General Smith and staff on board, made a reconnaissance of the river as high as Pittsburg . The rebels had not renewed their at­tempts to fortify at that point, owing to the vigilant watch that had been kept on them in my absence by Lieutenant Commanding Shirk.''

USS Owasco, Lieutenant John Guest, captured schooners Eugenia and President in the Gulf of Mexico with cargoes of cotton.

17 First elements of the Army of the Potomac under General McClellan departed Alexandria , Vir­ginia , for movement by water to Fort Monroe and the Navy- supported Peninsular Campaign aimed at capturing Richmond . His strategy was based on the mobility, flexibility, and massed gunfire support afforded by the Union Navy's control of the Chesapeake ; indeed, he was to be saved from annihilation by heavy naval guns.

USS Benton, with Flag Officer Foote on board, was lashed between USS Cincinnati and St. Louis to attack Island No. 10 and Confederate batteries on the Tennessee shore at a range of 2,000 yards. "The upper fort," Foote reported, "was badly cut up by the Benton and the other boats with her. We dismounted one of their guns . . . In the attack, Confederate gunners scored hits on Benton and damaged the engine of Cincinnati . A rifled gun burst on board St. Louis and killed or wounded a number of officers and men.

CSS Nashville , Lieutenant Pegram, ran the blockade out of Beaufort , North Carolina , through the gunfire of USS Cambridge, Commander W. A. Parker, and USS Gemsbok, Lieutenant Cavendy. News of the escape of Nashville caused concern to run high in Washington . Assistant Secretary of the Navy Fox wrote Flag Officer L. M. Goldsborough: "It is a terrible blow to our naval prestige . . . you can have no idea of the feeling here. It is a Bull Run of the Navy.''

18 USS Florida , James Adger, Sumpter, Flambeau, and Onward captured British blockade runner Emily St. Pierre off Charleston . The master and steward, left on board, overpowered prize master Josiah Stone off Cape Hatteras , recaptured the vessel, and sailed to Liverpool , England .

19 Flag Officer Foote's forces attacking Island No. 10 continued to meet with strong resistance from Confederate batteries. "This place, Island No. 10,'' Foote observed, ''is harder to conquer than Columbus , as the island shores are lined with forts, each fort commanding the one above it. We are gradually approaching . . . The mortar shells have done fine execution

Flag Officer Farragut described the noose of seapower: ''I sent over to Biloxi yesterday, and robbed the post-office of a few papers. They speak volumes of discontent. It is no use -the cord is pulling tighter, and I hope I shall he able to tie it. God alone decides the contest; but we must put our shoulders to the wheel."

20 Confederate President Davis wrote- regarding the defense of the James River approach to Rich­mond : "The position of Drewry's Bluff, seven or eight miles below Richmond was chosen to obstruct the river against such vessels as the Monitor. The work is being rapidly completely. Either Fort Powhatan or Kennon's Marsh, if found to be the proper positions, will be fortified and obstructed as at Drewry's Bluff, to prevent the ascent of the river by ironclad vessels. Block­ading the channel where sufficiently narrow by strong lines of obstructions, filling it with sub­mersive batteries [torpedoes], and flanking the obstructions by well protected batteries of the heaviest guns, seem to offer the best and speediest chances of protection with the means at our disposal against ironclad floating batteries.'' The Confederate Navy contributed in large part to these successful defenses that for three years resisted penetration. Naval crews proved especially effective in setting up and manning the big guns, many of which had come from the captured Navy Yard at Norfolk .

21 Major General Halleck wrote Flag Officer Foote, commenting on the Navy's operations against the Confederate batteries guarding Island No. 10: ''While I am certain that you have done every­thing that could be done successfully to reduce these works, I am very glad that you have not unnecessarily exposed your gunboats. If they had been disabled, it would have been a most serious loss to us in the future operations of the campaign . . . Nothing is lost by a little delay there." Foote's gunboat and mortar boat flotilla continued to bombard the works with telling effect.

22 CSS Florida , Acting Master John Low, sailing as British steamer Oreto, cleared Liverpool , Eng­land , for Nassau . The first ship built in England for the Confederacy, Florida 's four 7-inch rifled guns were sent separately to Nassau in steamer Bahama. Commander Bulloch, CSN, wrote Lieutenant John N. Maffitt, CSN: "Another ship will be ready in about two months . . . Two small ships can do but little in the way of materially turning the tide of war, but we can do something to illustrate the spirit and energy of our people

General Lovell wrote Secretary of War Benjamin that he bad six steamers of the River Defense Fleet to protect New Orleans. Lovell added: ''The people of New Orleans thought it strange that all the vessels of the Navy should be sent up the river and were disposed to find fault with sending in addition fourteen steamers leaving this city without a single vessel for protection against the enemy Confederate officials in Richmond were convinced than the greatest threat to New Orleans would come from upriver rather than from Flag Officer Farragut's force below Forts Jackson and St. Philip.

Boat crew from USS Penguin, Acting Lieutenant T. A. Budd, and USS Henry Andrew, Acting Master Mather, was attacked while reconnoitering Mosquito Inlet , Florida . Budd, Mather, and three others were killed.

24 Lieutenant Gwin, USS Tyler, reported the typically ceaseless activity of the gunboats: ''. since my last report, dated March 21, 1 have been actively employed cruising up and down the river. The Lexington arrived this morning. The 'Tyler, accompanied by the Lexington, proceeded up the river to a point 2 miles below Eastport, Mississippi, where we discovered the rebels were planting a new battery at an elevation above water of 60 (degrees), consisting of two guns, one apparently in position. We threw several shell into it, but failed to elicit a reply. The battery just below Eastport, consisting of two guns, then opened upon us. Their shot fell short. I stood up just outside of their range and threw three or four 20 [second] shell at that battery, none of which exploded, owing to the very defective fuze (army). The rebels did not respond. I have made no regular attack on their lately constructed batteries, as they are of no importance to us, our base of operations being so much below them. I have deemed it my duty, however, to annoy them, where I could with little or no risk to our gunboats . . . The Lexington , Lieu­tenant Commanding Shirk, will cruise down the river from this point. The Tyler will cruise above."

USS Pensacola, towing a chartered schooner into which she had discharged guns and stores at Ship Island , arrived at the mouth of the Mississippi . She grounded and failed on four attempts to cross the bar even though water conditions were favorable and small steamships were towing her through the mud on one occasion parting a hawser that killed two men and injured others.

25 CSS Pamlico, Lieutenant William G. Dozier, and CSS Oregon , Acting Master Abraham L. Myers, engaged USS New London, Lieutenant Read, at Pass Christian, Mississippi . The rifled gun on board Pamlico jammed during the nearly two hour engagement, and the Confederate ves­sels broke off the action, neither side having been damaged in the test of the strength of Flag Officer Farragut's gathering forces. Transports with General Butler and troops arrived at Ship Island which, until Pensacola was retaken, became the principal base for operations west of Key West . Flag Officer Farragut wrote: "I am now packed and ready for my departure to the mouth of the Mississippi River . . I spent last evening very pleasantly with General Butler. He does not appear to have any very difficult plan of operations, but simply to follow in my wake and hold what I can take. God grant that may be all that we attempt . . . victory. If I die in the attempt, it will only be what every officer has to expect. He who dies in doing his duty to his country, and at peace with his God, has played out the drama of life to the best advantage."

Confederate Secretary of the Navy Mallory ordered Flag Officer Tattnall to relieve the injured Flag Officer Buchanan and "take command of the naval defenses on the waters of Virginia and hoist your flag on board the Virginia ."

Reports of Confederate ironclads on the river disturbed Union commanders far and wide. Major General Halleck wired Flag Officer Foote: ''It is stated by men just arrived from New Orleans that the rebels are constructing one or more ironclad river boats to send against your flotilla. Moreover, it is said that they are to be cased with railroad iron like the Merrimack . If this is so I think a single boat might destroy your entire flotilla, pass our batteries and sweep the Western rivers. Could any of your gunboats be clad in the same way so as to resist the apprehended danger? If not, how long would it require to build a new one for that purpose? I have telegraphed to the Secretary of War for authority to have any suitable boat altered or prepared; or if there be none suitable, to build a new one. As no time is to be lost, if any one of the gunboats now in service will bear this change it should be taken in preference to building a new one. I shall await your answer. Could not the Essex be so altered?" Flag Officer Foote sent Lieutenant Joseph P. Sanford, his ordnance officer, to confer with the General on the subject and replied: ''There is no vessel now in the flotilla that can be armored as you suggest. This [ Benton ] is the only one which could bear the additional weight of iron required and she already is so deep and wanting in steam power that it would make her utterly useless with the additional weight of iron. I suggest that a strong boat be fitted up in St. Louis and armored in fact, two vessels-in the shortest possible manner, with a view of protecting the river at Cairo, or Columbus would do better, if it was fortified with heavy guns sweeping the river below. These boats will require at least a month to be fitted up. As to the place, etc., Lieutenant Sanford will consult with you. Commander Porter of the Essex, is also in St. Louis , who is fitting out the Essex , and who will remain there for the present. He will attend to the new boats and get them ready in the shortest possible time.''

Gunboat USS Cairo, Lieutenant Bryant, seized guns and equipment abandoned by Confederate troops evacuating Fort Zollicoffer, six miles below Nashville.

Gunboat USS Cayuga, Lieutenant Harrison, captured schooner Jessie J. Cox, en route from Mobile to Havana with cargo of cotton and turpentine.

26 Flag Officer Foote, off Island No. 10, dispatched a warning to Commander Alexander M. Pennock, his fleet captain at Cairo: "You will inform the commanders of the gunboats Cairo, Tyler, and Lexington not to be caught up the river with too little water to return to Cairo. They, of course, before leaving, will consult the generals with whom they are cooperating. As it is reported on the authority of different persons from New Orleans that the rebels have thirteen gunboats finished and ready to move up the Mississippi, besides the four or five below New Madrid, and the Manassas or ram, at Memphis, the boats now up the rivers and at Columbus or Hickman, should be ready to protect Cairo or Columbus in case disaster overtakes us in our flotilla." Union commanders in the west and elsewhere recognized how much the margin of Union superiority and the power to thrust deep into the Confederacy depended upon the gunboats, and care was exercised not to lose the effectiveness of this mobile force. Meanwhile, greatly concerned about threats of Confederate naval ironclads, Secretary of War Stanton wired the President of the Board of Trade at Pittsburg : "This Department desires the immediate aid of your association in the following particulars 1st. That you would appoint three of its active members most familiar with steamboat and engine building who would act in concert with this Department and under its direction, and from patrio­tic motives devote some time and attention for thirty days in purchasing and preparing such means of defense on the Western waters against ironclad boats as the engineers of this Department may devise . . My object is to bring the energetic, patriotic spirit and enlightened, practical judg­ment of your city to aid the Government in a matter of great moment, where hours must count and dollars not be squandered."

Two armed boats from USS Delaware, Lieutenant Stephen P. Quackenbush, captured schooners Albemarle and Lion at the head of Panzego Creek , North Carolina .

27 Secretary of War Stanton instructed Engineer Charles Ellet, Jr., '' You will please proceed immedi­ately to Pittsburg, Cincinnati, and New Albany and take measures to provide steam rams for defense against ironclad vessels on the "'Western waters.'' The next day he wired Ellet at Pittsburg : "General [James K.] Moorhead has gone to Pittsburg to aid you and put you in communi­cation with the committee there. The rebels have a ram at Memphis . Lose no time.'' Later Stanton described the Ellet rams to General Halleck: ''They are the most powerful steamboats, with upper cabins removed, and bows filled in with heavy timber. It is not proposed to wait for putting on iron. This is the mode in which the Merrimack will be met. Can you not have something of the kind speedily prepared at St. Louis also?''

Armed boat expedition from USS Restless Acting Lieutenant Conroy, captured schooner Julia Worden off South Carolina , with cargo of rice for Charleston , and burned sloop Mart Louisa and schooner George Washington.

Flag Officer Du Pont reported to Secretary of the Navy Welles that Confederate batteries on Skiddaway and Green Islands, Georgia, had been withdrawn and placed nearer Savannah, giving Union forces complete control of Wassaw and Ossabaw Sounds and the mouths of the Vernon and Wilmington Rivers, important approaches to the city.

28 Commander Henry H. Bell reported a reconnaissance in USS Kennebee of the Mississippi River and Forts Jackson and St. Philip. He noted that the "two guns from St. Philip reached as far down the river as any from Jackson" and called attention to the obstruction, "consisting of a raft of logs and eight hulks moored abreast," across the river below St. Philip. Scouting missions of this nature enabled Flag Officer Farragut to make the careful and precise plans which ultimately led to the successful passage of the forts and the capture of New Orleans .

Lieutenant Stevens reported his return to Jacksonville with a launch and cutter from USS Wabash and steamers USS Darlington and Ellen after raising yacht America which had been found sunk by the Confederates earlier in the month far up St. John's River , Florida . Stevens reported that it was "generally believed she was bought by the rebels for the purpose of carrying Slidell and Mason to England ."

29 USS R. R. Cuyler, Lieutenant F. Winslow, captured blockade running schooner Grace E. Baker off the coast of Cuba .

Boat under command of Acting Master's Mate Henry Eason from USS Restless, captured schooner Lydia and Mary with large cargo of rice for Charleston , and destroyed an unnamed schooner in Santee River , South Carolina .

30 Flag Officer Foote ordered Commander Henry Walke, USS Carondelet.' "You will avail yourself of the first fog or rainy night and drift your steamer down past the batteries, on the Tennessee shore, and Island No. 10 . . . for the purpose of covering General Pope's army while he crosses that point to the opposite, or to the Tennessee side of the river, that he may move his army up to Island No. 10 and attack the rebels in the rear while we attack them in front." Five days later Walke made his heroic dash past Island No. 10 to join the Army at New Madrid.  

31 Pioneer’s inventors are granted the first letter of marque for an underwater vessel by the Confederate government.

“Early 1862”
The Confederate Patent Office grants a patent for a submarine to Reverend Franklin Smith of Tennessee . While the U.S. Patent Office granted only a single patent for a submarine in the course of the war, this was one of four granted by the Southern office. One will go to James Patton of Virginia  in October, and the other two were issued to William Cheney.

April 1862

1 Combined Army-Navy boat expedition under Master John V. Johnston, USN, of gunboat USS St. Louis and Colonel George W. Roberts landed and spiked the guns of Fort No. 1 on the Tennessee shore above Island No. 10, Mississippi River (night of 1-2 April). Colonel Roberts reported: "To the naval officers in command of the boats great praise is due for the admirable manner in which our approach was conducted."

CSS Gaines, Commander Hunter, recaptured Confederate schooner Isabel off Mobile . Isabel had been under tow of USS Cayuga, Lieutenant Harrison, but was cast off in a heavy gale in the Gulf of Mexico .

2 General McClellan and his staff arrived at Fort Monroe on board steamer Commodore. In the Peninsular Campaign to capture Richmond , the General intended to take full advantage of Union command of the seas for logistic support and offensive operations. He wrote: "Effective naval cooperation will shorten this operation by weeks." He proposed to outflank Confederate defenders by water movements up the James and York Rivers supported by the Navy. The ominous presence of CSS Virginia at the mouth of the James River dictated that Flag Officer L. M. Goldsborough keep his main naval strength at Hampton Roads alerted against future attacks by the Confederate ironclad. Union gunboats frequently bombarded Yorktown , under siege by McClel­lan's army, until the city was evacuated on 3 May.

USS Mount Vernon, Commander Glisson, with USS Fernandina and Cambridge , destroyed schooner Kate attempting to run the blockade near Wilmington .

3 Armed boats from USS Mercedita, Commander Stellwagen, and USS Sagamore, Lieutenant Andrew J. Drake, captured Apalachicola, Florida, without resistance and took pilot boats Cygnet and Mary Olivia, schooners New Island, Floyd, and Rose, and sloop Octavia.

Flag Officer Du Pont and Brigadier General Henry W. Benham planned to cut off Fort Pulaski from Savannah in joint operations along the Georgia coast. Du Pont immediately ordered USS Mohican, Commander Godon, to reconnoiter the Wilmington River to determine the best means of obstructing it as part of the projected attack.

USS Susquehanna, Captain Lardner, captured British blockade runner Coquette off Charleston . Three armed boats from USS Isaac Smith, Lieutenant J. W. A. Nicholson, captured British blockade runner British Empire with cargo of provisions, dry goods, and medicines in Matanzas Inlet , Florida .

4 USS Carondelet,. Commander Walke, shrouded by a heavy storm at night, successfully ran past Island No. 10, Mississippi River , and reached Major General John Pope's army at New Madrid. For his heroic dash through flaming Confederate batteries, Walke strengthened Carondelet with cord-wood piled around the boilers, extra deck planking, and anchor chain for added armor protection. "The passage of the Carondelet," wrote A. T. Mahan, "was not only one of the most daring and dramatic events of the war; it was also the death blow to the Confederate defense of this position." With the support of the gunboats, the Union troops could now safely plan to cross the river and take the Confederate defenses from the rear.

USS Pursuit, Acting Lieutenant Cate, captured sloop LaFayette at St. Joseph 's Bay, Florida , with cargo of cotton.

CSS Carondelet, Lieutenant Washington Gwathmey, with CSS Pamlico and Oregon , engaged gunboats USS J. P. Jackson, New London , and Hatteras, and troops on board steamer Lewis, but could not prevent the landing of 1,200 men at Pass Christian, Mississippi , and the destruction of the Confederate camp there.

J. P. Jackson, Acting Lieutenant Selim E. Woodworth, captured steamer P. C. Wallis near New Orleans with cargo of turpentine, pitch, rosin, and oil.

5 Brigadier General Benham informed Flag Officer Du Pont of a reported Confederate build-up of strength at Wilmington Island , "possibly for an effort to relieve or reinforce the garrison of Fort Pulaski ." The General added that he was "most earnestly wishing" for further naval strength in the area. As reports of expected Confederate action at Fort Pulaski continued to reach Du Pont, he made every effort to render maximum support to the Army.

Flag Officer Farragut on board USS Iroquois made a personal reconnaissance in the area of Forts Jackson and St. Philip. The forts opened fire, but Farragut, observing from a mast, remained as "calm and placid as an onlooker at a mimic battle."

Launch from USS Montgomery, Lieutenant Charles Hunter, captured and destroyed schooner Columbia near San Luis Pass, Texas, loaded with cotton.

6 USS Tyler, Lieutenant Gwin, and USS Lexington, Lieutenant Shirk, protected the advanced river flank of General Grant's army at the Battle of Shiloh (Pittsburg Landing) and slowed the initially successful attack of the Confederates, Major General Polk, CSA, reported that the Confederate forces "were within from 150 to 400 yards of the enemy's position, and nothing seemed wanting to complete the most brilliant victory of the war but to press forward and make a vigorous assault on the demoralized remnant of his forces, At this juncture his gunboats dropped down the river, near the landing where his troops were collected, and opened a tremendous cannonade of shot and shell over the bank, in the direction from where our forces were approach­ing." Fire from the two wooden gunboats helped maintain Union positions until reinforcements arrived, and the next day contributed to forcing the Confederate retreat. ''In this repulse,'' wrote Grant, "much is due to the presence of the gunboats." General Beauregard, CSA, attributed the Confederate loss the following day in large part to the presence of the gunboats. "During the night [of the 6th] the rain fell in torrents, adding to the discomforts and harassed condition of the men. The enemy, moreover, had broken their rest by a discharge at measured intervals of heavy shells thrown from the gunboats; therefore, on the following morning the troops under my command were not in condition to cope with an equal force of fresh troops, armed and equipped like our adversary, in the immediate possession of his depots and sheltered by such an auxiliary as the enemy's gunboats." One of the Army divisions at Shiloh was commanded by Major General Nelson, a former naval officer assigned to the Army, "who," Lieutenant Gwin observed, "greatly distinguished himself." Gwin went on to report of the battle, ''I think this has been a crushing blow to the rebellion."

USS Carondelet, Commander Walke, made a reconnaissance down the Mississippi River from New Madrid to Tiptonville, exchanging shots with shore batteries and landing to spike Con­federate guns in preparation for covering the river crossing by Major General Pope's troops.

USS Pursuit, Acting Lieutenant Cate, captured steamer Florida loading cotton at North Bay , head of Bear Creek , Florida .

7 USS Pittsburg, Lieutenant Egbert Thompson, ran past the batteries at Island No. 10 and joined USS Carondelet in covering the crossing of Major General Pope's army to the Tennessee side of the Mississippi River to move against Island No. 10. The General's words to Flag Officer Foote attested to the importance he attached to naval support: ". . . the lives of thousands of men and the success of our operations hang upon your decision. With the two boats all is safe.

Island No. 10, described by Brigadier General William W. Mackall, CSA, commanding the island, as "the key of the Mississippi ," surrendered to the naval forces of Flag Officer Foote. Besides the heavy cannon and munitions captured, four steamers were taken and gunboat CSS Grampus was sunk before the surrender. Capture of Island No. 10 opened the river to Union gunboats and transports south to Fort Pillow . Congress tendered Flag Officer Foote a vote of thanks "for his eminent services and gallantry at Fort Henry, Fort Donelson , and Island No. 10, while in command of the naval forces of the United States ." Mobile naval strength had sealed the fate of the Confederacy on the upper Mississippi River , and was knifing into the heart of the South.

After surrender of Island No. 10, USS Mound City, Commander Augustus H. Kiley, seized Con­federate ship Red Rover, which had been damaged by mortar fire. Temporarily repaired, Red Rover was moved to Cairo where she was converted to the Navy's first hospital ship. She joined the river fleet under Commander Pennock, on 10 June and shortly received her first patients.

Red Rover was officially transferred to the Navy on 1 October 1862 and commissioned 26 December.

Sisters of the Holy Cross volunteered and served on board as nurses- pioneers of the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps treating the sick and wounded. From Civil War Red Rover to the present, fine medical facilities afloat have promoted the efficiency and staying power of the combatant fleets.

USS Pensacola, Captain Morris, and USS Mississippi, Commander M. Smith, were successfully brought over the bar at the Passes and into the Mississippi River after several previous attempts to do so had met with failure. These were the two heaviest vessels ever to enter the river and figured prominently in the attack on New Orleans . "Now," Flag Officer Farragut wrote, "we are all right.''

Commander Semmes' log of CSS Sumter recorded: "Received a telegram from Mr. Mason [J. M. Mason, Confederate Commissioner in London ] ordering me to lay the Sumter up and to permit the officers and such of the crew as prefer it to return to the Confederate States." This action in large measure was caused by a serious breakdown of Sumter 's boilers at Gibraltar .

8 General Robert E. Lee wrote Confederate Secretary of the Navy Mallory: . . . it is my opinion that they [General McClellan's army] are endeavoring to change their base of operations from James to York River . This change has no doubt been occasioned by their fear of the effect of the Virginia upon their shipping in the James. General Magruder informs me that their gunboats and transports have appeared off Shipping Point, on the Poquosin, near the mouth of the York , where they intend, apparently, to establish a landing for stores, preparatory to moving against our lines at Yorktown ."

9 USS Ottawa , Lieutenant Stevens, USS Pembina, and Ellen escorted transports Cosmopolitan and Belvedere out of Jacksonville , as Union forces evacuated the area.

Flag Officer Hollins telegraphed Confederate Secretary of the Navy Mallory from Fort Pillow for authority to bring his force to the support of New Orleans . Mallory, convinced that the serious threat to New Orleans would come from Flag Officer Foote's force in the upper river rather than from Farragut's fleet below, denied Hollin's request.

10 Gunboat USS Kanawha, Lieutenant John C. Febiger, captured blockade running schooners Southern Independence , Victoria , Charlotte , and Cuba off Mobile .

USS Whitehead, Acting Master Charles A. French, captured schooners Comet, J. J. Crittenden, and sloop America in Newbegun Creek , North Carolina .

USS Keystone State, Commander LeRoy, chased blockade runner Liverpool, which ran aground outside North Inlet , South Carolina , and was destroyed by her crew.

11 CSS Virginia, Flag Officer Tattnall, rounded Sewell's Point to make her second appearance In Hampton Roads. Under Virginia 's protection, CSS Jamestown, Lieutenant Barney, and CSS Raleigh, Lieutenant Commander Joseph W. Alexander, captured three Union transports. Because of major strategic considerations on both sides, no second Monitor-Virginia duel ensued. Monitor's mission was to contain Virginia in support of General McClellan's campaign on the Peninsula, and Virginia safeguarded the important Norfolk area and the mouth of the James River .

Fort Pulaski , Georgia , surrendered after enduring an intensive two day bombardment by Union artillery. Commander C.R.P. Rodgers and a detachment of sailors from USS Wabash manned Battery Sigel the second day of the engagement and ''kept up a steady and well-directed fire until the fort hauled down its flag, at 2 p.m." The Navy gunners' participation in the action was at the invitation of Major General David Hunter, commander of the Army forces, and demonstrated once again the closeness of cooperation achieved by the two services.

Flag Officer Farragut expressed his views on the outcome of the anticipated assault on New Orleans : "God dispenses His will according to his judgment, and not according to our wishes or expectations. The defeat of our army at Corinth , which I saw in the rebel papers, will give us a much harder fight; men are easily elated or depressed by victory. But as to being prepared for defeat, I certainly am not. Any man who is prepared for defeat would be half defeated before he commenced. I hope for success; shall do all in my power to secure it, and trust to God for the rest. I trust in Him as a merciful being; but really in war it seems as if we hardly ought to expect mercy, when men are destroying one another upon questions of which He alone is the judge. Motive seems to constitute right and wrong.

Commander T. A. Craven, USS Tuscarora, reported that CSS Sumter, Commander Semmes, had been abandoned at Gibraltar . Tuscarora had closely blockaded Sumter in port. The Confederate Congress expressed thanks "to Captain Raphael Semmes and the officers and crew of the steamer Sumter, under his command, for gallant and meritorious services rendered by them in seriously injuring the enemy's commerce upon the high seas, thereby setting an example reflecting honor upon our infant Navy which can not be too highly appreciated by Congress and the people of the Confederate States.'' In her spectacular though abbreviated career, Sumter captured 18 vessels and dealt Union shipping a heavy blow. "Well," Semmes remarked, "we have done the country some service, having cost the United States at least $1,000,000 in one way or another."

Secretary of the Navy Welles wrote President Lincoln: ''It is of the greatest importance that the exportation of anthracite coal from ports of the United States to any and all foreign ports should be absolutely prohibited. The rebels obtain the coal for their steamers from Nassau and Havana, and the fact that it burns without smoke enables them to approach blockaded ports with greater security, as all other coals throw out so much smoke as to render their presence visible a great distance at sea.

13 USS Tyler, Lieutenant Gwin, and USS Lexington, Lieutenant Shirk, convoyed Army troops from Shiloh (Pittsburg Landing) to Chickasaw, Alabama. The expedition destroyed a bridge at Bear Creek , Alabama , used by the Memphis and Charleston Railroad.

Coast Survey party under Ferdinand H. Gerdes, began surveying the Mississippi River below Forts Jackson and St. Philip. Harassed by fire from the forts and riflemen on the river banks, Gerdes' party worked for five days to provide Flag Officer Farragut with a reliable map of the river, forts, water batteries, and the obstruction across the river.

Lieutenant Eaton of USS Beauregard demanded the surrender of the Confederate garrison at Fort Brooke , Tampa Bay , Florida . His demands were refused and Eaton shelled the fort before withdrawing.

14 Union mortar boats of Flag Officer Foote's force commenced regular bombardment of Fort Pillow , Tennessee the next Army-Navy objective on the drive down the Mississippi .

Potomac Flotilla ascended the Rappahannock River and destroyed Confederate batteries and captured three vessels.

15 USS Keystone State, Commander LeRoy, captured blockade runner Success off Georgetown , South Carolina .

16 Flag Officer Farragut, after careful planning and extensive preparations, moved his fleet up the Mississippi to a position below Forts Jackson and St. Philip, guarding the approaches to New Orleans and mounting over 100 guns. High water in the river had flooded the forts. Confederate garrisons worked night and day to control the water and strengthen the forts against the impending assault. A chain obstruction supported by hulks spanned the river. Above the forts a Confederate flotilla, Flag Officer John K. Mitchell, included the potentially powerful but uncompleted ironclad Louisiana . Most of the others were small, makeshift gunboats. There were also a number of fire rafts readied to be set adrift to flow with the current into the midst of the Union fleet. Against these combined defenses Farragut, flying his flag in USSHartford, brought seventeen ships carrying 154 guns and a squadron of 20 mortar boats under Commander D. D. Porter .

18 Confederate Congress, hoping to stem the constant sweeping of the seas and inland waters by the Union fleets, passed an act authorizing contracts for the purchase of not more than six ironclads to be paid for in cotton.

Union mortar boats, Commander D. D. Porter , began a five day bombardment of Fort Jackson . Moored some 3,000 yards from Fort Jackson , they concentrated their heavy shells, up to 285 pounds, for six days and nights on this nearest fort from which they were hidden by intervening woods. The garrison heroically endured the fire and stuck to their guns.

19 Mortar schooner USS Maria J. Canton, Acting Master Charles E. Jack, bombarding Fort Jack­son , was sunk by Confederate fire. Commander Bell observed that the Confederate guns were being worked "beautifully and with effect."

USS Huron, Lieutenant John Downes, captured schooner Glide loaded with cotton, rice, and flour off Charleston .

20 USS Itasca, Lieutenant Caldwell, and USS Pinola, Lieutenant Crosby, under direction of Commander Bell, breached the obstructions below Forts Jackson and St. Philip under heavy fire, opening the way for Flag Officer Farragut's fleet. Brigadier General Johnson K. Duncan, CSA, commanding the forts, complained that the River Defense Fleet had sent no fire rafts down "to light up the river or distract the attention of the enemy at night" and had stationed no ship below to warn of the approach of Itasca and Pinola. This lack of coordination proved most costly to the Confederacy.

Lieutenant Wyman, commanding Potomac Flotilla, reported the capture of Eureka , Monterey , Lookout, Sarah Ann, Sydney Jones, Reindeer, Falcon, Sea Flower, and Roundout at the mouth of the Rappahannock River .

21 Flag Officer Farragut explained the delay in the attack on New Orleans: "We have been bombard­ing the forts for three or four days, but the current is running so strong that we cannot stem it sufficiently to do anything with our ships, so that lam now waiting a change of wind, which brings a slacker tide, and we shall be enabled to run up. . . . Captain Bell went last night to cut the chain across the river. I never felt such anxiety in my life as I did until his return. One of his vessels got on shore, and I was fearful she would be captured. They kept up a tremendous fire on him; but Porter diverted their fire with a heavy cannonade. They let the chain go, but the man sent to explode the petard did not succeed; his wires broke. Bell would have burned the hulks, but the illumination would have given the enemy a chance to destroy his gunboat, which got aground. However, the chain was divided, and it gives us space enough to go through."

USSTyler, Lieutenant Gwin, captured steamer Alfred Robb on the Tennessee River .

22 Two boats from USS Arthur, Acting Lieutenant Kittredge, captured a schooner and two sloops at Aransas Pass , Texas , but were forced to abandon the prizes and their own boats when attacked by Confederate vessels and troops.

23 Brigadier General Duncan, the commander of Fort Jackson , wrote General Lovell in New Orleans : "Heavy and continued bombardment all night, and still progressing. No further casualties, except two men slightly wounded. God is certainly protecting us. We are still cheerful, and have an abiding faith in our ultimate success. We are making repairs as best we can. Our barbette guns are still in working order. Most of them have been disabled at times. The health of the troops continues good. Twenty-five thousand [actually about five thousand] XIII-inch shells have been fired by the enemy, thousands of which fell in the fort. They must soon exhaust themselves; if not, we can stand it as long as they can.

23-24 Expedition commanded by Lieutenant FlUSSer, including USS Lockwood, Whitehead, and Putnam, blocked the mouth of Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal , near Elizabeth City, North Carolina, sinking a schooner and other obstructions inside the canal.

24 Flag Officer Farragut's fleet ran past Forts Jackson and St. Philip and engaged the defending Con­federate flotilla. At 2:00 a.m., USS Hartford had shown Farragut's signal for the fleet to get underway in three divisions to steam through the breach in the obstructions which had been opened by USS Pinola and Itasca . A withering fire from the forts was answered by roaring broadsides from the ships. Hartford , grounded in the swift current near Fort St. Philip, was set afire by a Confederate fireraft. Farragut's leadership and the disciplined training of the crew saved the flagship. USS Varuna was rammed by two Confederate ships and sunk In the ensuing melee, CSS Warrior, Stonewall Jackson, General Lovell, and Breckinridge, tender Phoenix , steamers Star and Belle Algerine, and Louisiana gunboat General Quitman were destroyed. The armored ram CSS Manassas was driven ashore by USS Mississippi and sunk. Steam tenders CSS Landis and W. Burton surrendered; Resolute and Governor Moore were destroyed to prevent capture. ''The destruction of the Navy at New Orleans," wrote Confederate Secretary of the Navy Mallory, "was a sad, sad blow . . . When the Union Navy passed the forts and disposed of the Confederate forces afloat, the fate of New Orleans was decided. Farragut had achieved a brilliant victory, one which gave true meaning to the Flag Officer's own words: "The great man in our country must not only plan but execute.

CSS Nashville made a successful run into Wilmington with 60,000 stand of arms and 40 tons of powder.

25 Flag Officer Farragut's fleet, having silenced Confederate batteries at Chalmette en route, anchored before New Orleans . High water in the river allowed the ships' guns to dominate the city over the levee top. Captain Bailey went ashore to demand the surrender. The Common Council of New Orleans resolved that: ". . . having been advised by the military authorities that the city is indefensible, [we] declare that no resistance will be made to the forces of the United States ." Loss of New Orleans , the largest and wealthiest seaport in the South, was a critical blow to the Confederacy. With the rapid capitulation of Forts Jackson and St. Philip, the delta of the Mis­sissippi was open to the water-borne movement of Union forces which were free to steam river to join those coming south in the great pincer which would sever the Confederacy. "Thus, reported Secretary of the Navy Welles, ''the great southern depot of the trade of the immense central valley of the Union was once more opened to commercial intercourse and the emporium of that wealthy region was restored to national authority; the mouth of the Mississippi was under our control and an outlet for the great West to the ocean was secured."

CSS Mississippi , launched on 19 April and described by Confederate naval officers as "the strongest . . . most formidable war vessel that had ever been built," was destroyed by fire at New Orleans to prevent her capture by the Union fleet. Had the Tredegar Iron Works, Richmond , completed her shaft on time, Mississippi might have been readied to throw her weight into the defense of New Orleans .

Commander Charles H. McBlair, CSN, notified the Confederate Navy Department that as a result of the passage of the forts below New Orleans by Flag Officer Farragut's fleet that he intended to take the unfinished ram CSS Arkansas , building at Memphis , up the Yazoo River to be completed. McBlair also reported that arrangements had been made to destroy the Tennessee on the stocks to prevent her capture if Memphis fell. In June Arkansas was moved down the Yazoo to Liverpool Landing where a raft across the river and shore batteries protected the ram from the Federal gunboats while work went forward on her.

USS Maratanza, Commander George H. Scott, began shelling Gloucester and Yorktown , Virginia , in support of General McClellan's Peninsular Campaign.

USS Katahdin, Lieutenant George Preble, captured schooner John Gilpin below New Orleans .

USS Santiago de Cuba, Commander Ridgely, captured blockade runner Ella Warley at sea 120 miles off Port Royal .

Pioneer is scuttled in the Mississippi  as its inventors—Watson and McClintock, now joined by Horace Hunley—flee New Orleans when Farragut’s fleet moves in. The submarine is discovered, raised, and examined by the U.S. Navy. Reports indicate that Pioneer may have claimed the lives of two crew members while being tested on Lake Ponchartrain .

26 Flag Officer Farragut, from flagship USS Hartford, issued a general order after his victory at New Orleans: "Eleven o'clock this morning is the hour appointed for all the officers and crews of the fleet to return thanks to Almighty God for His great goodness and mercy in permitting us to pass through the events of the last two days with so little loss of life and blood. At that hour the church pennant will be hoisted on every vessel of the fleet, and their crews assembled will, in humiliation and prayer, make their acknowledgments therefore to the great dispenser of all human events.

Fort Macon , North Carolina , surrendered to combined land-sea forces under Commander Lockwood and Brigadier General John G. Parke. USS Daylight, State of Georgia , Chippewa, and Gemsbok heavily bombarded the fort; blockade runners Alliance and Gondar were captured after the fort's surrender.

USS Onward, Acting Lieutenant J. Frederick Nickels, forced schooner Chase aground on Raccoon Keys near Cape Romain , South Carolina , and subsequently destroyed her.

USS Flambeau, Lieutenant John H. Upshur, captured blockade runner Active near Stono Inlet , South Carolina .

USS Santiago de Cuba, Commander Ridgely, captured schooner Mersey off Charleston .

USS Uncas, Acting Master Lemuel G. Crane, captured schooner Belle off Charleston .

27 Fort Livingston, Bastian Bay , Louisiana , surrendered to the Navy Boat crew from USS Kittatinny raised the United States flag over the fort.

USS Mercedita, Commander Stellwagen, captured steamer Bermuda northeast of Abaco with large cargo of arms shipped from Liverpool .

USS Wamsutta, Lieutenant Alexander A. Semmes, and USS Potomska, Acting Lieutenant Pendleton G. Watmough, exchanged fire with dismounted Confederate cavalry concealed in woods on Woodville Island, Riceboro River, Georgia.

28 Forts Jackson and St. Philip, isolated since being passed by Flag Officer Farragut's fleet and the fall of New Orleans, surrendered to the Navy; the terms of capitulation were signed on board USS Harriet Lane, Commander D. D. Porter's flagship. CSS Louisiana , Defiance , and McRae were destroyed to prevent their capture.

Steamer Oreto (CSS Florida ) arrived at Nassau , British West Indies .

29 Expedition under Lieutenant Alexander C. Rhind in USS E. B. Hale landed and destroyed Confederate battery at Grimball's, Dawho River , South Carolina , and exchanged fire with field pieces near Slann's Bluff.

Gunboat USS Kanawha, Lieutenant Febiger, captured blockade running British sloop Annie between Ship Island and Mobile , bound for Havana with cargo of cotton.

30 USS Santiago de Cuba , Commander Ridgely, captured schooner Maria off Port Royal .

May 1862

1 USS Hatteras, Commander Emmons, captured schooner Magnolia near Berwick Bay , Louisiana , with cargo of cotton.

USS Jamestown, Commander Green, captured British blockade runner Intended off the coast of North Carolina with cargo of salt, coffee, and medicines.

USS Huron, Lieutenant Downes, captured schooner Albert off Charleston .

Schooner Sarah ran aground at Bull's Bay, South Carolina , and was destroyed by her own crew to prevent capture by USS Onward, Acting Lieutenant Nickels.

USS Marblehead, Lieutenant Somerville Nicholson, shelled the Confederate positions at Yorktown .

2 USS Restless, Acting Lieutenant Conroy, captured British blockade runner Flash off the coast of South Carolina.

Brutus de Villeroi’s submarine is launched in Philadelphia harbor. The vessel is 40’ long, 6’ high, and 4’6” wide.

3 USS R. R. Cuyler, Lieutenant F. Winslow, captured schooner Jane off Tampa Bay , Florida , with cargo including pig lead.

4 USS Corwin, Lieutenant Thomas S. Phelps, captured schooner Director and launch marked "U.S. brig Dolphin " in York River near Gloucester Point; guard boat General Scott and sloop Champion, both loaded with Confederate Army stores, were burned to prevent capture.

Boat crew from USS Wachusett, Commander W. Smith, raised United States flag at Gloucester Point, Virginia , after General McClellan's troops occupied Yorktown ; two Confederate schooners were captured.

USS Calhoun, Lieutenant Joseph E. DeHaven, captured sloop Charles Henry off St. Joseph , Louisiana, and raised the United States flag over Fort Pike, which had been evacuated.

Lieutenant English, commanding USS Somerset, reported the capture of steamer Circassian between Havana and Matanzas .

Union forces at Ragged Island burned schooner Beauregard, laden with coal for CSS Virginia.

5 President Lincoln, with Secretaries Stanton and Chase on board, proceeded to Hampton Roads on steamer Miami to personally direct the stalled Peninsular Campaign. The following day, Lincoln informed Flag Officer L. M. Goldsborough: "I shall be found either at General Wool's [ Fort Monroe ] or on board the Miami ." The President directed gunboat operations in the James River and the bombardment of Sewell's Point by the blockading squadron in the five days he acted as Commander-in-Chief in the field.

USS Calhoun, Lieutenant DeHaven, captured schooner Rover with cargo of brick in Lake Pontchartrain , Louisiana .

Boat from USS Coru, Lieutenant T. S. Phelps, captured sloop Water Witch, abandoned the Previous day by Confederates above Gloucester Point,Virginia.

May (early)
Watson, McClintock, and Hunley arrive in Mobile , Alabama and begin work on a new submarine, Pioneer II. Realizing the limitations of a manually-powered submarine, they spend many weeks experimenting with an electric motor and a steam engine to power the vessel. Electric motors of sufficient power are known to be available in New York  City, but cannot be smuggled through the lines. The team attempts to manufacture their own motor, but cannot with their limited resources. The steam approach is similarly discarded for unknown reasons.

6 USS Calhoun, Lieutenant DeHaven, captured steamer Whiteman in Lake Pontchartrain .

USS Ottawa, Lieutenant J. Blakeley Creighton, captured schooner General C. C. Pinckney off Charleston .

7 USS Wachusett, Commander W. Smith, USS Chocura, and Sebago escorted Army transports up the York River, supported the landing at West Point, Virginia, and countered a Confederate attack with accurate gunfire. USS Currituck, Acting Master William F. Shankland, sent on a reconnaissance of the Pamunkey River by Smith on the 6th, captured American Coaster and Planter the next day. Shankland reported that some twenty schooners had been sunk and two gunboats burned by the Confederates above West Point .

8 USS Monitor, Dacotah, Naugatuck , Seminole, and Susquehanna by direction of the President"-shelled Confederate batteries at Sewell's Point, Virginia , as Flag Officer L. M. Goldsborough reported, ''mainly with the view of ascertaining the practicability of landing a body of troops thereabouts" to move on Norfolk . Whatever rumors President Lincoln had received about Confederates abandoning Norfolk were now confirmed; a tug deserted from Norfolk and brought news that the evacuation was well underway and that CSS Virginia , with her accompanying small gunboats, planned to proceed up the James or York River . It was planned that when Virginia came out, as she had on the 7th, the Union fleet would retire with USS Monitor in the rear hoping to draw the powerful but under-engined warship into deep water where she might be rammed by high speed steamers. The bombardment uncovered reduced but considerable strength at Sewell's Point. Virginia came out but not far enough to be rammed. Two days later President Lincoln wrote Flag Officer Goldsborough: "I send you this copy of your report of yesterday for the purpose of saying to you in writing that you are quite right in supposing the movement made by you and therein reported was made in accordance with my wishes verbally expressed to you in advance. I avail myself of the occasion to thank you for your courtesy and all your conduct, so far as known to me, during my brief visit here.'' President Lincoln, acting as Commander-in-Chief in the field at Hampton Roads, also directed Flag Officer Goldsborough: "If you have tolerable confidence that you can successfully contend with the Merrimack without the help of the Galena and two accompanying gunboats, send the Galena and two gunboats up the James River at once'' to support General McClellan. This wise use of power afloat by the President silenced two shore batteries and forced gunboats CSS Jamestown and Patrick Henry to return up the James River .

Landing party from USS Iroquois, Commander James S. Palmer, seized arsenal and took pos-session of Baton Rouge , Louisiana .

9 Captain Davis assumed temporary command of the Western Flotilla, relieving Flag Officer Foote who was failing from the wound suffered at Fort Donelson . Foote had made a series of major contributions toward reopening the "Father of Waters." In the words of Admiral Mahan: ''Over the birth and early efforts of that little fleet he had presided; upon his shoulders had fallen the burden of anxiety and unremitting labor which the early days of the war, when all had to be created, everywhere entailed. He was repaid, for under him its early glories were achieved and its reputation established."

President Lincoln himself, after talking to pilots and studying charts, reconnoitered to the east-ward of Sewell's Point and found a suitably unfortified landing site near Willoughby Point. The troops embarked in transports that night. The next morning they landed near the site selected by the President. The latter, still afloat, from his "command ship" Miami ordered USS Monitor to reconnoiter Sewell's Point to learn if the batteries were still manned. When he found the works abandoned, President Lincoln ordered Major General Wool's troops to march on Norfolk , where they arrived late on the afternoon of the 10th.

10 Norfolk Navy Yard set afire before being evacuated by Confederate forces in a general withdrawal up the peninsula to defend Richmond. Union troops under Major General Wool crossed Hampton Roads from Fort Monroe , landed at Ocean View, and captured Norfolk .

Pensacola reoccupied by Union Army and Navy forces. Military installations in the area, including the Navy Yard, Forts Barrancas and McRee, CSS Fulton , and an ironclad building on the Escambia River , were destroyed by the Confederates the preceding day before withdrawing. Commander D. D. Porter reported to Secretary of the Navy Welles: "The rebels had done their work completely. The yard is a ruin. Abandonment of the important Pensacola coastal area had been in preparation by the Confederates for months after Flag Officer Foote's stunning successes on the upper Mississippi made redeployment of guns and troops necessary. Flag Officer Farragut's momentous victory at New Orleans precipitated the final evacuation. Colonel Thomas M. Jones, CSA, commanding at Pensacola, reported: "On receiving information that the enemy's gunboats had succeeded in passing the forts below New Orleans with their powerful batteries and splendid equipments, I came to the conclusion that, with my limited means of defense, reduced, as I have been by the withdrawal of nearly all my heavy guns and ammunition, I could not hold them in check or make even a respectable show of resistance.''

Confederate River Defense Fleet CSS General Bragg, General Sumter, General Sterling Price, General Earl Van Dorn, General M. Jeff Thompson, General Lovell, General Beauregard, and Little Rebel--made a spirited attack on Union gunboats and mortar flotilla at Plum Point Bend, Tennessee. The Confederate fleet, Captain James E. Montgomery, attacked Mortar Boat No. 16, stationed just above Fort Pillow and engaged in bombarding the works. USS Cincinnati, Commander Stembel, coming to the mortar boat's defense, was rammed by Bragg and sank on a bar in eleven feet of water. Van Dorn rammed USS Mound City, Commander Kilty, forcing her to run aground to avoid sinking. The draft of the Confederate vessels would not permit them to press the attack into the shoal water in which the Union squadron steamed, and, having sustained various but minor injuries, Montgomery withdrew under the guns of Fort Pillow . Cincinnati and Mound City were quickly repaired and returned to service.

USS Unadilla, Lieutenant Collins, captured schooner Mary Teresa attempting to run the blockade at Charleston .

Ironclad steamer USS New Ironsides launched at Philadelphia .

11 CSS Virginia blown up by her crew off Craney Island to avoid capture. The fall of Norfolk to Union forces denied Virginia her base, and when it was discovered that she drew too much water to be brought up the James River , Flag Officer Tattnall ordered the celebrated ironclad's destruction. "Thus perished the Virginia ," Tattnall wrote, "and with her many high-flown hopes of naval supremacy and success." For the Union, the end of Virginia not only removed the formidable threat to the large base at Fort Monroe , but gave Flag Officer Goldsborough's fleet free passage up the James River as far as Drewry's Bluff, a factor which was to save the Peninsular Campaign from probable disaster.

USS Bainbridge, Commander Thomas M. Brasher, captured schooner Newcastle at sea with cargo of turpentine and cotton.

USS Kittatinny, Acting Master Charles W. Lamson, captured blockade running British schooner Julia off Southwest Pass , Mississippi River, with cargo of cotton.

USS Hatteras, Commander Emmons, captured steamer Governor A. Mouton off Berwick Bay , Louisiana .

12 U.S.S: Maratanza, Lieutenant Stevens, and other gunboats made a reconnaissance of Pamunkey River in support of an Army advance to the new supply base at White House, Virginia, within twenty-two miles of Richmond.

Officers and crew of CSS Virginia were ordered to report to Commander Farrand to establish a battery below Drewry's Bluff on the left bank of the river to prevent the ascent of Union gun-boats. The battery was to be organized and commanded by Lieutenant Catesby ap R. Jones.

13 Confederate steamer Planter, with her captain ashore in Charleston, was taken out of the harbor by an entirely Negro crew under Robert Smalls and turned over to USS Onward, Acting Lieu-tenant Nickels, of the blockading Union squadron. "At 4 in the morning," Flag Officer Du Pont reported,''. . . she left her wharf close to the Government office and headquarters, with palmetto and Confederate flag flying, passed the successive forts, saluting as usual by blowing her steam whistle. After getting beyond the range of the last gun she quickly hauled down the rebel flags and hoisted a white one . . . The steamer is quite a valuable acquisition to the squadron.

Du Pont added in a letter to Senator Grimes: "You should have heard his [Small's] modest reply when I asked him what was said of the carry away of General Ripley's barge sometime ago. He said they made a great fUSS but perhaps they would make more 'to do' when they heard of the steamer having been brought out.

USS Iroquois, Commander Palmer, and USS Oneida, Commander S. P. Lee, occupied Natchez , Mississippi , as Flag Officer Farragut's fleet moved steadily toward Vicksburg .

USS Bohio, Acting Master W. D. Gregory, captured schooner Deer Island in Mississippi So with cargo of flour and rice.

Boat crew from USS Calhoun, Lieutenant DeHaven, captured Confederate gunboat Cory moored in Bayou Bonfouca, Louisiana.

William Cheney takes delivery of a submarine at the Tredegar Iron Works—possibly a larger version of the vessel seen by Mrs. Baker. The craft has a “false bow”—perhaps an airlock for a diver—several view ports, and may have used an electrically-detonated torpedo.

14 USS Calhoun, Lieutenant DeHaven, captured schooner Venice in Lake Pontchartrain with cargo of cotton.

15 James River Flotilla, including USS Monitor, Galena, Aroostook, Port Royal, and Naugatuck, under Commander J - Rodgers encountered obstructions sunk across the river and at close range hotly engaged sharpshooters and strong Confederate batteries, manned in part by sailors and Marines, at Drewry's Bluff, Virginia. For his part in the ensuing action, Corporal John B. Mackie, a member of Galena's Marine Guard, was cited for gallantry in a letter to Secretary of the Navy Welles; in Department of the Navy General Order 17, issued on 10 July 1863, Mackie was awarded the first Medal of Honor authorized a member of the Marine Corps. In the bombardment, Galena was heavily damaged but, unsupported, Rodgers penetrated the James River to within eight miles of Richmond before falling back. Rodgers stated at this time that troops were needed to take Drewry' s Bluff in the rear. Had this been done, Richmond might well have fallen.

USS Sea Foam, Acting Master Henry E. Williams, and USS Matthew Vassar, Acting Master Hugh H. Savage, captured sloops Sarah and New Eagle off Ship Island, Mississippi, with cargo of cotton.

16 Union naval squadron under Commander S.P. Lee in USS Oneida, advancing up the Mississippi River toward Vicksburg , shelled Grand Gulf , Mississippi .

17 Joint expedition including USS Sebago, Lieutenant Murray, and USS Currituck, Acting Master Shankland, with troops embarked on transport Seth Low, at the request of General McClellan ascended the Pamunkey River to twenty-five miles above White House. Confederates burned seventeen vessels, some loaded with coal and commissary stores. The river was so narrow at this point that the Union gunboats were compelled to return stern foremost for several miles. General McClellan reported that the ''expedition was admirably managed, and all concerned deserve great credit.''

USS Hatteras, Commander Emmons, captured sloop Poody off Vermilion Bay , Louisiana .

18 Commander S.P. Lee submitted a demand from Flag Officer Farragut and General Butler for the surrender of Vicksburg ; Confederate authorities refused and a year-long land and water assault on the stronghold began. As Flag Officer Du Pont observed: "The object is to have Vicksburg and the entire possession of the river in all its length and shores."

USS Hunchback, Acting Lieutenant Colhoun, and USS Shawsheen, Acting Master Thomas J. Woodward, captured schooner G. H. Smoot in Potecasi Creek, North Carolina.

20 Union gunboats occupied the Stono River above Cole's Island , South Carolina , and shelled Con-federate positions there. Flag Officer Du Pont reported to Secretary of the Navy Welles: "The Unadilla, Pembina, and Ottawa , under Commander Marchand . . . succeeded in entering Stono and proceeded up the river above the old Fort opposite Legareville. On their approach the barracks were fired and deserted by the enemy . . . This important base of operations, the Stono, has thus been secured for further operations by the army against Charleston .

USS Whitehead, Acting Master French, captured schooner Eugenia in Bennet's Creek, North Carolina .

21 Boat expedition from USS Hunchback, Acting Lieutenant Colhoun, and USS Whitehead, Acting Master French, captured schooner Winter Shrub in Keel's Creek, North Carolina, with cargo of fish.

22 USS Mount Vernon , Commander Glisson, captured steamer Constitution attempting to run the blockade at Wilmington .

USS Whitehead, Acting Master French, captured sloop Ella D off Keel's Creek, North Carolina , with cargo of salt.

24 USS Bienville, Commander Mullany, captured British blockade runner Stettin off Charleston .

USS Amanda, Acting Lieutenant Nathaniel Goodwin, and USS Bainbridge, Commander Brasher, captured steamer Swan west of Tortugas with cargo of cotton and rosin.

25 Confederate gunboat under command of Captain F. N. Bonneau, guarding the bridge between James and Dixon Islands , Charleston harbor, exchanged fire with Union gunboats. Captain Bonneau claimed several hits on the gunboats.

26 Lieutenant Isaac N. Brown, CSN, ordered to take command of CSS Arkansas and "finish the vessel without regard to expenditure of men or money. Captain Lynch after inspecting the unfinished ram reported to Secretary of the Navy Mallory that: "the Arkansas is very inferior to the Merrimac[k] in every particular. The iron with which she is covered is worn and indifferent, taken from a railroad track, and is poorly secured to the vessel; boiler iron on stern and counter; her smoke-stack is sheet iron." Nevertheless, with great energy to overcome shortages and difficulties of every nature, Lieutenant Brown completed Arkansas , reinforced her bulwarks with cotton bales, and mounted a formidable armament of 10 guns. Lieutenant George W. Gift, CSN, who served in the ship later recorded that "within five weeks from the day we arrived at Yazoo City , we had a man-of-war (such as she was) from almost nothing-the credit for all of which belongs to Isaac Newton Brown, the commander of the vessel." A number of Army artillerists volunteered to act as gunners on board the ram.

USS Brooklyn, Captain T. T. Craven, and gunboats USS Kineo, Lieutenant George M. Ransom, arid USS Katahdin, Lieutenant Preble, shelled Grand Gulf , Mississippi .

USS Huron, Lieutenant Downes, captured British blockade runner Cambria off Charleston .

USS Pursuit, Acting Lieutenant Cate, captured schooner Andromeda near the coast of Cuba with cargo of cotton.

27 USS Bienville, Commander Mullany, seized blockade running British steamer Patras off Bull's Island, South Carolina, from Havana with cargo of powder and arms.

USS Santiago de Cuba, Commander Ridgely, captured schooner Lucy C. Holmes off Charleston with cargo of cotton.

28 USS State of Georgia, Commander Armstrong, and USS Victoria, Acting Master Joshua D. Warren, captured steamer Nassau near Fort Caswell, North Carolina.

Assistant Secretary of the Navy Fox wrote Senator Grimes: "I beg of you for the enduring good of the service, which you have so much at heart, to add a proviso [to the naval bill] abolishing the spirit ration and forbidding any distilled liquors being placed on board any vessel belonging to, or chartered by the U. States, excepting of course, that in the Medical Department. All insubordination, all misery, every deviltry on board ships can be traced to rum. Give the sailor double the value or more, and he will be content." Congressional Act approved 14 July 1862 abolished the spirit ration in the Navy.

29 USS Keystone State, Commander LeRoy, captured British blockade runner Elizabeth off Charleston .

USS Bienville, Commander Mullany, captured blockade runners Providence , with cargo of salt and cigars, Rebecca, with cargo of salt, and La Criola, with cargo of provisions, off Charleston.

30 An invoice is issued on this date by the Tredegar Iron Works for “materials relating to the testing of an underwater cannon.” Was Private Leavitt’s suggestion used on the Cheney submarine or another vessel?

31 Commander Rowan, commanding USS Philadelphia, reported the capture of schooner W. F. Harris in Core Sound , North Carolina .

USS Keystone State, Commander LeRoy, captured blockade running British schooner Cora off Charleston .

June 1862

1 Samuel Eakins is appointed “Superintendent” of de Villeroi’s submarine.

2 Boat from USS New London, Lieutenant A. Read, captured yachts Comet and Algerine near New Basin , Louisiana .

Eleven men in two boats under Acting Master Samuel Curtis from USS Kingfisher, while on an expedition up Aucilla River , Florida , to obtain fresh water, were surprised by Confederate attackers; two were killed and nine were captured.

2-3 USS Unadilla, Lieutenant Collins, USS Pembrine, E.B. Hale, Ellen, and Henry Andrew provided close gunfire support for Army landings and operations on James Island, South Carolina.

3 USS Gem of the Sea, Lieutenant Baxter, captured blockade runner Mary Stewart at the entrance to South Santee River, South Carolina.

USS Montgomery, Lieutenant C. Hunter, captured a blockade running British schooner Will-O’-the-Wisp transferring powder and percussion caps to a lighter near the mouth of the Rio Grande River .

4 Confederates evacuated Fort Pillow , Tennessee , on the Mississippi River during the night of 4-5 June after sustaining prolonged bombardment by Union gunboats and mortars. On 5 June the Union fleet under Captain Davis and transports moved down the river to within two miles of Memphis .

5 Tug assigned to USS Benton, Captain Davis, captured steamer Sovereign near Island No. 37 in the Mississippi River .

Confederate steamer Havana set afire in Deadman’s Bay, Florida , to prevent her capture by USS Ezilda, tender to USS Somerset, Lieutenant English.

6 USS Benton, Louisville, Carondelet, St Louis, and Cairo under Captain Davis, and rams Queen of the West and Monarch under Colonel Charles Ellet, Jr., engaged Confederate River Defense Fleet, CSS Earl Van Dorn, General Beauregard, General M. Jeff Thompson, General Bragg, General Sumter, General Sterling Price, and Little Rebel under Captain Montgomery in the Battle of Memphis. In the ensuing close action Queen of the West was rammed and Colonel Ellet mortally wounded. The Confederate River Defense Fleet was destroyed; all ships, excepting Van Dorn, were either captured, sunk, or grounded on the river bank to avoid sinking. Memphis surrendered to Captain Davis, and the pressure of relentless naval power had placed another important segment of the Mississippi firmly under Union control 

USS Pembina, Lieutenant Bankhead, seized schooner Rowena in Stono River , South Carolina .

7 Lieutenant Wyman, commander of Potomac Flotilla, reported USS Anacostia had captured sloop Monitor in Piankatank River , Virginia .

7-10 USS Wissahickon, Commander John DeCamp, and USS Itasca, Lieutenant Caldwell, shelled Confederate batteries at Grand Gulf, Mississippi; they were joined 10 June by gunboats USS Iroquois and Katahdin.

8 USS Penobscot, Lieutenant John M. B. Clitz, burned schooner Sereta, grounded and deserted off Shallotte Inlet , North Carolina .

9 Secretary of the navy Welles wrote Senator John P. Hale, Chairman of the Senate Naval Committee, and expressed his belief that the only security against any foreign war was having a Navy second to none: “The fact that a radical change has commenced in the construction and armament of ships, which change in effect dispenses with the navies that have hitherto existed, is obvious, and it is a question for Congress to decide whether the Government will promptly take the initiatory step to place our country in the front rank of maritime powers . . . Other nations, whose wooden ships-of-war far exceed our own in number, cannot afford to lay them aside, but are compelled to plate them with iron at a very heavy cost. They are not unaware of the disadvantage of this proceeding, but it is a present necessity. It must be borne in mind, however, that those governments which are striving for naval supremacy are sparing no expense to strengthen themselves by building iron vessels, and already their dock-yards are undergoing the necessary preparation for this change in naval architecture . . .”

On a joint expedition up the Roanoke River to Hamilton, North Carolina, USS Commodore Perry, Lieutenant Flusser, accompanied by USS Shawsheen and Ceres with troops embarked, came under small arms fire for two hours from Confederates along the banks. Troops were landed at Hamilton without opposition where steamer Wilson was captured.

11 USS Susquehanna, Commander Robert B. Hitchcock, captured blockade runner Princeton in the Gulf of Mexico .

USS Bainbridge, Commander Brasher, captured schooner Biagorry with cargo of cotton in the Gulf of Mexico .

14 USS William G. Anderson, Acting Master N. D’Oyley, captured schooner Montebello , moored in Jordan River , Mississippi .

US tug Spitfire captured steamer Clara Dolson in White River , Arkansas .

15 USS Corwin, Lieutenant T. S. Phelps, captured schooner Starlight on Potopotank River , Virginia .

USS Tahoma, Lieutenant John C. Howell, and USS Somerset, Lieutenant English, crossed the bar of St Marks River, Florida , and shelled the Confederate fort near the lighthouse for forty minutes. The artillery company stationed there withdrew, and the sailors landed, destroyed the battery, and burned the buildings used as barracks.

Flag Officer Louis M. Goldsborough orders U.S.S. Satellite to Philadelphia to escort Fred Kopp as it tows the de Villeroi vessel south to the James River . Although unofficial, the submarine has by now acquired a name—Alligator, based probably on its coat of green paint and way that it moves through the water, propelled by oars. Goldsborough steadfastly refuses to refer to it as anything but “the submarine propeller.”

16 CSS Maurepas and steamers Eliza G. and Mary Patterson were sunk in White River , Arkansas , to obstruct the advance of Union gunboats.

USS Somerset, Lieutenant English, captured blockade running schooner Curlew off Cedar Keys, Florida .

17 Joint expedition, made at the request of Major General Halleck to open Army communications on the White River, under Commander Kilty in USS Mound City, with USS St Louis, Lexington , and Conestoga, and a regiment of troops, engaged Confederate batteries at St Charles , Arkansas . Mound City took a direct hit at close range, exploding her steam drum and causing heavy casualties. Covered by the gunboats, the troops landed and successfully stormed the earthworks. This action gave control of the White River to the Union fleet.

Captain Blake, Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy, wrote Assistant Secretary of the Navy Fox regarding the curriculum of the Academy: “To make the Academy a school for engineers would require considerable changes in the Academic Course. Descriptive geometry, which was struck out of it sometime since, should be restored, for it is needed in the study and comprehension of machines. There should also be an extension of the course of Analytical Geometry and Calculus, by means of which many of the formulas relating to steam, and the steam engine, are derived, and the course of drawing, which now embraces mechanical drawing to some degree, should be extended. We should also have more chemistry.” Through the years the Naval Academy curriculum has been reviewed and revised to meet the demands of new technology and new dimensions in sea power.

Charles H. Davis appointed Flag Officer and Commander of U.S. Naval Forces on the Mississippi , relieving Flag Officer Foote. Davis had been in actual command since the departure of Foote on May 9. Secretary of the Navy Welles congratulated Foote for the “series of successful actions which have contributed so largely to the suppression of the rebellion throughout the Southwest.”

19 U.S. sloop Florida , tender to USS Morning Light, Acting Lieutenant Henry T. Moore, captured sloop Ventura off Grant’s Pass, Mobile Bay , with cargo of rice and flour.

Admiral Buchanan, CSN, wrote to Lieutenant Catesby ap R. Jones about the destruction of CSS Virginia: “I have great confidence in my old friend Commodore Tatnall and cannot believe that he acted without reflection, or was governed by any other motives than those in his judgment told him was right . . . There is one thing very certain: The destruction of Virginia saved Richmond, for if you all had not been at the bluff [Drewry’s] Richmond would have been shelled and perhaps taken.”

Commander Maury, CSN, reported to Secretary of the Navy Mallory on his mining operations near Chaffin’s Bluff in the James River . Electric torpedoes (mines) made of boiler plate encased in watertight wooden casks were planted with the assistance of CSS Teaser, Lieutenant Davidson. Maury noted that one of the galvanic batteries had been loaned for this service by the University of Virginia.  

Escorted by the Satellite, the Fred Kopp begins its tow of Alligator. A note from Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles mentions a twenty-man crew and the fact that the submarine carried two torpedoes .

20 Commander Semmes wrote Secretary of the Navy Mallory: “It will doubtless be a matter of delicacy and management to get Alabama safely out of British waters without suspicion, as Mr. [Charles F.] Adams , the Northern envoy, and his numerous satellites are exceedingly vigilant in their espionage. We can not, of course, think of arming her in a British port. This must be done at some concerted rendezvous, to which her battery and most of her crew must be sent in a merchant vessel . . . I think well of your suggestion of the East Indies as a cruising ground, and hope to be in the track of the enemy’s commerce in those seas as early as October or November next, when I shall doubtless be able to make other rich ‘burnt offerings’ upon the altar of our country’s liberties . . .”

Lieutenant Hunter Davidson, commanding CSS Teaser, the first minelayer, ordered to relieve Commander Matthew F. Maury “in the charge of devising, placing, and superintending submarine batteries in the James River , and you will exercise your discretion as to the ways and means of placing obstacles of this and any other character to oppose the enemy’s passage of the river.”

USS Madgie, Acting master Frank B. Meriam, took 3,000 bushels of rice from a vessel at Barrett’s Island, near Darien , South Carolina , and captured schooner Southern Belle above that city.

USS Beauregard, Acting Master David Stearns, seized blockade running British schooner Lucy off Deadman’s Point Bay , Florida .

USS Keystone State, Commander LeRoy, captured blockade running British schooner Sarah with cargo of cotton off Charleston .

Two boats under command of Acting Master Theodore B. DuBois of USS Albatross captured steam tug Treaty and schooner Louisa near Georgetown , South Carolina .

21 Joint expedition under Lieutenant Rhind, USS Crusader, with USS Planter in company, ascended to Simmons Bluff, Wadmelaw River , South Carolina . Lieutenant Rhind landed with troops and destroyed a Confederate encampment. 

USS Bohio, Acting Master W. D. Gregory, captured sloop L. Rebecca bound from Biloxi to Mobile.

23 Alligator arrives in Hampton Roads.

24 The first time in history that opposing naval forces had functioning submarines operating in the same theater of war: Cheney’s submarine and Alligator, which is towed up the James on this date.

25 Alligator arrives at City Point , Virginia , and is anchored near U.S.S. Galena. The target of its first operation is the Petersburg Railroad bridge over the Appomattox River . An Army operation which will impact this mission also begin the following day—The Seven Days’ Battles

26 General McClellan notified Flag Officer L. M. Goldsborough that the urgency for safely bringing the provision transports from the Pamunkey to the James River was “a matter of vital importance and may involve the existence of the Army.” A Confederate offensive had cut McClellan’s line of communications with his main base at White House on the Pamunkey River .

USS Kensington, Acting Master Frederick Crocker, with mortar schooners Horace Beals and Sarah Bruen, proceeding towards Vicksburg, silenced a Confederate battery near Cole’s Creek, Mississippi River.

USS Mount Vernon, Commander Glisson, with USS Mystic and Victoria chased a blockade runner Emily standing in for Wilmington . Emily grounded and a boat crew commanded by Acting master W. N. Griswold from Mount Vernon boarded and destroyed he while under heavy fire from Fort Caswell .

27 USS Bohio, Acting Master W. D. Gregory, captured sloop Wave, bound from Mobile to Mississippi City with cargo of flour.

USS Bienville, Commander Mullany, captured schooner Morning Star off Wilmington .

USS Cambridge, Commander W. A. Parker, chased blockade runner Modern Grace ashore off Wilmington , where she was subsequently destroyed with cargo of gunpowder, rifled cannon, and other arms.

28 Flag Officer Farragut’s fleet, supported by mortar boats under Commander D. D. Porter , successfully passed Vicksburg while exchanging a heavy fire with Confederate batteries. Farragut was acting under orders from President Lincoln to “clear the river.”

Flag Officer Davis wrote Secretary of the Navy Welles: “Our recent experience in the navigation of the White River has made it apparent that in order to acquire control of the tributaries of the Mississippi, and to maintain that control during the dry season, it will be necessary to fit up immediately some boats of small draft for this special purpose. These boats will be sufficiently protected about the machinery and pilot houses against musketry. They will be selected for their light draft and their capacity to receive a suitable armament of howitzers, field pieces, or other light guns, and to accommodate the requisite number of men; and, finally, for their susceptibility of protection.”

USS Braziliera captured schooner Chance with cargo of salt off Wassaw Sound , Georgia .

28-29 USS Marblehead, Lieutenant S. Nicholson, and USS Chocura, Lieutenant Thomas H. Patterson, in the Pamunkey River, supported Army withdrawal from White House, Virginia, with gunfire and transport. Other Union gunboats escorted transports and moved up the James and Chickahominy Rivers in close support of General McClellan’s army.

29 USS Susquehanna, Commander Hitchcock, captured blockade running British steamer Ana near Mobile with cargo of arms and ammunition. 

Commander Rodgers sends Alligator back down the James to Louis Goldsborough at Hampton Roads. Rodgers is very impressed with the potential of the submarine (possibly as the result of spending time with Samuel Eakins) but realizes immediately that the Appomattox River is far too shallow for the Alligator to operate in—shoal areas previously held by Union  forces have fallen to the Confederates as General McClellan retreats, and Alligator would be easily seen and handily sunk or captured. Although its mission cannot be fulfilled, Rodgers rightly understands the potential for damage to the fleet were the vessel to be captured and turned against the Navy.

29-30 Confederate troops fired on USS Lexington, Lieutenant Shirk, on White River between St Charles and Clarendon , Arkansas .

30 Major General McClellan, compelled to withdraw down the James and dependent upon the Navy for gunfire support and transportation, reported: “I retreated from Malvern to Haxall’s, and . . . went on board of Captain Roger’s gunboat USS Galena to confer with him in reference to the condition of our supply vessels and the state of things on the river. It was his opinion that it would be necessary for the army to fall back to a position below City Point, as the channel there would be so near the southern shore that it would not be possible to bring up the transports should the enemy occupy it.. Harrison ’s Landing was, in his opinion, the nearest suitable point.  . . . Concurring in his opinion, I selected Harrison ’s Bar as the new position of the army.” McClellan noted one of many instances of invaluable naval support as the Confederates pressed to cut off the Union movement to the river: “The rear of the supply trains and the reserve artillery of the army reached Malvern Hill about 4p.m. At about this time the enemy began to appear in General Fitz John Porter’s front, and at 5 o’clock advanced in large force against his flank, posting artillery under cover of a skirt of timber, with a view to engage our force on Malvern Hill. . . . The gunboats rendered most efficient aid at this time, and helped drive back the enemy.” Naval gunfire support was controlled through a system of liaison  in which “fall-of-shot” information was sent by Army signal personnel ashore to Army signal personnel afloat in the gunboats by the Myer’s system of signaling.

USS Quaker City, Commander Frailey, captured brig Model with cargo of coal in the Gulf of Mexico .

Flag Officer DuPont ordered USS South Carolina, Commander Almy, to join USS Wyandotte in blockading Mosquito Inlet near New Smyrna, Florida. The inlet had become increasingly important to the Confederates as an unloading point for blockade runners bringing arms from Nassau.

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