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 1864

1 As the New Year opened, the Union once more focused its attention on Wilmington
. Since 1862 the Navy had pressed for a combined assault on this major east coast port, ideally located for blockade running less than 600 miles from Nassau and only some 675 from Bermuda . Despite the efforts of the fleet, the runners had continued to ply their trade successfully. In the fall of 1863, a British observer reported that thirteen steamers ran into Wilmington between 10 and 29 September and that fourteen ships put to sea between 2 and 19 September. In fact, James Randall, an employee of a Wilmington shipping firm, reported that 397 ships visited Wilmington during the first two and a half to three years of the war. On 2 January, Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles  again proposed an attack on the fortifications protecting Wilmington , the only port by which any supplies whatever reach the rebels. . . . He suggested to Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton that a joint operation be undertaken to seize Fort Caswell : 'The result of such operation is to en-able the vessels to lie inside, as is the case at Charleston , thus closing the port effectually." However, Major General Henry W. Halleck advised Stanton that campaigns to which the Army was committed in Louisiana and Texas would not permit the men for the suggested assault to be spared. Thus, although the Navy increasingly felt the need to close Wilmington , the port remained a haven for blockade runners for another year.

USS Huron, Lieutenant Commander Francis H. Baker, sank blockade running British schooner Sylvanus in Doboy Sound , Georgia , with cargo of salt, liquor, and cordage.

2 Major General Stephen A. Hurlbut, Army commander at Memphis , wired Secretary Welles: 'The Tennessee at Mobile
 will be ready for sea in twenty days. She is a dangerous craft. Bu-chanan thinks more so than the Merrimack  Commander Robert Townsend reported the seizure of steamer Ben Franklin in the lower Mississippi River "for flagrant violation of the Treasury Regulations."

3 USS Fahkee, with Rear Admiral Samuel P. Lee embarked, sighted steamer Bendigo aground at Lockwood's Folly Inlet , South Carolina . Three boat crews were sent to investigate: after it was discovered that the blockade runner had been partially burned to prevent capture and that there was seven feet of water in the hold, Lee ordered Bendigo destroyed by gunfire from USS Fort Jackson, Iron Age, Montgomery, Daylight, and Fahkee.

4 Estimating the situation west of the Mississippi, Lieutenant General E. Kirby Smith, CSA, wrote to Major General Richard Taylor, CSA: "I still think Red and Washita [Ouachita] Rivers, especially the former, are the true lines of operation for an invading column, and that we may ex-pect an attempt to be made by the enemy in force before the rivers fall. . . .Within eight weeks Rear Admiral David D. Porter was leading such a joint expedition aimed at the penetration of Texas, which would not only further weaken Confederate logistic support from the West, but also would counter the threat of Texas posed by the French ascendancy in Mexico.

USS Tioga, Lieutenant Commander Edward Y. McCauley, seized an unnamed schooner near the Bahamas , bound from Nassau to Havana with cargo including salt, coffee, arms, shoes, and liquors.

5 Commander George B. Balch reported to Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren
, commanding the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, that prices continue to rocket in blockaded Charleston : " . . . . boots sell at $250 a pair."

7 Following reports from an informant, Rear Admiral Dahlgren ordered all ships of the Charleston blockading force to take stringent precautions against attack by Southern torpedo boats, and noted: "There is also one of another kind, which is nearly submerged and can be entirely so. It is intended to go under the bottoms of vessels and there to operate." Regarding the submarine H.L. Hunley, he warned: "It is also advisable not to anchor in the deepest part of the channel, for by not leaving much space between the bottom of the vessel and the bottom of the channel it will be impossible for the diving torpedo to operate except on the sides, and there will be less difficulty in raising a vessel if sunk."

Major General Benjamin F. Butler's plan to send Army steamer Brewster, Ensign Arnold Harris, Jr., into Wilmington harbor under the guise of a blockade runner "for the purpose of making an attempt upon the shipping and blockade runners in the harbor" was abandoned upon learning of the Confederates' protective precautions. Brigadier General Charles K. Graham reported to Rear Admiral Lee that while it might be possible to run past Forts Caswell and Fisher under the proposed ruse, it would be frustrated by the chain that stretched across the channel at Fort Lee; all blockade runners were required to come to at that point until permission for their further advance was received from Wilmington. Under these circumstances, Graham concluded, "it would be madness to make the attempt."

USS Montgomery, Lieutenant Edward H. Faucon, and USS Aries, Lieutenant Edward F. Devens, chased blockade runner Dare. The steamer, finding escape impossible, was beached at North Inlet , South Carolina , and was abandoned by her crew. Boat crews from both Montgomery and Aries boarded but, failing to refloat the prize, set her afire.

USS San Jacinto, Lieutenant Commander Ralph Chandler, captured schooner Roebuck at sea, bound from Havana for Mobile .

8 Captain Raphael Semmes, CSS Alabama, noted in his journal that he had identified himself to an English bark as USS Dacotah in search of the raider Alabama. The bark's master replied: "It won't do; the Alabama is a bigger ship than you, and they say she is iron plated besides." Had Semmes' ship been armored in fact, the outcome of his battle with USS Kearsarge six months later might have been different.

USS Kennebec, Lieutenant Commander William P. McCann, chased blockade runner John Scott off Mobile for some eight hours and captured her with cargo of cotton and turpentine. John Scott's pilot, William Norval, well known for his professional skill and for aiding the blockade runners, was sent by Commodore Henry K. Thatcher to New Orleans , where he was imprisoned.

9 Reflecting the increased Union concern over Confederate torpedoes, President Abraham Lincoln granted an interview to one Captain Lavender, a New England mariner, to discuss a device for discovering and removing underwater obstructions. Though many ideas for rendering Confed-erate torpedoes ineffective were advanced, none solved the problem, and torpedoes sank an increasing number of Union ships.

Mr. James O. Putnam, U.S. Consul at Le Havre , France , notified Captain John Winslow of USS Kearsarge "that it was the purpose of the commanders of the Georgia , the Florida , and Rappahannock, to rendezvous at some convenient and opportune point, for the purpose of attacking the Kearsarge after she has left Brest ." This attack never took place; six months later it was Kearsarge which met another Confederate raider, Alabama , off Cherbourg .

Rear Admiral Charles H. Bell, commanding the Pacific Squadron, advised Secretary Welles of the report that a Confederate privateer was outfitting at Victoria, Vancouver Island: "I would also respectfully suggest the expediency of having at all times a small steamer, under the direction of the [Mare Island] navy yard, ready to be dispatched at a few hours' notice whenever a similar occasion arises. The want of a vessel so prepared may be of incalculable injury to the mercantile interests of our western coast.

10 While helping to salvage the hulk of grounded and partially burned blockade runner Bendigo near Lockwood's Folly Inlet , South Carolina , USS Iron Age, Lieutenant Commander Edward E. Stone, herself grounded. Efforts to get her off were futile, and, as Confederates positioned a battery within range, the ship was ordered destroyed to prevent her capture. Reporting on the loss of the small screw steamer and on blockade duty in general, Rear Admiral Lee noted: "This service is one of great hardship and exposure; it has been conducted with slight loss to us, and much loss to the rebels and their allies, who have lost twenty-two vessels in six months, while our loss has only been two vessels on the Wilmington blockade during the war."

Boat crews from USS Roebuck, Acting Master John Sherrill, captured blockade-running Confederate sloop Maria Louise with cargo of cotton off Jupiter Inlet , Florida .

11 Flag Officer Samuel Barron, senior Confederate naval officer in France, reported to Secretary of the Navy Stephen Mallory
, that he had placed Lieutenant Charles M. Morris in command of CSS Florida, relieving Commander Joseph N. Barney whose ill health prevented active service afloat. Florida had completed her repairs and on a trial run "made 13 knots under steam." CSS Rappahannock was "repairing slowly but surely;" she would be armed with the battery from CSS Georgia, no longer fit for duty as a cruiser. He concluded: "You are doubtless, sir, aware that three Confederate 'men-of-war' are now enjoying the hospitality and natural courtesies of this Empire-a strange contrast with the determined hostility, I may almost say, of Earl Russell Louis Napoleon is not Lord John Russell!"

USS Minnesota, Daylight, Aries, and Governor Buckingham intercepted blockade runner Ranger, Lieutenant George W. Gift, CSN, and forced her aground at the Western Bar of Lockwood's Folly Inlet , South Carolina . Since Southern sharpshooters precluded salvage, Ranger, carrying a cargo for the Confederate government, was destroyed by Union forces. Aries, Acting Lieutenant Edward F. Devens, also investigated a fire observed between Tubb's and Little River Inlets and found the "fine-looking double propeller blockade runner" Vesta beached and in flames. Vesta had been sighted and chased the night before by USS Keystone State, Quaker City , and Tuscarora.

USS Honeysuckle, Acting Ensign Cyrus Sears, captured blockade running British schooner Fly near Jupiter Inlet , Florida .

Boat crews from USS Roebuck, Acting Master Sherrill, captured blockade running British schooner Susan at Jupiter Inlet with cargo including salt.

12 Under cover of USS Yankee, Currituck, Anacostia, Tulip, and Jacob Bell, commanded by Acting Lieutenant Edward Hooker, Union cavalry and infantry under General Gilman Marston landed on the peninsula between the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers , capturing "a small body of the enemy and a large number of cavalry horses." The small gunboats supported the Army operations on the 13th and 14th, and covered the reembarkation of the soldiers on the 15th.

13 Captain Thornton A. Jenkins, senior officer present off Mobile, wrote Commodore Henry H. Bell, temporary commander of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron: "I must be permitted to say that, in my judgment, our present weakness at this point, and the incalculable benefits to accrue in the event of success, are a most tempting invitation to the enemy to attack us and endeavor to raise the blockade by capturing or destroying our vessels and to open the way to other successes.

Rear Admiral Farragut, who had arrived in Key West , Florida , on 12 January, was soon to resume command of the West Gulf Squadron.

Rear Admiral Dahlgren urged Secretary Welles to employ torpedo boats in Charleston harbor similar to the Confederate "David". "Nothing better could be devised for the security of our own vessels or for the examination of the enemy's position," he wrote. "The length of these torpedo boats might be about 40 feet, and 5 to 6 feet in diameter, with a high-pressure engine that will drive them 5 knots. It is not necessary to expend much finish on them."

Boat crew from USS Two Sisters, Acting master Thomas Chatfield, captured schooner William off Suwannee River , Florida , with cargo of salt, bagging, and rope.

14 CSS Alabama , Captain Semmes, captured and burned ship Emma Jane off the coast of Malabar, southwest India .

Small boats from USS Roebuck, Acting Master Sherrill, chased blockade running British sloop Young Racer and forced her aground north of Jupiter Inlet , Florida , with cargo of salt. The sloop was destroyed by her crew.

Having failed in efforts to pull the grounded USS Iron Age off the beach at Lockwood's Folly Inlet, the Federal blockaders applied the torch and blew her up. "As an offset to the loss...." reported Lieutenant Commander Stone, "I would place the capture or destruction of 22 blockade runners within the last six months by this squadron [the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron]."

USS Union, Acting Lieutenant Edward Conroy, captured blockade running steamer Mayflower near Tampa Bay , Florida , with cargo of cotton.

15 Regarding Southern Red River defenses, Major General Taylor, CSA, wrote to Brigadier General William R. Boggs: "At all events, we should be prepared as far as possible, and I trust the remaining 9-inch gun and the carriages for the two 32-Dahlgrens will soon reach me. For the 9-inch and 32-pound rifle now in position at Fort De Russy, there were sent down only 50 rounds of shot and shell; more should be sent at once. The Missouri , I suppose, will come down on the first rise.

Secretary Mallory ordered Commander James W. Cooke to command CSS Albemarle at Halifax , North Carolina , and to complete her. Under Cooke's guidance she was rapidly readied for service and played a major role in Albemarle Sound from April until her destruction in October.

Commodore H. H. Bell wrote confidentially to Commander Robert Townsend, USS Essex, off Donaldsonville , Louisiana : "The rams and ironclads on Red River and in Mobile Bay are to force the blockade at both points and meet here [ New Orleans ], whilst the army is to do its part. Being aware of these plans, we should be prepared to defeat them. The reports in circulation about their ironclads and rams being failures may be true in some degree; but we should remember that they prevailed about the redoubtable Merrimack before her advent." Of the ironclads, however, only CSS Tennessee could be regarded as formidable.

USS Beauregard, Acting Master Francis Burgess, captured blockade running British schooner Minnie south of Mosquito Inlet , Florida , with cargo including salt and liquor.

16 Secretary Mallory wrote Captain John K. Mitchell of the Confederate James River Squadron urging that action be taken against the Union squadron downriver at the earliest opportunity.

I think that there is a passage through the obstructions at Trents ' Reach. I deem the opportunity a favor able one for striking a blow at the enemy if we are able to do so. In a short time many of his vessels will have returned to the River from Wilmington and he will again perfect his obstructions. If we can block the River at or below City Point, Grant might be compelled to evacuate his position. . . . The clamor for action increased as the months passed- On 15 May Lieutenant Robert D. Minor, First Lieutenant and ordnance officer for the Squadron, wrote his wife: "There is an insane desire among the public to get the iron dads down the river, and I am afraid that some of our higher public authorities are yielding to this pressure of public opinion- but I for one am not and in the squadron we know too much of the interest at stake to act against our judgment even if those high in authority wish to hurry us into an action unprepared and against vastly superior forces. . . ."

The Richmond Enquirer reported that 26 ships on blockading station off Wilmington "guard all the avenues of approach with the most sleepless vigilance. The consequences are that the chances of running the blockade have been greatly lessened, and it is apprehended by some that the day is not far distant when it will be an impossibility for a vessel to get into that port without incurring a hazard almost equivalent to positive loss. Having secured nearly every seaport on our coast, the Yankees are enabled to keep a large force off Wilmington ."

Henry Hotze, commercial agent of the Confederate States, wrote from London to Secretary of State Judah P. Benjamin suggesting complete government operation of blockade running: "The experiments thus far made by the Ordnance, Niter, and other Bureaus, as also the Navy Department, demonstrates that the Government can run the blockade with equal if not greater chances than private enterprise. But the public loses the chief advantages of the system, first, by the competition of private exportation; secondly, by the complicated and jarring machinery which only serves to grind out large profits in the shape of commissions, etc.; thirdly, by confounding the distinctive functions of different administrative departments. If blockade running was constituted an arm of the national defense, each would perform only its appropriate work, which therefore would be well done, The Treasury would procure without competition the raw material and regulate the disposition of the proceeds; the Navy, abandoning the hope of breaking the blockade and throwing all its available energies into eluding it, would purchase, build, and man the vessels for this purpose. . . . As the war progressed, more and more blockade runners commanded by naval officers did operate under the Confederate government.

Boat crews from USS Fernandina, Acting Master Edward Moses, captured sloop Annie Thompson in St. Catherine's Sound, Georgia , with cargo of cotton, tobacco, and turpentine.

USS Gertrude, Acting Master Henry C. Wade, captured blockade running schooner Ellen off Mobile with an assorted cargo.

17 Rear Admiral Farragut, eager to attack at Mobile but needing ironclads to cope with Confederate ram Tennessee , wrote Rear Admiral Porter: "I am therefore anxious to know if your monitors, at least two of them, are not completed and ready for service; and if so, can you spare them to assist us? If I had them, I should not hesitate to become the assailant instead of awaiting the attack. I must have ironclads enough to lie in the bay to hold the gunboats and rams in check in the shoal water."

18 Rear Admiral Farragut arrived off Mobile Bay to inspect Union ships and the Confederate de-fenses. He had sailed from New York in his renowned flagship Hartford after an absence of five months, and was to officially resume command of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron on January 22 at New Orleans . Farragut was concerned about the reported strength of the Confederate ram Tennessee , then in Mobile Bay , and determined to destroy her and silence the forts, closing Mobile to the blockade runners, To this end, he immediately began to build up his forces and make plans for the battle.

Secretary Welles directed Captain Henry Walke, USS Sacramento, to search for "the piratical vessels now afloat and preying upon our commerce," adding: "You will bear in mind that the principal object of your pursuit is the Alabama ." Alabama had by this date taken more than 60 prizes, and the effect of all raiders on Union merchantmen was evident in the gradual disappearance of the U.S. flag from the ocean commerce lanes. Boat crews from USS Roebuck, Acting Master Sherrill, captured sloop Caroline off Jupiter Inlet , Florida , with cargo of salt, gin, soda, and dry goods.

USS Stars and Stripes, Acting Master Charles L. Willcomb, captured blockade running steamer Laura off Ocklockonee River , Florida , with cargo including cigars.

19 Boats from USS Roebuck, Acting Master Sherrill, seized British schooner Eliza and sloop Mary inside Jupiter Inlet , Florida . Both blockade runners carried cargoes of cotton. Three days later Mary, en route to Key West , commenced leaking, ran aground, and was wrecked. The prize crew and most of the cotton were saved. In ten days, Sherrill's vigilance and initiative had enabled him to take six prizes.

Thomas E. Courtenay, engaged in secret service for the Confederacy, informed Colonel Henry E. Clark, that manufacture of "coal torpedoes" was nearing completion, and stated: "The castings have all been completed some time and the coal is so perfect that the most critical eye could not detect it." These devices, really powder filled cast iron bombs, shaped and painted to resemble pieces of coal, were to be deposited in Federal naval coal depots, from where they would eventu-ally reach and explode ships' boilers. During the next few months Rear Admiral Porter, commanding the Mississippi Squadron, became greatly concerned over Confederate agents assigned to distribute the coal torpedoes, and wrote Secretary Welles that he had "given orders to commanders of vessels not to be very particular about the treatment of any of these desperadoes if caught- only summary punishment will be effective.

21 USS Sciota, Lieutenant Commander George H. Perkins, in company with USS Granite City, Acting Master Charles W. Lamson, joined several hundred troops in a reconnaissance of the Texas coast. Sciota and Granite City covered the troops at Smith's Landing, Texas , and the subsequent foray down the Matagorda Peninsula . From the war's outset this type of close naval support and cooperation with the army had been a potent factor in Union success in all theaters of the conflict.

22 Rear Admiral Dahlgren wrote Assistant Secretary of the Navy Gustavus V. Fox regarding Charles-ton: '. . . do not suppose that I am idle because no battles are fought; on the contrary, the blockade by four monitors of such a place as this, and the determined intentions of the rebels to operate with torpedoes, keep all eyes open.

Acting Ensign James J. Russell, USS Restless, accompanied by two sailors, captured blockade running schooner William A. Kain in St. Andrew's Bay, Florida. Russell and his men had intended originally to reconnoiter only, but after discovering and capturing the Captain and several of the crew members of the blockade runner in the woods near the vessel, he determined to take her himself. Compelling his prisoners to row him out to Kain, Russell captured the remaining crew members and managed to sail Kain from Watson's Bayou out into the bay and under the protection of Restless's guns.

23 Rear Admiral Dahlgren in a letter to President Lincoln wrote: "The city of Charleston is converted into a camp, and 20,000 or 25,000 of their best troops are kept in abeyance in the vicinity, to guard against all possible contingencies, so that 2,000 of our men in the fortifications of Morris and Folly Islands, assisted by a few ironclads, are rendering invaluable service. . . . No man in the country will be more happy than myself to plant the flag of the Union where you most desire to see it." The Union 's ability to attack any part of the South's long coastline from the sea diverted important numbers of Confederate soldiers from the main armies.

26 William L. Dayton, U.S. Minister to France , noted in a dispatch to Secretary of State Seward: "I must regret that, of the great number of our ships of war, enough could not have been spared to look after the small rebel cruisers now in French ports. It is a matter of great surprise in Europe , that, with our apparent naval force, we permit such miserable craft to chase our commerce from the ocean; it affects seriously our prestige."

28 Captain Henry S. Stellwagen, commanding USS Constellation, reported from Naples "It is my pleasant duty to inform you of the continued [friendly] demonstrations of ruling powers and people of the Kingdom of Italy toward our country and its officers." When the problems of blockading the hazardous Atlantic and Gulf coasts and running down Confederate commerce raiders compelled the Navy Department to employ its steamers in these tasks, sailing warships were sent out to replace them on the foreign stations. These slow but relatively powerful vessels, the historic Constellation in the Mediterranean, St. Louis west of Gibraltar on the converging trade routes, Jamestown in the East Indies, became available to escort merchant ships and, more important, to deter the approach of raiders. Though they received few opportunities to carry out their military missions, these veterans of the Old Navy rendered most effective service pro-tecting American interests and maintaining national prestige abroad.

U.S. Army steamer Western Metropolis seized blockade running British steamer Rosita off Key West with cargo including liquor and cigars. Acting Lieutenant Lewis W. Pennington, USN, and Acting Master Daniel S. Murphy, USN, on board as passengers, assisted in the capture.

USS Beauregard, Acting Master Burgess, seized blockade running British sloop Racer north of Cape Canaveral , Florida , with cargo of cotton.

29 Commander Thomas H. Stevens, USS Patapsco, reported to Rear Admiral Dahlgren on an ex-tended reconnaissance of the Wilmington River, Georgia, during which Confederate sharpshooters were engaged. Stevens concluded: "From what I can see and learn, an original expedition against Savannah at this time by a combined movement of the land and sea forces would be prob-ably successful." Though the Navy kept the city under close blockade and engaged the area's defenses, troops for the combined operation did not become available until late in the year.

Lieutenant Commander James C. Chaplin, USS Dai Ching, reported to Dahlgren information obtained from the master of blockade runner George Chisholm [see 14 November 1863 for capture]: ,'. . . vessels running out from Nassau, freighted with contraband goods for Southern ports . . . always skirt along on soundings and take the open sea through the North East Providence Channel by Egg and Royal Islands, steering from thence about N.N.W. course toward Wilmington or ports adjacent on the Carolina coast, while those bound to Mobile run down on the east side of Cuba through Crooked Island Passage, sweeping outside in a considerable circle to avoid the United States cruisers in the vicinity. The vessels bound to the coast of the Carolinas take their point of departure from a newly erected light-house in the neighborhood of Man of War Cay. They are provided with the best of instruments and charts, and, if the master is ignorant of the channels and inlets of our coast, a good pilot. They are also in possession of the necessary funds (in specie) to bribe, if possible, captors for their release. Such an offer was made to myself . . . of some £800. The master of a sailing vessel, before leaving port, receives $1,000 (in coin), and, if successful, $5,000 on his return; those commanding steamers $5,000 on leaving and $15,000 in a successful return to the same port."

30 Harper’s Weekly reprints an article from the French Le Monde Illustré which describes a Confederate submarine designed by Anstilt that is 69’ long.

31 In planning the strategy for the joint Army-Navy Red River Campaign, Major General William T. Sherman wrote to Major General Nathaniel P. Banks: "The expedition on Shreveport should be made rapidly, by simultaneous movements from Little Rock on Shreveport , from Opelousas on Alexandria , and a combined force of gun-boats and transports directly up Red River . Admiral Porter will be able to have a splendid fleet by March 1." The Army relied on Porter's gunboats both to spearhead attack with its powerful guns and to keep open the all-important supply line.

An expedition comprising some 40 sailors and 350 soldiers with a 12-pound howitzer, under command of Lieutenant Commander Charles W. Flusser, Marched inland from the Roanoke River North Carolina, "held the town of Windsor several hours, and Marched back 8 miles to our boats without a single shot from the enemy."

February 1864

1 Army expedition supported by minor naval forces (including converted ferry boat USS Commodore Morris, Lieutenant Commander James H. Gillis, and launches from USS Minnesota) was repulsed by Confederate sharpshooters near Smithfield Virginia , with the loss of Army gunboat Smith Briggs. The troops, whose original object had been the capture of a Confederate camp and a quantity of tobacco on Pagan Creek, re-embarked on the transports and withdrew downstream.

USS Sassacus, Lieutenant Commander Francis A. Roe, captured blockade runner Wild Dayrell aground at Stump Inlet , North Carolina . Roe attempted to get the steamer off for two days but, unable to do so, burned her.

Boat expedition from USS Braziliera, Acting Master William T. Gillespie, captured sloop Buffalo with cargo of cotton near Brunswick , Georgia .

2 Early in the morning, a Confederate boat expedition planned and boldly led by Commander John Taylor Wood, CSN, captured and destroyed 4-gun sidewheel steamer USS Underwriter, Acting Master Jacob Westervelt, anchored in the Neuse River near New Bern , North Carolina . The boats had been shipped by rail from Petersburg , Virginia , to Kinston , North Carolina , and from there started down the Neuse . Wood, grandson of President Taylor and nephew of Jefferson Davis, silently approached Underwriter about 2:30 a.m. and was within 100 yards of the gunboat before the boats were sighted. Underwriter's guns could not be brought to bear in time, and the Confederates quickly boarded and took her in hand-to-hand combat, during which Westervelt was killed, Unable to move Underwriter because she did not have steam up, Wood destroyed her while under the fire of nearby Union batteries. He later wrote Colonel Lloyd J. Beall, Commandant of the Confederate Marine Corps, commending the Marines who had taken part in the expedition: "Though their duties were more arduous than those of the others, they were always prompt and ready for the performance of all they were called upon to do. As a body they would be a credit to any organization, and I will be glad to be associated with them on duty at any time." Lieutenant George W. Gift, CSN, who took part in what Secretary Mallory
 termed "this brilliant exploit," remarked: "I am all admiration for Wood. He is modesty personified, conceives boldly and executes with skill and courage.

Major General W. T. Sherman, who had recently arrived at Vicksburg on board USS Juliet, Acting Master J. Stoughton Watson, preparatory to commencing his expedition to Meridian , Mississippi , expressed his appreciation for the assistance Watson had given him. "I am very obliged to you personally and officially for the perfect manner [in which] you have contributed to my wants. You have enabled me to assemble and put in motion troops along the Mississippi , and have contributed to the personal comfort of myself and staff." In order to further assist Sherman 's move, tern-wheel gunboats Marmora, Romeo, Exchange and tinclad Petrel supported a diversionary expedition up the Yazoo River . Sherman had written Lieutenant Commander Elias K. Owen, commanding the gunboats: "I desire to confuse the enemy as to our plans [to March across Mississippi and attack Meridian ], and know that the appearance of a force up the Yazoo as far as possible will tend to that result." Moreover, such a showing of the flag would impress the people with the force available to Union commanders should it be necessary to use it.

U.S. Tug Geranium, Acting Ensign David Lee, captured eight members of the Confederate Torpedo Corps off Fort Moultrie , in Charleston
  Harbor , while they were attempting to remove stores from a grounded blockade runner.

2-4 Blockade runner Presto was discovered aground under the batteries of Fort Moultrie . Monitors USS Lehigh, Commander Andrew Bryson, Nahant, Lieutenant Commander John J. Cornwell, and Passaic , Lieutenant Commander Edward Simpson, fired on the steamer for three days, finally satisfying themselves on 4 February that she was destroyed.

2-–22 Major General Quincy A. Gillmore advised Rear Admiral Dahlgren
 of his intention " to throw a force into Florida on the west bank of St. John's River ." He requested the support of two or three naval gunboats for the operation. Dahlgren promptly detailed small screw steamers USS Ottawa and Norwich to convoy the Army troops to Jacksonville , and ordered screw steamer USS Dai Ching, and sidewheelers Mahaska and Water Witch up the St. John's . The Admiral himself went to Florida to take a personal hand in directing his forces to . . . keep open the communications by the river and give any assistance to the troops which operations may need . . . .With the gunboats deployed according to Dahlgren's instructions, the soldiers, under Brigadier General Truman Seymour, landed at Jacksonville, moved inland, captured fieldpieces and took a large quantity of cotton. As Dahlgren prepared to return to Charleston on 10 February, General Gillmore wrote: "Please accept my thanks for the prompt cooperation afforded me." A strong Confederate counterattack commenced on 20 February and compelled the Union troops to fall back on Jacksonville where the gunboats stood by to defend the city; naval howitzers were put ashore in battery, manned by seamen. Commander Balch, senior naval officer present, reported: "I had abundant reasons to believe that to the naval force must our troops be indebted for protection against a greatly superior force flushed with victory." Seymour expressed his appreciation for Balch's quick action". . . at a moment when it appeared probable that the vigorous assistance of the force under your command would be necessary.

3 USS Petrel, Marmora, Exchange, and Romeo, under Lieutenant Commander Owen, silenced Con-federate batteries at Liverpool, Mississippi, on the Yazoo River, as naval forces began an expedition to prevent Southerners from harassing Major General W. T. Sherman's expedition to Meridian, Mississippi. In the next two weeks, Owen's light-draft gunboats pushed up the Yazoo Rivet as far as Greenwood , Mississippi , engaging Confederate troops en route. Confederates destroyed steamer Sharp to prevent her capture before the Union naval force turned back. 'This move," Rear Admiral Porter later reported to Secretary Welles
," has had the effect of driving the guerrillas away from the Mississippi River, as they are fearful it is intended to cut them off."

USS Midnight, Acting Master Walter H. Garfield, captured blockade running schooner Defy off Doboy Light , Georgia , with cargo of salt.

4 A boat under command of Acting Master's Mate Henry B. Colby from USS Beauregard captured Lydia at Jupiter Narrows , Florida , with small cargo of cotton and turpentine.

4–5 USS Sassacus, Lieutenant Commander Roe, chased steamer Nutfield aground off New River Inlet , North Carolina . When it proved impossible to get her off, her cargo of Enfield rifles and quinine was salvaged and she was destroyed.

5 J. L. McPhail, Maryland 's Provost Marshal General, wrote Commander Foxhall A. Parker of the Potomac Flotilla, informing him that a known Southern sympathizer was the agent for schooner Ann Hamilton's owners. McPhail recommended that she be taken, but it later developed that U.S. Revenue Steamer Hercules had already seized Ann Hamilton off Point Lookout , Maryland , on 4 February. A search of the schooner confirmed McPhail's suspicions: quantities of salt and lye and more than $15,000 in Confederate money were found on board. Parker ordered her to Washington for adjudication.

Captain John R. Tucker reported that the boiler of CSS Chicora had given out and that hence-forth she could be used only as a floating battery in the defenses of Charleston harbor.

USS De Soto, Captain Gustavus H. Scott, seized blockade running British steamer Cumberland
 in the Gulf of Mexico south of Santa Rosa Island with cargo of arms, gunpowder, and dry goods.

6 Special Commissioner of the Confederate States A. Dudley Mann wrote Secretary of State Benjamin from London : "The iron hull is superseding the wooden hull just as steam is superseding canvas. The rich and exhaustless ore fields and coal mines of the 'Island Giant', her numerous workshops and shipyards, the abundance and constant augmentation of her seamen, will probably in less than a score of years produce for her a mercantile navy three times as large as that of all the world besides. The old American Union was her only rival in bottom carrying. That rival has dis-appeared." Mann here referred to the fact that the U.S. merchant vessels were increasingly sailing under foreign registry because of Southern commerce raiders.

USS Cambridge, Commander William F. Spicer, found blockade running steamer Dee aground and in flames near Masonboro , North Carolina . She had grounded the preceding night and was set afire to prevent capture. Spicer completed the destruction of the blockade runner with her cargo of lead, bacon, and spirits.

7 Confederate steamer St. Mary's, trapped in McGirt's Creek, above Jacksonville , Florida , by USS Norwich, Acting Master Frank B. Meriam, was sunk and her cargo of cotton destroyed to prevent its falling into Union hands.

8 Commander Catesby ap R. Jones, commanding the Confederate Naval Gun Factory at Selma , Alabama , wrote Admiral Franklin Buchanan
 at Mobile  of the fighting qualities of the Union monitors: "The revolving turret enables the monitor class to bring their guns to bear without reference to the movements or turning of the vessel. You who fought the Virginia know well how to appreciate that great advantage. You doubtless recollect how often I reported to you that we could not bring one of her ten guns to bear. In fighting that class, it is very important to prevent the turret from revolving, which I think may be done either with the VII-inch or 6.4-inch rifles or 64 pounder, provided their projectiles strike the turret at or near its base where it joins the deck. . . . If the turret is prevented from revolving, the vessel is then less efficient than one with the same guns having the ordinary ports, as the monitors' ports are so small that the guns can not be trained except by the helm."

9 Acting Master Gerhard C. Schulze "received six refugees" on board USS Jacob Bell off Blakistone Island , Virginia . One of the men, Joseph Lenty, an Englishman, had worked in Richmond for four years and brought the North further news of recent refinement by Confederates of their in-genious torpedoes. ". . . they are now making a shell which looks exactly like a piece of coal, pieces of which were taken from a coal pile as patterns to imitate. I have made these shells myself. I believe these shells have power enough to burst any boiler. After they were thrown, in a coal pile I could not tell the difference between them and coal myself." The "coal torpedo" was reported to have been placed in production late in January 1864 and was suspected of having been the agent of several unexplained explosions and fires during the remainder of the war (see 27 November 1864). A general order issued by Rear Admiral Porter on the subject testified to the genuine alarm with which Union commanders viewed the new weapon: "The enemy have adopted new inventions to destroy human life and vessels in the shape of torpedoes, and an article resembling coal, which is to be placed in our coal piles for the purpose of blowing the vessels up, or injuring them. Officers will have to be careful in overlooking coal barges. Guards will be placed over them at all times, and anyone found attempting to place any of these things amongst the coal will be shot on the spot."

Life on board Confederate commerce raiders was taxing and little relieved by relaxation. This date CSS Alabama made one of her few "port calls", putting into the island of Johanna between Africa and Madagascar for provisions. Captain Semmes later wrote: "I gave my sailors a run on shore, but this sort of 'liberty' was awful hard work for Jack. There was no such thing as a glass of grog to be found in the whole town, and as for a fiddle, and Sal for a partner- all of which would have been a matter of course in civilized countries- there were no such luxuries to be thought of. They found it a difficult matter to get through with the day, and were all down at the beach long before sunset- the hour appointed for their coming off-waiting for the approach of the welcome boat. I told Kell to let them go on shore as often as they pleased, but no one made a second application."

Commander T. H. Stevens, USS Patapsco, reported that one of his cutters commanded by Acting Ensign Walter C. Odiorne captured blockade running schooner Swift off Cabbage Island , Georgia , with cargo of fish.

10 CSS Florida , Lieutenant Charles M. Morris, escaped to sea from Brest , France , having been laid up for repairs since the preceding August. "The Florida ," reported Captain Winslow of Kearsarge, "took advantage of a thick, rainy night and left at 2 o'clock, proceeding through the southern passage." Morris' sailing instructions, received from Flag Officer Samuel Barron, contained the terse reminder: . . . you are to do the enemy's property the greatest injury in the shortest time." Winslow was finding, as the British found during the Napoleonic Wars, that Brest was a very difficult port to blockade.

USS Florida, Commander Peirce Crosby, forced blockade runner Fanny and Jenny aground near Masonboro Inlet , North Carolina . Immediately thereafter, Crosby sighted blockade runner Emily aground nearby. Unable to get either steamer afloat and under fire from a Confederate Whitworth battery, Crosby burned them. Fanny and Jenny carried an assorted cargo including a quantity of coal; Emily carried a cargo of salt. On Fanny and Jenny was also found a solid gold jewel-studded sword inscribed: "To General Robert E. Lee, from his British sympathizers."

Crosby reported that information given him by the captured crew members of Fanny and Jenny indicated that ten blockade runners had sailed from Nassau for Wilmington
 ". . . during this dark of the moon. Three have been destroyed, and one put back, broken down, leaving six others to be heard from."

11 USS Queen, Acting Master Robert Tarr, captured schooner Louisa off the mouth of the Brazos River, Texas, with cargo of powder and Enfield rifles.

12 Commander John M. Brooke, in charge of the Confederate Navy's Office of Ordnance and Hydrog-raphy wrote Flag Officer Barron in France for "material for cartridge bags, which is now much needed." Brooke asked Barron to purchase some 22,000 yards of material and ship it to Nassau . From there blockade runners would attempt to run it through the blockade, in 1000 yard lots to avoid losing it all in the event of capture. It was becoming increasingly difficult for the South to procure basic war materials, a problem which was compounded by the lack of good railroads for internal transportation and control of most of her rivers by the Federal fleet.

13 Rear Admiral Farragut reported to Assistant Secretary of Navy Pox that information given him indicated "that those publications about vessels running into Mobile are false [and] that no vessel has gotten in during the last six weeks and then only one, that the Isabel has been in there 4 months . . . that there are but 3 steamers, the Denbigh, and Isabel and Austin; the 2 last are loaded ready to run out and the Denbigh was so disabled by the Fleet when she attempted to run out the other night that she had to be towed up to the City [Mobile] and her cotton is at the Fort."

14 Lieutenant Commander Charles A. Babcock reported on a reconnaissance mission conducted the preceding day by USS Morse on the York River and Potopotank Creek , Virginia . A sloop, with a cargo of corn and small schooner Margaret Ann were seized and taken to Yorktown . Babcock also swept the river from Moody's Wharf to Purtan Island Point to verify reports that Con-federate torpedoes had been planted there. None were found in that area, but Babcock wrote: "I do not believe there are any torpedoes below Goff's Point, but across from Goff's Point to Terrapin Point and in the forks of the river at West Point I believe, from information received, that there are certainly torpedoes placed there."

15 USS Forest Rose, Acting Lieutenant John V. Johnson, came to the relief of Union soldiers who were hard pressed by attacking Confederate troops at Waterproof, Louisiana. The 260- ton gunboat compelled the Southerners to retire under a heavy bombardment. The commander of the Northerners ashore wrote Johnston : "I hope you will not consider it [mere] flattering when I say I never before saw more accurate artillery firing than you did in these engagements, invariably putting your shells in the right place ordered. My officers and men now feel perfectly secure against a large force, so long as we have the assistance of Captain Johnston and his most excellent drilled crew. . . . "

Rear Admiral C. H. Bell of the Pacific Squadron ordered Commander William E. Hopkins, USS Saginaw, to cruise in Mexican waters and warned: "It is believed that on that part of the coast of Mexico which you will visit during your present cruise there are many persons calling themselves citizens of the United States who are watching an opportunity to seize upon any vessel suitable to make depredations on our commerce. You must, therefore, be extremely careful, particularly when at anchor, that no boats approach without being ready to repel any attempt which may be made to take you by surprise. A sufficient watch on deck at night, with arms at hand, and the men drilled to rush on deck without waiting to dress, is absolutely indispensable in a low-deck vessel like the Saginaw ."

The Confederate Congress tendered its thanks to Commander John Taylor Wood, his officers, and men "for the daring and brilliantly executed plans which resulted in the capture of the United States transport schooner Elmore, on the Potomac River; of the ship Allegheny [see Alleghanian, 28 October 1862]. . . and the United States transport schooners Golden Rod, Coquette, and Two Brothers, on the Chesapeake [see 25 August 1863]; and, more recently, in the capture from under the guns of the enemy's works of the United States gunboat Underwriter, on the Neuse River, near New Berne, North Carolina [see 2 February 1864], with the officers and crews of the several vessels brought off as prisoners."

Flag Officer Barron reported from Paris to Secretary Mallory: "From all the information I can get there seems to be scarcely a single Yankee vessel engaged in regular trade between any two places. But should our efforts to keep cruisers afloat abate or prove less successful doubtless their enterprise will again be brought into lively activity to relieve their present more than half-starved commerce.

USS Virginia, Acting Lieutenant Charles H. Brown, seized blockade running British schooner Mary Douglas off San Luis Pass, Texas, with cargo of bananas, coffee, and linen.

16 Union naval forces, composed of double-ender USS Octorara, Lieutenant Commander William W. Low, converted ferryboat USS J. P. Jackson, Acting Lieutenant Miner B. Crowell, and six mortar schooners, began bombarding Confederate works at Fort Powell as Rear Admiral Farragut commenced the long, arduous campaign that six months later would result in the closing of Mobile Bay. The bombardment of Fort Powell by gunboats was a continuing operation, though the mortar boats were eventually withdrawn.

Rear Admiral Dahlgren, alert to the potential offered by torpedoes, ordered 100 of them made by Benjamin Maillefert, an engineering specialist. Late the preceding November, Maillefert had proposed using torpedoes to clear the obstructions in the channel between Fort Sumter
 and Charles-ton: Each of these charges will he provided with a clockwork arrangement, which shall deter-mine the exact time of firing; they are to contain 110 to 125 pounds of gunpowder each. . . .This date Dahlgren, satisfied with the tests during the intervening period, wrote: ''Having witnessed the action of your time torpedoes, I think they may he serviceable in operating against the rebels at Charleston and elsewhere.'' By war's end both North and South were using torpedoes, forecasting the great roles this underwater ordnance would play in the 20th century.

USS Montgomery, Acting Lieutenant Faucon, seized blockade running British steamer Pet off Lockwood's Folly Inlet , South Carolina .

Lieutenant Minor, CSN, reported on the condition of CSS Neuse, then building at Kinston , North Carolina : ". . . Lieutenant Comdg. [William] Sharp has a force of one hundred and seventy-two men employed upon her. . . . As you are aware the Steamer has two layers of iron on the forward end of her shield, but none on either broadside, or on the after part. The carpenters are now calking the longitudinal pieces on the hull, and if the iron can be delivered more rapidly, or in small quantities with some degree of regularity, the work would progress in a much more
satisfactory manner. The boiler was today lowered into the vessel and when in place, the main deck will be laid in . . . . The river I am told is unpredecently low for the season of the year I am satisfied not more than five feet can be now carried down the channel. . . . And as the Steamer when ready for service will draw between six or seven feet, it is very apparent that to be useful, she must be equipped in time to take advantage of the first rise.

16–23 USS Para, Acting Master Edward G. Furber, escorted troops up the St. Mary's River to Woodstock Mills, Florida , to obtain lumber. The 200-ton schooner engaged Confederates along the river banks and covered the transports while a large quantity of lumber was taken on board. On 21 February, Para captured small steamer Hard Times.

17 Confederate submarine H. L. Hunley, Lieutenant George E. Dixon, CSA, destroyed USS Housatonic, Captain Charles W. Pickering, off Charleston , and became the first submarine to sink an enemy ship in combat. After Hunley sank the preceding fall for the second time (see 15 October 1863), she was raised, a new volunteer crew trained, and for months under the cover of darkness moved out into the harbor where she awaited favorable conditions and a target. This night, the small cylindrical-shaped craft with a spar torpedo mounted on the bow found the heavy steam sloop of war Housatonic anchored outside the bar. Just before 9 o'clock in the evening, Acting Master John K. Crosby, Housatonic's officer of the deck, sighted an object in the water about 100 yards off but making directly for the ship. "It had the appearance of a plank moving in the water." Nevertheless Housatonic slipped her cable and began backing full; all hands were called to quarters. It was too late. Within two minutes of her first sighting, H. L. Hunley rammed her torpedo into Housatonic 's starboard side, forward of the mizzenmast. The big warship was shattered by the ensuing explosion and "sank immediately."

The Charleston Daily Courier reported on 29 February: "The explosion made no noise, and the affair was not known among the fleet until daybreak, when the crew were discovered and released from their uneasy positions in the rigging. They had remained there all night. Two officers and three men were reported missing and were supposed to be drowned. The loss of the Housatonic caused great consternation in the fleet. All the wooden vessels are ordered to keep up steam and to go out to sea every night, not being allowed to anchor inside. The picket boats have been doubled and the force in each boat increased."

Dixon and his daring associates perished with H. L. Hunley in the attack. The exact cause of her loss was never determined, but as Confederate Engineer James H. Tomb later observed: "She was very slow in turning, but would sink at a moment's notice and at times without it." The submarine, Tomb added, "was a veritable coffin to this brave officer and his men. But in giving their lives the gallant crew of H. L. Hunley wrote a fateful page in history-for their deed foretold the huge contributions submarines would make in later years in other wars.

17-19 Boat expedition under the command of Acting Ensign J. G. Koehler, USS Tahoma, destroyed a large Confederate salt works and a supply of salt near St. Marks , Florida .

18 Commander James D. Bulloch wrote Secretary Mallory from Liverpool of his disappointment over the inability of the Confederacy to obtain ironclads in Europe and suggested, as Henry Hotze had a month before (see 16 January 1864), that the Navy Department . . . take the blockade-running business into its own hands Bulloch added: "The beams and decks of these steamers could be made of sufficient strength to bear heavy deck loads without exciting suspicion, and then if registered in the name of private individuals and sailed purely as commercial ships they could trade without interruption or violation of neutrality between our coasts and the Bermudas, Bahamas, and West Indies. When three or more of the vessels happened to be in harbor at the same time a few hours would suffice to mount a couple of heavy guns on each, and at early dawn a successful raid might be made upon the unsuspecting blockaders. . . . After a raid or cruise the vessels could be divested of every appliance of war, and resuming their private ownership and commercial names, could bring off cargoes of cotton to pay the cost of the cruise. . . . Such operations are not impracticable, and if vigorously carried on without notice and at irregular periods, would greatly increase the difficulty of blockading our harbors, and would render hazardous the transportation of troops along the line of our coasts and through the Gulf of Mexico ." Bulloch's proposal to disguise raiders as merchantmen became a reality in the 20th century as a practice followed by European belligerents.

President Lincoln ended the blockade of Brownsville , Texas , and opened the port for trade.

20 Rear Admiral Dahlgren, greatly concerned by the loss of USS Housatonic, wrote in his diary: "The loss of the Housatonic troubles me very much. . . .Torpedoes have been laughed at; but this disaster ends that." The day before, he had written Secretary Welles urging that the Union develop and use torpedo boats to combat similar Confederate efforts. Under the impression that the submarine H.L. Hunley had been another "David" torpedo boat, the Admiral suggested "a large reward of prize money for the capture or destruction of a 'David'. I should say not less than $20,000 or $30,000 for each. They are worth more than that to us."

Rear Admiral Lee wrote Assistant Secretary of the Navy Fox about the blockade off Wilmington . He reported that "the number of blockade runners captured or destroyed since July 12, [is] 26, and since the blockade was strengthened last fall the number is 23 steamers lost to the trade. . . . I don't believe that many prizes will be made hereafter; the runners now take to the beach too readily when they see a blockader by day or night. . . . I think the additions to the runners are less than the numbers destroyed, etc. . . . The blockade off Wilmington is the blockade of two widely separated entrances each requiring as much force as Charleston did if not more. Experience teaches that a mere inner line will not answer for blockading in this steam era. Now the blockaders are from 1 to 2 miles, and more, apart. . . . Wilmington and its entrances and adjacent inlets require more attention than all the rest of the coast. The depots at Bermuda and Nassau are tributary to it." The Admiral also continued to urge an attack on Wilmington : "I long to cooperate with an army capable of investing Richmond or Wilmington , a la Vicksburg ."

21 Lieutenant Commander Francis M. Ramsay off the mouth of the Red River reported that the water in the river was too low for three Confederate gunboats at Shreveport to get over the falls. This boded ill for the success of the Federals' Red River expedition soon to be undertaken.

22 Secretary Mallory wrote Flag Officer Barron, CSN, in Paris : "If you could raise the blockade of Wilmington , an important service would thereby be rendered, a service which would enable neutrals to carry a great deal of cotton from that port. . . . A dash at the New England ports and commerce might be made very destructive and would be a heavy blow in the right direction. A few days' cruising on the banks might inflict severe injury on the fisheries. The interception of the California steamers also offers good service. . . . Unless you determine to strike a blow which necessarily requires a combination of your force, it would be judicious to send the ships in opposite directions to distract the enemy in pursuit. It would be well, too, to give instructions looking to the occasional disguise and change of name of each vessel for the same purpose. Their advent upon the high seas will raise a howl throughout New England , and I trust it may be well founded. The destruction of a few ships off New York and Boston , Bath and Portland would raise insurance upon their coasting trade a hundred per cent above its present rates." Mallory well recalled the profound effect Lieutenant Charles W. Read's cruise in June 1863 had had on New England mercantile interests.

Tinclad USS Whitehead, Acting Master William N. Welles, ordered on an expedition up the Roanoke River by Lieutenant Commander Flusser, destroyed a corn mill used by Confederate troops near Rainbow Bluff, North Carolina . Torpedoes were reported to be planted in the river above that point, which Flusser observed "would argue rather fear of our advance than an intention on their part to attack.'' Flusser made this remark in the wake of repeatedly expressed concern over a rumored massive Confederate attack on Union positions in the sounds of North Carolina .

USS Virginia, Acting Lieutenant C. H. Brown, captured blockade running British schooner Henry Colthirst, off San Luis Pass, Texas, with cargo of gunpowder, hardware, and provisions.

USS Linden, Acting Master Thomas M. Farrell, attempting to aid transport Ad. Hines, hit a snag in the Arkansas River and sank.

23 Rear Admiral C. H. Bell wrote Secretary Welles from USS Lancaster at Acapulco, Mexico: "Such is the present state of affairs at Acapulco that it is believed by both native and foreign populations that the presence of man-of-war alone prevented an attempt to sack and destroy the town by the Indians in the interior, encouraged by the governor, General Alvarez. . . . Far from the main theaters of the Civil War, a U.S. naval vessel was carrying out the traditional mission of protecting American interests and keeping the peace.

24 USS Nita, Acting Lieutenant Robert B. Smith, chased blockade runner Nan-Nan ashore in the East Pass of Suwannee River, Florida . The steamer's crew fired her to prevent her falling into Union hands, but part of Nan-Nan's cargo of cotton, thrown overboard during the chase, was recovered.

25 USS Roebuck, Acting Master Sherrill, seized blockade running British sloop Two Brothers in Indian River, Florida, with cargo including salt, liquor, and nails.

26 While on night picket duty at Charleston harbor, a boat commanded by Acting Master's Mate William H. Kitching, Jr., from USS Nipsic, was captured by a Confederate cutter from CSS Palmetto State . The Union boat encountered her captors in a thick fog and was unable to with-draw rapidly enough against the flood tide to escape. Kitching and his five crew members were taken prisoner and confined initially on board CSS Charleston near Fort Sumter .

26–27 Boat expedition under the command of Acting Master E. C. Weeks, USS Tahoma, destroyed a large salt works belonging to the Confederate government on Goose Creek , near St. Marks , Florida . As Rear Admiral Bailey noted in his report to Secretary Welles: . . . the works to be destroyed were under the protection of a rebel cavalry company, whose pickets the expedition succeeded in eluding."

27 USS Roebuck, Acting Master Sherrill, seized blockade running British sloop Nina with cargo of liquors and coffee, and schooner Rebel with cargo of salt, liquor, and cotton, at Indian River Inlet, Florida.

Lieutenant David Porter McCorkle, CSN, wrote Commander C. ap R. Jones relaying information he had received from Lieutenant Augustus McLaughlin of the Columbus , Georgia , naval station: "The Muscogee draws too much water; she has to be altered. It will be a long time before the Muscogee will be ready. . . . On 16 March the editor of the Columbus Enquirer bitterly in-vited the public to "take a stroll below the wharf to see how much money has been wasted on a slanting 'dicular looking craft." Muscogee, he said, looked like an ark, and "nothing short of a flood will float it."

28 Lieutenant Minor, CSN, reporting on the progress being made on the ram CSS Albemarle, told Secretary Mallory: . . . with the exception of some little connecting work to be completed [the ironclad] may be considered as ready. Steam will probably be raised on Friday next. The iron is all on the hull . . . the carpenters are now bolting the first layers of plate on the shield, and as long as iron is available the work will progress. The Rudder is in place. Shell room and magazine prepared. Officer quarters arranged and berth deck ready for either hammocks if allowed the ship or bunks if the canvas cannot be obtained. . . . The ship is now afloat and when ready for service will I think draw between 7 to 8 feet . . . The guns, carriages, and equip-ment have not yet arrived, but are expected on the 4th of March. . . ." Albemarle was launched less than two months later, on 17 April.

USS Penobscot, Lieutenant Commander Andrew F. K. Benham, seized British schooner Flusser attempting to run the blockade at Velasco , Texas , with cargo of powder.

29 The U.S. consular agent at Calais , France , sent Captain Winslow, USS Kearsarge, a detailed description of CSS Flusser, Lieutenant William P. A. Campbell, under the impression that she would soon attempt to begin a cruise on the high seas. Rappahannock had been purchased for the Confederacy in England by Commander Matthew Fontaine Maury the previous year and in November had been brought to Calais to continue necessary repairs. Late in January, Flag Officer Barron had instructed Campbell to rendezvous with CSS Flusser, Lieutenant William E. Evans, as soon as possible in order to transfer the latter's guns to Rappahannock . Though Georgia subsequently made her way to the appointed place of rendezvous off Morocco , Rappahannock never left Calais , detained by want of crew members and the French Government. She did, however, serve the Confederacy as a depot for men and supplies intended for other ships.

Two boats from USS Monticello led by Lieutenant William B. Cushing
 landed at Confederate-held Smithville , North Carolina , at night to attempt the capture of General Louis Hebert. The daring Cushing found his way with three of his men to the General's quarters in the middle of town and within fifty yards of the Confederate barracks. Cushing was disappointed to find that Hebert had gone to Wilmington earlier that day and instead reported to Rear Admiral Lee: "I send Captain Kelly, C.S. Army, to you, deeply regretting that the general was not in when I called."

USS Penobscot, Lieutenant Commander Benham, captured blockade running schooners Stingray and John Douglas with cargoes of cotton off Velasco , Texas .

USS Virginia, Acting Lieutenant C. H. Brown, captured Confederate schooner Camilla with cargo of cotton off the coast at Galveston , Texas . The sloop Catherine Holt was also cap-tured with cargo of cotton, but she went aground off San Luis Pass and was burned.

29-5 March Prior to the launching of the Red River campaign, Rear Admiral Porter ordered a naval reconnaissance expedition under Lieutenant Commander Ramsay to ascend the Black and Ouachita Rivers , Louisiana . The force included paddle wheel monitor USS Osage and gunboats Ouachita, Lexington , Fort Hindman , Conestoga, and Cricket. Ramsay moved up the Black River and met with
no resistance until late in the afternoon, 1 March, when Confederate sharpshooters took his ships under fire below Trinity. The gunboats countered with a hail of grape, canister, and shrapnel and steamed above the city before anchoring for the night. Next day Ram say's vessels entered the Ouachita River and Osage, Acting Master Thomas Wright, suffered a casualty which disabled her turret. Below Harrisonburg , Louisiana , which the naval force shelled on 2 March, Confederate troops again opened fire on the naval force, centering their attention on Fort Hindman , which took 27 hits. One of them disabled Fort Hindman 's starboard engine and Ramsay dropped her back, transferring to Ouachita. She took 3 hits but suffered no serious damage, and the gun-boats silenced the Southern fire ashore. Ramsay proceeded as far as Catahoula Shoals and Bayou Louis without further incident. "I found plenty of water to enable me to proceed to Monroe ," Ramsay reported, "but the water was falling so fast I deemed it best to return. The gunboats returned to the mouth of the Red River on 5 March after spending the 3rd and 4th landing at var-ious places and capturing field pieces and cotton, briefly engaging Confederate troops once more.

March 1864

1 Commander George H. Preble, USS St. Louis, reported that CSS Florida , Lieutenant Morris, succeeded in getting to sea from Funchal, Madeira, where she had sailed after leaving Brest . Preble lamented: "Nelson said the want of frigates in his squadron would be found impressed on his heart. I am sure the want of steam will be found engraven on mine. Had the St. Louis been a steamer, I would have anchored alongside of her, and, unrestricted by the twenty-four hour rule, my old foe could not have escaped me." St. Louis gave chase but could not come up with Florida . Had the crews of these sailing vessels been used to man newly built steamers, the pursuit of the Confederate cruisers might have been more successful.

USS Connecticut, Commander Almy, took blockade running British steamer Scotia with cargo of cotton at sea off Cape Fear , North Carolina .

USS Roebuck, Acting Master Sherrill, seized blockade running British steamer Lauretta off Indian River Inlet , Florida , with cargo of salt.

1-2 At the request of Brigadier General Henry W. Wessells, Lieutenant Commander Flusser took double-ender USS Southfield and tinclad Whitehead up the Chowan River, North Carolina, to aid Army steamer Bombshell which had been cut off by Confederates above Petty Shore . Flusser had received reports earlier of Confederate torpedoes being planted at that point and concluded that he dared not attempt, with boats of such great draft to run by." The gunboats were engaged by shore artillery as night fell, and, unable to fire effectively or navigate safely in the darkness, Flusser dropped down stream about a mile to await morning before continuing operations. On 2 March Southfield and Whitehead kept up a constant bombardment of the Confederate position to enable Bombshell to dash by, which the Army steamer finally did later in the day. It was subsequently learned that the shore batteries had been withdrawn shortly after the gunboats had opened on them in the morning.

2 Rear Admiral Porter, in anticipation of the proposed campaign into Louisiana and Texas, arrived off the mouth of the Red River to coordinate the movements of his Mississippi Squadron with those of the Army. Previous attempts to gain control of Texas by coastal assault had not suc-ceeded (see 8 September 1863), and a joint expedition up the Red River to Shreveport was decided upon. From there the Army would attempt to occupy Texas . Ten thousand men from Major General W.T. Sherman's army at Vicksburg would rendezvous with Major General N.P. Banks' army and Porter's gunboats at Alexandria by 17 March. The naval forces would provide vital convoy and gunfire support up the river to Shreveport , where Major General Frederick Steele was to join them from Little Rock . This date, however, Porter wrote Secretary Welles
, advising him of an unforeseen development that cast dark shadows on the entire expedition: "I came down here anticipating a move on the part of the army up toward Shreveport, but as the river is lower than it has been known for years, I much fear that the combined movement can not come off, without interfering with plans formed by General Grant." Porter was referring to the fact that the troops Sherman had detailed for the Red River campaign were committed to Grant after 10 April for his spring campaign. To wait for a rise in the river, Porter feared, would mean failure to meet that deadline; however, to ascend the river at its present stage would also jeopardize the large scale movement. Porter nevertheless pushed swiftly ahead to ready his squadron for the operation.

Rear Admiral Farragut wrote his son Loyall about his recent sighting of the Confederate ram Tennessee , commenting that "she is very long, and I thought moved very slowly." Nevertheless, this heavily armored and well-fought ship was to prove a formidable opponent for the Admiral's squadron in Mobile
  Bay .

USS Dan Smith, Acting Master Benjamin C. Dean, seized blockade running British schooner Sophia stranded in Altamaha Sound , Georgia , with an assorted cargo. Sophia was subsequently lost at sea in a heavy gale which disabled her and forced her abandonment on 8 May 1864 by Acting Ensign Paul Armandt and the prize crew.

4 British authorities instructed the Governor of the Cape of Good Hope, Sir Philip E. Wodehouse, to restore CSS Tuscaloosa
 to Confederate authorities. Tuscaloosa had been captured under the name Conrad by Captain Semmes in CSS Alabama on 20 June 1863 and sent on a cruise under Lieutenant John Low, CSN. On 26 December Tuscaloosa had put into Simon's Bay, Cape of Good Hope, after searching for Union merchantmen off the coast of Brazil . The next day the Governor had the bark seized for violating neutrality laws because she had never been properly adjudicated in a prize court. Low promptly protested on the grounds that he had previously entered Simon's Bay in August, at which time his ship took on supplies and effected repairs "with the full knowledge and sanction of the authorities." No protest had been made by the Governor at that time. Unsuccessfully seeking for more than three weeks the release of his ship, Low paid off his crew and with Acting Midshipman William H. Sinclair made his way to Liverpool , where he arrived late in February. The reversal of Governor Wodehouse's action was accounted for by the "peculiar circumstances of the case. The Tuscaloosa was allowed to enter the port of Cape Town , and to depart, the instructions of the 4th of November not having arrived at the Cape before her departure. The captain of the Alabama was thus entitled to assume that . . . [Low] might equally bring . . . [ Tuscaloosa ] a second time into the same harbor. . . The decision, however, came too late for the Confederates. Tuscaloosa was never reclaimed by the South and was eventually turned over to the Union . Semmes later said of the incident: "Besides embalming the beautiful name 'Tuscaloosa' in history this prize-ship settled the law point I had been so long contesting with Mr. Seward and Mr. Adams, to wit: that 'one nation cannot inquire into the antecedents of the ships of war of another nation;' and consequently that when the Alabama escaped from British waters and was commissioned, neither the United States nor Great Britain could object to her status as a ship of war."

Captain Semmes wrote in his journal: "My ship is weary, too, as well as her commander, and will need a general overhauling by the time I can get her into dock. If my poor service shall be deemed of any importance in harassing and weakening the enemy, and thus contributing to the independence of my beloved South, I shall be amply rewarded." It was her need for upkeep and repairs that three and a half months later brought her under the guns of USS Kearsarge off Cherbourg , France .

USS Pequot, Lieutenant Commander Stephen P. Qackenbush, seized blockade running British steamer Don at sea east of Fort Fisher , North Carolina , with cargo including Army shoes, blankets, and clothing. Captain Cory, master of the steamer, reported that he had made nine attempts to run into Wilmington
 during his career but had succeeded only four times.

5 Commander John Taylor Wood, CSN, led an early morning raid on the Union-held telegraph station at Cherrystone Point , Virginia . After crossing Chesapeake Bay at night with some 15 men in open barges, Wood landed and seized the station. Small Union Army steamers AEolus and Titan, unaware that the station was in enemy hands, put into shore and each was captured by the daring Southerners. Wood then destroyed the telegraph station and surrounding warehouses, and disabled and bonded AEolus before boarding Titan and steaming up the Piankatank River as far as possible. A joint Army-Navy expedition to recapture her was quickly organized, but Wood evaded USS Currituck and Tulip in the still early morning haze. A force of five gunboats under Commander F.A. Parker followed the Confederates up the river on the 7th, where Titan was found destroyed by Wood, "together with a number of large boats prepared for a raid."

Acting Master Thomas McElroy, commanding USS Petrel, reported a Confederate attack on Yazoo City . Heavy gunfire support by Petrel and USS Marmora, Acting Master Thomas Gibson, helped drive the Confederate troops off. In addition, McElroy wrote, I am proud to say that the Navy was well represented [ashore] by 3 sailors, who . . . stood by their guns through the whole action, fighting hand to hand to save the gun and the reputation of the Navy. The sailors are highly spoken of by the army officers.

6 A Confederate "David" torpedo boat commanded by First Assistant Engineer Tomb, CSN, attacked USS Memphis, Acting Master Robert O. Patterson, in the North Edisto River near Charleston
. The "David" was sighted some 50 yards to port and a heavy volley of musket fire directed at her, but Tomb held his small craft on course. The spar torpedo containing 95 pounds of powder was thrust squarely against Memphis ' port quarter, about eight feet below the waterline, but failed to explode. Tomb turned away and renewed the attack on the starboard quarter. Again the torpedo struck home, but this time only a glancing blow because Memphis was now underway. The two vessels collided, damaging the "David", and Tomb withdrew under heavy fire. The faulty torpedo had prevented the brave Tomb from adding an 800-ton iron steamer to a growing list of victims.

USS Morse, Lieutenant Commander Babcock, ascended the York River, Virginia , at the Army's request to assist a Union cavalry detachment under the command of Colonel Ulric Dahlgren
, son of the Navy's famous Admiral. From Purtan Island Point Morse, a converted ferryboat, was slowed by the necessity of sweeping the river in front of the ship for torpedoes. Anchoring for the night off Terrapin Point, the gunboat continued upriver next morning and fired signal guns to attract the attention of the cavalry. Off Brick House Farm a boat carrying five cavalry-men put out to Morse. They reported that the Union force had been cut off and captured by a greatly superior Confederate unit of cavalry and infantry. Young Dahlgren, who had lost a leg at Gettysburg , was killed in the engagement. His grief-stricken father wrote in his diary, "How busy is death-oh, how busy indeed!"

Major General W.T. Sherman appointed Brigadier General Andrew J. Smith to command the forces of his Army in the Red River expedition. He directed Smith: ". . . proceed to the mouth of the Red River and confer with Admiral Porter; confer with him and in all the expedition rely on him implicitly, as he is the approved friend of the Army of the Tennessee, and has been associated with us from the beginning. . . ." Long months of arduous duty together in the west had forged a close bond between Sherman and Porter.

USS Grand Gulf, Commander George M. Ransom, captured blockade running British steamer Mar Ann which had run out of Wilmington with cargo of cotton and tobacco.

USS Peterhoff, Acting Lieutenant Thomas Pickering, was run into by USS Monticello and sunk off New Inlet , North Carolina . The following day, USS Mount Vernon
 destroyed Peterhoff to prevent possible salvage by the Confederates.

8 USS Conestoga, Lieutenant Commander Thomas O. Selfridge, was rammed by USS General Price, Lieutenant J. E. Richardson, about ten miles below Grand Gulf, Mississippi and sank in four minutes with the loss of two crew members. The collision resulted from a confusion in whistle signals on board General Price. Lieutenant Commander Selfridge, who achieved a conspicuously successful record in the war, had singularly bad luck in having his ships sunk under him. He commented later in his memoirs: "Thus for the third time in the war, I had my ship suddenly sunk under me. It is a strange coincidence that the names of these three ships all begin with the letter 'C', and that two of these disasters occurred on the 8th day of March; the other on the 12th of December." Selfridge had been on board USS Cumberland
 during her engagement with CSS Virginia in Hampton Roads on 8 March 1862, and had commanded USS Cairo when she was struck by a torpedo and sank instantly in the Yazoo River on 12 December 1862. Admiral Porter, upon hearing the young officer's report on the sinking of Conestoga, replied: "Well, Selfridge, you do not seem to have much luck with the top of the alphabet. I think that for your next ship I will try the bottom." Thus Lieutenant Commander Selfridge took command of the paddle wheel monitor USS Osage, and, after she grounded in the Red River , was sent as captain of the new gunboat U.S.S Vindicator further down the alphabet.

USSVirginia, Acting Lieutenant C. H. Brown, captured blockade running sloop Randall off San Luis Pass, Texas.

9 Rear Admiral Porter directed Lieutenant Commander James A. Greer, USS Benton, to advise him as soon as General Sherman's troops were sighted coming down river on transports. The Admiral wanted to move quickly upon the arrival of the troops in order to meet Major General Banks at Alexandria on 17 March. Porter had gathered his gunboats at the month of the Red River for the move. They included ironclads USS Essex, Benton, Choctaw, Chillicothe, Ozark, Louisville, Carondelet, East port, Pittsburg, Mound City, Osage, and Neosho; large wooden steamers Lafayette and Ouachita; and small paddle-wheelers Lexington, Fort Hindman, Cricket, and Gazelle.

Confederate Secretary of War James A. Seddon authorized Thomas E. Courtenay to employ "a band of men, not exceeding twenty-five in number, for secret service against the enemy.

For the destruction of property of the enemy or injury done, a percentage shall be paid in 4 per cent bonds, in no case to exceed 50 per cent of the loss to the enemy, and to be awarded by such officer or officers as shall be charged with such duty. . . . The waters and railroads of the Con-federate States used by the enemy are properly the subjects and arenas of operations. . . ." Courtenay had aided in the development of the coal torpedo (see 19 January 1864).

USS Shokokon, Morse, and General Putnam, under Lieutenant Commander Babcock, convoyed an Army expedition up the York and Mattapony Rivers . After disembarking troops from the transports, Babcock remained at Sheppard's Landing throughout the 10th as requested by Brigadier General Isaac J. Wistar. Then the naval force withdrew downriver, arriving at Yorktown on the 12th. While enroute on the 11th, Babcock met a naval force under Acting Lieutenant Edward Hooker of the Potomac Flotilla and arranged for him to "keep a vigilant lookout for our forces, and also prevent any rebels from crossing from the mouth of the Piankatank River to Mosquito Point on the Rappahannock ." As Rear Admiral Lee wrote: . . . the naval part of the expedition was well arranged and executed."

USS Yankee, Acting Lieutenant Hooker, reconnoitered the Rappahannock River to within a mile of Urbanna , Virginia . "We learned," he reported to Commander F. A. Parker, "that there is now no force of any importance at or near Urbanna, although the presence of troops a short time ago was confirmed." Two days later, "Major General Butler having requested me to 'watch the Rappahannock from 10 miles below Urbanna to its mouth,' " Parker directed Hooker to "lend such assistance . . . as you can . . . . Continuing operations in the river by the Union Navy tended to deny to the Confederates use of the inland waters for even marginal logistic support of their operations. This decisive function of seapower was just as valid on the inland waters as on the high sea.

10 Confederate steamer Helen, commanded by Lieutenant Philip Porcher, CSN, was lost at sea in a gale while running a cargo of cotton from Charleston to Nassau . Secretary Mallory
 wrote that Porcher "was one of the most efficient officers of the service, and his loss is deeply deplored.''

USS Virginia, Acting Lieutenant C. H. Brown, captured schooner Sylphide off San Luis Pass, Texas, with cargo including percussion caps.

11 USS Aroostook, Lieutenant Commander Chester Hatfield, captured blockade-running British schooner Mary P. Burton in the Gulf of Mexico south of Velasco, Texas, with cargo of iron and shot.

Boats under Acting Ensign Henry B. Colby, from USS Beauregard, and Acting Master George Delap, from USS Norfolk Packet, seized British schooner Linda at Mosquito Inlet , Florida , with cargo including salt, liquor, and coffee.

USS San Jacinto, Commander James F. Armstrong, captured schooner Lealtad, which had run the blockade at Mobile with cargo of cotton and turpentine.

Schooner Julia Baker was boarded by Confederate guerrilla forces near Newport News , Virginia . After taking $2,500 in cash and capturing the master and five men, the boarders burned the schooner.

USS Beauregard, Acting Master Francis Burgess, captured blockade running British sloop Hannah off Mosquito Inlet , Florida , with cargo of cotton cloth.

12 Rear Admiral Porter's gunboats moved up the Red River, Louisiana, to open the two month operation aimed at obtaining a lodgement across the border in Texas. USS Eastport, Lieutenant Commander Samuel L. Phelps, pushed ahead to remove the obstructions in the river below Fort De Russy, followed by ironclads USS Choctaw, Essex, Ozark, Osage, and Neosho and wooden steamers Lafayette, Fort Hindman, and Cricket. Porter took ironclads USS Benton, Chillicothe , Louisville , Pittsburg , and Mound City and wooden paddlewheelers Ouachita, Lexington , and Gazelle into the Atchafalaya River to cover the Army landing at Simmesport. A landing party from Benton, Lieutenant Commander Greer, drove back Confederate pickets prior to the arrival of the trans-ports. Next morning, 13 March, the soldiers disembarked and pursued the Confederates falling back on Fort De Russy. Meanwhile, Eastport and the gunboats which had continued up the Red River reached the obstructions which the Southerners had taken five months to build. 'They supposed it impassable," Porter observed, "but our energetic sailors with hard work opened a passage in a few hours." East port and Neosho passed through and commenced bombarding Fort De Russy as the Union troops began their assault on the works; by the 14th it was in Union hands. Porter wrote: "The surrender of the forts at Point De Russy is of much more importance than I at first supposed. The rebels had depended on that point to stop any advance of army or navy into rebeldom. Large quantities of ammunition, best engineers, and best troops were sent there.

USS Columbine, Acting Ensign Francis W. Sanborn, supporting an Army movement up the St. Johns River, Florida , captured Confederate river steamer General Sumter. Acting Master John C. Champion, commanding a launch from USS Pawnee
 which was in company with tug Columbine, took command of the prize, and the two vessels pushed on up the St. John's , reaching Lake Monroe on the 14th. That afternoon the naval force captured steamer Hattie at Deep Creek. The expedition continued for the next few days, destroying a Southern sugar refinery and proceeding to Palatka, where the Army was taking up a fortified position.

USS Aroostook, Lieutenant Commander Hatfield, captured schooner Marion near Velasco , Texas , with cargo of salt and iron. Marion sank in a gale off Galveston on the 14th.

USS Massachusetts, Acting Lieutenant William H. West, captured sloop Persis in Wassaw Sound , Georgia , with cargo of cotton.

15 After ordering ironclads USS Benton and Essex to remain at Fort De Russy in support of the Army detachment engaged in destroying the works, Rear Admiral Porter convoyed the main body of troops up the Red River toward Alexandria , Louisiana . Porter dispatched USS Eastport, Lexington , and Ouachita ahead to try to overtake the Confederate vessels seeking to escape above the Alexandria rapids. The Confederate ships were too far ahead, however, and the Union gunboats arrived at the rapids half an hour behind them. Confederate steamer Countess grounded in her hasty attempt to get upstream and was destroyed by her crew to prevent capture.

USS Nyanza, Acting Lieutenant Samuel B. Washburn, captured schooner J. W. Wilder in the Atchafalaya River, Louisiana.

16 Lieutenant Commander Flusser reported to Rear Admiral Lee on information reaching him regarding the Confederates' progress in completing CSS Albemarle on the Roanoke River, North Carolina . The ram was reported to have two layers of iron and to be ready to proceed to Williamston on 1 April. Two days later Flusser again wrote Lee, informing him that he had just heard the rumor that Albemarle was to have 7 inches of plating. "I think," he observed, "the reporters are putting on the iron rather heavy. I am inclined to believe her armor is not more than stated in one of my former letters-3 inches." Albemarle actually carried two layers of 2-inch armor. By 24 March Flusser reported that intelligence, "which would seem reliable," indicated that the ironclad ram was at Hamilton and that the torpedoes placed by the Confederates in the Roanoke River below Williamston were being removed to permit her passage downstream.

Nine Union vessels had arrived at Alexandria , Louisiana , by morning and a landing party under Lieutenant Commander Selfridge, USS Osage, occupied the town prior to the arrival of Rear Admiral Porter and the troops. At Alexandria , Porter's gunboats and the soldiers awaited the arrival of Major General Banks' Army, which was delayed by heavy rains.

Rear Admiral James L. Lardner, commander of the West Indies Squadron, ordered USS Neptune, Commander Joseph P. Sanford, and USS Galatea, Commander John Guest, to convoy California steamers operating in the Caribbean . This was a measure designed to protect the merchant ships, which often carried quantities of vital Union gold, from the highly regarded Confederate cruisers.

18 Lieutenant General F. Kirby Smith, CSA, ordered steamer New Falls City taken to Scopern's Cut-off, below Shreveport on the Red River, where she was to be sunk if the Union movement threatened that far upriver. Next day the General directed that thirty torpedoes be placed below Grand Ecore to obstruct the Red River . An officer from CSS Missouri was detailed for this duty. General Smith's foresight would shortly pay dividends, for the hulk of New Falls City did block the way of the Union gunboats and USS Eastport was to be severely damaged by a torpedo.

20 Arriving off Capetown , South Africa , Captain Semmes, CSS Alabama, noted that there were no Union cruisers in the vicinity, though he was well aware that many had been dispatched from Northern ports to capture him. He recalled later: "That huge old coal-box, the Vanderbilt, having thought it useless to pursue us farther, had turned back, and was now probably doing a more profitable business, by picking up blockade-runners on the American coast. This opera-tion paid-the Captain might grow rich upon it. Chasing the Alabama did not."

USS Honeysuckle, Acting Ensign Sears, captured blockade running sloop Florida in the Gulf of Mexico west of Florida , with cargo of powder, shot, nails, and coffee.

USS Tioga, Lieutenant Commander Edward Y. McCauley, captured blockade running sloop Swallow, bound from the Combahee River, South Carolina, to Nassau , laden with cotton, rosin, and tobacco.

Lieutenant Charles C. Simms, CSS Baltic, wrote Commander C. ap R. Jones that naval constructor John L. Porter "has made a very unfavorable report on the condition of the ship [Baltic] and recommended that the iron be taken from her and put upon one of the new boats that were built. . . . Between you and I [sic] the Baltic is rotten as punk and is about as fit to go into action as a mud scow." By July Baltic had been dismantled and her armor transferred to CSS Nashville .

21 Confederate forces at Sabine
 Pass, Texas , destroyed steamer Clifton (ex-USS Clifton , see 8 September 1863) to prevent her capture by blockading Union naval forces. The 900-ton Clifton had been attempting to run out of the Texas port when she grounded and could not be floated.

USS Hendrick Hudson, Lieutenant Commander Charles J. McDougal, rammed blockade runner Wild Pigeon, hound from Havana to the Florida coast she struck Wild Pigeon amidships and the schooner sank immediately.

Confederate Secretary Mallory wrote Commander Bulloch in Europe disagreeing with Bulloch's conclusion that the Confederacy needed no additional cruisers since . . there is no longer any American commerce for them to prey upon." Mallory countered "We have, it is true, inflicted a heavy blow and great discouragement upon the Federal foreign commerce, but the coasting trade and fisheries, embracing the California trade, has suffered but little from our cruisers, and it can and must be struck."

23 John P. Halligan sets up shop in Selma , Alabama to build a submarine for use in Mobile Bay .

24 A closely coordinated Army-Navy expedition departed Beaufort , North Carolina , on board side-wheel steamer USS Britannia. Some 200 soldiers were commanded by Colonel James Jourdan, while about 50 sailors from USS Keystone State, Florida, and Cambridge were in charge of Commander Benjamin M. Dove. The aim of the expedition was the capture or destruction of two schooners used in blockade running at Swansboro, North Carolina, and the capture of a Confederate army group on the south end of Bogue Island Banks. Arriving off Bogue Inlet late at night, the expedition encountered high winds and heavy seas which prevented landing on the beach. Early on the morning of the 25th, a second attempt was made under similarly difficult conditions, but a party got through to Bear Creek where one of the schooners was burned. Bad weather persisted throughout the day and the expedition eventually returned to Beaufort on the 26th with its mission only partially completed.

Rear Admiral Porter reported that his forces had seized more than 2,000 bales of cotton, as well as quantities of molasses and wool, since entering the Red River .

USS Stonewall, Master Henry B. Carter, captured sloop Josephine in Sarasota Sound , Florida , with cargo of cotton.

25 USS Peosta, Acting Lieutenant Thomas E. Smith, and USS Paw Paw, Acting Lieutenant A. Frank O'Neil, engaged Confederate troops who had launched a heavy assault on Northern positions at Paducah , Kentucky . Under the wooden gunboats' fire the Southerners were halted and finally forced to withdraw. The value of the force afloat was recognized by Brigadier General Mason Brayman, who later wrote of the action: "I wish to state during my short period of service here the Navy has borne a conspicuous part in all operations. The Peosta, Captain Smith, and Paw Paw, Captain O'Neil, joined Colonel Hicks at Paducah , and with gallantry equal to his own shelled the rebels out of the buildings from which their sharpshooters annoyed our troops. A large number took shelter in heavy warehouses near the river and maintained a furious fire upon the gunboats, inflicting some injury, but they were promptly dislodged and the build-ings destroyed. Fleet Captain Pennock, of the Mississippi Squadron, representing Admiral Porter in his absence, and Lieutenant Commander Shirk, of the Seventh Division, who had charge above Cairo and on the Tennessee, were prompt, vigilant, and courageous and cooperated in everything. That the river line was kept open, considering the inadequate force at my control, I regard as due in a great degree to the cooperation of the Navy."

Close cooperation and support between land and sea forces continued to mark Northern efforts in the Civil War. On 21 March, Major General Quincy A. Gillmore wrote Commodore Stephen C. Rowan that, though the Army had five steam transports operating in the vicinity of Port Royal on picket duty and as transports, he had "no officer possessing sufficient experience to properly outfit and command such vessels. My steamboat masters are citizens, and know nothing of artillery. My artillery officers are not sailors, and are not acquainted with naval gunnery." The General thus requested that an officer from the blockading squadron be assigned to assist the Army in this regard. "It would," Gillmore wrote, "be of advantage to this army. . . ." This date, Rowan, temporarily commanding the naval forces in the absence of Rear Admiral Dahlgren, ordered Acting Ensign William C. Hanford to assist the General as requested.

Secretary Welles called President Lincoln's attention to the scarcity of seamen in ships afloat and suggested the transfer of 12,000 men from the Army to the Navy. The transfer was later effected as a result of a bill sponsored by Senator Grimes of Iowa .

Lieutenant Commander Babcock, USS Morse, submitted a report to Rear Admiral Lee on all the Confederate material seized by his ship between 1 and 12 February on the York River . He wrote that the articles included a small schooner, a sloop, corn, wheat, oats, salt, tobacco, plows, a cultivator, plow points, plow shares, and molding boards. Seemingly inconsequential in them-selves, these articles lost were multiplied manyfold by the ceaseless efforts of the Navy in river and coastal waters; it was their steady attrition which was so sorely felt by Confederate fight-ing men and civilians alike.

A boat expedition under Acting Master Edward H. Sheffield from USS Winona, Lieutenant Commander A. W. Weaver, after making extensive reconnaissance of the area, captured blockade runner Little Ada loading cotton at McClellansville in the South Santee River, South Carolina. As Union sailors sought to bring the prize out, Confederate artillery opened on the vessel with devastating accuracy. The attack by Sheffield , carried on deep in Confederate-held territory, had begun in darkness, but as It was now fully light, the riddled prize had to be quickly abandoned to prevent capture of the boarding party.

Major General Banks arrived at Alexandria --a week later than originally planned. The main force of the Red River expedition was now assembled.

28 The versatility of Union gunboat crews was continually tested. Crewmen from USS Benton, Lieutenant Commander Greer, had gone ashore the 27th near Fort De Russy and taken some 13 bales of cotton from an abandoned plantation. They returned this date, Greer reported, and got 18 bales from the same place, which they baled themselves, using up an old awning for the purpose.

Secretary Welles ordered Commander John C. Carter to have USS Michigan "prepared for active service as soon as the ice will permit." Michigan , an iron side-wheel steamer, was at Erie , Pennsylvania , and it was rumored that the Confederates were planning a naval raid from Canada against a city on the Great Lakes .

USS Kingfisher, Acting Master John C. Dutch, ran aground and was totally wrecked in St. Helena Sound , South Carolina .

29 The low level of the Red River continued to hinder Rear Admiral Porter's efforts to get his gun-boats above the rapids at Alexandria for the assault on Shreveport . He reported: "After a great deal of labor and two and a half days' hard work, we succeeded in getting the Eastport over the rocks on the falls, hauling her over by main force. . . . ' All the Army transports maneuvered safely above the rapids, but hospital ship Woodford was battered against the rocks and sank. Porter added: "I shall only be able to take up I part of the force I brought with me, and leave the river guarded all the way through."

CSS Florida , Lieutenant Morris, at 150o11' N, 34o25' W, captured ship Avon with a 1,600 ton cargo of guano. After removing the crew, Morris used the prize for gunnery practice and finally destroyed her by burning.

29-30 A boat expedition under the command of Acting Master James M. Williams, USS Commodore Barney, with a detachment of sailors under the command of Acting Master Charles B. Wilder, USS Minnesota, ascended Chuckatuck Creek late at night seeking to capture a party of Confederate troops reported to be in that vicinity. After landing at Cherry Grove , Virginia , shortly before dawn, the sailors silently surrounded the Confederate headquarters and took 20 prisoners. Rear Admiral Lee reported to Secretary Welles that". . . it gives me pleasure to commend the energy and zeal displayed by these officers in planning and carrying out to a successful termina-tion an expedition of no little difficulty."

30 Captain John B. Marchand, commanding the Third Division of the Western Gulf Blockading Squadron, reported to Fleet Captain Percival Drayton on the difficulty of trying to maintain a tight blockade through the passes and inlets around Galveston: "This place has great advantages for blockade running, as, in addition to the regular channels, the shores, both to the northward and southward, are represented to be bold. I have been credibly informed that good large schooners have hugged the shore so close as to be dragged along for miles by lines from the land by soldiers and sailors into Galveston ."

31 A boat crew under the command of Acting Master's Mate Francisco Silva, returned to USS Sagamore after destroying two blockade running schooners near Cedar Keys, Florida . Three boats had initiated the search for a blockade runner sighted on the 28th, but two had turned back after an unsuccessful search of nearly six hours, as night was falling and the weather threatening. Silva, however, continued to search for the next two days". . . with heavy rain squalls and an ugly sea running." Despite the adverse conditions, Silva succeeded in destroying schooner Etta and a second schooner whose name could not be ascertained. Blockade duty was seldom highly dramatic or widely publicized, but the resolute determination of the forces afloat to choke off Confederate commerce took a prohibitive toll of Southern shipping and kept the Confederacy in a constant state of need.

April 1864

1 Army transport Maple Leaf, returning from carrying troops to Palatka , Florida , was destroyed by a Confederate torpedo in the St. John's River . She was one of several victims in this river which on 30 March the Southerners had mined with twelve floating torpedoes, each containing 70 pounds of powder. On 16 April Army transport General Hunter was similarly destroyed at almost the same place near Mandarin Point. Confederate torpedoes continued to play an increasing role in the defense of rivers and harbors. As Major General Patton Anderson, CSA, noted, the torpedoes "taught him [the Northerner] to be cautious in the navigation of our waters."

Secretary Welles
 wrote Rear Admiral C. H. Bell expressing concern that Confederate raiders would strike at the California trade. Intelligence had been received suggesting as a destination ''for the Florida and Georgia the straits of Le Maire, between the island of Tierra del Fuego and Staten Island, through which . . . nine out of every ten California-bound ships pass, in plain sight from either shore. . . . the protection of the land in these straits is such that the rebel steamers could lie almost obscured and in comparatively smooth water . . . while escape [by] merchantmen would be impossible."

During the last year of the war on the Mississippi bands of Confederate guerrillas kept up their efforts to surprise and destroy Union gunboats isolated on patrol duty. This date the Secretary of War forwarded to Secretary Welles a captured letter written by Confederate Navy Secretary Mallory
 about the plans of guerrillas. Welles relayed the information next day to Rear Admiral Porter.

3 As Major General Banks began his preliminary deployments for the Red River campaign, ironclads USS Eastport, Mound City, Osage, Ozark, Neosho, Chillicothe, Pittsburg, and Louisville and steamers Fort Hindman, Lexington, and Cricket convoyed Major General A. J. Smith's corps from Alexandria to Grand Ecore, Louisiana. The troops disembarked (with the exception of a division under Brigadier General T. Kilby Smith) and Marched to join Banks at Natchitoches for the overland assault on Shreveport , to be supported by ships of the Mississippi Squadron.

4 USS Sciota, Lieutenant Commander Perkins, captured schooner Mary Sorly attempting to run the blockade at Galveston with cargo of cotton. She had previously been U.S. Revenue Cutter Dodge, seized by the Confederates at Galveston at the war's outbreak.

5 The naval force in the St. John's River , Florida , under Commander Balch continued to patrol the river and convoy Army operations as it had for a month. On 4 April Union troops evacuated Palatka in accord with a general troop movement northward, but USS Ottawa, Lieutenant Commander Breese, which had protected the soldiers there, remained in the river, moving to Picolata "where some two regiments are stationed." USS Pawnee
, Commander Balch, remained on duty at Jacksonville, while double-ender USS Mahaska, Lieutenant Commander Robert F. Lewis, and wooden screw steamers USS Unadilla, Lieutenant Commander James Stillwell, and USS Norwich, Acting Master Frank B. Meriam, continued to convoy troops on the river. This date, Brigadier General John P. Hatch summed up the vital contributions made by the Navy in controlling the inland waterways: ". . . I consider it very important, I may say necessary, that the naval force should be retained here as a patrol of the river, to aid us in the event of an attack, and to cover the landing of troops at other points. . . . The length of the river now occupied (100 miles) requires for its thorough patrol a naval force of the size of the present squadron."

Late in March, Union forces at Plymouth , North Carolina , had sunk hulks, some with percussion torpedoes attached, to obstruct the Roanoke River and provide additional defense against "the ironclad up this river." Lieutenant Commander Flusser, reporting another of the rumors which were circulating freely regarding the Confederate ironclad ram Albemarle , wrote Rear Admiral Lee that the large ship was said to be of such light draft "that she may pass over our obstructions in the river without touching them." The draft of Albemarle , approximately nine feet, had been reported by Flusser on 27 March as being "6 to 8 feet' –according to a carpenter who had worked on her.

6 Secretary Mallory wrote Flag Officer Barron in Paris regarding the possible operations of ships being fitted out in France: "If the vessels about to get to sea can be united with the two you sent off [CSS Florida and Georgia], they might strike a blow at the enemy off Wilmington
, during the summer, and then separate to meet for a blow at another point. I commend the light infantry system to your judgment. An invited clash at a point north heretofore indicated to you, then a separation for a reunion and dash at a second point, and a second separation for a third one, etc., with the intervals sufficient to draw the enemy's attention to distant chasing, would produce very important results." While Mallory's reasoning was sound in proposing such a hit-and-run cruise, it was not to happen. CSS Florida would be captured before year's end; Georgia would soon be sold; and Rappahannock, like the ironclads contracted for in France , would never take to the high seas under the Confederate flag.

USS Estrella, Lieutenant Commander Augustus P. Cooke, captured mail schooner Julia A. Hodges in Matagorda Bay , Texas .

7 Rear Admiral Porter detailed Lieutenant Commander Phelps to remain in command of the heavier gunboats at Grand Ecore while he personally continued to advance up the Red River toward Shreveport with ironclads USS Osage, Neosho, and Chillicothe and wooden steamers Fort Hindman, Lexington and Cricket. The Admiral hoped to bring up the remaining gunboats if the water level began to rise.

USS Beauregard, Acting Master Edward C. Healy, seized blockade running British schooner Spunky near Cape Canaveral , Florida , with an assorted cargo.

9 Confederate torpedo boat Squib, Lieutenant Hunter Davidson, successfully exploded a spar torpedo against large steam frigate USS Minnesota, Lieutenant Commander John H. Upshur, off Newport News , Virginia . Squib was described by Acting Master John A. Curtis, second in command of the torpedo boat, as being constructed of wood, "about thirty-five feet long, five feet wide, drew three feet of water, two feet freeboard designed by Hunter Davidson. . . . The boiler and engine were encased with iron; forward of the boiler was the cockpit, where the crew stood and from where we steered her." The attack, described by a Northern naval officer observer as "a deed as daring as it was vicious", took place about two o'clock in the morning. The officer of the deck saw a small boat 150 to 200 yards off, just forward of the port beam. To his hail, the Confederates replied " Roanoke ." Acting Ensign James Birtwistle ordered her to stay clear. Davidson answered "aye, aye!" Although Birtwistle could discern no visible means of propulsion, the small Confederate boat continued to close Minnesota rapidly. Minnesota attempted to open fire, but, the distance between the two being so slight, her gun could not be brought to bear. Squib rammed her powder charge of more than 50 pounds into the blockader's port quarter. The log of Minnesota recorded: ". . . a tremendous explosion followed.'' Curtis wrote that he closed his eyes at the moment of impact, "opening them in about a second, I think, I never beheld such a sight before, nor since. The air was filled with port shutters and water from the explosion, and the heavy ship was rolling to starboard, and the officer of the deck giving orders to save yourselves and cried out 'Torpedo, torpedo!'"

Little damage resulted, though "the shock was quite severe." Nevertheless, as Secretary Mallory later said of the attack: "The cool daring, professional skill, and judgment exhibited by Lieutenant Davidson in this hazardous enterprise merit high commendation and confer honor upon a service of which he is a member." As the blockader reeled under the blow, the fate of the seven Southerners was gravely imperiled, for Squib was sucked under the port quarter. As Min-nesota rolled back to port, however, Curtis reported, "the pressure of the water shoved us off." But so close aboard her adversary did she remain that Curtis leaped on the torpedo boat's forward deck and pushed against Minnesota to get the small craft clear. Squib escaped under heavy musket fire. Union tug Poppy did not have steam up and could not pursue the torpedo boat, which with-drew safely up the James River . Davidson, a pioneer in torpedo warfare, was promoted to Commander for his "gallant and meritorious conduct."

The concern caused by the attack on Minnesota , coming as it did shortly after the Confederate submarine H. L. Hunley had sunk USS Housatonic, was widespread. William Winthrop, United States Consul at Malta , wrote assistant Secretary of State Frederick W. Seward concerning precautions recommended for the future. "In these days of steam and torpedoes, you may rest assured that outlying picket boats and a steam tug at all hours ready to move are not sufficient protection for our ships of war, where a squadron is at anchor. They require something more, and this should be in having their own boats rowing round all night, so that in a measure every ship should protect itself. If this precaution be not taken, any vessel in a dark and foggy night could be blown out of the water, even while a watchful sentry on board might still have his cry of 'All's well' yet on his lips as the fiendish act was accomplished."

10 Steaming toward Shreveport , Rear Admiral Porter's gunboats and the Army transports arrived at Springfield Landing, Louisiana , where further progress was halted by Confederate ingenuity, which Porter later described to Major General W. T. Sherman: "When I arrived at Springfield Landing I found a sight that made me laugh. It was the smartest thing I ever knew the rebels to do. They had gotten that huge steamer, New Falls City, across Red River, 1 mile above Loggy Bayou, 15 feet of her on shore on each side, the boat broken down in the middle, and a sand bar making below her. An invitation in large letters to attend a ball in Shreveport was kindly left stuck up by the rebels, which invitation we were never able to accept." Before this obstruc-tion could be removed, word arrived from Major General Banks of his defeat at the Battle of Sabine
 Cross-Roads near Grand Ecore and retreat toward Pleasant Mill. The transports and troops of Brigadier General T.K. Smith were ordered to return to the major force and join Banks. The high tide of the Union's Red River campaign had been reached. From this point, with falling water level and increased Confederate shore fire, the gunboats would face a desperate battle to avoid being trapped above the Alexandria rapids.

11 USS Nita, Lieutenant Robert B. Smith, captured blockade runner Three Brothers at the mouth of the Homosassa River, Florida, with an assorted cargo.

USS Virginia, Acting Lieutenant C. H. Brown, captured blockade runner Juanita off San Luis Pass, Texas. However, on 13 April she went aground, was recaptured, and the prize crew, under Acting Ensign N.A. Blume, was taken prisoner.

12 As Rear Admiral Porter's gunboats and Brigadier General T.K. Smith's transports retraced their course down the Red River from Springfield Landing, Louisiana , Confederate guns took them under heavy fire from the high bluffs overlooking the river. At Blair's Landing, dismounted cavalry supported by artillery, engaged the Union fleet. The 430-ton wooden side-wheeler USS Lexington, Lieutenant Bache, silenced the shore battery but the Confederate cavalry poured a hail of musket fire into the rest of the squadron. Lieutenant Commander Selfridge reported: 'I waited till they got into easy shelling range, and opened upon them a heavy fire of shrapnel and canister. The rebels fought with unusual pertinacity for over an hour, delivering the heaviest and most concentrated fire of musketry that I have ever witnessed." What Porter described as ' this curious affair, . . . a fight between infantry and gunboats", was finally decided by the gunboats' fire, which inflicted heavy losses on the Confederates, including the death of their commander, General Thomas Green. This engagement featured the use of a unique instrument, developed by Chief Engineer Thomas Doughty of USS Osage and later described by Selfridge as "a method of sighting the turret from the outside, by means of what would now be called a periscope. . . .The high banks of the Red River posed a great difficulty for the ships' gunners in aiming their cannon from water level. Doughty's ingenious apparatus helped to solve that problem. Selfridge wrote that: "On first sounding to general quarters, . . . [I] went inside the turret to direct its fire, but the restricted vision from the peep holes rendered it impossible to see what was going on in the threatened quarter, whenever the turret was trained in the loading position. In this extremity I thought of the periscope, and hastily took up station there, well protected by the turret, yet able to survey the whole scene and to direct an accurate fire." Thus was the periscope, a familiar sight on gun turrets and on submarines of this century, brought into Civil War use on the Western waters.

Confederate cavalry and infantry commanded by Major General Nathan B. Forrest, CSA, com-menced an attack on Fort Pillow , Tennessee . The small 160-ton gunboat USS New Era, Acting Master James Marshall, steamed in to support the Union soldiers. Her few guns drove the Confederates from their first position before the fort, but by mid-afternoon Forrest's Army mounted an overwhelming assault on the fort and carried it, though still under the fire of New Era. Acting Master Marshall received refugees from the fort on board New Era, but after the captured artillery was turned on his vessel, he was forced to withdraw upstream out of range.
Returning to the fort on 14 April, Marsh all found it evacuated and with the added gunfire support of the lately arrived steamers Platte Valley , Captain Riley, Master and Silver Cloud, Acting Master William Ferguson, scattered the Confederates as they withdrew. The raid on Fort Pillow was one of many attacks made by Forrest during March and April, causing considerable concern among Union commanders and taxing the resources of the Mississippi Squadron. Forrest's favorite operating ground was between the Tennessee and Mississippi Rivers , where Union gunboats could not oppose his raids.

Major General Hurlbut wrote Secretary Welles
 regarding the preparation by Confederates of a submerged torpedo boat reported to be intended for use in Mobile  Bay: "The craft, as described to me, is a propeller about 30 feet long, with engine of great power for her size, and boiler so constructed as to raise steam with great rapidity. She shows above the surface only a small smoke outlet and pilot house, both of which can be lowered and covered. The plan is to drop down within a short distance of the ship, put out the fires, cover the smoke pipe and pilot house, and sink the craft to a proper depth; then work the propeller by hand, drop beneath the ship, ascertaining her position by a magnet suspended in the propeller, rise against her bottom, fasten the torpedo by screws, drop their boat away, pass off a sufficient distance, rise to the surface, light their fires, and work off." While there is no evidence that the vessel described by Hurlbut ever was taken to Mobile , another submersible torpedo boat, Saint Patrick, was constructed by Captain Halligan at Selma , Alabama . Halligan's submarine was taken to Mobile in late 1864 and unsuccessfully attacked USS Octorara in early 1865.

USS Estrella, Lieutenant Commander Cooke, supported Army steamers Zephyr and Warrior on a reconnaissance expedition in Matagorda Bay , Texas . As the ships approached Matagorda Reef, two Confederate vessels were sighted and fired upon, but escaped. Acting Master Gaius P. Pomeroy took charge of the two Army transports and skillfully sailed them into the upper bay where the soldiers were landed. After completing the reconnaissance and capturing two small schooners, the expedition returned to Pass Cavallo. Brigadier General Fitz Henry Warren, commander of the troops on the foray, praised Pomeroy: "He took general charge of two steam transports, and by his attention, industry, and good seamanship impressed me most favorably as to his qualities for command and a higher position . . . in the great work in which we are all engaged."

Boats from USS South Carolina, Acting Lieutenant William W. Kennison, and USS T. A. Ward, Acting Master William L. Babcock, seized blockade running British steamer Alliance, which had run aground on Daufuskie Island, South Carolina, with cargo including glass, liquor, and soap.

13 John S. Begbie, an agent of the Albion Trading Company of London, with which the Confederacy dealt, wrote Confederate States Commissioner John Slidell in Paris regarding Southern regulations on pilots, and said that he was informed: "1. Pilots are liable to the conscription. 2. If losing their ship are forced to enlist. 3. If demanding or receiving more than the Government regulation pilotage they are, if found out, deprived of their license and obliged to serve. In protesting against these regulations, he went on: "If it is desirable and in the interest of the Confederate Government that steamers should run in with stores and out with cotton, paying the Government debts and influencing greatly their credit, surely pilots are much more usefully employed to the State as pilots than as fighting men. The very few of them there are could never be felt as a loss to the army, while one dozen of them taken out of their number is sensibly felt and greatly aggra-vates the difficulty of steamers getting in, which is surely difficult enough already. If a pilot loses his ship, do not let him be deprived of his license unless he is grievously to blame; but if so, at once into the ranks with him, not otherwise; the best of pilots may lose his ship."

USS Rachel Seaman, Acting Master Charles Potter, seized blockade running British schooner Maria Alfred near the Mermentau River, Louisiana, with an assorted cargo.

USS Nyanza, Acting Lieutenant Washburn, captured schooner Mandoline in Atchafalaya Bay , Louisiana , with cargo of cotton.

13-14 A joint Army-Navy expedition advanced up the Nansemond River , Virginia , to capture Confederate troops in the area and destroy Confederate torpedo boat Squib which was thought to have been in that vicinity after her 9 April thrust at USS Minnesota. The naval force de-ployed by Rear Admiral Lee included converted ferryboats USS Stepping Stones, Commodore Morris, Commodore Perry, Commodore Barney, Shokokon, and two launches from Minnesota. A handful of prisoners was taken and information was obtained indicating that Squib had departed Smithfield for Richmond on the 10th. Acting Lieutenant Charles B. Wilder, who commanded Minnesota 's two launches, was killed in an engagement with snipers near Smithfield . Of Wilder, Lieutenant Commander Upshur, Minnesota's commanding officer, wrote: . . . true to the reputation he had won among his shipmates for promptness and gallantry, he fell while in the act of firing a shot at the enemy.

14 Small paddle-wheel steamers of the Mississippi Squadron continued to engage Confederate raiders in Western Kentucky along the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. At Paducah , Lieutenant Commander James W. Shirk, USS Peosta, with Key West , Acting Lieutenant Edward M. King, Fair play, Acting Master George J. Groves and Victory, Acting Master Frederick Read, took up defensive positions on the river to meet an anticipated Confederate blow. On 12 April, Shirk had reported: "The rebels are in force around us. The colonel and the gunboats are waiting for an attack." This date, Confederate troops entered Paducah , were taken under. fire by the Union ships and with-drew. Meanwhile, on 13 April, Confederates appeared before Columbus , Kentucky , which was protected by USS Moose, Lieutenant Commander LeRoy Fitch, USS Hastings, Acting Master John S. Watson, and USS Fairy, Acting Master Henry S. Wetmore. Here too the Southerners were held at bay by the presence of the light gunboats. These small warships, mostly converted river steamers, played a major role in frustrating the Confederate thrust. Secretary Welles, concerned about Confederate activities in the area, wrote in his diary: "respecting Rebel movements in western Kentucky -at Paducah , Columbus , Fort Pillow , etc. Strange that an army of 6000 Rebels should be moving unmolested within our lines. But for the gunboats, they would repossess themselves of the defenses.

Rear Admiral Porter's position in the Red River became increasingly critical as the water level stubbornly refused to rise, threatening to strand the gunboats. Porter wrote Welles: "I found the fleet at Grand Ecore somewhat in an unpleasant situation, two of them being above the bar, and not likely to get away again this season unless there is a rise of a foot. . . . If nature does not change her laws, there will no doubt be a rise of water, but there was one year-1846 when there was no rise in Red River , and it may happen again. The rebels are cutting off the supply by diverting different sources of water into other channels, all of which would have been stopped had our Army arrived as far as Shreveport . . . . Had we not heard of the retreat of the Army, I should still have gone on to the end."

Porter expressed his appreciation of the services rendered by the river pilots, whose duties were both hazardous and arduous: "There is a class of men who have during this war shown a good deal of bravery and patriotism and who have seldom met with any notice from those whose duty it is to report such matters. I speak of the pilots on the Western Waters. Without any hope of future reward through fame, or in a pecuniary way, they enter into the business of piloting the transports through dangers that would make a faint-hearted man quail. Occupying the most exposed position. . . . managing their vessels while under fire. . . . I beg leave to pay this small tribute to their bravery and zeal, and must say as a class I never knew a braver set of men."

15 USS Eastport, Lieutenant Commander Phelps, struck a Confederate torpedo in the Red River some eight miles below Grand Ecore. The shock of the explosion almost threw the leadsman forward overboard and Phelps, who was in his cabin aft, reported "a peculiar trembling sensation." He immediately ran Eastport into shoal water where she grounded. For six days Phelps, assisted by other gunboats in the river, attempted to bail and pump out the water. At last, 21 April, he was able to get underway with carpenters working day and night to close the leak. In the next five days East port could move only 60 miles downstream while grounding some eight times. The last time, unable to float her, Rear Admiral Porter ordered Phelps to transfer his men to USS Fort Hindman and destroy Eastport. On 26 April Phelps, the last man to leave her decks, detonated more than 3,000 pounds of powder and shattered the gunboat. He wrote: 'The act has been the most painful one experienced by me in my official career." The ironclad was completely destroyed, "as perfect a wreck as ever was made by powder," Porter noted. She remains a troublesome obstruction to block up the channel for some time to come. East port had been captured from the Confederates while still building in the Tennessee River following the seizure of Fort Henry more than two years before (see 6 February 1862).

USS Virginia, Acting Lieutenant C. H. Brown, forced sloop Rosina aground and destroyed her at San Luis Pass, Texas.

16 Secretary Mallory
 wrote Commander Bulloch in England to have 12 small marine engines and boilers built for torpedo boats (40 to 50 feet in length, 5 to 6 feet beam, and drawing 3 feet of water). Twenty-five miles of "good" insulated wire and the "best" gun cotton to be used for torpedoes were also ordered. Unable to produce elements essential for pursuing the torpedo warfare that had been found so effective, the South looked hopefully to Europe for the materials.

17 Confederate troops launched a sustained attack on Plymouth , North Carolina . Union gunboats moved to support their troops ashore and were promptly taken under fire by the Southern batteries. Next day, the fighting at Plymouth intensified as the Confederates pressed the assault. Union Army steamer Bombshell, commanded temporarily by Acting Ensign Thomas B. Stokes, was sunk during the engagement, but by 9 o'clock in the evening the Southern advance had been halted. Lieutenant Commander Flusser reported: "The Southfield and Miami took part and the general says our firing was admirable." The Southern attack required naval support in order to achieve success, and Flusser added meaningfully: "The ram [ Albemarle ] will be down to-night or to-morrow.

USS Owasco, Lieutenant Commander Edmund W. Henry, seized blockade running British schooner Lilly at Velasco , Texas .

18 The following dispatch from Brigadier General John McArthur to Acting Master McElroy, USS Petrel, exemplified naval support of Army operations and the dependence placed on it. "An expedition under command of Colonel Scofield starts from Haynes' Bluff for Yazoo City tomorrow. . . . Marching by land. You will please to move up and cooperate with them, calculating to reach Yazoo City on Thursday night; afterwards patrolling the river sufficiently to keep open communications between that point and this place."

Boats from U.SS Beauregard, Acting Master Edward C. Mealy, seized blockade running British schooner Oramoneta in Matanzas Inlet , Florida , with cargo of salt and percussion caps.

Landing party from USS Commodore Read, Commander F. A. Parker, destroyed a Confederate base together with a quantity of equipment and supplies at Circus Point on the Rappahannock River, Virginia.

USS Fox, Acting Master Charles T. Chase, captured and burned schooner Good Hope at the mouth of the Homosassa River, Florida, with cargo of salt and dry goods.

19 CSS Albemarle, Commander Cooke, attacked Union warships off Plymouth , North Carolina , at 3:30 in the morning. The heralded and long awaited ram had departed Hamilton on the eve-ning of the 17th. While en route, a portion of the machinery broke down" and "the rudderhead broke off," but repairs were promptly made; and, despite the navigational hazards of the crooked Roanoke River, Cooke anchored above Plymouth at 10 p.m. on the 18th. Failing to rendezvous with Confederate troops as planned, Cooke dispatched a boat to determine the position of the Union gunboats and shore batteries. Shortly after midnight, 19 April, the party returned and reported that Albemarle could pass over the Union obstructions because of the high stage of the water. Cooke weighed anchor and stood down to engage. Meanwhile, anticipating an attack by the ram, Lieutenant Commander Flusser lashed wooden double-enders USS Miami and Southfield together for mutual protection and concentration of firepower. As Albemarle appeared, he gallantly headed the two light wooden ships directly at the Southern ram, firing as they approached. Albemarle struck Southfield , Acting Lieutenant Charles A. French, a devastating blow with her ram. It was reported that she "tore a hole clear through to the boiler" and Cooke stated that his ship plunged ten feet into the side of the wooden gunboat. Though backing immediately after the impact, Albemarle could not at once wrench herself free from the sinking Southfield and thus could not reply effectively to the fire poured into her by Miami . At last her prow was freed as Southfield sank, and Cooke forced Flusser 's ship to withdraw under a heavy cannonade. Small steamer USS Ceres and 105-ton tinclad Whitehead moved downriver also. The shot of the Union ships had been ineffective against the heavily plated, sloping sides of the ram.

Early in the engagement, Lieutenant Commander Flusser had been killed. Brigadier General Wessells, commanding Union troops at Plymouth , noted: "In the death of this accomplished sailor the Navy has lost one of its brightest ornaments, and he will be long remembered by those who knew and loved him ...." Major General John J. Peck, commanding the District of North Carolina, called him a ''noble sailor and gallant patriot"; and Rear Admiral Lee wrote: "His patriotic and distinguished services had won for him the respect and esteem of the Navy and the country. He was generous, good, and gallant, and his untimely death is a real and great loss to the public service."

Albemarle now controlled the water approaches to Plymouth and rendered invaluable support to Confederate army moves ashore giving the South a taste of the priceless advantage Union armies enjoyed in all theaters throughout the war. On 20 April Plymouth fell to the Southern attack. General Peck gave testimony to one profound meaning of seapower when he wrote: but for the powerful assistance of the rebel ironclad ram and the floating iron sharpshooter battery the Cotton Plant, Plymouth would still have been in our hands." For the success of Albemarle , the Confederate Congress tendered Commander Cooke a vote of thanks, and Secretary Mallory wrote: "The signal success of this brilliant naval engagement is due to the admirable skill and courage displayed by Commander Cooke, his officers and men, in handling and fighting his ship against a greatly superior force of men and guns." Great hopes were placed in Albemarle as they had been in Virginia (Merrimack
) two years earlier.

A "David" torpedo boat commanded by Engineer Tomb, CSN, attempted to sink USS Wabash
, Captain John De Camp, off Charleston . The "David", the same one that had been used in the attack on USS Memphis on 6 March, was sighted while still 150 yards distant from the blockader. Alertly the large steam frigate slipped her cable and rapidly got under way, pouring a hail of musket fire at the approaching "David". When only 40 yards off, Tomb was turned back by heavy swells that threatened to swamp the boat.

USS Virginia, Acting Lieutenant C. H. Brown, took blockade running Mexican schooner Alma off the coast of Texas with assorted cargo.

21 Rear Admiral Lee emphasized the urgent need to destroy CSS Albemarle . If the ram could not be disposed of by ship's gunfire, the Admiral suggested that an attempt be made with torpedoes. However, Lee wrote Commander Henry K. Davenport, senior officer in the North Carolina sounds: " I propose that two of our vessels should attack the ram, one on each side at close quarters, and drive her roof in. That railroad iron will not stand the concussion of our heavy guns.

Our vessels must maneuver to avoid being rammed, and once close alongside, there will be no danger of firing into each other. . . . I think the ram must be weak, and must fail if attacked on the side." Lieutenant Commander William T. Truxtun, USS Tacony, wrote Davenport on the same day: "The ironclad, from all accounts, is very much like the first Merrimack , with a very long and very sharp submerged prow. . . . The loss of so good a vessel as the Southfield and so valuable a life as that of the brave Flusser should show the impossibility of contending successfully with a heavy and powerful ironclad with nothing but one or two very vulnerable wooden vessels."

USS Petrel, Acting Master McElroy, USS Prairie Bird, Acting Ensign John W. Chambers, and transport Freestone steamed up the Yazoo River to operate with Union troops attacking Yazoo City . Coming abreast the city, Petrel was fired upon by a Confederate battery and sharp shooters. The river was too narrow to come about, so Petrel steamed past the batteries to avoid the direct line of fire. The 170-ton Prairie Bird, however dropped downriver out of range of the bat-teries. McElroy made preparation to join her, but on April 22nd, was again taken under attack by rifle and artillery fire and disabled. McElroy attempted to destroy Petrel to prevent her being taken as a prize, but was captured before he could successfully put his small wooden gunboat to the torch. Reporting the capture, Confederate General Wirt Adams wrote: I removed her fine armament of eight 24-pounder guns and the most valuable stores and had her burned to the water's edge."

Boat crews from USS Howquah, Fort Jackson , and Niphon, commanded by Acting Lieutenant Joseph B. Breck, destroyed Confederate salt works on Masonboro Sound , North Carolina . The sailors landed under cover of darkness at 9 p.m. without being detected and rapidly demolished the works while taking some 160 prisoners. Breck then returned to the ships, which were stand-ing by to cover the operation with gunfire if necessary. Major General W.H.C. Whiting, CSA, noted that the incident demonstrated the necessity of maintaining a guard to protect "these points", and that henceforth there would be no salt works constructed at Masonboro Inlet. The Union Navy conducted a regular campaign against Southern salt works as the need for salt was critical in the Confederacy.

Boat crews from USS Ethan Allan, Acting Master Isaac A. Pennell, landed at Cane Patch, near Murrell's Inlet, South Carolina, and destroyed a salt work which Pennell, who led the expedition himself, described as "much more extensive than I expected After mixing most of the 2,000 bushels of salt into the sand of the beach, the Union sailors fired the four salt works as well as some 30 buildings in the surrounding area. The next day, off Wither's Swash, Pennell sent Acting Master William H. Winslow and Acting Ensign James H. Bunting ashore with two boat crews to destroy a smaller salt work.

Rear Admiral Dahlgren
 wrote Secretary Welles suggesting that since "the demands of the public service elsewhere will prevent the detail of more ironclads for service at Charleston, which will necessarily postpone any serious attack on the interior defenses of the harbor," the combined Army and Navy forces should focus their attention and efforts on occupying Long Island and at-tacking Sullivan's Island. The demands elsewhere to which Dahlgren referred were the prepara-tions for the assault on Mobile Bay by Rear Admiral Farragut.

Boat expedition commanded by Acting Master John K. Crosby from USS Cimarron destroyed a rice mill and 5,000 bushels of rice stored at Winyah Bay , South Carolina . The blockaded South could ill afford to lose such food stuffs.

USS Eureka, Acting Ensign Isaac Hallock, nearing the shore below Urbanna , Virginia , to capture two small boats, was taken under heavy fire by concealed Southern soldiers. The 85-foot, 50-ton steamer, though surprised by the attack, replied immediately and forced the Confederates to withdraw. Commander F. A. Parker, commanding the Potomac Flotilla, remarked: "It was quite a gallant affair and reflects a great deal of credit upon both the officers and men of the Eureka .

USS Owasco, Lieutenant Commander Henry, seized blockade running British schooner Laura with cargo of guns in the Gulf of Mexico off Velasco , Texas .

Boat expedition under Acting Ensign Christopher Carven, USS Sagamore, took over 100 bales of cotton and destroyed 300 additional bales near Clay Landing, on the Suwannee River, Florida.

22 CSS Neuse, Lieutenant Benjamin P. Loyall, got underway at Kinston , North Carolina , and began steaming downriver to operate on the State's inland waters. She grounded just below Kinston , however, and could not be gotten off. General Montgomery D. Corse reported: "I fear she will be materially injured if not floated soon. The water has fallen 7 feet in the last four days, and is still falling." The Confederates could not float the ram and nearly a year later she was burned to prevent her capture.

23 CSS Alabama , Captain Semmes, captured and destroyed ship Rockingham with cargo of guano at sea west of the Cape Verde Islands . Semmes said of the capture: "It was the old spectacle of the panting, breathless fawn, and the inexorable stag-hound. A gun brought his colors to the peak, and his main-yard to the mast. . . . We transferred to the Alabama such stores and pr visions as we could make room for, and the weather being fine, we made a target of the prize, firing some shot and shell into her with good effect and at five p.m. we burned her and filled away on our course." Ominously, during this gunnery practice, many of Alabama 's shells failed to explode.

25 Major General W. T. Sherman, in Nashville preparing for his campaign against Atlanta, requested gunboat assistance from Fleet Captain Pennock in Cairo to protect his lines of supply and communication. 'I wish," he wrote, "you would notify Captain Shirk that we will, in May, be actively engaged beyond the Tennessee [River] and I have no doubt the enemy will work up along the Mobile and Ohio Railroad and try and cross the Tennessee to attack my lines of communication. What we want is the earliest possible notice of such movement sent to Nashville and also keep my headquarters here advised where a gunboat could be found with which to throw men across to the west bank of the Tennessee when necessary. For some time [Major General James B.] McPherson's command will be running up the Tennessee as far as Clifton [ Tennessee ] which is the shortest line of March to Pulaski and Decatur . Please facilitate this movement all you can. ' Five days later Sherman reiterated his request to Pennock. Knowing that the Mississippi Squadron, like squadrons in the Gulf and on the East Coast, suffered from a shortage of men, the General offered to man and equip any gunboats sent to aid him if Rear Admiral Porter could provide the officers. Sherman added: "I want the [ Tennessee ] River above Mussel Shoals patrolled as soon as possible, as it will set free one garrison." Pennock advised Porter: "I shall use all the means in my power to forward this movement and to meet at the same time the con-stantly occurring emergencies which we shall have as long as rebels remain in western Kentucky and Tennessee ."

26 At the request of Brigadier General William Birney, USS Ottawa, Lieutenant Commander S. Livingston Breese, and a launch from USS Pawnee
 under Acting Master John C. Champion convoyed transports Harriet A. Weed and Mary Benton up the St. John's River, Florida, The move was prompted by reports of Confederates operating near Union-held Fort Gates and threatening St. Augustine. Several small craft were destroyed by the joint expedition and one small sloop was captured before the Union force withdrew on the 28th.

USS Union, Acting Lieutenant Edward Conroy, captured schooner O.K. attempting to run the blockade between Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor .

26-27 Attempting to reach Alexandria , Union gunboats under Rear Admiral Porter fought a running engagement with Confederate troops and artillery along the Red River . Wooden gunboats USS Fort Hindman, Acting Lieutenant John Pearce, USS Cricket, Acting Master Henry Gorringe, USS Juliet, Acting Master J. S. Watson, and two pump steamers were attacked by a large force while making final preparations to blow up USS Eastport (see 15 April). The Confederates charged Cricket in an attempt to carry her by boarding, but were driven back by a heavy volley of grape and canister from the gunboats. Later in the day, near the mouth of the Cane River at Deloach's Bluff, Louisiana, Southern troops, this time with artillery as well as muskets, again struck Porter's ships, wreaking havoc. Cricket, the Admiral's flagship, was hit repeatedly by the batteries, but finally succeeded in rounding a bend in the river downstream and out of range. Pump Steamer Champion No. 3 took a direct hit in her boiler, drifted out of control, and was captured. Juliet's engine was disabled by Confederate shot, but Champion No. 5, though badly hit, succeeded in towing her upstream out of range. Fort Hindman covered the withdrawal of the disabled vessels, and the night of April 26 was spent in making urgent repairs. Confederate Major General Richard Taylor, commanding forces along the river, described his plans as follows: 'My dispositions for the day are to . . . keep up a constant fight with the gunboats, following them with sharpshooters and killing every man who exposes himself." On 27 April the ships made a second attempt to pass the batteries. Fort Hindman took a shot which partially disabled her steering, and she drifted past the Confederate guns. Champion No. 5 was so damaged that she grounded, was abandoned, and burned. Juliet succeeded in getting through, but was severely damaged. Ironclad USS Neosho, Acting Lieutenant Samuel Howard, attempting to assist the embattled gunboats, arrived after the riddled ships had passed the batteries, having endured what Porter later described as "the heaviest fire I ever witnessed." By day's end on the 27th, Porter had reassembled his squadron at Alexandria and began to plan means to pass the Red River rapids.

27 President Jefferson Davis appointed Jacob Thompson representative of the Confederate States in Canada "to carry out such instructions as . . . received . . . verbally" from the President.

It was from Canada that Thompson sponsored plans to liberate prisoners of war held on Johnson's Island in Lake Erie, assisted an expedition to burn steamboats on the inland rivers, coordinated the return of escaped Confederate prisoners through Canada via Halifax to Bermuda, and sought to maintain liaison with the organization known as "Sons of Liberty" in the North which was opposed to continuance of the war.

CSS Alabama , Captain Semmes, captured and burned bark Tycoon at sea east of Salvador , Brazil , with cargo of merchandise, including some valuable clothing. Semmes described the capture: "We now hailed, and ordered him to heave to, whilst we should send aboard of him, hoisting our colors at the same time. . . . The whole thing was done so quietly, that one would have thought it was two friends meeting."

28 Rear Admiral Porter, stranded above the rapids at Alexandria, advised Secretary Welles of the precarious position in which his gunboats found themselves due to the falling water level of the Red River and the withdrawal forced upon Major General Banks: ". . . I find myself blockaded by a fall of 3 feet of water, 3 feet 4 inches being the amount now on the falls; 7 feet being required to get over; no amount of lightening will accomplish the object. . . . In the meantime, the enemy are splitting up into parties of 2,000 and bringing in the artillery . . to blockade points below here. . . . Porter faced the distinct possibility of having to destroy his squadron to prevent its falling into Confederate hands. ". . you may judge of my feelings," he wrote Welles," at having to perform so painful a duty." Only by the most ingenious planning and the strenuous efforts of thousands of soldiers and sailors was such a disaster avoided. The Admiral summed up the results of "this fatal campaign" which "has upset everything" to date: "It has delayed 10,000 troops of General Sherman, on which he depended to open the State of Missis-sippi; it has drawn General Steele from Arkansas and already given the rebels a foothold in that country; it has forced me to withdraw many light-clad vessels from points on the Mississippi to protect this army.

Commander John K. Mitchell, CSN, in charge of the Office of Orders and Detail, wrote: "A deficiency of lieutenants and younger officers continues, owing to the impossibility of obtaining persons suitably qualified. The total number of officers of all grades, commissioned, warranted, and appointed, now in the service amounts to 753, all of whom, except 26, are on duty. The total number of enlisted persons now employed in the Navy within the Confederacy is 3,960, and abroad about 500, making a total of 4,460."

29 Major General Taylor, CSA, seeking to take full advantage of the vulnerable position of Rear Admiral Porter's gunboats above the Alexandria rapids sought "to convert one of the captured transports into a fire ship to burn the fleet now crowded above the upper falls." This date, however, Union Army and Navy commanders accepted a daring plan proposed by Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Bailey to raise the water level of the Red River and enable the vessels to pass the treacherous rapids. Bailey's proposal was to construct a large dam of logs and debris across the river to back up water level to a minimum depth of seven feet. The dams would be broken and the ships would ride the crest of the rushing waters to safety. Work on the dam commenced early the next day. Porter later wrote: "This proposition looked like madness, and the best engineers ridiculed it, but Colonel Bailey was so sanguine of success that I requested General Banks to have it done . . . two or three regiments of Maine men were set to work felling trees. . . . every man seemed to be working with a vigor seldom seen equaled. . . . These falls are about a mile in length, filled with rugged rocks, over which at the present stage of water it seemed to be impossible to make a channel."

An expedition up the Rappahannock River including boats from USS Yankee, Acting Lieutenant Edward Hooker, and USS Fuchsia, assisted by USS Freeborn and Tulip, engaged Confederate cavalry and destroyed a camp under construction at Carter's Creek, Virginia.

USS Honeysuckle, Acting Ensign Cyrus Sears, captured blockade running schooner Miriam, west of Key West , Florida , with assorted cargo. Seats had boarded Miriam on 28 April, thought her papers in order, and released her. Keeping her under surveillance however, he found that she was not on her predicted course and boarded her again. This time upon inspection of the ship's cargo he discovered mail for the Confederate States and seized the vessel.

30 Secretary Mallory reported on existing Confederate naval strength on the East Coast. In the James River, under Flag Officer French Forrest, eight ships mounting 17 guns were in commission, including school ship Patrick Henry under Commander Robert F. Pinkney on the inland waters of North Carolina there were two commissioned ships mounting 4 guns; and on the Cape Fear River, under Flag Officer William F. Lynch, there were three ships and a floating battery in commission mounting a total of 12 guns.

Reporting to President Davis regarding the operations of the Confederate Navy Department, Secretary Mallory said: "Special attention is called to the necessity of providing for the education and training of officers for the navy, and to the measures adopted by the department upon the subject. Naval education and training lie at the foundation of naval success; and the power that neglects this essential element of strength will, when the battle is fought, find that its ships, however formidable, are but built for a more thoroughly trained and educated enemy. . . . While a liberal education at the ordinary institutions of learning prepares men for useful service not only in the Army, but in most branches of public affairs, special education and training, and such as these institutions cannot afford, are essential to form a naval officer. In recognition of the necessity of this special training, every naval power of the earth has established naval colleges and schools and practice ships, and the radical and recent changes in the chief elements of naval warfare have directed to these establishments marked attention."

Confederate blockade runners Harriet Lane
, Alice (also called Matagorda), and Isabel, escaped through the Union squadron blockading Galveston under cover of darkness and rain squalls. USS Katahdin, Lieutenant Commander J. Irwin, sighted a large steamer passing rapidly inshore near the Southwest Channel at about 9:15 p.m. Since Harriet Lane had been reported as too large to use this channel, Irwin thought the vessel to be another blockade runner and did not fire a gun or send up the agreed upon signal lest he divert the other blockaders from the Main Channel. Harriet Lane passed within 100 yards of Katahdin, but was not seen clearly because of the heavy rain. Irwin gave chase, hoping to cross the path of the steamer to seaward, and in the early morning sighted four ships fleeing from him. Though the Union vessel initially gained on the blockade runners, eventually they pulled away. Katahdin fired all of her Parrott shell at the closest of the steamers without effect. Irwin continued the chase until daylight on 2 May before turning back to rejoin the fleet off Galveston . All of the blockade runners were laden with cotton-Alice threw over some 300 bales to increase her speed during the chase. Harriet Lane had been closely watched in Galveston Harbor by the blockaders, and her escape caused indignation in official Washington .

USS Conemaugh, Lieutenant Commander James C.P. De Krafft, captured schooner Judson 18 miles east of Mobile with cargo of cotton.

USS Vicksburg, Lieutenant Commander Daniel L. Braine, seized blockade running British schooner Indian at sea east of Charleston . She carried a cargo of only one hogs head of palm oil.

May 1864

1 Wooden side-wheelers USS Morse, Lieutenant Commander Babcock, and USS General Putnam, Acting Master Hugh H. Savage, convoyed 2,500 Army troops up the York River to West Point, Virginia, where the soldiers were landed under the ships' guns and occupied the town. Another side-wheel steamer, USS Shawsheen, Acting Master Henry A. Phelon, joined the naval forces later in the day and operated with General Putnam in the Pamunkey River "for covering our troops and resisting any attack which might be made by the enemy." Morse patrolled the Mattapony River where, Babcock reported, "my guns would sweep the whole plain before the entrenchments." Army movements, as Rear Admiral Lee had observed of an earlier plan by Major General Benjamin F. Butler, required "a powerful cooperating naval force to cover his landing, protect his position, and keep open his communications."

USS Fox, Acting Master Charles T. Chase, captured sloop Oscar outbound from St. Marks , Florida , with cargo of cotton.

2-9 Colonel Bailey and his regiments of Maine and New York soldiers succeeded, after eight days of grueling work, in nearly completing the dam across the Red River at Alexandria , and hopes rose that Rear Admiral Porter would be able to save the Mississippi Squadron, marooned above the rapids. On 9 May, two of the stone-filled barges which had been sunk as parts of the dam gave way under the increasing pressure of the backed-up water. The barges, however, swung into position to form a chute over the rapids, and Porter quickly ordered his lighter draft vessels to attempt a passage through the gap. As the water was falling, ironclads Osage and Neosho and wooden steamers Fort Hindman and Lexington careened over the rapids with little damage. As Porter later recalled about this thrilling moment: "Thirty thousand voices rose in one deafening cheer, and universal joy seemed to pervade the face of every man present. But all of Porter's vessels were not yet safe, as the larger ships of the squadron remained above the falls. "The accident to the dam," the Admiral related, "instead of disheartening Colonel Bailey, only induced him to renew his exertions, after he had seen the success of getting four vessels through." Bailey and his men, despite the fact that eight days of the heaviest labor had been swept away, turned immediately to work on a new dam.

3 USS Chocura, Lieutenant Commander Bancroft Gherardi, captured blockade running British schooner Agnes off the mouth of the Brazos River, Texas, with cargo of cotton. Later that same day, Chocura overhauled and captured Prussian schooner Frederick the Second, also laden with cotton, which had run the blockade with Agnes.

USS Virginia, Acting Lieutenant C. H. Brown, captured schooner Experiment off the Texas coast and destroyed her after removing the cotton cargo.

4 Flag Officer Barron in Paris wrote Secretary Mallory
: "I have the honor to inform you that the Georgia, after having received in the port of Bordeaux all necessary aid and courtesy, has arrived in Liverpool, where I have turned her over to Commander J. D. Bulloch, agent for the Navy Department in Europe, to be disposed of for the benefit of the Government. . . . the plans which I had formed for equipping the Rappahannock for service as a man-of-war have been a second time frustrated by the unexplained and unjustifiable action of the French authorities in detaining the Rappahannock in the port of Calais . Had she been permitted to sail on the day appointed by her commander her concerted meeting with the Georgia would have taken place in a fine, out-of-the-way harbor on the coast of Morocco , in and about which place the Georgia had six days of uninterrupted good weather and secure from the notice of all Europeans." As the tide of war turned relentlessly against the Confederacy, foreign governments became increasingly reluctant to involve themselves in the conflict by allowing raiders to outfit in their harbors, and Union diplomatic moves to choke off this source of Southern sea power intensified.

4-7 Steamers USS Sunflower, Acting Master Edward Van Sice, and Honduras , Acting Master John H. Platt, and sailing bark J. L. Davis, Acting Master William Fales, supported the capture of Tampa , Florida , in a combined operation. The Union ships carried the soldiers to Tampa and provided a naval landing party which joined in the assault. Van Sice reported of the engagement: "At 7 A.M. the place was taken possession of, capturing some 40 prisoners, the naval force capturing about one-half, which were turned over to the Army, and a few minutes after 7 the Stars and Stripes were hoisted in the town by the Navy." The warships also captured blockade running sloop Neptune on 6 May with cargo of cotton. Brigadier General Daniel Woodbury later wrote to Rear Admiral Bailey, Commander of the East Gulf Blockading Squadron: "I wish to acknowledge the important service you have rendered to the army department by placing the gunboat Honduras in my charge, and by your special and general instructions to the commanding Officers of your squadron to assist and cooperate in any military operations."

5 CSS Albemarle, Commander Cooke, with Bombshell, Lieutenant Albert G. Hudgins, and Cotton Plant in company, steamed into Albemarle Sound and engaged Union naval forces in fierce action off the mouth of the Roanoke River. Bombshell was captured early in the action after coming under severe fire from USS Sassacus, and Cotton Plant withdrew up the Roanoke . Albemarle resolutely continued the action. Sassacus, Lieutenant Commander Roe, gallantly rammed the heavy ironclad but with little effect. Sassacus received a direct hit in her starboard boiler, killing several sailors and forcing her out of action Side-wheelers USS Mattabesett, Captain M. Smith, and USS Wyalusing, Lieutenant Commander Walter W. Queen, continued to engage the Southern ram until darkness halted the action after nearly three hours of intensive fighting. As Assistant Surgeon Samuel P. Boyer, on board Mattabesett, wrote: "Shot and shell came fast like hail." Albemarle withdrew up the Roanoke River and small side-wheelers USS Commodore Hull and Ceres steamed to the river's mouth on picket duty to guard against her reentry into the sound. The ironclad had returned to her river haven, but she had given new evidence that she was a mighty force to be reckoned with. Captain Smith reported: "The ram is certainly very formidable. He is fast for that class of vessel, making from 6 to 7 knots, turns quickly, and is armed with heavy guns. . . ." And Lieutenant Commander Roe noted: ". . . I am forced to think that the Albemarle is more formidable than the Merrimack
 or Atlanta , for our solid l00– pounder rifle shot flew into splinters upon her iron plates." Albemarle 's commander was more critical of her performance. Three days later he wrote Secretary Mallory that the ram "draws too much water to navigate the sounds well, and has not sufficient buoyancy. In consequence she is very slow and not easily managed. Her decks are so near the water as to render it an easy task for the enemy's vessels to run on her, and any great weight soon submerges the deck." For the next five months Union efforts in the area focused on Albemarle 's destruction.

While Rear Admiral Porter's fleet awaited the opportunity to pass over the Red River rapids, the ships below Alexandria were incessantly attacked by Confederate forces. This date, wooden steamers USS Covington, Acting Lieutenant George P. Lord, USS Signal, Acting Lieutenant Edward Morgan, and transport Warner were lost in a fierce engagement on the Red River near Dunn's Bayou, Louisiana. On 4 May, Covington and Warner had been briefly attacked by infantry, and the next morning the Confederates reappeared with two pieces of artillery and a large company of riflemen. Warner, in the lead, soon went out of control, blocked the river at a bend near Pierce's Landing, and despite the efforts of Lord and Morgan was forced to surrender. Signal also became disabled and although Covington attempted to tow her upstream, she went adrift out of control and came to anchor. The gunboats continued the hot engagement, but Lord finally burned and abandoned Covington after his ammunition was exhausted and many of the crew were killed. After continuing to sustain the Confederate cannonade alone, the crippled Signal was finally compelled to strike the colors. The Southerners then sank Signal as a channel obstruction.

Chief Engineer Henry A. Ramsay of the newly established Confederate Navy Yard, Charlotte, North Carolina, advised Commander Brooke, Chief of the Naval Bureau of Ordnance, that be-cause of difficulties in recruiting skilled workers and a shortage of mechanics he was unable to operate some of the equipment for arming Southern ironclads; nor could he repair the locomotives assigned to that station by Secretary Mallory. He added: "I understand from you that the ironclad Virginia [No. II] at Richmond is now in readiness for action except her gun carriages and wrought-iron projectiles, which arc being made at these works. If we had a full force of mechanics this work would have been finished in one-half the time. . . . Two days later, Lieutenant David P. McCorkle wrote Brooke in a similar vein from the Naval Ordnance Works at Atlanta , Georgia . This chronic shortage of skilled workers combined with the material shortages occasioned by the blockade could not be surmounted by the Confederacy.

6 USS Commodore Jones, Acting Lieutenant Thomas Wade, was destroyed by a huge 2,000-pound electric torpedo in the James River while dragging for torpedoes with USS Mackinaw and Commodore Morris. From the Norfolk Naval Hospital , Wade later reported that the torpedo "exploded directly under the ship with terrible effect, causing her destruction instantly, absolutely blowing the vessel to splinters." Other observers said that the hull of the converted ferryboat was lifted completely out of the water by the force of the explosion which claimed some 40 lives. A landing party of Sailors and Marines went ashore immediately and captured two torpedomen and the galvanic batteries which had detonated the mine. One of the Confederates, Jeffries Johnson, refused to divulge information regarding the location of torpedoes under interrogation, but he "signified his willingness to tell all" when he was placed in the bow of the forward ship on river duty, and Johnson became the war's "unique minesweeper."

Early in the evening, CSS Raleigh, Flag Officer Lynch, steamed over the bar at New Inlet , North Carolina , and engaged USS Britannia and Nansemond, forcing them to withdraw temporarily and enabling a blockade runner to escape. Captain Sands, senior officer present, commented: "The principal object [of Raleigh 's attack], it seems to me . . . is for her to aid the outgoing and incom-ing of the runners by driving off the vessels stationed on and near the bar. . . ." Early the next morning, Raleigh renewed the engagement, exchanging fire with wooden steamers USS Howquah and Nansemond. Two other steamers, USS Mount Vernon
 and Kansas , also opened on the ram, and at 6 a.m. Lynch broke off the action. Attempting to cross the bar at the mouth of Cape Fear River, Raleigh grounded and was severely damaged. Lynch order her destroyed; his action was sanctioned by a subsequent court of inquiry. Thus, the Confederacy lost another formidable ram, one upon which Southern Army commanders had been depending to defend the inner bars from Union attack.

USS Granite City, Acting Master C.W. Lamson, and USS Wave, Acting Lieutenant Benjamin A. Loring, were captured by Confederate troops in Calcasieu River , Louisiana . Steamer Granite City and tinclad Wave had been dispatched to Calcasieu Pass to receive refugees on 28 April and both ships carried out this duty until the morning of the captures, landing a small army de-tachment on shore as pickets. The Southerners, with artillery and about 350 sharpshooters from the Sabine
  Pass garrison, overwhelmed the Union landing party, and took the ships under fire on the morning of 6 May. After an hour's engagement, Granite City surrendered; upon receiving shot in her boiler and steam drum, Wave shortly followed suit. On the 10th USS New London, Acting Master Lyman Wells, unaware that the Confederates had surprised and taken the Union vessels, arrived off Calcasieu . Wells sent one boat to Granite City , which did not return. On the morning of the 11th, he sent another boat, under the command of Acting Ensign Henry Jackson, toward Granite City under flag of truce. Seeing a Confederate flag flying from her, Jackson tried to shoot it down and was killed by a Southern sharpshooter. Upon receiving Acting Master Wells' report, Rear Admiral Farragut immediately planned to recapture the vessels but, having insufficient ships of light draft available, was forced to postpone his efforts.

USS Dawn, Acting Lieutenant John W. Simmons, transported soldiers to capture a signal station at Wilson 's Wharf, Virginia . After landing the troops two miles above the station, Simmons proceeded to Sandy Point to cover the attack. When the soldiers were momentarily halted, a boat crew from Dawn spearheaded the successful assault.

USS Grand Gulf Commander George M. Ransom, captured blockade running British steamer Young Republic at sea east of Savannah with cargo of cotton and tobacco. Two weeks later, Rear Admiral Lee congratulated Ransom on the seizure and wrote: "Every capture made by the blockaders deprives the enemy of so much of the 'sinews of war,' and is equal to the taking of a supply train from the rebel Army."

USS Eutaw, Osceola, Pequot, Shokokon, and General Putnam, side-wheelers of Rear Admiral Lee's North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, supported the landing of troops at Bermuda Hundred, Virginia.

7 USS Shawsheen, Acting Ensign Charles Ringot, was disabled, captured and destroyed by Confederates in James River . Shawsheen, a 180-ton side-wheel steamer, had been ordered to drag the river for torpedoes above Chaffin's Bluff, and had anchored near shore shortly before noon so that the crew could eat, when Confederate infantry and artillery surprised the gunboat. A shot through the boiler forced many sailors overboard to avoid being scalded. Lieutenant Colonel W.M. Elliott, CSA, reported that Shawsheen was completely disabled and "though reluctantly, she nevertheless hauled down her colors and displayed the white flag in token of surrender. A boat was dispatched to enforce the delivery of the prisoners on board, the enemy's boats being made available to bring them off. The officer was also instructed to fire the vessel, which was effectively done, the fire quickly reaching the magazine, exploding it, consigning all to the wind and waves.

The Confederacy, hampered by limited armaments and foundries, sought to make optimum use of every piece of captured Union ordnance. This date, Major General Camille J. Polignac, CSA, pointed out the significance of the Southern capture of USS Signal and Covington and their two Parrott guns (see 6 May): "It is very important and desirable that these fruits of our victories over the enemy's gunboats shall be saved to us, as well as lost to them."

9 Rear Admiral Farragut again wrote Secretary Welles
 requesting ironclads for the reduction of Mobile  Bay: "I am in hourly expectation of being attacked by almost an equal number of vessels, ironclads against wooden vessels, and a most unequal contest it will be, as the Tennessee is repre-sented as impervious to all their experiments at Mobile so that our only hope is to run her down, which we shall certainly do all in our power to accomplish; but should we be unsuccessful the panic in this part of the country will be beyond all control. They will imagine that New Orleans and Pensacola must fall." At this time Admiral Buchanan  was trying to float Tennessee over the Mobile bar using watertight caissons or "camels". Until that could be effected, there would be no engagement with Farragut's fleet.

USS Connecticut, Commander Almy, seized blockade running British steamer Minnie with cargo of cotton, tobacco, turpentine, and $10,000 in gold. The steamer was a well-known suc-cessful blockade runner. On 16 April 1864, John T. Bourne, Confederate commercial agent at St. Georges, Bermuda, had advised B.W. Hart Company, of London : "Steamer Minnie, Captain [Thomas S.] Gilpin, has made a splendid trip bringing 700 & odd bales of cotton & good lot of Tobacco paying for herself & the Emily."

10 U.S. Army transport Harriet A. Weed, supporting troop movements in the St. John's River , was destroyed by a torpedo. Sinking in less than a minute, the steamer became the third victim of stepped-up Confederate torpedo activity in the St. John's River in less than six weeks. While reconnoitering the river near Harriet A. Weed's hulk, USS Vixen recovered a torpedo of the type that destroyed the transport. The keg torpedo was, reported Charles O. Boutelle of the Coast Survey, "simple and effectual".

USS Mound City, Acting Lieutenant Amos R. Langthorne, and USS Carondelet, Lieutenant Commander John G. Mitchell, grounded near where work was proceeding on the wing dams across the Red River rapids above Alexandria . Next day, as the Red River slowly continued to rise behind the two wing dams, ironclads Mound City, Carondelet, and USS Pittsburg, Acting Lieutenant William R. Hoel, were finally hauled across the upper falls above the obstructions by throngs of straining soldiers. As the troops looked on in tense anticipation, the gunboats, all hatches battened down, successfully lurched through the gap between the dams to safety. Rear Admiral Porter later reported to Secretary Welles: "The passage of these vessels was a beauti-ful sight, only to be realized when seen." USS Ozark, Louisville , and Chillicothe , ironclads which had crossed the upper falls, were preparing to follow the next day.

USS Connecticut, Commander Almy, captured blockade running British steamer Greyhound, Lieutenant George H. Bier, CSN, with cargo of cotton, tobacco, and turpentine on the Govern-ment account.

12 Rear Admiral Lee, prompted by the recent loss of USS Commodore Jones and Shawsheen, ordered Lieutenant Roswell H. Lamson to command a special "torpedo and picket division" in the James River. The force would comprise side-wheelers USS Stepping Stones, Delaware , and Tritonia. In addition to patrolling and reconnoitering the river banks and dragging the river itself for torpedoes, Lee directed Lamson: "By night keep picket vessels and boats ahead and underway with alarm signals to prevent surprise from rebel river craft, rams, torpedo 'Davids,' and fire rafts."

Flag Officer Barron in Paris wrote Secretary Mallory: "Today I have heard indirectly and confidentially that the Alabama may be expected in a European port on any day. Ship and captain both requiring to be docked. Captain Semmes' health has begun to fail, and he feels that rest is needful to him. If he asks for a relief, I shall order Commander T.J. Page to take his place in command, and shall not hesitate to relieve the other officers if they ask for respite from sea duty after their long, arduous, and valuable service on the sea. There are numbers of fine young officers here who are panting for active duty on their proper element, and will cheerfully relieve their brother officers who have so handsomely availed themselves of the opportunities afforded them of rendering such distinguished service to their country and illustrating the naval profession."

Boat expedition under Acting Lieutenant William Budd, USS Somerset, transported a detachment of troops to Apalachicola , Florida , to disperse a Confederate force thought to be in the vicinity.

After disembarking the troops, Budd and his launches discovered a body of Confederate sailors embarking on a boat expedition, and after a brief exchange succeeded in driving them into the town and capturing their boats and supplies. The Confederates, led by Lieutenant Gift, CSN, had planned to capture USS Adela.

USS Beauregard, Acting Master Edward C. Mealy, seized blockade running sloop Resolute off Indian River , Florida .

13 Climaxing two weeks of unceasing effort to save the gunboats and bring to a close the unsuccessful Red River campaign, USS Louisville, Chillicothe, and Ozark, the last ships of Rear Admiral Porter's stranded fleet, succeeded in passing over the rapids above Alexandria, Louisiana. By mid-afternoon the gunboats steamed down the river, convoying Army transports; thus ended one of the most dramatic exploits of the war, as Lieutenant Colonel Bailey's ingenuity and the inexhaustible energy of the men working on the obstructions raised the level of the river enough to save the Mississippi Squadron. Porter later wrote to Secretary Welles: "The water had fallen so low that I had no hope or expectation of getting the vessels out this season, and as the army had made arrangements to evacuate the country I saw nothing before me but the destruction of the best part of the Mississippi squadron. . . ." He rightly praised the work of Colonel Bailey: "Words are inadequate to express the admiration I feel for the abilities of Lieutenant Colonel Bailey. This is without a doubt the best engineering feat ever performed . . . he has saved to the Union a valuable fleet, worth nearly $2,000,000. . . ." Bailey's services received prompt recognition, for in June he was promoted and he later received the formal thanks of Congress.

Small sidewheel steamer USS Ceres, Acting Master Henry H. Foster, with Army steamer Rockland and 100 embarked soldiers in company, conducted a raiding expedition on the Alligator River, North Carolina, captured Confederate schooner Ann S. Davenport and disabled a mill supplying ground corn for the Southern armies.

15 As ships of Rear Admiral Porter's gunboat fleet neared the mouth of the Red River , they met continued resistance from Confederate shore batteries and riflemen. USS St. Clair, a 200-ton stern-wheeler under Acting Lieutenant Thomas B. Gregory, engaged a battery near Eunice's Bluff, Louisiana . Gregory exchanged fire with the artillerists until the transports he was con-voying were out of danger, then continued downriver.

USS Kansas, Lieutenant Commander Pendleton G. Watmough, captured blockade running British steamer Tristram Shandy
 at sea east of Fort Fisher with cargo of cotton, tobacco, and turpentine.

16 Ships of the Mississippi Squadron were constantly occupied with safeguarding river transportation from Southern attack. Side-wheeler USS General Price, Acting Lieutenant Richardson, engaged a Confederate battery which had taken transport steamer Mississippi under fire near Ratliff's Landing, Mississippi. USS Lafayette, Lieutenant Commander J.P. Foster, and USS General Bragg, Acting Lieutenant Cyrenius Dominy, converged upon the battery and the three heavy steamers forced the Confederate gunners back from the river, enabling the transport to proceed.

Having crossed the rapids of the Red River at Alexandria , Rear Admiral Porter next had to traverse the many bars in the River near its mouth. The Admiral found that the water was higher there than had been anticipated and reported to Secretary Welles: "Providentially we had a rise from the backwater of the Mississippi , that river being very high at that time, the back-water extending to Alexandria , 150 miles distant, enabling us to pass all the bars and obstructions with safety." After battling low water, rapids, and the harassing forces of General Taylor for two months along the Red River, Porter and his gunboats again entered the Mississippi .

A landing party from USS Stockdale, Acting Lieutenant Thomas Edwards, was fired upon by Confederate cavalry at the mouth of the Tchefuncta River in Lake Pontchartrain , Louisiana . Edwards succeeded in forcing the Confederates to withdraw, but not until two of his officers had been captured and one killed.

18 After encountering many difficulties and setbacks Admiral Buchanan succeeded in floating the formidable Confederate ram Tennessee over Dog River Bar and out into Mobile Bay . With Rear Admiral Farragut's fleet forming outside the bay, the stage was now being set for one of the most dramatic and decisive naval battles of the War.

CSS Florida , Lieutenant Morris, captured and burned schooner George Latimer of Baltimore at 34o55' N, 55o13' W, with cargo of flour, lard, bread, and kerosene.

19 USS General Price, Acting Lieutenant Richardson, engaged a Confederate battery on the banks of the Mississippi River at Tunica Bend, Louisiana. The Southerners, who had been attempting to destroy transport steamer Superior , were forced to evacuate their river position. Richardson put ashore a landing party which burned a group of buildings used by the Confederates as a headquarters from which attacks against river shipping were launched.

21 Gunfire from ironclad steamer USS Atlanta, Acting Lieutenant Thomas J. Woodward, and USS Dawn, Acting Lieutenant John W. Simmons, dispersed Confederate cavalry attacking Fort Powhatan
 on the James Rivet, Virginia . Dawn, a wooden steamer, remained above the fort during the night to prevent another attack.

22 During the long period of watchful waiting and preparation off Mobile , Rear Admiral Farragut wrote his son Loyall: "I am lying off here, looking at Buchanan and awaiting his coming out. He has a force of four ironclads and three wooden vessels. I have eight or nine wooden vessels. We'll try to amuse him if he comes. . . . I have a fine set of vessels here just now, and am anxious for my friend Buchanan to come out.

USS Kineo, Lieutenant Commander John Waters, seized blockade. running British schooner Sting Ray off Velasco , Texas . However, the prize crew put on board the schooner was overwhelmed by the original crew. The schooner was grounded on the Texas coast, where the Union sailors were turned over to the custody of Confederate troops.

USS Crusader, Lieutenant Peter Hays, captured schooner Isaac L. Adkins at the mouth of the Severn River, Maryland , with cargo of corn and oats.

23 USS Columbine, Acting Ensign Sanborn, was captured after a heated engagement with Con-federate batteries and riflemen at Horse Landing, near Palatka , Florida . Columbine, a 130-ton side-wheeler operating in support of Union Army forces and with soldiers embarked, lost steer-ing control and ran onto a mud bank, where she was riddled by the accurate Confederate fire. With some 20 men killed and wounded, Sanborn surrendered "to prevent the further useless expenditure of human life." Shortly after taking the prize, the Southerners destroyed her to avoid recapture by USS Ottawa, Lieutenant Commander Breese. Ottawa , cooperating with the Army in the same operation, had also been fired upon the night before and suffered damage but no casualties before compelling the Confederate battery at Brown's Landing to withdraw. Rear Admiral Dahlgren
 wrote: "The loss of the Columbine will be felt most inconveniently; her draft was only 5 or 6 feet, and having only two such steamers, the services of which are needed elsewhere, can not replace her.''

24 President Lincoln, ever ready to recognize the contributions of the officers and men in service afloat, recommended the promotion of Lieutenant Commander Francis A. Roe and First Assistant Engineer James M. Hobby for their distinguished conduct in the fierce battle between USS Sassacus and CSS Albemarle in Albemarle Sound, North Carolina, on 5 May.

Confederate soldiers captured and burned steamer Lebanon near Ford's Landing, Arkansas . Six days later, Union transport Clara Ames and her cargo of cotton were taken and burned near Gaines Landing, Arkansas , after she was disabled by artillery fire. Confederates continually ranged along the banks of the western rivers engaging Union shipping in hit-and-run raids. The actions were a constant reminder of the continuing need for naval gunboat support and vigilance on these all important waterways.

Accurate gunfire from wooden steamer USS Dawn, Acting Lieutenant Simmons, compelled Confederate troops to break off an attack on the Union Army position at Wilson 's Wharf on the James River . Other ships quickly moved to support the troops. Rear Admiral Lee later reported that General E.A. Wild, commanding the Army defenses, praised the Navy's work: "He stated to me that the gunboats were of great assistance to him in repelling their attack."

25 Boat crew from USS Mattabesett, Captain M. Smith, made an unsuccessful attempt to destroy CSS Albemarle in the Roanoke River near Plymouth , North Carolina . After ascending the Middle River with two 100-pound torpedoes, Charles Baldwin, coal heaver, and John W. Lloyd, coxswain, swam across the Roanoke carrying a towline with which they hauled the torpedoes to the Plymouth shore. Baldwin planned to swim down to the ram and position a torpedo on either side of her bow. Across the river, Alexander Crawford, fireman, would then explode the weapons. However, Baldwin was discovered by a sentry when within a few yards of Albemarle and the daring mission had to be abandoned. John Lloyd cut the guidelines and swam back across the river to join John Laverty, fireman, who was guarding the far shore. They made their way to the dinghy in which they had rowed upriver and, with Benjamin Lloyd, coal heaver, who had acted as boatkeeper, made their way back to the Mattabesett. On 29 May Baldwin and Crawford, exhausted, returned to the ship. Captain Smith reported: "I can not too highly commend this party for their courage, zeal, and unwearied exertion in carrying out a project that had for some time been under consideration. The plan of executing it was their own, except in some minor details. . . . As Smith recommended, each of the five sailors was awarded the Medal of Honor for their heroic efforts.

A joint Army-Navy expedition advanced up the Ashepoo and South Edisto Rivers , South Carolina , with the object of cutting the Charleston
 and Savannah Railroad. Union naval forces, under Lieutenant Commander Edward F. Stone, included converted ferryboat USS Commodore Mc-Donough, and wooden steamers E.B. Hale, Dai Ching, and Vixen and a detachment of Marines. The Navy pushed up the South Edisto , while Army transports moved up the Ashepoo convoyed by Dai Ching. Stone landed the Marines and howitzers and on the morning of the 26th opened fire on Willstown , South Carolina . The naval commander, unable to make contact with General Birney to coordinate a further assault, withdrew next morning. Transport Boston ran aground in the Ashepoo and was destroyed to prevent her capture.

26 The unsuccessful Red River campaign having drawn to a close, General Banks' army on 20 May crossed the Atchafalaya River near Simmesport , Louisiana , protected by Rear Admiral Porter's fleet. Porter, whose health was beginning to fail after many months of arduous duty on the western waters, arrived at his headquarters at Cairo , Illinois , this date, and reported to Secretary Welles on the end of the expedition: "I have the honor to report my arrival at this place, four days from Red River . The army had all crossed the Atchafalaya , and General Smith's division had embarked; the gunboats covered the army until all were over. . . . The river is quiet between this [Ohio River] and Red River . . . ."

Rear Admiral Farragut wrote Rear Admiral Bailey, then at Key West, about the torpedo preparations made by Confederate Admiral Buchanan in Mobile Bay: "I can see his boats very industriously laying down torpedoes, so I judge that he is quite as much afraid of our going in as we are of his coming out; but I have come to the conclusion to fight the devil with fire, and therefore shall attach a torpedo to the bow of each ship, and see how it will work on the rebels-if they can stand blowing up any better than we can."

Commander Carter, USS Michigan, reported to Secretary Welles from Buffalo, New York, of the cruise of his iron side-wheeler on Lake Erie "relative to supposed armed vessel intended to raid on the lake cities. . . ., but he could "find no foundation for the rumors relative thereto . . . matters quiet at present. . . ."

Illustrative of the global demands placed on the Union Navy was the request of Robert H. Pruyn, U.S. Minister to Japan, that Captain Cicero Price bring USS Jamestown without delay to the port of Kanagawa, which the Japanese threatened to close to foreign commerce.

28 After a six-hour chase, USS Admiral, Lieutenant William B. Eaton, captured blockade running steamer Isabel, south of Galveston, Texas, with a cargo of powder and arms. Eaton commented in his report that "She was ably handled, and her commander evinced the most desperate courage, not surrendering until two broadsides at close quarters had been poured into him, and our Marines pouring in such an incessant fire of musketry that not a man could remain on deck, and not until then did the captain of her show a light as a signal of submission.'' Label, a highly successful blockade runner which was reported to have made more than 20 trips through the blockade at Mobile and Galveston , was severely damaged, and despite Eaton's efforts to save her, sank at Quarantine Station on the Mississippi River on 2 June.

USS Ariel, Acting Master James J. RUSSell, captured sloop General Finegan north of Chassahow-itzka Bay , Florida . The blockade runner's crew attempted to set her afire, but Ariel saved the cargo of cotton and turpentine and then destroyed General Finegan as unseaworthy.

29 USS Cowslip, Acting Ensign Richard Canfield, captured sloop Last Push off the coast of Missis-sippi with cargo of corn.

30 Mounting evidence pointed to a Confederate naval assault on Union forces in the James River be-low Richmond . This date, John Loomis, a deserter from CSS Hampton , reported that three ironclads and six wooden gunboats, all armed with torpedoes, had passed the obstructions at Drewry's Bluff and were below Fort Darling , awaiting an opportunity to attack. The ironclads were CSS Virginia II, Flag Officer John K. Mitchell, CSS Richmond, Lieutenant William H Parker, and CSS Fredericksburg, Commander Thomas R. Rootes. Two days later, Archy Jenkins, a Negro from Richmond , confirmed this statement and added: "They are putting two barges and a sloop lashed together, filled with shavings and pitch and with torpedoes, which they intend to set on fire, and when it reaches the fleet it will blow up and destroy the fleet. . . . They all say they know 'they can whip you all; they are certain of it.' They believe in their torpedoes in preference to everything." "In view of the novel attack contemplated," Rear Admiral Lee wrote Secretary Welles, " . . . one or more ironclads could be added to my force here, considering the importance of this river to the armies of Generals Grant and Butler ."

USS Keystone State, Commander Crosby, and USS Massachusetts, Acting Lieutenant William H. West, captured blockade running British steamer Caledonia at sea south of Cape Fear after a three hour chase in which the steamer's cargo of bacon, leather, and medical supplies was thrown overboard.

31 USS Commodore Perry, Acting Lieutenant Amos P. Foster, engaged Confederate artillery on the James River, Virginia, in a two hour exchange during which the converted ferryboat was dam-aged by six hits.

Secretary Welles ordered USS Constellation, Captain Stellwagen, detached from duty in the Mediterranean to report to Rear Admiral Farragut in the Western Gulf Blockading Squadron.

June 1864

1 Rear Admiral Dahlgren
 wrote in his diary off Charleston : "Of the seven monitors left, two are here out of order, and the Passaic no better. The Rebels have four; wonder if they will come out and try their luck."

USS Exchange, a 210-ton wooden paddle-wheeler under Acting Master James C. Gipson, engaged two Confederate batteries on the Mississippi River near Columbia , Arkansas , sustaining serious damage. Gipson, who was wounded during the heated encounter, described the action: "They waited until I had passed by the lower battery, when they opened a destructive crossfire. As I had just rounded a point of a sand bar, I could not back down, consequently there was no other alternative but run by the upper battery if possible. . . . I opened my port broadside guns, re-plying to theirs; but unfortunately the port engine was struck and disabled, causing her to work very slow, keeping us under fire about forty-five minutes. I had barely got out of range of their guns when the engine stopped entirely. . . . I immediately let go the anchor . . . expecting every moment they would move their battery above us and open again; but we succeeded in getting out, although pretty badly damaged."

2 Union gunboats convoying transports on the western rivers continued to be harassed by hostile field artillery along the banks. Lieutenant Commander Owen, USS Louisville, after sustaining severe damage in an exchange at Columbia , Arkansas , wrote to Rear Admiral Porter: "The strength of the enemy in the neighborhood is undoubtedly great, and nothing but a military expedition can clear the banks. We can convoy boats every day with the usual loss of men and injury to boats, as the river is now, but it is falling rapidly, and vessels are of necessity being driven close under the enemy's guns." Next day, at Memphis , Lieutenant Commander John G. Mitchell, USS Carondelet, also observed: "Not a steamer arrives here from Cairo but what has been fired upon by gangs numbering from 12 to 100 men." The warships were encountering difficulties similar to those Rear Admiral Farragut had faced on the Texas coast in the fall of 1862: the ships could dominate the waterways and coasts, but troops were needed to prevent the buildup of Confederate artillery and troublesome guerilla activity.

USS Wamsutta, Acting Master Charles W. Lee, chased blockade running British steamer Rose aground at Pawley's Island , South Carolina , with small cargo including liquor and destroyed her.

USS Victoria, Acting Master Alfred Everson, chased blockade running steamer Georgiana McCaw aground near Wilmington
 and destroyed her with large cargo of provisions.

Landing party from USS Cowslip, Acting Ensign Canfield, captured five sloops and one steam boiler, destroyed six large boats, four salt works, and three flat boats during a raid up Biloxi Bay , Mississippi .

3 A Confederate boat expedition of some 130 officers and men under the command of Lieutenant Thomas P. Pelot, CSN, surprised and captured USS Water Witch, Lieutenant Commander Austin Pendergrast, in an early morning raid off Ossabaw Island, Georgia. In pitch darkness at 2 o'clock In the morning, Pelot silently guided his party to the anchored blockaders' and was within 50 yards of her when discovered. Before the Union sailors could man their stations, the Confederates had boarded Water Witch and a wild hand-to-hand melee ensued. "The fight," Rear Admiral Dahlgren recorded in his diary after learning of the incident, "was hard, but brief." Though the Southerners overwhelmed the defenders, Pelot and five others were killed and 17 were wounded in taking the prize. Lieutenant Joseph Price, who assumed command of the expedition when Pelot fell, said of his comrade: "In his death the country has lost a brave and gallant officer, and society one of her highest ornaments." Water Witch, a 380-ton sidewheeler, was taken into the Vernon River and moored above the obstructions guarding Savannah . Secretary Mallory
 wrote: "The plan and gallant execution of the enterprise reflect great credit upon all who were associated with it, and upon the service which they adorn. The fall of Lieutenant Pelot and his gallant associates in the moment of victory, and the suffering of his companions wounded, sadden the feelings of patriotic pleasure with which this brilliant achievement is everywhere received."

The valor with which Southern sailors fought on against great and ever-increasing odds helped keep Confederate hopes alive throughout the last dark year of the war.

Commander Bulloch wrote Secretary Mallory, enumerating some of the difficulties he experienced as Confederate Naval Agent abroad: "At no time since the completion of the Alabama has there been anything like money enough in hand, or within my control to pay for the ships actually under contract, and if no political complications bad to delay the completion of these ships and they bad been ready for delivery at the dates specified in the contracts, I should not have been able to pay for them. . . . If these were ordinary times and the agent of your department could treat openly and in person with the European governments, we could doubtless obtain very good ships from several of the Continental navies, but acting through intermediaries who care for nothing beyond their commissions, we can not get anything but the cast-off vessels of other services, which either possess some radical defect of design rendering them unfit for cruisers, or are so dilapidated as to be worthless."

In response to the increasing number of Confederate hit-and-run attacks upon river shipping on the western waters, Major General Canby wrote to Rear Admiral Porter offering the cooperation of land forces: ''I have ordered reserves of troops and of water transportation to be held in readi-ness at different points on the Mississippi, for the purpose of operating against any rebel force that may attempt to interrupt the navigation of the river. If you will direct naval commanders to give early notice of any movements of this kind to the commanders of the military districts, a sufficient military force can be sent at once to cooperate with the gunboats in destroying or driv-ing off the rebels."

USS Coeur de Lion, Acting Master William G. Morris, seized schooner Malinda in the Potomac River for violating the blockade.

4 The success of CSS Tacony against shipping off the New England coast the previous year (see 2027 June 1863) prompted a committee in Gloucester, Massachusetts, to address a request to Secretary Welles
: ''In behalf of the citizens and businessmen of this town interested in the fishing business, to ask your attention to the necessity of some protection for our fishing fleet the coming season. . . . it is necessary that a steamer, properly armed, should be detailed for the special service of cruising in the Gulf of St Lawrence until the close of the fishing season.'' Welles ordered USS Ticonderoga, Captain Charles Steedman, on this duty.

USS Fort Jackson, Captain Sands, captured blockade running steamer Thistle at sea east of Charles-ton. Her cargo, except for a cotton press, was thrown overboard during the six hour chase.

5 USS Keystone State, Commander Crosby, seized blockade running British steamer Siren off Beaufort harbor, North Carolina, with cargo including hoop iron and liquor.

6 Lieutenant Commander Owen, USS Louisville, covered the embarkation of 8,000 Union troops under General A. J. Smith on transports near Sunnyside, Arkansas, on the Mississippi River. Under Owen's charge, the transports had landed the Federal force on 4 June, and the soldiers had engaged Confederate units near Bayou Macon, Louisiana, forcing the Southerners into the interior. Owen noted in his report to Rear Admiral Porter: "The object that brought the enemy here in the first place doubtless still remains, and I may expect him any time after the departure of General Smith. Unless Marmaduke's forces, with his artillery, are driven away or destroyed, they will very much annoy navigation between Cypress Bend and Sunnyside."

USS Metacomet, Lieutenant Commander Jouett, captured blockade running steamer Donegal off Mobile
 with large cargo of munitions.

7 Confederate transport steamer Etiwan grounded off Fort Johnson and was sunk by Union batteries on Morris Island , Charleston harbor.

Suspecting that Confederates were using cotton to erect breastworks on the banks of the Suwannee River, Florida, boat expedition commanded by Acting Ensign Louis R. Chester, composed of men from USS Clyde and Sagamore, proceeded upriver and captured over 100 bales of cotton in the vicinity of Clay Landing.

8 Lieutenant Commander Ramsay, USS Chillicothe, led an expedition up the Atchafalaya River, Louisiana, accompanied by USS Neosho, Acting Lieutenant Howard, and USS Port Hindman, Acting Lieutenant Pearce, to silence a Confederate battery above Simmesport. The Union gun-boats, after a short engagement, forced the Southerners to abandon their position and a landing party captured the guns.

9 Illustrative of the vast difference in capabilities of the two navies were the reactions North and South during the aftermath of the capture of USS Water Witch on 6 June. The Northern fleet was concerned that she might escape to sea and attack Union coastal positions. "We must try to block the Water Witch," Rear Admiral Dahlgren wrote, anticipating an offensive effort such as he would make in similar circumstances. The South, however, hoping to conserve this unexpected gain in strength by the capture, had no intention of risking the gunboat in such an ad-venture. Rather, every effort was made to bring her to Savannah as additional defense for the city. Flag Officer William W. Hunter, CSN, this date ordered Lieutenant William W. Carnes, CSN, commanding Water Witch: "Keep powder enough to blow her up say 100 pounds in the event the enemy may be enabled to recapture her." The North, with free access to the sea and with an abundance of material and great facilities available, could remain on the offensive; the South, in desperate need of ships and supplies, was committed to the defensive.

Secretary Welles decided ''to retire the Marine officers who are past the legal age, and to bring in Zeilin as Commandant of the Corps." Retirement of over-age naval and marine officers was one of the difficult administrative problems of the war.

The stringent material limitations with which the Confederate Navy had to operate greatly re-stricted its capabilities and prevented its taking offensive action. Menaced by the advance of Major General Butler's troops along the James River below Drewey's Bluff and by the Union squadron at Trent 's Reach, Flag Officer Mitchell, commanding the Confederate James River Squadron, sought to attack "without delay . . . the enemy in Trent 's Reach." This date, the leading officers of his squadron advised against such an assault "under existing circumstances." They wrote Mitchell that the Union squadron was "a force equal to, if not superior to our own that it was better supported ashore, that the Southern ships were not maneuverable enough for efficient use in the narrow confines of the Reach, and that obstructions would additionally hamper their movements. Thus, they were opposed to risking the "whole force" of Southern naval strength in an attack and suggested instead the more defensive but potentially less costly alterna-tive of sending fire rafts and floating torpedoes downriver against the Union squadron.

USS Proteus, Commander Robert W. Shufeldt, captured blockade running British schooner R.S. Hood at sea north of Little Bahama Bank.

USS New Berne, Acting Lieutenant Thomas A. Harris, chased blockade running steamer Pevensey aground near Beaufort , North Carolina , with cargo including arms, lead, bacon, and clothing. She blew up shortly thereafter.

USS Rosalie, Acting Master Peter F. Coffin, captured steamer Emma at Marco Pass, Florida, with cargo of blacksmith's coal.

Lodner Phillips and his partner Peck submit plans for a submarine that is steam-powered, carries enough compressed air for a crew of five for 24 hours, employs a saw for cutting underwater obstructions, and could fire a cannon both at the surface and from underwater. Phillips was the most respected expert in submarine technology in North America, but had withheld any input until now perhaps because of the rejection by the USN of a submarine developed and used by himself (and Peck) on the Great Lakes from 1851-55. The vessel also used an underwater cannon in salvage operations and was commercially successful.

10 U.S.S Elk, Acting Lieutenant Nicholas Kirby, captured blockade running sloop Yankee Doodle at the middle entrance of the Pearl River, Mississippi Sound , with cargo of cotton.

USS Union, Acting Lieutenant Edward Conroy, took sloop Caroline attempting to run the blockade at Jupiter Inlet , Florida .

11 CSS Alabama , Captain Semmes, badly in need of repairs, arrived at Cherbourg , France. Lieutenant Arthur Sinclair, CSN, an officer on board the Confederate raider, later recorded his impressions upon entering this, her last port: "We have cruised from the day of commission, August 24, 1862, to June 11, 1864, and during this time have visited two-thirds of the globe, experiencing all vicissitudes of climate and hardships attending constant cruising. We have had from first to last two hundred and thirteen officers and men on our payroll, and have lost not one by disease, and but one by accidental death." The Confederate Commissioner in France, John Slidell, assured Semmes that he anticipated no difficulty in obtaining French permission for Alabama to use the docking facilities. William L. Dayton, U.S. Minister to France, immediately protested the use of the French port by a vessel with a character "so obnoxious and so notorious''. Intelligence of the material condition and strength of Alabama was relayed by the American Vice-Consul at Cherbourg to Captain Winslow of USS Kearsarge at Flushing .

12 USS Flag, Commander James C. Williamson, captured blockade running sloop Cyclops shortly after she ran out of Charleston with cargo of cotton.

USS Lavender, Acting Master John H. Gleason, struck a shoal off North Carolina in a severe squall. The 175-ton wooden steamer was destroyed and nine crewmen lost before the survivors were rescued on 15 June by Army steamer John Farron.

13 USS Kearsarge, Captain Winslow, sailed from Dover , England , to blockade CSS Alabama at Cherbourg .

14 USS Kearsarge, Captain Winslow, arrived off Cherbourg , France . The ship log recorded: "Found the rebel privateer Alabama lying at anchor in the roads." Kearsarge took up the blockade in international waters off the harbor entrance. Captain Semmes stated: ". . . My intention is to fight the Kearsarge as soon as I can make the necessary arrangements. I hope they will not detain me more than until tomorrow evening, or after the morrow morning at furthest. I beg she will not depart before I am ready to go out." With the famous Confederate raider at bay, Kearsarge had no intention of departing-the stage was set for the famous duel. As a poet on board Alabama wrote:

"We're homeward, we're homeward bound,
And soon shall stand on English ground.
But ere that English land we see,
We first must fight the Kearsargee."

USS Courier, Acting Master Samuel C. Gray, ran aground and was wrecked on Abaco Island , Bahamas ; the sailing ship's crew and stores were saved.

Julius Kroehl submits a set of plans for his second submarine, Explorer, which are accepted for review by the U.S. Navy. Explorer is unique in that the bottom of the boat could be opened while submerged (compressed air keeping the seawater out) while divers exited and entered the boat. Explorer is completed later in the summer but declined for service by the U.S. Navy. The boat is taken to Panama where it was used successfully by the Pacific Pearl Mining Company for many years.

15 Confederate artillery opened fire in the early morning hours on wooden side-wheeler USS General Bragg, Acting Lieutenant Dominy, lying off Como Landing, Louisiana . The return fire from General Bragg forced the Southerners to move to Ratliff's Landing where they fired on small paddle-wheel steamer USS Naiad, Acting Master Henry T. Keene. USS Winebago, a double-turreted river monitor, alerted by the sound of gunfire, soon hove into sight, and the combined firepower of the three ships temporarily silenced the field battery. Next day, General Bragg was again taken under fire by Confederate guns on the river bank and another spirited engagement ensued, during which a shot disabled the ship's engine.

Confederate transport J. R. Williams, carrying supplies up the Arkansas River, Oklahoma , from Fort Smith to Fort Gibson , 'was taken under fire by Union artillery. The steamer was run aground and abandoned by her crew, and Federal forces subsequently destroyed her.

Lieutenant Bache, commanding USS Lexington, and a boat crew from USS Tyler, captured three steamers off Beulah Landing, Mississippi . Reports had reached Bache that steamers Mattie, M. Walt, and Hill, were "in communication with rebel soldiers, openly receiving them on the boats, and trading with them

16 Captain Semmes, CSS Alabama, wrote Flag Officer Barron in Paris: "The position of Alabama here has been somewhat changed since I wrote you. The enemy's steamer, the Kearsarge, having appeared off this port, and being but very little heavier, if any in her armament than myself, I have deemed it my duty to go out and engage her. I have therefore withdrawn for the present my application to go into dock, and am engaged in coaling ship." Semmes noted in his journal "The enemy's ship still standing off and on the harbor."

Commander Catesby ap R. Jones, commandant of the Confederate Naval Gun Foundry and Ordnance Works at Selma , Alabama , 'wrote Major General Dabney H. Maury at Mobile that the submersible torpedo boat Saint Patrick, built by John P. Halligan, would be launched "in a few days." He added: "It combines a number of ingenious contrivances, which, if experiments show that they will answer the purposes expected, will render the boat very formidable. It is to be propelled by steam (the engine is very compact), though under water by hand. There are also arrangements for raising and descending at will, for attaching the torpedo to the bottom of vessels, etc. Its first field of operation will be off Mobile Bay , and I hope you may soon have evidence of its success. Although the South hoped to take Saint Patrick against the blockading forces off Mobile as the submarine H. L. Hunley had operated earlier in the year off Charleston , delay followed delay in getting her to sea and it was not until January 1865 that she went into action.

A minor joint expedition under Acting Lieutenant George W. Graves, commander of USS Lockwood, departed New Bern , North Carolina . Graves with a detachment of sailors from USS Louisiana and a dozen soldiers, embarked on Army transport Ella May. Small sidewheeler USS Ceres was in company. Near the mouth of Pamlico River schooners Iowa , Mary Emma, and Jenny Lind were captured and two others destroyed. With USS Valley City
 joining the expedition, Graves scoured the Pungo River area for five more days before returning to New Bern , where he arrived early on 23 June.

16-17 USS Commodore Perry, Acting Lieutenant A. P. Foster, shelled Fort Clifton , Virginia , at the request of Major General Butler. Bombardment by the ship's heavy guns was almost a daily part of continuing naval support of Army operations along the James River .

17 CSS Florida , Lieutenant Morris, at 30o N, 62o40' W, captured and burned brig. W. C. Clarke bound from Machias , Maine , to Matanzas with cargo of lumber.

19 "The day being Sunday and the weather fine, a large concourse of people-many having come all the way from Paris collected on the heights above the town [Cherbourg], in the upper stories of such of the houses as commanded a view of the sea, and on the walls and fortifications of the harbor. Several French luggers employed as pilot-boats went out, and also an English steam-yacht, called the Deerhound. Everything being in readiness between nine and ten o'clock, we got underway, and proceeded to sea, through the western entrance of the harbor; the Couronne [French ironclad] following us. As we emerged from behind the mole, we discovered the Kearsarge at a distance of between six and seven miles from the land. She had been apprised or our intention of coming out that morning, and was awaiting us." Thus Captain Raphael Semmes drew the scene as the historic Kearsarge-Alabama battle unfolded.

Alabama mounted 8 guns to Kearsarge's 7. Yet, Captain Winslow of Kearsarge enjoyed a superiority in eight of broadside including two heavy XI-inch Dahlgren guns while Semmes had but one heavy gun, an VIlI-inch. Perhaps his greatest advantage was superior ammunition, since Alabama 's had deteriorated during her long cruise. Furthermore, Winslow had protected the sides of his ship and the vulnerable machinery by hanging heavy chains over the sides from topside to below the waterline. Kearsarge's complement numbered 163; Alabama 's, 149.

The antagonists closed to about one and a half miles, when Semmes opened the action with a starboard broadside. Within minutes the firing became fierce from both ships as they fought starboard to starboard on a circular course. Lieutenant Sinclair, CSN, wrote: "Semmes would have chosen to bring about yard-arm quarters, fouling, and boarding, relying upon the superior physique of his crew to overbalance the superiority of numbers; but this was frustrated." Shot and shell from the heavier guns of Kearsarge crashed into Alabama 's hull, while the Union sloop of war, her sides protected by the chain armor, suffered only minor damage. One shell from Alabama lodged in the Kearsarge's sternpost but failed to explode. "If it had exploded," wrote John M. McKenzie, who was only 16 years old at the time of the battle, "the Kearsarge would have gone to the bottom instead of the Alabama . But our ammunition was old and had lost its strength.'' Southern casualties were heavy as both sides fought valiantly. "After the lapse of about one hour and ten minutes," Semmes reported, "our ship was ascertained to be in a sinking condition, the enemy's shells having exploded in our side, and between decks, opening large apertures through which the water rushed with great rapidity. For some few minutes I had hopes of being able to reach the French coast, for which purpose I gave the ship all steam, and set such of the fore and aft sails as were available. The ship filled so rapidly, however, that before we had made much progress, the fires were extinguished in the furnaces, and we were evidently on the point of sinking. I now hauled down my colors to prevent the further destruction of life, and dispatched a boat to inform the enemy of our condition."

Alabama settled stern first and her bow raised high in the air as the waters of the English Channel closed over her. Boats from Kearsarge and French boats rescued the survivors. The English yacht Deerhound, owned by Mr. John Lancaster, picked up Captain Semmes with 13 of his officers and 27 crew members and carried them to Southampton .

The spectacular career of the Confederacy's most famous raider was closed. Before her last battle Semmes reminded his men: "You have destroyed, and driven for protection under neutral flags, one-half of the enemy's commerce, which, at the beginning of the war, covered every sea.

Alabama had captured and burned at sea 55 Union merchantmen valued at over four and one-half million dollars, and had bonded 10 others to the value of 562 thousand dollars. Another prize, Conrad, was commissioned CSS Tuscaloosa
, and herself struck at Northern shipping. Flag Officer Barron lamented: "It is true that we have lost our ship; the ubiquitous gallant Alabama is no more, but we have lost no honor."

For Winslow and Kearsarge the victory was well deserved and rewarding. Throughout the North news of Alabama 's end was greeted with jubilation and relief. Secretary Welles wrote the Captain: "I congratulate you for your good fortune in meeting the Alabama, which had so long avoided the fastest ships of the service . . . for the ability displayed in the contest you have the thanks of the Department. . . . The battle was so brief, the victory so decisive, and the comparative results so striking that the country will be reminded of the brilliant actions of our infant Navy, which have been repeated and illustrated in this engagement . . . Our countrymen have reason to be satisfied that in this, as in every naval action of this unhappy war, neither the ships, the guns, nor the crews have deteriorated, but that they maintain the ability and continue the renown which have ever adorned our naval annals." Winslow received a vote of thanks from Congress, and was promoted to Commodore with his commission dated 19 June 1864, his victory day.

20 Side-wheelers USS Morse, Lieutenant Commander Babcock, and USS Cactus, Acting Master Newell Graham, dislodged Confederate batteries which had opened fire on Army supply wagon trains near White Mouse, Virginia. Rear Admiral Lee reported: "Deserters afterwards reported that a force estimated at 10,000 of Wade Hampton's and Fitzhugh Lee's cavalry intended at-tacking our trains, but were deterred from the attempt by the fire of the gunboats." For three weeks Babcock had supported the Army at White Mouse. The Admiral noted: "I should not fail to call attention to the hearty, efficient, and successful service which Lieutenant Commander Babcock has rendered to the Army in opening and protecting its communications and in repelling the assaults of the enemy." Next day, USS Shokokon, Acting Master William B. Sheldon, similarly dispersed an attack on Union transport Eliza Hancox at Cumberland
 Point, Virginia .

Secretary Mallory wrote Flag Officer Barron in Paris: "I am surprised at the expression of your opinion that a battery for a certain vessel can not be purchased in England, because her laws permit the exportation of guns and ordnance stores daily, and no system of espionage, it would seem, could prevent their shipment for one port and their being landed at another, or placed at another on board the ship awaiting them. Could they not be shipped for any port in the United States , in the Mediterranean, China , Brazil , or Austria , and carried to a given rendezvous? They will involve the charter of a steamer, or other vessel, and be thereby expensive; but such expense is not to be compared for a moment with the risks of her attempting, unarmed, to reach the Confederacy, watched as she is." The procedure suggested by Mallory had been used successfully by the Confederacy before, notably in the case of CSS Alabama.

20-24 Iron screw steamer USS Calypso, Acting Master Frederick D. Stuart, and wooden side wheeler USS Nansemond, Acting Ensign James H. Porter, transported and supported an Army expedition in the vicinity of New River , North Carolina . The object was to cut the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad, but Confederates had learned of the attempt and, taking up defensive positions in strength, compelled the Union troops to withdraw under cover of the ships' guns.

21 Rear Admiral Farragut viewed the forthcoming operation at Mobile Bay both as an event of tactical and strategic importance and as an encounter which would pit the new against the old in naval warfare. Reflecting on the relative strengths of his own and Admiral Buchanan
's fleet at Mobile , he wrote: "This question has to be settled, iron versus wood; and there never was a better chance to settle the question of the sea-going qualities of ironclad ships.''

A joint Confederate Army-Navy long-range bombardment opened on the Union squadron in the James River at Trent's and Varina Reaches. The Confederate ships, commanded by Flag Officer Mitchell in the ironclad flagship Virginia II, included: ironclad ram CSS Fredericksburg, Commander Rootes; 166-ton gunboats Hampton, Lieutenant John S. Maury, Nansemond, Lieutenant Charles W. Hayes, and Drewry, Lieutenant William H. Hall; small steamer Roanoke, Lieutenant Mortimer M. Beton, and 85-ton tug Beaufort, Lieutenant Joseph Gardner. Ironclad ram CSS Richmond , Lieutenant W. H. Parker, initially intended to join in the bombardment, suffered a casualty getting underway and had to be towed upriver to a position near the obstructions below Richmond . An engine failure in Virginia II could not be repaired until afternoon, when it was too late to move farther downstream to engage at more effective range. The Union gunboats and monitors concentrated their fire on the Army shore batteries during the exchange; neither fleet suffered serious damage.

22 USS Lexington , Acting Ensign Henry Booby, withstood a surprise Confederate strike on White River Station, Arkansas , and forced the attacking Confederate troops to withdraw.

23 USS Tecumseh, Commander Tunis A. M. Craven
, was ordered to proceed to sea "as soon as practicable" by Rear Admiral Lee. The monitor, departing the James River where she had been on duty since April, was to deploy under secret orders that were not to be opened until "you discharge your pilot." Unknowingly, Tecumseh was beginning her last operation.

23-24 Lieutenant Cushing
, with Acting Ensign J. E. Jones, Acting Master's Mate Howorth and fifteen men, all from USS Monticello, reconnoitered up Cape Fear River to within 3 miles of Wilmington , North Carolina . They rowed past the batteries guarding the western bar on the night of the 23rd, and despite three narrow escapes pulled safely ashore below Wilmington as day dawned on the 24th. The expedition had begun as an attempt to gain information about CSS Raleigh , which Cushing was unaware had been wrecked after the engagement on 6 May. He learned that the ram had been "indeed, destroyed, and nothing now remains of her above water.

Cushing also gained much other valuable information. CSS Yadkin, 300-ton flagship of Flag Officer Lynch, "mounted only two guns, did not seem to have many men." Ironclad sloop CSS North Carolina was at anchor off Wilmington ; she "would not stand long against a monitor." His report continued: "Nine steamers passed in all, three of them being fine, large blockade runners. The scouting detachment captured a fishing party and a mail courier, gaining valuable intelligence on river obstructions and fortifications. That night, the expedition returned to the blockading fleet, after being detected and hotly pursued in the harbor. Only Cushing's ingenuity enabled the Union sailors to throw the Confederates off the track and cross the bar to safety. As late as the 28th, Confederates were still searching the harbor area for the daring raiders.

Cushing, who received a letter of commendation for his action from Secretary Welles, called special attention to his officers, Jones and Howorth ("whom I select because of their uniform enterprise and bravery"), and singled out David Warren, coxwain, William Wright, yeoman, and John Sullivan, seaman, who were awarded the Medal of Honor for their part in the expedi-tion. Rear Admiral Porter later wrote: 'There was not a more daring adventure than this in the whole course of the war. There were ninety-nine chances in a hundred that Cushing and his party would be killed or captured, but throughout all his daring scheme there seemed to be a method, and, though criticised as rash and ill-judged, Cushing returned unscathed from his frequent expeditions, with much important information. In this instance it was a great source of satisfaction to the blockading vessels to learn that the ' Raleigh ' was destroyed, and that the other ironclad ram was not considered fit to cross the bar."

24 USS Queen City, Acting Master Michael Hickey, lying at anchor off Clarendon, Arkansas, on the White River, was attacked and destroyed in the early morning hours by two regiments of Confederate cavalry supported by artillery. The 210-ton wooden paddle-wheeler, taken by surprise, was disabled immediately, and Hickey surrendered her. Lieutenant Bache, USS Tyler, attempted to retake the ship, but when within a few miles of the location "heard two successive reports, which proved subsequently to have been the unfortunate Queen City blowing up. [Confederate General] Shelby , hearing us coming, had destroyed her." Bache proceeded with wooden steamers Tyler, USS Fawn, Acting Master John R. Grace, and USS Naumkeag, Acting Master John Rogers, to Clarendon, where he engaged the Confederate battery hotly for forty-five minutes. Naumkeag succeeded in recapturing one howitzer and several crewmen from Queen City as the Confederates fell back from the riverbank.

26 USS Norfolk Packet, Acting Ensign George W. Wood, captured sloop Sarah Mary off Mosquito Inlet , Florida , with cargo of cotton.

27 USS Proteus, Commander Robert W. Shufeldt, seized British blockade running steamer Jupiter northwest of Man-of-War Cay, Bahamas . Her cargo had been thrown overboard.

USS Nipsic, Lieutenant Commander Alexander F. Crosman, captured sloop Julia off Sapelo Sound , Georgia , with cargo of salt.

29-30 Converted ferryboat USS Hunchback, Lieutenant Joseph P. Fyffe, supported by single turreted monitor USS Saugus, Commander Colhoun, bombarded Confederate batteries at Deep Bottom on the James River and caused their eventual removal. Rear Admiral Lee reported: "The importance of holding our position at Deep Bottom is obvious. Without doing so our communications are cut there, and our wooden vessels can not remain above that point, and the monitors would be alone and exposed to the enemy's light torpedo craft from above and out of Four Mile Creek. The enemy could then plant torpedoes there to prevent the monitors passing by for supplies."

30 Immediately upon returning to command of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron, Rear Admiral Farragut moved to obtain monitors for the inevitable engagement with CSS Tennessee in Mobile Bay . Earlier in June Secretary Welles had written to Rear Admiral Porter of the matter: ''It is of the greatest importance that some of the new ironclads building on the Mississippi should be sent without fail to Rear Admiral Farragut. Are not some of them ready? If not, can you not hurry them forward?" Porter responded that light-draft monitors U.S.S Winnebago
 and Chickasaw were completed, and this date issued orders for the two vessels, which were to play an important part in the Battle of Mobile Bay, to report to Farragut at New Orleans .

Acting Ensign Edward H. Watkeys, commanding a launch from USS Roebuck, captured sloop Last Resort off Indian River Inlet , Florida , with cargo of cotton.

USS Glasgow, Acting Master N. Mayo Dyer, forced blockade running steamer Ivanhoe to run aground near Fort Morgan at Mobile Bay . Because the steamer was protected by the fort's guns, Rear Admiral Farragut attempted at first to destroy her by long-range fire from USS Metacomet and Monongahela. When this proved unsuccessful, Farragut authorized his Flag Lieutenant, J. Crittenden Watson, to lead a boat expedition to burn Ivanhoe. Under the cover of darkness and the ready guns on board USS Metacomet and Kennebec , Watson led four boats directly to the grounded steamer and fired her in two places shortly after midnight 6 July. Farragut wrote: "The admiral commanding has much pleasure in announcing to the fleet, what was anxiously looked for last night by hundreds, the destruction of the blockade runner ashore under the rebel batteries by an expedition of boats. . . . the entire conduct of the expedition was marked by a promptness and energy which shows what may be expected of such officers and men on similar occasions.

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