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

January 1865

1 As the new year opened, General Robert E. Lee clung doggedly to his position defending Richmond , conscious that world opinion had come to regard the fate of the Confederacy as inseparable from that of its capital city. Equally determined that Richmond should fall, General Ulysses S. Grant, with great superiority in numbers, pressed against Petersburg , the key to the capital's southern defense line. Grant also sought to break through to the westward, encircling Lee and Richmond, and cutting the Weldon, Southside (Lynchburg), and Danville railroads by which the city and the soldiers were supplied.

That Grant lay in front of Petersburg and less than 20 miles from Richmond was wholly due to Federal naval control of the James and Potomac Rivers . His waterborne line of supply extended up the James to City Point, only seven miles from Petersburg . From this principal base at City Point, Grant coordinated the joint movements of the Army of the Potomac and the Army of the James.

In Richmond , the prospect of a naval attack was so threatening that the government assembled for the city's defense the strongest naval force it ever placed under one command. The James River Squadron, commanded by Flag Officer John K. Mitchell, consisted of three ironclads, seven gunboats, and two torpedo boats. In addition to its defensive functions, Mitchell's squadron also constituted a potentially formidable threat to the security of the vital City Point base. It operated behind a protective minefield at Chaffin's Bluff, some 35 miles upriver from City Point.

To counter Mitchell's warships and protect Grant's waterborne supply line, the Fifth Division of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron lay on the James guarding the sunken hulk obstruction line at Trent 's Reach and the pontoon crossings of the James and Appomattox Rivers and protecting supply vessels against sharpshooters and hidden batteries on shore. Normally the Fifth Division consisted of five monitors and some 25 gunboats. However, in January four of the monitors and a number of the gunboats were away from the James with the fleet being assembled by Rear Admiral David D. Porter for the second attack on Fort Fisher . Hence the Confederate squadron above City Point enjoyed an unprecedented opportunity for offensive operations on which it sought to capitalize before the month ended.

Receiving General Grant's 30 December notification of a renewed Army assault by sea on Fort Fisher with an "increased force and without the former commander [General Benjamin F. Butler]", Rear Admiral Porter acted vigorously to set up a massive and overwhelming attack behind the fleet's heavy guns. He directed that his 43 warships concentrated at Beaufort, North Carolina, and the 23 on station off the Cape Fear River send in their operations charts for corrections and on-load "every shell that can he carried" for shore bombardment. Porter replied immediately to the Army commander-in-chief: ". . . thank God we are not to leave here with so easy a victory at hand. . . ." He assured his old Vicksburg colleague that he would "work day and night to be ready." At Fort Fisher, mindful of General Lee's message that the work must be held at all costs or the Army of Northern Virginia could not be supplied, Colonel William Lamb and his garrison readied themselves for the further attacks forecast by the sizeable Federal naval force which had remained off the Cape Fear River entrances since the first attempt to take the fort had been broken off.

On the James River , Commander William A. Parker, commanding the double-turreted monitor Onondaga, reported that 12,000 pounds of gunpowder had been detonated in an effort to remove the end barriers of the canal excavation at Dutch Gap, Virginia. "The earth was thrown up into the air about 40 or 50 feet," he noted, "and immediately fell back into its original place. This earth will have to be removed to render the canal passable for vessels." Major General Butler had begun the canal in 1864 with a view to passing Confederate obstructions above Trent 's Reach. If the passage had been effected, Butler's Army of the James could have bypassed key positions in Richmond's southern defense system and moved on the city in a diversionary threat aimed at reducing General Lee's resistance to the main Union thrust under General Grant.

USS San Jacinto, Captain Richard W. Meade, ran on a reef at Green Turtle Cay, Abaco, in the Bahamas . She was found to be seriously bilged and was abandoned without loss of life. Meade was able to salvage the armament, ammunition, rigging, cables, and much of the ship's copper. At an early period of the war, San Jacinto had gained fame when her commanding officer, Captain Charles Wilkes, stopped the British ship Trent and removed Confederate commissioners James M. Mason and John Slidell (see 8 November 1861).

2 In September 1864, Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles
 had discussed with Vice Admiral Farragut the importance of seizing Wilmington  to cut General Lee's vital link with Europe and to stop the Confederacy's credit-producing cotton shipments abroad. He now called Secretary of War Stan-ton's attention to the present "fit opportunity to undertake such an operation." Pointing to the availability of troops, "as the armies are mostly going into winter quarters," he urged on Stanton a proposal of Rear Admiral porter to land an assault force at Fort Caswell, guarding the west entrance to the Cape Fear River, and stressed that the naval blockaders, which thus would be able to lie inside the river, would close Wilmington, "the only port by which any supplies whatever reach the rebels."

Rear Admiral Dahlgren
 returned to Savannah after a brief visit to Charleston  where he had gone because of the threat of a breakout by the Confederate ironclads. He had wanted to be on hand to help check them from a foray against Savannah and to insure "the perfect security of General Sherman's base." After stationing a force of seven monitors there, sufficient to meet such an emergency, "and not perceiving any sign of the expected raid, I returned to Savannah to keep in communication with General Sherman and be ready to render any assistance that might be desired.

"General Sherman has fully informed me of his plans, and so far as my means permit, they shall not lack assistance by water. . . .

"The general route of the army will be northward, but the exact direction must be decided more or less by circumstances which it may not be possible to foresee.

"My cooperation will be confined to assistance in attacking Charleston or in establishing communication at Georgetown in case the army pushes on without attacking Charleston , and time alone will show which of these will eventuate.

"The weather of the winter, first, and the condition of the ground in the spring, would permit little advantage to be derived from the presence of the army at Richmond until the middle of May. So that General Sherman has no reason to move in haste, but can choose such objects as he prefers, and take as much time as their attainment may demand."

3 USS Harvest Moon, Acting Master John K. Crosby, transported the first group of men from Major General William T. Sherman's army from Savannah , Georgia , to Beaufort , South Carolina , below Charleston . Sherman had Marched across Georgia from Atlanta to the sea where he knew the Navy would be able to supply and support his troops.

General Grant ordered Major General Alfred H. Terry to command the troops intended for the second attack on Fort Fisher . "I have served with Admiral Porter," he wrote, "and know that you can rely on his judgment and his nerve to undertake what he proposes. I would, therefore, defer to him as much as is consistent with your own responsibilities." The same day Grant wrote Porter that he was sending Terry to work with him and wished the Admiral "all sorts of good weather and success. . . ."

4 Rear Admiral Porter, laying meticulous plans for the second Fort Fisher attack, ordered each of his commanding officers to "detail as many of his men as he can spare from the guns as a landing party." Armed with cutlasses and revolvers, the sailors and Marines were to hit the beach when the assault signal was made "and board the fort in a seaman-like way. The marines will form in the rear and cover the sailors. While the soldiers are going over the parapets in front, the sailors will take the sea face of Fort Fisher ."

The impact of Union sea power throughout the war strongly influenced the views of Confederate naval commanders as to their own capabilities. This date, Flag Officer Mitchell, commanding the South's James River Squadron, expressed his estimate of the military situation on the river below Richmond: "The enemy, with his large naval establishment and unlimited transportation, has, in all his expeditions against us, appeared in such overwhelming force as to render a successful resistance on the part of ours utterly out of the question, as witness his operations on the Mississippi from New Orleans up, and more recently at Mobile
. Would he be likely to do less on the James in any naval enterprise he undertakes against us? Surely not, and we can never hope to encounter him on anything like equal terms, except by accident. It behooves us, therefore, to bring to our aid all the means in our power to oppose his monitors in any advance they may attempt up the river." Mitchell recommended the placing of additional obstructions and torpedoes as the most reliable means of preventing a waterborne movement on Richmond . However, he added that his own squadron, which was the largest assembled at one point by the South, "will be expected to take a part, not only in opposing the advance of the enemy, but held in readiness to move and act in any direction whenever an opportunity offers to strike a blow." Mitchell would have this opportunity three weeks later.

A landing party under Acting Master James C. Tole from USS Don captured several torpedoes and powder on the right bank of the Rappahannock River about six miles from its mouth. The success of Confederate torpedo warfare beginning with the destruction of USS Cairo (see 12 December 1862) had led to increased efforts in this new area of war at sea, first under the genius of Commander Matthew Fontaine Maury, then under Commander Hunter Davidson. Throughout the remaining months of the war--and for some time thereafter Southern torpedoes (or mines) would take a heavy toll of Union shipping.

5 A boat expedition under Acting Ensign Michael Murphy from USS Winnebago
 seized copper kettles used for distilling turpentine, 1300 pounds of copper pipes, and four sloop-rigged boats at Bon Secours Bay , Alabama .

Acting Lieutenant James Lansing succeeded in refloating USS Indianola in the Mississippi River . Indianola had been sunk by the Confederates almost two years before (see 24 February 1863) and the Union had been attempting to float her ever since. Rear Admiral Porter, who, as commander of the Mississippi Squadron, had been particularly interested in salvaging the ironclad, warmly congratulated Lansing on his success: "There are triumphs of skill such as you have displayed as glorious as if the result were from combat, and as such you have my highest commendations." Indianola was taken upriver to Mound City , Illinois .

7 Secretary Welles and Vice Admiral Farragut visited President Lincoln in the White House. The three discussed the capture of Mobile Bay which the Admiral had effected the previous August.

General Sherman wrote something of his plans to Rear Admiral Dahlgren, revealing his under-standing of the importance of sea communications and the support of concentrated naval gun-fire where possible:

"The letter you send me is from Admiral Porter, at Beaufort , N.C. I am not certain that there is a vessel in Port Royal from Admiral Porter, or I would write him. If there be one to return to him I beg you to send this, with a request that I be advised as early as possible as to the condition of the railroad from Beaufort, N.C., back to New Berne, and so on, toward Goldsboro; also all maps and information of the country above New Berne; how many cars and locomotives are available to us on that road; whether there is good navigation from Beaufort, N.C., via Pamlico Sound, up Neuse River, etc. I want Admiral Porter to know that I expect to be ready to move about the 15th; that I have one head of column across Savannah River at this point; will soon have another at Port Royal Ferry and expect to make another crossing at Sister's Ferry. I still adhere to my plan submitted to General Grant, and only await provisions and forage.

"The more I think of the affair at Wilmington the more I feel ashamed of the army there; but Butler is at fault, and he alone. Admiral Porter fulfilled his share to admiration. I think the admiral will feel more confidence in my troops, as he saw us carry points on the Mississippi where he had silenced the fire. All will turn out for the best yet."

8 Commander James D. Bulloch, Confederate naval agent in England, ordered Lieutenant John Low, who had previously served on board CSS Alabama and as captain of CSS Tuscaloosa
, to assume command of the twin screw steamer Ajax upon her arrival in Nassau. Scheduled to sail from Glasgow on 12 January, Ajax had been built in Scotland under a contract of 14 September 1864 and had been designated a tug boat "to deceive Federal spies". Minor alterations were planned to make her and her sister ship Hercules useful in the defense of Wilmington . However, Ajax never reached the Confederacy, and Hercules was never completed. On 1 March Secretary Mallory  wrote Bulloch: "A notice of the arrival of the Ajax at a port in Ireland has reached me through the United States papers, but no further advices as to her or the Hercules or other vessels have come to hand."

Rear Admiral Dahlgren advised Secretary Welles: "Among the articles found here [ Savannah ] after our troops entered was a torpedo boat, which I have received from General Sherman and sent to Port Royal . As yet it is only the unfinished wooden shell; no machinery was found about the place, but may be among some that was thrown overboard.

"There is also another torpedo boat in the yard of the builder, not finished, which I may be able to secure."

9 Secretary Welles notified Commander F.A. Parker, commanding the Potomac Flotilla, of intelli-gence received that Confederate agents enroute Richmond were crossing the Potomac River by India rubber boats at night in the vicinity of Port Tobacco, Maryland. "These messengers, the report warned, "wear metal buttons, upon the inside of which dispatches are most minutely photographed, not perceptible to the naked eye, but are easily read by the aid of a powerful lens."

Lieutenant Commander Earl English, USS Wyalusing, reported the capture of schooner Triumph at the mouth of the Perquimans River, North Carolina, with cargo including large quantity of salt.

10 Commander Bulloch wrote Secretary Mallory that he had obtained one of the French ironclads which Louis Napoleon, unwilling to provoke the United States government, had previously refused to release to the South. The ironclad had been sold to Denmark for the Schleswig-Holstein War, but when that conflict ended abruptly before the ship could be delivered, the Danes refused to accept her, and she was sold secretly to the Confederacy. Captain Thomas Jefferson Page took command of her in Copenhagen . "I have requested Captain Page," Bulloch wrote, to name the ironclad Stonewall, an appellation not inconsistent with her character, and one which will appeal to the feelings and sympathies of our people at home." Stonewall, with a temporary crew and under another name (Sphinx) to divert suspicion as to her real ownership, had departed Copenhagen on 7 January.

Bulloch wrote Commander Hunter Davidson, one of the South's ablest naval officers who had directed the Torpedo Service and was now captain of the blockade runner City of Richmond, regarding an anticipated rendezvous between her and Stonewall at Belle Ile, Quiberon Bay, France. City of Richmond carried officers and men as well as supplies for the ironclad. It was hoped that Stonewall could break the blockade off Wilmington and then attack New England shipping.

USS Valley City
, Acting MAster John A. J. Brooks, seized steamer Philadelphia in the Chowan River, North Carolina, with cargo including tobacco and cotton.

12 "The great armada," as Colonel Lamb described Rear Admiral Porter's fleet, got underway from Beaufort , North Carolina , where a rendezvous had been made with 8,000 Union troops under the command of Major General Terry. The fleet, up to that time the largest American force to be assembled under one command, proceeded along the Carolina coast northeast of Wilmington and arrived off Fort Fisher the same night. Preparations were made for commencing a naval bombardment the following morning and for the amphibious landing of 10,000 soldiers, sailors, and Marines.

The new and formidable Confederate ram Columbia , ready for service, grounded while coming out of her dock at Charleston . Extensive efforts to refloat her failed and she was abandoned when Charleston was evacuated in mid-February. Columbia was saved by Union forces after much effort and was floated on 26 April. Rear Admiral Dahlgren described the ram: 'she is 209 feet long (extreme), beam 49 feet, has a casemate 65 feet long, pierced for six guns, one on each side and one at each of the four corners, pivots to point ahead or astern and to the side. She has two engines, high pressure, and [is] plated on the casemates with 6 inches of iron in thickness, quite equal, it is believed, to the best of the kind built by the rebels."

James M. Mason, Confederate Commissioner in England , reported to Secretary of Stare Judah P Benjamin, that France had proposed to Great Britain that each power permit Confederate prizes, having cargo in whole or in part claimed by English or French citizens, to be taken for adjudica-tion into the ports of either nation.

13 Lieutenant Commander Stephen B. Luce, USS Pontiac, was ordered to report for duty with General W.T. Sherman. Pontiac steamed 40 miles up the Savannah River to protect the left wing of Sherman 's army which was crossing the river at Sister's Ferry , Georgia , and cover its initial movements by water on the March north that would soon cause the fall of Charleston . Luce later credited his meeting with General Sherman as the beginning of his thinking which eventually resulted in the founding of the Naval War College . He said: "After hearing General Sherman's clear exposition of the military situation, the scales seemed to fall from my eyes. It dawned on me that there were certain fundamental principles underlying military opera-tions, . . . principles of general application whether the operations were on land or at sea."

13-15 Early on the morning of the 13th, the second amphibious assault on Fort Fisher was begun. Rear Admiral Porter took some 59 warships into action; Major General Terry commanded 8,000 soldiers. The naval landing party of 2,000 sailors and Marines would raise the assaulting force to 10,000. Colonel Lamb's valiant defender in the fort numbered 1,500.

USS New Ironsides, Commodore William Radford, led monitors Saugus , Canonicus, Monad-nock, and Mahopac to within 1000 yards of Fort Fisher and opened on the batteries. A spirited engagement ensued. Porter wrote to Secretary Welles: "It was soon quite apparent that the iron vessels had the best of it; traverses began to disappear and the southern angle of Fort Fisher commenced to look very dilapidated." USS Brooklyn
, Captain Alden, and USS Colorado, Commodore Thatcher, led the heavy wooden warships into battle and the Federal fleet maintained a devastating bombardment throughout the day until after dark. In the meantime, Gen-eral Terry selected a beachhead out of the fort's gun range and made naturally defensible on the northern side by a line of swamps and woods extending across the peninsula where he landed his 8000 troops unopposed. By daybreak on the 14th he had thrown up a line of defensive breast-works facing Wilmington in order to protect his rear from possible attack by the 6000 troops stationed in that city under the command of General Bragg. Porter wrote to Secretary Welles: We have a respectable force landed on a strip of land, which our naval guns completely command, and a place of defense which would enable us to hold on against a very large army."

The monitors had maintained an harassing fire during the night of the 13th; then at daylight of the second day of the attack the fleet's big guns reopened the bombardment in full fury. General W. H. C. Whiting who had come to "counsel" with Colonel Lamb and share his fate inside the fort, remarked: "It was beyond description, no language can describe that terrific bombardment." The Confederates were hardly able to bury their dead, much less repair the works, as the fleet poured in, according to one estimate, 100 shells a minute. The defenders suffered some 300 casualties from the naval bombardment and had but one gun on the land face of the fort still serviceable. During the day CSS Chickamauga fired on the recently landed Union troops from her position in the Cape Fear River , but on the 15th USS Monticello, Lieutenant Commander William B. Cushing
, drove the former Confederate raider out of range.

On the evening of the 14th General Terry visited Porter on the flagship Malvern, and the two planned the timing of the next day's operations. The fleet would maintain the bombardment until the moment of attack in mid-afternoon Then half of the 8000 soldiers would assault the land face on the western front of the fort and the 2000 sailors and Marines from the ships would attack the "northeast bastion". The remaining troops would hold the defensive line against a possible attack from Wilmington .

At 3 p.m. on the 15th the signal to cease firing was sent to the fleet, and the soldiers, sailors, and Marines ashore charged the Confederate fortifications. Because the Army advanced through a wooded area while the Naval Brigade dashed across an open beach, the defenders opened a con-centrated fire at point blank range on the naval attack, "ploughing lanes in the ranks." Leading the assault, Lieutenant Samuel W. Preston, one of the war's ablest young naval officers, and Lieutenant Benjamin H. Porter, commanding officer of the flagship USS Malvern, were among those killed. Unchecked, however, the assaulting force under the command of Lieutenant Commander K. Randolph Breese pressed forward. Ensign Robley D. Evans later to become a Rear Admiral with the well-earned sobriquet "Fighting Bob" suffered four wounds, two crippling his legs. He later vividly described the naval assault: "About five hundred yards, from the fort the head of the column suddenly stopped, and, as if by magic, the whole mass of men went down like a row of falling bricks. . . . The officers called on the men, and they responded instantly, starting for-ward as fast as they could go. At about three hundred yards they again went down, this time under the effect of canister added to the rifle fire. Again we rallied them, and once more started to the front under a perfect hail of lead, with men dropping rapidly in every direction." Some 60 men under Lieutenant Commander Thomas O. Selfridge reached and broke through the palisade, but it was the high water mark of the charge. They were hurled back and others recoiled under the withering fire after approaching the stockade and the base of the parapets. "All the officers," Evans wrote, "in their anxiety to be the first into the fort, had advanced to the heads of the columns, leaving no one to steady the men in behind; and it was in this way we were defeated, by the men breaking from the rear." The significance of the naval assault was perceived by Colonel Lamb when he wrote that "their gallant attempt enabled the army to enter and obtain a foothold, which they otherwise could not have done."

Cries of victory rose from the brave defenders, who thought they had beaten back the main attack, but their exultation was short lived. For General Terry's troops had meanwhile taken the western end of the parapet. The Confederates at once launched a counter-attack, and desperate hand-to-hand fighting followed.

Now the naval shore bombardment intervened decisively. The guns of Porter's assembled ships–firing at right angles to the direction of the Union charge– opened with "deadly precision" into the Confederate ranks. Other ships lifted their fire to neutralize the river bank behind the fort and prevent the dispatch of reinforcements. Lamb later recorded that "as the tide of the battle seemed to have turned in our favor, the remorseless fleet came to the rescue of the faltering Federals."

General Whiting was mortally wounded during the engagement and Colonel Lamb was felled with a bullet in his hip. Major James Reilly assumed command and fought "from traverse to traverse before finally being forced to retreat from the fort. He and his men surrendered later that night. " Fort Fisher ," Porter wired Welles, "is ours.

It had not been taken without considerable losses. The Union forces– Army and Navy– sustained some 1000 casualties, more than twice as many as the defenders suffered. Porter wrote: "Men, it seems, must die that this Union may live, and the Constitution
 under which we have gained our prosperity must be maintained."

More than 35 sailors and Marines were awarded the Medal of Honor for their heroism in this action that closed the Confederacy's last supply line from Europe .

The second Federal assault on Fort Fisher revealed again the inherent ability of a fleet– supported amphibious force to capitalize on the superior mobility conferred by command of the sea, forcing the defenders to spread their forces thinly in a vain effort to be strong at all threatened points simultaneously. This operation also provided dramatic demonstration of a fleet's ability to mass superior firepower at any point of a shore defense position. Fear of concentrated naval gunfire forced inaction on General Hoke's Confederate division stationed between the fort and Wilmington , forestalling any interference with the landing of the Federal expeditionary force and enabling General Terry to split the Confederate defense forces.

Colonel Lamb, the fort's gallant commandant, later recorded: "For the first time in the history of sieges the land defenses of the works were destroyed, not by any act of the besieging army, but by the concentrated fire, direct and enfilading, of an immense fleet poured into them without intermission, until torpedo wires were cut, palisades breached so that they actually afforded cover for assailants, and the slopes of the work were rendered practicable for assault " The second attack became a classic example of complete Army-Navy coordination. In his telegram to Secretary Welles announcing the capture of the fort, Porter stated: "General Terry is entitled to the highest praise and the gratitude of his country for the manner in which he has conducted his part of the operations. . . . Our cooperation has been most cordial. The result is victory, which will always be ours when the Army and the Navy go hand in hand." Terry began his own report: "I should signally fail to do my duty were I to omit to speak in terms of the highest admiration of the part borne by the Navy in our operations. In all ranks, from Admiral Porter to his seamen, there was the utmost desire not only to do their proper work, but to facilitate in every manner the operations of the land forces."

14 Blockade runner Lelia foundered off the mouth of the Mersey River, England. Flag Officer Samuel Barron wrote Secretary Mallory from Paris : "The melancholy duty devolves on me of reporting the death on the 14th instant, by drowning of Commander Arthur Sinclair, C. S. Navy, and Gunner P. C. Cuddy, late of the Alabama ." Commander Hunter Davidson, learning of the accident while in Funchal, Madeira , early in February, commented: "What an awful thing the loss of the Lelia. To death in battle we become reconciled, for it is not unexpected and leave its reward; but such a death for poor Sinclair, after forty-two years" service. . . .!"

USS Seminole, Commander Albert G. Clary, captured schooner Josephine bound from Galveston to Matamoras with cargo of cotton.

15 At the request of Major General William T. Sherman, Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren, commanding the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, issued orders to prepare for a combined naval and military demonstration before Charleston in order to draw attention from General Sherman's March to the north. Before making the demonstration, it was necessary to locate and mark the numerous obstructions in the channel of Charleston harbor. Accordingly, this date orders were issued charging the commanders of the monitors with this duty. That evening, while searching for the Confederate obstructions, USS Patapsco, Lieutenant Commander Stephen P. Quackenbush, struck a torpedo (mine) near the entrance of the lower harbor and sank instantly with the loss of 64 officers and men, more than half her crew. She was the fourth monitor lost in the war, the second due to enemy torpedoes. Thereafter, only small boats and tugs were used in the search for obstructions and the objective of the joint expedition was changed to Bull's Bay, a few miles northeast of Charleston .

16 With Fort Fisher lost and foreseeing that the Union fleet's entrance into the Cape Fear River would cut the waterborne communications system, General Bragg ordered the evacuation of the remaining Confederate positions at the mouth of the river. At 7 a.m. Forts Caswell and Camp-bell were abandoned and destroyed. Fort Holmes on Smith's Island and Fort Johnson at Smith-ville were likewise destroyed by the retreating garrisons, which fell back on Fort Anderson, on the west bank of the Cape Fear River between Fort Fisher and Wilmington. "The Yankees," wrote one Confederate, not perceiving the full import of the fateful results, "have made a barren capture. . . ." In fact, however, Wilmington , the last major port open to blockade runners, was now effectively sealed and General Lee was cut off from his only remaining supply line from Europe . Rear Admiral Porter recognized the implications of the Union victory more clearly. He wrote Captain Godon: . . . the death knell of another fort is booming in the distance. Fort Caswell with its powerful batteries is in flames and being blown up, and thus is sealed the door through which this rebellion is fed."

Seeking to take advantage of the reduced Union naval strength in the James River, Secretary Mallory wrote Flag Officer Mitchell to encourage him to pass the obstructions at Trent 's Reach and attack General Grant's base of operations at City Point. "From Lieutenant Read," Mallory noted, "I learn that the hulk which lay across the channel [at Trent 's Reach] and the net also have been washed away, and I think it probable that there is a passage through the obstructions. I deem the opportunity a favorable 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." City Point was essential to Grant's anticipated movement on Richmond . The supplies to the Union soldiers on the Petersburg front reached City Point by water, assured of free passage by the Navy, and then were sent to the front by rail. If the North were forced to abandon the base at City Point, it might also have to abandon a spring offensive against the Confederate capital. Mallory added: "I regard an attack upon the enemy and the obstructions of the river at City Point, to cut off Grant's supplies, as a movement of the first importance to the country and one which should be accomplished if possible." Mitchell replied that he was having the obstructions examined to ensure that Read's report was correct. 'should information be obtained that the passage of these obstructions is practicable," the flag officer wrote, "I shall gladly incur all the other hazards that may attend the proposed enterprise that promises, if successful, such bright results to our cause.

The Twenty-Third Army Corps, Major General John M. Schofield, commenced embarking on transports at Clifton , Tennessee . The corps was being ordered by General Grant to move by water and rail to Washington , D.C.– Annapolis area and thence by water south for further operations. These troops assaulted Wilmington and formed a juncture with General Sherman's northward moving army.

17 Delayed in departure from Savannah , General Sherman wrote Rear Admiral Dahlgren: "When we are known to be in rear of Charleston , about Branchville and Orangeburg, it will be well to watch if the enemy lets go of Charleston , in which case Foster will occupy it, otherwise the feint should be about Bull's Bay. We will need no cover about Port Royal ; nothing but the usual guard ships. I think that you will concur with me that, in anticipation of the movement of my army to the rear of the coast, it will be unwise to subject your ships to the heavy artillery of the enemy or to his sunken torpedoes. I will instruct Foster, when he knows I have got near Branchville, to make a landing of a small force at Bull's Bay, to threaten, and it may be occupy, the road from Mount Pleasant to Georgetown. This will make the enemy believe I design to turn down against Charleston and give me a good offing for Wilmington . I will write you again fully on the eve of starting in person.

Rear Admiral Porter wrote Secretary Welles regarding Fort Fisher : "I have since visited Fort Fisher and the adjoining works, and find their strength greatly beyond what I had conceived; an engineer might be excusable in saying they could not be captured except by regular siege. I wonder even now how it was done. The work . . . is really stronger than the Malakoff Tower , which defied so long the combined power of France and England , and yet it is captured by a handful of men under the fire of the guns of the fleet, and in seven hours after the attack commenced in earnest." He concluded his report by proclaiming that Wilmington was hermetically sealed against blockade runners, "and no Alabamas or Floridas , Chickamaugas or Tallahassees will ever fit out again from this port, and our merchant vessels very soon, I hope, will be enabled to pursue in safety their avocation."

News of the capture of Fort Fisher reached Washington and talk of the Army-Navy success dominated President Lincoln's cabinet meeting Secretary Welles noted in his diary, "The President was happy."

Knowing that many blockade runners, unaware of Fort Fisher 's fall, would attempt to run in to Wilmington , Porter ordered the signal lights on the Mound "properly trimmed and lighted, as has been the custom with the rebels during the blockade." He added: "Have the lights lighted to-night and see that no vessel inside displays a light, and be ready to grab anyone that enters. Three days later the Admiral's resourcefulness paid dividends with the capture of two runners (see 20 January).

Naval forces, commanded by Lieutenant Moreau Forrest of the Mississippi Squadron, cooperated with Army cavalry in a successful attack on the town of Somerville , Alabama . The expedition resulted in the capture of 90 prisoners, 150 horses and one piece of artillery.

Two armed boats from USS Honeysuckle, Acting MAster James J. Russell, captured the British schooner Augusta at the mouth of the Suwannee River as she attempted to run the blockade with cargo of pig lead, flour, gunny cloth and coffee.

17-19 Confederate steamers Granite City and Wave (ex-U.S. Navy ships, see 6 May 1864) eluded block-ading ship USS Chocura, Lieutenant Commander Richard W. Meade, Jr., on a "dark, foggy, and rainy" night and escaped from Calcasieu Pass, Louisiana. Granite City was reported to carry no cargo but Wave had a load of lumber for the Rio Grande . Meade gave chase for 60 miles, "but our boilers being in a disabled condition, and leaking badly, the speed of the ship was so much reduced that I reluctantly gave up the hope of overtaking the Granite City before she could make a port.

18 J. B. Jones, a clerk in the Confederate War Department, wrote in his diary: "No war news. But blockade-running at Wilmington has ceased; and common calico, now at $25 per yard, will soon be $50. . . . Flour is $1250 per barrel, to-day." Only five days before he had recorded: "Beef (what little there is in market) sells to-day at $6 per pound; meal, $80 per bushel; white beans, $5 per quart, or $160 per bushel." These figures bore eloquent witness to the decisive role played by Federal seapower in the collapse of the Confederacy. A giant amphibious assault had closed Wilmington , General Lee's last hope for sufficient supplies to sustain his soldiers. Control of the Mississippi River and the western tributaries by omnipresent Union warships, coupled with the destruction of the South's weak railway system, prevented the transfer of men and supplies to strengthen the crumbling military situation in the East. Thus, blockade of the coasts and continuing attack from afloat as well as on land surrounded and divided the South and hastened its economic, financial, and psychological deterioration. Just as civilians lived in deep privation, so, too, were the armies of the Confederacy gravely weakened from a shortage of munitions, equipment, clothing, and food.

Lieutenant Commander William B. Cushing, commanding USS Monticello, landed at Fort Caswell , hoisted the Stars and Stripes, and took possession for the United States .

19 Blockade runner Chameleon (formerly CSS Tallahassee), Lieutenant John Wilkinson, put to sea from Bermuda loaded to the rails with commissary stores and provisions for General Lee's hard-pressed, ill supplied army. Wilkinson had departed Cape Fear on this special blockade running mission on 24 December 1864 in the aftermath of the first Fort Fisher campaign. Upon his return, he successfully ran the blockade (as he had done on 21 separate occasions during 1863 with Robert E. Lee) and had entered the harbor before learning that Union forces had captured Fort Fisher during his absence. Chameleon reversed course and safely dashed to sea. Wilkinson later said that he had been able to escape only because of the ship's twin screws, which "enabled our steamer to turn as if on a pivot in the narrow channel between the bar and the rip." After an unsuccessful attempt to enter Charleston and in the absence of orders from Secretary Mallory, Wilkinson took Chameleon to Liverpool and turned the ship over to Commander Bulloch, the Confederate naval agent. Ironically, he arrived on 9 April, the same day that Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox .

In orders to USS Canonicus, Mahopac, and Monadnock, having arrived to join the Charleston blockaders, Rear Admiral Dahlgren showed his concern for the threat of Confederate torpedoes: "You will lose no time in securing the Canonicus against the possible action of the rebel torpedo boats; temporary fenders must be used until permanent fixtures can be provided. Boat patrol must be used with vigilance, and such other measures resorted to as are in common practice here."

20 Flag Officer Mitchell wrote Major James F. Milligan of the Confederate signal corps seeking information "as to the number and disposition of the enemy's ironclads, gunboats, armed trans-ports, torpedo boats, and vessels generally on the James. . . . The commander of the South's James River Squadron was readying his ships for a thrust downriver at the major Union supply base, City Point. It was hoped that a successful attack on General Grant's supply base would force him to withdraw and abandon his plans for a spring offensive against Richmond .

Blockade runner City of Richmond , Commander Davidson, anchored in Quiberon Bay , France , to await the arrival of CSS Stonewall. Davidson permitted no communication with the shore in order to preclude the possibility of others learning that the ironclad would rendezvous with him and effect a transfer of men and supplies. Flag Officer Barron described Stonewall as "a vessel more formidable than any we have yet afloat. . . ."

Flag Officer Barron reported to Secretary Mallory that lie had ordered Commanders James H North and G. T. Sinclair and Lieutenant Commander C. M. Morris, Confederate agents abroad, to return to the Confederacy,". . .there being in my judgment no prospect of any duty for them." Blockade runners Stag and Charlotte, unaware that Fort Fisher and the works at Cape Fear had fallen, anchored in the harbor at Smithville near USS Malvern, flagship of Rear Admiral Porter, and were captured. Porter wrote: I intrusted this duty to Lieutenant [Commander] Cushing, who performed it with his usual good luck and intelligence. They are very fast vessels and valuable prizes." Stag was commanded by Lieutenant Richard H. Gayle, CSN, who had previously been captured while commanding blockade runner Cornubia (see 8 November 1863).

21 Secretary Mallory again wrote Flag Officer Mitchell urging an immediate movement by the James River Squadron past the obstructions at Trent's Reach and assault on General Grant's base of operations at City Point. "You have an opportunity, I am convinced, rarely presented to a naval officer, and one which may lead to the most glorious results to your country. The same day Mitchell sent a telegram to General Lee, whose troops depended heavily on a successful completion of the attack, informing him that the squadron would attempt to pass the obstructions on the 22nd.

I have not time to visit you," he wrote, "and would therefore be glad to meet on board of the flagship or at Drewry's Bluff any officer whom you could appoint to meet me, to give me your views and wishes as to my cooperation with the army down the river in the event of our being successful."

USS Penguin, Acting Lieutenant James R. Beers, chased steamer Granite City ashore off Velasco , Texas . The blockade runner was under the protection of Confederate shore batteries. Beers reported that, since he was "of the opinion that the steamer could not be got off, and would eventually go to pieces, as there was a heavy sea rolling in and continually breaking over her, I did not think it was prudent to remain longer under the enemy's fire, as their guns were of longer range than ours."

Elements of the Twenty-Third Army Corps, Major General Schofield, disembarked from transports at Cincinnati , Ohio , which they had reached in five days via the Tennessee and Ohio Rivers from Clifton , Tennessee . The troops entrained for Washington , D.C. , Alexandria , Virginia , and Annapolis , Maryland , where the first echelon arrived 31 January.

22 Flag Officer Mitchell reported that he was unable to get underway to pass the obstructions at Trent 's Reach as he had planned because of heavy fog. Mitchell had also received no report from Boatswain Thomas Gauley, whom he had dispatched on the 21st to remove a number of Con-federate torpedoes that had been placed in the channel near Howlett's Landing. He wrote Major General George Pickett: "Tomorrow night, if the weather is sufficiently clear for the pilots to see their way, our movement will be made, and I will be glad to have your cooperation as agreed upon for to-night." A successful downriver thrust by Mitchell's squadron could spell disAster for the Union cause as General Grant would be deprived of his great water-supplied base at City Point and his armies would be divided by Confederate control of the James River .

Rear Admiral Porter ordered Commander John Guest, USS Iosco, to "regulate the movements of the vessels in the Cape Fear River above Fort Fisher . . . . Porter sought to move the line of ships as near Fort Anderson , the position to which the Confederates had withdrawn following the fall of Fort Fisher and adjacent forts, "as is consistent with safety, and in doing so care must be taken of the torpedoes and other obstructions." The same day USS Pequot, Lieutenant Com-mander Daniel L. Braine, steamed upriver and opened on Fort Anderson to reconnoiter and test its defenses. The Confederates brought only two 'small rifle pieces" in action, but, Braine reported: "I observed 6 guns, evidently smoothbore, pointing down the river, protected by the ordinary sand traverses." Having sealed off Wilmington , the last major port in the South, the Union was now moving to occupy it.

A boat expedition from USS Chocura, Lieutenant Commander R. W. Meade, Jr., captured blockade running schooner Delphina by boarding in Calcasieu River , Louisiana . Delphina was carrying a cargo of cotton.

The steamer Ajax , with Lieutenant John Low, CSN, on board as a "passenger", put out of Dublin , Ireland , for Nassau . Ajax had been built for the Confederacy in Dumbarton , Scotland , for use in harbor defense. She had been detained in Dublin for more than a week because the U.S. Consul there suspected that the light-draft vessel was bound for the South. However, two inspections failed to substantiate this belief and the 340 ton would-be gunboat was released. Nevertheless, Charles F. Adams, the American Ambassador in England , and Secretary of State Seward prevailed upon British Foreign Minister Earl Russell to prevent the armament of Ajax in Halifax , Bermuda, or Nassau (see 4 May).

23 USS Fox, Acting Master Francis Burgess, seized British schooner Fannie McRae near the mouth of the Warrior River, Florida, where she was preparing to run the blockade.

23-24 Flag Officer Mitchell's James River Squadron launched its downstream assault with high hopes in Richmond that victory afloat would turn the tide ashore. The Union squadron defending Major General W.T. Sherman commenced his March to the north from Savannah while the ships of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron operated in the rivers in the proximity of his army. These naval operations served to protect Sherman 's army and simultaneously forced the Confederate commanders to spread thin their remaining forces. Rear Admiral Dahlgren reported to Secretary Welles the deployment of the naval vessels supporting the advance of Sherman 's men: "I have the Dai Ching and a tug in the Combahee to assist the move at that ferry. The Sonoma is in the North Edisto , and the Pawnee
 leaves at early light with a tug for the Ashepoo, where a battery and obstructions are reported. The orders of all are to drive in the rebel pickets and knock down his batteries where they can be reached. The Tuscarora, Mingoe, State of Georgia , and Nipsic are at Georgetown , with orders to prevent the erection there of any batteries. The Pontiac is in the Savannah River at Purysburg, advancing with General Sherman's extreme left. The demonstra-tions desired by General Sherman at Charleston may be said to be begun by the collection there of so many ironclads."

25 CSS Shenandoah
, Lieutenant Waddell, put into Melbourne for repairs and provisions 108 days out of England . Although the cruiser had taken no prizes for four weeks and remained consider-ably undermanned Waddell reported that the berthing spaces would accommodate 150 men comfortably but that he had only 51 crew men on board-the Lieutenant promptly wrote Flag Officer Barton in Paris: "I am getting along boldly and cheerfully," To Secretary Mallory he reported; . . . when I have done all that which you have directed me to do I shall be better able to decide what ought to be done with the Shenandoah. I shall keep her afloat as long as she is, in my opinion, serviceable." Without the dry docking and machinery repairs accomplished at Melbourne , Waddell would not have been able to carry out his mission against American whalers in the Pacific.

Captain T.J. Page reported that CSS Stonewall was now at sea off the coast of France and wrote Secretary Mallory: "You must not expect too much of me; I fear that the power and effect of this vessel have been too much exaggerated. We will do our best."

Shortly after dawn, a boarding party from USS Tristram Shandy
, Acting Lieutenant Francis M. Green, seized blockade running steamer Blenheim just inside the bar at New Inlet , North Carolina . Blenheim had run into the approach to Wilmington unaware that Federal forces now controlled the area and anchored off the Mound battery. "At the time of boarding," Green reported, "they were endeavoring to get the vessel underway." Blenheim was the third prize to be lured into Union hands by the Confederate range lights at the Mound which Rear Admiral Porter had kept burning.

26 Confederate picket boat Hornet was sunk and Lieutenant Aeneas Armstrong, CSN, was drowned as a result of the collision between Hornet and the steamer Allison on the James River .

USS Dai Ching, Lieutenant Commander James C. Chaplin, operating, on the right flank of General W. T. Sherman's army in the Combahee River , ran aground while engaging Confederate batteries. After a 7 hour battle, and only after all her guns were out of operation, Dai Ching was abandoned and fired by her crew. The tug USS Clover, Acting Ensign Franklin S. Leach, which had been in company with Dai Ching, captured blockade running schooner Coquette with cargo of cotton.

27 After dark, a launch commanded by Acting Ensign Thomas Morgan from USS Eutaw proceeded up the James River past the obstructions at Trent 's Reach and captured CSS Scorpion. The torpedo boat had run aground during the Confederate attempt to steam downriver on the 23rd and 24th and had been abandoned after Union mortar fire destroyed CSS Drewry which was similarly stranded nearby. Morgan reported: "Finding her hard aground, I immediately pro-ceeded to get her afloat and succeeded in doing so, and repassed the obstruction on my return to the fleet about 10:30 p.m." Scorpion was found to be little damaged by the explosion of Drewry, contrary to Confederate estimates, and Chief Engineer Alexander Henderson, who examined her, reported approvingly: 'she has fair speed for a boat of her kind, and is well adapted for the purpose for which she was built." Scorpion was reported to be 46 feet in length, 6 feet 3 inches beam, and 3 feet 9 inches in depth.

28 Confederate torpedo boat St. Patrick, Lieutenant John T. Walker, struck USS Octorara, Lieutenant Commander William W. Low, off Mobile Bay but her spar torpedo failed to explode. Although attacked by ship guns and small arms, Walker was able to bring St. Patrick safely back under the Mobile batteries.

USS Mattabesett, Commander John C. Febiger, dispatched USS Valley City to Colerain , North Carolina , on the Chowan River to protect an encampment of Union troops there.

30 Returning from an afternoon reconnaissance of King's Creek, Virginia , Acting Ensign James H. Kerens USS Henry Brinker, and his two boat crews "discovered 5 men, who, upon seeing us, immediately fled." His suspicions aroused, Kerens determined to return under cover of darkness to search the vicinity. That night he and two boat crews returned to the mouth of King's Creek and, after more than an hour of careful searching, found "two very suspicious looking mounds. . . . Removing the earth Kerens found two galvanic batteries and torpedoes, each containing some 150 pounds of powder. Acting Third Assistant Engineer Henry M. Hutchinson and Landsman John McKenna cut the connections from the batteries to the torpedoes and the weapons were safely removed and taken on board Henry Brinker. Risk of life in little heralded acts such as this happened throughout the war.

USS Cherokee, Acting Lieutenant William E. Dennison, exchanged gunfire with Confederate troops at Half Moon Battery, Cape Fear , North Carolina . Earlier in the month, 19 January, USS Governor Buckingham, Acting Lieutenant John MacDiarmid, opened on the battery in support of Army efforts ashore to clear the area of Confederates following the fall of Fort Fisher .

February 1865

1-4 A boat expedition from USS Midnight, Acting Master John C. Wells, landed and destroyed salt works "of 13,615 boiling capacity" at St. Andrews Bay, Florida. The making of salt from sea water became a major industry in Florida during the Civil War as salt was a critical commodity in the Confederate war effort. Large quantities were needed for preserving meat, fish, butter, and other perishable foods, as well as for curing hides. Federal warships continuously destroyed salt works along the coasts of Florida . The expedition led by Wells was the finale in the Union Navy's effective restriction of this vital Confederate industry.

2 Having failed to pass the obstructions at Trent 's Reach in order to attack the Union supply base at City Point, Flag Officer Mitchell confronted another kind of difficulty in maintaining communications with his own capital, Richmond . In the bitter cold the James River began to freeze over and the ice threatened Wilton Bridge . This date, Mitchell ordered CSS Beaufort, Lieutenant Joseph W. Alexander, to break up the ice near the bridge and remain near it "to insure its safety." Two days later, Mitchell noted that CSS Torpedo was of special importance because "she is now the only boat in connection with the Beaufort (that is crippled) that we can use to protect the Wilton Bridge from ice and to keep open our communication with the city."

USS Pinola, Lieutenant Commander Henry Erben, captured blockade running British schooner Ben Willis at sea in the Gulf of Mexico with cargo of cotton.

3 Flag Officer William W. Hunter reported to the Confederate Navy Department that he was ordering CSS Macon, Lieutenant Joel S. Kennard, and CSS Sampson, Lieutenant William W. Carnes to turn over their ammunition to the Confederate Army at Augusta, Georgia. The shallow upper Savannah River made it impossible to use the vessels effectively in the defense of the city against the threatened attack by General Sherman's army which was working northward from Savannah . Sherman had spent January in Savannah preparing for the March to North Carolina and ensuring that he would have the necessary support from the sea coast. After preparatory combined operations, in which Rear Admiral Dahlgren
 lost USS Dai Ching to gunfire and subjected other gunboats to the threat of the ever-present torpedoes in shallow river and coastal waters, Sherman crossed the Savannah River and on 1 February continued his March. When Savannah fell, Hunter had brought Macon and Sampson upriver with difficulty, determined to fight them as long as possible. Now, however, he had run out of navigable water.

To speed the collapse of the faltering South, another giant thrust gathered from the sea off Wilmington
. During the lull before the planned spring assault on Richmond when the road conditions improved, General Grant came down to confer with Rear Admiral Porter, his old Vicksburg shipmate. The General had spent several hours on board the flagship ,Malvern on 28 January where plans took shape for the push into North Carolina up the Cape Fear River as Sherman Marched inland parallel to the coast. When Grant returned to Virginia he quickly dispatched General Schofield by sea with an army which, with the big guns of the fleet, would be large enough to push on to Wilmington. This date, Porter, in USS Shawmut preparing for the campaign, engaged Fort Anderson to test the strength of the Confederate defenses on the west bank of the Cape Fear which guarded the approach to Wilmington.

From City Point , Virginia , General Grant requested the Navy to keep two or three vessels patrol-ling between Cape Henry and the Cape Fear River during the transit of General Schofield's Twenty-Third Army Corps. The Corps was embarking from Annapolis , Maryland , and Alexandria , Virginia , for North Carolina to participate in the attack on Wilmington . "It is barely possible," Grant wrote, "for one of the enemy's privateers to be met on that route and do us great injury." Two steamers were stationed as requested to protect the troop transports.

In anticipation of the movement on Wilmington , Porter wrote Dahlgren requesting that the moni-tors lie had dispatched to Charleston
 after the fall of Fort Fisher be returned for duty on the Cape Fear River . Although each squadron commander wanted the sturdy warships to spearhead his own efforts, Dahlgren prevailed in his belief that his problem was the greater before the heavily fortified Charleston harbor. Thus Porter had to plan on the services of only USS Montauk, the lone monitor he had retained.

Monitors, with their big guns and massive armor, appealed more to naval and military commanders for fighting forts than they did to many of their crews. An officer on board USS Canonicus had written earlier: "I will never again go to sea in a monitor. I have suffered more in mind and body since this affair commenced than I will suffer again if I can help it. No glory, no promotion can ever pay for it."

Brigadier General John P. Hatch, one of General Sherman's subordinates, turned to Dahlgren for naval assistance: "If you can spare a tug or two launches, to cruise in upper Broad River during the stay of this command near here [ Pocotaligo , South Carolina ], it would be of service to us. Night before last three of our boats were stolen, and I fear some scamps in the vicinity of Boyd's Neck or Bee's Creek are preparing to attempt to capture sonic of our transports.

USS Matthew Vassar, Acting Master George F. Hill, captured blockade running schooner John Hale off St. Marks , Florida , with cargo including lead, blankets, and rope.

4 USS Wamsutta, Acting Master Charles W. Lee, and USS Potomska Acting MAster F. M. Montell, sighted an unidentified blockade runner aground near Breach Inlet, South Carolina," on being discovered, the runner's crew fired and abandoned her.

4-6 A boat expedition under Lieutenant Commander Cushing
, USS Monticello, proceeded up Little River, South Carolina, placing the small town of All Saints Parish under guard and capturing a number of Confederate soldiers. On the 5th Cushing destroyed some $15,000 worth of cotton.

The next day he sent two boat crews under Acting Master Charles A. Pettit to Shallotte Inlet , North Carolina , where they surprised a small force of Confederates collecting provisions for the troops at Fort Anderson below Wilmington . Six of the soldiers were taken prisoner and the stores they had gathered were destroyed. The Southerners reported that troops previously stationed at Shallotte Inlet had been ordered to Fort Anderson ; there the South hoped to stall the Army-Navy movement on Wilmington .

5 Blockade runner Chameleon, Lieutenant Wilkinson, attempted to run through the blockade of Charleston to deliver desperately needed supplies for General Lee's troops but was unsuccessful. Having run into the Cape Fear River the previous month only to find Fort Fisher in Union hands (see 19 January), the bold Wilkinson had returned to Nassau and learned on 30 January that Charleston was still held by the South. He departed on 1 February, evaded USS Vanderbilt after a lengthy chase, but found that the blockade of Charleston had been augmented by so many ships from the Wilmington station that he could not get into the harbor while the tide was high. "As this was the last night during that moon, when the bar could be crossed during the dark hours," Wilkinson later wrote, "the course of the Chameleon was again, and for the last time, shaped for Nassau . As we turned away from the land, our hearts sank within us, while the conviction forced itself upon us, that the cause for which so much blood had been shed, so many miseries bravely endured, and so many sacrifices cheerfully made, was about to perish at last!"

USS Niagara, Commodore Thomas T. Craven
, learned that "the pirate ram" Stonewall was repairing at Ferrol , Spain . He departed Dover , England , for Spain next day but because of foul weather did not reach Coruna , Spain , some nine miles from Ferrol, until 11 February. He requested assistance in blockading the ironclad from USS Sacramento but found that she was at Lisbon repairing and would not be ready for sea for ten days. Craven himself put into Ferrol on the 15th and maintained a close watch on Stonewall.

USS Hendrick Hudson, Acting Lieutenant Charles H. Rockwell, reported locating the sunken wreck of USS Anna, Acting Ensign Henry W. Wells, south of Cape Roman , Florida . Anna had departed Key West on 30 December and had not been heard from since. Apparently, an accidental explosion had ripped the schooner apart. Rockwell found no survivors.

“Early” February
Lieutenant Walker takes the St. Patrick out again—not for an attack, but to cause a diversion and create a gap among the Union
 blockading vessels in Mobile Bay so that the blockade runner Red Gauntlet can escape. The gap was opened (no details), but authorities decided it was too risky for the runner to attempt to escape

6 Secretary Mallory
 wrote General Braxton Bragg in Wilmington that Chief Naval Constructor John L. Porter had advised him that a new Confederate vessel could be completed within 90 days. Machinery for the ship was available in Columbus , Georgia , but Mallory sought assurance from the General that Wilmington would be held long enough for machinery to be transported and the ship built so that it could get into action. On the 8th Bragg replied: "This place will be held so long as our means enable us. There is no indication of any movement against it, and our means of defense are improving." However, Rear Admiral Porter and General Grant had other plans; Wilmington would be evacuated exactly two weeks later.

A joint Army-Navy expedition up Pagan and Jones Creeks, off James River , Virginia , captured a Confederate torpedo boat, a torpedo containing some 75 pounds of powder, and Master William A. Hines, CSN. Hines had led an expedition late in 1864 that destroyed the tug Lizzie Freeman off Pagan Creek (see 5 December 1864). The naval force, consisting of eight cutters and two launches conveying 150 troops, was commanded by Lieutenant George W. Wood of USS Roanoke.

Rear Admiral Porter, having received intelligence that a new Confederate ram was near completion at a shipyard on the Roanoke River and would soon enter Albemarle Sound, ordered Commander William H. Macomb, commanding the squadron in the Sound, to make every preparation to destroy her when she came down to Roanoke. Porter directed Macomb to fit a spar "to the bow of every gunboat and tug, with a torpedo on it, and run at the ram, all together. No matter how many of your vessels get sunk, one or the other of them will sink the ram if the torpedo is coolly exploded. Have your large rowboats fitted with torpedoes also, and . . . put your large vessels alongside of bet, let the launches and small torpedo boats run in and sink her. You can sling a good sized anchor to an outrigger spar, and let it go on her deck, and by letting go your own anchor keep her from getting away until other vessels pile in on her. Five or six steamers getting alongside of a ram could certainly take her by boarding. If you can get on board of her, knock a hole in her smokestack with axes, or fire a howitzer through it, and drop shrapnel down into the furnaces. . . . Set torpedoes in the river at night, so that no one will know where they are. Obstruct the river above Plymouth , and get what guns are there to command the approaches. Get a net or two across the river, with large meshes, so that when the tam comes down the net will clog her propeller. . . . It is strange if we, with all our resources, can not extinguish a rebel tam." With the South struggling to complete ironclads one by one, the North was able to bring massive strength to bear against each potential threat. However, if the Confederacy had been able to import machinery and iron freely, she would have completed a number of effective ironclad warships that could have changed the whole complexion of the war.

7 Well on his way toward Columbia , General Sherman advised Rear Admiral Dahlgren of the possibilities of having to turn back to the coast: "We ate on the railroad at Midway [S.C.], and will break 50 miles from Edisto toward Augusta and then cross toward Columbia . Weather is bad and country full of water. This cause may force me to turn against Charleston . I have ordered Foster to move Hatch up to the Edisto about Jacksonboro and Willstown; also to make the lodgment about Bull's Bay. Watch Charleston closely. I think Jeff Davis will direct it to be abandoned, lest he lose its garrison as well as guns. We are all well, and the enemy retreats before us. Send word to New Berne that you have heard from me, and the probabilities are that high waters may force me to the coast before I reach North Carolina , but to keep Wilmington busy."

Sherman and his subordinates utilized water transport and naval support as much as possible during his move northward. This date, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander C. McClurg, Chief of Staff of the Fourteenth Army Corps, wrote Lieutenant Commander Luce of USS Pontiac: "All the transports will, by this afternoon or evening, be unloaded and ordered to return to Savannah . General Morgan, commanding the rear division, has been ordered to withdraw his pickets on the Georgia shore of the [ Savannah ] river as soon as the transports have passed the lower landing. The general commanding requests that you assist and cover the crossing of these troops. The general commanding takes this opportunity to express to you and your officers his thanks for your efficient cooperation during your stay and movements at this point." Two days later, Major General Cuvier Grover added in a letter to Luce: "Understanding that you have in view leaving this station, I would respectfully request that, if it be consistent with your instructions, you would remain here until some such time as you can be relieved by some other naval vessel, as I consider it quite necessary that there should he at least one gunboat here at all times."

Boat expedition under Acting Ensign George H. French from USS Bienville, assisted by a cutter from USS Princess Royal, entered Galveston harbor silently at night intending to board arid destroy blockade runner Wren. Because of "the strong current and wind. . . ., and the neat approach of daylight", French and his daring men were unable to teach Wren but did board and take schooners Pet and Annie Sophia, both laden with cotton.

8 Flag Officer Barton received orders from Secretary Mallory to return to the Confederacy, These orders symbolized the abandonment of the long cherished hopes of obtaining ironclad ships from Europe with which to break the ever-tightening blockade. Originally selected to be the flag officer in command of the turreted ironclads "294" and "295", Barton had arrived in England during October 1863. The Laird rams, however, had been seized by the British govern-ment on 9 October 1863 and Barton thereafter served the Confederacy in Paris . On 15 February, a week after receiving Mallory's dispatch, Barton replied to the Secretary in words that gave clear evidence of the degree to which the shores of the South were sealed by the Union squadrons: "I am endeavoring to get ready to leave in the Southampton steamer of March 2, which will take me to Cuba, and from that point I shall see how the land lies and make such arrangements as will most probably insure my earliest arrival in the Confederacy, where I feel every man is needed who can pull a pound. The closing of the port of Wilmington does, I fear, render the route through Texas the only one of security, but I shall not determine positively until after my arrival in Havana ." Barron, however, did not return to the South, for on 28 February he resigned as senior Confederate naval officer on the continent.

The first troops of General Schofield's Twenty-Third Army Corps were landed at Fort Fisher . By mid-month the entire Corps had moved by ocean-transport from Alexandria and Annapolis to North Carolina . The protection of the Federal Navy and the mobility of water movement had allowed the redeployment of thousands of troops from Tennessee to the eastern theater for the final great struggles of the war.

9 USS Pawnee
, Commander George B. Balch, USS Sonoma, Lieutenant Commander Thomas S. Fillebrown, and USS Daffodil, Acting Master William H. Mallard, engaged Confederate batteries on Togodo Creek, neat the North Edisto River, South Carolina. Pawnee took ten hits and the other ships two each, but the naval bombardment successfully silenced the Southern emplacements. The action was one of several attacks along the coast that helped to clear the way and keep the South's defenses disrupted while General Sherman's army advanced northward. With assurance of aid from the sea when needed, Sherman could travel light and fast. On this date he was matching toward Orangeburg, on the north side of the Edisto River , and would capture it on the 12th.

10 Captain Raphael Semmes was appointed Rear Admiral in the Provisional Navy of the Con-federate States of America "for gallant and meritorious conduct, in command of the steam-sloop Alabama ." Secretary Mallory had created the Provisional Navy as a means of instituting selec-tion to higher rank on the basis of ability rather than strict seniority. Semmes later wrote: "After I had been in Richmond a few weeks, the President was pleased to nominate me to the Senate as a teat-admiral. My nomination was unanimously confirmed, and, in a few days afterward, I was appointed to the command of the James River Fleet. . . An old and valued friend, Commodore J. K. Mitchell, had been in command of the James River Fleet, and I displaced him very reluctantly. He had organized and disciplined the fleet, and had accomplished with it all that was possible, viz., the protection of Richmond by water." Except for this powerful fleet backing up the forts and the extensive obstructions in the River, Richmond would have long since fallen.

The Confederate Navy began its last attempt to gain control of the James River and thus force the withdrawal of General Grant's army by cutting its communications at City Point. The expedition of 100 officers and men was led by the audacious naval lieutenant, Charles W. Read. He loaded four torpedo boats on wagons and started overland from Drewry's Bluff. The plan called for Marching to a place below City Point on the James River where the party would launch the boats, capture any passing tugs or steamers, and outfit these prizes with spats and torpedoes. The expedition would then ascend the river and attack and sink the Union monitors, leaving the Union gunboats at the mercy of the Confederate ironclads. The James, without which Grant would be denied transport and supplies, would be under Confederate control from Richmond to Hampton Roads.

On the night of the 11th Read and his men endured bitter cold as the weather worsened. On the 12th sleet slowed and finally stopped the expedition only a few miles from the place they were to ford the Blackwater River and rendezvous with Lieutenant John Lewis, CSN, who had been reconnoitering the area ahead of the main body of sailors. MAster W. Frank Shippey wrote that while the men sought refuge from the storm in a deserted farmhouse, "a young man in gray uniform came in and informed us that our plan had been betrayed, and that Lewis was at the ford to meet us, according to promise, but accompanied by a regiment of Federals lying in am-buscade and awaiting our arrival, when they were to give us a warm reception. Had it not been for the storm and out having to take shelter, we would have Marched into the net spread for us . . . . "

Read directed the rest of the expedition to retrace their steps for about a mile; then he ventured forth alone to confirm the report of the young Confederate. Late in the afternoon of the 13th Read, "cool and collected as ever," returned to the campsite where his men were, informed them that the intelligence of the day before had been correct, and that they would have to fall back to Richmond . Thus, the bold Confederate thrust failed. Moreover, the constant exposure to the inclement weather took a heavy toll of the men. Shippey later wrote that "of the hundred and one men who composed this expedition, fully seventy-five were in the naval hospital in Richmond, suffering from the effects of their winter March, on the sad day on which we turned our backs upon that city."

USS Shawmut, Lieutenant Commander J.G. Walker, engaged Confederate batteries on the east bank of the Cape Fear River while USS Huron, Lieutenant Commander Thomas O. Selfridge, bombarded Fort Anderson . Fleet attacks were building up preliminary to full naval support of General Schofield's advance on Wilmington . Schofield planned to outflank General Hoke's defense force by Marching from Fort Fisher up the outer bank and, with the aid of pontoons to be landed by the Navy on the coast side, cross Myrtle Sound to the mainland of the peninsula behind the Confederate lines. From the Cape Fear River and the sea coast the Navy was to contain the defenders in their trenches by shore bombardment.

Rear Admiral Porter issued an operations plan for the move up the Cape Fear River which revealed the high degree to which naval gunfire support doctrine had been developed during the Civil War: "The object will be to get the gunboats in the rear of their intrenchments and cover the advance of our troops. When our troops are coming up, the gunboats run close in and shell the enemy in front of them, so as to enable the troops to turn their flanks, if possible. . . . As the army come up, your fire will have to be very rapid, taking care not to fire into our own men. . . . Put yourself in full communication with the general commanding on shore, and conform in all things to his wishes. . . ."

To the 16 gunboats in the Cape Fear River Porter issued an operation plan for an attack on Fort Anderson that was to coincide with the naval bombardment of General Hoke's flanks and the launching of Schofield's turning movement. The gunboats were directed to make a bows-on approach, to minimize the target presented Southern gunners, while the monitor USS Montauk would lay down a covering fire from close in. When the fort's fire should slacken, the light-hulled gunboats were to close and drive the gunners from their positions with grapeshot and canister. With the enemy's battery thus silenced, the fleet would shift to carefully aimed point fire to dismount the guns. So swiftly had the build up of force been effected by sea that only two weeks after the meeting between Porter and General Grant on board USS Malvern, which shaped the Union strategy, an irresistible juggernaut was already being forged.

Boat expedition from USS Princess Royal and Antona led by Lieutenant Charles E. McKay boarded and destroyed blockade runner Will-O'-The Wisp, a large iron screw steamer hard aground off Galveston .

10-14 The monitor USS Lehigh, Lieutenant Commander Alexander A. Semmes, and smaller wooden vessels including USS Commodore McDonough, Wissahickon, C. P. Williams, Dan Smith, and Geranium, supported Brigadier General Alexander Schimmelfennig's troop movements in the Stono and Folly River, South Carolina, area. The Army had requested the assistance of naval gunfire in the operations preparatory to the final push on Charleston .

11 USS Keystone State, Aries, Montgomery, Howquah, Emma, and Vicksburg engaged Half Moon Battery, situated on the coastal flank of the Confederate defense line which crossed the Cape Fear Peninsula six miles above Fort Fisher. This bombardment contained General Hoke's division while General Schofield's troops moved up the beach and behind their rear (see 10 February). Deteriorating weather, however, prevented the landing of the pontoons, and Schofield withdrew his troops to the Fort Fisher lines. Porter's gunboats also engaged the west bank batteries.

Secretary Welles
 warned Acting Rear Admirals Cornelius K. Stribling, commanding the East Gulf Blockading Squadron, and Henry K. Thatcher, commanding the West Gulf Blockading Squadron, that information had been received that the ram Stonewall, built at Bordeaux , France . had been transferred to the Confederate government. "Her destination," he wrote, "is doubtless some point on our coast, and it behooves you to be prepared against surprise , as she is represented to be formidable and capable of inflicting serious injury."

USS Penobscot, Lieutenant Commander A.E.K. Benham, captured blockade running British schooner Matilda in the Gulf of Mexico with cargo of rope, bagging, and liquors.

12 The blockade runners Carolina , Dream, Chicora, Chameleon, and Owl, heavily laden with supplies desperately needed by General Lee's army lay at anchor in Nassau harbor. During the day the five captains, including Lieutenant John Wilkinson and Commander John Maffitt, held a conference and formulated plans for running the blockade into Charleston . After putting to sea that night, the five ships separated and stood on different courses for the South Carolina port. Only Chicora, MAster John Rains, Shipmaster, got through and became the last blockade runner to enter and leave Charleston prior to its evacuation during the night of 17 18 February. Two and a half months later Owl, Commander Maffitt, slipped past 16 Federal cruisers and entered the harbor at Galveston . After off-loading his cargo, Maffitt again evaded the blockaders and safely reached Havana on 9 May, where after coaling his ship he continued to give Union warships the slip on his return voyage to Nassau and ultimately to Liverpool (see 14 July).

Captain T. J. Page, CSS Stonewall, wrote Commander Bulloch from Ferrol of the arrival of USS Niagara, Commodore T. T. Craven, at Corunna the preceding day. "I wish with all my heart we were ready now to go out," Page said. "We must encounter her, and I would only wish that she may not be accompanied by two or more others." Craven was equally apprehensive about a possible engagement. "The Stonewall," he wrote at month's end, "is a very formidable vessel, about 175 feet long, brig-rigged, and completely clothed in iron plates of 5 inches in thick-ness. Under her topgallant forecastle is her casemated Armstrong 30 pounder rifled gun. In a turret abaft her mainmast are two 12 pounder rifled guns, and she has two smaller guns mounted in broadside. If as fast as reputed to be, in smooth water she ought to be more than a match for three such ships as the Niagara . . . ."

In small boats, Lieutenant Commander Cushing and a patrol party passed the piling obstructions and reconnoitered the Cape Fear River as far as Wilmington .

13 General Sherman 's on-rushing army approached the Congaree River, South Carolina. The soldiers would cross it on the 14th, heading for Columbia . With the fall of Columbia assured and with the supply route to Augusta, Georgia, already cut, General Hardee speeded up his prepara-tions to evacuate Charleston and to take the troops he brought from Savannah to North Carolina where he planned to join Generals Joseph E. Johnson and Beauregard. Since Charleston would have to be abandoned and the Confederate naval squadron there scuttled, Commodore John R. Tucker, detached 300 men and officers from CSS Chicora, Palmetto State , and Charleston , as well as the Navy Yard, and dispatched them, under the command of Lieutenant James H. Rochelle, to assist in the final defense of Wilmington . This naval detachment was assigned to Major General Robert F. Hoke's division which held the defensive line across the peninsula between Fort Fisher and Wilmington .

14 The blockade runner Celt ran aground while attempting to run the blockade from Charleston harbor.

15 USS Merrimac, Acting Master William Earle, was abandoned in a sinking condition at sea off the coast of Florida In the Gulf Stream. The tiller had broken in a gale, the pumps could not keep the ship free of water, and two boilers had given out. Having fought for 24 hours to save his ship, Earle finally ordered her abandoned. The mail steamer Morning Star, which had been standing by the disabled gunboat for several hours, rescued the crew.

Steamer Knickerbocker, aground near Smith's Point, Virginia , was boarded by Confederates, set afire, and destroyed. USS Mercury, Acting Ensign Thomas Nelson, had thwarted a previous attempt to destroy the steamer.

16 USS Penobscot, Lieutenant Commander A.E.K. Benham, forced blockade running schooners Mary Agnes and Louisa ashore at Aransas Pass , Texas . Two days later the runners were destroyed by a boat crew from Penobscot.

16-17 As the combined operation to capture Willington vigorously got underway, ships of Rear Admiral Porter's fleet helped to ferry General Schofield's two divisions from Fort Fisher to Smith-ville, on the west bank of the Cape Fear River. Fort Anderson , the initial objective for the two commanders, lay on the west bank mid-way between the mouth of the river and Wilmington . On the morning of the 17th, Major General Jacob D. Cox led 8,000 troops north from Smithville. In support of the army advance on the Confederate defenses, the monitor Montauk, Lieutenant Com-mander Edward E. Stone, and four gunboats heavily bombarded Fort Anderson and successfully silenced its twelve guns. Unable to obtain other monitors for the attack (see 3 February), Porter resorted to subterfuge and, as he had on the Mississippi River (see 25 February 1863), improvised a bogus monitor from a scow, timber, and canvas. Old Bogey", as she was quickly nicknamed by the sailors, had been towed to the head of the bombardment line, where she succeeded in draw-ing heavy fire from the defending Southerners.

Ships of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, including USS Pawnee, Sonoma, Ottawa, Winona, Potomska, Wando, J.S. Chambers, and boats and launches from these vessels supported the amphibious Army landing at Bull's Bay, South Carolina. This was a diversionary movement in the major thrust to take Charleston and was designed to contain Confederate strength away from General Sherman's route. Such diversions had been part of Sherman 's plan from the outset as he took full advantage of Northern control of the sea. A naval landing party from the fleet joined the troops of Brigadier General Edward E. Potter in driving the Confederates from their positions and pushing on toward Andersonville and Mount Pleasant , South Carolina .

As Captain Daniel B. Ridgely later reported to Rear Admiral Dahlgren: "I am confident that the expedition to Bull's Bay embarrassed the rebels from the great number of men-of-war inside and outside of the bay and the great number of boats provided by the navy to disembark a large land force. . . . I am of the opinion that the evacuation of Charleston was hastened by the demonstration made by the army and the navy at that point in strong force." Ridgely also pointed out another example of one of the aspects of Northern control of the sea throughout the war, the fact that the very capability of the Union to move wherever water reached forced the South to spread itself thin in an attempt to meet the Federals on all possible fronts. "The rebels signaled our movements to Charleston day and night," he wrote, adding significantly, "and threw up intrenchments at every point where boats could land."

17 USS Mahaska, Lieutenant Commander William Gibson, seized schooner Delia off Bayport , Florida , with cargo of pig lead and sabers.

17-18 Charleston , South Carolina , was evacuated by Confederate troops after having endured 567 days of continuous attack by land and sea. The long siege witnessed some of the most heroic fighting of the war, including the sinking of USS Housatonic by the valiant, hand-powered submarine H. L. Hunley (see 17 February 1864).

During the night, Forts Moultrie, Sumter, Johnson, Beauregard, and Castle Pinckney were abandoned as the Confederates Marched northward to join the beleaguered forces of General Lee. The Southern ironclads Palmetto State, Chicora, and Charleston were fired and blown up prior to the withdrawal, but CSS Columbia, the largest of the ironclads at Charleston, was found aground and abandoned near Fort Moultrie and was eventually salvaged.

Lieutenant Commander J. S. Barnes later wrote that the occupation forces also captured several "David" torpedo boats, one of which had damaged USS New Ironsides off Charleston on 5 October 1863. She was subsequently taken to the Naval Academy , Barnes wrote, "where she is preserved as one of the relics of the war. These vessels were built of boiler iron, and were of the shape known as "cigar shape." They presented but a very small target above the surface, but were usually clumsy and dangerous craft in a seaway. Under full steam they could attain a speed of seven knots per hour."

The steamers Lady Davis, Mab, and Transport were taken after the evacuation. USS Catskill, Lieutenant Commander Edward Barrett, seized blockade runner Celt, which had run aground trying to get out of Charleston on the night of the 14th; Catskill also took the British blockade runner Deer. The steamer had been decoyed into Charleston that night by the same ruse keeping the Confederate signals lighted-employed at Wilmington . Deer ran aground and on being boarded her mAster told Barrett: "Well, we give it up; she is your prize. Strange we did not smell a rat, as we could not make out your signal on Fort Marshall ." Also in the aftermath of the fall of Charleston , USS Gladiolus, Acting Ensign Napoleon Boughton, captured blockade runner Syren in the Ashley River where she had successfully run in through the blockade the night before.

The capture of these blockade runners underscored Dahlgren's letter to Rear Admiral Porter: "You see by the date of this [18 February] that the Navy's occupation has given this pride of rebeldom to the Union flag, and thus the rebellion is shut out from the ocean and foreign sympathy." To Secretary Welles, Dahlgren added: "To me the fall of Charleston seems scarcely less important than that of Richmond . It is the last seaport by which it can be made sure that a bale of cotton can go abroad. Hence the rebel loan and credit are at an end." Learning of the fall of Charleston a week later in Nassau , Lieutenant Wilkinson, the daring Confederate sea captain, agreed: "This sad intelligence put an end to all our hopes. . . . At last the city that had symbolized the South's spirit was in Union hands.

18 Upon orders to evacuate Charleston , Commodore John R. Tucker scuttled the ironclads Palmetto State , Charleston and Chicora, took charge of the remaining sailors in the area, and set out by train for Wilmington to join the naval detachment that had previously proceeded there under Lieutenant Rochelle (see 13 February). Tucker's detachment got as far as Whiteville, about 50 miles west of Wilmington , where he learned that Union troops had cut the rail line be-tween the two cities and that the evacuation of Wilmington was imminent. After unsuccess-fully trying to obtain rail transportation for his detachment, which he pointed out was "unused to Marching," Tucker set out across country on a 125 mile March to Fayetteville , North Carolina .

The big guns of Rear Admiral Porter's fleet in the Cape Fear River silenced the Confederate batteries at Fort Anderson . Under a relentless hail of fire from the ships and with Union troops investing the fort from two sides, the Southerners evacuated their defensive position and fell back to Town Creek. Simultaneously, the Confederates dug in at Sugar Loaf Hill on the east bank of the river, adjacent to Fort Anderson, withdrew to Fort Strong, a complex of fortifications comprising several batteries some three miles south of Wilmington. The combined Army-Navy movement was now pushing irresistibly toward the city.

Rear Admiral Semmes assumed command of the Confederate James River Squadron. "My fleet," he wrote, "consisted of three ironclads and five wooden gunboats. The ironclads, each mounting four guns, were CSS Virginia No. 2, Richmond , and Fredericksburg . The wooden ships included CSS Hampton , Nansemond, Roanoke , Beaufort, and Torpedo; all mounted two guns except Torpedo which was armed with one. Semmes noted: "The fleet was assisted, in the defence of the river, by several shore batteries, in command of naval officers. . . ."

CSS Shenandoah
, Lieutenant Waddell, having completed repairs at Melbourne , Australia , got underway before daybreak and steamed out of Port Philip Bay to resume her career on the high seas. As soon as the cruiser discharged her pilot and entered international waters, more than 40 stowaways who had come on board late the previous night appeared on deck. Shenandoah's log recorded: "Forty-two men found on board; thirty-six shipped as sailors and six enlisted as marines." This represented a net gain when balanced against the desertions induced by gold from the American consul. However, Shenandoah paid a considerable price for the three week stay in Melbourne . Waddell later wrote in his memoirs: "The delay of the Shenandoah had operated against us in the South Pacific. The whaling fleet of that ocean had received warning and had either suspended its fishing in that region or had taken shelter in the neighboring ports. The presence of the Shenandoah in the South Pacific," however, he added, "dispersed the whaling fleet of that sea, though no captures were made there."

A boat expedition under Acting Ensign James W. Brown from USS Pinola hoarded and fired armed schooner Anna Dale in Pass Cavallo, Texas . The prize had been fitted out as a cruiser by the Confederates. The long reach of the sea closed its iron grip on the South in events great and small from the Potomac to the Rio Grande and throughout the western waters.

USS Forest Rose, Acting Lieutenant Abraham N. Gould, dispersed a number of Confederates who had fired on the ship Mittie Stephens attempting to load cotton at Cole's Creek, Mississippi .

19 The Confederate steamer A. H. Schultz, used as a flag-of-truce vessel to carry exchange prisoners between Richmond and the Varina vicinity on the James River and as a transport by the Southern forces below the Confederate capital, was destroyed by a torpedo near Chaffin's Bluff on the James River . Ironically, she met the fate intended for a Union ship. The torpedo was one laid by Lieutenant Beverly Kennon of the Torpedo Service that had drifted from its original position. When torpedoed, Schultz was returning to Richmond after delivering more than 400 Federal prisoners; because of an administrative error, there were no Confederate prisoners ready to be taken on board at Varina. Thus, the loss of life was considerably minimized. Had the steamer struck the torpedo going downriver or picked up the Southern soldiers to be exchanged as expected, the casualties might well have been frightful.

USS Gertrude, Acting Lieutenant Benjamin C. Dean, captured Mexican brig Eco off Galveston . Eco, suspected of attempting to run the blockade, carried a cargo of coffee, rice, sugar, and jute baling cord.

19-20 Following the evacuation of Fort Anderson , Rear Admiral Porter's gunboats steamed seven miles up the Cape Fear River to the Big Island shallows and the piling obstructions and engaged Fort Strong 's five guns. Ship's boats swept the river for mines ahead of the fleet's advance. On the night of the 20th, the Confederates released 200 floating torpedoes, which were -avoided with great difficulty and kept the boat crews engaged in sweeping throughout the hours of darkness. Although many of the gunboats safely swept up torpedoes with their nets, USS Osceola, Commander]. M. B. Clita, received hull damage and lost a paddle wheel box by an explosion. Another torpedo destroyed a boat from USS Shawmut, inflicting four casualties. The next day, 21 February, one of Porter's officers wrote that "Old Bogey", the make-shift monitor fashioned by the Admiral to deceive the defenders (see 16-17 February), had taken part in the action: "Johnny Reb let off his torpedoes without effect on it, and the old thing sailed across the river and grounded in the flank and rear of the enemy's lines on the eastern bank, whereupon they fell back in the night. She now occupies the most advanced position of the line, and Battery Lee has been banging away at her, and probably wondering why she does not answer. Last night after half a days fighting, the rebs sent down about 50 [sic] torpedoes; but although "Old Bogey" took no notice of them, they kept the rest of us pretty lively as long as the ebb tide ran".

21-22 The gunboat fleet of Rear Admiral Porter closed Fort Strong and opened rapid fire "all along the enemy's line" to support the Army attack ashore as it had throughout the soldiers" steady March up both banks of the Cape Fear River. The next day, 22 February, the defenders evacuated the fort and Porter's ships steamed up to Wilmington, which earlier in the day had been occupied by General Terry's men after General Bragg had ordered the evacuation of the now defenseless city. The same day the Admiral wrote Secretary Welles: "I have the honor to inform you that Wilmington has been evacuated and is in possession of our troops. . . . I had the pleasure of placing the flag on Fort Strong , and at 12 o'clock noon today shall fire a salute of thirty-five guns this being the anniversary of Washington's birthday." As Raphael Semmes later wrote: ". . . . we had lost our last blockade-running port. Our ports were now all hermetically sealed The anaconda had, at last, wound his fatal folds around us."

22 In Richmond , Confederate War Department clerk J.B. Jones wrote in his diary: "To-day is the anniversary of the birth of Washington , and of the inauguration of Davis; but I heir of no holiday. Not much is doing, however, in the departments; simply a waiting for calamities, which come with stunning rapidity. The next news, I suppose, will be the evacuation of Wilmington ! Then Raleigh may tremble. Unless there is a speedy turn in the tide of affairs, confusion will reign supreme and universally." Material suffering and the unwavering pressure of Union armies ashore and Federal ships afloat destroyed Southern hopes. In the Union 's strength at sea the Confederacy faced a doubled disadvantage. Not only did the fleet provide the North with massed artillery, great mobility, easy concentration, and surprise in attack, but it also provided a safe fortress to which the soldiers ashore could retreat as had been most recently shown during General Butler's amphibious failure at Fort Fisher as 1864 ended.

23-25 Rear Admiral Dahlgren dispatched a squadron from Charleston , commanded by Captain Henry S. Stellwagen in the USS Pawnee, to capture and occupy Georgetown , South Carolina , in order to establish a line of communications with General Sherman's army advancing from Columbia , South Carolina , to Fayetteville , North Carolina . Fort White , guarding the entrance to Winyah Bay leading to Georgetown , was evacuated upon the approach of the naval squadron and was occupied by a detachment of Marines on the 23rd. The following day Stellwagen sent Ensign Allen K. Noyes with the USS Catalpa and Mingoe up the Peedee River to accept the surrender of the evacuated city of Georgetown . Noyes led a small party ashore and received the surrender of the city from civil authorities while a group of his seamen climbed to the city hall dome and ran up the Stars and Stripes. This action was presently challenged by a group of Confederate horsemen. More sailors were landed. A skirmish ensued in which the bluejackets drove off the mounted guerrillas. Subsequently, the city was garrisoned by five companies of Marines who were in turn relieved by the soldiers on 1 March.

In December the ships of the powerful Federal Navy, now in such numbers that they could attack anywhere along the coast when needed, had made it possible for Sherman "to March to the sea" with confidence, since they gave him any part of the coast he chose as a base. Now Dahlgren's warships provided the general with unlimited logistic support, rapid reinforcement, and the defensive line of their massed guns to fall back on if he was defeated. Easing and speed-ing his progress to the North, the fleet therefore helped to bring the cruel war more quickly to an end. From Savannah to Wilmington the whole Southern sea coast with its irreplaceable defenses, heavy coastal cannon that could not be moved, and superior means of communication-swiftly fell. Although it was not clear to General Lee at the time, the accelerated speed with which the solders were able to move inevitably forecast the frustration of his plan to send part of his veterans to join the Confederate Army in North Carolina in an attempt to crush Sherman while still holding the Petersburg-Richmond lines with the remainder.

24 The intention of the Navy Department to reduce the size of the operating forces as the end of hostilities neared was indicated in Secretary Welles" instruction to Rear Admiral Thatcher, commanding the West Gulf Squadron, to "send North such purchased vessels as appear by surveys to require very extensive repairs . . . and all those no longer required. These will probably be sold or laid up. You will also send home any stores that are not required. Further requisition must be carefully examined before approval, and the commanders of squadrons are expected to use every possible exertion and care to reduce the expenses of their squadrons."

Secretary Welles similarly directed Rear Admiral Dahlgren to send north vessels under his com-mand that were no longer required, especially the least efficient. "The Department is of opinion that the fall of Fort Fisher and Charleston will enable it to reduce the expenses of the maintenance of the Navy." Even as the Union could begin to cut back its huge fleet, the effect of Northern sea power was felt more and more acutely in General Lee's army. With its last access to the sea, Wilmington , now controlled by the North, the shortage of essential supplies including shoes, artillery, blankets, lead, medicines, and even food for men and horses-became increasingly desperate. By now, much of Lee's famed cavalry, for want of horses, had become infantry.

25 USS Marigold, Acting Master Courtland P. Williams, captured blockade running British schooner Salvadora with an assorted cargo in the Straits of Florida between Havana and Key West .

In a letter to Secretary Welles, Commander F. A. Parker, Commander of the Potomac Flotilla, reported that "within the past week three boats, with three blockade runners, have been cap-tured by the Primrose, commanded by Acting Ensign Owen."

CSS Chickamauga was burned and sunk by her own crew in the Cape Fear River just below Indian Wells, North Carolina . The position selected by the Confederates was above Wilmington on the Northwest Fork of the river leading to Fayetteville . The scuttling was intended to obstruct the river and prevent the Union from establishing water communications between the troops occupy-ing Wilmington and General Sherman's army operating in the interior of the state. The effort proved abortive as the current swept the hulk around parallel to the bank and by 12 March the water link between Wilmington and Fayetteville had been opened (see 12 March). Every river that would float a ship was an artery of strength from the sea for Sherman in his rapid March north.

A boat expedition from USS Chenango, Lieutenant Commander George U. Morris, captured blockade running sloop Elvira at Bullyard Sound , South Carolina , with cargo of cotton and tobacco.

27 Commodore Tucker and his 350 Confederate sailors from Charleston arrived safely in Fayetteville, North Carolina, where he received orders to have Lieutenant James H. Rochelle's naval detachment join his and to proceed to Richmond with the entire Naval Brigade. From Richmond the brigade was sent on to Drewry's Bluff on the James River to garrison the formidable Confederate batteries positioned there. Tucker commanded the naval forces ashore while Rear Admiral Raphael Semmes commanded the James River Squadron. These two commands, through the course of the long war, had successfully protected Richmond from attack via the James River . General Lee desperately needed staunch fighters more than ever before. With his supply line from Europe cut, hunger, privation, sickness, and desertion steadily shrank his army. Meanwhile, General Grant's army increased as ships poured in supplies to his City Point base in preparation for the spring offensive.

USS Proteus, Commander R. W. Shufeldt, seized the steamer Ruby-purportedly en route from Havana to Belize , Honduras , but, according to some of the officers and passengers, actually bound for St. Marks , Florida . It appeared that part of her cargo had been thrown overboard during the chase; the remainder consisted of lead and sundries.

28 Rear Admiral Dahlgren issued instructions to Captain Stellwagen, USS Pawnee, on operations in the vicinity of Georgetown , South Carolina , coordinated with General Sherman's March north: "I leave here for Charleston , and you remain the senior officer. The only object in occupying the place, as I do, is to facilitate communication with General Sherman, if he desires it here, or by the Santee . When the Chenango and Sonoma arrive, station one in each river by the town to assist the force ashore; one vessel should be near the fort and one at the light-house to look for communication with me. Keep up information from the Santee by a courier over the Santee road or by water. I leave you three tugs, the Sweet Brier, Catalpa and Clover, with a dispatch boat. Let parties be pushed out by land and water, to feel the rebel positions, and drive back his scouts and pickets."

Armed boats under Acting Ensign Charles N. Hall from USS Honeysuckle forced the blockade running British schooner Sort aground on a reef near the mouth of Crystal River, Florida, where she was abandoned. Sort was the same schooner captured in December 1864 by USS O. H. Lee.

USS Arina, Lieutenant Commander George Brown, was destroyed by fire in the Mississippi River below New Orleans . In his report, the unlucky Brown, who had also lost USS Indianola (see 24 February 1863), noted: "Not a soul attempted to leave the vessel until I gave the order for them to do so, and the marines were of much service in preventing the boats from being over-loaded."

Lieutenant George W. Gift, CSN, on sick leave at his wife's home in Georgia , reflected on the fate of the South: "It is all too disheartening! The press brings accounts of new defeat for us. The Water Witch has been captured and destroyed. Mobile
 has fallen, so that all the ports in the Confederacy are lost! That goes for the Navy. . ."

March 1865

1 As the month of March opened, General Grant was preparing for a massive spring attack against General Lee's lines defending Richmond . Throughout the North optimism ran high and the feeling prevailed that the offensive would be the final thrust and that Grant would take Richmond . It was widely believed that the Confederacy was on the threshold of defeat. Since the beginning of the new year Charleston
 and Wilmington  had fallen, sealing off the South from the sustaining flow of supplies from Europe . Moreover, General Sherman's army had devastated the heart of the Confederacy in its March through Georgia and South Carolina ; by the end of February Sherman was preparing to enter North Carolina . The Union 's confidence was further fed by the wide spread knowledge that General Lee and Confederate officials were openly grappling with the problem of desertions. During the winter these had become considerable as men became concerned about their families in areas invaded by the Union armies. Finally, Lee further revealed his hard-pressed position by appealing to the civilian population to search their households for any spare guns, cutlasses, equestrian gear and tools.

The Southern spirit, on the other hand, remained unshaken by what was regarded in the North as portents of defeat. The Richmond Daily Examiner editorialized on March 1: "We cannot help thinking that 'our friends, the enemy,' are a little premature in assuming the South to be at their feet. There are Southern armies of magnitude in the field, and Richmond , the capitol, is more impregnable at this hour than it has been at any period of the war."

A week later the Richmond Daily Dispatch expressed its confidence in the Confederate cause by comparing the South's position in the spring of 1865 with that of the American patriots in 1781. "In the American Revolution," wrote the editor, "three-fourths of the battles were gained by the British [and they] held all the major seaports and cities. They Marched through South Carolina , precisely as Sherman is doing now. . . . They had the most powerful empire in the world at their back; had the aid of armed tories in every county; they excited the blacks to insurrection; and let loose the scalping knife of the Indian. . . . What is there in our condition as gloomy, as terrible, as protracted, as the long and dreary wilderness through which they Marched to freedom and independence?"

President Jefferson Davis sent a Resolution adopted by the Confederate Congress to Mr. John LancAster of England thanking him for his gallant and humane conduct in the rescue of Captain Raphael Semmes and 41 of his officers and men after the sinking of CSS Alabama by USS Kearsarge (see 19 June 1864). It was particularly gratifying to the Confederacy that Lancaster's yacht Deerhound had sailed for England with the rescued Confederates rather than turning them over to Kearsarge as would have been customary under international law. This incident became even more galling for the Union Navy after Semmes and his officers were socially lionized during their stay in England .

Rear Admiral Dahlgren
, upon receiving the report that his naval forces had occupied Georgetown , South Carolina , decided to proceed there and have a personal "look at things." Me inspected the formidable but evacuated Fort White and the four companies of marines which held George-town. This date, Dahlgren's flagship Harvest Moon was steaming down Georgetown Bay enroute Charleston ; the Admiral was awaiting breakfast in his cabin. "Suddenly, without warning," Dahlgren wrote in his diary, "came a crashing sound, a heavy shock, the partition between the cabin and wardroom was shattered and driven in toward me, while all loose articles in the cabin flew in different directions. . . . A torpedo had been struck by the poor old Harvest Moon, and she was sinking." The flagship sank in five minutes, but fortunately only one man was lost. The Admiral got off with only the uniform he was wearing.

Because of the loss of Charleston and Wilmington , Secretary Mallory
 directed Commander Bulloch, the regular agent of the Confederate Navy in England , to dispose of the deep draft steamers Enter-prise and Adventure and to substitute for them two light draft vessels for use in the small inlets along the East coast of Florida . He wrote: "We can not ship cotton at present, but with light-draft vessels we could at once place cotton abroad. Moreover, we need them to get in our supplies now at the islands, and the want of which is seriously felt.'' Mallory added: ''We are upon the eve of events fraught with the fate of the Confederacy, and without power to foresee the re-sult. . . . The coming campaign will be in active operation within fifty days and we can not close our eyes to the dangers which threaten us and from which only our united and willing hearts and arms and the providence of God can shield us. We look for no aid from any other source.

The capture of ports on the Confederate coast injured the South and aided the North in many ways throughout the war. One was the availability to the Union Navy of nearby "advance bases" for operations and repairs. This date, Commander William H. Macomb, writing Rear Admiral Porter from the North Carolina Sounds, reported the arrival of USS Shokokon, Acting Lieutenant Francis Josselyn, at Plymouth . "She arrived yesterday," he wrote, "and I sent her to New Berne to have her decks shored up and breeching bolts fitted for her IX-inch guns."

2 In an effort to avoid capture by an armed boat from USS Fox, the crew of the blockade runner Rob Roy, from Belize, Honduras, ran her ashore and fired her in Deadman's Bay, Florida. The cargo removed from the blazing wreck consisted of cavalry sabers and farming and mechanical implements.

The steamer Amazon, "quite recently used as a rebel transport," surrendered to USS Pontiac, Lieutenant Commander Luce, on the Savannah River . Amazon was carrying a cargo of cotton when she was given up by David R. Dillon, her owner.

On this date the Chattanooga Gazette carried an account of the capture on the Tennessee River of a Confederate torpedo boat, accessory equipment, and a nine man party. The expedition had been organized in Richmond in early January and had gone by rail to Bristol , Tennessee , where a boat was obtained and launched in the Holston River . Its mission was to destroy Union commerce and key bridges on the Tennessee River . The expedition was captured near Kingston, Tennessee, by a local group of armed civilians. With little means the South sought desperately to strike at the Union stranglehold.

Because of difficulties in communications, small fast warships (often captured blockade runners) were in great demand for courier Service. This date Assistant Secretary Fox wrote President Lincoln from Norfolk : "General Grant would like to see you and I shall be in Washington to-morrow morning with this vessel, the Bat, in which you can leave in the afternoon. She is a regular armed man-of-war, and the fastest vessel on the river. I think it would be best for you to use her."

Bat was a long, low sidewheeler which Commander Bulloch, CSN, had built in England . She fell victim in October 1864 to the concentrated blockaders off Wilmington as she made her first run with supplies for the Confederate Government. Bought by the Navy from the Boston Prize Court for $150,000, she was commissioned in mid-December 1864 and was in great demand because of her high speed.

3 General Sherman 's large army, Marching parallel to the coast from Columbia in order to keep sea support near at hand, steadily approached Fayetteville , N.C. The Navy continued to clear Cape Fear River of torpedoes and obstructions so as to provide him with a base at Wilmington for sea supply comparable to Savannah . As the river was cleared light draft gunboats bumped up the river to be ready to open communications. This date Lieutenant Commander Ralph Chandler, USS Lenapee, reported to Lieutenant Commander George W. Young, Senior Naval Officer at Wilmington: "In obedience to your order of the 1st instant, I got underway with this vessel on the 2d instant and proceeded up the North West Branch to a point where the Cape Fear River forms a junction with the Black River. The bends in the river I found too short to attempt to get the vessel higher without carrying away the wheelhouses and otherwise damaging the ship. I remained there until 1 o'clock p.m. to-day. During the night some negroes came down, and, on questioning them, they informed me that they had been told that General Sherman's forces were at a town called Robeson, 20 miles from Fayetteville ."

USS Glide, Acting Master L.S. Fickett, captured schooner Malta in Vermilion Bayou, Louisiana , with cargo of cotton on board.

USS Honeysuckle, Acting Master James J. Russell, sighted the sloop Phantom as she attempted to enter the Suwannee River on the west coast of Florida . An armed boat from the ship overhauled and captured the blockade runner and her cargo of bar iron and liquors.

3-4 A naval squadron consisting of twelve steamers and four schooners commanded by Commander R.W. Shufeldt joined with Army troops under Brigadier General John Newton in a joint expedition directed against St. Marks Fort below Tallahassee, Florida. Although the expedition was not successful, in part because shallow water prevented the naval guns from approaching the Fort, the ships did succeed in crossing the bar and blockading the mouth of the St. Marks River, thus effectively preventing access to the harbor.

4 Major General E. R. S. Canby requested mortar boats from Rear Admiral S. P. Lee's Mississippi Squadron to participate in impending joint operations against the city of Mobile
. Admiral Lee made the mortar boats available from Mound City naval station.

U.S. transport Thorn struck a torpedo below Fort Anderson in the Cape Fear River . Brigadier General Gabriel J. Rains, Superintendent of the Confederate Torpedo Corps and a pioneer in the development of torpedoes, reported: "The vessel sunk, as usual in such cases, in two minutes, but in this the crew escaped, but barely with their lives." The loss of the 400 ton Army steamer within two weeks of the damage to USS Osceola and destruction of a launch from USS Shawmut by torpedoes (see 222 February 1865) underscored the fact that although the Union controlled the waters below Wilmington it did not have complete freedom of movement. The presence-or even the suspected presence-of Confederate torpedoes forced the Navy to move more slowly than would otherwise have been possible.

Lieutenant Moreau Forrest, in his flagship USS General Burnside and accompanied by USS General Thomas, Master Gilbert Morton, led a Tennessee River expedition which followed the course of that river across the state of Alabama. At Mussel Shoals the naval force attacked and dispersed the encampment of Confederate General Philip D. Roddey and captured horses, military equipment and cotton. Forrest then proceeded to Lamb's Ferry where he destroyed Confederate communications and transportation facilities. He also destroyed numerous barges, boats and scows encountered along the course of the river. Finally, Forrest penetrated the Elk River, deep into the state of Tennessee , where he "found a rich and populous country" in which "a great deal of loyal sentiment was displayed".

4-5 Spring floods in the James River made it possible for the heavy draft Confederate ironclads to strike at City Point, as they had attempted to do in January, or for the Union monitors to drive upstream. On 3 March Secretary Welles
 had asked Captain Oliver S. Glisson, senior naval officer at Hampton Roads, if ironclads Montauk and Monadnock had reported to him. "When they arrive," he directed impatiently, "send them up James River immediately." On the evening of the 4th General Grant, hoping to take advantage of the rising water, wired Assistant Secretary Fox: "The James River is very high, and will continue so as long as the weather of the past week lasts. It would be well to have at once all the ironclads that it is intended should come here [City Point]." Within half an hour of the arrival of Grant's message at the Navy Department, Secretary Welles ordered Glisson: "Send off a steamer to Cape Fear River to bring the Montauk, ironclad, to James River immediately, and let the same steamer go with great dispatch to Charles-ton to bring up two ironclads from there; all for James River."

The next morning, 5 March, Glisson replied to the Secretary: "Your telegram was received this morning at fifteen minutes after midnight; blowing a gale of wind at the time. USS Aries sailed at daylight this morning. The monitors are expected every moment from Cape Fear , and I shall send them up the river immediately."
One of the monitors from the southern stations, USS Sangamon, arrived in Hampton Roads that afternoon and sped up the James- a quick response to Grant's request. Within several days three additional monitors joined the squadron in the James River .

5 Landing party from USS Don under Acting Ensign McConnell destroyed a large boat in Passpatansy Creek , Maryland , after a brief skirmish with a group of Colonel Mosby's raiders. Commander F.A. Parker, commanding the Potomac Flotilla, reported that the boat was "a remarkably fine one, painted lead color, and capable of holding fifty men. It had been recently brought from Fredericksburg , and its rowlocks carefully muffled for night service. Five boxes of tobacco were found near the boat, which I have distributed to the captors."

6 Commodore F. A. Parker ordered Lieutenant Commander Edward Hooker to take USS Commodore Read, Yankee, Delaware, and Heliotrope up the Rappahannock River to cooperate with an Army detachment in conducting a raid near Fredericksburg, Virginia. Parker cautioned: ". . . you will be particularly careful in looking out for torpedoes; having all narrow channels and shoal places carefully swept by the small boats kept in advance of the flotilla. At points where torpedoes may be exploded from the shore, you will land flanking parties, and you are to shell as usual all heights.

USS Jonquil, Acting Ensign Charles H. Hanson, was damaged by a torpedo while clearing the Ashley River , near Charleston , of obstructions and frame torpedoes. Jonquil had secured three torpedoes while dragging the Ashley that day. Hanson reported: "I hooked on to the log which had the fourth one on, but the log came up with the end, not having the torpedo on. I hoisted it to the bows of the steamer and started for shore. On shoaling the water, the torpedo being down struck the bottom and exploded directly under and about amidships of the steamer. Its force was so great as to raise the boilers 5 inches from their bed and knocked nine men overboard and completely flooded the vessel." Hanson added that the explosion took place in ten feet of water and "had it been any shoaler the vessel would have been entirely destroyed." Jonquil's hull, however, was not materially damaged" and she resumed dragging operations again the next day.

7 Lieutenant Commander Hooker, commanding a naval squadron consisting of USS Commodore Read, Yankee, Delaware, and Heliotrope, joined with an Army unit in conducting a raid at Hamilton's Crossing on the Rappahannock River six miles below Fredericksburg. Hooker reported that the expedition succeeded in "burning and destroying the railroad bridge, the depot, and a portion of the track....; also the telegraph line was cut and the telegraphic apparatus brought away. A train of twenty-eight cars, eighteen of them being principally loaded with tobacco, and an army wagon train were also captured and burned. A considerable number of mules were captured and some thirty or forty prisoners taken. A mail containing a quantity of valuable information was secured." Throughout the war, rivers were avenues of strength for the North, highways of destruction to the South, which enabled warships and joint expeditions to thrust deep into the Confederacy.

Rear Admiral Porter testified before Congress. He had arrived in Washington the day after the Inaugural, having left his flagship off North Carolina on the 3rd. He scorched the congressional walls with some seagoing comments on Generals Banks and Butler . He then left town for City Point to direct the operations of the James River Squadron in coordination with Grant's final assault on Lee's lines.

7-8 USS Chenango, Lieutenant Morris, conducted a reconnaissance mission up the Black River from Georgetown , South Carolina , for a distance of some 45 miles. Morris reported that: "Upon reaching the vicinity of Brown's Ferry [a company of Confederate cavalry] opened upon us from behind a levee or bluff with rifles. We immediately responded with broadside guns and riflemen stationed in the tops.

10 Lieutenant Commander Young reported to Porter progress in clearing Cape Fear River for support of Sherman 's army now near Fayetteville . Only small ships or steam launches could provide upriver service. "The gate obstructions are all clear, so that three or four vessels can pass abreast. The obstructions on the line of the two sunken steamers, where the buoy flags were planted, it will be necessary to take great pains to raise carefully. We have succeeded in destroying some four torpedoes which were found lodged in the logs of the obstructions."

One of Young's gunboats had noted that upriver "the stream is very narrow and tortuous, with a strong current. Finding that I could not make the turns without using hawsers, and then fouling paddle boxes and smokestack in the branches of large trees, I concluded to return. The people, white and black, whom I questioned, State that the Chickamauga is sunk across the stream at Indian Wells, with a chain just below. Her two guns are on a bluff on the western bank of the river." Operating conditions on these low, shallow rivers, often backed by swamp and forest, had many similarities with those encountered 100 years later in South Vietnam by the U.S. Navy Advisory group.

The Federals had long held New Bern , 80 air miles northeast of Wilmington (but some three times that by water), near where the Neuse River abruptly narrows from a main arm of Pamlico Sound . The city was the gateway for another supply route from the sea on General Sherman's route North to unite with Grant. This date, at the request of the Army, a small naval force got underway up the river to cut a pontoon bridge the Confederates were reported building below Kinston .

11 The steamer Ajax put into Nassau . Lieutenant Low, who had been on board as a "passenger assumed command, and on 25 March transferred her registry. Governor Rawson W. Rawson of Bermuda carefully examined the ship and concluded that "nothing [was] found on her. . . ." She now appears to be intended for a tug. It is suspected that she was intended as a tender to the Confederate Ironclad vessel [Stonewall], said to be now in a Spanish Port, watched by two Federal cruisers." By early April Ajax was ready to sail for Bermuda .

11-12 Lieutenant Commander George W. Young, senior officer present off Wilmington , led a naval force consisting of USS Eolus and boat crews from USS Maratanza, Lenapee, and Nyack up the Cape Fear River to Fayetteville , where the expedition rendezvoused with General Sherman's army. The naval movement had been undertaken at the request of Major General Terry, who, Young reported, had said on the morning of the 11th "that he was about starting an expedition up the North West Branch [of the Cape Fear River] for the purpose of clearing the way to Fayetteville, and wished to have one of the gunboats, as a support, to follow." The expedition was halted for the night at Devil's Bend because of "the circuitous nature of the river", but resumed the next morning and arrived at Fayetteville on the evening of the 12th. In addition to opening communications between Sherman and the Union forces on the coast the naval units arrived in time to protect the General's flank while he crossed the river.

12 At the request of Brigadier General Schofield, Acting MAster H. Walton Grinnell, leading a de-tachment of four sailors, succeeded in delivering important Army dispatches to General Sherman near Fayetteville . Grinnell and his men began their trip on the 4th in a dugout from Wilmington . About 12 miles up the Cape Fear River, after passing through the Confederate pickets undetected, the men left the boat and commenced a tedious and difficult March towards Fayetteville . Near Whiteville, Grinnell impressed horses and led a daring dash through the Confederate lines. Shortly thereafter, the group made contact with the rear scouts of Sherman 's forces, successfully completing what Grinnell termed "this rather novel naval scout." Naval support, no matter what form it took, was essential to General Sherman's movements.

USS Althea, Acting Ensign Frederic A. G. Bacon, was sunk by a torpedo in the Blakely River, Alabama. The small 72-ton tug had performed duties as a coaling and supply vessel since joining the West Gulf Blockading Squadron in August 1864. She was returning from an unsuccessful attempt to drag the river's channel when she "ran afoul of a torpedo". Althea went down "immediately" in 10 to 12 feet of water. Two crewmen were killed and three, including Bacon, were injured. Althea had the dubious distinction of being the first of seven vessels to be sunk by torpedoes near Mobile in a five week period. The Confederate weapons took an increasing toll of Union ships as they swept for mines and pressed home the attack in shallow waters. Althea was later raised and recommissioned in November 1865.

USS Quaker City, Commander William F. Spicer, captured blockade running British schooner R.H. Vermilyea in the Gulf of Mexico with cargo of coffee, clothes, rum, tobacco, and shoes.

13 Commander Rhind, Senior Naval Officer at New Bern , reported to Commander Macomb, commanding in the North Carolina sounds, that the expedition up the Neuse River had returned the previous evening. "A deserter from a North Carolina regiment came on board the [Army steamer] Ella May yesterday morning. He states that the whole rebel force under Bragg (estimated by him at 40,000) had evacuated Kinston , moving toward Goldsboro , but that Hoke's division returned when he left. The ironclad [ Neuse ] is afloat and ready for service; has two guns, draws 9 feet. No pontoon was found in the Neuse . If you can send me a torpedo launch at once he may have an opportunity of destroying the ironclad. The bridge (railroad) at Kinston has been destroyed by the enemy.

General Johnston, recalled to duty, had been sent to North Carolina to oppose General Sherman. Troops withdrawn from Kinston were part of his consolidation of divided armies seeking to gain a force of respectable size to fight effectively against Sherman 's large army. The withdrawal, however, left a vacuum which the Federals promptly filled. They occupied Kinston on the 14th; meanwhile the Confederates had destroyed the ram Neuse to prevent her capture.

Lieutenant Commander hooker led a naval expedition, consisting of the USS Commodore Read, Morse , Delaware , and Army gunboat Mosswood, up the Rappahannock River to assist an Army detachment engaged in mopping-up operations on the peninsula formed by the Rappahannock and Potomac Rivers. At Rappahannock, a landing party from Delaware, Acting Master Joshua H. Eldridge, destroyed eight boats including a large flatboat used as a ferry. The bridge connecting Rappahannock with evacuated Fort Lowry was then destroyed by the well directed gunfire from Delaware and Morse, Acting Master George NV. Hyde. During these operations the squadron exchanged fire for two hours with two rifled field pieces concealed in a wooded area. The vessels also opened on Confederate cavalry units in the vicinity and, Hooker reported, "emptied some of their saddles."

Major A. M. Jackson (10th U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery) passes on a spy’s report on a Confederate submarine at Houston, Texas and four other such vessels at Shreveport, Louisiana. The description of the boats is almost identical to Hunley, and the ships were probably built by members of the Singer Submarine Corps who had been ordered to the West the year before.

14 Having dispatched a large number of troops to White House, Virginia, General Grant requested the Navy to send additional gunboats into the York and Pamunkey Rivers "to keep open free navigation between White House and the mouth of York River ." Commodore Radford replied at once: "Will send vessels required immediately." USS Shawmut and Commodore Morris were detailed for this duty which, like control of the waters of the James, assured the Army of rapid communications and logistic support.

USS Wyandank, Acting Lieutenant Sylvanus Nickerson, seized schooner Champanero off Inigoes Creek in Chesapeake Bay . The Federal Customs Office at Port of St. Mary's had cleared the schooner and endorsed the accuracy of its manifest. Nickerson alertly examined the cargo and found more than one half of it not manifested, including a large quantity of powder. He also discovered that the customs official who had signed the clearance had $4,000 worth of liquor and other readily salable merchandise on board.

15 Rear Admiral S. P. Lee, commanding the Mississippi Squadron, warned of the receipt from "the highest military sources" of the information" that the rebel Navy is reported to have been relieved from duty on the Atlantic coast and sent to operate on the Western rivers." He added: "The design of the enemy is believed to be to interfere with the naval vessels and the transports on these rivers, or to cover the transfer of rebel troops from the west side of the Mississippi .''

Acting Lieutenant Robert P. Swann, USS Lodona, reported to Rear Admiral Dahlgren that he had destroyed an extensive salt work on Broro Neck, McIntosh County , Georgia . Destroyed were 12 boilers, 10 buildings, 100 bushels of salt, a large quantity of timber and a number of new barrels and staves.

16 Major General Canby requested Rear Admiral Thatcher to provide naval gunfire and transport support to the landing and movement of Federal troops against Mobile . The response again demonstrated the close coordination with ground operations which was so effective throughout the conflict; Thatcher replied: ''I shall be most happy and ready to give you all the assistance in my power. Six tinclads are all the light-draft vessels at my disposal. They will be ready at any moment.

USS Pursuit, Acting Lieutenant William R. Browne, captured British schooner Mary attempting to run the blockade into Indian River on the East Coast of Florida. Her cargo consisted of shoes, percussion caps, and rum.

USS Quaker City, Commander Spicer, captured small blockade running sloop Telemico in the Gulf of Mexico with cargo of cotton and peanuts.

16-18 A naval expedition, led by Lieutenant Commander Thomas H. Eastman, consisting of the U.S.S Don, Stepping Stones, Heliotrope and Resolute, proceeded up the Rappahannock River and its tributary, Mattox Creek, to the vicinity of Montrose, Virginia, where it destroyed a supply base that had been supporting Confederate guerrillas on the peninsula between the Rappahannock and Potomac Rivers. Eastman led a landing force of 70 Marines and sailors up the right fork of Mattox Creek where he found and destroyed four boats. The landing party, led by Acting Ensign William H. Summers, that cleared the left fork encountered heavy musket fire but successfully destroyed three schooners. Houses in the vicinity were also searched and contraband destroyed. Acting Ensign John J. Brice, who led the 40 man search party," found himself opposed by about 50 cavalry. He formed his men to receive their attack. While doing this, 8 or 10 cavalry came down on his left flank, which he drove off. The main portion, on seeing this, retired to the woods"

17 Coast Survey steamer Bibb, commanded by Charles O. Boutelle, struck a submerged torpedo in Charleston harbor, "Fortunately for us,'' Boutelle reported, ''the blow was upon the side. To this fact and the great strength of the vessel may be ascribed our escape from serious injury.'' Nevertheless, as Rear Admiral Dahlgren noted a few days later, Bibb ''was much jarred'' by the impact and required considerable repairs.

USS Quaker City, Commander Spicer, captured blockade running schooner George Burkhart in the Gulf of Mexico with cargo of cotton, bound from Lavaca , Texas for Matamoras , Mexico .

USS Wyalusing,, Lieutenant Commander Earl English, while engaged in clearing and opening the tributaries of Albemarle Sound, removed 60 nets and captured a Confederate schooner in Scuppernong and Alligator Rivers .

19 USS Massachusetts , Acting Lieutenant William H. West, struck a torpedo in Charleston harbor; ''fortunately,'' West reported, ''it did not explode.'' The incident took place only two days after Coast Survey steamer Bibb had been damaged by a torpedo in the harbor and occurred within 50 yards of the wreck of USS Patapsco, which had been sunk by a torpedo two months before (see 15 January 1865). The danger to those attempting to clear torpedoes from the waters previously controlled by the South was constant, as was the risk to ships that were simply operating in these waters.

20 Commander Macomb , USS Shamrock, reported the successful raising of the Confederate ram Albemarle . The formidable ironclad had been sunk the previous autumn in a daring attack led by Lieutenant William B. Cushing
 in an improvised torpedo boat (see 27 October 1864).

21 CSS Stonewall, Captain T. J. Page, having been detained in Ferrol , Spain , for several days because of foul weather, attempted to put to sea. However, the seas outside were still too heavy and the ironclad put back into port. Two days later another attempt to get to sea was made with similar results. Page off-loaded some 40 tons of coal to make her more seaworthy.

Lieutenant Commander Arthur R. Yates, commanding USS J.P. Jackson, in Mississippi Sound, reported to Rear Admiral Thatcher that he had issued food from his ship's stores to relieve the destitute and starving condition of people in Biloxi , cut off from Mobile from which provisions had been formerly received. Yates illustrated the humanitarian heritage of the Navy.

The heavy guns of Union gunboats supported the landing of troops of General Canby's command at Dannelly's Mills on the Fish River, Alabama. This was a diversionary operation intended to prevent the movement of additional Confederate troops to Mobile during the week prior to the opening of the Federal attack against that city.

22 Assistant Secretary Fox directed Commodore Montgomery, Commandant of the Washington Navy Yard, to have USS Bat ready to convoy steamer River Queen at noon the next day: "The Presi-dent will be in the River Queen, bound to City Point." Lincoln was headed for a conference with his top commanders. In a hard fought battle (19-22 March), General Sherman had just defeated a slashing attack by General Johnston at Bentonville, mid-way between his two river contacts with the sea at Fayetteville and Goldsboro. At Goldsboro Sherman was joined by General Schofield's army, which had been brought to Wilmington by ships. Confident of the security of his position, Sherman could leave his soldiers for a few days and take steamer Russia to City Point and the meeting with Lincoln, Grant, and Porter.

23 From the James River Rear Admiral Porter directed Commander Macomb, commanding in the North Carolina Sounds: "It seems to be the policy now to break up all trade, especially that which may benefit the rebels, and you will dispose your vessels about the sounds to capture all contraband of war going into the enemy's lines. You will stop all supplies of clothing that can by any possibility benefit a soldier; sieze all vessels afloat that carry provisions to any place not held by our troops and send them into court for adjudication. Recognize no permits where there is a prospect of stores of any kind going into rebel hands. . . . For any capture, send in prize lists and make full reports. You will see by the law (examine it carefully) that an officer is authorized to send all property 'not abandoned' into court, especially property afloat."

USS Constellation, approaching the 68th birthday of her launching and already the United States' oldest warship afloat, as she still is today, continued to serve a useful purpose in the new era of steam and iron. This date Commodore Radford reported from Norfolk to Rear Admiral Potter: "I have ordered the men transferred from the Wabash
 to this ship [USS Dumbarton] for the James River Flotilla on board the Constellation."

24 The heavily armed Confederate ironclad Stonewall, Captain T. J. Page, put to sea from Ferrol , Spain , after two previous attempts had been frustrated by foul weather. Page cleared the harbor at mid-morning and attempted to bring on an engagement with wooden frigate, USS Niagara and sloop-of-war Sacramento , under Commodore T. T. Craven
. Sacramento was commanded by Captain Henry Walke, who had gained fame as captain of the Eads gunboat USS Carondelet in the Mississippi River campaigns. Craven kept his ships at anchor in nearby Coruna , Spain , and re-fused to accept Stonewall's challenge. Page wrote Commander Bulloch in Liverpool : "To suppose that these two heavily armed men-of-war were afraid of the Stonewall is to me incredible. . . ." However, as Craven explained to Secretary Welles: ''At this time the odds in her favor were too great and too certain, in my humble judgment, to admit of the slightest hope of being able to inflict upon her even the most trifling injury, whereas, if we had gone out, the Niagara would most undoubtedly have been easily and promptly destroyed. So thoroughly a one-sided combat! did not consider myself called upon to engage in." Craven was subsequently courtmartialed and found remiss in his duties for failing to engage Stonewall. Serving as President of this court was Vice Admiral Farragut and sitting as a member was Commodore John A. Winslow who had sunk the Confederate raider Alabama . The court sentenced Craven to two years suspension on leave pay. Secretary Welles refused to approve what he regarded as a "paid vacation" for an officer who had been found guilty and instead he restored Craven to duty.

President Lincoln visited General Grant at City Point , Virginia , arriving at this all important water-supported supply base at 9 p.m. on board the steamer River Queen. Accompanied by Mrs. Lincoln and his son Tad, he was escorted up the James River by USS Bat, Lieutenant Commander John S. Barnes. Two days later Barnes accompanied Grant and the President on a review of part of the Army of the James. General Horace Porter, serving on Grant's staff, later recalled: "Captain Barnes, who commanded the vessel which had escorted the President's steamer, was to be one of the party, and I loaned him my horse. This was a favor which was usually accorded with some reluctance to naval officers when they came ashore; for these men of the ocean at times tried to board the animal on the starboard side, and often rolled in the saddle as if there was a heavy sea on; and if the horse, in his anxiety to rid himself of a sea-monster, tried to scrape his rider off by rubbing against a tree, the officer attributed the unseaman-like conduct of the animal entirely to the fact that his steering-gear had become unshipped. . . . Navy officers were about as reluctant to lend their boats to army people, for fear they would knock holes in the bottom when jumping in, break the oars in catching crabs, and stave in the bows through an excess of modesty which manifested itself in a reluctance to give the command 'Way enough!' in time when ap-proaching a wharf."

USS Republic, Acting Ensign John W. Bennett, was dispatched up the Cape Fear River from Wilmington to check reports that detachments of General Wheeler's cavalry were operating in the area. About six miles up the river a cavalry squad was driven away with gunfire. Bennett then landed a reconnoitering party. It was learned that the mounted Confederates had broken into small squads and were plundering the country The reconnaissance party also made contact with a rear guard detachment of General Sherman's army en route to Fayetteville .

USS Quaker City, Commander Spicer, captured blockade runner Cora with cargo of lumber off Brazos Santiago, Texas.

25 General Grant wired Rear Admiral Porter that General Lee's soldiers had broken through the right of the Union's line and that he thought they would strike toward the essential James River supply base at City Point a few miles from the breakthrough. "I would suggest putting one or two gunboats on the Appomattox up as high as the pontoon bridge," he told the Admiral. Porter immediately ordered gunboats up the Appomattox River to guard the pontoon bridge "at all times. Simultaneously, USS Wilderness, Acting Master Henry Arey, was ordered up the Chickahominy River to communicate with General Sheridan, carry intelligence about any Con-federate activity along the river, and bring back dispatches from Sheridan for Grant.

Lee's attack was his last bold gamble for great stakes. Never one to submit tamely to even the most formidable odds, he sought in the surprise assault to cripple Grant's army so that the overwhelming spring attack the Federals were building up could not be launched. Lee hoped that then he could speed to North Carolina with part of his veterans, join General Johnston and crush Sherman while still holding the Richmond-Petersburg front. Had the attack gone as well in its later stages as it did in the first onslaught, he would have been within range of City Point, only some ten miles away. The wholesale destruction of the host of supply ships, mountains of stores, and vast arsenal would have ended Grant's plant for seizing Richmond that spring.

26-27 A detachment of sailors led by Acting Ensign Peyton H. Randolph of USS Benton joined troops under the command of Brigadier General B.G. Farrar in a combined expedition to Trinity, Louisiana , where they captured a small number of Confederate soldiers as well as horses, arms and stores.

27 Captain Stellwagen, the senior naval officer at Georgetown , South Carolina , reported to Rear Admiral Dahlgren "the return of another expedition of four days' duration up the Waccamaw River some 50 miles, to Conwayboro." Detailing the nature of one of the ceaseless naval expeditions in coastal and inland waters that facilitated the land campaign, Stellwagen continued: "Having heard that threats of a visit in force had been made by the guerrillas against the plantations and settlements, in view of which great alarm was felt on the whole route by blacks and whites, I dispatched the Mingoe, having in tow some ten armed boats, to proceed as high as Buck's Mills, and leaving it discretionary with Lieutenant-Commanders G. U. Morris and William H. Dana to proceed the remaining distance by boats or land. The arrival of the steam launch and two large row launches from the Santee [River] enabled me to follow with them, and the steam tug Catalpa determined to ascend as far as the water would permit. I found the Mingoe ashore near her destination, towed her off, and caused her to drop to a point where she could anchor. The shore expedition had gone on, and I took the remainder of boats in tow as far as practicable, then causing them to row. After incredible labor and difficulty, succeeded in getting to Conway-boro at nightfall, just after the Marching division. No enemies were encountered, but it was reported many small parties fled in various directions on our approach by river and land.

''The people of the town were glad to see us; even those having relatives in the army professed their joy at being saved from the raiding deserters. They assure us that the penetration of our parties into such distances, supposed to be inaccessible to our vessels, has spread a salutary dread, and that our large force of Catalpa, 4 large launches, and 10 boats, with about 300 men in all, at the highest point, presented such a formidable display, with 7 howitzers, that they thought they would be completely prevented [from] returning to that neighborhood."

Secretary Welles ordered U.S.S: Wyoming , Commander John P. Bankhead, then at Baltimore , to sail in search of CSS Shenandoah
. So delayed were communications between the Pacific and Washington that although Wyoming was ordered to cruise from Melbourne , Australia , to China , Shenandoah had departed Australia more than five weeks before and was now nearing Ascension Island . Wyoming would join USS Wachusett and Iroquois on independent service in an effort to track down the elusive commerce raider.

Captain T. J. Page, CSS Stonewall, wrote Commander Bulloch in England that he would sail from Lisbon , Portugal , to Teneriffe and then to Nassau where his subsequent movements "must depend upon the intelligence I may receive. . . ." That evening, USS Niagara and Sacramento , which had followed Stonewall from Coruna , Spain , entered Lisbon . The Confederate ram, how-ever, was able to put to sea the next day without interference because international law required the two Union ships to remain in port for 24 hours after Stonewall had departed.

27-28 Combined Army-Navy operations, the latter commanded by Rear Admiral Thatcher, aimed at capturing the city of Mobile commenced. The objective was Spanish Fort, located near the mouth of the Blakely River and was the key to the city's defenses. Six tinclads and supporting gun-boats steamed up the Blakely River to cut the fort's communications with Mobile while the army began to move against the fort's outworks. The river had been thickly sown with torpedoes which necessitated sweeping operations ahead of the advancing ironclads. These efforts, directed by Commander Peirce Crosby of USS Metacomet, netted 150 torpedoes. Nevertheless, a number of the Confederate weapons eluded the Union with telling results. In the next five days three Northern warships would be sunk in the Blakely.

28 Rear Admiral Porter visited President Lincoln with Generals Grant and Sherman on board steamer River Queen, the President's headquarters during his stay at City Point. The four men informally discussed the war during the famous conference, and Lincoln stressed his desire to bring the war to a close as quickly as possible with as little bloodshed as possible. He added that he was inclined to follow a lenient policy with regard to the course to be pursued at the conclusion of the war. After the conference Sherman returned to New Bern , North Carolina , on board USS Bat, a swifter ship than the steamer on which he had arrived at City Point. Porter had ordered Lieutenant Commander Barnes: "You will wait the pleasure of Major-General W. T. Sherman, and when ready will convey him, with staff, either to New Berne, Beaufort, or such place as he may indicate. Return here as soon as possible." Sherman 's troops at Goldsboro were little more than 125 miles in a direct line from the front south of Petersburg .

Following the Presidential conference on board River Queen, Rear Admiral Porter ordered Com-mander Macomb, commanding in the North Carolina Sounds, "to cooperate with General Sherman to the fullest extent" during operations soon to be opened in the area. "They will want all your tugs, particularly, to tow vessels or canal boats up to Kinston , [ North Carolina ].

It will be absolutely necessary to supply General Sherman by the way of Kinston ." Porter continued: ''There will be a movement made from Winton after a while. It is necessary for us to get possession of everything up the Chowan River , so that Sherman can obtain his forage up there. . . I trust to Captain Rhind to remove the obstructions at New Berne and to tow up rapidly all the provisions, and General Sherman can supply his army for daily use by the railroad, and you can get up the stuff required for the March."

Commander Macomb received the Admiral's orders via the swift steamer USS Bat on 30 March, and the following day replied from Roanoke Island: ''I immediately had an interview with the general and arranged that Captain Rhind would attend to everything relating to the Navy in the Neuse. I am on my way to Plymouth to carry out your orders as regards sending vessels to Winton, on the Chowan, and holding the same. The Shokokon and Commodore Hull are on their way up from New Berne. As soon as possible after my arrival at Plymouth I shall proceed up the Chowan, dragging ahead for torpedoes." Control of the sea and rivers continued to be as invaluable to the North in operations at the end of the war as it had from the start.

USS Milwaukee, Lieutenant Commander James H. Gillis, struck a torpedo in the Blakely River, Alabama, while dropping downstream after shelling a Southern transport which was attempting to supply Spanish Fort. Just as Gillis returned to the area that had been swept for torpedoes and supposed the danger from torpedoes was past," he" felt a shock and saw at once that a torpedo had exploded on the port side of the vessel. . . ." Milwaukee 's stern went under within three minutes but the forward compartments did not fill for almost an hour, enabling the sailors to save most of their belongings. Although the twin turreted monitor sank, no lives were lost.

USS Niagara, Commodore T. T. Craven, was fired upon by one of the forts in the harbor of Lisbon , Portugal . In a report to James E. Harvey, U.S. Minister Resident in Lisbon, Craven stated: ''With view of shifting her berth farther up the river, so as to be nearer the usual landing stairs, at about 3:15 p.m. the Niagara was got underway and was about being turned head upstream when three shots were fired in rapid succession directly at her from Castle Belem.'' Portugal later apologized for the incident.

Secretary Welles advised Commodore Sylvanus W. Godon that he had been appointed an acting Rear Admiral and was to command the Brazil Squadron. Welles' letter was a significant commentary on the progress of the war afloat: ''It is proposed to reestablish the Brazil Squadron, as circumstances now admit of the withdrawal of many of the vessels that have been engaged in the blockade and in active naval operations and sending them on foreign service . . . ."

29 In a downpour, General Grant launched his wideswinging move to the southwest of Petersburg to roll up Lee's flank. Ever concerned about his lifeline on the James River, he wrote Rear Admiral Porter: "In view of the possibility of the enemy attempting to come to City Point, or by crossing the Appomattox at Broadway Landing, getting to Bermuda Hundred during the absence of the greater part of the army, I would respectfully request that you direct one or two gunboats to lay in the Appomattox, near the pontoon bridge, and two in the James River, near the mouth of Bailey's Creek, the first stream below City Point emptying into the James." Porter complied with double measure, sending not one or two but several ships to Grant's assistance.

USS Osage, Lieutenant Commander William M. Gamble, upped anchor and got underway inside the bar at the Blakely River, Alabama. Gamble was trying to avoid colliding with USS Winnebago
, which was drifting alongside in a strong breeze Suddenly a torpedo exploded under the monitor's bow, and, Gamble reported, "the vessel immediately commenced sinking." Osage lost four men and had eight wounded in the explosion. She was the third ship to be sunk in the Blakely during March and the second in two days as torpedo warfare cost the North dearly even though its ships controlled waters near Mobile .

30 Lieutenant Charles W. Read took command of the ram CSS William H. Webb in the Red River, Louisiana . Read reported to Secretary Mallory that he found the ship "without a single gun on board, little or no crew, no fuel, and no small arms, save a few cutlasses." Characteristically, the enterprising officer obtained a 30 Pound Parrott rifle from General Kirby Smith and readied Webb for her bold dash out of the Red River, intended to take her down the Mississippi some 300 miles, past New Orleans, and out to sea.

31 St. Mary's, a 115 ton schooner out of St. Mary's, Maryland, loaded with an assorted cargo valued at $20,000, was boarded and captured off the Patuxent River in Chesapeake Bay by a Confederate raiding Party led by Master John C. Braine, CSN. The disguised Southerners were in a yawl and had come alongside the schooner on the pretext that their craft was sinking. Braine took St. Mary's to sea where they captured a New York bound schooner J. B. Spafford. The latter prize was released after the raiders had placed St. Mary's crew on board her and had taken the crew members' personal effects. The Confederates indicated to their captives that their intention was to take St. Mary's to St. Marks , Florida , but they put into Nassau in April.

USS Iuka. Lieutenant William C. Rogers, captured blockade running British schooner Comus off the coast of Florida with cargo of cotton.

April 1865

The St. Patrick is used to ferry supplies to the outlying garrison of Spanish Fort (one of two earthwork fortifications keeping the Navy out of Mobile ).

1 The positions of the opposing forces on this date demonstrated vividly what superiority afloat had meant to the North in this giant struggle that decided the future of the nation. From his over-flowing advance bases on the James at City Point, only a few miles from General Lee's lines, General Grant was on the move for the final battle of the long saga in Virginia .

To the south in North Carolina backed by his seaport bases at New Bern and Wilmington
, General Sherman's massive armies were joined to strike General Johnston at the capital city, Raleigh . In South Carolina and Georgia, Charleston  and Savannah , key ports from colonial times, were Union bases fed from the sea.

Far down on the Gulf of Mexico General Canby , with 45,000 soldiers brought and supplied by transports, Jay at the gates of the crumbling defenses of Mobile
 manned by 10,000 Confederates under General Dabney Maury.

Although constantly under attack by guerrillas along the Mississippi and its eastern tributaries, Federal gunboats kept the river lifeline open to the occupying armies. Trans-Mississippi, still largely held from invasion by the Confederates, was tightly blockaded by the Union Navy. Without control of the water, to paraphrase John Paul Jones, alas! united America . Fortunate indeed was the nation to have men ashore like Lincoln and Grant who made wide use of the irreplaceable advantages to the total national power that strength at sea imparted.

CSS Shenandoah
, Lieutenant Waddell, put into Lea Harbor , Ascension Island, (Ponape Island , Eastern Carolines). A number of sail had been sighted from the cruiser's decks as she approached the island, and, Waddell reported,". . . we began to think if they were not whale ships it would be a very good April fool." The Confederates had sighted only one vessel between 20 February, shortly after departing Melbourne , and this date. They were not disappointed. Waddell found whalers Pearl , Hector, Harvest and Edward Carey in the harbor and seized them. The Confederates obtained vital charts from the four ships showing the location of the whaling grounds most frequented by American whalers. "With such charts in my possession," Waddell wrote, "I not only held a key to the navigation of all the Pacific Islands, the Okhotsk and Bering Seas, and the Arctic Ocean, but the most probable localities for finding the great Arctic whaling fleet of New England, without a tiresome search.'' In addition to obtaining this intelligence and the charts essential to future operations, Waddell stocked Shenandoah's depleted storerooms with provisions and supplies from the four prizes. The ships were then drawn upon a reef where the natives were permitted to strip them from truck halyards to copper sheathing on the keels. Of the 130 prisoners, 8 were shipped on board Shenandoah; the remainder were set ashore to be picked up by a passing whaler. The four stripped vessels, totaling $116,000 in value, were then put to the torch.

Fighting gamely on all fronts, the South also inflicted maritime losses elsewhere. USS Rodolph, temporarily commanded by her executive officer, Acting Ensign James F. Thompson, struck a torpedo in the Blakely River, Alabama, and "rapidly sank in 12 feet of water." The tinclad was towing a barge containing apparatus for the raising of USS Milwaukee, a torpedo victim on 28 March. Acting Master N. Mayo Dyer, Rodolph's commanding officer, reported that "from the effects of the explosion that can be seen, I should judge there was a hole through the bow at least 10 feet in diameter. . . . " Four men were killed as a result of the sinking and eleven others were wounded. Rodolph, the third warship in five days to be lost in the same vicinity due to effective Confederate torpedo warfare, had played an important role in the continuing combined operations after the fall of Mobile Bay to Admiral Farragut on 5 August 1864. Arriving in the Bay, from New Orleans on 14 August, she had participated in forcing the surrender of Fort Morgan on 23 August. Acting Master's Mate Nathaniel B. Hinckley, serving on board Rodolph, told his son many years after the war that he had carried the Confederate flag from the captured fort and turned it over to a patrol boat. Rodolph had remained in the Bay and its tributaries as Union seapower projected General Canby's powerful army against the final defenses of the city of Mobile . Hinckley was stationed in the tinclad's forecastle when she struck the torpedo that sank her, but he escaped injury.

The development of torpedoes had been encouraged by Matthew Fontaine Maury, John Mercer Brooke and others early in the war. Had the Confederate government at this time perceived the all-embracing influence of the Union Navy in combined operations, it would have vigorously developed this strange new weapon. The early use of torpedoes could have greatly, perhaps decisively, delayed the devastating joint operations. Successive Confederate disasters at Hatteras Inlet and at Port Royal, in the sounds of North Carolina and in the Mississippi Valley , and at New Orleans , shocked Richmond into action. Losses eventually became severe for the Union Navy, but they were too late to affect the outcome.

A Federal naval officer writing soon after the war summarized this development: "With a vast extent of coast peculiarly open to attack from sea; with a great territory traversed in every part by navigable streams . . . the South had no navy to oppose to that of the Union-a condition which, from the very commencement of the struggle, stood in the way of their success, and neutralized their prodigious efforts on land. Their seaports were wrested from them, or blockaded, fleets of gunboats, mostly clad with iron, covered their bays and ascended their rivers, carrying dismay to their hearts, and success to the Union cause . . . Under such a pressure, the pressure of dire distress and great necessity, the rebels turned their attention to torpedoes as a means of defense against such terrible odds, hoping by their use to render such few harbors and streams as yet remained to them inaccessible, or in some degree dangerous to the victorious gunboats."

1-2 As spring blossomed in Virginia, General Grants powerful army, outnumbering Lee's several times, unleashed its final attack. On 1 April he outflanked Lee's thin lines southwest of Petersburg in the battle of Five Forks . He ordered an all-out assault on Petersburg along the entire front for the 2nd. Union batteries fired all night preparing for the attack and Fort Sedgwick 's heavy fire again earned it the nickname '' Fort Hell .'' Porter's fleet made a feint attack. The Confederates fought fiercely in Petersburg throughout the 2nd, but one by one the strong points fell. That night Lee withdrew.

Mrs. Lincoln had returned to Washington on River Queen on 1 April. The President embarked in Malvern with Porter. His ''bunk was too short for his length, and he was compelled to fold his legs the first night,'' but Porter's carpenters remodeled the cabin on the sly, and the second morn-ing Lincoln appeared at breakfast with the story that he had shrunk ''six inches in length and about a foot sideways." During the evening of the 2nd the two sat on the upper deck of the ship listening to the artillery and musket fire ashore as General Grant's troops, having rendered Richmond untenable with a crushing victory in the day long battle at Petersburg , closed in on the Confederate capital. Lincoln asked the Admiral: ''Can't the Navy do something at this particular moment to make history?" Porter's reply was a tribute to the officers and men throughout the Navy who all during the war made history through vital if often unheralded deeds: "The Navy is doing its best just now, holding the enemy's four [three heavy ironclads in utter uselessness. If those vessels could reach City Point they would commit great havoc. . . . Grant's position on the Petersburg Richmond front had long depended on holding City Point where water borne supplies could be brought. The Federal fleet maintained this vital base.

2 Supporting General Sherman in North Carolina, Commander Macomb reported to Porter: "In obedience to directions contained in your letter of the 28th ultimo, I started yesterday evening from Plymouth with the Shamrock, Wyoming, Hunchback, Valley City
, and Whitehead and proceeded up this river as far as the Stumpy Reach (about 10 miles from the mouth), where we came to anchor for the night. We had proceeded this far without dragging for torpedoes, in order to make quicker time (the river being broad and not suitable for torpedoes), but on starting this morning we dragged the channel ahead of us, in which manner we advanced all day, and reached this place about 5 p.m. without having encountered any resistance or finding any torpedoes . . . I have brought up with me three large flats, with which I can ferry the regiment over. I left orders at New Berne for the Commodore Hull and Shokokon to join me as soon as possible.

"On Our way up the river this morning we were overtaken by three canal boats loaded with troops (which had come from Norfolk, I believe), which followed us up and are now lying along the western shore, the troops having debarked on that side." He concluded with a request for coal for the warships. Happily, two coal schooners from Philadelphia arrived at New Bern that same day and were soon enroute to him. Coal was a problem all during the war. Without bases for supply on the Confederate coast the Union Navy could not have carried out its ceaseless attacks and blockade.

2-4 Secretary of the Navy Mallory
 ordered the destruction of the Confederate James River Squadron and directed its officers and men to join General Lee's troops then in the process of evacuating Richmond and retreating westward toward Danville . As Mallory left Richmond with Davis and his cabinet late at night on the 2nd, the train passed over the James River . Later, as a prisoner of war at Fort Lafayette, the Secretary reflected on his thoughts at that time: ''The James River squadron, with its ironclads, which had lain like chained bulldogs under the command of Rear Admiral Raphael Semmes to prevent the ascent of the enemy's ships, would, in the classic flash of the times, 'go up' before morning . . . ; and the naval operations of the Confederacy east of the Mississippi would cease.''

Mallory's orders to destroy the squadron were carried out by Semmes. After outfitting his men with arms and field equipment, the admiral burned and scuttled the three formidable ironclads, CSS Virginia No. 2, Fredericksburg , and Richmond near Drewry's Bluff. By 3 a.m. on 3 April the ironclads were well afire, and Semmes placed his 400 men on the wooden gunboats. Semmes later wrote: "My little squadron of wooden boats now moved off up the river [to Richmond ], by the glare of the burning ironclads. They had not proceeded far before an explosion, like the shock of an earthquake, took place, and the air was filled with missiles. It was the blowing up of the Virginia [No. 2], my late flagship The spectacle was grand beyond description Her shell-rooms had been full of loaded shells. The explosion of the magazine threw all these shells, with their fuses lighted, into the air. The fuses were of different lengths, and as the shells exploded by twos and threes, and by the dozen, the pyrotechnic effect was very fine. The explosion shook the houses in Richmond , and must have waked the echoes of the night for forty miles around."

Semmes disembarked his men at Richmond , then put the torch to the gunboats and set them adrift. The naval detachment, seeking transportation westward out of the evacuated Confederate capital, was forced to provide its own. The sailors found and fired up a locomotive, assembled and attached a number of railroad cars, and proceeded to Danville , arriving on the 4th. Semmes was commissioned a Brigadier General and placed in command of the defenses that had been thrown up around Danville . These defenses were manned by sailors who had been organized into an artillery brigade and by two battalions of infantry This command was retained by Semmes until Lee's surrender at Appomattox .

3 Fifty of the sixty Midshipmen at the Confederate Naval Academy , under the command of Lieu-tenant William H. Parker, escorted the archives of the government and the specie and bullion of the treasury from Richmond to Danville . There, Midshipman Raphael Semmes, Junior, was detached from the escort corps and detailed to the staff of his father. The Midshipmen Corps continued to he entrusted with this select guard duty during subsequent moves of the archives and treasury to Charlotte, North Carolina; Washington, Georgia; Augusta, Georgia; and finally to Abbeville, South Carolina (see entries for 8-11,17-19, and 24-29 April). The ten Midshipmen who remained in Richmond under the command of Lieutenant James W. Billups, CSN, fired and scuttled CSS Patrick Henry, schoolship of the Naval Academy .

3-4 As General Lee withdrew from the lines he had so long and brilliantly held, the Federal fleet sought to move on with the Army into Richmond ; however, many hazards lay in the course. Rear Admiral Porter had ordered: "Remove all torpedoes carefully and such of the obstructions as may prevent the free navigation of the river, using our torpedoes for this purpose if necessary. Be careful and thorough in dragging the river for torpedoes and send men along the banks to cut the wires.''

Sweeping for the torpedoes (mines) was conducted by some 20 boats from 10 ships in the flotilla. Lieutenant Commander Ralph Chandler, directing the sweeping operations, gave detailed orders: ''Each boat's bow laps the port quarter of the boat just ahead and will lap within the 2 or 3 feet of her. Each vessel will send an officer to take charge of the two boats. Lieutenant Gillett of the Sangamon , and Lieutenant Reed, of the Lehigh, will have charge of shore parties to keep ahead of the boats and cut all torpedo wires. The wires should he cut in two places. Lieutenant Gillett will take the right bank going up and Lieutenant Reed the left. Twenty men from the Monadnock will be detailed for this service and will be armed as skirmishers with at least twenty rounds of ammunition. Two pairs of shears should be furnished the shore parties. The officer in charge will throw out the pickets, leaving two men to follow the beach to cut the wires. With the upper river cleared of torpedoes and obstructions, Union ships steamed up to Richmond .

3-6 General Lee, in his hardpressed and hurried evacuation of Richmond , neglected to apprise Commodore John R. Tucker, commanding the Confederate Naval Brigade at Drewry's Bluff on the James River , of the projected evacuation of the capital. Tucker maintained his station until the 3rd when he saw the smoke from the burning ironclads and learned that Confederate troops were streaming out of Richmond . Tucker then joined the Naval Brigade to Major General Custis Lee's division of Lieutenant General Richard S. Ewell's corps. The brigade participated in Ewell's rear guard stand at Sailor's Creek on 6 April which was intended to cover the westward retreat. The Naval Brigade was captured along with Ewell's entire corps but was the last unit in the corps to surrender. Tucker tendered his sword to Lieutenant General J. Warren Keifer. Some years after the war, when Keifer had become a prominent member of Congress, he returned the sword to the ex-Confederate naval officer.

4 Rear Admiral Porter accompanied President Lincoln up the James River to Richmond on board flagship Malvern. When obstructions blocked the flagship's way, the two embarked in Porter's barge, with three aides and boat crew of twelve. Thus, in a single small boat under oars, significantly by water, the President reached the Southern capital that for four years had been so near for conquest by the Union armies, yet had so long been held safe by the remarkable Lee and his hard fighting armies.

''It was a mild spring day. Birds were singing in the orchards on either side of the river, and the trees were in bloom. As the party pulled up the river they saw a wide curtain of smoke rise the horizon ahead. Richmond was on fire. On evacuating the city the Confederates had fired their magazines and warehouses of cotton and tobacco; and bursting projectiles had dropped over the town, setting fire to a wide swath of dwellings and buildings in the business district.

"The party landed about one block above Libby Prison. Porter formed ten of the sailors into a guard. They were armed with carbines. Six Marched in front and four in rear, and in the middle with the President and the Admiral walked Captain Penrose, Lincoln's military aide, Captain Adams of the Navy, and Lieutenant Clemens of the Signal Corps. Lincoln with his tall hat towered more than a foot above the thick-set Admiral, whose flat seaman's cap emphasized his five feet seven inches. The President ''was received with the strongest demonstrations of joy.'' In his report to Secretary Welles
, Porter wrote; ''We found that the rebel rams and gunboats had all been blown up, with the exception of an unfinished ram, the Texas, and a small tug gun-boat, the Beaufort, mounting one gun.

The ships destroyed included the 4 gun ironclads Virginia No. 2, Richmond, and Fredericksburg; wooden ships Nansemond, 2 guns; Hampton, 2 guns; Roanoke, 1 gun; Torpedo, Shrapnel, and school-ship Patrick Henry. "Some of them are in sight above water, and may be raised," Porter wrote. "They partly obstruct the channel where they are now, and will either have to be raised or blown up. He added: "Tredegar Works and the naval depot remain untouched." With its James River Squadron destroyed and its capital evacuated, the Confederacy was certain to fall soon. As Vice Admiral Farragut, who had preceded the President and Porter to Richmond , said: "Thank God, it is about over.

General Canby requested Rear Admiral Thatcher to provide assistance in the form of ''eight or ten boats . . . and fifty or sixty sailors to row them" for the purpose of moving troops to assault Batteries Tracy and Huger, part of Mobile 's defenses. The Admiral agreed to supply the boats but noted: "To send sixty men in these boats to row them will be nearly a load for them, at least they will be nearly filled with their own crews, so that an assaulting party would find but little room in them, particularly as our vessels are all small and their boats proportionally so. I would therefore respectfully suggest that your assaulting party be drilled at the oars."

A naval battery of three 30-pounder Parrott rifles, seamen manned and commanded by Lieutenant Commander Gillis, the former captain of the torpedoed monitor Milwaukee, was landed on the banks of the Blakely River to join in the bombardment of Spanish Fort, the Confederate strong point in the defense of Mobile. General Canby reported that the ''battery behaved admirably.'' (See 8 April.)

5 Steamer Harriet DeFord was boarded and seized in Chesapeake Bay, 30 miles below Annapolis, Maryland, by a party of 27 Confederate guerrillas led by Captain T. Fitzhugh. A naval detachment under Lieutenant Commander Edward Hooker was sent in pursuit and found Harriet DeFord trapped in Dimer's Creek, Virginia, burned to the water's edge A captive reported that a pilot had taken the steamer into the creek and that she went aground several times. Some of the cargo was thrown overboard to lighten the ship and the remainder was unloaded with the help of local farmers before the torch was put to the steamer.

Commander Macomb steadily pushed up the narrowing Chowan River and its tributaries pre-paring for General Sherman's move north. This date he reported from ''Meherrin River, near Murfreesboro, N.C.'' near the Virginia border and fat inland: ''The steamer Shokokon arrived at Winton yesterday, and I have stationed her a short distance below here near an ugly bluff some 60 or 80 feet high, on which I thought the rebels might give us some trouble on our return. There were some rifle pits on the brow of this bluff, but I sent a party down there and had them filled up. There is also an old earthwork, made to mount six guns, a short distance below here, which I have had partially destroyed. The river is rather narrower than the Roanoke, but not quite so crooked. I got 50 men (soldiers) from Winton to hold the bluff till we have passed, the river being very crooked and narrow at this point, so much so that we are unable to steam by, but will have to warp the ship round."

6 Acting Lieutenant John Rogers, commanding both USS Carondelet and Eastport, Mississippi, station, wrote Brigadier General Edward Hatcher about joint operations in the area and expressed a desire to cooperate to the extent of his ability: ''. . . if you are in danger of being attacked by the Enemy . . . send timely notice to us, that everything connected with the Army and Navy may work harmoniously together." From the early moments of the war, such as the Battle of Belmont (see 7 November 1861), to the last days of conflict, the usual close coordination of the Army and Navy enabled the Union to strike quickly and effectively in the West– first against Confederate positions and later against Confederate threats.

Lieutenant Commander Ramsay indicated the extent of the Confederate underwater defenses of the James River as he reported to Rear Admiral Porter on an expedition aimed at clearing out the torpedoes: ''All galvanic batteries were carried off or destroyed. At Chaffin's Bluff there was a torpedo containing 1,700 pounds of powder. At Battery Semmes there were two, containing 850 pounds each, and at Howlett's one containing 1,400 pounds. I cut the wires of them all close down, so that they are now perfectly harmless.''

7 Commander Macomb reported to Rear Admiral Porter on developments in North Carolina near the Virginia border: ''We arrived here [Winton] from Murfreesboro last night without accident. The army force has returned and we are going back to Suffolk . They found Weldon too strong for them, but succeeded in cutting the Seaboard Railroad near Seaboard for about a mile. I shall lie here some time longer in order to be ready for any more troops that may wish to cross."

8 Invested by General Canby's troops and bombarded heavily by the big guns of Rear Admiral Thatcher's ships, Spanish Fort and Fort Alexis , keys to Mobile , finally fell. In reporting the capture to Secretary Welles, Thatcher noted the efficiency of the naval battery on shore under Lieutenant Commander Gillis. He added: "Eighteen large submerged torpedoes were taken by our boats from Apalachee or Blakely River last night in the immediate vicinity of our gunboats. These are the only enemies that we regard." The loss of half a dozen vessels near Mobile since Tecumseh was sunk in August 1864 during Admiral Farragut's celebrated battle, which gave the Union control of Mobile Bay, had taught Northern naval officers an unforgettable lesson about torpedo warfare. The Confederate defenders, who suffered heavy casualties during the siege of the forts, were supported by a squadron under Flag Officer Ebenezer Farrand, including CSS Nashville , Morgan, Huntsville , Tuscaloosa
, and Baltic (see 11-12 April).

8-11 Lieutenant W. H. Parker, commander of the Midshipmen who were escorting the Confederate archives and treasury, arrived in Charlotte, North Carolina, from Danville (see 3 April) and deposited the important cargo in the Confederate Mint located in that city. While awaiting further orders, Parker learned that a Union cavalry detachment was nearby and since the city was without military protection, the naval officer, on his own initiative, prepared to move the archives and treasury southward. He added the uniformed personnel of the local Navy Yard to his escort, bringing its numbers up to 150 and drew quantities of provisions from the naval warehouse. Parker offered the protection of his command to Mrs. Jefferson Davis, who had only recently arrived in Charlotte, and strongly urged that she accompany him southward. Mrs. Davis accepted Parker's offer, and on the 11th the Navy-escorted entourage bearing the archives, treasury, and first lady of the Confederacy set out from Charlotte (see 17-19 April).

9 General Lee met General Grant at Appomattox Court House and formally surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia. Rear Admiral Semmes and his naval brigade charged with the defense of Danville were included in the surrender. Lee's struggle to break free from Grant's overwhelm-ing armies, well fed and supplied from City Point, had failed. His effort to join Johnston , hope-fully far enough from the sea to limit Grant's logistic advantage, had come fatefully to the end. One of the greatest armies and leaders of history without an adequate Navy had succumbed to the united power of land and sea.

The contrast between the two Generals at the confrontation in the living room of the McLean House was most striking. Grant's mud splattered uniform was that of a private with only the shoulder straps of a Lieutenant General to designate his rank. His uniform was unbuttoned at the neck and was unadorned by either sword or spurs. Lee on the other hand had taken special pains for this last act of the drama as if dressing for execution. His uniform was immaculate, his jewel studded sword of the finest workmanship. His well-polished boots were ornamented with red stitching and set off by a handsome pair of spurs.

After conversing about their Mexican War experiences, Lee asked the terms upon which his surrender would be accepted. Grant replied: ''The terms I propose are those stated substantially in my letter of yesterday, that is, the officers and men surrendered to be paroled and disqualified from taking up arms again until properly exchanged, and all arms, ammunition and supplies to be delivered up as captured property." Lee agreed to the terms and Grant then wrote them out. He specifically provided that Confederate officers would be permitted to retain their side arms, horses and luggage. This exemption was further broadened, at Lee's suggestion, to permit the men in the ranks to retain their horses and mules. Lee observed that these exemptions "were very gratifying and will do much toward conciliating our people." The long, bitter war was ending ashore, although fiery drama still awaited in far off Northern seas.

Blockade runner Chameleon (formerly CSS Tallahassee ), Lieutenant Wilkinson, put into Liverpool , England . With the fall of both Fort Fisher and Charleston in January and February respectively, Wilkinson had been unable to deliver his cargo of provisions destined for General Lee's destitute army defending Richmond (see 19 January and 5 February). Sealed off from the Con-federacy, Wilkinson off-loaded his cargo at Nassau , took on board extra coal and set a course for Liverpool with the intention of turning the ship over to Commander Bulloch. However, the news of the fall of Richmond reached England on the 15th, followed a week later by the news of General Lee's surrender at Appomattox . Thus, the ship was seized by the British government and her officers and men, reported Wilkinson, ''were turned adrift with the wide world before them where to choose." Wilkinson established his residence in Nova Scotia where he lived for a number of years before eventually returning to his native Virginia . The ex-Confederate ship was subsequently sold by the English government and was being prepared for service in the merchant marine under the name Amelia when the American government initiated court action to gain possession of the vessel. The court awarded the ship to the United States and she was turned over to the American consul at Liverpool on 26 April 1866.

10 Brigadier General Schimmelfennig, upon retiring from command of Charleston District, wrote Rear Admiral Dahlgren
, commanding the South Atlantic Squadron, commending the Navy for its ''hearty and most efficient assistance. He added: ''When my troops advanced on to the enemy's ground, your gunboats and ironclads were up the rivers and creeks, covering my flanks, entirely regardless of the enemy's fire within most effective range. Under its cover I safely retreated, when necessary, over marshes and creeks without losing a man.''

11 President Lincoln issued a proclamation warning nations that the continued denial of privileges and immunities to American naval vessels in foreign ports would result in the United States taking like action against foreign warships. "In the view of the United States ," wrote the President, no condition can he claimed to justify the denial to them [ U.S. naval ships] by anyone of such nations of customary naval rights . . . ." This document disputing the validity of any view attributing belligerent status to American warships was to be the President's last proclamation dealing with the Navy.

USS Sea Bird, Acting Master Ezra L. Robbins, seized sloops Florida and Annie with cargoes of cotton off Crystal River, Florida. Both were subsequently destroyed.

11-12 Batteries Tracy and Huger, up the Blakely River from Spanish Fort, fell to the Union forces on the 11th and the Confederate troops retreated through Mobile to Meridian, Mississippi. USS Octorara, with Commodore Palmer embarked, and the ironclads proceeded up the Blakely River to its intersection with the Tensas River and steamed down the latter to Mobile where they took bombarding position in front of the city. The gunboats, meanwhile, were conveying 8,000 troops across the head of the bay for the final attack on Mobile . The city, having been evacuated by the retreating Confederates, was surrendered to the Federal forces by the Mayor. Secretary Welles extended the Navy Department's congratulations to Rear Admiral Thatcher and Major General Grange ''for this victory, which places in our possession, with but one exception, all the chief points on the Southern coast, and bids fair to be the closing naval contest of the rebellion.'' Before the evacuation of the city, ironclads CSS Huntsville and Tuscaloosa were sunk in Spanish River . CSS Nashville , Baltic, and Morgan sped up the Tombigbee River to avoid capture. With the Stars and Stripes raised over Mobile , the Union ironclads steamed upriver in pursuit of the Confederate ships (see 28-29 April).

12 Commander Bulloch, Confederate naval agent in England, wrote Secretary Mallory that wherever possible he had ordered all work on naval accounts stopped and that he intended to transfer the remainder of his outstanding balance to the account of the Confederate Treasury Department. Like the Confederate government itself, after a long and gallant effort the Southern Navy was going out of existence.

Having completed preparations for sailing from Lea Harbor, Lieutenant Waddell made his farewell call on the local ''king" with whom he had become friendly. ''His majesty," Waddell recorded, asked, "what was to be done with our prisoners. He supposed they would all be put to death, as he considered it right to make such disposition of one's enemies. "I told him they would not be harmed, and that in civilized warfare men destroyed those in armed resistance and paroled the unarmed. "But," said his Majesty, "war cannot be considered civilized, and those who make war on an unoffending people are a bad people and do not deserve to live. I told the king I would sail the following day, the 13th of April, and should tell our President of the kind hospitality he had shown to the officers of the Shenandoah and the respect he had paid our flag. "He said, 'Tell Jeff Davis he is my brother and a big warrior; that (we ate) very poor, but that our tribes are friends. If he will send your steamer for me, I will visit him in his country. I send these two chickens to Jeff Davis (the chickens were dead) and some cocoanuts which he will find good.'"

13 After Appomattox , Confederate resistance elsewhere rapidly gave way. From the North Carolina Sounds, Commander Macomb reported: "The rebels have evacuated Weldon, burning the bridge, destroying the ram at Edwards Ferry, and throwing the guns at Rainbow Bluff into the river. Except for torpedoes the [ Roanoke ] river is therefore clear for navigation. The floating battery, as I informed you in my No. 144, has got adrift from Halifax and been blown up by one of their own torpedoes."

USS Ida, Acting Ensign Franklin Ellms, struck a torpedo on her starboard side and sank in Mobile Bay. Ida was the fifth vessel in less than five weeks to be sunk by a Confederate torpedo in the vicinity of Mobile.

14 President Lincoln was shot shortly after 10 p.m. while watching "Our American Cousin" at Ford's Theatre. He died at 7:22 a.m. the next morning. Rear Admiral Porter, who had departed Hampton Roads on the 14th, learned, when his flagship, USS Tristram Shandy
 put into Baltimore on the morning of the 15th, that the President had been shot. The Admiral immediately went to Washington , where he learned that the President had died. The reaction of the tough, battle hardened sea dog to the news expressed the grief of a nation: Porter, who had bid the President a merry farewell exactly one week before at City Point, bowed his head and wept.

In accordance with a previous directive of President Lincoln, Major General Anderson, command-er of the Union Army forces at Fort Sumter
 on 14 April 1861, raised above Sumter's ruins "the same United States flag which floated over the battlements of that fort during the rebel assault, and which was lowered and saluted by him and the small force of his command when the works were evacuated on the 14th of April, 1861." As USS Pawnee  had witnessed that event four years before, naval forces of Rear Admiral Dahlgren participated in this ceremony.

USS Sciota, Acting Lieutenant James W. Magune, struck a torpedo and sank off Mobile . Magune reported: 'The explosion was terrible, breaking the beams of the spar deck, tearing open the waterways, ripping off starboard forechannels, and breaking fore-topmast." Dragging for and destroying torpedoes continued to be extremely hazardous duty. A launch from USS Cincinnati, Lieutenant Commander George Brown, was blown up and three men killed when a torpedo which was being removed accidentally swung against the boat's stern.

CSS Shenandoah, Lieutenant James I. Waddell, departed Ascension Island, Eastern Carolines and set a northerly course for the Kurile Islands . Unaware that General Lee had surrendered at Appomattox on the 9th, Shenandoah would inflict crippling damage to the American whaling fleet in the North Pacific. The havoc wrought on Union commerce by Confederate raiders dealt the whaling industry a blow from which it never recovered.

15 Secretary Welles announced the assassination of President Lincoln to the officers and men of the Navy and Marine Corps. Welles wrote: "To him our gratitude was justly due, for to him, under God, more than to any other person, we are indebted for the successful vindication of the integrity of the Union and the maintenance of the power of the Republic." The President had continually demonstrated a keen interest in the Navy and far-seeing appreciation of seapower. Late in the afternoon of the 14th he had taken what was to be his last trip to the Washington Navy Yard to view three ironclads there that had been damaged during the Fort Fisher engagement. In the summer of 1863 he had written: "Nor must Uncle Sam's web feet be forgotten. At all the watery margins they have been present. Not only on the deep sea, the broad bay, the rapid river, but also up the narrow, muddy bayou, and wherever the ground was a little damp, they have been and made their tracks."

Welles sent a telegram to Commodore John B. Montgomery, Commandant of the Washington Navy Yard: "If the military authorities arrest the murderer of the President and take him to the Yard, put him on a monitor and anchor her in the stream, with strong guard on vessel, wharf, and in yard. Call upon commandant Marine Corps for guard. Have vessel immediately prepared to receive him at any hour, day or night, with necessary instructions. He will be heavily ironed and so guarded as to prevent escape or injury to himself."

16 Secretary Welles directed: "To prevent the escape of the assassin who killed the President and attempted the life of Secretary of State, search every vessel that arrives down the bay. Permit no vessel to go to sea without such search, and arrest and send to Washington any suspicious persons." Response was immediate; ships took stations "on the coast of Maryland and Virginia ."

The Navy Department directed that on 17 April a gun be fired in honor of the late President Lincoln each half hour, from sunrise to sunset, that all flags be kept at half-mast until after the funeral, and that officers wear mourning crepe for six months.

17 The Confederate ironclad Jackson (previously Muscogee) was destroyed at Columbus , Georgia , after Union Army forces overran Southern defenses at the city in an attack that began the pre-ceeding night. Major General George H. Thomas reported: "The rebel ram Jackson, nearly ready for sea, and carrying six 7-inch [rifled] guns, fell into our hands and was destroyed, as well as the navy yard, founderies, the arsenal and armory, sword and pistol factory . . . all of which were burned." Twelve miles below the city the Union troops found the burned hulk of CSS Chattahoochee which the Confederates themselves had destroyed. The navy yard at Columbus had been a key facility in the building of the machinery for Southern ironclads.

Sunken obstructions placed in the channel of Blakely River , Mobile Bay , Alabama , were removed by blasting directed by Master Adrian C. Starrett, USS Maria A. Wood, thus clearing navigational hazards from Mobile Bay .

Acting MAster J. H. Eldridge, USS Delaware, reported that information had been received that the murderer of the President was in the vicinity of Point Lookout , Maryland . Secretary Welles promptly ordered the Commanding Officer of Naval Force, Hampton Roads, to send all available vessels to assist in the blockade of the eastern shore of Virginia and Maryland from Point Lookout to Baltimore .

17-19 Lieutenant W. H. Parker, commanding naval escort entrusted with the Confederate archives, treasury, and President Davis' wife, successfully evaded Federal patrols en route southward from Charlotte (see 8-11 April) and arrived at Washington , Georgia , on the 17th. Parker, still with-out orders as to the disposition of his precious trust and unable to learn of the whereabouts of President Davis and his party (including Secretary Mallory), decided to push on through to Augusta, Georgia, where he hoped to find ranking civilian and military officials. The escort commander recorded: "We left the ladies behind at the tavern in Washington for we expected now a fight at any time." The escort again, however, managed to elude Federal patrols and arrived without incident at Augusta where Parker placed his entrusted cargo in bank vaults and posted a guard around the building. Having learned upon arrival that armistice negotiations between Generals Sherman and Johnston were in progress, the escort commander decided to remain in the city and await the outcome of the conference.

17-25 Four of the five Lincoln assassination suspects arrested on the 17th were imprisoned on the monitors USS Montauk and Saugus which had been prepared for this purpose on the 15th and were anchored off the Washington Navy Yard in the Anacostia River . Mrs. Mary E. Surratt was taken into custody at the boarding house she operated after it was learned that her son was a close friend of John Wilkes Booth and that the actor was a frequent visitor at the boarding house. Mrs. Surratt was jailed in the Carroll Annex of Old Capitol Prison. Lewis Paine was also taken into custody when he came to Mrs. Surratt's house during her arrest. Edward Spangler, stagehand at the Ford Theater and Booth's aide, along with Michael O'Laughlin and Samuel B. Arnold, close associates of Booth during the months leading up to the assassination, were also caught up in the dragnet. O'Laughlin and Paine, after overnight imprisonment in the Old Capitol Prison, were transferred to the monitors at the Navy Yard. They were joined by Arnold on the 19th and Spangler on the 24th. George A. Atzerodt, the would-be assassin of Vice President Andrew Johnson, and Ernest Hartman Richter, at whose home Atzerodt was captured, were brought on board the ships on the 20th. Joao Celestino, Portuguese sea captain who had been heard to say on the 14th that Seward ought to be assassinated, was transferred from Old Capitol Prison to Montauk on the 25th The last of the eight conspiracy suspects to be incarcerated on board the monitors was David E. Herold. The prisoners were kept below decks under heavy guard and were manacled with both wrist and leg irons. In addition, their heads were covered with canvas hoods the interior of which were fitted with cotton pads that tightly covered the prisoners' eyes and ears. The hoods contained two small openings to permit breathing and the consumption of food. An added security measure was taken with Paine by attaching a ball and chain to each ankle.

18 Vice Admiral Farragut, in whom President Lincoln had placed great confidence, wrote to his wife: ''All the people in the city are going to see the President in state. I go tomorrow as one of the pall bearers." Meanwhile, the Navy was carrying out Secretary Welles instructions to search ''all vessels going out of the [ Potomac ] river for the assassins. Detain all suspicious persons. Guard against all crossing of the river and touching of vessels or boats on the Virginia shore.''

19 Secretary Welles recorded President Lincoln's funeral in his diary: ''The funeral on Wednesday, the 19th, was imposing, sad, and sorrowful. All felt the solemnity, and sorrowed as if they had lost one of their own household. By voluntary action business was everywhere suspended, and the people crowded the streets . . . . The attendance was immense. The front of the procession reached the Capitol, it was said, before we started, and there as many, or more, who followed us. A brief prayer was made by Mr. [P.D.] Gurley in the rotunda, where we left the remains of the good and great man we loved so well."

USS Lexington, Acting Lieutenant William Flye, conveyed Colonel John T. Sprague, Chief of Staff to General John Pope, from Cairo and up the Red River to meet Confederate General Kirby Smith. At the ensuing conference, Smith was given the terms under which the surrender of his forces would be accepted.

Captain Benjamin F. Sands, commanding the ships of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron stationed off Galveston , reported that the blockade runner Denbigh had grounded on the Galveston bar attempting to put to sea under cover of night. "She succeeded in getting off by throwing over some 200 bales of cotton, about 140 of which were recovered by the Cornubia and Gertrude. . . ." Sands added that Denbigh was ''next seen under Fort Point and returned to the city.'' However, the well known blockade runner, which Admiral Farragut had been especially anxious to capture prior to the fall of Mobile when Denbigh shifted to Galveston , shortly succeeded in running through the Union cordon and put into Havana on 1 May.

21 Major General Gillmore wrote Rear Admiral Dahlgren that he had received dispatches from Major General Sherman that a convention had been entered into with General Johnston, CSA, on the 18th whereby all Confederate armies were to be disbanded and a general suspension of hostilities would prevail until terms of surrender were agreed upon in Washington .

USS Cornubia, Acting Lieutenant John A. Johnstone, captured blockade running British schooner Chaos off Galveston with cargo of cotton.

22 Secretary Welles warned the Potomac Flotilla that ''[John Wilkes] Booth was near Bryantown last Saturday [15 April], where Dr. Mudd set his ankle, which was broken by a fall from his horse [sic.]. The utmost vigilance is necessary in the Potomac and Patuxent to prevent his escape. All boats should be searched. . . ." The condition of alert remained in effect until word of the assassin's death on 26 April was received.

Thomas Kirkpatrick, U.S. Consul at Nassau , New Providence, reported to Rear Admiral Stribling of the East Gulf Blockading Squadron that schooner St. Mary's had arrived in Nassau . The Baltimore schooner had been seized in Chesapeake Bay during a daring raid on 31 March by ten Confederates led by Master John C. Braine, CSN. Kirkpatrick pressed British authorities to seize the vessel and apprehend her crew for piracy. St. Mary's was permitted to put to sea, how-ever, after being adjudged a legitimate prize.

23 In response to a telegram from Secretary Welles urging the utmost vigilance to prevent the escape of Jefferson Davis and his cabinet across the Mississippi, Rear Admiral S.P. Lee, commanding the Mississippi Squadron, directed: "The immediate engrossing and important duty is to capture Jeff. Davis and his Cabinet and plunder. To accomplish this, all available means and every effort must be made to the exclusion of all interfering calls."

As the Navy vigorously sought to apprehend the assassin of President Lincoln, Secretary Welles directed Rear Admiral Porter: 'Booth is endeavoring to escape by water. Send a gunboat or some tugs to examine the shore of Virginia and all vessels in that direction, and arrest and seize all suspicious parties. If you have any tugs to spare, send them into the Potomac ."

23-24 CSS Webb, Lieutenant Read, dashed from the Red River under forced draft and entered the Mississippi at 8:30 at night in a heroic last-ditch effort to escape to sea. Before departing Alexandria , Louisiana , for his bold attempt, Read wrote Secretary Mallory: "I will have to stake everything upon speed and time." The sudden appearance of the white-painted Webb in the Mississippi caught the Union blockaders (a monitor and two ironclads) at the mouth of the Red River by surprise. She was initially identified as a Federal ship; this mistake in identification gave Read a lead in the dash downstream. A running battle ensued in which Webb shook off the three Union pursuers. As Read proceeded down the Mississippi, other blockading ships took up the chase but were outdistanced by the fast moving Webb, which some observers claimed was making 25 knots. While churning with the current toward New Orleans , Read paused at one point to cut the telegraph wires along the bank. This proved futile as word of his escape and approach passed southward where it generated considerable excitement and a flurry of messages between the Army and Navy commanders who alerted shore batteries and ships to intercept him. About 10 miles above New Orleans Read hoisted the United States flag at half mast in mourning for Lincoln 's death and brought Webb's steam pressure up to maximum. He passed the city at about midnight, 24 April, going full speed. Federal gunboats opened on him, whereupon Read broke the Confederate flag. Three hits were scored, the spar torpedo rigged at the steamer's bow was damaged and had to be jettisoned, but the Webb continued on course toward the sea. Twenty-five miles below New Orleans Read's luck ran out, for here Webb encountered USS Richmond. Thus trapped between Richmond and pursuing gunboats, Read's audacious and well-executed plan came to an end. Webb was run aground and set on fire before her officers and men took to the swamps in an effort to escape. Read and his crew were apprehended within a few hours and taken under guard to New Orleans . They there suffered the indignity of being placed on public display but were subsequently paroled and ordered to their respective homes. Following the restoration of peace, Read became a pilot of the Southwest Pass , one of the mouths of the Mississippi River , and pursued that occupation until his death.

24-29 While in Augusta , Georgia , with the Confederate archives and treasury (see 17-19 April 1965), Lieutenant W. H. Parker learned that the Federal Government had rejected the convention of surrender drawn up by Generals Sherman and Johnston. Parker withdrew his valuable cargo from the bank vaults, reformed his naval escort (consisting of Naval Academy midshipmen and sailors from the Charlotte Navy Yard) and on the 24th set out for Abbeville, South Carolina, which he had previously concluded to be the most likely city through which the Davis party would pass enroute to a crossing of the Savannah River. Near Washington , Georgia , Parker met Mrs. Jefferson Davis, her daughter and Burton Harrison, the President's private secretary, proceeding independently to Florida with a small escort. Gaining no information on the President's whereabouts, Parker continued to press toward Abbeville, while Mrs. Davis' party resumed its journey Southward. On the 29th he arrived in Abbeville, where he stored his cargo in guarded rail ears and ordered a full head of steam be kept on the locomotive in case of emergency. Parker's calculations as to the probable movements of President Davis' entourage proved correct; the chief executive entered Abbeville three days after Parker's arrival.

25 The search for President Lincoln's assassin followed rumors in all directions, and warships in the large Union Navy were available to speed the investigation. The Navy Department ordered Commodore Radford at Hampton Roads: "Send a gunboat to the mouth of the Delaware for one week to examine and arrest all suspicious characters and vessels."

27 The body of John Wilkes Booth, Lincoln's assassin, and David E. Herold, who had accompanied Booth in the escape from Washington and was with the actor when he was shot, were delivered on board USS Montauk, anchored in the Anacostia River off the Washington Navy Yard. Booth had been slain and Herold captured at John M. Garrett's farm three miles outside Port Royal, Virginia , in the early morning hours of the previous day. While the body was on board the monitor, an autopsy was performed and an inquiry conducted to establish identity. Booth's corpse was then taken by boat to the Washington Arsenal (now Fort McNair ) where it was buried in a gun box the following day. Herold was incarcerated in the hold of Montauk which, along with USS Saugus, was being utilized for the maximum security imprisonment of eight of the suspected assassination conspirators.

Secretary Welles informed Commander F. A. Parker of the Potomac Flotilla that the "special restrictions relative to retaining vessels are removed." He advised the Flotilla commander that "Booth was killed and captured with Herold yesterday, 3 miles southwest of Port Royal , Va. " With the search for President Lincoln's assassin ended, further south the Navy focused its attention to another end. This date, Rear Admiral Dahlgren ordered nine ships of his South Atlantic Blockading Squadron to patrol along the Southern coast to prevent the escape of Jefferson Davis and his cabinet.

River steamer Sultana blew up in the Mississippi River above Memphis , Tennessee , killing 1,450 out of 2,000 passengers-all but 50 of whom were former prisoners of war. She was en route to Cairo when a violent explosion ripped her apart and turned her into a sheet of flame. The cause of the explosion was never determined, but one of the theories advanced was that a coal torpedo- such as the one that was suspected of having destroyed Army steamer Greyhound (see 27 November 1864) had been slipped into the steamer's coal bin.

Commodore William Radford, commanding the James River Flotilla, stationed USS Tristram Shandy, Acting Lieutenant Francis M. Green, at Cape Henry to watch for CSS Stonewall. The next day Secretary Welles warned Radford that Stonewall had sailed from Teneriffe, Canary Islands , on 1 April and had steamed rapidly to the south. ". . . Every precaution should be taken to guard against surprise and to prevent her inflicting serious injury should she make her appearance anywhere within the limits of your command. . . . " Welles sent the same directive to Com-mander F. A. Parker of the Potomac Flotilla.

28 Secretary Welles directed Rear Admiral Thatcher of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron: "Lieutenant General Grant telegraphs to the War Department under date of the 26th instant, from Raleigh, N.C., that Jeff Davis, with his Cabinet, passed into South Carolina, with the intentions, no doubt, of getting out of the country, either via Cuba or across the Mississippi. All the vigilance and available means at your command should be brought to bear to prevent the escape of those leaders of the rebellion."

Rear Admiral Thatcher reported to Secretary Welles that USS Octorara, Sebago, and Winnebago
 were up the Tombigbee River, Alabama, blockading CSS Nashville and Morgan. The Confed-erate ships had steamed upriver when Mobile fell. The Admiral concluded: 'They must soon fall into our hands or destroy themselves."

29 Secretary Welles congratulated Rear Admiral Thatcher and his men on their part in bringing about the fall of Mobile : "Although no bloody strife preceded the capture the result was none the less creditable. Much has been expended to render it invulnerable, and nothing but the well-conducted preparations for its capture, which pointed to success, could have induced the rebel commander to abandon it with its formidable defenses, mounting nearly 400 guns, many of them of the newest pattern and heaviest caliber, its abundant supply of ammunition and ordnance stores, and its torpedo-planted roads and waters, without serious conflict."

USS Donegal, Acting Lieutenant George D. Upham, was ordered to cruise from Bulls Bay , South Carolina , to the Savannah River in search of CSS Stonewall.

Acting Master W. C. Coulson, commanding USS Moose on the Cumberland
 River, led a surprise attack on a Confederate raiding party, numbering about 200 troops from Brigadier General Abraham Buford's command. The raiders under the command of a Major Hopkins, were crossing the Cumberland River to sack and burn Eddyville , Kentucky . Coulson sank two troop laden boats with battery gunfire and then put a landing party ashore which engaged the remaining Confederates. The landing force dispersed the detachment after killing or wounding 20 men, taking 6 captives, and capturing 22 horses.

30 The eight suspects in the Lincoln assassination plot who had been imprisoned on monitors USS Montauk and Saugus were transferred to the Arsenal Penitentiary, located in the compound of what is today Fort McNair . This was also the site of their trial by a military tribunal which returned its verdict on 30 June 1865. Three of the eight, along with Mrs. Mary E. Surratt, were hanged in the prison yard of the penitentiary on 7 July-Lewis Paine who made the unsuccessful assassination attempt on Secretary of State Seward; George A. Atzerodt who had been designated by Booth to murder Vice President Johnson; and David E. Herold who had accompanied Booth in his escape from the city. Michael O'Laughlin and Samuel B. Arnold, boyhood friends of Booth and conspirators in the actor's earlier plans to abduct President Lincoln and in his later plans to assassinate the government's top officials, were sentenced to life in prison. Another accomplice, Edward Spangler, stagehand at the Ford Theater was sentenced to six years in prison. The remaining two of the eight who had been incarcerated on the monitors-Ernest Hartman Richter, a cousin of Atzerodt, and Joao Celestino, a Portuguese sea captain were released without being brought to trial.  

June 1865

The last official act of the Civil War sees a Navy expedition head up the Red River north of Shreveport to take possession of C.S.S. Missouri and a small naval flotilla which included a number of submarines. Warned of underwater activity in the area, the wary sailors arrive to find the Missouri and her crew waiting for capture, and the submarines all scuttled and their crews escaped.


The Intelligent Whale is launched in Newark , New Jersey , three years after construction began. The ship was an utter disaster, killing upwards of thirty men in her trials. The unfortunate result of these trials ended the development of submarines in America for the next thirty years.


15 February
Pioneer is sold at auction as scrap for $43.

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