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Civil War Naval History May 1862 - History

Civil War Naval History May 1862 - History

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

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

U.S.S. Huron, Lieutenant Downes, captured schooner Albert off Charleston.

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

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

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

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

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

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

U.S.S. Calhoun, Lieutenant Joseph E. DeHaven, captured sloop Charles Henry off St. Joseph, Loui-siana, and raised the United States flag over Fort Pike, which had been evacuated.

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

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

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

U.S.S. Calhoun, Lieutenant DeHaven, captured schooner Rover with cargo of brick in Lake Pont-chartrain, Louisiana.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ironclad steamer U.S.S. New Ironsides launched at Philadelphia.

11 C.S.S. Virginia blown up by her crew off Craney Island to avoid capture. The fall of Norfolk to Union forces denied Virginia her base, and when it was discovered that she drew too much water to be brought up the James River, Flag Officer Tattnall ordered the celebrated ironclad's destruc-tion. "Thus perished the Virginia," Tattnall wrote, "and with her many highflown hopes of naval supremacy and success." For the Union, the end of Virginia not only removed the formid-able threat to the large base at Fort Monroe, but gave Flag Officer Goldsborough's fleet free passage up the James River as far as Drewry's Bluff, a factor which was to save the Peninsular Campaign from probable disaster.
U.S.S. Bainbridge, Commander Thomas M. Brasher, captured schooner Newcastle at sea with cargo of turpentine and cotton.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

21 Boat expedition from U.S.S. Whitehead, Acting Master French, captured schooner Winter Shrub in Keel's Creek, North Carolina, with cargo of fish.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fort Pillow naval battle

The naval battle at Fort Pillow, Tennessee (sometimes known as the engagement at Plum Point Bend) took place on the Mississippi River between ships of the Confederate River Defense Fleet, which consisted of a number of wooden sidewheel paddleboats converted to naval rams, and ships of the Union Mississippi River Squadron, which consisted of a number of ironclads, approximately four miles above Fort Pillow, Tennessee on May 10, 1862, during the American Civil War.

Following the fall of Island No. 10 and other Confederate losses to the north and east of Confederate Fort Pillow, the Union squadron proceeded down river. Early in the morning on May 10, 1862, the Confederate River Defense Fleet surprised and attacked the Union squadron that had moved up to support mortar boat attacks on Fort Pillow. During the battle, the Union's Cincinnati and Mound City were rammed. The Union ships then moved away to shallow water. Unable to pursue due to deeper draft, the Confederate ships then withdrew. Cincinnati and Mound City were badly damaged and sunk. Although the Confederates were victorious, the Union squadron was able to proceed down river and attack the Confederate squadron during the Battle of Memphis the following month. Both Cincinnati and Mound City were later raised and placed back in service.


Shokokon—a wooden-hulled ferry built as Clifton in 1862 at Greenpoint, New York—was purchased by the Navy at New York City on 3 April 1863 altered for naval service there by J. Simonson and commissioned at the New York Navy Yard on 18 May 1863, Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Samuel Huse in command.

Assigned to the North Atlantic blockade Edit

The double-ender was assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron and arrived at Newport News, Virginia, on the morning of 24 May 1863. Shokokon was first stationed in the outer blockade off New Inlet, North Carolina but, late in June, she was recalled to Hampton Roads, Virginia, and ordered up the York River to the Pamunkey River to threaten Richmond, Virginia, in the hope of diverting Southern reinforcements, munitions, and supplies from General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia which had invaded the North and was endangering Washington, D.C.

On 4 July, as battered Confederate troops retreated from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, she ascended the Pamunkey from White House, Virginia, and destroyed an unidentified schooner which had run aground some five miles upstream.

A week later, Shokokon was switched to the James River where, on the 14th, the former ferryboat joined seven other Union fighting ships in capturing Confederate stronghold, Fort Powhatan. The force destroyed two magazines and 20 gun platforms.

Repaired at the Norfolk Navy Yard Edit

On 10 August, after repairs at the Norfolk Navy Yard, Shokokon returned to blockade duty off Wilmington, North Carolina, and was stationed off Smith's Island. On the 18th, she assisted USS Niphon in destroying steamer, Hebe, which Niphon had chased aground while that blockade runner was attempting to slip through the Union cordon of warships with drugs and provisions badly needed by the South. Four days later, two boats from Shokokon destroyed schooner, Alexander Cooper, in New Topsail Inlet, North Carolina, and demolished extensive salt works in the vicinity.

Hurricane damage Edit

Late in August 1863, the ship was damaged in a hurricane and sent north for repairs which lasted through the end of the year. She returned to Newport News on the morning of 16 January 1864 and, for the remainder of the war, was active in supporting Union ground forces in the rivers of Virginia and North Carolina.

On 9 March, she joined USS Morse and USS General Putnam in escorting a Union Army expedition up the York and Mattapony rivers covered the debarkation of troops at Sheppard's Landing and returned to Yorktown, Virginia, three days later.

Supporting General Grant's operations Edit

On 5 May, she was one of the warships which swept the river to clear away Confederate torpedoes (naval mines) and then supported the crossing of the landings at Bermuda Hundred and City Point, Virginia, which established a Union bridgehead on the southern shore of the James.

During the ensuing months, she continued to shuttle between the York and James rivers to assist ground operations in General Ulysses S. Grant's ever tightening stranglehold on Richmond.

In the autumn, Shokokon returned to North Carolina waters and spent the remainder of the war supporting Army efforts in that theatre.

When peace finally was restored, the double-ender returned north and was decommissioned at the New York Navy Yard. She was sold at public auction at New York City on 25 October 1865 and redocumented as Lone Star on 15 December 1865. She served for more than two decades before being abandoned in 1886.

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.

In the autumn of 1861, the Union Navy asked the firm of Neafie & Levy to construct a small submersible ship designed by the French engineer Brutus de Villeroi, who also acted as a supervisor during the first phase of the construction (de Villeroi had designed and built submarines in France and one after immigrating to the United States).

The boat was about 47 feet (14 m) long, with a beam of 4 feet 8 inches (1.42 m) and height of 5 feet 6 inches (1.68 m). [1] "It was made of iron, with the upper part pierced for small circular plates of glass, for light, and in it were several water tight compartments". She was designed to carry 18 men. For propulsion, she was equipped with 16 hand-powered paddles protruding from the sides. On 3 July 1862, the Washington Navy Yard had the paddles replaced by a hand-cranked propeller, which improved its speed to about four knots. [2] Air was supplied from the surface by two tubes with floats, connected to an air pump located inside the submarine it was the first operational submarine to have an air purifying system. [3] [1] The boat had a forward airlock, and was the first operational submarine with the capability for a diver to leave and return while both remained submerged. [3] [1] Divers could affix mines to a target, then return and detonate them by connecting the mine's insulated copper wire to a battery inside the vessel. [4]

The Union Navy wanted such a vessel to counter the threat posed to its wooden-hulled blockaders by the former screw frigate Merrimack which, according to intelligence reports, the Norfolk Navy Yard was rebuilding as an ironclad ram for the Confederacy (CSS Virginia). The Union Navy's agreement with the Philadelphia shipbuilder specified that the submarine was to be finished in not more than 40 days its keel was laid down almost immediately following the signing on 1 November 1861 of a contract for her construction. Nevertheless, the work proceeded so slowly that more than 180 days had elapsed when the novel craft finally was launched on 1 May 1862.

Soon after her launching, she was towed to the Philadelphia Navy Yard to be fitted out and manned. Two weeks later, she was placed under command of a civilian, Mr. Samuel Eakins. On 13 June, the Navy formally accepted the boat.

Next, the steam tug Fred Kopp was engaged to tow the submarine to Hampton Roads, Virginia. The two vessels got underway on 19 June and proceeded down the Delaware River to the Delaware and Chesapeake Canal, through which they entered the Chesapeake Bay for the last leg of the voyage, reaching Hampton Roads on the 23rd. At Norfolk, the submarine was moored alongside the sidewheel steamer Satellite, which was to act as her tender during her service with the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron. A spring 1862 newspaper report called the vessel Alligator, in part because of its green color, a moniker which soon appeared in official correspondence. [1]

Several tasks were considered for the vessel: destroying a bridge across Swift Creek, a tributary of the Appomattox River clearing away the obstructions in the James River at Fort Darling, which had prevented Union gunboats from steaming upstream to support General McClellan's drive up the peninsula toward Richmond and blowing up CSS Virginia II should that ironclad be completed on time and sent downstream to attack Union forces. Consequently, the submarine was sent up the James to City Point where she arrived on the 25th. Commander John Rodgers, the senior naval officer in that area, examined Alligator and reported that neither the James off Fort Darling nor the Appomattox near the bridge was deep enough to permit the submarine to submerge completely. Moreover, he feared that while his theater of operation contained no targets accessible to the submarine, the Union gunboats under his command would be highly vulnerable to her attacks should Alligator fall into enemy hands. He therefore requested permission to send the submarine back to Hampton Roads.

The ship headed downriver on the 29th and then was ordered to proceed to the Washington Navy Yard for more experimentation and testing. In August, Lt. Thomas O. Selfridge, Jr. was given command of Alligator and she was assigned a naval crew. The tests proved unsatisfactory, and Selfridge pronounced "the enterprise . a failure".

On 3 July 1862, the Navy Yard replaced Alligator ' s oars with a hand-cranked screw propeller, thereby increasing her speed to about 4 knots (7.4 km/h). President Lincoln observed the submarine in operation on 18 March 1863.

About this time, Rear Admiral Samuel Francis du Pont, who had become interested in the submarine while in command of the Philadelphia Navy Yard early in the war, decided that Alligator might be useful in carrying out his plans to take Charleston, South Carolina, the birthplace of secession. Acting Master John F. Winchester, who then commanded Sumpter, was ordered to tow the submarine to Port Royal, South Carolina. The pair got underway on 31 March.

The next day, both encountered bad weather which, on 2 April, forced Sumpter to cut Alligator adrift off Cape Hatteras. [5] She either immediately sank or drifted for a while before sinking, ending the career of the United States Navy's first submarine.

How Long Did the Battle of Puebla Last?

The battle lasted from daybreak to early evening, and when the French finally retreated they had lost nearly 500 soldiers. Fewer than 100 Mexicans had been killed in the clash.

Although not a major strategic win in the overall war against the French, Zaragoza’s success at the Battle of Puebla on May 5 represented a great symbolic victory for the Mexican government and bolstered the resistance movement. In 1867—thanks in part to military support and political pressure from the United States, which was finally in a position to aid its besieged neighbor after the end of the Civil War𠅏rance finally withdrew.

The same year, Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, who had been installed as emperor of Mexico in 1864 by Napoleon, was captured and executed by Juárez’s forces. Puebla de Los Angeles was renamed for General Zaragoza, who died of typhoid fever months after his historic triumph there.

How Did The Siege of Vicksburg Start?

Vicksburg was one of the Union Army’s most successful campaigns of the American Civil War. The Vicksburg campaign was also one of the longest. Although General Ulysses S. Grant’s first attempt to take the city failed in the winter of 1862-63, he renewed his efforts in the spring. Admiral David Porter (1813-91) had run his flotilla past the Vicksburg defenses in early May as Grant marched his army down the west bank of the river opposite Vicksburg, crossed back to Mississippi and drove toward Jackson. After defeating a Confederate force near Jackson, Grant turned back to Vicksburg. On May 16, he defeated a force under General John C. Pemberton (1814-81) at Champion Hill. Pemberton retreated back to Vicksburg, and Grant sealed the city by the end of May. In three weeks, Grant’s men marched 180 miles, won five battles and captured some 6,000 prisoners.

Terrain and Confederate fortifications around Vicksburg. Indicated are the locations of Union forces under Sherman, McPherson, McClernand, and Carr. 

Did you know? After the residents of Vicksburg dug over 500 caves in the hills around the city and began living in them, Union soldiers started to refer to the town as "Prairie Dog Village."


1926 LCDR Richard Byrd and Chief Machinist Mate Floyd Bennett make first flight over North Pole both receive Congressional Medal of Honor.

1942 USS Wasp in Mediterranean launches 47 Spitfire aircraft to help defend Malta

1775 Force under Ethan Allan and Benedict Arnold cross Lake Champlain and capture British fort at Ticonderoga, New York.

1800 USS Constitution captures Letter of Marque Sandwich.

1862 Confederates destroy Norfolk and Pensacola Navy Yards.

1949 First shipboard launching of LARK, guided missile by USS Norton Sound.

1960 USS Triton (SSRN-586) completes submerged circumnavigation of world in 84 days following many of the routes taken by Magellan and cruising 46,000 miles.

1862 CSS Virginia blown up by Confederates to prevent capture.

1898 Sailors and Marines from USS Marblehead cut trans-oceanic cable near Cienfuegos, Cuba, isolating Cuba from Spain.

1943 Naval task force lands Army troops on Attu, Aleutians.

1965 U.S. destroyers deliver first shore bombardment of Vietnam War.

1780 Fall of Charleston, SC three Continental Navy frigates (Boston, Providence, and Ranger) captured and one American frigate (Queen of France) sunk to prevent capture

1846 U.S. declares war against Mexico

1975 SS Mayaguez seized by Khmer Rouge and escorted to Koh Tang Island.

1986 Destroyer USS David R. Ray deters an Iranian Navy attempt to board a U.S. merchant ship.

1908 Navy Nurse Corps established.

1908 Pearl Harbor Navy Yard, later called Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, was officially established in the Territory of Hawaii as a coaling station for U.S. Navy ships transiting the Pacific Ocean.

1943 Bureau of Navigation renamed Bureau of Naval Personnel

1945 Aircraft from fast carrier task force begin 2-day attack on Kyushu airfields, Japan

1964 Organization and deployment of world’s first all nuclear-powered task group, USS Enterprise, USS Long Beach, and USS Bainbridge, to Sixth Fleet

1801 Tripoli declares war against the United States

1836 U.S. Exploring Expedition authorized to conduct exploration of Pacific Ocean and South Seas, first major scientific expedition overseas. LT Charles Wilkes USN, would lead the expedition in surveying South America, Antarctica, Far East, and North Pacific.

1845 First U.S. warship visits Vietnam. While anchored in Danang for reprovisioning, CAPT John Percival commanding USS Constitution, conducts a show of force against Vietnamese authorities in an effort to obtain the release of a French priest held prisoner by Emperor of Annam at Hue.

1975 Marines recapture Mayaguez, go ashore on Koh Tang Island and release the crew.

1800 CAPT Preble in Essex arrives in Batavia, Java, to escort U.S. merchant ships

1942 First Naval Air Transport Service flight across Pacific

1969 Sinking of USS Guitarro (SSN-665)

1991 Amphibious Task Force arrives at Chittagong, Bangladesh, for relief operations after Cyclone Marian взять займ онлайн

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The design of the CSS Virginia utilized a heavy iron plated casemate or armored bunker for cannons built atop of the remaining wooden frame (hull) of the USS Merrimack. The Virginia shocked the public when she not only floated when released from the dry docks, she floated too well! The ship’s armor only extended to her projected waterline and initially the Virginia sat too high in the water exposing about a foot of her vulnerable wooden hull. In addition to tons of coal and ammunition, scrap metal was placed in the bottom of the ship to lower the Virginia in the water from 19 feet to 22 feet (called a ship’s draft). Still needing some finishing details completed and without even having a real trial run, the Virginia steamed into Hampton Roads to do battle with the Union in early March 1862.

If the protective armor of the Virginia barely came below the waterline when fully loaded with ammunition and coal, how might fighting extended battles endanger the ship?

Civil War Naval History May 1862 - History

October 11th, 2010 | Author: Administrator

Timelines are an effective way to get an overview of a situation – especially one as complex as the American Civil War. This timeline – from the Library of Congress – presents the major Civil War events for the year 1862.

January 1862 — Abraham Lincoln Takes Action.

On January 27, President Lincoln issued a war order authorizing the Union to launch a unified aggressive action against the Confederacy. General McClellan ignored the order.

March 1862 — McClellan Loses Command.

On March 8, President Lincoln — impatient with General McClellan’s inactivity — issued an order reorganizing the Army of Virginia and relieving McClellan of supreme command. McClellan was given command of the Army of the Potomac, and ordered to attack Richmond. This marked the beginning of the Peninsular Campaign.

In an attempt to reduce the North’s great naval advantage, Confederate engineers converted a scuttled Union frigate, the U.S.S. Merrimac, into an iron-sided vessel rechristened the C.S.S. Virginia. On March 9, in the first naval engagement between ironclad ships, the Monitor fought the Virginia to a draw, but not before the Virginia had sunk two wooden Union warships off Norfolk, Virginia.

April 1862 — The Battle of Shiloh.

On April 6, Confederate forces attacked Union forces under General Ulysses S. Grant at Shiloh, Tennessee. By the end of the day, the federal troops were almost defeated. Yet, during the night, reinforcements arrived, and by the next morning the Union commanded the field. When Confederate forces retreated, the exhausted federal forces did not follow. Casualties were heavy — 13,000 out of 63,000 Union soldiers died, and 11,000 of 40,000 Confederate troops were killed.

General Quincy A. Gillmore battered Fort Pulaski, the imposing masonry structure near the mouth of the Savannah River, into submission in less than two days, (April 10-11, 1862). His work was promptly recorded by the indefatigable Timothy H. O’Sullivan.

Flag Officer David Farragut led an assault up the Mississippi River. By April 25, he was in command of New Orleans.

April 1862 — The Peninsular Campaign.

In April, General McClellan’s troops left northern Virginia to begin the Peninsular Campaign. By May 4, they occupied Yorktown, Virginia. At Williamsburg, Confederate forces prevented McClellan from meeting the main part of the Confederate army, and McClellan halted his troops, awaiting reinforcements.

May 1862 — “Stonewall” Jackson Defeats Union Forces.

Confederate General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, commanding forces in the Shenandoah Valley, attacked Union forces in late March, forcing them to retreat across the Potomac. As a result, Union troops were rushed to protect Washington, D.C.

June 1862 — The Battle of Seven Pines (Fair Oaks).

On May 31, the Confederate army attacked federal forces at Seven Pines, almost defeating them last-minute reinforcements saved the Union from a serious defeat. Confederate commander Joseph E. Johnston was severely wounded, and command of the Army of Northern Virginia fell to Robert E. Lee. (See The Peninsular Campaign — May-August 1862)

July 1862 — The Seven Days’ Battles.

Between June 26 and July 2, Union and Confederate forces fought a series of battles: Mechanicsville (June 26-27), Gaines’s Mill (June 27), Savage’s Station (June 29), Frayser’s Farm (June 30), and Malvern Hill (July 1). On July 2, the Confederates withdrew to Richmond, ending the Peninsular Campaign. (See The Peninsular Campaign — May-August 1862)

July 1862 — A New Commander of the Union Army.

On July 11, Major-General Henry Halleck was named general-in-chief of the Union army.

August 1862 — Pope’s Campaign.

Union General John Pope suffered defeated at the Second Battle of Bull Run on August 29-30. General Fitz-John Porter was held responsible for the defeat because he had failed to commit his troops to battle quickly enough he was forced out of the army by 1863.

September 1862 — Harper’s Ferry.

Union General McClellan defeated Confederate General Lee at South Mountain and Crampton’s Gap in September, but did not move quickly enough to save Harper’s Ferry, which fell to Confederate General Jackson on September 15, along with a great number of men and a large body of supplies.

On September 17, Confederate forces under General Lee were caught by General McClellan near Sharpsburg, Maryland. This battle proved to be the bloodiest day of the war 2,108 Union soldiers were killed and 9,549 wounded — 2,700 Confederates were killed and 9,029 wounded. The battle had no clear winner, but because General Lee withdrew to Virginia, McClellan was considered the victor. The battle convinced the British and French — who were contemplating official recognition of the Confederacy — to reserve action, and gave Lincoln the opportunity to announce his Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation (September 22), which would free all slaves in areas rebelling against the United States, effective January 1, 1863.

December 1862 — The Battle of Fredericksburg.

General McClellan’s slow movements, combined with General Lee’s escape, and continued raiding by Confederate cavalry, dismayed many in the North. On November 7, Lincoln replaced McClellan with Major-General Ambrose E. Burnside. Burnside’s forces were defeated in a series of attacks against entrenched Confederate forces at Fredericksburg, Virginia, and Burnside was replaced with General Joseph Hooker.

For more timelines of the Civil War, visit The Library of Congress Civil War Timeline Article.

Civil War Naval History May 1862 - History

U.S. Naval Landing Party
was formed in the Fall of 1997 by Union Naval reenactors in the New England area and has since spread to include members across the country. Our group portrays the activities of a landing party of Union sailors and Marines during the Civil War -- a little known role for the Navy in the 1861-65 conflict.

We are a member unit of the Navy & Marine Living History Association (NMLHA) and offer enlistment to people of all ages, gender, and races (yes, the U.S. Navy was integrated during and before the Civil War). Interested parties may apply to serve as Sailors, Marines or Civilians (the sole stipulation as regards age being that children under sixteen must be accompanied in their enlistment by a responsible parent or guardian). If you enjoy talking with the public and sharing a unique perspective on history, join the USNLP!

Throughout the War Between the States, the Federal Navy routinely landed parties of Sailors and Marines ashore on raids, reconnaissance or to aid the regular land forces. These were ad hoc groups comprised of men from the ships of the local squadron. Shore parties varied in size from a single lieutenant who might offer his services as staff officer for the day to an Army general or up to several thousand men landed to attack Fort Fisher at Wilmington, North Carolina. The USNLP represents a group such as might have been landed from a flotilla of gunboats supporting the Army along one of the many rivers that laced the Confederacy.

If you are interested in finding out more about the USNLP, information on membership, subscriptions to the unit newsletter "Beat to Quarters!", information is available on a separate page. The links following the Fort Fisher illustration will take you to original articles and research by the USNLP, to other sites with information about the Navies of the period and their role in the war, and to a variety of resources for nautical reenactors.

"We landed sixteen sailors and a boat howitzer, and they did more fighting than a whole regiment of soldiers!"
(Roswell Lamson, Lieutenant, USN)

"Board in a manly fashion!"
(David Dixon Porter, Rear Admiral, USN, orders to the Naval Assault Forces at Fort Fisher)

The Naval Charge at Fort Fisher

These links relate specifically to the Union Navy of the Civil War.
For a wider assortment of nautical links, refer to the Navy & Marine Living History Associations page.

USNLP Historical Research

USNLP Living History

Navy Sutlers

See the
USNLP Handbook for Civil War Naval Reenactors
for more sources of period uniforms, equipment, tools, and weapons)

General Nautical

Sea Shanties & Songs
History and Development of Tattooing
Tattoo History Source Book
Nautical History Terms [pre-1800]

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