< Civil War Naval History July 1862

Civil War Naval History


July 1862

1 The Western Flotilla of Flag Officer Davis joined the fleet of Flag Officer Farragut above Vicks-burg. Farragut wrote: "The iron-clads are curious looking things to us salt-water gentlemen; but no doubt they are better calculated for this river than our ships. . . . They look like great turtles. Davis came on board . . . . We have made the circuit (since we met at Port Royal) around half the United States and met on the Mississippi." The meeting of the fresh-water and salt-water squadrons had considerable psychological value throughout the North, but it did not imply control over the river so long as the Gibraltar-like fortress of Vicksburg remained unsubdued. In a military sense this temporary joining of the squadrons pointed up the necessity for the arduous, year-long amphibious campaign which was necessary to capture Vicksburg.

President Lincoln recommended to the Congress that Flag Officer Foote be given a vote of thanks for his efforts on the western waters. The President knew well the import of the defeats dealt the Confederacy by the gunboats on the upper Mississippi. He recognized that Foote's forces had cleared the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers, and had succeeded in splitting the Confederacy as far as Vicksburg on the Father of Waters.

U.S.S. De Soto, Captain W. M. Walker, captured British schooner William attempting to run the blockade at Sabine Pass, Texas.

1-2 Flag Officer L. M. Goldsborough's fleet covered the withdrawal of General McClellan's army after a furious battle with Confederate forces under General Robert E. Lee at Malvern Hill. Dependent on the Navy for his movement to Harrison's Landing, chosen by McClellan at Com-modore J. Rodgers recommendation because it was so situated that gunboats could protect both flanks of his army, the General acknowledged the decisive role played by the Navy in enabling his troops to withdraw with a minimum loss: "Commodore Rodgers placed his gunboats so as to protect our flanks and to command the approaches from Richmond . . . During the whole battle Commodore Rodgers added greatly to the discomfiture of the enemy by throwing shell among his reserve and advancing columns.'' The Washington National Intelligencer of 7 July described the gunboats' part in the action at Malvern Hill: "About five o'clock in the after-noon the gunboats Galena, Aroostook, and Jacob Bell opened from Turkey Island Bend, in the James River, with shot and shell from their immense guns. The previous roar of field artillery seemed as faint as the rattle of musketry in comparison with these monsters of ordnance that literally shook the water and strained the air. . . . They fired about three times a minute, frequently a broadside at a time, and the immense hull of the Galena careened as she delivered her complement of iron and flame. The fire went on . . . making music to the ears of our tired men. . . . Confederate] ranks seemed slow to close up when the naval thunder had torn them apart. . . During the engagement at White Oak Swamp, too, the Intelligencer reported, the gunboats "are entitled to the most unbounded credit. They came into action just at the right time, and did first rate service.'' The Navy continued to safeguard the supply line until the Army of the Potomac was evacuated to northern Virginia in August, bringing to a close the unsuccessful Peninsular Campaign.

2 U.S.S. Western World, Acting Master Samuel B. Gregory, captured blockade running British schooner Volante in Winyah Bay, South Carolina, with cargo of salt and fish.

3 U.S.S. Quaker City, Commander Frailey, captured blockade running British brig Lilla off Hole-in-the-Wall, Virginia.

U.S.S. Hatteras, Commander Emmons, captured schooner Sarah bound for Sabine Pass, Texas, with cargo of sugar and molasses.

4 U.S.S. Maratanza, Lieutenant Stevens, engaged C.S.S. Teaser, Lieutenant Davidson, at Haxall's on the James River. Teaser was abandoned and captured after a shell from Maratanza exploded her boiler. In addition to placing mines in the river, Davidson had gone down the river with a balloon on board for the purpose of making an aerial reconnaissance of General McClellan's positions at City Point and Harrison's Landing. By this time both Union and Confederate forces were utilizing the balloon for gathering intelligence; Teaser had been the Southern counterpart of U.S.S. G. W. Parke Custis, from whose deck aerial observations had been made the preceding year. The balloon, as well as a quantity of insulated wire and mine equipment, were found on board Teaser. Six shells with ''peculiar fuzes'' were also taken and sent to Captain Dahlgren at the Washington Navy Yard for examination.

Commander J. Rodgers reported to Flag Officer L. M. Goldsborough on the stationing of the gunboats supporting the Army's position at Harrison's Landing: "It is now too late, I hope, for the enemy to attack the army here with any chance of success. The troops are in good spirits and everyone seems confident." Major General McClellan advised President Lincoln that "Captain Rodgers is doing all in his power in the kindest and most efficient manner." General Robert E. Lee came to the same conclusion in a letter to Confederate President Davis: ''The enemy is strongly posted in the neck formed by Herring creek and James River. . . The enemy's batteries occupy the ridge along which the Charles City road runs, north to the creek, and his gunboats lying below the mouth of the creek sweep the ground in front of his batteries Above his encamp-ments which lie on the river, his gunboats also extend; where the ground is more favorable to be searched by their cannon. As far as I can now see there is no way to attack him to advantage; nor do I wish to expose the men to the destructive missiles of his gunboats . . . I fear he is too secure under cover of his boats to be driven from his position.

U.S.S. Rhode Island, Commander Trenchard, captured blockade running British schooner R. O. Bryan off the coast of Texas.

5 Act to reorganize the U.S. Navy Department increased the number of Bureaus to eight: Yards and Docks, Equipment and Recruiting, Navigation, Ordnance, Construction and Repair, Steam Engineering, Provisions and Clothing, Medicine and Surgery. This act, and other far-reaching measures were guided through Congress by Senator Grimes of Iowa, who had an outstanding appreciation of sea power.

U.S.S. Hatteras, Commander Emmons, captured sloop Elizabeth off the Louisiana coast.

6 Commodore Wilkes ordered to command James River Flotilla as a division of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, Flag Officer L. M. Goldsborough. Secretary of the Navy Welles' instructions to Wilkes stated: "You will immediately place yourself in communication with Major General McClellan, Commanding the Army of the Potomac, near Harrison's Landing . . . It will be your special duty to keep open the navigation of James River and afford protection to all vessels trans-porting troops or supplies, and generally to cooperate with the army in all military movements.

7 Commander J. Rodgers reported to Flag Officer L. M. Goldsborough on the convoying of Army transports on James River: There is to be a convoy of gunboats each day from Harrison's Bar to near the mouth of the Chickahominy, going and returning each day. As there was no better reason for the time than the arrival and departure of the mail from Old Point, it was agreed that at 9 a.m. all the transportation down should sail, convoyed by gunboats-I had selected four for it. And at 3 p.m. all the army transportation to this point should come up, convoyed by the same force." Convoy and cover of supply ships by the gunboats were indispensable to General McClel-lan's army.

U.S.S. Tahoma, Lieutenant John C. Howell, captured schooner Uncle Mose off Yucatan Bank, Mexico, with cargo of cotton.

U.S.S. Quaker City, Commander Frailey, in company with U.S.S. Huntsville, captured blockade running British steamer Adela off the Bahama Islands.

Boats from U.S.S. Flag, Commander James H. Strong, and U.S.S. Restless, Acting Lieutenant Conroy, captured British blockade runner Emilie in Bull's Bay, South Carolina.

President Lincoln and military party departed Washington on board U.S.S. Arid to visit General McClellan with the Army of the Potomac at Harrison's Landing, Virginia.

9 General Robert E. Lee wrote President Davis, advising him of the Confederate troops' inability to move against the Union forces on the James River because of the presence of the Navy gunboats: "After a thorough reconnaissance of the position taken up by the enemy on James River, I found him strongly posted and effectually flanked by his Gunboats. . . . I caused field batteries to play on his forces, and on his transports, from points on the river below. But they were too light to accomplish much, and were always attacked with superior force by the Gunboats. .

U.S.S. Commodore Pen, Lieutenant Flusser, U.S.S. Shawsheen, Acting Master Woodward, and U.S.S. Ceres, Acting Master John MacDiarmid, embarked on an expedition up Roanoke River and landed a field piece and force of soldiers and sailors at Hamilton, North Carolina, where steamer Wilson was captured.

U.S.S. Arthur, Acting Lieutenant Kittredge, captured schooner Reindeer with cargo of cotton near Aransas Pass, Texas.

10 Flag Officer Du Pont, learning of the action at Malvern Hill, wrote: "The Mississippi, [Army] transport passed us this morning. We boarded her and got papers to the 5th. The captain of the transport told the boarding officer that McClellan's army would have been annihilated but for the gunboats." Continual Confederate concern about the gunboats was noted by a British Army observer, Colonel Garnet J. Wolseley, who wrote that he "noted with some interest the superstitious dread of gunboats which possessed the Southern soldiers. These vessels of war, even when they have been comparatively harmless had several times been the means of saving northern armies.

U.S.S. Arthur, Acting Lieutenant Kittredge, captured sloop Belle Italia at Aransas Pass, and schooner Monte Christo was burned by Confederates at Lamar, Texas, to prevent her falling into Union hands.

11 President Lincoln, demonstrating his appreciation of the role sea power had played thus far in the Civil War, recommended to the Congress that votes of thanks be given to Captains Lardner, Davis, and Stringham, and to Commanders Dahlgren, D.D. Porter, and Rowan.

Congress passed an act for the relief of relatives of the officers and men who died on board U.S.S. Cumberland and Congress when C.S.S. Virginia destroyed those vessels and threatened to break the blockade of Norfolk four months before.

12 U.S.S. Mercedita, Commander Stellwagen, captured blockade running schooners Victoria and Ida off Hole-in-the-Wall, Abaco, Bahamas, the former laden with cotton, the latter with general cargo, including cloth, shoes, needles and salt.

13 Commodore Wilkes reported operations of the James River Flotilla to Secretary of the Navy Welles: "The Army transports are daily convoyed up and down by the gunboats, besides having others stationed off the principal salient points where the rebels have come down to fire at our vessels passing. They almost daily make some attempts to annoy these unarmed boats, but seldom venture to do anything. I believe it is in my power to keep the river open effectually. . .
I found . . . a necessity of active and prompt measures to bring the flotilla into operation, as the duties on the river require, and the effective protection of the two flanks of the army. . . I would ask the Assistant Secretary's attention to the subject of torpedoes, and also barbed rockets that will enter wood and be the means of firing any bridges or other works of wood. If we had some Congreve rockets, they would prove effective in driving the sharpshooters out of the woods."

14 Congress passed an act stating that: " . . . the spirit ration in the Navy of the United States shall forever cease, and . . . no distilled spiritous liquors shall be admitted on board vessels of war, except as medical stores . . . there shall be allowed and paid to each person in the Navy now entitled to the ration, five cents per day in commutation and lieu thereof, which shall be in addition to their present pay." Assistant Secretary of the Navy Fox and officers generally held that it was in the Navy's best interest to abolish the spirit ration.

15 U.S.S. Carondelet, Commander Walke, U.S.S. Tyler, Lieutenant Gwin, and ram Queen of the West, carrying Army sharp shooters on reconnaissance of the Yazoo River, engaged Confederate ironclad ram Arkansas, Lieutenant Isaac N. Brown. In a severe fight as Union ships withdrew, Arkansas partially disabled Carondelet and Tyler. Entering the Mississippi, Arkansas ran through fire from the Union fleet to refuge under the Vicksburg batteries in a heavily damaged condition and with many casualties. Farragut's fleet pursued Arkansas, but, as the Flag Officer reported, "it was so dark by the time we reached the town that nothing could be seen except the flashes of the guns." In the heavy cannonade as Farragut's ships continued down river below Vicks-burg, U.S.S. Winona, Lieutenant Edward T. Nichols, and U.S.S. Sumter, Lieutenant Henry Erben, were substantially damaged. The daring sortie of Arkansas emphatically underscored the need to reduce Vicksburg. Major General Ear] Van Dorn, CSA, said that Lieutenant Brown had ''immortalized his single vessel, himself, and the heroes under his command, by an achievement, the most brilliant ever recorded in naval annals.'' Secretary Mallory added: "Naval history records few deeds of greater heroism or higher professional ability than this achievement of the Arkansas." Lieutenant Brown was promoted to Commander, and the Confederate Congress later expressed thanks to Brown and his men "for their signal exhibition of skill and gallantry. . . in the brilliant and successful engagement of the sloop of war Arkansas with the enemy's fleet."

16 David Glasgow Farragut, in recognition of his victory at New Orleans, promoted to Rear Admiral, the first officer to hold that rank in the history of the U.S. Navy.

The measure passed by Congress which created the rank of Rear Admiral also revamped the exist-ing rank structure to include Commodore and Lieutenant Commander and established the number of Rear Admirals at 9; Commodores, 18; Captains, 36; Commanders, 72; and the remainder through Ensign at 144 each. The act provided that ''The three senior rear admirals [Farragut, L. M. Goldsborough, and Du Pont] shall wear a square blue flag at the mainmast head; the next three at the foremast head, and all others at the mizzen.'' Rear Admirals were to rank with Major Generals in the Army.

Congress approved a bill transferring "the western gunboat fleet constructed by the War Depart-ment for operations on the western waters'' to the Navy Department. Actual enactment of the measure took place on 1 October 1862.

Commander Woodhull, U.S.S. Cimarron, reported from Harrison's Landing: "I have placed my vessel, as directed, on the extreme right flank of the army; so also the other gunboats under my charge, as will give us full command of the open country beyond the line."

U.S.S. Huntsville, Acting Lieutenant William C. Rogers, seized blockade running British schooner Agnes off Abaco with cargo of cotton and rosin.

17 Congress passed an act which established that "every officer, seaman, or marine, disabled in the line of duty, shall be intitled to receive for life, or during his disability, a pension from the United States, according to the nature and degree of his disability, not exceeding in any case his monthly pay."

17-18 Twenty Marines from U.S.S. Potomac participated in an expedition up Pascagoula Rivet, Mississippi. Under First Lieutenant George W. Collier, the Marines, whose force was augmented by an equal number of sailors, acted with U.S.S. New London and Grey Cloud to capture or destroy a steamer and two schooners rumored to be loading with cotton, and to destroy telegraphic communications between Pascagoula and Mobile. The expedition succeeded in disrupting communications, but, pursuing the Confederate vessels upstream, it was engaged by cavalry and infantry troops and forced to turn back to care for the wounded.

18 Secretary of the Navy Welles notified Flag Officers commanding squadrons of a bill authorizing the President to appoint annually three midshipmen to the Naval Academy from the enlisted boys of the Navy. "They must be of good moral character, able to read and write well, writing from dictation and spelling with correctness, and to perform with accuracy the various operations of the primary rules of arithmetic, viz, numeration, and the addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of whole numbers." Each Flag Officer was requested to nominate one candidate from his command "not over 18 years of age."

19 Naval court martial meeting in Richmond acquitted Flag Officer Tattnall with honor for ordering the destruction of C.S.S. Virginia on 11 May after the evacuation of Norfolk. The court found that "the only alternative was to abandon and burn the ship then and there, which in the judgment of the court, was deliberately and wisely done.

21 U.S. steamers Clara Dolsen and Rob Roy and tug Restless under Commander Alexander M. Pennock, with troops embarked, arrived from Cairo to protect Evansville, Indiana, at the request of Governor Morton. Troops were landed and retook Henderson, Kentucky, from Confederate guerrillas, several boats were burned, and the Ohio was patrolled against attack from the Kentucky side of the river. Major General John Love wrote to Commander Pennock expressing the "gratitude with which the citizens of Indiana and of this locality will regard the prompt cooperation of yourself and your officers in this emergency, which threatened their security." The mobility which naval control of the river gave to Union forces neutralized repeated Confederate attempts to re-establish positions in the border states.

Confederate artillery at Argyle Landing, Mississippi River, destroyed naval transport U.S.S. Sallie Woods.

U.S.S. Huntsville, Acting Lieutenant W. C. Rogers, captured steamer Reliance in Bahama Channel.

22 U.S.S. Essex, Commander W. D. Porter, and ram Queen of the West, Lieutenant Colonel Ellet, attacked C.S.S. Arkansas, Commander I. N. Brown, at anchor with a disabled engine at Vicksburg.

Although many of his officers and crew were ashore sick and wounded after the action of 15 July, Commander Brown fought his ship gallantly. After attempting to ram, the Essex became closely engaged in cannon fire with Arkansas. Breaking off the engagement, Essex steamed through a bail of shell Past the shore batteries and joined Rear Admiral Farragut's fleet which had re-mained below Vicksburg after passing the city on 15 July. Queen of the West rammed Arkansas but with little effect. She rejoined Flag Officer Davis' fleet in a shattered condition. The day after repelling the attack by Essex and Queen of the West, Commander Brown defiantly steamed Arkansas up and down the river under the Vicksburg batteries. A member of Arkansas's crew, Dabney M. Scales, described the action in a vivid letter to his father: "At 4 o'clock on the morning of the 22nd, I was awakened by the call to quarters. Hurrying to our stations, with not even a full complement of men for 3 guns; our soldiers having left just the night before; we discovered the enemy coming right down upon us. . . . We did not have men enough to heave the anchor up and get underway, before the enemy got to us, even if we had had steam ready. So we had to lay in to the bank, and couldn't meet him on anything like equal terms. . . . The Essex came first, firing on us with her three bow guns. We replied with our two bow guns as long as they could be brought to bear, which was not a very long time, as our vessel being stationary, the enemy soon came too much on our broadside for these guns, and their crews Lad to be shifted to the broadside guns. In the meantime, the Essex ranged up alongside us, and at the distance of 20 feet poured in a broads. which crashed against our sides like nothing that I ever heard be-fore. . . . We were so close that our men were burnt by the powder of the enemy's guns. . . All this time the Ram [Queen of the West] was not idle, but came close down on the heels of his con-sort. . . . We welcomed him as warmly as we could with our scanty crew. Just before he got to us, we managed by the helm and with the aid of the starboard propellor, to turn our bow out-stream a little, which prevented him from getting a fair lick at us. As it was, he glanced round our side and ran aground just astern of us." Meanwhile, the Confederate Secretary of War in a gen-eral order praised Arkansas's feats of the week before: "Lieutenant Brown, and the officers and crew of the Confederate steamer Arkansas, by their heroic attack upon the Federal fleet before Vicksburg equaled the highest recorded examples of courage and skill. They proved that the Navy, when it regains its proper element, will be one of the chief bulwarks of national defense and that it is entitled to a high place in the confidence and affection of the country.

President Davis telegraphed Governor John J. Pettus of Mississippi: "Captain Brown of the Arkansas, requires boatmen, and reports himself doomed to inactivity by the inability to get them. We have a large class of river boatmen and some ordinary seamen on our Gulf Coast who must now be unemployed. Can you help Captain Brown to get an adequate crew?"

23 Assistant Secretary of the Navy Fox wrote Major General John G. Barnard: ''Part of the mortar fleet are ordered to James River and should be there by the 1st proximo. There is no army to cooperate at Nicksburg where we have been lying two months, and the keeping open James River up to McClellan's position is the first duty of the Navy, so we ordered twelve of the vessels there. If a fort is erected below you on the right bank of the James (and I see no obstacle) or if offensive or defensive operations are undertaken I think the mortar will not come amiss. . . . The iron boats are progressing . . . We have forty underweight, and are putting others in hand as fast as contracts for engines shall be made. The machinery for manufacturing marine engines is limited." The Union Navy's rapid transformation from wood to iron doomed the Confederacy's effort with ironclads and rams to break the noose of Federal seapower.

24 Rear Admiral Farragut's fleet departed its station below Vicksburg, as the falling water level of the river and sickness among his ships' crews necessitated withdrawal to Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Farragut's return to the lower Mississippi made abundantly clear the strategic significance of Vicksburg for, although the Navy held the vast majority of the river, Confederate control of Vicksburg enabled the South to continue to get some supplies for her armies in the East from Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana. To prevent as much of this as possible, Rear Admiral Davis and Major General Samuel R. Curtis provided for combined Army-Navy expeditions along the banks of the Mississippi from Helena, Arkansas, to Vicksburg. Though supplies continued to move across the river, this action prevented the Confederates from maintaining and reinforcing batteries at strategic points, an important factor in the following year's operations.

U.S.S. Quaker City, Commander Frailey, captured blockade runner Orion at Campeche Bank, south of Key West, Florida.

U.S.S. Octorara, Commander D. D. Porter, captured British blockade runner Tubal Cain east of Savannah.

25 Steamer Cuba ran the blockade into Mobile.

26 Confederates hoarded and burned schooner Louisa Reed in the James River.

27 U.S.S. Yankee, Lieutenant Commander William Gibson, and U.S.S. Satellite, Acting Master Amos Foster, captured schooner J. W. Sturges in Chippoak Creek, Virginia.

28 U.S.S. Hatteras, Commander Emmons, captured Confederate brig Josephine off Ship Shoal, Loui-siana, en route to Havana with cargo of cotton.

Bark Agrippina, Captain Alexander McQueen, was ordered to rendezvous in the Azores with steamer Enrica (afterwards C.S.S. Alabama) which was to depart Liverpool pursuant to arrange-ments made by Commander Bulloch in London, for the purpose of transferring guns, ammunition, coal, and other cargo to Alabama. Under the command of Captain Raphael Semmes, the re-nowned Confederate cruiser Alabama ravaged the seas, dealing serious damage to Union commerce.

29 U.S.S. Mount Vernon, Commander Glisson, and U.S.S. Mystic, Lieutenant Commander Arnold, captured blockade running British brig Napier near Wilmington.

Writing of Union reverses in the East, which he ascribed to the deception of Northern commanders by false reports of the size of Confederate armies, Rear Admiral Farragut stated: "The officers say I don't believe anything. I certainly believe very little that comes in the shape of reports I mean to be whipped or to whip my enemy, and not be scared to death."

31 U.S.S. Magnolia, Acting Lieutenant W. Budd, captured British steamer Memphis off Cape Romain with large cargo of cotton and rosin. She had run the blockade out of Charleston on 26 July.

31-1 Confederate batteries at Coggins' Point took Union forces under fire on the James River between Harrison's Landing and Shirley, Virginia, sinking two Army transports. U.S.S. Cimarron, Com-mander Woodhull, immediately opened counter fire on the battery. Praising Gunner's Mate John Merrert who, although extremely ill and awaiting transfer to a hospital, bravely manned his station in the main magazine, Commander Woodhull wrote: "Merrett is an old man-of-warsman; his discipline, courage, and patriotism would not brook inaction when his ship was in actual battle. His conduct, I humbly think, was a great example to all lovers of the country and its cause . . . it is the act of a fine speciman of the old Navy tar." This mutual respect between the naval officer and the long service enlisted man enabled the Navy to maintain its tone through-out the Civil War despite expansion.

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. Hunchback, Acting Lieutenant Colhoun, and 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.