< Civil War Naval History November 1864

Civil War Naval History


November 1864

1 C.S.S. Chickamauga, Lieutenant Wilkinson, captured and scuttled off the northeast coast of the United States schooners Goods peed in ballast and Otter Rock with cargo of potatoes.

Dr. W. A. W. Spotswood, Surgeon in Charge, Office of Medicine and Surgery, C.S.N., reported the effect of the continuing blockade: ''It affords me much satisfaction to report that, by the operations of the purveyor's department, an ample supply of medicines, instruments, and every-thing to meet the wants of the sick has been furnished up to the present time, but owing to the strict blockade of the seacoast and harbors of the Confederacy, rendering it impossible to procure medical supplies from abroad, I feel that there will necessarily be much difficulty in procuring many valuable articles soon required for the use for the sick. Every effort has been made to pro-cure a large supply, but in vain, and it is to be regretted that the supply of cotton placed in the hands of the Navy agent at the port of Wilmington can not be sent to Bermuda to purchase more or to pay for the medicines that have been received."

Rear Admiral Lee assumed command of the Mississippi Squadron at Mound City, Illinois.

2 Paddle-wheelers U.S.S. Key West, Acting Lieutenant King, and U.S.S. Tawah, Acting Lieutenant Jason Goudy, patrolling the Tennessee River, encountered Undine and Venus, which the Confed-erates had captured three days earlier. After a heated running engagement, Venus was retaken, but Undine, though badly damaged, escaped. Carrying Southern troops, Undine outran her pursuers and gained the protection of Confederate batteries at Reynoldsburg Island, near Johnsonville, Tennessee. King wired his district commander, Lieutenant Commander Shirk, "Weather so misty and dark, did not follow her."

C.S.S. Chickamauga, Lieutenant Wilkinson, captured bark Speedwell off the New Jersey coast and bonded her for $18,000.

U.S.S. Santiago de Cuba, Captain Glisson, captured blockade running steamer Lucy at sea east of Charleston with cargo of cotton and tobacco.

4 Paddle-wheelers U.S.S. Key West, Acting Lieutenant King, U.S.S. Tawah, Acting Lieutenant Goudy, and small steamer U.S.S. Elfin, Acting Master Augustus F. Thompson, were destroyed after an engagement with Confederate batteries off Johnsonville, Tennessee, along with several transport steamers and a large quantity of supplies. Acting Lieutenant King, in command of the naval group, was patrolling the river and protecting the Union depot and headquarters at Johnsonville as the forces of Confederate General Forrest suddenly struck the city. On 3 November, King discovered a strong Confederate field battery emplaced to command a narrow channel in the Tennessee River between Reynoldsburg Island and the west bank two miles below Johnsonville. Confederate gunboat Undine, lately captured from the Union (see 30 October), twice attempted on the 3rd to lure King and his gunboats downriver in range of the batteries without success. On the morning of 4 November, Undine again came upriver from the Confederate batteries, and this time King took his three ships down to engage her. At about the same time, Lieutenant Commander Fitch, commanding U.S.S. Moose and five other small steamers, Brilliant, Victory, Curlew, Fairy, and Paw Paw, approached the downstream side of Reynoldsburg Island, to support King. The Confederates burned Undine and opened on the Union gunboats with shore fire. Because of the narrowness of the channel and the commanding position occupied by the batteries Fitch could not bring his ships closer to Johnsonville to aid Key West, Tawah, and Elfin, which had retired to a position off the town to protect the transports and supplies. The Confederates then moved their main batteries along the river to positions opposite Johnsonville, leaving suffi-cient guns to block Fitch's passage, and commenced a fierce bombardment of the gunboats, trans-ports, and wharf area. After fighting for nearly an hour against great odds, King at last ordered his three riddled gunboats fired. Army Assistant Quartermaster Henry Howland, a witness to the action from ashore, described it: ". . . for nearly thirty minutes the cannonading was the most terrific I have ever witnessed. The gunboats fought magnificently and continued firing for more than twenty minutes after they were all disabled, when Lieutenant Commander King was compelled to order them abandoned and burned." King and most of his men escaped to the waterfront, which by this time was itself a roaring inferno as Union officers put the torch to supplies on the wharves to prevent them from falling into Southern hands. The gunboats and transports were lost, but General Forrest was prevented from capturing them intact, and was thus unable to cross the river in force and capture Johnsonville. Instead, the Confederate commander, anxious to press his advantage, moved his batteries downstream to cut off Fitch and the gun-boats below Reynoldsburg Island. Fitch, nevertheless, succeeded in withdrawing his forces safely. Later reflecting on the action at Johnsonville, he commented: "The Key West, Tawah, and Elfin fought desperately and were handled in magnificent style, but it is impossible for boats of this class, with their batteries, to contend successfully against heavy-rifled field batteries in a narrow river full of bars and shoals, no matter with what skill and desperation they may be fought." By this time it was clear that the Confederates were moving in force, and that Forrest was threatening to close the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers completely. Decisive events both on the rivers and the hills of Tennessee were imminent.

5 In General Order No. 34 to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, Rear Admiral Porter wrote: "The gallant exploits of Lieutenant Cushing previous to this affair will form a bright page in the history of the war, but they have all been eclipsed by the destruction of the Albemarle. The spirit evinced by this officer is what I wish to see pervading this squadron. . . . Opportunity will be offered to all those who have the energy and skill to undertake like enterprises."

Secretary Mallory reported to President Davis on the continuing contribution of the Confederate Naval Academy which was training young midshipmen not only in the classroom but under fire: "In my last report I brought to your notice that the steamship Patrick Henry had been or-ganized as a school and practice ship for the education of midshipmen in the several essential branches of their profession. The system of instruction conforms, as nearly as practicable, to that of the most approved naval schools, and this institution will serve as a nucleus for an estab-lishment which the necessities of a naval service and the interests of the country will at an early day render necessary. Under the efficient command of Lieutenant Commander Parker, aided by zealous and competent officers, the beneficial results of the school are already visible in the progress, tone, and bearing of our midshipmen. Though but from 14 to 18 years of age, they eagerly seek every opportunity presented for engaging in hazardous enterprises, and those who are sent upon them uniformly exhibit good discipline, conduct, and courage. Classroom ordnance theory was often interrupted by the very real ordnance "drills" of helping to man ship and shore batteries to repel Union attack.

W. G. Fargo, Mayor of Buffalo, New York, telegraphed Secretary Welles that ship Georgian had been purchased in Toronto by a Southern sympathizer, Dr. James Bates: "My information is that she will be armed on the Canada shore for the purpose of encountering the U.S.S. Michigan and for piratical and predatory purposes on the Lakes. . . .Though Commander Carter, U.S.S. Michigan, discounted the rumors, Georgian continued to arouse grave concern in the Great Lakes area. To be commanded by Master John Y. Beall, CSN, she was in fact to be part of a new plot on the part of Confederate agent Jacob Thompson to capture U.S.S. Michigan and attack the cities on Lake Erie, but the suspicions of Union authorities and the strict surveillance under which the ship was placed by Union agents prevented the plot from being carried out. Welles ordered Carter to seize Georgian if she ventured into American waters, but she was searched twice by local American and Canadian authorities without any hint of her true character being detected. Nevertheless, Union intelligence and close surveillance prevented this Confederate scheme from bearing fruit, and Georgian was laid up at Collingwood, on the Canadian side, eventually to be sold again to private parties.

Monitor U.S.S. Patapsco, Lieutenant Commander John Madigan, bombarded and set afire an un-identified sloop aground off Fort Moultrie, Charleston. Madigan noted: "She seems to have had a cargo of cotton and turpentine." Rear Admiral Dahlgren wrote: ". . . the work was so well done that the conflagration made a considerable appearance at night."

C.S.S. Shenandoah, Lieutenant Waddell, captured and burned schooner Charter Oak at sea off the Cape Verde Islands, after removing her passengers and a quantity of fruit, vegetables, and other provisions. Waddell remained near the burning prize to make sure she was consumed, and then, suspecting that Union cruisers might be attracted by the blaze, stood southward.

U.S.S. Fort Morgan, Lieutenant William B. Eaton, captured blockade runner John A. Hard off the Texas coast (27o N, 96o W) with cargo including coffee, rice, oil, dry goods and medicines.

6 U.S.S. Fort Morgan, Lieutenant Eaton, captured blockade running schooner Lone off Brazos Pass, Texas, with cargo including iron and bagging.

Boats from U.S.S. Adela, Acting Lieutenant Louis N. Stodder, captured schooner Badger attempt-ing to run the blockade out of St. George's Sound, Florida, with cargo of cotton.

7 Upon learning that Confederate officers were quartered in a house on the Arkansas side of the Mississippi River near Island 68, Acting Lieutenant Frederic S. Hill led an expedition from U.S.S. Tyler to capture them. However, they had departed. The mother of one of them boldly showed Hill her permit to transport cotton up the Mississippi and a request, officially endorsed by Major General Cadwallader C. Washburn, USA; for gunboat protection. Hill reluctantly complied with the request, remarking to Rear Admiral Lee: ". . . in the face of all these documents, as I was upon the spot and a steamer then at hand ready to take the cotton, I considered it proper to give her the required protection, although with a very bad grace. Permit me, ad-miral, respectfully to call your attention to the anomaly of using every exertion to capture rebel officers at 2 a.m., whose cotton I am called upon to protect in its shipment to a market at 10 a.m. of the same day, thus affording them the means of supplying themselves with every comfort money can procure ere they return to their brother rebels in arms with Hood."

8 Rear Admiral Farragut, writing Secretary Welles, expressed his deeply held conviction that effec-tive seapower was not dependent so much on a particular kind of ship or a specific gun but rather on the officers and men who manned them: . . . I think the world is sadly mistaken when it supposes that battles are won by this or that kind of gun or vessel. In my humble opinion the Kearsarge would have captured or sunk the Alabama as often as they might have met under the same organization and officers. The best gun and the best vessel should certainly be chosen, but the victory three times out of four depends upon those who fight them. I do not believe that the result would have been different if the Kearsarge had had nothing but a battery of 8-inch guns and 100-pound chase rifle. What signifies the size and caliber of the gun if you do not hit your adversary?"

Acting Master Francis Josselyn, U.S.S. Commodore Hull, landed with a party of sailors at Edenton, North Carolina, under orders from Commander Macomb to break up a court session being held there. Josselyn described the unique expedition: "I landed with a detachment of men this afternoon at Edenton and adjourned sine die a county court which was in session in the court house at that place under so-called Confederate authority. This court, the first that has been held at Edenton since the breaking out of the war, the authorities had the impertinence to hold under my very guns.

C.S.S. Shenandoah, Lieutenant Waddell, captured and burned bark D. Godfrey southwest of the Cape Verde Islands with cargo of beef and pork.

9 U.S.S. Stepping Stones, Acting Lieutenant Daniel A. Campbell, captured blockade running sloops Reliance and Little Elmer in Mobjack Bay, Virginia.

10 Rear Admiral Dahlgren wrote to Secretary Welles regarding plans for another joint attack on Charleston. Dahlgren well understood the great advantage in mobility and supply enjoyed by the Union through its strong control of the sea: "Part of the troops could be landed at Bull's Bay, whence there is a good road for some 15 miles; part would enter the inlet seaward of Sulli-van's Island, seize Long Island, and with the aid of the Navy, land in the rear of Sullivan's Island, join the force coming from Bull's Bay, and occupy Mount Pleasant. . . . This operation would require 30,000 to 50,000 good men, because it is reasonable to admit that the present small force of the rebels would receive large additions. Still, we have the unquestioned advantage of being able to bring here additional forces more promptly in the present position of the main armies. Hood must pass around Sherman in order to give any aid, and General Grant equally obstructs the road from Richmond."

C.S.S. Shenandoah, Lieutenant Waddell, captured and scuttled brig Susan at sea southwest of the Cape Verde Islands with cargo of coal. Waddell recalled later; "She leaked badly and was the dullest sailor I had ever seen; really she moved so slowly that barnacles grew to her bottom, and it was simply impossible for her crew to pump her out as fast as the water made."

11 Commander Henry K. Davenport, U.S.S. Lancaster, captured Confederates on board steamer Salvador, bound from Panama to California, after having been informed that they intended to seize the ship at sea and convert her into a raider. Salvador's captain had warned naval authorities at Panama Bay that the attempt was to be made, and Davenport and his men arranged to search the baggage of the passengers after the vessel passed the territorial limits of Panama. The search revealed guns and ammunition, along with a commission from Secretary Mallory for the capture; the Confederates were promptly taken into custody. This daring party, led by Acting Master Thomas E. Hogg, CSN, was one of many attempting to seize Union steamers and convert them into commerce raiders, especially with a view toward capturing the gold shipments from Cali-fornia. Union warships usually convoyed the California ships to prevent their capture.

U.S.S. Wachusett, Commander Collins, arrived at Hampton Roads with the captured commerce raider C.S.S. Florida.

12 A boat expedition from U.S.S. Hendrick Hudson, Acting Lieutenant Charles H. Rockwell, and U.S.S. Nita, Acting Lieutenant Robert B. Smith, attempted to destroy Confederate salt works on a reconnaissance near Tampa Bay, Florida, but the sailors were driven back to their boats by Southern cavalry.

C.S.S. Shenandoah, Lieutenant Waddell, seized and bonded clipper ship Kate Prince and brig Adelaide in mid-Atlantic near the equator.

13 C.S.S. Shenandoah, Lieutenant Waddell, captured and burned schooner Lizzie M. Stacey in mid-Atlantic near the equator with cargo of pinesalt and iron. Lizzie's mate, an unabashed Irish-man, told Waddell: ". . . my hearty, if we'd had ten guns aboard her, you wouldn't have got us without a bit of a shindy, or if the breeze had been a bit stiffer, we'd given her the square sail, and all hell wouldn't have caught her.'' Two of the schooner's seamen joined Shenandoah's crew voluntarily and another was impressed. She was the last prize the raider would take for some three weeks.

14-15 Acting Master Lothrop Wight and Acting Ensign Frederick W. Mintzer reconnoitered Con-federate naval dispositions above Dutch Gap on the James River, Virginia. Work was going ahead rapidly on the Dutch Gap Canal, which would allow Union gunboats to bypass the obstructions at Trent's Reach, and the work of Wight and Minter provided valuable information regarding the positions of Confederate ships and troops.

15 Governor William A. Buckingham of Connecticut wrote Secretary Welles of the ''defenseless condition of Stonington." The citizens of the city, he reported, "feel that the Tallahassee having been near them, that or some other vessel may make them a piratical visit at any hour, and urge that an ironclad be stationed in their harbor not only for their protection, but for the protection of other towns on the sound and of the sound steamers." The Governor's letter typified the grave concern caused by the infrequent but devastating Confederate raids near Northern seaports.

17 Side-wheelers U.S.S. Otsego, Lieutenant Commander Arnold, and U.S.S. Ceres, Acting Master Foster, ascended the Roanoke River to Jamesville, North Carolina, on a reconnaissance. The smaller Ceres continued upriver to Williamston. Although Confederates had been reported in the area, no batteries or troops were encountered.

19 C.S.S. Chickamauga, Lieutenant Wilkinson, ran the blockade into Wilmington under cover of heavy fog. He has miscalculated his position the day before and successfully run through the blockade to Masonboro Inlet instead of New Inlet. Wilkinson dropped down the coast and early in the morning of the 19th anchored under the guns of Fort Fisher to await high tide when Chick-amauga could cross the bar and stand up Cape Fear River to Wilmington. As the fog lifted, blockaders U.S.S. Kansas, Wilderness, Cherokee, and Clematis opened on what they at first took to be a grounded blockade runner. Chickamauga broke the Confederate flag and returned the fire, joined by the heavy guns of Fort Fisher. Fog and the range of the Fort's guns thwarted efforts to destroy the cruiser; by mid-morning Chickamauga was safely in the river and nearing Wilmington.

20 Edward La Croix of Selma, Alabama, writing Secretary Welles from Detroit, reported that a torpedo boat had been constructed at Selma for use against the Union forces in Mobile Bay. He described her: "Length, about 30 feet; has water-tight compartments; can be sunk or raised as desired; is propelled by a very small engine, and will just stow in 5 men. It has some arrange-ment of machinery that times the explosions of torpedoes, to enable the operators to retire to a safe distance. The boat proves to be a good sailer on the river and has gone to Mobile to make last preparations for trying its efficacy on the Federal vessels.'' La Croix was referring to the submersible torpedo boat Saint Patrick built by John P. Halligan who was also her first commander, Saint Patrick, was a source of concern to Federal naval officers in the vicinity of Mobile and early in the following year, under command of a Confederate naval officer, she did attempt to destroy a blockader.

Rear Admiral Porter directed Commander Macomb to send U.S.S. Louisiana to Beaufort, North Carolina. Louisiana was to become the powder ship with which Porter and General Butler hoped to level Fort Fisher and obviate the necessity of a direct attack. Early in December she was taken to Hampton Roads, where she was partially stripped and loaded with explosives.

21 Boats from U.S.S. Avenger, Acting Lieutenant Charles A. Wright, captured a large quantity of supplies on the Mississippi River near Bruinsburg, Mississippi, after a brief engagement. Union gunboats maintained a vigilant patrol to prevent Confederate supplies from crossing the Mississippi River for the armies in Alabama and Tennessee.

U.S.S. Iosco, Commander John Guest, captured blockage running schooner Sybil with cargo of cotton, at sea off the North Carolina coast.

23 Constantly alert to the need to strengthen his squadron for the difficult work of convoying and patrolling on the Western Rivers, Rear Admiral Lee this date detached Lieutenant Commander Greer, Acting Naval Constructor Charles F. Kendall, Acting Fleet Engineer Samuel Bickerstaff, and Paymaster Calvin C. Jackson to proceed on a confidential mission to Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and to other places if necessary, for the purpose of purchasing ten sound, strong, and swift light-draft steamers, to be converted into gunboats." Ten were subsequently bought, converted, and added to the Mississippi Squadron in early 1865.

24 Lieutenant James McC. Baker's preparations for the capture of Fort Pickens at Pensacola were terminated by Secretary Mallory: "Major-General Maury having withdrawn his men from the enterprise to the command of which you were assigned, its prosecution became impracticable." It was a bitter blow to the daring young Confederate naval officer who had first undertaken the scheme in April and had fought persuasively for months to bring it off. By mid-August, still unable to obtain authorization from the local command to proceed with the plan, the bold lieutenant wrote Mallory outlining his scheme to seize Fort Pickens: "Not dreaming that we have any designs upon it, and deluding themselves with the idea that its isolated position renders it safe from attack, they have become exceedingly careless, having only two sentinels on duty. . . ." Baker proposed to take a landing force of sailors and soldiers in small boats and, ". . . pulling down the eastern shore of the bay into Bon Secours, and, hauling the boats across a narrow strip of land into Little Lagoon, I would enter the Gulf at a point 20 miles east of Fort Morgan and be within seven hours' pull of Fort Pickens, with nothing to interrupt our progress." A month later, after having conferred with President Davis and General Braxton Bragg, Mallory ordered Baker to proceed with the mission. On 25 October Baker departed Mobile with a number of sailors on steamer Dick Keys and rendezvoused with 100 soldiers from General Dabney Maury's command that night at Blakely, Alabama. As the daring group was preparing to get underway, Maury ordered a temporary delay because of information received which reported that Union forces had landed at the Pensacola Navy Yard near Fort Pickens. By the 30th this intelligence was demonstrated to be inaccurate, but Maury still was reluctant to go ahead with the operation. Concerned that the Northerners now had knowledge of the planned attempt, he suggested that the soldiers return to their companies to give the appearance of having had the expedition called off. At a future date they could be ordered back to Blakely suddenly, as Baker reported, "when the expedition might proceed, he thought, with more secrecy and certainty of success." This date, 24 November, Mallory reluctantly advised the intrepid Baker: "I regret that circumstances beyond the control of the Department or yourself should have thus terminated an enterprise which seemed to promise good results."

U.S.S. Chocura, Lieutenant Commander Meade, sighted schooner Louisa and chased her ashore on the bar off San Bernard River, Texas. A heavy gale totally destroyed the schooner before she could be boarded.

27 An explosion and fire destroyed General Butler's headquarters steamer Greyhound, on the James River, Virginia, and narrowly missed killing Butler, Major General Schenck, and Rear Admiral Porter, on board for a conference on the forthcoming Fort Fisher expedition. Because of the nature of the explosion, it is likely that one of the deadly Confederate coal torpedoes had been planted in Greyhound's boiler. "The furnace door blew open," recalled Butler, "and scattered coals throughout the room." The so-called "coal torpedo" was a finely turned piece of cast iron containing ten pounds of powder and made to resemble closely a lump of coal, and was capable of being used with devastating effect. As Admiral Porter later described the incident: ''We had left Bermuda Hundred five or six miles behind us when suddenly an explosion forward startled us, and in a moment large volumes of smoke poured out of the engine-room." The Admiral went on to marvel at the ingenuity which nearly cost him his life: ''In devices for blowing up vessels the Confederates were far ahead of us, putting Yankee ingenuity to shame." This device was sus-pected of being the cause of several unexplained explosions during the war.

Blockade running British steamer Beatrice was captured by picket boats under Acting Master Gifford of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, off Charleston. The prize crew accidentally grounded Beatrice near Morris Island and she was soon a total wreck 1n reporting the capture to Secretary Welles, Rear Admiral Dahlgren noted the fact that the blockade runner was captured by small boats and not by seagoing vessels, adding: "The duty is severe beyond what is imagined. In the launches the men may be said to live in the boats, and all of them are, in these long nights, exposed to every hardship of sea, wind, and weather; in the stormiest nights they are cruising around close in to the rebel batteries." The Federal Navy spared no efforts to tighten the block-ade now that final victory was coming in sight.

Ram U.S.S. Vindicator, Acting Lieutenant Gorringe, and small stern-wheeler U.S.S. Prairie Bird, Acting Master Burns, transported and covered a successful Union cavalry attack on Confederate communications in western Mississippi. Thirty miles of track and the important railroad bridge over the Big Black River, east of Vicksburg, were destroyed. Major General Dana praised the part of the gunboats in the expedition: ''The assistance of the vessels of the Sixth Division Mis-sissippi Squadron rendered the expedition a complete success.

U.S.S. Princess Royal, Commander Woolsey, seized blockade running British schooner Flash in the Gulf of Mexico off Brazos Santiago with cargo of cotton. Later in the day, Princess Royal also captured blockade running schooner Neptune. Woolsey reported: "The vessel was empty, having just lost a cargo of salt, said salt having, according to the master's statement, 'dissolved in her hold.'

U.S.S. Metacomet, Lieutenant Commander Jouett, captured blockade running steamer Susanna in the Gulf of Mexico off Campeche Banks. Half her cargo of cotton was thrown overboard in the chase. Rear Admiral Farragut had regarded Susanna as "their fastest steamer."

29 Double-turret monitor U.S.S. Onondaga, Commander William A Parker, and single-turret monitor U.S.S. Mahopac, Lieutenant Commander Edward E. Potter, engaged Howlett's Battery, on the James River, Virginia, for three hours. This was part of the continuing action below Richmond.

As Major Francis W. Smith, CSA, remarked, "I think the monitors (although they retired under our fire below Dutch Gap) will probably return. . . ."

A ship's boat under the command of Acting Ensign A. Rich from U.S.S. Elk, Acting Lieutenant Nicholas Kirby, captured an unidentified small craft with cargo of whiskey and opium near Mande-ville, Louisiana.

30 Naval Brigade composed of 350 sailors and 150 Marines from ships of the South Atlantic Block-ading Squadron and commanded by Commander George H. Preble joined in an Army action at Honey Hill, near Grahamville, South Carolina. In order to aid General Sherman in his march toward Savannah, Major General Foster had proposed to Rear Admiral Dahlgren a campaign up the Broad River to cut the Charleston-Savannah Railway and establish contact with Sherman. Preble organized an artillery and two naval infantry battalions to operate with the Army, and they were landed at Boyd's Landing on Broad River on 29 November. Sailors and Marines played a vital role in the ensuing battle of Honey Hill on 30 November, after which they entrenched on the Grahamville Road. General Foster then decided with Dahlgren, who accompanied his Brigade as far as Boyd's Landing, that the main thrust should come up the Tulifinny River toward Pocotaligo.

Boat expedition under the command of Acting Master Charles H. Cadieu, U.S.S. Midnight, landed at St. Andrew's Bay, Florida, destroyed a salt work and took prisoners.

U.S.S. Itasca, Lieutenant Commander George Brown, seized blockade running British schooner Carrie Mair off Pass Cavallo, Texas.

30–4 December Acting on intelligence that Union prisoners were attempting to reach the blockading vessels after having escaped from a prisoner train en route to Savannah, Acting Master Isaac Pennell, with 5 boats and nearly 100 men from U.S.S. Ethan Allen and Dai Ching, scoured the South Altamaha River, South Carolina, without finding any of the reported escapees. After encounter-ing and engaging a considerable Confederate force, Pennell was compelled to withdraw to the ships.