Civil War sea battles: seafights and shipwrecks in the war by Edward Stokes Miller

By Edward Stokes Miller

Unknown to most people, specified logbooks of so much Civil warfare vessels have survived and now lie within the nationwide data. utilizing study from those and different respectable documents, the writer has written certain debts of crucial occasions in Civil warfare maritime historical past, together with battles, amphibious attacks, shipwrecks, court-martials, or even the yellow fever epidemics of 1862 and 1864.

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He did a remarkable job assembling an improvised Confederate navy. The Confederate command was neither inattentive nor lazy. Secretary of the Navy Stephen R. Mallory had placed Captain George S. Hollins CSN in command to organize the defense of the river and the Head of the Passes. By the time the Federals had completed their preparations to occupy that strategic spot, Hollins was ready for them. The force he was able to put together was indeed formidable for the time and place. He assembled: CSS Calhoun, a 175 foot side wheel steamer, mounting one 30 pounder rifle and two 32 pounder Dahlgren guns, previously employed as a privateer.

Following Armstrong's surrender, in the midst of the troops now occupying the Yard, Conway was ordered by Farrand to strike the flag, which order he refused. He took his life in his hands when he refused to haul down the flag. As Erben put it, "the order was given by an officer with a United States commission in his pocket. He was surrounded by a crazed crowd, made so by the surrender of the yard, a most important depot. "2 The immediate response to Conway's defiant act was his arrest. He was clapped into chains and Farrand himself lowered the Stars and Stripes.

Welles did the best he could with what he had; he sent a few blockaders to guard the entrances to the passes and created at least a paper blockade. It worked, but not very effectively; although he had at least one vessel at the entrance to each pass, they were unable to completely stop the leaks. At the end of June 1861, with all passes supposedly blocked, Raphael Semmes took CSS Sumter Page 28 down to Pass à l'Outre, somehow avoiding detection by USS Brooklyn, and when that hapless Federal took off in chase of a strange sail, got Sumter safely away, commencing a commerce raiding career which inscribed Semmes' name in naval history forever.

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