Civil War Naval History
1 Flag Officer Foote telegraphed Washington from Cairo: "I leave early to-morrow with four armored gunboats on an expedition cooperating with the Army. Senior officer will telegraph you during my absence. Nothing new about the mortars. Twenty-nine men shipped from regiments yesterday and three to-day."
U.S.S. Portsmouth, Commander Swartwout, captured blockade running steamer Labuan at the mouth of the Rio Grande River with cargo of cotton.
U.S.S. Montgomery, Lieutenant Jouett, captured schooner Isabel in the Gulf of Mexico.
2 U.S.S. Hartford, Flag Officer Farragut, departed Hampton Roads for Ship Island, Mississippi, where Farragut took command of the Western Gulf Blockading Squadron preparatory to the assault on New Orleans.
In his battle plan and orders to gunboats, Flag Officer Foote emphasized the need for coolness and precision of fire: ''Let it be also distinctly impressed upon the mind of every man firing a gun that, while the first shot may be either of too much elevation or too little, there is no excuse for a second wild fire, as the first will indicate the inaccuracy of the aim of the gun, which must be elevated or depressed, or trained, as circumstances require. Let it be reiterated that random firing is not only a mere waste of ammunition, but, what is far worse, it encourages the enemy when he sees shot and shell falling harmlessly about and beyond him . . . The Commander in Chief has every confidence in the spirit and valor of officers and men under his command, and his only solicitude arises lest the firing should be too rapid for precision, and that coolness and order, so essential to complete success, should not be observed, and hence he has in this general order expressed his views, which must be observed by all under his command." He directed Lieutenant S. L. Phelps, upon the surrender of Fort Henry, to proceed with ''Conestoga, Tyler, and Lexington up the river to where the railroad bridge crosses, and, if the army shall not already have got possession, he will destroy so much of the track as will entirely prevent its use by the rebels. He will then proceed as far up the river as the stage of water will admit and capture the enemy's gunboats and other vessels which might prove available to the enemy."
3 Having left his headquarters at Cairo on 2 February en route Fort Henry, Flag Officer Foote ordered U.S.S. Essex and St. Louis to proceed from Paducah to Pine Bluff, 65 miles up the Tennessee, ''for the purpose of protecting the landing of the troops on their arrival at that point." The. Army commanders had recognized for some time that the mobility and fire power of the gunboats were viral in support of land forces operating along the rivers. Brigadier General C. F. Smith had well expressed this earlier: "The Conestoga, gunboat, admirably commanded by Lieutenant Phelps of the Navy, is my only security in this quarter. He is constantly moving his vessel up and down the Tennessee and Cumberland." The same day, Foote wrote Secretary of the Navy Welles that he would have had more ships to take against the fort but for want of men. "The volunteers from the Army to go in the gunboats exceed the number of men required, but the derangement of companies and regiments'' had permitted few to transfer afloat. Major General Halleck wired Foote from St. Louis: ''General Grant is authorized to furnish men for temporary gunboat duty by detail. Men will be sent from here as soon as collected. Arrange with General Grant for temporary crews, so that there may be no delay." The following day, Commander Kilty, left in charge of naval matters at Cairo by Foote, advised Halleck that permanent details were needed, not temporary ones. Grant advised Halleck: ''Will be off up the Tennessee at 6 o'clock. Command, 23 regiments in all." Grant's troops embarked in transports at Cairo and Paducah; Foote's gunboats took the lead. Behind this spearhead and battering ram, the dismemberment of the South began.
C.S.S. Nashville, Lieutenant Robert B. Pegram, departed Southampton, England. H.M.S. Shannon stood by to enforce the Admiralty ruling that U.S.S. Tuscarora could not leave the port for twenty-four hours after the sailing of Nashville.
4 Brigadier General Lloyd Tilghman, gallant defender of Fort Henry, informed General John B. Floyd: "Gunboats and transports in Tennessee River. Enemy landing in force 5 miles below Fort Henry." After initiating the debarkation of troops below Fort Henry, Flag Officer Foote, in U.S.S. Cincinnati with General Grant on board, took the four ironclad gunboats that he had been able to man up the Tennessee for reconnoitering, and exchanged shots with the Confederate gunners. Torpedoes, planted in the river but torn loose by the flooding waters, floated by. Foote had some fished out for inspection. He and Grant went aft to watch the disassembling of one. According to a reminiscence, suddenly there was a strange hiss. The deck was rapidly cleared. Grant beat Foote to the top of the ladder. When Foote asked the General about his hurry, Grant replied that ''the Army did not believe in letting the Navy get ahead of it.''
5 U.S.S. Keystone State, Commander William E. Le Roy, captured British blockade runner Mars with cargo of salt off Fernandina, Florida.
6 Naval forces under Flag Officer Foote, comprising the partially ironclad gunboats U.S.S. Essex, Carondelet, Cincinnati, St. Louis and wooden gunboats U.S.S. Tyler, Conestoga, and Lexington, captured strategic Fort Henry on the Tennessee River. Originally planned as a joint expedition under Flag Officer Foote and General Grant, heavy rains the two days before the attack delayed the troop movements, and the gunboats attacked alone. Accurate fire from the gunboats pounded the fort and forced Brigadier General Tilghman, CSA, with all but four of his defending guns useless, to strike his flag and surrender to Foote. U.S.S. Essex, Commander W. D. Porter, was disabled during the engagement. In continuing operations the three days following the capitulation of Fort Henry, U.S.S. Tyler, Conestoga, and Lexington, under Lieutenant S. L. Phelps, swept and one he deeply mourned.'' The evacuation of Norfolk three months later, caused in part by the loss of Roanoke Island, was a far greater loss. The abandonment of the great industrial navy yard and the destruction of C.S.S. Virginia were serious reverses that had far-reaching effect upon the Confederacy's ability to resist at sea.
8 A Confederate gunner captured at Fort Henry made the following statement attesting to the extreme effectiveness of U.S.S. Carondelet's gunfire during the attack: ' The center boat, or the boat with the red stripes around the top of her smokestacks, was the boat which caused the greatest execution. It was one of her guns which threw a ball against the muzzle of one of our guns, disabling it for the remainder of the contest. The Carondelet (as I subsequently found her name to be) at each shot committed more damage than any other boat. She was the object of our hatred, and many a gun from the fort was leveled at her alone. To her I give more credit than any other boat in capturing one of our strongest places." The success of Flag Officer Foote's armored gunboats spread panic and exaggerated their capabilities in Confederate as well as Union minds. General Johnston wrote in a letter to the Confederate War Department: ''The slight resistance at Fort Henry indicates that the best open earthworks are not reliable to meet successfully a vigorous attack of ironclad gunboats." He concluded that Fort Donelson would also fall. This would open the way to Nashville. ''The occurrence of the misfortune of losing the fort will cut off the communication of the force here under General Hardee from the south bank of the Cumberland. To avoid the disastrous consequences of such an event, I ordered General Hardee yesterday to make, as promptly as it could be done, preparations to fall back to Nashville and cross the river. The movements of the enemy on my right flank would have made a retrograde in that direction to confront the enemy indispensable in a short time. But the probability of having the ferriage of this army corps across the Cumberland intercepted by the gunboats of the enemy admits of no delay in making the movement. Generals Beauregard and Hardee are, equally with myself, impressed with the necessity of withdrawing our force from this line at once.''
Captain Buchanan ordered C.S.S. Patrick Henry, Commander Tucker, and C.S.S. Jamestown, Lieutenant Joseph N. Barney, to be kept in a constant state of readiness '' to cooperate with the Merrimack when that ship is ready for service.
U.S.S. Conestoga, Lieutenant S. L. Phelps, seized steamers Sallie Wood and Muscle at Chickasaw, Alabama. The Confederates destroyed three other vessels to prevent their capture, bringing the total losses resulting from the fall of Fort Henry to nine.
10 Following the capture of Roanoke Island, a naval flotilla, including embarked Marines, under Commander Rowan in U.S.S. Delaware, pursuing Flag Officer Lynch's retiring Confederate naval force up the Pasquotank River, engaged the gunboats and batteries at Elizabeth City, North Carolina. C.S.S. Ellis was captured and C.S.S. Seabird was sunk; C.S.S. Black Warrior, Fanny, and Forrest were set on fire to avoid capture; the fort and batteries at Cobb's Point were destroyed. Of Commander Rowan's success, Admiral Daniel Ammen later wrote: ''Nothing more brilliant in naval 'dash' occurred during the entire Civil War than appears in this attack.'' One example of "dash" was called to Flag Officer L. N. Goldsborough's attention by Commander Rowan. ''I would respectfully call your attention to one incident of the engagement which reflects much credit upon a quarter gunner of the Valley City and for which Congress has provided rewards in the shape of medals. A shot passed through her magazine and exploded in a locker beyond containing fireworks. The commander, Lieutenant Commander Chaplain, went there to aid in suppressing the fire, where he found John Davis, quarter gunner, seated with commendable coolness on an open barrel of powder as the only means to keep the fire out.'' For demonstrating such courage, ''while at the same time passing powder to provide the division on the upper deck while under fierce enemy fire,'' Davis was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor by General Order 11,3 April 1863.
Flag Officer Foote, amidst repairing battle damages and working feverishly to get other gunboats ready, received repeated requests from Major General Halleck to ''send gunboats up the Cumberland. Two will answer if he can send no more. They must precede the transports. I am straining every nerve to send troops to take Dover and Clarksville. Troops are on their way. All we want is gunboats to precede the transports.''
Secretary of the Navy Welles forwarded to Commander D. D. Porter the names of 22 sailing vessels and 7 steamers which would comprise the Mortar Flotilla. This potent force, to which would be added U.S.S. Owasco," as soon as she can be got ready," conducted an intensive bombardment of Forts Jackson and St. Philip, preparatory to Flag Officer Farragut's drive past these heavy works to New Orleans.
General Robert E. Lee wrote Confederate Secretary of War Benjamin: 'From the reports of General Mercer as to the inability of the batteries of Saint Simon's and Jekyl Islands to withstand the attack of the enemy' s fleet, the isolated condition of those islands, and the impossibility of reenforcing him with guns or men, I have given him authority, should he retain that opinion upon a calm review of the whole subject, to act according to his discretion; and, if deemed advisable by him, to withdraw to the mainland and take there a defensible position for the protection of the country
Captain Buchanan reported that Merrimack had not yet received her crew, "not withstanding all my efforts to procure them from the Army.'' Shortage of trained seamen restricted the Confederacy's efforts to build naval strength.
11 Flag Officer Foote, foreseeing the realities of the situation into which he was being pulled by the tide of events, wrote Secretary of the Navy Welles: ''I leave [Cairo again to-night with the Louisville, Pittsburg, and St. Louis for the Cumberland River, to cooperate with the army in the attack on Fort Donelson.
I shall do all in my power to render the gunboats effective in the fight, although they are not properly manned. If we could wait ten days, and I had men,
I would go with eight mortar boats and six armored boats and conquer.'' Despite the serious difficulties they faced, Foote and his gunboat fleet made what General Grant was to term admiringly ''a gallant attack.''
13-15 U.S.S. Pembina, Lieutenant John P. Bankhead, discovered a battery of ''tin-can'' torpedoes (mines) while engaged in sounding Savannah River above the mouth of Wright's River. The mines, only visible at low tide, were connected by wires and moored individually to the bottom. The following day, Bankhead returned and effected the removal of one of the '' infernal machines'' for purposes of examination. On the 15th Bankhead ''deemed it more prudent to endeavor to sink the remaining ones than to attempt to remove them,'' and sank the mines by rifle fire. Torpedoes were planted in large numbers in the harbors and rivers of the Confederacy, constituting a major hazard which Union commanders had to consider and reckon with in planning operations.
14 Gunboats U.S.S. St. Louis, Carondelet, Louisville, Pittsburg, Tyler, and Conestoga under Flag Officer Foote joined with General Grant in attacking Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River. Donelson, on high ground, could subject the gunboats to a plunging fire and was a more difficult objective than Fort Henry. Foote did not consider the gunboats properly prepared for the assault on Donelson so soon after the heavy action at Fort Henry; nevertheless, at the ''urgent request'' of both Grant and General Halleck to reduce the fortifications, Foote moved against the Confederate works. Bitter fire at close range opened on both sides. St. Louis, the flagship, was hit fifty-nine times and lost steering control, as did Louisville. Both disabled vessels drifted down stream; the gunboat attack was broken off. Flag Officer Foote sustained injuries which forced him to give up command three months later. Fort Donelson surrendered to Grant on 16 February. Major General Lewis Wallace, speaking of the renewed gunboat support on 15 February, summed up the substantial role of the gunboats in the victory: "I recollect yet the positive pleasure the sounds [naval gunfire] gave me . . the obstinacy and courage of the Commodore Was the attack ''of assistance to us''? ''I don't think there is room to question it. It distracted the enemy S attention, and I fully believe it was the gunboats . . . that operated to prevent a general movement of the rebels up the river or across it, the night before the surrender.'' Coining quickly after the fall of Fort Henry, the capture of Fort Donelson by a combined operation had a heavy impact on both sides. News of the fall of Fort Donelson created great excitement in New Orleans where the press placed much blame on Secretary of the Navy Mallory because ''we are so wretchedly helpless on the water." With their positions in Kentucky now untenable, the Confederates had to withdraw, assuring that state to the Union. On the Mississippi, Confederate forces fell back on Island No. 10. Nashville could not be held, and the Union armies were poised to sweep down into the heart of the South.
Armed boat from U.S.S. Restless, Acting lieutenant Edward Conroy, captured and destroyed sloop Edisto and schooners Wandoo, Eliabeth, and Theodore Stony off Bull's Bay, South Carolina; all ships carried heavy cargoes of rice for Charleston.
Confederate ships sank obstructions in Cape Fear River near Fort Caswell, North Carolina, in an effort to block the channel.
U.S.S. Galena, experimental seagoing ironclad, launched at Mystic, Connecticut.
15 Four Confederate gunboats under Commodore Tattnall attacked Union batteries at Venus Point, on Savannah River, Georgia, but were forced back to Savannah. Tattnall was attempting to effect the passage of steamer Ida from Fort Pulaski to Savannah.
16 Gunboats of Flag Officer Foote's force destroyed the "Tennessee Iron Works" above Dover on the Cumberland River. General McClellan wired Flag Officer Foote from Washington.' "Sorry you are wounded. How seriously? Your conduct magnificent. With what force do you return? I send nearly 600 sailors for you to-morrow.
17 Ironclad C.S.S. Virginia (ex-U.S.S. Merrimack) commissioned, Captain Franklin Buchanan commanding.
Flag Officer Foote informed Secretary of the Navy Welles: ''I leave immediately with a view of proceeding to Clarksville with eight mortar boats and two ironclad boats, with the Conestoga, wooden boat, as the river is rapidly falling. The other ironclad boats are badly cut up and require extensive repairs. I have sent one of the boats already since my return and ordered a second to follow me, which, with eight mortars, hope to carry Clarksville."
18 U.S.S. Ethan Allen, Acting Lieutenant Eaton, entered Clearwater harbor, Florida, and captured schooner Spitfire and sloops Atlanta and Caroline.
19 Confederates evacuated Clarksville, Tennessee. Colonel W. H. Allen, CSA, reported to General Floyd: ''Gunboats are coming; they are just below point; can see steamer here. Will try and see how many troops they have before I leave. Lieutenant Brady set bridge on fire, but it is burning very slowly and will probably go out before it falls." Asking in a postscript that any orders for him be sent "promptly," Allen noted that "I will have to go in a hurry when I go." Union forces under Flag Officer Foote occupied Fort Defiance and took possession of the town. Foote urged an immediate move on Nashville and notified Army headquarters in Cairo: "The Cumberland is in a good stage of water and General Grant and I believe we can take Nashville."
Trial run of two-gun ironclad U.S.S. Monitor in New York harbor. Chief Engineer Alban C. Stimers, USN, reported on the various difficulties that were presented during the trial run of Monitor and concluded that her speed would be approximately 6 knots, "though Captain Ericsson feels confident of 8."
U.S.S. Delaware, Commander Rowan, and U.S.S. Commodore Perry, Lieutenant Flusser, on a reconnaissance of the Chowan River, engaged Confederate troops at Winton, North Carolina. The following day Rowan's force covered the landing of Union troops who entered the town, destroying military stores and Confederate troop quarters before re-embarking.
U.S.S. Brooklyn, Captain T. T. Craven, and U.S.S. South Carolina, Lieutenant Hopkins, captured steamer Magnolia in the Gulf of Mexico with large cargo of cotton.
General Robert E. Lee, harassed by the Confederate inability to cope with the guns of the Union fleet, wrote Brigadier General Trapier regarding the defenses of Florida: ''In looking at the whole defense of Florida, it becomes important to ascertain what points can probably be held and what points had better be relinquished. The force that the enemy can bring against any position where he can concentrate his floating batteries renders it prudent and proper to withdraw from the islands to the main-land and be prepared to contest his advance into the interior. Where an island offers the best point of defense, and is so connected with the main that its communications cannot be cut off, it may be retained. Otherwise it should be abandoned."
20 Flag Officer Farragut arrived at Ship Island to begin what Secretary of the Navy Welles termed the "most important operation of the war" the assault on New Orleans. In his instruction of 10 February to the Flag Officer, Welles observed: "If successful, you open the way to the sea for the great West, never again to be closed. The rebellion will be riven in the center, and the flag to which you have been so faithful will recover its supremacy in every State." For some weeks prior to Farragut's arrival, Union forces had been gathering at the Ship Island staging area. As early as 30 December, General Bragg, CSA, had written from Mobile: "The enemy's vessels, some twenty, are below, landing supplies and large bodies of troops on Ship Island." With an inadequate naval force, however, the Confederates were unable to contest the steady build-up of Northern strength.
Major General John E. Wool at Fort Monroe, on hearing a report that Newport News was to be attacked by Virginia, wrote Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton: ''We want a larger naval force than we have at present. Meanwhile, the same day, Secretary of the Navy Welles was writing Lieutenant Worden: "Proceed with the U.S.S. Monitor, under your command, to Hampton Roads, Virginia.
Brigadier General George W. Cullum, General Halleck's Chief of Staff at Cairo, relayed an urgent message from General McClellan regarding the gunboats to Lieutenant S. L. Phelps: ''General McClellan gives most emphatic order to have gun and mortar boats here ready by Monday morning. Must move on Columbus with at least four serviceable gunboats and mortar boats. Only two gunboats at all serviceable here, and but one mortar boat, three being ashore.''
Flag Officer L. M. Goldsborough wrote Assistant Secretary of the Navy Fox: "At Washington, and also at Newberne [North Carolina] the obstructions in the river are very formidable, and admirably placed. They consist of a double row of piles thoroughly well driven by steam, and sunken vessels. The rows are at right angles to the shore and parallel with each other. One stretches all the way from the right bank nearly over to the left, and the other all the way from the left bank nearly over to the right, and there is a battery of considerable force on either bank between them; so that attacking vessels must first go bows on to one, and then after passing it, be raked aft by one and forward by the other at the same time.'' The Confederates sought to reduce the Union Navy's effectiveness by well-placed obstructions, making passage of shore batteries difficult and costly.
Armed boat expedition from U.S.S. New London, Lieutenant A. Read, captured 12 small sloops and schooners at Cat Island, Mississippi, suspected of being used as pilot vessels by blockade runners.
U.S.S. Portsmouth, Commander Swartwout, captured sloop Pioneer off Boca Chica, Texas, with cargo of tobacco.
21 Flag Officer Farragut formally relieved Flag Officer McKean as Commander, Western Gulf Blockading Squadron. As his other ships arrived, he assembled them at the Southeast Pass and sent those whose draft permitted over the bar to conduct the blockade ''in the river.'' Secretary of the Navy Welles had sent Farragut supplementary confidential instructions, spelling out what had been discussed in conference: ''When the Hartford is in all respects ready for sea, you will proceed to the Gulf of Mexico with all possible dispatch . . . There will be attached to your squadron a fleet of bomb-vessels and armed steamers, enough to manage them," under Commander D. D. Porter. Key West, preserved for the Union by the energy and foresight of naval commanders, would play the key role it has played throughout the United States' history as a naval base, rendezvous and training center for operations east, west, and south. He instructed Farragut to ''proceed up the Mississippi River and reduce the defenses which guard the approaches to New Orleans, when you will appear off that city and take possession of it under the guns of your squadron, and hoist the American flag therein, keeping possession until troops can be sent to you. . . There are other operations of minor importance which will commend themselves to your judgment and skill, but which must not be allowed to interfere with the great object in view the certain capture of the city of New Orleans.''
22 Union naval vessels entered Savannah River through Wall's Cut, isolating Fort Pulaski.
Flag Officer Farragut ordered Coast Survey team to sound the Mississippi passes and to mark out the safest channel.
23 Flag Officer Du Pont wrote Senator James W. Grimes from Iowa, a member of the Committee on Naval Affairs of his departure for continued operations on the South Atlantic Coast: "I am off tomorrow with a large division of my squadron to complete my work on the lower coast, and if God is with us, in some three weeks I hope to hold everything by and inside or outside blockade from Cape Canaveral to Georgetown, S.C." The Confederacy would withdraw inland as a result of Du Pont's efforts.
Flag Officer Foote, with Brigadier General Cullum, reconnoitered the Mississippi River down to Columbus, the anchor of the powerful Confederate defenses. He reported proceeding "with four ironclad boats, two mortar boats and three transports containing 1,000 men." Lieutenant Gwin, in U.S.S. Tyler, conducted a reconnaissance of the Tennessee River to Eastport, Mississippi. At Clifton, Tennessee, Gwin seized 1,100 sacks and barrels of flour and some 6,000 bushels of wheat.
24 Captain Buchanan, CSN, ordered to command James River, Virginia, naval defenses, and to fly his flag on board C.S.S. Virginia; the squadron consisted of C.S.S. Virginia, and the small gunboats C.S.S. Patrick Henry, Jamestown, Teaser, Raleigh, and Beaufort. In his orders to Buchanan Secretary of the Navy Mallory added: "The Virginia is a novelty in naval construction, untried, and her powers unknown; and hence the department will not give specific orders as to her attack upon the enemy. Her powers as a ram are regarded as very formidable, and it is hoped you will be able to test them. Like the bayonet charge of infantry, this mode of attack, while the most destructive, will commend itself to you in the present scarcity of ammunition. It is one also that may be rendered destructive at night against the enemy at anchor. Even without guns the ship would, it is believed, be formidable as a ram. Could you pass Old Point and make a dashing cruise in the Potomac as far as Washington, its effect upon the public mind would be important to our cause. The condition of our country, and the painful reverses we have just suffered, demand our utmost exertions; and convinced as I am that the opportunity and the means for striking a decisive blow for our navy are now, for the first time, presented, I congratulate you upon it, and know that your judgment and gallantry will meet all just expectations. Action, prompt and successful just now, would be of serious importance to our cause.
U.S.S. Harriet Lane, Lieutenant Jonathan M. Wainwright, captured schooner Joanna Ward off the coast of Florida. Wainwright was the grandfather of the General of the same name who was compelled to surrender Bataan in World War II.
25 U.S.S. Monitor commissioned in New York, Lieutenant John L. Worden commanding. Captain Dahlgren described Monitor as ''a mere speck, like a hat on the surface.''
U.S.S. Cairo, Lieutenant Nathaniel Bryant, arrived at Nashville, convoying seven steam transports with troops under Brigadier General William Nelson, one of two ex-naval officers assigned to duty with the Army. Troops were landed and occupied the Tennessee capital, an important base on the Cumberland River, without opposition. Meanwhile, the demand for the gunboats mounted steadily. From President Lincoln to widely seperated field commanders, everyone recognized their importance. General McClellan wired Major General Halleck: ''I learn from telegraph of Commodore Foote to the Navy Department that you have ordered that no gunboats go above Nashville. I think it may greatly facilitate Buell's operations to send a couple at least of the lighter ones to Nashville. Captain Maynadier, Tenth Infantry, will be ordered to Commodore Foote, at his request, as his ordnance officer for mortar boats." With the fall of Forts Henry and Donelson the Confederates retreated precipitously, abandoning strong positions, valuable ordnance, and supplies. Moreover, at Nashville and elsewhere on the river they lost badly needed manufacturing facilities. Flag Officer Foote quoted a Nashville paper as stating: ''We had nothing to fear from a land attack, but the gunboats are the devil."
U.S.S. Kingfisher, Acting Lieutenant Couthouy, captured blockade runner Lion in the Gulf of Mexico after a three day chase.
U.S.S. Mohican, Commander Godon, and U.S.S. Bienville, Commander Steedman, captured blockade running British schooner Arrow off Fernandina, Florida.
U.S.S. R. B. Forbes, Acting Lieutenant William Flye, grounded in a gale near Nag's Head, North Carolina, and was ordered destroyed by her commanding officer to prevent her falling to the Confederates. She had been ordered to the mortar flotilla below New Orleans.
26 C.S.S. Nashville, Lieutenant Pegram, captured and burned schooner Robert Gilfillan, bound from Philadelphia to Haiti with cargo of provisions.
U.S.S. Bienville, Commander Steedman, captured schooner Alert off St. John's, Florida. New Orleans "Committee of Safety" reported to President Davis regarding the "most deplorable condition" of the finances of the Navy Department there, stating that it was preventing the enlistment of men and that the "outstanding indebtedness can not be less than $600,000 or $800,000" owing to foundries and machine shops, draymen, and other suppliers, and that for months "a sign has been hanging over the paymaster's office of that department, 'No funds.'
The Committee stated that ''unless the proper remedy is at once applied, workmen can no longer be had."
27 Delayed one day by a lack of ammunition for her guns, U.S.S. Monitor, Lieutenant Worden, departed the New York Navy Yard for sea, but was compelled to turn back to the Yard because of steering failure. The same day at Norfolk, Flag Officer Forrest, CSN, commanding the Navy Yard, reported that want of gun powder, too, was delaying the readiness of Virginia to begin operations against the Union blockading ships.
28 C.S.S. Nashville, Lieutenant Pegram, ran the blockade into Beaufort, North Carolina.