Civil War Naval History

 




November 1860


1 United States Navy planned to convert seven sailing ships into steam ships of war at a cost of $3,064,000.

15 Lieutenant Thomas A. Craven, Commanding U.S. Naval Forces at Key West, notified Secretary of the Navy Isaac Toucey that due to "the present deplorable condition of affairs in the Southern States" he had moved to prevent the seizure "by any hands of lawless men" of Forts Taylor and Jefferson. Craven, in U.S.S. Mohawk, defended Fort Jefferson and Lieutenant Fabius Stanly, U.S.S. Wyandotte, held Fort Taylor. This far-sighted action on the part of Craven, who distinguished himself throughout the war, enabled the Union to retain the vital Key West posts, the importance of which, Craven noted can not be overestimated, commanding as they do the commerce of the Gulf of Mexico.