Tag Archives: Confederate Navy

17 September 1863: “Our force of wooden vessels in the sounds, necessarily of light draft and lightly armed, will by no means be adequate to contend against the rebel ram and battery…”

Item description: “Letter of the Secretary of the Navy to the Secretary of War requesting that army forces be employed to destroy the Confederate ram building on the Roanoke River.” In this letter, the Secretary of the Navy (U.S.), Gideon … Continue reading

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13 September 1863: “Since I last wrote to you I have been on quite a journey.”

Item Description: Letter, 13 September 1863, from Joseph Wilson Alexander to his mother, Elvira Catherine Wilson Alexander, relaying news of his escape from imprisonment and recapture in New England. J. W. Alexander, who predicted trouble when he heard of Lincoln’s 1860 … Continue reading

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30 May 1863: “The ‘Chattahoochee’ is no more! and I am truly thankful that I was not present to witness the horrible scene on board. But I am anticipating the ship exploded her boiler on the 27th, inst., 7 miles below Alum Bluff, causing the death of 16 persons instantly, and two more will not recover.”

Item description: Letter, 30 May 1863, from George Washington Gift to his fiancee Ellen Augusta Shackelford, concerning the explosion that destroyed the gunboat C.S.S. Chattahoochee on 27 May 1863. George Washington Gift (b. 1833) was raised in Tennessee, and went to California some … Continue reading

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18 April 1863: “…the vessels of the volunteer navy are authorized to seize, capture and destroy upon the sea, or within the ebb and flow of the tide, all vessels and property of the United States, and of the citizens thereof…”

Item description: “An Act To Establish A Volunteer Navy,” Congress of the Confederate States of America, dated 28 February 1863. Item citation: “An Act to Establish a Volunteer Navy,” Confederate States of America, 18 April 1863. 57 Conf., Rare Book … Continue reading

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1 March 1863: “With proper application, why cannot I exchange the snows and mud of Virginia for the dancing billows of the Atlantic?”

Item description: Letter, 1 March 1863, from Ruffin Thomson, 18th Mississippi Infantry Regiment, to his “Pa” (William H. Thomson). More about Ruffin Thomson: Ruffin Thomson was the oldest child and only son of William H. Thomson and Hannah Lavinia Thomson. He studied … Continue reading

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19 February 1863: “…you can, cooperating with General Foster’s land force, destroy the rebel ironclads building on the rivers…”

Item description: “Order of Acting Rear-Admiral Lee, U. S. Navy, to Commander Murray, U. S. Navy, to cooperate with land force for the destruction of Confederate ironclads under construction.” To read more from the Official Records of the Union and … Continue reading

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2 April 1862: “These boats may not be heavily plated, but if fitted as rams they would be very formidable against my slight little craft.”

Item description: Report of Commander Rowan, U. S. Navy, regarding the construction by the enemy of three ironclad gunboats. To read more from the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, click here. … Continue reading

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3 September 1861: “You will immediately take Ocracoke Inlet, to be used, like Hatteras, as a harbor of refuge…”

Item description: Instructions from the United States Secretary of the Navy to Flag-Officer S. H. Stringham, U.S. Navy, commanding Atlantic Blockading Squadron, regarding the holding and obstructing of the inlets of North Carolina by sinking vessels loaded with stone. To … Continue reading

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4 June 1861: “Authority be given to purchase the three (3) boats.”

Item description: Telegram from Walter Gwynn, Norfolk, Va., to North Carolina Gov. John W. Ellis asking Ellis to authorize the purchase of three warships. Item citation: From folder 11 of the John Willis Ellis Papers, #242, Southern Historical Collection, The … Continue reading

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