Tag Archives: Gunboats

29 May 1864: “One colored regiment at each place to hold against great odds these important positions, which the army is fortifying.”

Item description: Sent from Acting Rear-Admiral Samuel Phillips Lee to Gideon Welles, who was U. S. Secretary of Navy, this telegram discusses military movements in the Fort Powhatan and Wilson’s Wharf region of Virginia, especially that of African American Union … 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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11 April 1862: “our forces are at corinth it the opinion of some that the enemy will leave the river wile the water is up they may stay there but if they get out of reach of their boats they will be badly whiped but I tell you there no use fighting their gun boats.”

Item description: A letter written by John W. Taylor in Corinth, Miss., dated 11 April 1862, gives a detailed description of his experience in the Battle of Shiloh. More about John W. Taylor: John W. Taylor (b. 1837) was born in … 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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21 March 1862: You wrote to me to know if I wanted any thing to write for it I do not want any thing but a pair of shoes

Item Description:  Letter of 21 March 1862, from Richard Godwin Joyner to his mother, Julia Joyner.  This brief and slight letter home is meant to reassure his family that all was well and to request a better pair of shoes. … Continue reading

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16 February 1862: Events crowd rapidly upon us and every moment seems full of history—The enemy are pressing us at every point and the crisis is also hard. Fort Henry on the Tennessee River has fallen and the enemy steamed down to Florence in Alabama destroying the shipping as they went

Item description: Diary entry, 16 February 1862 , of David Schenck (1835-1902).  Entry discusses military events in Tennessee and plans for intervention by England and France. Item citation: From folder 4 (volume 3) of the David Schenck Papers #652, Southern … Continue reading

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