USS Saranac (1848)
USS Saranac (1848) – a sloop
of war -- was laid down in 1847 during the Mexican-American War;
however, by the time she completed sea trials, the war was over. She
was commissioned in 1850 and saw service protecting American
interests in the Atlantic Ocean as well as the Pacific Ocean. When
the American Civil War broke out, Saranac patrolled America’s West
Coast. Retained by the Navy post-war, she continued serving her
country until wrecking in 1875.
After re-commissioning on 17 September 1857, she got underway to
begin the long voyage south round Cape Horn and back up the Pacific
Ocean coast of the Americas for duty along the west coast of the
United States. She was still performing this duty when the Civil War
erupted, and she remained at the task of protecting American
commerce along the coast of California throughout the war. After the
Confederacy had collapsed, Saranac cruised at sea in search of
Southern cruiser, Shenandoah, which remained a menace to Union
shipping until belatedly learning of the end of the war.
USS Hartford (1858)
Civil War, 1861–1865
With the outbreak of the American Civil War, Hartford was ordered
home. She departed the Sunda Strait with Dacotah on 30 August 1861
and arrived Philadelphia on 2 December to be fitted out for wartime
service. She departed the Delaware Capes on 28 January as flagship
of Flag Officer David G. Farragut, the commander of the newly
created West Gulf Blockading Squadron.
Rear Admiral David G. Farragut, Captain Percival
Officers: Lieutenant Commander L. A. Kimberly; Lieutenant H.
B. Tyson and J. C. Watson; Fleet Surgeon James C. Palmer;
Fleet Paymaster Edward T. Dunn;
Surgeon, John J. Gibson;
Assistant Surgeon William Commons; Paymater William T.
Merideth; Marine Captain Charles Hayywood; Marine First
Lieutenant C. L. Sherman; Ensigns C. D. jones and LaRue P.
Adams; Acting Ensigns William H. Whiting, G. D. B. Glidden;
C. W. Snow and George Munday; Pilot Martin Freeman; Acting
Master's Mates J. J. Tinelli, William H. Hathorne, W. H.
Childs, R. P. Herrick, G. R. Avery and H. Brownell; Fleet
Engineer William H. Shock; Chief Engineer Thom Williamson;
Second Assistant Engineers E. B. Latch, F. A. Wilson, Lsaac
DeGraff, C. M. Burchard and John Wilson; Third Assistant
Engineers J. E. Speights, H. L. Pinkington and Alfred Hoyt;
Boatswain Robert Dixon; Gunner J. L. Staples; Carpenter O.
S. Stimson; Sailmaker T. C. Herbert.
An even larger purpose than the important blockade of the South's
Gulf Coast lay behind Farragut's assignment. Late in 1861, the Union
high command decided to capture New Orleans, the South's richest and
most populous city, to begin a drive of sea-based power up the
Mississippi River to meet the Union Army which was to drive down the
Mississippi valley behind a spearhead of armored gunboats. "Other
operations," Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles warned Farragut,
"must not be allowed to interfere with the great object in view—the
certain capture of the city of New Orleans."
Hartford arrived 20 February at Ship Island, Mississippi, midway
between Mobile Bay and the mouths of the Mississippi. Several Union
ships and a few Army units were already in the vicinity when the
squadron's flagship dropped anchor at the advanced staging area for
the attack on New Orleans. In ensuing weeks a mighty fleet assembled
for the campaign. In mid-March Commander David Dixon Porter's
flotilla of mortar schooners arrived towed by steam gunboats.
The next task was to get Farragut's ships across the bar, a
constantly shifting mud bank at the mouth of each pass entering the
Mississippi. Farragut managed to get all of his ships but Colorado
across the bar and into the river where Forts St. Philip and Jackson
challenged further advance. A line of hulks connected by strong
barrier chains, six ships of the Confederate Navy—including ironclad
Manassas and unfinished but potentially deadly ironclad Louisiana,
two ships of the Louisiana Navy, a group of converted river steamers
called the Confederate River Defense Fleet, and a number of fire
rafts also stood between Farragut and the great Southern metropolis.
On 16 April, the Union ships moved up the river to a position below
the forts, and David Porter's gunboats first exchanged fire with the
Southern guns. Two days later his mortar schooners opened a heavy
barrage which continued for six days. On the 21st, the squadron's
Fleet Captain, Henry H. Bell, led a daring expedition up river and,
despite a tremendous fire on him, cut the chain across the river. In
the early hours of 24 April, a red lantern on Hartford's mizzen peak
signaled the fleet to get underway and steam through the breach in
the obstructions. As the ships closed the forts their broadsides
answered a fire from the Confederate guns. Porter's mortar schooners
and gunboats remained at their stations below the southern
fortifications covering the movement with rapid fire.
Hartford dodged a run by ironclad ram Manassas; then, while
attempting to avoid a fireraft, grounded in the swift current near
Fort St. Philip. When the burning barge was shoved alongside the
flagship, only Farragut's leadership and the training of the crew
saved Hartford from being destroyed by flames which at one point
engulfed a large portion of the ship. Meanwhile the sloop's gunners
never slackened the pace at which they poured broadsides into the
forts. As her firefighters snuffed out the flames, the flagship
backed free of the bank.
When Farragut's ships had run the gantlet and passed out of range of
the fort's guns, the Confederate River Defense Fleet attempted to
stop their progress. In the ensuing melee, they managed to sink
converted merchantman Varwut, the only Union ship lost during the
Battle of New Orleans, 1862
Main article: Battle of New Orleans (American Civil War)
The next day, after silencing Confederate batteries, a few miles
below New Orleans, Hartford and her sister ships anchored off the
city early in the afternoon. A handful of ships and men had won a
great decisive victory that secured the South could not win the war.
Early in May, Farragut ordered several of his ships up stream to
clear the river and followed himself in Hartford on the 7th to join
in the conquest of the valley. Defenseless, Baton Rouge and Natchez
promptly surrendered to the Union ships and no significant
opposition was encountered until 18 May when the Confederate
commandant at Vicksburg replied to Commander Samuel P. Lee's demand
for surrender: "... Mississippians don't know and refuse to learn,
how to surrender to an enemy. If Commodore Farragut or Brigadier
General Butler can teach them, let them come and try."
When Farragut arrived on the scene a few days later, he learned that
heavy Southern guns mounted on the bluff at Vicksburg some 200 feet
(60 m) above the river could shell his ships while his own guns
could not be elevated enough to hit them back. Since sufficient
troops were not available to take the fortress by storm, the Flag
Officer headed downstream on 27 May leaving gunboats to blockade it
Orders awaited Farragut at New Orleans, where he arrived on 30 May,
directing him to open the river and join the Western Flotilla and
stating that Abraham Lincoln himself had given the task highest
priority. The Flag Officer recalled Porter's mortar schooners from
Mobile, Alabama and dutifully got underway up the Mississippi in
Hartford on 8 June.
Battle of Vicksburg, 1863:
Main article: Siege of Vicksburg
The Union Squadron was assembled just below Vicksburg by 26 June.
Two days later the Union ships, their own guns blazing at rapid fire
and covered by an intense barrage from the mortars, suffered little
damage while running past the batteries. Flag Officer Davis,
commanding the Western Flotilla, joined Farragut above Vicksburg on
the 30th; but again, naval efforts to take Vicksburg were frustrated
by a lack of troops. "Ships," Porter commented, "... cannot crawl up
hills 300 feet high, and it is that part of Vicksburg which must be
taken by the Army." On 22 July, Farragut received orders to return
down the river at his discretion and he got underway on 24 July,
reached New Orleans in four days, and after a fortnight sailed to
Pensacola, Florida, for repairs.
The flagship returned to New Orleans on 9 November to prepare for
further operations in the unpredictable waters of the Mississippi.
The Union Army, ably supported by the Mississippi Squadron, was
pressing, on Vicksburg from above, and Farragut wanted to assist in
the campaign by blockading the mouth of the Red River from which
supplies were pouring eastward to the Confederate Army. Meanwhile,
the South had been fortifying its defenses along the river and had
erected powerful batteries at Port Hudson, Louisiana.
On the night of 14 March, Farragut in Hartford and accompanied by
six other ships, attempted to run by these batteries. However, they
encountered such heavy and accurate fire that only the flagship and
Albatross, lashed alongside, succeeded in running the gantlet.
Thereafter, Hartford and her consort patrolled between Port Hudson
and Vicksburg denying the Confederacy desperately needed supplies
from the West.
Porter's Mississippi Squadron, cloaked by night, dashed downstream
past the Vicksburg batteries on 16 April, while General Ulysses S.
Grant marched his troops overland to a new base also below the
Southern stronghold. April closed with the Navy ferrying Grant's
troops across the river to Bruinsburg whence they encircled
Vicksburg and forced the beleaguered fortress to surrender on 4
With the Mississippi River now opened, Farragut turned his attention
to Mobile, a Confederate industrial center still building ships and
turning out war supplies. The Battle of Mobile Bay took place on 5
August 1864. Farragut, with Hartford as his flagship, led a fleet
consisting of four ironclad monitors and 14 wooden vessels. The
Confederate naval force was composed of newly built ram Tennessee,
Admiral Franklin Buchanan's flagship, and gunboats Selma, Morgan,
and Gaines; and backed by the powerful guns of Forts Morgan and
Gaines in the Bay. From the firing of the first gun by Fort Morgan
to the raising of the white flag of surrender by Tennessee little
more than three hours elapsed—but three hours of terrific fighting
on both sides. The Confederates had only 32 casualties, while the
Union forces suffered 335 casualties, including 113 men drowned in
Tecumseh when the monitor struck a torpedo and sank.
Abstract log of the U. S. S.
Hartford, Commodore James S. Palmer, U. S. Navy, commanding,
December 15, 1863.--At 2:15 p.m. went into commission, [navy yard],
New York. The following officers reported for duty: Commodore James
S. Palmer, Lieutenant-Commander L. A. Kimberly, Chief Engineer Thom
Williamson, Surgeon J. J. Gibson, Paymaster William T. Meredith,
Lieutenant H. B. Tyson, Captain Charles Heywood, U. S. Marine Corps;
Lieutenant Charles L. Sherman, U. S. Marine Corps; Assistant Surgeon
Joseph Hugg, Ensigns C. D. Jones, La Rue P. Adams, H. T. Grafton,
William H. Whiting, and George D. B. Glidden; Second assistant
Engineers E. B. Latch, F. A. Wilson, John Wilson, Isaac De Graff,
and Charles M. Burchard; Third Assistant Engineers H. L. Pilkington
and James E. Speights; Commodore's Clerk F. T. Mason, Pay Clerk H.
N. Wood, Acting Master's Mates [W.] H. Hathorne, George R. Avery,
Joseph J. Tinelli, William H. Childs; Boatswain Robert Dixon, Gunner
John L. Staples, Carpenter O. T. Stimson, Sailmaker Theodore C.
Herbert. Received on board 26 petty officers, 32 seamen, 33 ordinary
seamen, 38 landsmen, 12 boys, 14 Firemen and 11 coal heavers.
Discharged 4 petty officers, 5 seamen, 9 ordinary seamen, 1
landsman, 1 fireman; their times having expired.
January 4, 1864.--At 11:45 a.m. the commodore came on board and
11:15 the admiral [D. G. Farragut] and two lieutenants.
January 5.--From meridian to 4 p.m.: Steaming out of New York Harbor
in charge of the pilot.
January 17.--At 7:40 a.m. came to anchor (Pensacola Harbor). January
19.--At 9:20 a.m. anchored, Mobile Point light bearing (true) N.,
Sand Island light-house bearing (true) N. by W. ½ W., distant about
January 20.--From 8 to meridian: The Octorara arrived, with the
admiral on board, and the Itasca, stood inshore toward Sand Island.
At 1:30 p.m. the admiral and staff returned from a reconnoissance of
Fort Morgan. At 6:30 p.m. got underway and stood for the mouth of
January 22.--At 3:50 p.m. came to anchor off New Orleans. February
9.--At 12:45 a.m. got underway and headed for Pensacola Harbor. At
11:55 a.m. came to anchor in Pensacola Harbor. Captain Percival
Drayton to-day assumed command of this ship.
April 2.--At 12:05 p.m. Rear-Admiral David G. Farragut and staff,
consisting of Fleet Captain Percival Drayton,
<nor21_797>Flag-Lieutenant J. C. Watson, Admiral's Secretary Alex.
McKinley, Flag-Ensign T. W. Davis, Flag Master's Mate H. H.
Brownell, and Coast Pilot Freeman, left the ship. The admiral
transferred his flag to the U. S. S. Tennessee. When the Tennessee
had left the harbor, Captain Jenkins, of the Richmond, hoisted his
April 26.--At 6 p.m. admiral and staff arrived per Tennessee;
returned on board.
May 22.--Blockade off Mobile. From 6 to 8 p.m.: Transported both the
100-pounder Parrott rifled guns to topgallant forecastle and
30-pounder Parrott to poop deck.
May 24.--Seven of the enemy's steamers in sight up the bay at
daylight. From meridian to 4 p.m.: Admiral and staff went on board
the Metacomet, who got underway and stood close inshore. At 3:30
admiral and staff returned.
May 30.--At 11:20 a.m. the Metacomet opened fire on the enemy, who
were engaged in throwing up batteries to the westward of Fort
Morgan, distance 3½ miles. She threw four shells, which dislodged
June 6.--At 6:20 a.m. the admiral left the ship and went on board
the Philippi, which got underway and stood to the westward. At 9
a.m. the Metacomet brought in the prize steamer Donegal.
June 7.--From midnight to 4 a.m.: Repeated firing of guns both from
fleet near the Swash Channel and Fort Morgan. Saw several lights
beating N. N.E. Picket boats made signal.
June 11.--At 5:10 p.m. went to quarters and saw battery ready for
action at a moment's notice.
June 17.--At 1 p.m. the Glasgow arrived, having on board
Major-General Canby and staff. From 8 to midnight: At 9 the rebels
signaling from Fort Gaines.
June 30.--At 12 meridian saw black smoke bearing E. S. E. At 12:30
p.m. made signal to the Metacomet, after which she immediately got
underway and stood to the southward and eastward. At 11:45 p.m. saw
a signal (Coston) bearing N. E., but could not make out the number;
it was immediately followed by flashes of heavy guns from N. ½ W.
July 1.--At daylight discovered a blockade runner ashore about 1¾
miles E. from Fort Morgan. Sent Metacomet, Irasea, Seminole,
Pembina, Genesee, and Port Royal in to open fire upon her. At 6 a.m.
fire opened and Fort Morgan replied at long intervals. From 8 to
meridian: All the vessels of the fleet, except the Richmond,
Brooklyn, Ossipee, and Lackawanna engaged in firing at the blockade
runner, supposed to be the Danby [Denhigh]. At 1:30 p.m. the
Monongahela, Galena, Metacomet, Port Royal, and Genesee engaged in
firing at the blockade runner on the beach. At 1 [2?] the Metacomet,
Seminole, Genesee, Itasca, and Pembina withdrew and came out and
anchored. At 2:15 Monongahela withdrew and came out and anchored.
From 4 to 6 p.m.: During the watch the Pembina, Port Royal, Galena,
and Seminole were engaged firing at the blockade runner; they were
occasionally fired at from the forts and batteries on shore.
July 2.--At 10 a.m. the Monongahela and Metacomet got underway and
went in and fired at the blockade runner. From 4 to 6 p.m.: The
admiral and staff left the ship in the Glasgow to observe the
blockade runner ashore. At 11 p.m. a fire on Fort Morgan.
July 3.--At 1 a.m. the vessel bearing N. E. by N. burned Coston
signal R. G. and threw rockets to eastward. At 2:40 the Pembina,
Itasca, and Glasgow opened fire on the vessel on the shore. Fort
Morgan and the sand battery and rebel gunboat returned the fire. The
firing lasted until 3:30. At 10:35 p.m. the gunboats commenced
firing on the prize steamer, which was answered by the batteries on
shore. The firing continued until 11:20 p.m. From meridian to 4
p.m.: The Metacomet inshore firing at the blockade runner on beach.
At 10:35 p.m. the gunboats commenced firing on the prize steamer,
which was answered by the batteries until 11:20 p.m.
July 4.--At 2:30 p.m. Lackawanna made signal. She then stood in and
engaged the batteries. At 1 p.m. the admiral and staff went on board
the Cowslip and stood inshore toward the blockade runner on the
beach. At 5 p.m. the Lackawanna, Galena, Oneida, Seminole,
Monongahela, and Genesee ceased firing and came out and anchored
July 5.--At midnight discovered a steamer bearing N. E., which
proved to be the Kennebec. At 2:05 she came within hail, and the
captain came on board and reported the enemy trying to get off the
prize. She was immediately sent back and the Cowslip sent to order
three steamers to go to her assistance and shell the enemy. At 3:15
the vessels opened fire. At daylight the vessels came from their
stations. The masts of the blockade runner had been taken out during
the night. At 7 p.m. sent the gig, barge, and fourth cutter, armed,
to destroy the blockade runner on the beach.
July 6.--At 12:40 a.m. saw a fire bearing N. ½ E., supposed to be
the blockade runner on the beach. At 1:45 a.m. our three boats
returned to the ship, having set the blockade runner on fire. Fire
still burning at 4 o'clock.
July 7.--At 6:30 p.m. inspected crew at quarters. Sent the fourth
cutter and gig on an expedition to blow up the steamer on the beach.
July 3.--At 2:30 a.m. discovered a flash of light as if from a gun
bearing N., followed by five other smaller flashes bearing N. by E.
At 2:55 discovered a light bearing N. by E.; proved to be the
Glasgow. At 4 the expedition in charge of Lieutenant Watson
returned. They found the rebels on board the steamer prepared to
receive them. The boats made no attempt to board, but were fired
into by the troops on board the steamer, from a battery on the
beach, and also from Fort Morgan. One man, William Hawkins, was
wounded, shot through both hips. From meridian to 4 p.m.: William
Hawkins, seaman, died from wounds received in the expedition last
night against 'the blockade runner ashore on the beach. From 4 to 6
p.m.: Major-Generals Canby and Granger and their respective staffs,
accompanied by Commodore Palmer, visited the ship.
July 9.--At 12 midnight a green and white light (Coston) was burned,
bearing about N. E. by N. Saw bright light moving to the northward
from the eastward.
July 10.--At daylight discovered a rebel blockade runner ashore
about one-fourth of a mile to the eastward of Fort Morgan. At 5:50
the Monongahela got underway and stood in for her. From 8 to
meridian: Galena, Monongahela, and Genesee engaged firing on the
blockade runner on shore. At 10:15 the Lackawanna got underway and
went to fire at the vessel ashore. From meridian to 4 p.m.: The
Lackawanna engaged firing at the blockade runner. A rebel river
<nor21_799>steamer came outside at 3:45, apparently to assist the
blockade runner off or to take her cargo. The Seminole and Metacomet
were ordered to shell her, which they did. At 4:05 p.m. discovered a
steamer running out from Fort Morgan and run toward the prize
steamer ashore. Immediately made general signal to the Metacomet and
Seminole and they immediately got underway and stood in and shelled
July 11.--At 9:40 a.m. the Oneida opened fire upon the blockade
runner ashore under the guns of Fort Morgan. Practice good and the
fire returned from the fort. At 1:45 p.m. the vessel ashore backed
off the shoal and started ahead, but got aground again on southwest
spit off Fort Morgan. At 2:20 she backed off, but got aground again
a little to the eastward of the fort. At 3 the Ariel, a large river
steamer, came down to assist the blockade runner. Sent in the
gunboats Kennebec and Pinola to shell her. The river steamer then
went up the bay. The rebel steamer on guard duty off the spit went
up the bay. From 4 to 6 p.m.: During the watch the steamers Kennebec
and Pinola ceased firing at the steamer on the beach. At 6:30 p.m.
Admiral Farragut and Lieutenant Watson went on board the U. S. S.
Tennessee, hoisting his pennant there.
July 22.--At daylight made out the rebel gunboats Morgan and Gaines
at anchor off the spit. At 8 the blockade runner which came down the
bay last night got underway and went up the bay.
July 28.--From 8 to meridian: The rebel ram Tennessee got underway
and moved around inside the harbor, firing a few shot apparently at
a target. The blockade runner which was at Fort Morgan went up the
bay at 11.
August 3.--From 8 to meridian: Lieutenant Kinney, of the Signal
Corps, U. S. Army, and 8 privates reported for duty on board this
August 4.--At 11 a.m. monitor Winnebago opened fire on Fort Gaines,
which was returned by the Fort. Enemy landing troops at Fort Gaines.
At 10:45 p.m. heard two reports as heavy guns in the direction of
August 5.--Mobile Bay. At 3 a.m. called all hands; furled awnings
and stowed them below and made other preparations for battle. At
4:30 the Metacomet lashed on alongside; a delay of several vessels
in lashing. At 5:30 made general signal. At 5:30 the Brooklyn got
underway. At 5:31 all answered. The river monitor fired two guns at
5:30. At 5:40 the Hartford underway and she stood in for Mobile Bar,
the Brooklyn ahead. Wind at first S. W., then W., and cloudy. At
5:45 the last vessel underway. Went to quarters at 5:50. At 5:55
made general signal to Brooklyn; answered. At 6:08 crossed the bar.
At 6:22 the Tecumseh fired on the fort. The Manhattan coming out. At
6:20 made signal Seminole; answered. Seminole took the Loyall in
tow. At 6:25 vessels reasonably in line. All the monitors out and
firing on fort, but not reaching.
At 6:35 Ossipee's distinguishing pennant hoisted, flying, answered.
At 6:40 hoisted ensign at peak and broke stops of masthead flags. At
6:43 the Hartford abreast of Sand Island light. A delay from
Chickasaw not taking her position. At 6:55 start again, vessels
ranging tolerably well up. At 6:52 made signal to Chickasaw; not
answered. At 7 signal to Brooklyn; answered. At 7:06 Fort Morgan
opened fire, the Brooklyn at 7:07, and the Hartford at 7:11, and the
action <nor21_800>almost immediately became lively. At 7:22 first
hit in the foremast. At 7:24 made signal to Brooklyn; answered. Very
great delay from monitors not taking their position. At 7:35 action
became sharp and general. Hit in our port netting and Metacomet in
wheel. At 7:40 the Tecumseh sunk almost immediately on our starboard
beam, from a torpedo, a little to the southward of Fort Morgan. Our
gig hit. The engagement now very general and rapid firing on all
sides. The Tennessee heads for the Hartford and, with the three
gunboats, Selma, Gaines, and Morgan, opened fire on the Hartford
exclusively. When within one-third of a mile put his helm astarboard
and ran down to the fleet, which was a long way astern. Very sharp
engagement of the Hartford with the Morgan, Gaines, and Selma. Our
men falling rapidly. From 8 to meridian: At 8:02 cut loose the
Metacomet, which proceeded after the Selma. Hartford nearly ahead of
everything. Came to anchor at 8:35 in the fleet anchorage. The ram
alters his course and makes for the Hartford to engage her before
the monitors and fleet, came up. Most of the fleet came up, but the
monitors outside and far to the eastward. We got underway and
prepared to ram the Tennessee. Monongahela and Lackawanna ordered to
prepare to do the same. The Monongahela rams first, then the
Lackawanna. The Hartford and Tennessee head on, both ram, both helms
astarboard. Our port anchor not being catted catches on the gunwale
of the Tennessee and the shank bent so as to bring the flukes nearly
parallel with the stock. This cants the Tennessee and the concussion
is comparatively slight. She passes rapidly astern, the port sides
of the vessels grazing each [other], and when abreast we delivered
our broadside of seven IX-inch guns with their utmost depression,
13-pound charges, and solid shot. The Philippi seemed to be burning.
We steer to ram her again [the Tennessee], and the Lackawanna, in
attempting to do the same thing, strikes us directly abeam, at about
5 knots, just forward of our starboard mizzen rigging, and cuts us
within 2 feet; of the water's edge, also carries away our starboard
maintopmast backstays. A shot carries away the ram's smokestack, I
think by one of our IX-inch shot; and now several of the fleet
bearing down on her, she surrenders and hoists the white flag. The
Hartford came to anchor about 10 o'clock and the ram was towed up to
us by the Winnebago. The Metacomet afterwards brings in the
Selma.--WM. STARR DANA. From meridian to 4 p.m.: Flag-of-truce boat
having permission for the Metacomet to convey wounded to Pensacola
returned. Engaged in clearing up decks. From 4 to 6 p.m.: Firing on
the ironclad Chickasaw by Fort Powell. Sent the Loyall to pick up
two boats adrift. Got 19 bodies ready for burial. Sent following 
men with their bags and hammocks to the captured Selma. Received
from the Port Royal 2 engineers and several men in the rebel
service. From 8 to midnight: Employed until 10:45 removing the
wounded men to the Metacomet. At 11:10 p.m. saw an explosion and
fire in the direction of Fort Powell, supposed to be that fort.
August 6.--At 1:40 a.m. several guns were fired, bearing N. ½ W. The
shell traversed from east to west. At 3:54 a bright fire broke out
to the northward. At 5:30 a.m. the Metacomet got underway and stood
out of Mobile Bay under a flag of truce. Observed a fire at or on
Fort Powell. At 6:20 saw the Estrella standing from the sound toward
Fort Powell. At 7 saw stars and stripes floating over
<nor21_801>Fort Powell. At 7:15 manned rigging and cheered ship. At
7 dispatched ironclad Chickasaw to 'Fort Powell. At about 3:10 p.m.
the Chickasaw went in and engaged Fort Gaines. From 4 to 6 p.m. the
Chickasaw engaged in shelling Fort Gaines.
August 7.--At 7 a.m. a flag-of-truce boat from Fort Gaines, having
Major Browne and Lieutenant McCarty, C. S. Army, bearers of
dispatches from the commanding officer to Rear-Admiral Farragut,
came on board. At 6:45 p.m. the Metacomet got underway and went down
to Fort Gaines with a flag of truce. From 8 to midnight: The
Metacomet returned with Captain Drayton and Colonel Myer from Fort
Gaines, together with two rebel officers. At 8:35 signals made by
the army on Dauphin Island and answered by the signal corps of the
Hartford on the captured Tennessee.
August 8.--At 7:10 a.m. Captain Drayton went in the Loyall to
receive the surrender of Fort Gaines. From 8 to midnight:
Lieutenants Watson and Tyson and Ensign Whiting returned from
embarking prisoners from Fort Gaines to the Bienville and the
vessels outside the Mobile bar.
August 9.--At 9:30 a.m. sent the boats of the fleet in tow of the
Octorara to aid in landing the army. The rebels set fire to the
hospital and barracks at Fort Morgan. Also set fire to their own
boat, the Gaines. Army transports moved up to Navy Cove and
commenced disembarking troops. The Lackawanna, Monongahela, and
Itasca moved up and opened fire to cover the troops. The admiral and
staff went on board the Cowslip to superintend the movement. The
Port Royal got underway and took the Tennessee in tow and took up a
position off Fort Morgan to open fire. The monitors Manhattan,
Winnebago, and Chickasaw also moved up and took up position to shell
Fort Morgan. At 11:30 the Itasca returned, having in tow a sloop and
bringing a deserter from Fort Morgan. From meridian to 4 p.m.
several vessels of the fleet engaged shelling Fort Morgan. Troops
engaged landing on the mainland m rear of Fort Morgan. At 1:18 p.m.
Admiral Farragut and staff returned. At 1:20 made preparations to
get underway. Sent Lieutenant Watson with a flag of truce to Fort
Morgan. At 2:45 Fort Morgan opened fire on the Port Royal, with the
Tennessee in tow. The Port Royal dropped the Tennessee and stood
from the fort, returning the fire. At 10:45 the Itasca came within
hail and reported that the monitor Manhattan was afloat and had
anchored ahead of the fleet.
August 10.--At 9:30 a.m. a heavy rain squall from the S.W. From
meridian to 4 p.m.: The army transport and small vessels of the
fleet engaged in carrying troops and provisions from Fort Gaines to
August 13.--At 2 p.m. the prize steamer Tennessee opened fire on
Fort Morgan, which was returned by the fort and continued during the
watch. From 4 to 6 p.m.: The Winnebago firing at Fort Morgan. At 5
she came up and anchored near us. Winnebago fired five times at the
fort; practice good. From 8 to midnight: The monitor Manhattan
during the watch threw several shot into the fort.
August 14.--The Chickasaw kept up her fire of one shell every thirty
minutes at Fort Morgan during the watch. At 4:45 p.m. the monitor
Winnebago opened fire on Fort Morgans From 8 to midnight: The
monitors keeping up a constant fire on Fort Morgan, with intervals
of twenty minutes. <nor21_802>
August 15.--At 3 a.m., as the moon was setting, a perfect rainbow
was visible in the east against a heavy cloud bank. The monitor
fired five times at the fort during the watch. From 4 to 6 p.m.:
Keeping a slow fire on Fort Morgan from the batteries on shore. From
8 to midnight: Firing from the fort during the watch.
August 16.--From midnight to 4 a.m.: During the watch Fort Morgan
fired a few shell in the direction of our army. From 8 to midnight:
Regular firing from the Winnebago at Fort Morgan. Occasionally a
shot from the shore battery. At 10:50 the fort opened on shore
August 17.--From 4 to 6 p.m.: Firing at Fort Morgan from shore
battery. From 8 to midnight: Our batteries on shore firing slowly at
fort during the latter part of the watch.
August 20.--From 8 to midnight: Three shots were fired from the
shore batteries, which was returned by Fort Morgan.
August 21.--Midnight to 4 a.m.: Our batteries firing about once
every half-hour. At 2:10 Fort Morgan opened a heavy fire on our
lines and continued it about half an hour. At 3:30 fired several
shot again. A bright light on the east end of Fort Morgan, low down.
From 4 to 6 p.m.: Fort Morgan fired several times. From 8 to
midnight: The fort firing on our batteries about once every five
minutes during first part of watch, at longer intervals during
latter part. Our batteries do not reply.
August 22.--From midnight to 4 a.m.: During the watch Fort Morgan
fired a number of times. At 5 a.m. the firing became general from
the batteries on shore and the ironclads. The Brooklyn, Ossipee,
Monongahela, Richmond, Galena, Seminole, Octorara, and Lackawanna
soon moved in and opened fire, all upon Fort Morgan. At 6 the
Octorara came down from up the bay. At 11:30 a.m. the Brooklyn came
out of action and anchored. Our shore batteries and the fleet firing
rapidly at Fort Morgan. No reply. The outside fleet firing
occasionally. From meridian to 4 p.m.: The batteries engaged firing
upon Fort Morgan. From 4 to 6 p.m.: Firing still kept up at the fort
from the ironclads and the batteries on shore. From 6 to 8 p.m.: Our
batteries and the monitors shelling Fort Morgan. From 8 to midnight:
At 8:20 a large fire broke out on Fort Morgan, and our batteries
opened a heavy fire. At 10:10 an explosion took place in the fort.
At 10:30 our batteries slackened their fire. At 11:45 the fire broke
out to the left and burned very brilliantly. At midnight fire still
burning, and batteries keeping up their fire.
August 23.--From midnight to 8 a.m.: Firing from shore batteries at
Fort Morgan continued at short intervals. The fire inside the fort
continuing to burn throughout the watch. From 4 to 8 a.m.: Our
batteries firing slowly until 5 a.m., then the fort fired a couple
of shots. Our batteries then opened heavily; the fire apparently
nearly out. At 5:50 a heavy explosion in the fort and the fire broke
out with increased violence. At 6:30 a white flag was hoisted on the
fort; our firing ceased. At 7 Captain Drayton and Lieutenant Watson
went to Fort Morgan in the Cowslip, which had arrived from the
sound. At 9:30 the Cowslip returned with Captain Drayton. From
meridian to 4 p.m.: Captain Drayton and staff and General Granger
went on board the Cowslip at 1 p.m. and proceeded to Fort Morgan. At
2:15 p.m. the United States flag was hoisted on Fort Morgan and the
rebel flag hauled down. The fort surrendered to the combined army
and naval <nor21_803>forces at 2 o'clock. At 2:15 fired a salute of
sixteen guns, then cheered ship.
August 25.--From 4 to 6 p.m.: Received on board Martin Freeman,
pilot, and a man from the Metacomet, both wounded by the accidental
explosion of a torpedo on shore.
November 30.--[Pensacola.] From meridian to 4 p.m.: Got underway and
stood out in charge of the pilot.
December 12.--At 1:40 p.m. came to with starboard anchor, Sandy Hook
light-house bearing W. N. W. ¾ W.
December 13.--At meridian got both anchors and went ahead fast up
the bay in charge of the pilot. At 2 p.m. the revenue steamer [G.]
Brows came alongside; a committee of reception to the admiral came
on board. At 3:30 a Swedish man-of-war saluted the broad pennant of
Rear-Admiral Farragut with thirteen guns, which this ship returned
gun for gun. At 3:15 p.m. came to with starboard anchor off the
(1861) The second USS Oneida was a
screw sloop-of-war in the United States Navy.
Oneida was authorized by Act of Congress, February 1861, and built
at the New York Navy Yard; launched 20 November 1861; and
commissioned 28 February 1862, Captain Samuel Phillips Lee in
Civil War, 1862–1865
Shortly after commissioning Oneida sailed from New York and joined
the West Gulf Blockading Squadron commanded by Flag officer David
Farragut. On 24 April she participated in the attacks on Forts
Jackson and St. Philip below New Orleans, Louisiana, and drove off
the Confederate ram which sank steam gunboat Varuna. Oneida
destroyed CSS Governor Moore in a following engagement, the same
On 27 April Oneida destroyed obstructions in the Mississippi River
above Carrollton, Mississippi, helping prepare the way for the
Vicksburg campaign. In both passages of the Confederate works at
Vicksburg, 28 June 1862, and 15 July 1862, by the Union Fleet under
Admiral Farragut, Oneida was second in line.
In August 1862, under command of Commander George H. Preble, Oneida
sank the steamer Lewis Whitman loaded with wounded troops. Early in
the following month she failed in an attempt to stop the passage of
CSS Florida into Mobile, Alabama.
From 15 October 1863 to 23 August 1864, Oneida served in blockade
operations off Mobile, where on 5 August she participated in the
Battle of Mobile Bay and the subsequent capture of CSS Tennessee. At
a later date she witnessed the surrender of Fort Morgan at Mobile.
Oneida decommissioned 11 August 1865 at New York.