Naval Chronology 1862
1 January 1862
Massachusetts. Confederate Commissioners Mason and Slidell left Boston for England, via Provincetown, where they boarded HMS Rinaldo.
Virginia. USS Yankee, Lieutenant Eastman, and USS Anacostia, Lieutenant Oscar C Badger, exchanged fire with Confederate batteries at Cockpit Point on the Potomac River. USS Yankee was damaged slightly.
2 January 1862
North Carolina. Union Flag Officer Louis Malesherbes Goldsborough ordered USS Louisiana, USS Lockwood, USS I N Seymour, USS Shawsheen, and USS Whitehall (which had previously been forced to return to Newport News, Virginia, because of engine trouble) to Hatteras Inlet. On arrival, they would join a squadron now of twelve ships. Extensive preparations for the joint attack on Roanoke Island, the key to Albemarle Sound, had been underway since early December.
South Carolina. The steamer Ella Warley evaded USS Mohican, Commander Godon, in heavy fog and ran the blockade into Charleston.
7 January 1862
Kentucky. Union Flag Officer Andrew Hull Foote reconnoitred down the Mississippi River with USS Tyler, USS Lexington, and the new ironclad USS Essex. Pursuing a Confederate gunboat, Foote proceeded within range of the batteries at Columbus and found a “submarine battery.”
Tennessee. Lieutenant S L Phelps, USS Conestoga, completed an expedition up the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers to gain valuable intelligence about Confederate activity and defences at Forts Henry and Donelson.
10 January 1862
North Carolina. Union Flag Officer Louis Malesherbes Goldsborough ordered USS Henry Brinker to Hatteras Inlet to join forces preparing the assault on Roanoke island.
Tennessee, Union Flag Officer Andrew Hull Foote’s gunboats convoyed General Grant’s troops as diversionary moves were begun along the Mississippi River to divert Confederate strength from Fort Henry.
11 January 1862
Missouri. USS Essex, Commander W D Porter, and USS St Louis, Lieutenant Leonard Paulding, engaged Confederate gunboats in a running fight in the Mississippi River, near Lucas Bend. The Confederates withdrew under the protecting batteries at Columbus.
North Carolina. Union Flag Officer Louis Malesherbes Goldsborough ordered USS Delaware, USS Philadelphia, USS Hunchback, USS Morse, USS Southfield, USS Commodore Barney, USS Commodore Perry, and the schooner Howard to Hatteras Inlet to join forces preparing the assault on Roanoke island.
12 January 1862
Virginia. A Union amphibious expedition to Roanoke Island, North Carolina, departed Fort Monroe under Flag Officer Louis Malesherbes Goldsborough and Brigadier-General Ambrose Everett Burnside. Seizure of Hatteras Inlet by the Navy the previous August allowed Union control of Pamlico Sound, but the Confederate fortifications at Roanoke Island dominated the narrow connection between Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds, which were used for active blockade-running.
Virginia. USS Pensacola, Captain Henry W Morris, successfully ran down the Potomac past the Confederate batteries at Cockpit Point and Shipping Point. USS Pensacola demonstrated that the restriction of travel on the river imposed by the Confederate batteries was weakening.
13 January 1862
Tennessee. Union Flag Officer Andrew Hull Foote ordered three gunboats up the Cumberland River and two up the Tennessee River as demonstrations to divert Confederate forces away from Fort Henry.
15 January 1862
Louisiana, Confederate Major-General Mansfield Lovell, with the assistance of Lieutenant Thomas B Huger CSN, took over 14 steamers at New Orleans to be armed for the defence of the city. The plan was to outfit the steamships with iron rams to attack the Union river gunboats. Each boat would be armed with one heavy gun to be used, if possible, against the unprotected sterns of Union ships.
16 January 1862
Florida. Gunfire and boat crews, including Marine, from USS Hatteras, Commander Emmons, destroyed a Confederate battery, seven small vessels loaded with cotton and turpentine ready to run the blockade, a railroad depot and wharf, and the telegraph office at Cedar Keys. A small detachment of Confederate troops was taken prisoner.
Missouri. Union Flag Officer Andrew Hull Foote reported that the seven Eads gunboats were commissioned to augment Foote’s wooden warships on the Western Rivers.
North Carolina. USS Albatross, Commander Prentiss, destroyed the British blockade-runner York near Bogue Inlet, where York had been run aground.
17 January 1862
Tennessee. USS Conestoga, Lieutenant S L Phelps, and USS Lexington, Lieutenant Shirk, reconnoitered the Tennessee River below Fort Henry, attempting to determine the location of a reported “masked battery” at the foot of Panther Creek Island. Having become convinced that the battery had been removed, Phelps fired at the fort but the range was too great.
Florida. USS Connecticut, Commander Woodhull, captured blockade-running British schooner Emma off the Florida Keys.
18 January 1862
Straits of Gibraltar. CSS Sumter, Commander Semmes, captured and burned the bark Neapolitan, with a cargo of fruit and sulphur, and then captured and bonded the bark Investigator with a cargo of iron.
USS Kearsarge was ordered to Cadiz, Spain, in an effort to track her down.
Texas. USS Midnight, Lieutenant James Trathen, and USS Rachel Seaman, Acting Master Quincy A Hooper, shelled Velasco.
19 January 1862
Florida. USS Itasca, Lieutenant Charles H B Caldwell, captured the schooner Lizzie Weston on the way to Jamaica with a cargo of cotton.
20 January 1862
Alabama. A boarding party from USS R R Cuyler, Lieutenant F Winslow, assisted by USS Huntsville and two cutters from USS Potomac, captured the blockade-running schooner J W Wilder, grounded about 15 miles east of Mobile.
North Carolina. CSS Sea Bird, Flag Officer Lynch, with CSS Raleigh in company, reconnoitered Hatteras Inlet and discovered the large Union fleet of steamers and transports.
21 January 1862
Tennessee. Lieutenant S L Phelps USN, guided by his own reconnaissance missions and intelligence reports emphasised the advisability of using mortar boats at Fort Donelson. However, Flag Officer Andrew Hull Foote, urged into early action by the Army commanders, was unable to use mortar boats as they were not available in time.
Florida. USS Ethan Allen, Acting Lieutenant William B Eaton, captured schooner Olive Branch bound from Cedar Keys to Nassau with a cargo of turpentine.
22 January 1862
Tennessee. USS Lexington, Lieutenant Shirk, with Brigadier-General Charles Ferguson Smith on board, conducted a new reconnaissance up the Tennessee River and fired a few long-range shots at Fort Henry. The rising waters were making operations more feasible for the new armoured gunboats that were entering service.
23 January 1862
North Carolina. Flag Officer Louis Malesherbes Goldsborough wrote from Hatteras Inlet that the 17 naval vessels present (another two ships reported later) for the Roanoke Island expedition were over the bar inside Pamlico Sound. Bad weather and the shallow, tortuous channel delayed the entry of the naval vessels into the Sound and presented extreme difficulties when attempting to get the heavily-laden troop transports over the bar.
Louisiana. The schooner Samuel Rotan, tender to USS Colorado, Captain Bailey, captured the steamer Calhoun in East Bay, with a cargo of powder, coffee, and chemicals.
24 January 1862
Louisiana. USS Mercedita, Commander Stellwagen, chased aground the schooner Julia and an unidentified bark attempting to run the blockade at the mouth of the Mississippi River. Both were laden with cotton and were burned to prevent capture.
Virginia. A Union lightboat off Cape Henry went aground and was captured by the Confederates.
25 January 1862
Texas. USS Arthur, Acting Lieutenant John W Kittredge, captured schooner J J. McNeil off Pass Cavallo.
26 January 1862
South Carolina. A second “stone fleet” was sunk in Charleston harbor at Maffitt’s Channel.
26 January 1862
Georgia. A Union squadron commanded by Captain Davis, comprising USS Ottawa, USS Seneca, and other vessels, with 2,400 troops under Brigadier-General Horatio Gouverneur Wright began a four-day strategic reconnaissance of Wassaw Sound. Telegraph lines between Fort Pulaski and Savannah were severed. Five Confederate gunboats under Commodore Tattnall were engaged while attempting to carry stores to Fort Pulaski. Though the exchange of fire was sharp, three of Tattnall’s steamers made good their passage to the fort, the other two being unable to get through.
28 January 1862
Louisiana. Union boat crews under Acting Master William L Martine from USS De Soto boarded and captured blockade-runner Major Barbour at Isle Derniere, with a cargo including gunpowder, nitre, sulphur, percussion caps, and lead.
29 January 1862
Florida. US Storeship Supply, Commander George M Colvocoresses, captured schooner Stephen Hart south of Sarasota, with a cargo of arms and munitions.
30 January 1862
Florida. USS Kingfisher, Acting Lieutenant Joseph P Couthouy, captured the blockade-runner Teresita, bound from Havana to Matamoras.
New York. USS Monitor, the Union’s first sea-going ironclad vessel, was launched at Greenpoint.
Tennessee. USS Conestoga, Lieutenant S L Phelps, and USS Lexington, Lieutenant Shirk, reconnoitered the Tennessee River, making final preparations for the attack on Fort Henry.
1 February 1862
Texas. USS Portsmouth, Commander Swartwout, captured blockade-running steamer Labuan at the mouth of the Rio Grande River with a cargo of cotton.
Texas. USS Montgomery, Lieutenant Jouett, captured the schooner Isabel in the Gulf of Mexico.
2 February 1862
Virginia. USS Hartford, Flag Officer David Glasgow Farragut, departed Hampton Roads for Ship Island, Mississippi, for Farragut to take command of the assault on New Orleans.
3 February 1862
Great Britain. CSS Nashville, Lieutenant Robert B Pegram, departed Southampton. HMS Shannon stood by to enforce the Admiralty ruling that USS Tuscarora could not leave the port for twenty-four hours after the sailing of CSS Nashville.
Kentucky. Union Flag Officer Andrew Hull Foote ordered USS Essex and USS St Louis to proceed from Paducah to Pine Bluff, 65 miles up the Tennessee, to protect the landing of the troops on their arrival at that point. Union Brigadier-General Ulysses Simpson Grant’s troops embarked in transports at Cairo, Illinois, and Paducah. Foote’s gunboats took the lead.
4 February 1862
Tennessee. Confederate Brigadier-General Lloyd Tilghman, commander of Fort Henry, reported that Union gunboats and transports were landing troops five miles below the fort. After initiating the debarkation of troops below Fort Henry, Union Flag Officer Andrew Hull Foote, aboard USS Cincinnati with Brigadier-General Ulysses Simpson General Grant on board, took his four ironclad gunboats forward and exchanged shots with the Confederate gunners. Torpedoes, planted in the river but torn loose by the flooding waters, floated by and some were retrieved for inspection.
5 February 1862
Florida. USS Keystone State, Commander William E Le Roy, captured British blockade-runner Mars with a cargo of salt off Fernandina.
6 February 1862
Tennessee. Union Naval forces under Flag Officer Andrew Hull Foote, comprising the partially ironclad gunboats USS Essex, USS Carondelet, USS Cincinnati, USS St Louis, and the wooden gunboats USS Tyler, USS Conestoga, and USS Lexington, captured Fort Henry on the Tennessee River. Originally planned as a joint expedition under Foote and Brigadier-General Ulysses Simpson Grant, heavy rains the two days before the attack had delayed the troop movements, so the gunboats attacked alone. Accurate fire from the gunboats pounded the fort and forced Brigadier-General Lloyd Tilghman, with all but four of his defending guns useless, to surrender to Foote. USS Essex, Commander W D Porter, was disabled during the engagement.
8 February 1862
Alabama. Proceeding up the Tennessee River from Fort Henry, USS Conestoga, Lieutenant S L Phelps, seized the steamers Sallie Wood and Muscle at Chickasaw. The Confederates destroyed three other vessels to prevent their capture, bringing the total losses resulting from the fall of Fort Henry to nine.
10 February 1862
USA. US Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles produced a list of 22 sailing vessels and 7 steamers which would comprise the new Mortar Flotilla. Supported by USS Owasco, they were intended to begin the intensive bombardment of Fort Jackson and Fort St Philip, south of New Orleans.
North Carolina. Following the capture of Roanoke Island, a Union naval flotilla led by Commander Rowan in USS Delaware, pursued Flag Officer Lynch’s retiring Confederate naval force up the Pasquotank River. They vaught and engaged the gunboats and shore batteries at Elizabeth City. CSS Ellis was captured and CSS Seabird was sunk. CSS Black Warrior, CSS Fanny, and CSS Forrest were set on fire to avoid capture. The fort and batteries at Cobb’s Point were destroyed.
Tennessee. Union Flag Officer Andrew Hull Foote received repeated requests from Major-General Henry Wager Halleck to ‘send at least two gunboats up the Cumberland River to support transports carrying troops for an attack on Fort Donelson.
11 February 1862
Illinois. Union Flag Officer Andrew Hull Foote left Cairo overnight with USS Louisville, USS Pittsburg, and USS St Louis for operations in the Cumberland River.
13 February 1862
Georgia. USS Pembina, Lieutenant John P Bankhead, discovered a battery of marine 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 removed one of the mines for examination.
14 February 1862
North Carolina. Confederate ships sank obstructions in Cape Fear River near Fort Caswell, North Carolina, in an effort to block the channel.
South Carolina. Armed boat from USS Restless, Acting Lieutenant Edward Conroy, captured and destroyed the sloop Edisto and the schooners Wandoo, Elisabeth, and Theodore Stony off Bull’s Bay. All ships were carrying heavy cargoes of rice for Charleston.
Tennessee. The Union gunboats USS St Louis, USS Carondelet, USS Louisville, USS Pittsburg, USS Tyler, and USS Conestoga under Flag Officer Andrew Hull Foote joined Brigadier-General Ulysses Simpson Grant for the attack on Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River. Fort Donelson, from high ground, could subject the gunboats to plunging fire and was a difficult objective. Foote did not consider the gunboats properly prepared for the assault on Donelson so soon after the heavy action at Fort Henry. Nevertheless, at Grant’s urgent request, Foote moved against the Confederate works. Close range fire was exchanged. USS St Louis, the flagship, was hit fifty-nine times and lost steering control, as did USS Louisville. Both disabled vessels drifted downstream and the gunboat attack was broken off. Foote sustained injuries which forced him to give up command three months later.
Connecticut. USS Galena, an experimental seagoing ironclad, was launched at Mystic.
15 February 1862
Georgia. Four Confederate gunboats under Commodore Tattnall attacked Union batteries at Venus Point, on the Savannah River. They were forced back to Savannah. Tattnall was attempting to permit the passage of steamer Ida from Fort Pulaski to Savannah.
16 February 1862
Tennessee. Gunboats of Flag Officer Andrew Hull Foote’s force destroyed the Tennessee Iron Works above Dover on the Cumberland River.
17 February 1862
Virginia. The ironclad CSS Virginia (built on the hull of USS Merrimack) was commissioned, with Captain Franklin Buchanan in command.
18 February 1862
Florida. USS Ethan Allen, Acting Lieutenant Eaton, entered Clearwater harbour and captured the schooner Spitfire and the sloops Atlanta and Caroline.
19 February 1862
Gulf of Mexico., USS Brooklyn, Captain T T. Craven, and USS South Carolina, Lieutenant Hopkins, captured the steamer Magnolia with large a cargo of cotton.
New York. A trial run of the new ironclad USS Monitor was conducted in New York harbour. Chief Engineer Alban C Stimers, USN, reported on various difficulties and concluded that her speed would be approximately 6 knots.
North Carolina. USS Delaware, Commander Rowan, and USS Commodore Perry, Lieutenant Flusser, on a reconnaissance of the Chowan River, engaged Confederate troops at Winton.
Tennessee. The Confederates evacuated Clarksville, Tennessee after the approach of Union gunboats. The Union forces under Flag Officer Andrew Hull Foote occupied Fort Defiance and took possession of the town and urged an immediate move on Nashville.
20 February 1862
Mississippi. An armed boat expedition from USS New London, Lieutenant A Read, captured 12 small sloops and schooners at Cat Island. The boats were suspected of being used by pilots for blockade-runners.
Mississippi. Union Flag Officer David Glasgow Farragut arrived at Ship Island to begin the assault on New Orleans. Union forces had been gathering at the Ship Island staging area.
North Carolina. USS Delaware, Commander Rowan, and USS Commodore Perry, Lieutenant Flusser, covered the landing of Union troops at Winton to destroy military stores and quarters before re-embarking.
Texas. USS Portsmouth, Commander Swartwout, captured the sloop Pioneer off Boca Chica, with a cargo of tobacco.
21 February 1862
Louisiana. Union Flag Officer David Glasgow Farragut assembled his fleet at the Southeast Pass and sent those whose draft permitted over the bar to conduct the blockade ‘in the Mississippi river.’
22 February 1862
Georgia. Union naval vessels entered Savannah River through Wall’s Cut, isolating Fort Pulaski.
Louisiana. Union Flag Officer David Glasgow Farragut ordered a Coast Survey team to sound the Mississippi passes and to mark out the safest channel.
23 February 1862
Kentucky. Union Flag Officer Andrew Hull Foote, with Brigadier-General George Washington Cullum, reconnoitred the Mississippi River down to Columbus, the anchor of the Confederate defences. The force included four ironclad boats, two mortar boats and three transports containing 1,000 men.
Tennessee. Lieutenant Gwin, USS Tyler, conducted a reconnaissance of the Tennessee River to Eastport, Mississippi. On the way, Gwin seized 1,100 sacks and barrels of flour and some 6,000 bushels of wheat at Clifton.
24 February 1862
Gulf of Mexico. USS Kingfisher, Acting Lieutenant Couthouy, captured the blockade-runner Lion after a three-day chase.
Florida. USS Harriet Lane, Lieutenant Jonathan M Wainwright, captured the schooner Joanna Ward off the coast
Florida. USS Mohican, Commander Godon, and USS Bienville, Commander Steedman, captured the blockade-running British schooner Arrow off Fernandina.
Virginia. Captain Franklin Buchanan, CSN, was ordered to command the James River naval defences, aboard the ironclad CSS Virginia. His naval squadron consisted of CSS Virginia, and the small gunboats CSS Patrick Henry, CSS Jamestown, CSS Teaser, CSS Raleigh, and CSS Beaufort.
25 February 1862
Tennessee. USS Cairo, Lieutenant Nathaniel Bryant, arrived at Nashville, convoying seven steam transports with troops under Brigadier-General William Nelson. Troops were landed and occupied the state capital unopposed.
North Carolina. USS R B Forbes, Acting Lieutenant William Flye, grounded in a gale near Nag’s Head, and was ordered destroyed by her commanding officer to prevent her falling to the Confederates. The ship was sailing to join the mortar flotilla below New Orleans.
26 February 1862
Gulf of Mexico. CSS Nashville, Lieutenant Pegram, captured and burned the schooner Robert Gilfillan, bound from Philadelphia to Haiti with a cargo of provisions.
Florida. USS Bienville, Commander Steedman, captured the schooner Alert off St John’s.
27 February 1862
New York. Delayed for one day by a lack of ammunition for her guns, USS Monitor, Lieutenant Worden, departed the New York Navy Yard for sea but was compelled to turn back to the Yard because of steering failure.
Virginia, Flag Officer Forrest, CSN, commanding the Navy Yard at Norfolk, reported that a shortage of gun powder was delaying the readiness of CSS Virginia to begin operations against the Union blockade.
28 February 1862
North Carolina. CSS Nashville, Lieutenant Pegram, ran the blockade into Beaufort.
1 March 1862
North Carolina. USS Mount Vernon, Commander Glisson, captured the blockade-running British schooner British Queen off Wilmington with a cargo including salt and coffee.
Tennessee. USS Tyler, Lieutenant Gwin, and USS Lexington, Lieutenant Shirk, engaged Confederate forces preparing to strongly fortify Pittsburg Landing. Under cover of the gunboats, a landing party of sailors and Army sharpshooters was put ashore from boats to determine Confederate strength in the area.
3 March 1862
Florida. Union Flag Officer Samuel Francis Du Pont, commanding a joint amphibious expedition to Fernandina reported that he was in full possession of Cumberland Island, Cumberland Sound, Fernandina, and Amelia Island, and the river and town of St Mary’s. Local Confederates were in the process of withdrawing heavy guns inland from the area and offered only token resistance to Du Pont’s force. Fort Clinch on Amelia Island, occupied by an armed boat crew from USS Ottawa, had been held by Confederates since the beginning of the war and was the first fort to be retaken by the Union. Commander Drayton on board USS Ottawa took a moving railroad train under fire near Fernandina, while launches under Commander C R P Rodgers captured the steamer Darlington with a cargo of military stores. Union Brigadier-General Horatio Gouverneur Wright commanded the brigade of soldiers on the expedition. The Fernandina operation placed the entire Georgia coast in the possession or under the control of the Union Navy.
4 March 1862
CSA. Confederate Secretary of the Navy Stephen Russell Mallory summarised the Navy’s needs to President Jefferson Finis Davis. He required fifty light-draft steam-propelled warships, plated with 5- inch hard iron, armed and equipped for service in coastal waters. In addition, he required four iron or steel-clad single deck ten gun frigates of about 2,000 tons, and ten clipper propeller-driven ships with superior marine engines, both classes of ships designed for deep-sea cruising. To achieve their construction would take an initial 3,000 tons of first-class boiler-plate iron, and 1,000 tons of rod, bolt, and bar iron. The crews would require 3,000 instructed seamen, 4,000 ordinary seamen and landsmen, and 2,000 first-rate mechanics. ‘
Florida. Commander Daniel B Ridgely, USS Santiago de Cuba, reported the capture of sloop OK off Cedar Keys. The OK foundered in heavy seas on its way to St Mary’s.
Kentucky. Union forces covered by Flag Officer Andrew Hull Foote’s gunboat flotilla, occupied the strongly fortified positions at Columbus, which the Confederates had been compelled to evacuate. Foote reported that a reconnaissance by USS Cincinnati and USS Louisville two days earlier had hastened the evacuation, forcing the Confederates to abandon a number of guns and carriages, ammunition, shot and shell, anchors, the remnant of a chain stretched across the river, and a large number of torpedoes. Union Brigadier-General George Washington Cullum occupied the town, dubbed the “Gibraltar of the West”.
5 March 1862
Florida. USS Water Witch, Lieutenant Hughes, captured the schooner William Mallory off St Andrew’s Bay.
Kentucky. Union Flag Officer Andrew Hull Foote reported that the gunboat fleet could not immediately attack the Confederate defenses at Island No 10, downriver from Columbus. The gunboats required repairs and maintenance after the engagements at Fort Henry and Fort Donelson.
6 March 1862
Florida. USS Pursuit, Acting Lieutenant David Cate, captured the schooner Anna Belle off Apalachicola.
New York. Lieutenant Worden reported that the ironclad USS Monitor had passed over the bar in New York harbor with USS Currituck and USS Sachem in company and headed for Hampton Roads under tow by the tug Seth Low.”
8 March 1862
Louisiana. USS Bohio, Acting Master W D Gregory, captured the schooner Henry Travers off Southwest Pass, at the mouth of the Mississippi River.
Virginia. The ironclad CSS Virginia, Captain Buchanan, destroyed two wooden blockading ships – USS Cumberland and USS Congress – in Hampton Roads. Without trials or under way-training, the warship headed directly for the Union squadron. She opened the engagement when less than a mile distant from USS Cumberland and the firing became general from blockaders and shore batteries. CSS Virginia rammed USS Cumberland below the waterline and the target sank rapidly. Buchanan next turned on the USS Congress, which had run hard aground, and set her ablaze with hot shot and incendiary shell. Part of CSS Virginia’s ram was wrenched off and left embedded in the side of sunken USS Cumberland, and Buchanan was wounded in the thigh which forced him to pass the command to Lieutenant Catesby ap R Jones.
Virginia. USS Monitor, Lieutenant Worden, arrived in Hampton Roads at night.
9 March 1862
Virginia. An engagement mostly at close range and lasting four hours took place between USS Monitor, Lieutenant Worden, and CSS Virginia, Lieutenant Jones, in Hampton Roads. This was the first combat between ironclads and ushered in a new era of war at sea. The blockade continued intact, but CSS Virginia remained as a powerful defender of the Norfolk area and a barrier to the use of the rivers for the movement of Union forces. Severe damage inflicted on the wooden-hulled USS Minnesota by CSS Virginia during an interlude in the fight with USS Monitor underscored the vulnerability of a wooden ship confronted by an ironclad.
Georgia. A Union naval force under Commander Godon, consisting of USS Mohican, USS Pocahontas, and USS Potomska, took possession of St Simon’s and Jekyl Islands and landed at Brunswick. All locations were found abandoned following the general Confederate withdrawal from exposed coastal areas.
Mississippi. USS Pinola, Lieutenant Crosby, arrived at Ship Island with the prize schooner Cora, captured in the Gulf of Mexico.
Virginia. A landing party from USS Anacostia and USS Yankee of the Potomac Flotilla, Lieutenant Wyman, destroyed abandoned Confederate batteries at Cockpit Point and at Evansport, and found the wreck of CSS Page, which had been blown up to avoid capture.
10 March 1862
Virginia. The tug USS Whitehall, Acting Master William J Baulsir, was accidentally destroyed by fire off Fort Monroe.
11 March 1862
Florida. A landing party from USS Wabash, Commander C R P Rodgers, occupied St Augustine, which had been evacuated by Confederate troops in the face of the naval threat.
Florida. Two Confederate gunboats under construction at the head of Pensacola Bay were burned by the Confederates to prevent their falling into enemy hands during an anticipated move against Pensacola by Union naval forces.
12 March 1862
Florida. A landing party under Lieutenant Thomas H Stevens of USS Ottawa occupied Jacksonville, without opposition.
North Carolina. A joint amphibious attack under Union naval commander Rowan and Brigadier-General Burnside captured Confederate batteries on the Neuse River and occupied New Bern. The town was in important depot for military supplies and munitions. Commander Rowan left with 13 warships and transports carrying 12,000 troops from anchorage at Hatteras Inlet on 12 March, and sighted New Bern in the evening.
South Carolina. USS Gem of the Sea, Lieutenant Baxter, captured the British blockade-runner Fair Play off Georgetown.
Alabama. The gunboats USS Tyler, Lieutenant Gwin, and USS Lexington, Lieutenant Shirk, engaged a Confederate battery at Chickasaw while reconnoitering the Tennessee River.
13 March 1862
Missouri. Confederate Major-General John Porter McCown ordered the evacuation of Confederate troops from New Madrid, under cover of Flag Officer Hollins’ gunboat squadron consisting of CSS Livingston, CSS Polk, and CSS Pontchartrain.
Mississippi. Union Commander David Dixon Porter reported the arrival of the mortar flotilla at Ship Island.
14 March 1862
Illinois. Union Flag Officer Andrew Hull Foote departed Cairo with seven gunboats (USS Louisville was soon forced to return for repairs) and ten mortar boats to undertake the bombardment of Island No 10 down the Mississippi.
North Carolina. A joint amphibious attack by Union naval commander Rowan and Brigadier-General Burnside landed troops and Marines at New Bern. The Union force occupied Fort Dixie, Fort Ellis, Fort Thompson, and Fort Lane and troops were transported across the Trent River to occupy the city. The Navy captured two steamers, stores, munitions, and cotton, and put a howitzer battery ashore under Lieutenant Roderick S McCook, USN.
15 March 1862
Missouri. Union Flag Officer Andrew Hull Foote’s flotilla moved from Hickman, Kentucky, downriver to a position above Island No 10. Rain and dense fog prevented the vessels from taking up positions to commence a bombardment of the Confederate defences.
16 March 1862
Gulf of Mexico. USS Owasco, Lieutenant John Guest, captured the schooners Eugenia and President with cargoes of cotton.
Missouri. Union gunboats and mortar boats under Flag Officer Andrew Hull Foote commenced a bombardment of the strongly fortified and strategically located Island No 10 in the Mississippi River. The Confederates concentrated artillery and men to defend the bastion which dominated the river.
17 March 1862
Missouri. USS Benton, Flag Officer Andrew Hull Foote, was lashed between USS Cincinnati and USS St Louis to attack Island No 10 and the Confederate batteries on the Tennessee shore from a range of 2,000 yards. The upper fort was damaged one gun was dismounted. Confederate gunners scored hits on USS Benton and damaged the engine of USS Cincinnati. A rifled gun burst aboard USS St Louis killing and wounding a number of officers and men.
North Carolina CSS Nashville, Lieutenant Pegram, ran the blockade out of Beaufort through the gunfire of USS Cambridge, Commander W A Parker, and USS Gemsbok, Lieutenant Cavendy. The first elements of the Army of the Potomac departed Alexandria for movement by water to Fort Monroe.
18 March 1862
Mississippi. Union Commander David Dixon Porter crossed the mortar flotilla over the bar and into the Mississippi River in preparation for the bombardment of Forts Jackson and St Philip.
South Carolina, USS Florida, USS James Adger, USS Sumpter, USS Flambeau, and USS Onward captured the British blockade-runner Emily St Pierre off Charleston. The ship’s master and steward, left on board, overpowered the prize master Josiah Stone off Cape Hatteras, recaptured the vessel, and sailed to Liverpool in England.
19 March 1862
Missouri. Flag Officer Andrew Hull Foote’s forces attacking Island No 10 continued to meet with strong resistance from Confederate batteries.
21 March 1862
Missouri. Union Flag Officer Andrew Hull Foote’s flotilla continued to bombard the Confederate batteries and defences guarding Island No 10.
22 March 1862
Great Britain. CSS Florida, Acting Master John Low, sailing in disguise as the British steamer Oreto, cleared Liverpool and headed for Nassau in the Bahamas. This was the first ship built in England for the Confederacy but it’s four 7-inch rifled guns were sent separately to Nassau aboard the steamer Bahama.
Florida. A boat crew from USS Penguin, Acting Lieutenant T A Budd, and USS Henry Andrews, Acting Master Mather, was attacked while reconnoitering Mosquito Inlet. Budd, Mather, and three others were killed.
24 March 1862
Mississippi. USS Tyler, Lieutenant Gwin, and USS Lexington proceeded up the Tennessee river to within two miles of Eastport, Mississippi, and discovered a new battery being of two guns being put into position. There was an ineffectual exchange of fire.
Louisiana, USS Pensacola, towing a chartered schooner into which she had discharged guns and stores at Ship Island, arrived at the mouth of the Mississippi. She grounded and failed on four attempts to cross the bar even though water small steamships were towing her through the mud. At one point, a hawser split and killed two men and injured others.
25 March 1862
Mississippi. CSS Pamlico, Lieutenant William G Dozier, and CSS Oregon, Acting Master Abraham L Myers, engaged USS New London, Lieutenant Read, at Pass Christian. The rifled gun on board CSS Pamlico jammed during the two-hour engagement and the Confederate vessels broke off the action, neither side having been damaged.
Mississippi. Transports carrying Major-General Benjamin Franklin Butler and his troops arrived at Ship Island. This was the principal base for operations west of Key West.
Tennessee. Union gunboat USS Cairo, Lieutenant Bryant, seized guns and equipment abandoned by the Confederate troop evacuating Fort Zollicoffer, six miles below Nashville.
Florida. The gunboat USS Cayuga, Lieutenant Harrison, captured schooner Jessie J Cox, on the way from Mobile to Havana with a cargo of cotton and turpentine.
26 March 1862
North Carolina. Two armed boats from USS Delaware, Lieutenant Stephen P Quackenbush, captured the schooners Albemarle and Lion at the head of Panzego Creek.
27 March 1862
Georgia. Confederate batteries on Skiddaway and Green Islands were reported to have been withdrawn and placed nearer Savannah, allowing Union forces complete control of Wassaw and Ossabaw Sounds and the mouths of the Vernon and Wilmington Rivers.
South Carolina. An armed boat expedition from USS Restless Acting Lieutenant Conroy, captured the schooner Julia Worden off South Carolina, with a cargo of rice for Charleston, and burned the sloop Mart Louisa and schooner George Washington.
28 March 1862
Florida. Union Lieutenant Stevens returned to Jacksonville with a launch and cutter from USS Wabash and the steamers USS Darlington and Ellen after raising a yacht America which had been found sunk by the Confederates earlier in the month far up St John’s River.
Louisiana. Union Commander Henry H Bell reported a reconnaissance in USS Kennebee of the Mississippi River and Forts Jackson and St Philip. He noted the long-range of two guns at Fort St Philip and obstructions consisting of a raft of logs and eight hulks moored abreast across the river below Fort St Philip.
29 March 1862
Cuba. USS R R Cuyler, Lieutenant F Winslow, captured blockade-running schooner Grace E Baker off the coast.
South Carolina A boat under command of Acting Master’s Mate Henry Eason from USS Restless, captured schooner Lydia and Mary with a large cargo of rice for Charleston, and destroyed an unnamed schooner in the Santee River.
30 March 1862
Missouri. Union Flag Officer Andrew Hull Foote ordered Commander Henry Walke, USS Carondelet to prepare on the next foggy or rainy night to pass the Confederate batteries on Island No 10 and the Tennessee shore. The first opportunity arose five days later.
1 April 1862
Alabama. CSS Gaines, Commander Hunter, recaptured the Confederate schooner Isabel off Mobile. Isabel had been under tow of USS Cayuga, Lieutenant Harrison, but was cast off in a heavy gale in the Gulf of Mexico.
Tennessee. A Union boat expedition under Master John V Johnston, of USS St Louis and Colonel George W Roberts landed and spiked the guns of Fort No 1 on the Tennessee shore above Island No 10 during the night
2 April 1862
North Carolina. USS Mount Vernon, Commander Glisson, with USS Fernandina and USS Cambridge, destroyed the schooner Kate as it was attempting to run the blockade near Wilmington.
Virginia. Union Major-General George Brinton McClellan and his staff arrived at Fort Monroe aboard the steamer Commodore.
3 April 1862
Florida. Armed boats from USS Mercedita, Commander Stellwagen, and USS Sagamore, Lieutenant Andrew J Drake, captured Apalachicola without resistance and captured the pilot boats Cygnet and Mary Olivia, schooners New Island, Floyd, and Rose, and sloop Octavia.
Florida. Three armed boats from USS Isaac Smith, Lieutenant J W A Nicholson, captured British blockade-runner British Empire with a cargo of provisions, dry goods, and medicines in Matanzas Inlet.
Georgia. Union Flag Officer Samuel Francis Du Pont and Brigadier-General Henry Washington Benham planned to cut off Fort Pulaski from Savannah in joint operations along the Georgia coast. Du Pont immediately ordered USS Mohican, Commander Godon, to reconnoiter the Wilmington River to determine the best means of obstructing it as part of the projected attack.
South Carolina. USS Susquehanna, Captain Lardner, captured British blockade-runner Coquette off Charleston.
4 April 1862
Florida. USS Pursuit, Acting Lieutenant Cate, captured sloop LaFayette at St Joseph’s Bay with a cargo of cotton.
Mississippi. CSS Carondelet, Lieutenant Washington Gwathmey, with CSS Pamlico and CSS Oregon, engaged the gunboats USS, USS J P Jackson, USS New London, and USS Hatteras. The Union gunboats were protecting the steamer Lewis, which landed 1,200 men at Pass Christian to destroy a Confederate camp. The USS J P Jackson, Acting Lieutenant Selim E Woodworth, captured the steamer P C Wallis near New Orleans with a cargo of turpentine, pitch, rosin, and oil.
Missouri. USS Carondelet, Commander Walke, shrouded by a heavy storm at night, successfully ran past Island No 10 in the Mississippi River and reached Union Major-General John Pope’s army at New Madrid. Walke had strengthened USS Carondelet with cord-wood piled around the boilers, extra deck planking, and anchor chains for added armour protection. With the support of the gunboats, the Union troops could now safely plan to cross the river and take the Confederate defenses from the rear.
5 April 1862
Louisiana. Flag Officer David Glasgow Farragut on board USS Iroquois made a personal reconnaissance of Fort Jackson and Fort St Philip. The forts opened fire without effect.
Texas. A launch from USS, Montgomery, Lieutenant Charles Hunter, captured and destroyed schooner Columbia, loaded with cotton, near San Luis Pass.
6 April 1862
Florida. USS Pursuit, Acting Lieutenant Cate, captured steamer Florida loading cotton at North Bay, at the head of Bear Creek.
Missouri. USS Carondelet, Commander Walke, made a reconnaissance down the Mississippi River from New Madrid to Tiptonville, exchanging shots with shore batteries and landing men to spike Confederate guns in preparation for covering the river crossing by Major-General John Pope’s troops.
Tennessee. USS Tyler, Lieutenant Gwin, and USS Lexington, Lieutenant Shirk, protected the advanced river flank of the Union army at the battle of Shiloh (Pittsburg Landing) and slowed the advance of the Confederates. Confederate Major-General Leonidas Polk reported that the Confederate forces were within 150 to 400 yards of the enemy’s final position but gunboats dropped down the river near the landing and opened a ferocious bombardment. The fire from the heavy guns of the two gunboats helped maintain Union positions until reinforcements arrived.
7 April 1862
Louisiana. USS Pensacola, Captain Morris, and USS Mississippi, Commander M Smith, successfully crossed the bar at the Head of Passes and entered the Mississippi River after several previous failed attempts. These were the two heaviest vessels ever to enter the river and soon figured prominently in the attack on New Orleans.
Missouri. USS Pittsburg, Lieutenant Egbert Thompson, ran past the batteries at Island No 10 and joined USS Carondelet in covering the crossing of Union Major-General John Pope’s army to the Tennessee side of the Mississippi River to move against Island No 10.
Missouri. Island No 10, described as the key of the Mississippi” surrendered to the Union naval forces of Flag Officer Andrew Hull Foote. Besides the heavy artillery and munitions captured, four steamers were taken and gunboat the CSS Grampus was sunk before the surrender. The capture of Island No 10 opened the river to Union gunboats and transports as far south as Fort Pillow.
Missouri. After the surrender of Island No 10, USS Mound City, Commander Augustus H Kiley, seized the Confederate ship Red Rover, which had been damaged by mortar fire. Temporarily repaired, Red Rover was moved to Cairo where she was converted into the US Navy’s first hospital ship. She later joined the river fleet on 10 June. Red Rover was officially transferred to the Navy on 1 October 1862 and commissioned 26 December 1862. Sisters of the Holy Cross volunteered and served on board as nurses. They were pioneers of the US Navy Nurse Corps
9 April 1862
Florida. USS Ottawa, Lieutenant Stevens, USS Pembina, and USS Ellen escorted the transports Cosmopolitan and Belvedere out of Jacksonville, in an operation to evacuate Union forces.
Tennessee. Confederate Flag Officer Hollins telegraphed Confederate Secretary of the Navy Stephen Russell Mallory from Fort Pillow for authority to bring his force to the support of New Orleans. Mallory, convinced that the more serious threat to New Orleans would come from the upper river rather than from the fleet entering the river from the Gulf of Mexico, denied the request.
10 April 1862
Alabama. The gunboat USS Kanawha, Lieutenant John C Febiger, captured blockade-running schooners Southern Independence, Victoria, Charlotte, and Cuba off Mobile.
North Carolina. USS Whitehead, Acting Master Charles A French, captured schooners Comet, J J. Crittenden, and sloop America in Newbegun Creek.
South Carolina. USS Keystone State, Commander LeRoy, chased blockade-runner Liverpool, which ran aground outside North Inlet, and was destroyed by her crew.
11 April 1862
Gibraltar. Commander Thomas A Craven, USS Tuscarora, reported that CSS Sumter, Commander Semmes, had been abandoned at Gibraltar. USS Tuscarora had closely blockaded CSS Sumter in the port. CSS Sumter had captured 18 Union vessels to an estimated value of $1,000,000.
Georgia. Fort Pulaski surrendered after enduring an intensive two-day bombardment by Union artillery. Commander C R P Rodgers and a detachment of sailors from USS Wabash manned Battery Sigel during the second day of the engagement.
Virginia. CSS Virginia, Flag Officer Tattnall, rounded Sewell’s Point to make her second appearance In Hampton Roads. Under the ironclad’s protection, CSS Jamestown, Lieutenant Barney, and CSS Raleigh, Lieutenant-Commander Joseph W Alexander, captured three Union transports.
13 April 1862
Alabama. USS Tyler, Lieutenant Gwin, and USS Lexington, Lieutenant Shirk, convoyed Army troops from Pittsburg Landing to Chickasaw. The expedition destroyed a bridge at Bear Creek crossed by the Memphis and Charleston Railroad.
Florida. Lieutenant Eaton of USS Beauregard demanded the surrender of the Confederate garrison at Fort Brooke in Tampa Bay. The demand was refused and Eaton shelled the fort before withdrawing.
Louisiana. A Coast Survey party under Ferdinand H Gerdes began surveying the Mississippi River below Fort Jackson and Fort St Philip. Harassed by fire from the forts and riflemen on the river banks, Gerdes’ party worked for five days to provide Flag Officer David Glasgow Farragut with a reliable map of the river, forts, water batteries, and the obstructions across the river.
14 April 1862
Tennessee. Union mortar boats of Flag Officer Andrew Hull Foote’s force commenced a regular bombardment of Fort Pillow on the Mississippi.
Virginia. The Union Potomac Flotilla ascended the Rappahannock River and destroyed Confederate batteries and captured three vessels.
15 April 1862
South Carolina. USS Keystone State, Commander LeRoy, captured the blockade-runner Success off Georgetown.
16 April 1862
Louisiana. Union Flag Officer David Glasgow Farragut moved his fleet up the Mississippi to a position below Fort Jackson and Fort St Philip, which guarded the approaches to New Orleans with over 100 guns. High water in the river had flooded the lower sections of the forts so the Confederate garrisons worked night and day to control the water and strengthen the forts against the impending attack. A chain obstruction supported by hulks spanned the river. Above the forts, a Confederate flotilla, commanded by Flag Officer John K Mitchell, waited with the inc0omplete ironclad CSS Louisiana. The other vessels were small, makeshift gunboats. Several f fire rafts were ready to be set adrift to flow with the current into the midst of the Union fleet. Against these combined defences, Farragut brought a fleet of seventeen ships carrying 154 guns and a squadron of twenty mortar boats under Commander David Dixon Porter.
18 April 1862
CSA. The Confederate Congress passed an act authorised the purchase of not more than six ironclads to be paid for in cotton.
Louisiana. A squadron of twenty Union mortar boats led by Commander David Dixon Porter began a five-day bombardment of Fort Jackson. Moored some 3,000 yards from Fort Jackson, they concentrated their heavy shells on this nearest fort from concealment behind intervening woods.
19 April 1862
Louisiana. The Union mortar schooner USS Maria J Canton, Acting Master Charles E Jack, was sunk by fire from Fort Jackson.
South Carolina. USS Huron, Lieutenant John Downes, captured schooner Glide loaded with cotton, rice, and flour off Charleston.
20 April 1862
Louisiana. USS Itasca, Lieutenant Caldwell, and USS Pinola, Lieutenant Crosby, under the direction of Commander Bell, breached the obstructions below Fort Jackson and Fort St Philip under heavy fire, opening the way for the Union fleet. Confederate Brigadier-General Johnson Kelly Duncan, commanding the forts, complained that the River Defence Fleet had sent no fire rafts to light up the river or distract the attention of the enemy at night and had stationed no ship below the forts to warn of the approach of enemy warships.
Virginia. Lieutenant Wyman, commanding the Union Potomac Flotilla, reported the capture of several vessels – Eureka, Monterey, Lookout, Sarah Ann, Sydney Jones, Reindeer, Falcon, Sea Flower, and Roundout – at the mouth of the Rappahannock River.
21 April 1862
Louisiana. In the darkness of early morning, the Union fleet attempted to cut the chain across the Mississippi River. One of vessel got ashore under fire to break the obstruction. The Confederates let the chain go but the man sent to explode the petard did not succeed when the electric detonating wires broke. The Union party split the chain and opened space for ships to pass through.
Tennessee. USS Tyler, Lieutenant Gwin, captured steamer Alfred Robb on the Tennessee River.
22 April 1862
Texas. Two boats from USS Arthur, Acting Lieutenant Kittredge, captured a schooner and two sloops at Aransas Pass, but they were forced to abandon the prizes and their own boats when attacked by Confederate vessels and troops.
23 April 1862
Louisiana. Confederate Brigadier-General Johnson Kelly Duncan, commanding Fort Jackson, reported heavy and continuous bombardment by day and night. The barbette guns remained in working order although most had been disabled or dismounted at some at time.
North Carolina. A Union expedition commanded by Lieutenant Flusser, including USS Lockwood, USS Whitehead, and USS Putnam, blocked the mouth of the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal near Elizabeth City. They sank a schooner and other obstructions inside the canal.
24 April 1862
Louisiana. Union Flag Officer David Glasgow Farragut’s fleet ran past Fort Jackson and Fort St Philip and engaged the defending Confederate river flotilla. At 2:00 am, USS Hartford raised Farragut’s signal for the fleet to get underway in three divisions to steam through the breach in the obstructions which had been opened earlier by USS Pinola and USS Itasca. Heavy fire from the forts was answered by broadsides from the ships. USS Hartford grounded in the swift current near Fort St Philip and was set afire by a Confederate fire raft but this was extinguished. USS Varuna was rammed by two Confederate ships and sank. CSS Warrior, CSS Stonewall Jackson, CSS General Lovell, and CSS Breckinridge, the tender Phoenix, the steamers Star and Belle Algerine, and the Louisiana gunboat General Quitman were all destroyed. The armoured ram CSS Manassas was driven ashore by USS Mississippi and sunk. Thee steam tenders CSS Landis and CSS W Burton surrendered. CSS Resolute and CSS Governor Moore were destroyed to prevent capture. The destruction of the Confederate river flotilla at New Orleans was complete and the fate of New Orleans was sealed.
North Carolina. CSS Nashville made a successful run into Wilmington with 60,000 stand of arms and 40 tons of powder.
25 April 1862
Louisiana. USS Katahdin, Lieutenant George Preble, captured schooner John Gilpin below New Orleans.
Louisiana. Union Flag Officer David Glasgow Farragut’s fleet silenced the Confederate batteries at Chalmette and proceeded onward to anchor before New Orleans. High water in the river allowed the ships’ guns to dominate the city over the levee top. Captain Theodorus Bailey USN went ashore to demand the surrender and this was granted by the indefensible city. The loss of New Orleans, the largest and wealthiest seaport in the South, was a severe blow to the Confederacy. The capitulation of Fort Jackson and Fort St Philip left the delta of the Mississippi open to the water-borne movement of Union forces.
Louisiana. CSS Mississippi, launched on 19 April and described by Confederate naval officers as the most formidable war vessel that had ever been built, was destroyed by fire at New Orleans to prevent her capture by the Union fleet. The Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond had failed to complete her shaft on time for it to be put into operation.
Tennessee. Confederate Commander Charles H McBlair decided to take the unfinished ram CSS Arkansas, currently building at Memphis, up the Yazoo River to be completed. Arrangements were also made to destroy the CSS Tennessee on the stocks to prevent her capture if Memphis fell.
South Carolina. USS Santiago de Cuba, Commander Ridgely, captured blockade-runner Ella Warley at sea 120 miles off Port Royal.
Virginia. USS Maratanza, Commander George H Scott, began shelling Gloucester and Yorktown in support of army forces on the Peninsula.
26 April 1862
North Carolina. Fort Macon surrendered to Union land and sea forces under Commander Lockwood and Brigadier-General John Grubb Parke. USS Daylight, USS State of Georgia, USS Chippewa, and USS Gemsbok bombarded the fort heavily. The blockade-runners Alliance and Gondar were captured after the fort’s surrender.
South Carolina. USS Onward, Acting Lieutenant J Frederick Nickels, forced schooner Chase aground on Raccoon Keys near Cape Romain, and subsequently destroyed her.
South Carolina. USS Flambeau, Lieutenant John H Upshur, captured blockade-runner Active near Stono Inlet.
South Carolina. USS Santiago de Cuba, Commander Ridgely, captured schooner Mersey off Charleston.
South Carolina. USS Uncas, Acting Master Lemuel G Crane, captured schooner Belle off Charleston.
27 April 1862
Bahamas. USS Mercedita, Commander Stellwagen, captured steamer Bermuda northeast of Abaco with a large cargo of arms shipped from Liverpool.
Georgia. USS Wamsutta, Lieutenant Alexander A Semmes, and USS Potomska, Acting Lieutenant Pendleton G Watmough, exchanged fire with dismounted Confederate cavalry concealed in woods on Woodville Island in the Riceboro River.
Louisiana. Fort Livingston in Bastian Bay surrendered to a Navy boat crew from USS Kittatinny.
28 April 1862
Bahamas. The steamer Oreto (later CSS Florida) arrived at Nassau.
Alabama. USS Kanawha, Lieutenant Febiger, captured blockade-running British sloop Annie between Ship Island and Mobile, bound for Havana with a cargo of cotton.
Louisiana. Confederate Fort Jackson and Fort St Philip, which had been isolated since being passed by Flag Officer David Glasgow Farragut’s Union fleet on its way to New Orleans, surrendered to the US Navy. CSS Louisiana, CSS Defiance, and CSS McRae were destroyed by the Confederates to prevent their capture.
29 April 1862
South Carolina. An expedition under Lieutenant Alexander C Rhind in USS E B Hale landed and destroyed a Confederate battery at Grimball’s Landing on the Dawho River, and exchanged fire with enemy artillery near Slann’s Bluff.
30 April 1862
South Carolina. USS Santiago de Cuba, Commander Ridgely, captured schooner Maria off Port Royal.
1 May 1862
Louisiana. USS Hatteras, Commander Emmons, captured schooner Magnolia near Berwick Bay, with a cargo of cotton.
North Carolina. USS Jamestown, Commander Green, captured British blockade-runner Intended off the coast with a cargo of salt, coffee, and medicines.
South Carolina. USS Huron, Lieutenant Downes, captured schooner Albert off Charleston.
South Carolina. Schooner Sarah ran aground at Bull’s Bay and was destroyed by her own crew to prevent capture by USS Onward, Acting Lieutenant Nickels.
USS Marblehead, Lieutenant Somerville Nicholson, shelled the Confederate positions at Yorktown.
2 May 1862
South Carolina. USS Restless, Acting Lieutenant Conroy, captured British blockade-runner Flash off the coast of South Carolina.
3 May 1862
Florida. USS R R. Cuyler, Lieutenant F Winslow, captured schooner Jane off Tampa Bay with a cargo including pig lead.
4 May 1862
Cuba. Lieutenant English, commanding USS Somerset, reported the capture of steamer Circassian between Havana and Matanzas.
Louisiana. USS Calhoun, Lieutenant Joseph E DeHaven, captured sloop Charles Henry off St Joseph and occupied Fort Pike, which had been evacuated by the Confederates.
Virginia. USS Corwin, Lieutenant Thomas S Phelps, captured schooner Director and a launch marked “US brig Dolphin ” in the York River near Gloucester Point. The guard boat General Scott and sloop Champion, both loaded with Confederate military stores, were burned to prevent capture.
Virginia. A boat crew from USS Wachusett, Commander W Smith, occupied Gloucester Point after Union troops occupied Yorktown. Two Confederate schooners were captured.
Virginia. Union forces at Ragged Island burned schooner Beauregard, laden with coal intended for CSS Virginia at Norfolk.
5 May 1862
Louisiana. USS Calhoun, Lieutenant DeHaven, captured schooner Rover with a cargo of brick in Lake Pontchartrain.
Virginia. US President Abraham Lincoln proceeded with Secretary of War Edwin McMasters Stanton and Secretary of the Treasury Chase aboard the steamer Miami to Hampton Roads. The President observed gunboat operations in the James River and the bombardment of Sewell’s Point by the blockading squadron during the five days he was with the army on the Yorktown peninsula.
Virginia. A boat from USS Coru, Lieutenant T S Phelps, captured sloop Water Witch, abandoned by the Confederates the previous day above Gloucester Point.
6 May 1862
Louisiana, USS Calhoun, Lieutenant DeHaven, captured steamer Whiteman in Lake Pontchartrain.
South Carolina. USS Ottawa, Lieutenant J Blakeley Creighton, captured schooner General C C. Pinckney off Charleston.
7 May 1862
Virginia. USS Wachusett, Commander W Smith, USS Chocura, and USS Sebago escorted Army transports up the York River, supported the landing at West Point, and countered a Confederate attack with gunfire.
Virginia. USS Currituck, Acting Master William F Shankland, conducting a reconnaissance of the Pamunkey River captured American Coaster and Planter the next day. Shankland reported that some twenty schooners had been sunk and two gunboats burned by the Confederates above West Point.
8 May 1862
Louisiana. A landing party from USS Iroquois, Commander James S Palmer, seized arsenal and took possession of Baton Rouge.
Virginia. USS Monitor, UDSS Dacotah, USS Naugatuck, USS Seminole, and USS Susquehanna shelled Confederate batteries at Sewell’s Point. The aim was to ascertain the practicability of landing a body of troops to move on Norfolk. The bombardment uncovered reduced but considerable strength at Sewell’s Point.
Virginia. Rumours about the Confederates abandoning Norfolk were confirmed. A tug deserted from Norfolk and its crew brought news that the evacuation was well underway and that the ironclad CSS Virginia, with her accompanying small gunboats, planned to proceed up the James or York River. When the CSS Virginia emerged, the Union fleet planned to retire with USS Monitor protecting the rear and drawing the powerful but inadequately propelled Confederate warship into deep water where she might be rammed by high-speed steamers. CSS Virginia left port but not far enough to be rammed.
Virginia. The USS Galena and two gunboats moved up the James River to support Major-General George Brinton McClellan’s army. They silenced two shore batteries and forced the gunboats CSS Jamestown and CSS Patrick Henry to return further up the James River.
9 May 1862
Virginia. Union scouts reconnoitred to the east of Sewell’s Point and found a suitably landing site near Willoughby Point. The troops embarked aboard transports during the night.
10 May 1862
Florida. Pensacola was reoccupied by Union Army and Navy forces. The fall of New Orleans had precipitated the evacuation of the exposed position by the Confederates. Military installations in the area, including the Navy Yard, Fort Barrancas and Fort McRae, CSS Fulton, and an ironclad building on the Escambia River, were destroyed by the Confederates the preceding day before they withdrew. Union Commander David Dixon Porter reported that the Navy Yard was a ruin.
Pennsylvania. The new ironclad steamer USS New Ironsides was launched at Philadelphia.
South Carolina. USS Unadilla, Lieutenant Collins, captured schooner Mary Teresa attempting to run the blockade at Charleston.
Tennessee. The Confederate River Defence Fleet (CSS General Bragg, CSS General Sumter, CSS General Sterling Price, CSS General Earl Van Dorn, CSS General M Jeff Thompson, CSS General Lovell, CSS General Beauregard, and CSS Little Rebel) attacked Union gunboats and the mortar flotilla at Plum Point Bend. The Confederate fleet, Captain James E Montgomery, attacked Mortar Boat No 16, which was stationed just above Fort Pillow and was engaged in bombarding the works. USS Cincinnati, Commander Stembel, coming to the mortar boat’s defence, was rammed by CSS General Bragg and sank on a bar in eleven feet of water. CSS General Van Dorn rammed USS Mound City, Commander Kilty, forcing her to run aground to avoid sinking. The draft of the Confederate vessels would not permit them to press the attack into the shoal water in which the Union squadron took refuge. After sustained various minor damage, Montgomery withdrew his flotilla under the guns of Fort Pillow. USS Cincinnati and USS Mound City were quickly repaired and returned to service.
Virginia. Union troops landed near Willoughby Point.
Virginia. USS Monitor reconnoitred Sewell’s Point to discover whether the Confederate batteries were still manned. The works were abandoned and Union Major-General John Ellis Wool’s troops crossed Hampton Roads from Fort Monroe, landed at Ocean View, and captured Norfolk late in the afternoon. Norfolk Navy Yard was set on fire before being evacuated by Confederate forces as they began a general withdrawal up the peninsula to defend Richmond.
11 May 1862
Florida. USS Bainbridge, Commander Thomas M Brasher, captured schooner Newcastle with a cargo of turpentine and cotton.
Louisiana. USS Kittatinny, Acting Master Charles W Lamson, captured blockade-running British schooner Julia off the Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River, with a cargo of cotton.
Louisiana. USS Hatteras, Commander Emmons, captured steamer Governor A Mouton off Berwick Bay.
Virginia. The ironclad CSS Virginia was blown up by her crew off Craney Island to avoid capture. The fall of Norfolk to Union forces denied CSS Virginia her base, and when it was discovered that she drew too much water to be brought up the James River, Flag Officer Tattnall ordered the destruction. For the Union, the destruction of CSS Virginia removed the formidable threat to the large Union base at Fort Monroe and allowed the Union fleet free passage up the James River as far as Drewry’s Bluff.
12 May 1862
Virginia. USS: Maratanza, Lieutenant Stevens, and other gunboats made a reconnaissance of Pamunkey River in support of a Union Army advance to establish a new supply base at White House.
Virginia. The officers and crew of CSS Virginia were ordered to establish a battery below Drewry’s Bluff on the left bank of the James River to prevent the ascent of Union gunboats. The battery was to be organised and commanded by Lieutenant Catesby ap R Jones.
13 May 1862
Louisiana. USS Bohio, Acting Master W D Gregory, captured schooner Deer Island in Mississippi Sound with a cargo of flour and rice.
Louisiana. A boat crew from USS Calhoun, Lieutenant DeHaven, captured Confederate gunboat Cory moored in Bayou Bonfouca.
Mississippi. USS Iroquois, Commander Palmer, and USS Oneida, Commander S P Lee, occupied Natchez.
South Carolina. The Confederate steamer Planter, while her captain was ashore in Charleston, was taken out of the harbour by an entirely black crew under Robert Smalls and turned over to USS Onward, Acting Lieutenant Nickels, of the blockading Union squadron. The intrepid escapees left the wharf close to the Government office and headquarters at about 4 am, flying Palmetto and Confederate flags. They passed the successive forts, saluting with her steam whistle. After getting beyond the range of the last gun the Confederate flags were lowered and a white flag raised.
14 May 1862
Louisiana. USS Calhoun, Lieutenant DeHaven, captured schooner Venice in Lake Pontchartrain with a cargo of cotton.
15 May 1862
Virginia. The Union James River Flotilla, including USS Monitor, USS Galena, USS Aroostook, USS Port Royal, and USS Naugatuck, under Commander J Rodgers encountered obstructions sunk across the river. They were engaged by sharpshooters and Confederate batteries, manned in part by sailors and Marines, at Drewry’s Bluff. USS Galena was heavily damaged but the flotilla penetrated the James River to within eight miles of Richmond before falling back. Rodgers reported that army troops were needed to take the fortifications at Drewry’ s Bluff in the rear and that they could not be reduced from the river alone.
Mississippi. USS Sea Foam, Acting Master Henry E Williams, and USS Matthew Vassar, Acting Master Hugh H Savage, captured sloops Sarah and New Eagle off Ship Island with a cargo of cotton.
16 May 1862
Mississippi. A Union naval squadron under Commander S P Lee in USS Oneida advanced up the Mississippi River toward Vicksburg and shelled Grand Gulf.
17 May 1862
Louisiana. USS Hatteras, Commander Emmons, captured sloop Poody off Vermilion Bay.
Virginia. A joint Union expedition including USS Sebago, Lieutenant Murray, and USS Currituck, Acting Master Shankland, with troops embarked on the transport Seth Low, ascended the Pamunkey River until it was twenty-five miles above White House. The Confederates burned seventeen vessels, some loaded with coal and commissary stores to avoid capture. The river was so narrow at this point that the Union gunboats were compelled to return stern foremost for several miles.
18 May 1862
Mississippi. Union Commander S P Lee submitted a demand from Flag Officer David Glasgow Farragut and Major-General Benjamin Franklin Butler for the surrender of the city of Vicksburg. The Confederate authorities refused.
North Carolina. USS Hunchback, Acting Lieutenant Colhoun, and USS Shawsheen, Acting Master Thomas J Woodward, captured schooner G H Smoot in Potecasi Creek.
20 May 1862
North Carolina. USS Whitehead, Acting Master French, captured schooner Eugenia in Bennet’s Creek.
South Carolina. Union gunboats USS Unadilla, USS Pembina, and USS Ottawa, under Commander Marchand entered the Stono River above Cole’s Island and proceeded past an old fort opposite Legareville. They shelled the positions and the barracks were fired and abandoned by the Confederates. The Stono river became a route for further operations by the Union army against Charleston.
21 May 1862
North Carolina. A boat expedition from USS Hunchback, Acting Lieutenant Colhoun, and USS Whitehead, Acting Master French, captured schooner Winter Shrub in Keel’s Creek with a cargo of fish.
22 May 1862
North Carolina. USS Mount Vernon, Commander Glisson, captured the steamer Constitution attempting to run the blockade at Wilmington.
North Carolina. USS Whitehead, Acting Master French, captured sloop Ella D off Keel’s Creek with a cargo of salt.
24 May 1862
Florida. USS Amanda, Acting Lieutenant Nathaniel Goodwin, and USS Bainbridge, Commander Brasher, captured steamer Swan west of the Tortugas with a cargo of cotton and rosin.
South Carolina. USS Bienville, Commander Mullany, captured British blockade-runner Stettin off Charleston.
25 May 1862
South Carolina. A Confederate gunboat under command of Captain F N Bonneau, guarding the bridge between James and Dixon Islands in Charleston harbour, exchanged fire with Union gunboats.
26 May 1862
Cuba. USS Pursuit, Acting Lieutenant Cate, captured schooner Andromeda near the coast with a cargo of cotton.
Mississippi. Confederate Lieutenant Isaac Newton Brown CSN was ordered to take command of CSS Arkansas and to finish the construction of the vessel at all costs. Lynch reported that CSS Arkansas was protected by railroad iron that was worn and of low quality and poorly secured to the vessel. The stern and counter was protected by boiler iron and counter the smoke-stack by sheet iron. The bulwarks were reinforced with cotton bales and a formidable armament of 10 guns was eventually mounted.
Mississippi. USS Brooklyn, Captain T T. Craven, and gunboats USS Kineo, Lieutenant George M Ransom, arid USS Katahdin, Lieutenant Preble, shelled Grand Gulf.
South Carolina. USS Huron, Lieutenant Downes, captured the British blockade-runner Cambria off Charleston.
27 May 1862
South Carolina. USS Bienville, Commander Mullany, seized the blockade-running British steamer Patras off Bull’s Island. The ship was on its way from Havana with a cargo of powder and arms.
South Carolina. USS Santiago de Cuba, Commander Ridgely, captured schooner Lucy C Holmes off Charleston with a cargo of cotton.
28 May 1862
North Carolina. USS State of Georgia, Commander Armstrong, and USS Victoria, Acting Master Joshua D Warren, captured steamer Nassau near Fort Caswell.
29 May 1862
South Carolina. USS Keystone State, Commander LeRoy, captured the British blockade-runner Elizabeth off Charleston.
South Carolina. USS Bienville, Commander Mullany, captured the blockade-runners Providence, with a cargo of salt and cigars, and Rebecca, with a cargo of salt, and La Criola, with a cargo of provisions, off Charleston.
31 May 1862
North Carolina. Commander Rowan, commanding USS Philadelphia, reported the capture of schooner W F Harris in Core Sound.
South Carolina. USS Keystone State, Commander LeRoy, captured blockade-running British schooner Cora off Charleston.
2 June 1862
Florida. Eleven men in two boats from USS Kingfisher undertook an expedition to obtain fresh water in the Aucilla River. They were surprised by Confederate troops, losing two men killed and seven captured.
Louisiana. Boats from USS New London captured the yachts Comet and Algerine near New Basin.
South Carolina. USS Unadilla, USS Pembina, USS E B Hale, USS Ellen, and USS Henry Andrew provided naval gunfire support for Army landings on James Island.
3 June 1862
South Carolina. USS Gem of the Sea, Lieutenant Baxter, captured the blockade runner Mary Stewart at the entrance of the South Santee River.
Texas. USS Montgomery, Lieutenant C Hunter, captured the blockade-running British schooner Will-o’-the-Wisp as it was transferring powder and percussion caps to a lighter near the mouth of the Rio Grande.
4 June 1862
Tennessee. During the night, the Confederates evacuated Fort Pillow after a prolonged bombardment by Union gunboats and mortar boats.
5 June 1862
Florida. The Confederate steamer Havana was burned in Deadman’s Bay to avoid capture by USS Egilda, the tender supporting USS Somerset, Lieutenant English.
Tennessee. The Union fleet of Captain Charles Henry Davis moved down the Mississippi from Fort Pillow to within two miles of Memphis, accompanied by transports carrying troops. On the way, the tug assigned to support USS Benton captured the steamer Sovereign near Island No 37.
6 June 1862
South Carolina. USS Pembina, Lieutenant Bankhead, seized the schooner Rowena in the Stono River.
Tennessee. The Union squadron of Captain Charles Henry Davis engaged the Confederate River Defence Fleet at Memphis. The Union force included USS Benton, USS Louisville, USS Carondelet, USS St Louis, and USS Cairo supported by the Army rams Queen of the West and Monarch. The Confederate flotilla included CSS Earl Van Dorn, CSS General Beauregard, CSS General M Jeff Thompson, CSS Colonel Lovell, CSS General Bragg, CSS General Sumter, CSS General Sterling Price, and CSS Little rebel, all under the command of Captain Montgomery. The Queen of the West was rammed and Colonel Charles Ellet was mortally wounded. All of the Confederate ships, apart from CSS Earl Van Dorn, were either sunk, captured, or run aground to avoid sinking. Davis continued on to accept the surrender of Memphis.
7 June 1862
Mississippi. USS Wissahickon, Commander John De Camp, and USS Itasca, Lieutenant Caldwell, began the bombardment of Confederate batteries at Grand Gulf.
Virginia. USS Anacostia captured the sloop Monitor in Piankatank River.
8 June 1862
Mississippi. USS Wissahickon and USS Itasca continued the bombardment of Confederate batteries at Grand Gulf.
North Carolina. USS Penobscot, Lieutenant John M B Clitz, burned the schooner Sereta, which was found aground and deserted off Shallotte Inlet.
9 June 1862
Mississippi. USS Wissahickon and USS Itasca continued the bombardment of Confederate batteries at Grand Gulf.
10 June 1862
Mississippi. USS Iroquois and USS Katahdin joined USS Wissahickon and USS Itasca in the bombardment of Confederate batteries at Grand Gulf.
North Carolina. USS Commander Perry, Lieutenant Flusser, accompanied USS Shawsheen and USS Ceres, which were carrying troops aboard, in an expedition up the Roanoke River to Hamilton. They came under small arms fire for two hours from Confederates on the river banks. The troops landed at Hamilton without opposition and the steamer Wilson was captured.
11 June 1862
Gulf of Mexico. USS Susquehanna, Commander Robert B Hitchcock, captured the blockade runner Princeton. USS Bainbridge, Commander Brasher, captured the schooner Baigorry with a cargo of cotton.
14 June 1862
Arkansas. US tug Spitfire captured the steamer Clara Dolsen in White River.
Mississippi. USS William G Anderson, Acting Master N D’Oyley, captured the schooner Montebello moored in Jordan River.
15 June 1862
Florida. USS Tahoma, Lieutenant John C Howell, and USS Somerset, Lieutenant English, crossed the bar of the St Marks River. They shelled the Confederate fort near the lighthouse for forty minutes. The artillery company withdrew from the fort and the sailors landed to destroy the battery and burn the barracks buildings.
Virginia. USS Corwin, Lieutenant T S Phelps, captured the schooner Starlight on Potopotank Creek.
16 June 1862
Arkansas. The Confederates sank the CSS Maurepas and the steamers Eliza G and Mary Patterson in the White River to obstruct the passage of Union gunboats.
Florida. USS Somerset, Lieutenant English, captured the blockade-running schooner Curlew off Cedar Keys.
17 June 1862
Arkansas. Union Major-General Henry Wager Halleck requested a naval expedition to ascend the White River to establish communications with Union forces. Commander Kilty led the USS Mound City, USS St Louis, USS Lexington, and USS Conestoga with a regiment of infantry aboard to St Charles, where they were engaged by Confederate batteries. USS Mound City was hit at close range and the steam drum exploded, causing heavy casualties. The troops landed under cover of the gunboats’ fire and stormed the Confederate defences. The capture of St Charles secured control of the White River for the Union.
19 June 1862
Alabama. USS Florida, which was acting as a tender to USS Morning Light, Acting Lieutenant Henry T Moore, captured the sloop Ventura off Grant’s Pass in Mobile Bay, with a cargo of rice and flour.
Virginia. CSS Teaser completed its mining operations in the James River. Electric torpedoes made of boilerplate encased in watertight wooden casks, and wired for detonation by galvanic batteries, were planted near Chaffin’s Bluff.
20 June 1862
Florida. USS Beauregard, Acting Master David Stearns, seized the blockade running British schooner Lucy off Deadman’s Point Bay.
South Carolina. USS Keystone State, Commander Le Roy, captured the blockade running British schooner Sarah with a cargo of cotton, off Charleston.
South Carolina. USS Madgie, Acting Master Frank Meriam, took a cargo of rice from a vessel at Barrett’s Island; and captured the schooner Southern Belle near Darien.
South Carolina. Two Union boat crews under Acting Master Theodore B Dubois from USS Albatross captured the steam tug Treaty and the schooner Louisa near Georgetown.
Virginia. The commander of CSS Teaser, Lieutenant Hunter Davidson, was put in charge of further operations to devise, place, and command similar marine batteries and obstructions elsewhere in the James River. He had directed the placement of electric torpedoes at Chaffin’s Bluff and CSS Teaser could be considered the first minelaying warship.
21 June 1862
Alabama. USS Bohio, Acting Master W D Gregory, captured the sloop L Rebecca bound from Biloxi, Mississippi, for Mobile.
South Carolina. USS Crusader, Lieutenant Rhind, and USS Planter ascended the Wadmelaw River to Simmons Bluff. Rhind landed with a detachment of soldiers and destroyed a Confederate camp.
26 June 1862
Mississippi. USS Kensington, Acting Master Frederick Crocker, accompanied the mortar schooners Horace Beals and Sarah Bruen towards Vicksburg. The warship silenced a Confederate battery near Cole’s Creek.
North Carolina. USS Mount Vernon, Commander Glisson, USS Mystic, and USS Victoria, chased the blockader-runner Emily near Wilmington. Emily ran aground and a boat crew from USS Mount Vernon boarded under heavy fire from Fort Caswell and destroyed the ship.
27 June 1862
Alabama. USS Bohio, Acting Master W D Gregory, captured the sloop Wave, bound from Mobile to Mississippi City with a cargo of flour.
North Carolina. USS Bienville, Commander Mullany, captured the schooner Morning Star off Wilmington.
North Carolina. USS Cambridge, Commander W A Parker, chased the blockade-runner Modern Greece ashore near Wilmington. The ship and its cargo of gunpowder, rifled artillery, and other arms was destroyed.
28 June 1862
Georgia. USS Braziliera captured the schooner Chance with a cargo of salt off Wassaw Sound.
Mississippi. The Union fleet of Flag Officer David Glasgow Farragut successfully passed the Confederate batteries at Vicksburg under heavy fire. The mortar flotilla of Commander David Dixon Porter provided gunfire support for the passage.
Virginia. USS Marblehead, Lieutenant S Nicholson, and USS Chocura, Lieutenant Thomas H Patterson, provided support for the withdrawal of troops from White City on the Pamunkey River. Other gunboats escorted transport ships which conveyed troops up the Chickahominy River and James River.
29 June 1862
Alabama. USS Susquehanna, Commander Hitchcock, and USS Kanawha, Lieutenant-Commander J C Febiger, captured the blockade-running British steamer Ann near Mobile, with a acrgo of arms and ammunition.Arkansas. Confederate troops fired on USS Lexington, Lieutenant Shirk, on the White River. Between St Charles and Clarendon.
Virginia. USS Marblehead, Lieutenant S Nicholson, and USS Chocura, Lieutenant Thomas H Patterson, continued to cover the withdrawal of troops from White City on the Pamunkey River. Other gunboats escorted transport ships which conveyed troops up the Chickahominy River and James River.
30 June 1862
Gulf of Mexico. USS Quaker City, Commander Frailey, captured the brig Model with a cargo of coal.
Arkansas. Confederate troops fired on USS Lexington, Lieutenant Shirk, on the White River. Between St Charles and Clarendon.
Florida. USS South Carolina, Commander Almy, was ordered to join USS Wyandotte to blockade Mosquito Inlet near New Smyrna, as it has become an active unloading point for blockade runners from Nassau.
Virginia. Union gunboats in the James River provided gunfire support from the James River for the defence of Malvern Hill. The fall of shot was observed ashore by Army signallers and transmitted to signallers aboard the warships. At about 5pm, the gunboats USS Galena, USS Aroostook, and USS Jacob Bell fired from Turkey Island Bend.
Virginia. Union Major-General George Brinton McClellan met Captain Rogers aboard USS Galena at Haxall’s Landing. They discussed the best location for the army to set up a base of supply from he James River. Harrison’s Landing was chosen as the most suitable location.
1 July 1862
Mississippi. The Western Flotilla of Flag Officer Charles Henry Davis joined the seagoing fleet of Flag Officer David Glasgow Farragut above Vicksburg. The meeting of the Union freshwater and saltwater squadrons had considerable psychological value but did not secure total control over the Mississippi while the fortress of Vicksburg remained in Confederate hands.
Texas. USS De Soto, Captain W M Walker, captured British schooner William attempting to run the blockade at Sabine Pass, Texas.
Virginia. Union Flag Officer Louis Malesherbes Goldsborough’s fleet covered the withdrawal of the Union army from Malvern Hill to Harrison’s Landing. The army’s new base on the river could be protected by gunboats on both flanks
2 July 1862
South Carolina. USS Western World, Acting Master Samuel B Gregory, captured the blockade-running British schooner Volante in Winyah Bay, with a cargo of salt and fish.
3 July 1862
Texas. USS Hatteras, Commander Emmons, captured schooner Sarah bound for Sabine Pass, with a cargo of sugar and molasses.
Virginia. USS Quaker City, Commander Frailey, captured blockade-running British brig Lilla off Hole-in-the-Wall.
4 July 1862
Texas. USS Rhode Island, Commander Trenchard, captured blockade-running British schooner R O Bryan off the coast of Texas.
Virginia. USS Maratanza, Lieutenant Stevens, engaged CSS Teaser, Lieutenant Davidson, at Haxall’s Landing on the James River. CSS Teaser was abandoned and captured after a shell from Maratanza exploded her boiler. In addition to placing torpedoes in the river, CSS Teaser had descended the river with a balloon on board for the purpose of making an aerial reconnaissance of Union positions at City Point and Harrison’s Landing. Both Union and Confederate forces were employing balloons for gathering intelligence. CSS Teaser was the Confederate counterpart of USS G W Parke Custis, from whose deck aerial observations had been made the preceding year. The balloon, as well as a quantity of insulated wire and torpedo equipment, were found aboard CSS Teaser. Six shells with ‘unusual fuses’ were also found and sent to the Washington Navy Yard for examination.
5 July 1862
USA. An Act was passed by the US Congress to reorganise the US Navy Department. The number of Bureaus was raised to eight: Yards and Docks, Equipment and Recruiting, Navigation, Ordnance, Construction and Repair, Steam Engineering, Provisions and Clothing, Medicine, and Surgery.
Louisiana. USS Hatteras, Commander Emmons, captured sloop Elizabeth off the Louisiana coast.
7 July 1862
Bahamas. USS Quaker City, Commander Frailey, in company with USS Huntsville, captured blockade-running British steamer Adela.
Mexico. USS Tahoma, Lieutenant John C Howell, captured schooner Uncle Mose off Yucatan Bank with a cargo of cotton.
District of Columbia. US President Abraham Lincoln departed Washington aboard USS Arid to visit Major-General George Brinton McClellan and the Army of the Potomac at Harrison’s Landing, Virginia.
South Carolina. Boats from USS Flag, Commander James H Strong, and USS Restless, Acting Lieutenant Conroy, captured British blockade-runner Emilie in Bull’s Bay.
Virginia. New tactics were introduced by the US Navy for convoying transport vessels on the James River. Each convoy of gunboats sailed each day from Harrison’s Bar to near the mouth of the Chickahominy. River. At 9 am, the transports set off, protected by four gunboats. At 3 pm. all the army transports returned under convoy.
9 July 1862
North Carolina. USS Commodore Pen, Lieutenant Flusser, USS Shawsheen, Acting Master Woodward, and USS Ceres, Acting Master John MacDiarmid, embarked on an expedition up the Roanoke River. They landed a field gun and a force of soldiers and sailors at Hamilton, where they captured the steamer Wilson.
Texas. USS Arthur, Acting Lieutenant Kittredge, captured schooner Reindeer with a cargo of cotton near Aransas Pass.
10 July 1862
Texas. USS Arthur, Acting Lieutenant Kittredge, captured sloop Belle Italia at Aransas Pass.
Texas. The schooner Monte Christo was burned by the Confederates at Lamar to prevent her from falling into Union hands.
12 July 1862
Bahamas. USS Mercedita, Commander Stellwagen, captured blockade-running schooners Victoria and Ida off Hole-in-the-Wall, Abaco. The former ship was laden with cotton, and the latter with a cargo including cloth, shoes, needles, and salt.
14 July 1862
USA. The US Congress passed an act ending the traditional spirit ration in the US Navy. A payment of five cents per day was awarded in place of the ration to every sailor entitled to it.
15 July 1862
Mississippi. USS Carondelet, Commander Walke, USS Tyler, Lieutenant Gwin, and the ram USS Queen of the West, carried Army sharpshooters on a reconnaissance of the Yazoo River. They engaged the Confederate ironclad ram CSS Arkansas, Lieutenant Isaac N Brown. After a severe fight, in which CSS Arkansas partially disabled USS Carondelet and USS Tyler, the Union ships withdrew. Entering the Mississippi, CSS Arkansas ran through fire from the Union fleet and found refuge under the batteries at Vicksburg. The ironclad was heavily damaged and took many casualties. The Union fleet pursued CSS Arkansas but it was too dark to see the enemy ship clearly. The bombardment from the Confederate guns at Vicksburg, damaged USS Winona, Lieutenant Edward T Nichols, and USS Sumter, Lieutenant Henry Erben.
16 July 1862
Bahamas. USS Huntsville, Acting Lieutenant William C Rogers, seized blockade-running British schooner Agnes off Abaco with a cargo of cotton and rosin.
USA. David Glasgow Farragut was promoted to the new grade of Rear Admiral, the first officer to hold that rank in the history of the US Navy. The measure passed by the US Congress created the rank of Rear Admiral and reorganised the existing rank structure to include the grades pf Commodore and Lieutenant-Commander and established the number of Rear Admirals at 9; Commodores, 18; Captains, 36; Commanders, 72; and the remainder through Ensign at 144 each. The Act provided that Rear Admirals were to rank on a par with Major-Generals in the US Army.
USA. The US Congress approved a bill transferring the gunboat fleet constructed by the War Department for operations on the western waters to the control of the US Navy Department. The measure took effect on 1 October 1862.
17 July 1862
USA. The US Congress passed an act which established that every officer, seaman, or marine, disabled in the line of duty, shall be entitled to receive for life, or during his disability, a pension from the United States, according to the nature and degree of his disability, not exceeding former monthly pay.
17 July 1862
Mississippi. A detachment of twenty Marines from USS Potomac participated in an expedition up the Pascagoula River under First Lieutenant George W Collier. The Marines were augmented by an equal number of sailors and acted with USS New London and USS Grey Cloud to capture or destroy one steamer and two schooners rumoured to be loading cotton. While the expedition was pursuing the Confederate vessels upstream, it was engaged by cavalry and infantry troops and forced to turn back. The expedition wrecked telegraphic communications between Pascagoula and Mobile.
21 July 1862
Florida. USS Huntsville, Acting Lieutenant W C Rogers, captured steamer Reliance in the Bahama Channel.
Kentucky. The US steamers Clara Dolsen and Rob Roy, and the tug Restless under Commander Alexander M Pennock, arrived from Cairo, Illinois, with a force of troops to protect Evansville, Indiana. The troops were landed and retook Henderson, from Confederate guerrillas, burning several of their boats. The Ohio River was patrolled more thoroughly against attack from the Kentucky side of the river.
Mississippi. Confederate artillery at Argyle Landing, near Greenville, destroyed the Union naval transport USS Sallie Woods.
22 July 1862
Mississippi. USS Essex, Commander W D Porter, and the ram USS Queen of the West, Lieutenant Colonel Ellet, attacked the ironclad CSS Arkansas, Commander Isaac N Brown, while at anchor with a disabled engine at Vicksburg. Many of the Confederate officers and crewmen were ashore sick or wounded after the action of 15 July. After attempting to ram the target, USS Essex was closely engaged by CSS Arkansas. The attack began at 4 am and the CSS Arkansas had too few men to raise the anchor and get underway and steam was ready to move the ship. CSS Arkansas, therefore, fought from a stationary position near the shore. USS Essex began the attack, firing its three bow guns. The Confederates replied with two bow guns until the attacker came alongside at a distance of 20 feet to exchange broadsides. The ram USSS Queen of the West followed close behind but the Confederates managed to turn the bow a little, which prevented a direct ramming strike. The ram glanced the side and ran aground astern of CSS Arkansas. Breaking off the engagement, USS Essex steamed onward past the shore batteries and joined the seagoing fleet which was stationed below Vicksburg. USS Queen of the West withdrew to rejoin the river fleet above the city in a severely damaged condition.
23 July 1862
Mississippi. Assistant Secretary of the Navy Gustavus Vasa Fox ordered part of the mortar fleet to be sent from Vicksburg to the James River. As there was no army to support their operations with mortars at Vicksburg, twelve mortar vessels were transferred.
Mississippi. One day after repelling an attack by USS Essex and USS Queen of the West, Confederate Commander Isaac N Brown defiantly steamed the CSS Arkansas up and down the river under the protection of the Vicksburg batteries.
24 July 1862
Florida. USS Quaker City, Commander Frailey, captured blockade-runner Orion at Campeche Bank, south of Key West.
Georgia. USS Octorara, Commander D D Porter, captured British blockade-runner Tubal Cain east of Savannah.
Mississippi. Union Rear Admiral David Glasgow Farragut’s fleet departed from below Vicksburg, as the falling water level of the river and sickness among the ships’ crews required withdrawal to Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Although the US Navy could patrol the majority of the river, Confederate control of Vicksburg enabled supplies to come in from Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana. The Union commanders planned to prevent this traffic with expeditions along the banks of the Mississippi from Helena, Arkansas, to Vicksburg.
25 July 1862
Alabama. The Confederate steamer Cuba ran the blockade into Mobile.
26 July 1862
Virginia. The Confederates boarded and burned the schooner Louisa Reed in the James River.
27 July 1862
Virginia. USS Yankee, Lieutenant-Commander William Gibson, and USS Satellite, Acting Master Amos Foster, captured schooner J W Sturges in Chippoak Creek.
28 July 1862
Louisiana. USS Hatteras, Commander Emmons, captured Confederate brig Josephine off Ship Shoal, en route to Havana with a cargo of cotton.
Great Britain, The bark Agrippina, Captain Alexander McQueen, was ordered to rendezvous in the Azores with the steamer Enrica (later renamed as CSS Alabama). The ship was to depart Liverpool to carry guns, ammunition, coal, and other supplies to equip CSS Alabama as a commerce raider.
29 July 1862
North Carolina. USS Mount Vernon, Commander Glisson, and USS Mystic, Lieutenant-Commander Arnold, captured the blockade-running British brig Napier near Wilmington.
31 July 1862
South Carolina. USS Magnolia, Acting Lieutenant W Budd, captured the British steamer Memphis off Cape Romain with large a cargo of cotton and rosin. The steamer had run the blockade out of Charleston five days earlier.
31 July 1862
Georgia. The ironclad CSS Atlanta revealed itself to the Union blockading squadron when she steamed down the river toward Fort Pulaski and returned to Savannah.
Virginia. Confederate batteries at Coggins’ Point took Union forces under fire on the James River between Harrison’s Landing and Shirley, sinking two Army transports. USS Cimarron, Commander Woodhull, opened counter fire on the battery.
1 August 1862
North Carolina. USS Penobscot, Lieutenant Clitz, captured sloop Lizzie off New Inlet, with a cargo including salt.
Virginia. USS Thomas Freeborn, Acting Master James L Plunkett, captured the schooner Mail in Coan River, with a cargo including salt.
2 August 1862
Bahamas. CSS Florida, Lieutenant John Newland Maffitt, was released by the Admiralty Court after having been seized by HMS Greyhound. The new commerce raider was about to take to sea from Nassau.
3 August 1862
Bahamas. USS Santiago de Cuba, Commander Ridgely, seized blockade-runner Columbia north of Abaco with a cargo of arms.
4 August 1862
Georgia. USS Unadilla, Lieutenant Collins, captured British steamer Lodona attempting to run the blockade at Hell Gate.
South Carolina. USS Huron, Lieutenant Downes, seized schooner Aquilla near Charleston with a cargo of turpentine.
6 August 1862
Louisiana. The ironclad CSS Arkansas, Lieutenant Henry Stevens temporarily in command, became unmanageable due to engine failure while supporting a Confederate attack on Baton Rouge. The warship was engaged by USS Essex, Commander W D Porter. The CSS Arkansas was destroyed to prevent capture. Now without naval support and under fire from USS Sumter, USS Cayuga, USS Kineo, and USS Katahdin, the Confederate attack on Baton Rouge was repelled. Although critical repairs were necessary and the ship was not ready for combat, the participation of CSS Arkansas was demanded by Confederate Major-General Earl Van Dorn, to ensure the success of his expedition.
7 August 1862
Bahamas. CSS Florida departed Nassau and began its first commerce raiding cruise under Lieutenant John Newland Maffitt.
District of Columbia. President Abraham Lincoln, Secretary of State William Henry Seward and Secretary of War Edwin McMasters Stanton, visited Captain John Adolphus Dahlgren at the Washington Navy Yard. They were present for a two-hour demonstration of the innovative “Rafael” repeating cannon.
10 August 1862
Virginia. USS Resolute, Acting Master James C Tole, captured schooner S S Jones near the coast.
12 August 1862
Texas. USS Arthur, Acting Lieutenant Kittredge, captured armed schooner Breaker at Aransas Pass. Confederate schooner Elma and sloop Hannah were burned at Corpus Christi to prevent their capture by USS Arthur.
13 August 1862
Georgia. Union Rear Admiral Samuel Francis Du Pont reported on the presence of two Confederate rams and ironclads at Savannah. One was described as more of a floating battery, with eight 10-inch guns as it was listing, leaky, and lacked power. Their purpose was to protect vessels running the blockade into the Savannah River. CSS Georgia and CSS Atlanta were too slow and drew too much water to he fully effective. The two ships remained at anchor in the river between Fort Jackson and the first river obstructions, a few hundred yards apart. The intention was to move CSS Atlanta closer to the stern of CSS Georgia so that it could bear its guns as a floating battery to cover the obstructions. The CSS Atlanta was expected to remain all but immobile.
South Carolina. Union Rear Admiral Samuel Francis Du Pont reported on the presence of two Confederate rams and ironclads at Charleston. The ironclads at Charleston were the ram CSS Palmetto State, and the gunboat CSS Chicora. Both ironclads were slow and with inadequate engines, which required frequent repairs. Their armour was four inches thick in casemate design. Each ironclad carried a spar torpedo, projecting from the bow either clear of the water or submerged five or six feet below the surface, as required. Every night one or more of these two ironclads anchored in the channel near Fort Sumter for the purpose of resisting a night attack on Sumter or a dash into the harbour by Union ships.’ The later CSS Columbia had six inches of iron on her casemate and was superior to the other ironclads. However, CSS Columbia became flooded and rendered no valuable service. For all their defects, the Charleston warships provided effective protection to Charleston harbour.
Texas. USS Kensington, Acting Master Crocker, seized schooner Troy off Sabine Pass, with a cargo of cotton.
14 August 1862
South Carolina. USS Pocahontas, Lieutenant George B Balch, and steam tug Treaty, Acting Lieutenant Baxter, made an expedition up the Black River from Georgetown. They exchanged fire with Confederate troops at close range along both banks of the river for a distance of 20 miles in an unsuccessful attempt to capture the steamer Nina.
15 August 1862
Virginia. USS Galena, Commander J Rodgers, USS Port Royal, and USS Satellite were directed to cover the withdrawal of the left wing of the Union army from Harrison’s Landing across the Chickahominy.
Texas. Confederate steamer A Bee ran aground at the entrance of the Nueces River near Corpus Christi and was burned to avoid capture by USS Arthur, Acting Lieutenant Kittredge.
16 August 1862
Mississippi. Union naval forces under Lieutenant-Commander S L Phelps, including USS Mound City, USS Benton, and USS General Bragg, and the army rams USS Monarch, USS Samson, USS Lioness, and USS Switzerland, convoyed Army troops under Colonel Charles Robert Woods in a joint expedition up the Mississippi from Helena, Arkansas, as far as the Yazoo River. The force landed at various points along the way, capturing the steamer Fairplay above Vicksburg, with large a cargo of arms. The expedition also destroyed a newly erected Confederate battery about 20 miles up the Yazoo River.
16 August 1862
Texas. A Union naval force, comprising USS Sachem, USS Reindeer, USS Belle Italia, and the yacht USS Corypheus, under command of Acting Lieutenant Kittredge, began a three-day bombardment of Corpus Christi.
17 August 1862
North Carolina. A landing party from USS Ellis, Master Benjamin H Porter, and Army boats destroyed Confederate salt works, battery, and a barracks near Swansboro.
18 August 1862
Texas. A Union naval force, comprising USS Sachem, USS Reindeer, USS Belle Italia, and the yacht USS Corypheus, under command of Acting Lieutenant Kittredge, ended its bombardment of Corpus Christi. A landing party of sailors from USS Belle Italia, supported by the ships’ gunfire, attempted to seize a Confederate battery but was driven back by a cavalry force. Despite the shortage of soldiers to garrison Corpus Christi, Sabine City, or Galveston, the fleet effectively controlled the Texas coast and pinned down Confederate forces.
19 August 1862
Tennessee. Captain John A Winslow of USS St Louis reported the burning by Confederates of the Union steamer Swallow, which had run aground below Memphis.
21 August 1862
North Carolina. USS Bienville, Commander Mullany, captured the British blockade-runner Eliza, bound from Nassau to Shallotte Inlet.
22 August 1862
Georgia, USS Keystone State, Commander Le Roy, captured British schooner Fanny with a cargo of salt, near St Simon’s Sound.
Louisiana. Union Lieutenant-Commander Philip C Johnson, commanding USS Tennessee, was directed to move the Marine garrison at Pilot Town to the Pensacola Navy Yard in Florida.
23 August 1862
Bahamas. USS Adirondack, Captain Guert Gansevoort, ran onto a reef outside Man of War Cay and was abandoned after efforts to save her failed.
Cuba. USS James S Chambers, Acting Master D Frank Mosman, seized schooner Corelia off the coast.
South Carolina. USS Bienville, Commander Mullany, seized British blockade-runner Louisa off Cape Romain.
Louisiana. A boat crew from USS Essex, Captain W D Porter, was fired upon by Confederate guerrillas at Bayou Sara.
24 August 1862
Azores. Confederate Captain Raphael Semmes took command of CSS Alabama at sea off the island of Terceira. The Confederate ensign was raised in place of the British colours and its two-year raiding career began.
Louisiana. A day after its boat crew was fired on by Confederate at guerrillas, USS Essex, Captain W D Porter shelled the town of Bayou Sara in reprisal.
North Carolina. USS Isaac N Seymour, Acting Master Francis S Wells, ran aground and sank in the Neuse River.
North Carolina. USS Stars and Stripes, Lieutenant McCook, captured British ship Mary Elizabeth, attempting to run the blockade into Wilmington with a cargo of salt and fruit.
Texas. The yacht USS Corypheus, tender to USS Arthur, Acting Lieutenant Kittredge, captured schooner Water Witch off Aransas Bay.
Virginia. USS Henry Andrew, Lieutenant Arthur S Gardner, was wrecked after grounding during a heavy gale 15 miles south of Cape Henry.
26 August 1862
CSA. Franklin Buchanan was promoted to Admiral in the Confederate Navy.
Mississippi. The Confederate steamer Yorktown, running the blockade from Mobile to Havana, foundered at sea off Ship Island with a cargo of cotton.
27 August 1862
Bahamas. USS Santiago de Cuba, Commander Ridgely, captured blockade-runner Lavinia north of Abaco with a cargo of turpentine.
Florida. USS South Carolina, Commander John J Almy, destroyed abandoned schooner Patriot, aground near Mosquito Inlet.
29 August 1862
Arkansas. USS Pittsburg, Lieutenant Thompson, escorted the steamers White Cloud and Latan to Eunice with their troops aboard. The gunboat shelled and dispersed Confederate forces from a camp above Carson’s Landing on the Mississippi shore. Troops landed under cover of the ship’s guns for reconnaissance along the way and seized a large wharf boat, fitted out as a floating hotel.
30 August 1862
Florida. USS R R. Cuyler, Acting Master Simeon N Freeman, captured schooner Anne Sophia at sea east of Jacksonville.
New York. The modern ironclad USS Passaic was launched at Greenpoint.
31 August 1862
Louisiana, USS William G Anderson, Acting Master D’Oyley, seized schooner Lily off Louisiana with a cargo of gunpowder.
Tennessee. The Union transport W B Terry, Master Leonard G Klinck, carrying a cargo of coal for Union gunboats, ran aground at Duck River Shoals and was captured by Confederate troops.
1 September 1862
Cuba. CSS Florida, Lieutenant John Newland Maffitt, put into Havana after a yellow fever epidemic broke out on board which proved fatal to several crew members.
2 September 1862
South Carolina. USS Restless, Acting Lieutenant Conroy, captured sloop John Thompson off the coast with a cargo of turpentine.
3 September 1862
Mississippi. USS Essex, Commodore W D Porter, in pursuit of CSS Webb, placed a landing party ashore at Natchez, from which Union forces had withdrawn on 25 July. The men were fired upon and USS Essex bombarded the town for an hour, after which the mayor surrendered the city.
4 September 1862
Gulf of Mexico. USS William G Anderson, Acting Master D’Oyley, captured schooner Theresa with a cargo including salt.
Alabama. CSS Florida, Lieutenant John Newland Maffitt, ran the blockade into Mobile Bay. Many crewmen were suffering from yellow fever and Maffitt determined to make the bold dash from Havana into Mobile. Running past the broadside of USS Oneida, Commander Preble, CSS Florida also evaded USS Winona and USS Rachel Seaman before coming to anchor under the guns of Fort Morgan in a damaged condition.
South Carolina. USS Shepherd Knapp, Acting Lieutenant Henry S Eytinge, captured bark Fannie Laurie off the South Edisto River.
5 September 1862
Azores. CSS Alabama, Captain Raphael Semmes, seized and burned the ship Ocmulgee, the first Union vessel to fall prey to the commerce raider.
6 September 1862
North Carolina. USS Louisiana, Acting Lieutenant Richard T Renshaw, assisted Union troops to repel a Confederate attack on Washington. The US Army gunboat Picket was destroyed by an accidental magazine explosion during the engagement.
7 September 1862
Azores. CSS Alabama, Captain Raphael Semmes, captured and burned schooner Starlight.
Louisiana. USS Essex, Commodore W D Porter, steamed down the Mississippi to New Orleans past the Confederate batteries at Port Hudson. USS Essex was struck with heavy shot fourteen times. Porter noted that the Port Hudson batteries would soon seriously interrupt the navigation of the lower Mississippi.
8 September 1862
Azores. CSS Alabama, Captain Raphael Semmes, captured and burned the whaling ship Ocean Rover.
Florida. A landing party from USS Kingfisher destroyed a substantial salt works at St Joseph’s Bay. Three days later, similar works at St Andrew’s Bay were destroyed by a landing party from USS Sagamore.
Atlantic Ocean. A new “flying squadron” including USS Wachusett, USS Dacotah, USS Cimarron, USS Sonoma, USS Tioga, USS Octorara, and USS Santiago de Cuba, was formed to seek out and capture the commerce raiders CSS Alabama and CSS Florida. The squadron seized several vessels engaged in blockade-running, but the two raiders eluded the force.
9 September 1862
Azores. CSS Alabama, Captain Raphael Semmes, captured and burned the whaling ships Alert and Weather Gauge.
11 September 1862
Florida. A landing party from USS Sagamore destroyed a salt works at St Andrew’s Bay.
USS Patroon, Acting Master William D Urann, and USS Uncas, Acting Master Crane, engaged Confederate batteries at St John’s Bluff. USS Uncas suffered some damage but forced the temporary abandonment of the batteries.
13 September 1862
Azores. CSS Alabama, Captain Raphael Semmes, seized and burned the whaling ship Altamaha.
14 September 1862
Azores. CSS Alabama, Captain Raphael Semmes, seized and burned the whaling ship Benjamin Tucker.
15 September 1862
Maryland. Lieutenant-Commander Samuel Magaw, commanding USS Thomas Freeborn, reported the seizure and burning of the schooner Arctic in Great Wicomico River.
16 September 1862
Azores. CSS Alabama, Captain Raphael Semmes, captured and burned the whaling ship Courser.
17 September 1862
Gulf of Mexico. USS W G Anderson, Acting Master D’Oyley, seized the schooner Reindeer with a cargo of cotton.
CSS Alabama, Captain Raphael Semmes, captured and burned whaling ship Virginia near the Azores.
18 September 1862
Azores. CSS Alabama, Captain Raphael Semmes, captured and burned the whaling ship Elisha Dunbar. As the whaling season at the Azores was coming to an end, Semmes decided to change his cruising-ground to the Newfoundland Banks.
19 September 1862
Mississippi. The Union ram Queen of the West, Cadet Charles R Ellet, escorting two troop transports, had a sharp engagement with Confederate infantry and artillery above Bolivar.
21 September 1862
Texas. USS Albatross, Commander Henry French, captured schooner Two Sisters off the Rio Grande River.
22 September 1862
Virginia. USS Wyandank, Acting Master John McGowan, captured schooner Southerner on Coan River.
23 September 1862
Georgia. USS Alabama, Lieutenant-Commander William T Truxtun, captured blockade-running British schooner Nelly off Ossabaw Sound, with a cargo including drugs and salt.
25 September 1862
Georgia. USS Florida, Lieutenant-Commander Robert W Scott, captured British schooner, Agnes as it attempted to run the blockade at St Andrew’s Sound.
Texas. USS Kensington, Acting Master Crocker, USS Rachel Seaman, Acting Master Hooper, and mortar schooner Henry Janes, Acting Master Lewis Pennington, bombarded Confederate batteries at Sabine Pass. The action was broken off when the defending troops evacuated the fort, after spiking the guns.
26 September 1862
North Carolina. USS State of Georgia, Commander Armstrong, and USS Mystic, Lieutenant-Commander Arnold, chased a blockade-running schooner ashore at New Inlet and destroyed her.
South Carolina. Union Rear Admiral Samuel Francis Du Pont extended his policy of mobile support by requesting a hulk capable of holding a thousand tons of coal and fitted out with hoisting equipment. Coal schooners arrived from the North and unloaded their cargo into this hulk so that warships could be resupplied while on station and without returning to port. Numerous store ships, receiving ships, and machinery repair hulks, were already employed at Port Royal to form a base of naval operations on the Atlantic coast.
Texas. Sabine City surrendered to USS Kensington, Acting Master Crocker. Meanwhile, USS Rachel Seaman, Acting Master Hooper, severed communications between Sabine Pass and Taylor’s Bayou by burning the railroad bridge and seized the mails. Sabine City had to be evacuated a day later as there were insufficient troops available to hold the town.
27 September 1862
Texas. USS Kittatinny, Acting Master Lamson, captured schooner Emma off the coast with a cargo of cotton.
28 September 1862
North Carolina. USS State of Georgia, Commander Armstrong, and USS Mystic, Lieutenant-Commander Arnold, captured blockade-running British steamer Sunbeam near New Inlet.
1 October 1862
USA. The Western Gunboat Fleet which had operated under the jurisdiction of the War Department for operations supporting the Army on the western rivers was transferred to the Navy Department and renamed the Mississippi Squadron. David Dixon Porter was appointed Acting Rear Admiral to command the naval forces on the western rivers.
Florida. A Union joint expedition under Commander Steedman and Brigadier-General John Milton Brannon arrived at the mouth of the St John’s River near Jacksonville.
2 October 1862
Virginia. Commodore Harwood reported the capture of sloop Thomas Reilly by USS Thomas Freeborn, Lieutenant Commander Magaw.
3 October 1862
Atlantic Ocean. CSS Alabama, Captain Raphael Semmes, captured the ship Brilliant, bound from New York to Liverpool.
Florida. A Union joint expedition under Commander Steedman and Brigadier-General John Milton Brannon engaged and captured a Confederate battery at St John’s Bluff and occupied Jacksonville.
Texas. Union naval forces under Commander William B Renshaw aboard USS Westfield, including USS Harriet Lane, USS Owasco, USS Clifton, and the mortar schooner Henry Janes, bombarded and captured the defences of the harbour and city of Galveston.
Virginia. Responding to a request for assistance in an anticipated assault on Confederate forces gathering at Franklin, a Union naval expedition under Lieutenant-Commander Flusser, comprising USS Commodore Perry, USS Hunchback, and USS Whitehead, engaged Confederate troops on the Blackwater River for six hours. The river was obstructed and the gunboats could not reach Franklin and returned downstream as Confederate troops began felling trees in the river behind the gunboats in an attempt to block their escape.
4 October 1862
Florida. USS Somerset, Lieutenant-Commander English, attacked Confederate salt works at Depot Key. The landing party from USS Somerset was augmented by a strong force from USS Tahoma, Commander John C Howell. Salt was among the critical strategic materials in the Confederacy, essential for the preservation of food and some industrial processes.
Virginia. A Union raiding party from USS Thomas Freeborn, Lieutenant-Commander Magaw, entered Dumfries and destroyed the telegraph office and wires of the line running from Occoquan to Richmond via Fredericksburg.
6 October 1862
Texas. USS Rachel Seaman, Acting Master Crocker, captured British schooner Dart attempting to run the blockade at Sabine Pass.
7 October 1862
Nova Scotia. CSS Alabama, Captain Raphael Semmes, captured and burned bark Wave Crest and brig Dunkirk south-east of Nova Scotia.
Florida. Lieutenant-Commander Edward P Williams in Army transport Darlington, with sailors and troops embarked, captured steamer Governor Milton in St John’s River.
8 October 1862
Cuba. Steamer Blanche, anchored off Havana, was set afire to prevent its seizure by USS Montgomery, Commander C Hunter.
Nova Scotia. CSS Alabama, Captain Raphael Semmes, captured and released on bond the packet Tonawanda southeast of Nova Scotia.
9 October 1862
Texas. A Union naval force under Commander William B Renshaw (USS Westfield, USS Harriet Lane, USS Owasco, USS Clifton, and the mortar schooner Henry Janes), accepted the formal surrender of Galveston. The Union navy now held Galveston, Corpus Christi, and Sabine City but there were insufficient soldiers or marines available to hold the ports permanently.
11 October 1862
Nova Scotia. CSS Alabama, Captain Raphael Semmes, captured and burned Manchester southeast of Nova Scotia bound from New York to Liverpool.
North Carolina. USS Monticello, Lieutenant-Commander Braine, captured blockade-running British schooner Revere off Frying Pan Shoals.
North Carolina. USS Maratanza, Commander Scott, was damaged by a Confederate battery at the Cape Fear River and was forced to retire out to sea.
12 October 1862
South Carolina. USS Restless, Acting Lieutenant Conroy, captured blockade-running schooner Elmira Cornelius off the coast.
13 October 1862
South Carolina. USS America, Acting Master Jonathan Baker, seized schooner David Crockett attempting to run the blockade out of Charleston with a cargo of turpentine and rosin.
14 October 1862
South Carolina. USS Memphis, Acting Lieutenant Watmough, captured blockade-running British steamer Ouachita at sea off Cape Romain.
15 October 1862
Nova Scotia. CSS Alabama, Captain Raphael Semmes, captured and burned the bark Lamplighter southeast of Nova Scotia.
Florida. Union boat crews from USS Fort Henry, Acting Lieutenant Edward Y McCauley, reconnoitring the Apalachicola River, captured the sloop G L Brockenborough with a cargo of cotton.
Texas. A Union boat crew under command of Master’s Mate Edwin Janvrin of USS Rachel Seaman, and a boat crew under command of Second Assistant Engineer Timothy W O’Connor of USS Kensington, burned a Confederate railroad bridge at Taylor’s Bayou, preventing the transportation of heavy artillery to Sabine Pass. They also burned the schooners Stonewall and Lone Star and some barracks buildings.
19 October 1862
Arkansas. Confederate guerrillas captured and burned the mail steamer Gladiator early in the morning near Bledsoe’s Landing.
20 October 1862
South Carolina. The steamer Minho ran aground after running the blockade out of Charleston.
21 October 1862
Arkansas. USS Louisville, Lieutenant-Commander Meade, escorted the steamer Meteor, which landed troops at Bledsoe’s Landing and Hamblin’s Landing. The towns were burned in reprisal for attacks by Confederate guerrillas on the mail steamer Gladiator on 19 October 1862.
22 October 1862
North Carolina. USS Penobscot, Commander Clitz, captured blockade-running British brig Robert Bruce off Cape Fear.
North Carolina. Union Lieutenant William B Cushing reported that USS Ellis had captured and destroyed the blockade-runner Adelaide at New Topsail Inlet, with a cargo of turpentine, cotton, and tobacco.
South Carolina. A naval battery consisting of three 12-pounder boat howitzers from USS Wabash provided artillery support for Union troops at Pocotaligo.
23 October 1862
Nova Scotia. CSS Alabama, Captain Raphael Semmes, captured and burned the American bark Lafayette south of Halifax.
24 October 1862
Arkansas. A landing party from USS Baron De Kalb, Captain Winslow, disembarked at Hopefield, to engage a small Confederate scouting party. Mounting horses which were procured by impressment,” the Union sailors engaged in a nine-mile running fight which ended with the capture of the Confederates.
26 October 1862
Nova Scotia. CSS Alabama, Captain Raphael Semmes, captured and burned the schooner Crenshaw south of Halifax.
27 October 1862
South Carolina. Boat crews from USS Flag, Lieutenant-Commander Charles C Carpenter, captured the British steamer Anglia at Bull’s Bay.
28 October 1862
Nova Scotia. CSS Alabama, Captain Raphael Semmes, captured and burned bark Lauraetta south of Halifax.
Florida. USS Montgomery, Commander C Hunter, captured blockade-running steamer Caroline near Pensacola.
Florida. USS Sagamore, Lieutenant-Commander George A Bigelow, captured blockade-running British schooner Trier off Indian River Inlet.
Virginia. A Confederate party led by Lieutenant John Taylor Wood, CSN, boarded, captured, and burned the ship Alleghanian which lay at anchor in the Chesapeake Bay off the mouth of the Rappahannock River. The ship was destroyed with its cargo of guano bound from Baltimore for London.
29 October 1862
Nova Scotia. CSS Alabama, Captain Raphael Semmes, seized the brigantine Baron de Castine south of Nova Scotia. The vessel was released on ransom bond and carried away forty-five prisoners taken from the three last ships burned.
North Carolina. A landing party from USS Ellis, Lieutenant Cushing, destroyed a large Confederate salt works at New Topsail Inlet.
Texas. USS Dan exchanged fire with Confederate troops near Sabine Pass and shelled the town.
30 October 1862
North Carolina. USS Daylight, Acting Master Warren, captured schooner Racer between Stump Inlet and New Topsail Inlet, with a cargo of salt.
Texas. A landing party from USS Dan was landed to burn a mill and several buildings at Sabine Pass.
Texas. USS Connecticut, Lieutenant-Commander Milton Haxtun, captured blockade-running British schooner Hermosa off the mouth of the Sabine River.
31 October 1862
CSA. The Confederate Congress formalised a Torpedo Bureau in Richmond under Brigadier-General Gabriel James Rains. A Naval Submarine Battery Service was also formed under Lieutenant Hunter Davidson CSN. The purpose was to organise and improve methods in marine torpedo warfare, which Commander Matthew Fontaine Maury had pioneered. The Confederacy developed a wide range of underwater torpedoes, to obstruct access to its navigable rivers and harbours. Ultimately, torpedoes became more destructive to Union naval vessels than all other weapons combined.
South Carolina. USS Restless, Acting Lieutenant Conroy, captured sloop Susan McPherson off the coast.
Virginia. USS Reliance, Acting Master Andrew J Frank, captured sloop Pointer at Alexandria with an undeclared cargo of groceries, dry goods, and whisky.
Virginia. A landing party from USS Mahaska, Commander Foxhall A Parker, began an attack to destroy Confederate gun positions on Wormley’s Creek and at West Point.
North Carolina. A Union naval expedition under Commander Davenport, comprising USS Hetzel, USS Commodore Perry, USS Hunchback, USS Valley City, the and Army gunboat Vidette, opened fire on a Confederate encampment at Plymouth, forcing the Confederate troops to withdraw.
1 November 1862
Mississippi. USS Louisville, Lieutenant-Commander Meade, captured steamer Evansville in the Mississippi River above Island No 36.
Virginia. USS Thomas Freeborn, Lieutenant-Commander Magaw, captured three unnamed boats at Maryland Point on the Potomac River, while the boats were attempting to run contraband goods across from Maryland to Virginia.
2 November 1862
Bermuda. CSS Alabama, Captain Raphael Semmes, captured and burned the whaling ship Levi Starbuck.
3 November 1862
Mediterranean Sea. Union Commander Henry K Thatcher reported the Mediterranean cruise of USS Constellation and requested additional ships for this station to protect commerce against Confederate commerce raiders.
Louisiana. CSS Cotton, Lieutenant Edward W Fuller, and Confederate shore batteries engaged USS Calhoun, USS Kinsman, USS Estrella, and USS Diana in Berwick Bay. Despite the heavy odds, Fuller caused considerable damage to the Union squadron until the exhaustion of ammunition forced CSS Cotton to retire.
North Carolina. USS Penobscot, Commander Clitz, destroyed blockade-running British ship Pathfinder after forcing her aground off Shallotte Inlet.
North Carolina. A Union expedition under Commander Davenport, comprising USS Hetzel, USS Commodore Perry, USS Hunchback, USS Valley City, the and Army gunboat Vidette, was directed to Williamston to provide support for Major-General John Gray Foster’s intended attack on Hamilton.
4 November 1862
Florida. USS Hale, Captain Alfred T Snell, captured pilot boat Wave and an unnamed schooner in Nassau Sound.
North Carolina. USS Daylight, Acting Master Warren, and USS Mount Vernon, Acting Lieutenant Trathen, forced blockade-running British bark Sophia aground and destroyed her near Masonboro Inlet.
North Carolina. A Union expedition under Commander Davenport, comprising USS Hetzel, USS Commodore Perry, USS Hunchback, USS Valley City, the and Army gunboat Vidette, set out from Williamston at 11 am and proceeded up the river towards Hamilton. The force was joined by USS Seymour, which had arrived during the morning. Hamilton was evacuated by the Confederates and Union troops took possession of the town. The gunboats proceeded a few miles farther up the river to distract the enemy, while the army marched to Tarboro.
Virginia. USS Jacob Bell, Acting Ensign George E McConnell, captured and burned schooner Robert Wilbur in Nomini Creek, off the Potomac River.
Virginia. USS Coeur de Lion, Acting Master Charles H, Brown, with USS Teaser and the schooner S H Poole, evacuated Union families and their property from Gwynn’s Island.
5 November 1862
USS Louisiana, Acting Lieutenant R.T. Renshaw, captured schooner Alice L Webb at Rose Bay, North Carolina.
North Carolina. USS Seymour was sent downriver from Hamilton to destroy the Confederate works at Rainbow Bluff.
6 November 1862
Virginia. USS Teaser, Ensign Sheridan, captured the sloop Grapeshot in the Chesapeake Bay.
7 November 1862
Georgia. USS Potomska, Acting Lieutenant W Budd, escorted the Army transport Darlington up the Sapelo River. USS Potomska was unable to proceed far upriver because of her draft and Budd transferred to the Army vessel, which was engaged by Confederates at Spaulding’s. The transport Darlington continued undamaged to Fairhope, where a landing party destroyed a salt works. The vessel was attacked again while returning past Spaulding’s. Troops went ashore and destroyed property and captured some arms.
Louisiana. USS Kinsman, Acting Master George Wiggin, and steamer Seger burned the steamers Osprey and J P Smith in Bayou Cheval.
North Carolina. The unsuccessful Union expedition to Tarboro returned to Hamilton. About 300 sick and wounded soldiers were placed aboard the accompanying gunboats for removal to Williamston.
8 November 1862
Bermuda. CSS Alabama, Captain Raphael Semmes, captured and burned ship T B Wales southeast of Bermuda.
Maryland. USS Resolute, Acting Master Tole, captured the sloop Capitola at Glymont, with its cargo and passengers.
9 November 1862
North Carolina. Greenville surrendered to a Union landing force under Second Assistant Engineer J L Lay of USS Louisiana.
11 November 1862
Florida. USS Kensington, Acting Master Crocker, captured schooner Course off the coast.
12 November 1862
Florida. USS Kensington, Acting Master Crocker, captured British blockade-runner Maria off the coast.
14 November 1862
Louisiana. Union Rear Admiral David Glasgow Farragut requested from Major-General Benjamin Franklin Butler a small force of 1,000 men to attack Fort Gaines in Mobile Bay. Butler promised to assist in the operation as soon as Brigadier-General Godfrey Weitzel returned from his operations at Opelousas, although he preferred an attack on Port Hudson. It was estimated that 5,000 men were required to take Port Hudson and Butler’s forces proved insufficient to achieve that attack, or provide for the attack on Mobile Bay, while holding New Orleans and key points along the Mississippi, along with the outpost at Galveston, Texas.
15 November 1862
District of Columbia. President Abraham Lincoln, Secretary of State William Henry Seward and Secretary of War Edwin McMasters Stanton, visited Captain John Adolphus Dahlgren at the Washington Navy Yard. They were present for the trial of the Hyde rocket. Although a defective rocket accidentally exploded, the President escaped injury.
16 November 1862
Maryland. USS T A Ward, Acting Master William L Babcock, captured sloop G W Green and an unnamed seine boat at St Jerome’s Creek, as it attempted to cross to the Virginia shore with contraband.
17 November 1862
Alabama. USS Kanawha, Lieutenant-Commander Febiger, and USS Kennebec, Lieutenant-Commander John H Russell, chased a schooner ashore near Mobile where she was set afire and destroyed by her crew. Union ships prevented the Confederate coast guard from boarding the vessel to extinguish the flames.
North Carolina. USS Cambridge, Commander W A Parker, forced the blockade-running British schooner F W Pindar aground at Masonboro Inlet and sent a boat crew to destroy the vessel. The boat was swamped and the crew was captured after firing the schooner.
18 November 1862
Martinique. CSS Alabama, Captain Raphael Semmes, arrived at Martinique and was blockaded by USS San Jacinto, Commander William Ronckendorff.
USS Monticello, Lieutenant-Commander Braine, chased blockade-running British schooners Ariel and Ann Maria ashore and destroyed them near Shallotte Inlet with cargoes of salt, flour, sugar, and lard.
19 November 1862
Martinique. CSS Alabama, Captain Raphael Semmes, evaded the blockade by USS San Jacinto, Commander William Ronckendorff, and escaped under the cover of foul weather.
Georgia. USS Wissahickon, Lieutenant-Commander John L Davis, and USS Dawn, Acting Lieutenant John S Barnes, engaged Fort McAllister on the Ogeechee River. USS Wissahickon was hit and temporarily disabled in the exchange of fire. USS Wissahickon and USS Dawn were currently blockading CSS Nashville in Ossabaw Sound, to prevent her escape to become a commerce raider.
20 November 1862
Florida. USS Montgomery, Commander C Hunter, captured the sloop William E Chester near Pensacola Bay.
South Carolina. USS Seneca, Lieutenant-Commander Gibson, captured the schooner Annie Dees running the blockade out of Charleston with a cargo of turpentine and rosin.
Texas. Confederates captured a boat crew from the Union mortar schooner Henry Janes, Acting Master Pennington, at Matagorda Bay. The men were ashore to procure fresh provisions for the mortar schooner when they fell into enemy hands.
22 November 1862
Virginia. A Union expedition under Lieutenant Farquhar and Acting Master’s Mate Nathan W Black of USS Mahaska was launched to the vicinity of Mathews Court House. They destroyed numerous salt works, burned three schooners and numerous small boats, and captured 24 large canoes.
23 November 1862
North Carolina. A landing party from USS Ellis, Lieutenant Cushing, captured arms, mail, and two schooners at Jacksonville.
24 November 1862
Florida. USS Sagamore, Lieutenant-Commander English, captured two British blockade-runners, the schooner Agnes and the sloop Ellen, in Indian River.
North Carolina. USS Monticello, Lieutenant-Commander Braine, destroyed two Confederate salt works near Little River Inlet.
North Carolina. While under attack from Confederate artillery at Jacksonville, USS Ellis, Lieutenant Cushing, ran aground. After efforts to float the ship failed, Cushing ordered her set afire the following day to avoid capture.
Virginia. A boat from USS Reliance, Acting Master William P Dockray, captured the suspected blockade-running longboat New Moon on the Potomac River, off Alexandria.
25 November 1862
Gulf of Mexico. USS Kittatinny, Acting Master Lamson, captured the British blockade-runner Matilda, bound from Havana to Matamoras.
26 November 1862
Gulf of Mexico. USS Kittatinny, Acting Master Lamson, captured the schooner Diana, bound from Campeche to Matamoras.
29 November 1862
North Carolina. USS Mount Vernon, Acting Lieutenant Trathen, captured the blockade-runner Levi Rowe off New Inlet, with a cargo of rice.
Pennsylvania. Union Captain H A Adams was ordered to special duty at Philadelphia as coordinator of coal supply for the US Navy. All coal used in the US Navy at that time was anthracite and came from the eastern district of Pennsylvania. It was forwarded from the mines to Philadelphia either by rail or barge down the Schuylkill River. There it was loaded into coal schooners and sent onward to the various blockading squadrons. Before Adams was ordered to this duty, squadron commanders had considerable difficulty in keeping their ships supplied with coal. As an example, the consumption of coal in the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron alone was currently approximately 950 tons a week.
30 November 1862
Leeward Islands. CSS Alabama, Captain Raphael Semmes, captured and burned the bark Parker Cook off the coast.
1 December 1862
Bahamas. USS Tioga, Commander Clary, captured schooner Nonsuch at Bahama Banks.
USA. In his second annual report, US Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles reported that the US Navy currently had afloat or progressing to completion a naval force consisting of 427 vessels, armed with 1,577 guns, and of the capacity of 240,028 tons. There were approximately 28,000 men aboard naval vessels, including receiving ships and recruits, and more than 12,000 mechanics and laborers employed at navy yards and naval stations.
Florida. USS Sagamore, Lieutenant-Commander English, captured the blockade-running British schooner By George off Indian River, with a cargo including coffee and salt.
2 December 1862
Texas. The Confederate steamer Queen of the Bay, Captain H Willke, was sounding Corpus Christi pass when it was chased by boats under Acting Ensign Alfred H Reynolds and Master’s Mate George C Dolliver from USS Sachem. CSS Queen of the Bay was run aground on Padre Island, where Willke deployed his crewmen and took the Union boats under fire. Reynolds was seriously wounded and was compelled to land on nearby Mustang Island, abandoning his boats to the Confederates before retreating overland 30 miles to rejoin USS Sachem at Aransas Bay, Texas.
3 December 1862
North Carolina. USS Cambridge, Commander W A Parker, captured the schooner J C Roker off the coast with a cargo of salt. USS Cambridge also captured the schooner Emma Tuttle off Cape Fear.
North Carolina. USS Daylight, Acting Master Warren, captured the British blockade-runner Brilliant as it attempted to run a cargo of salt into Wilmington.
4 December 1862
Virginia. USS Anacostia, USS Coeur de Lion, USS Currituck, and USS Jacob Bell, under Acting Master Shankland, were engaged by Confederate batteries at Port Royal. In the hour-long exchange of fire, USS Jacob Bell was damaged.
5 December 1862
Haiti. CSS Alabama, Captain Raphael Semmes, captured and released on bond the schooner Union off the coast.
Maryland. Boat crews from USS Mahaska, Commander F A Parker, and USS General Putnam, under Lieutenant Elliot C V Blake, captured and destroyed several boats, a schooner, and two sloops in branches of the Severn River. They brought back the schooners Seven Brothers and Galena.
Tennessee. Lieutenant-Commander John G Walker, USS Baron De Kalb, reported the capture of steamer Lottie 30 miles above Memphis.
6 December 1862
Mississippi. USS Diana, Acting Master Ezra Goodwin, captured the steamers Southern Methodist and Naniope near Vicksburg, laden with molasses and sugar.
7 December 1862
Cuba. CSS Alabama, Captain Raphael Semmes, captured the California steamer Ariel with 700 passengers on board, including 150 Marines and Commander Louis C Sartori, USN.
8 December 1862
North Carolina/ USS Daylight, Acting Master Warren, seized the sloop Coquette off New Topsail Inlet, with a cargo of whisky, potatoes, apples, and onions.
10 December 1862
Florida. USS Sagamore, Lieutenant-Commander English, captured the British schooner Alicia as it attempted to run the blockade out of Indian River, with a cargo of cotton.
North Carolina. USS Southfield, Lieutenant Charles F W Behm, was disabled by a shot through the steam chest off Plymouth, while providing support to Union troops under attack.
Virginia. USS Currituck, Acting Master Thomas J Linnekin, engaged a Confederate battery on Brandywine Hill.
12 December 1862
Mississippi. USS Cairo, Lieutenant-Commander Thomas O Selfridge, on an expedition up the Yazoo River to destroy torpedoes, was sunk by one of the explosives. USS Cairo sank within twelve minutes, showing only the top of her chimneys. USS Cairo was the first of about 40 Union vessels to be torpedoed during the war. The torpedo which destroyed USS Cairo comprised a large demijohn detonated by a friction primer on a trigger line running to pits on the riverbank.
North Carolina. A Union naval force under Commander Murray including USS Delaware, USS Shawsheen, USS Lockwood, and USS Seymour led a force of armed transports up the Neuse River on a five day expedition to destroy railroad bridges and track near Goldsboro. Low water halted the gunboats’ progress about fifteen miles up the river.
16 December 1862
Louisiana. Union Major-General Nathaniel Prentiss Banks arrived at New Orleans with reinforcements. Banks superseded Major-General Benjamin Franklin Butler and prepared for increased military operations on the Mississippi and the coast.
19 December 1862
Louisiana. Union Rear Admiral David Glasgow Farragut ordered a fleet of transport ships to Baton Rouge. USS Richmond, Commander James Alden, and two gunboats covered the landing. The occupation of Baton Rouge was necessary precursor to an attack on the Confederate fortifications at Port Hudson.
20 December 1862
Arkansas. Union Rear Admiral David Dixon Porter joined Major-General William Tecumseh Sherman at Helena, aboard his flagship USS Black Hawk. They prepared for a joint assault on Vicksburg. Porter’s fleet assembled for the Vicksburg campaign was the largest yet placed under one officer, and was equal in number to all the vessels composing the US Navy at the outbreak of war.
22 December 1862
Tortugas. USS Huntsville, Acting Lieutenant W C Rogers, seized the schooner Courier with a cargo including salt, coffee, sugar, and dry goods.
24 December 1862
Florida. USS Charlotte, Acting Master Bruner, captured the steamer Bloomer in the Choctawhatchee River.
Kentucky. USS New Era, Acting Master Frank W Flanner, arrived off Columbus, bringing support and supplies to the garrison against an impending attack by a large Confederate force. USS New Era had been dispatched to Columbus at the urgent request of Brigadier-General James Madison Tuttle, and brought a howitzer, ammunition, and an officer to take charge of one of the batteries.
27 December 1862
Arkansas. Union Brigadier-General Willis Arnold Gorman requested naval assistance for the forthcoming campaign in Arkansas. USS Conestoga was assigned to patrol ‘between the White River and Arkansas River.
Florida. USS Magnolia, Acting Master Charles Potter, captured the British schooner Carmita northwest of Marquesas Keys, as it attempted to run the blockade.
Florida. USS Roebuck, Master John Sherrill, captured the British schooner Kate attempting to run into St Mark’s River, with a cargo of salt, coffee, copper, and liquor.
Mississippi. Union Rear Admiral David Dixon Porter’s squadron was involved in a fierce engagement with Confederate batteries on the Yazoo River. USS Benton, Lieutenant-Commander Gwin, continued to remove torpedoes from the river, protected by USS Cincinnati, USS Baron de Kalb, USS Louisville, USS Lexington, USS Marmora, and the ram Queen of the West. The flotilla returned the fire of the eight heavy guns in a Confederate fort at Drumgould’s Bluff. The Yazoo was successfully cleared of torpedoes to within a half-mile of the battery.
28 December 1862
Virginia. USS Anacostia, Acting Master Nelson Provost, seized the schooner Exchange in the Rappahannock River.
28 December 1862
Mississippi. Union Rear Admiral David Dixon Porter’s gunboat fleet supported an attempt to capture the Confederate-held Chickasaw Bluffs, upstream from Vicksburg. The Navy provided shore bombardment and created diversions, but the Union army, hindered by heavy rains and opposed by timely Confederate reinforcements, was forced to withdraw after three days.
29 December 1862
Tortugas. USS Magnolia, Acting Master Potter, seized blockade-running British sloop Flying Fish.
31 December 1862
North Carolina. USS Monitor, Commander Bankhead, foundered and was lost off Cape Hatteras on the way from Hampton Roads to Beaufort.