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GIFT OF
EVGENE MEYER,JR




CONFEDERATE
MILITARY HISTORY



A LIBRARY OF CONFEDERATE
STATES HISTORY, IN TWELVE
VOLUMES, WRITTEN BY DISTIN
GUISHED MEN OF THE SOUTH,
AND EDITED BY GEN. CLEMENT
A. EVANS OF GEORGIA.



VOL. XII



Atlanta, Ga.

Confederate Publishing Company
J899




;.*



COPYRIGHT, 1899,
BY CONFEDERATE PUBLISHING COMPANY,



TABLE OF CONTENTS.

PAGE.

CAPT. WILLIAM HARWAR PARKER.

THE CONFEDERATE STATES NAVY ... )ttlttttt 1-115

CHAPTER I. Personnel of the Confederate NavyInjustice of
the Federal Naval Secretary Sacrifices of the Confederate
Naval Officers 3

CHAPTER II. The Genesis of the Confederate Navy Organ
ization of the Navy Department Assignment of Officers
Early Operations in Virginia Waters 8

CHAPTER III. Hollins Attack on the United States Vessels
at the "Head of the Passes" Hatteras inlet Hilton Head
Battle of Roanoke Island Elizabeth City 15

CHAPTER IV. The James River Squadron Evacuation of
the Norfolk Navy Yard by the Federals Construction of
the Merrimac Officers of the Merrimac The Patrick Henry,
Jamestown, Teaser, Beaufort and Raleigh 28

CHAPTER V. Battle of Hampton Roads Sinking of the
Cumberland Destruction of the Congress The Work of
the Wooden Gunboats 36

CHAPTER VI. Battle of the Merrimac and the Monitor The
Monitor Declines a Renewal of Combat Evacuation of
Norfolk Destruction of the Merrimac Battle of Drewry s
Bluff 47

CHAPTER VII. The Mississippi River Fleet Defenses of
New Orleans Farragut Runs the River Forts Part of the
Navy in the Combat 55

CHAPTER VIII. The Ram Arkansas Her Completion on the
Yazoo River Her Daring Dash through the Federal Fleet 63

CHAPTER IX. The Ironclads Palmetto State and Chicora
Their Fight off Charleston Attack on Fort Sumter Tor
pedo Expeditions The Ram Atlanta 67

CHAPTER X. Capture of the Satellite and Reliance Torpedo
Attack on the U. S. Ironclad New Ironsides Capture of the
U. S. S. Underwriter Torpedo Attack on the U. S. S. Min
nesota Capture of the U. S. S. Waterwitch 74

CHAPTER XL The Ram Albemarle Her Battles and Vic
toriesWreck of the Raleigh 81

CHAPTER XII. Defense of Mobile Bay The Ram Tennes
see Her Gallant Battle with Farragut s Fleet First Attack
on Fort Fisher 86

CHAPTER XIII. Operations on the James River, 1864-65
Attempted Expedition against City Point The Naval Bri
gadeThe Ram Webb 9 2

ill



iv CONTENTS.

PAGE.

CHAPTER XIV. The Confederate Naval Academy The
Corps of Instructors Splendid Service of the Midshipmen
Character of the Young Officers 96

CHAPTER XV. The Cruisers Their Status in War 99

CHAPTER XVI. Conclusion The Confederate States Iron
clad Fleet Memorable Achievements 107

APPENDIX. Register of the Commissioned and Warrant
Officers of the Navy of the Confederate States of America,
to January i, 1864 no

J. WILLIAM JONES, D. D.

THE MORALE OF THE CONFEDERATE ARMIES 117-193

Enthusiasm of All Classes for the Southern Cause College

Students in the Front Great Campaigns and Valorous
*;; Achievements Humanity toward the Enemy Religion in

the Camp Incidents of Personal Heroism The Veteran in

Civil Life 1 19

BRIG.-GEN. CLEMENT A. EVANS.

AN OUTLINE OF THE CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. .. 195-265

LIEUT.-GEN. STEPHEN D. LEE.

THE SOUTH SINCE THE WAR 267-568

DOCUMENTAL AND STATISTICAL APPENDIX, 369
Constitution of the Confederate States, 371 Members of the
Provisional and Regular Congresses of the Confederate
States, 384 Chronological List of Engagements by States,
389 Statistics, 499 Index, 513 Illustrations 547



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

FACING PAGE

BARRON, SAMUEL , 112

BROOKE, JOHN M 112

BROWN. I. N 112

BUCHANAN, FRANKLIN 112

COOKE, J. W , 112

FLAGS, CONFEDERATE 369

HOLLINS, GEORGE N 112

INGRAHAM, D. N 112

JONES, J. WILLIAM 117

LEE, STEPHEN D 267

MAFFITT, J. N 112

PARKER, WILLIAM H , i

SEMMES, RAPHAEL , 112

TATTNALL, JOSIAH 112

TUCKER, JOHN R 112

WOOD, JOHN T 112




WILLIAM H. PARKER



THE CONFEDERATE STATES NAVY

BY

CAPT. WILLIAM HARWAR PARKER,

Author of Naval Tactics, Naval Light Artillery, Recollections of a Naval
Officer, Familiar Talks on Astronomy, Etc., Etc., Etc.



CHAPTER I.

PERSONNEL OF THE CONFEDERATE NAVY INJUSTICE
OF THE FEDERAL NAVAL SECRETARY SACRIFICES
OF THE CONFEDERATE NAVAL OFFICERS.

ON the nth day of March, 1861, the delegates from
the seceded States, in session at Montgomery,
Ala. , adopted the * Constitution for the provisional
government of the Confederate States of America, and
this Constitution, as well as the one afterward adopted
as "the permanent Constitution of the Confederate
States," empowered Congress to "provide and maintain
a navy," and made the President commander-in-chief of
the army and navy.

South Carolina seceded December 20, 1860, and was
followed by Mississippi, January 9, 1861; Florida, Jan
uary 10, 1861; Alabama, January u, 1861; Georgia, Jan
uary 19, 1861; Louisiana, January 26, 1861, and Texas,
February i, 1861.

As the different States seceded, many of the officers
of the United States navy belonging to those States
resigned their commissions and offered their services to
the Confederacy. Although many of these officers were
informed by Mr. Gideon Welles, the secretary of the
United States navy, that their names were "dropped
from the rolls," and up to the present time they are
marked on the official documents as "dismissed," yet, as.
a matter of fact, when they resigned their commissions
the President could not, in accordance with the custom of
the navy, do otherwise than accept them. The right of
an officer to resign has never been disputed, unless the
officer is at the time under arrest and liable to charges.
Many examples could be cited to establish this point;



4 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

but it is not necessary, as the Congress of the United
States passed in 1861 an act to the effect that officers
resigning would not be considered out of the service
until their resignations were accepted by the President.
This act is as follows :

Any commissioned officer of the navy or marine corps
who, having tendered his resignation, quits his post or
proper duties without leave, and with intent to remain
permanently absent therefrom, prior to due notice of the
acceptance of such resignation, shall be deemed and
punished as a deserter. Passed August 5, 1861.

The necessity for passing such an act proves the point
just stated. Before 1861 the waiting for an acceptance
of a resignation was simply an act of courtesy.

The Southern army officers were better treated. All
resignations from the army were accepted. But many
navy officers, in consequence of this spiteful and illegal
action on the part of Secretary Welles, are now marked
on the official list as "dismissed" not a pleasant thing
for their descendants to contemplate for which no atone
ment can ever be made these officers. It is only one of
the many sacrifices of the Confederate navy. The Naval
Academy Association of Alumni, with a higher sense of
honor and justice than Mr. Welles manifested, ignores
this action of his in dismissing officers. It cordially
admits these officers to membership, though officers
legally dismissed are not admitted.

According to Col. J. Thomas Scharf s valuable history
of the Confederate States navy, the statistics show that
by June 3, 1861, of 671 officers from the South, 321 had
resigned and 350 still remained in the United States
navy. As the war progressed, however, many more
Southern officers resigned.

Whatever has been said or written since that time of the
action of the Southern officers, it is unquestionably true
that it was the general belief of the Southern officers in
the navy in 1861, that allegiance was due the State, and



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 5

that when that State seceded, she withdrew her army and
navy officers. It was, indeed, rather a matter of surprise
to the better classes, even at the North, when a Southern
officer failed to resign and join his friends and relatives at
home. This action on the part of the naval officers who
resigned must, and eventually will, stand forth as one of
the most sublime instances in history of abnegation and
devotion to principle.

In spite of all the censures in the Northern papers at
that time and since, such as the talk of "bad faith,
ingratitude, and treason," the fact remains that these
officers educated by their States, not at a royal or
imperial academy, but at a United States academy recog
nizing the right of a State to secede, heroically threw
up their commissions, and offered their services to the
States that claimed them. This sacrifice on the part of
the Southern naval officers has never been properly
appreciated. While at the close of the war the statesman
returned to the Senate, the lawyer to his briefs, the
doctor to his practice, the merchant to his desk, and the
laborer to his vocation, the naval officer was utterly cast
adrift. He had lost his profession, which was that of
arms. The army officer was in the same category.
Here it may be as well to explain to the general reader
(too apt to confound the naval officer with the mere
seaman) that the profession of a naval officer is precisely
that of an army officer. They are both military men.
So far as the profession goes, there is no difference be
tween a lieutenant in the navy and a lieutenant of dra
goons. One maneuvers and fights on shipboard, the
other on horseback.

But there was this difference : The Southern officers of
the United States army who came South were raised to
high rank ; young lieutenants, and even cadets, attained
the rank of major or brigadier-general, and the close of
the war left them with a national reputation. Far other
wise was it with the Southern naval officers. Men who,



6 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

like Rousseau, Forrest and Tatnall, had commanded
squadrons, could now only aspire to command a few
converted river steamers; while commanders and lieu
tenants of many years service were risking their reputa
tions in command of canal boats. They came out of the
war with the rank they had first, for there were few pro
motions. Under the circumstances, this was unavoid
able ; but it should be borne in mind by the present gen
eration.

These officers with unparalleled devotion cast their lot
with their people. No class of men had less to do with
bringing the war about, and no men suffered more. At
the close of the war they had literally lost all save honor
and there was much honor. But the coming of peace*
found these gentlemen unknown, and almost unhonored.
Yet they have stood shoulder to shoulder since the war
with nothing but their "wants, infirmities and scars to
reward them;" they have felt the "cold hand of poverty
without a murmur, and have seen the insolence of wealth
without a sigh," and not one of them has cried, Peccavi!

Some of the Southern officers were at the beginning of
the war in command of United States vessels on foreign
stations. Upon being ordered home, they honorably car
ried their ships to Northern ports, and then, throwing up
their commissions, joined the South. And what was be
fore the Confederate naval officer? A nation with abso
lutely no navy, and with almost no facilities for building
one! Professor Soley, assistant secretary of the navy
under President Harrison, well says in his work, "The
Blockade and the Cruisers:"

Except its officers, the Confederate government had
nothing in the shape of a navy. It had not a single ship
of war. It had no abundant fleet of merchant vessels in
its ports from which to draw reserves. It had no seamen,
for its people were not given to seafaring pursuits. Its
only shipyards were Norfolk and Pensacola. Norfolk,
with its immense supplies of ordnance and equipment
was indeed valuable ; but though the 300 Dahlgren guns



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 7

captured in the yard were a permanent acquisition, the
yard itself was lost when the war was one-fourth over.
The South was without any large force of skilled mechan
ics, and such as it had were early summoned to the army.
There were only three rolling-mills in the country, two of
which were in Tennessee; and the third, in Alabama,
was unfitted for heavy work. There were hardly any
machine shops that were prepared to supply the best kind
of workmanship ; and in the beginning the only foundry
capable of casting heavy guns was the Tredegar iron
works [at Richmond, Va.], which, under the direction of
Commander Brooke, was employed to its fullest capacity.
Most deplorable of all deficiencies, there were no raw
materials except the timber that was standing in the
forests. Under these circumstances no general plan of
naval policy on a large scale could be carried out, and the
conflict on the Southern side became a species of par
tisan, desultory warfare.

In spite of all these difficulties, so plainly stated by
Professor Soley, we shall see that the Southern navy was
nevertheless built; and, incredible as it now appears, the
South constructed during the war a fleet of ironclad ves
sels which, had they been assembled in Chesapeake bay,
could have defied the navy of any nation in Europe.
They were not seagoing vessels ; but in smooth water the
navy of Great Britain, at that time, could not have suc
cessfully coped with them.



CHAPTER II.

THE GENESIS OF THE CONFEDERATE NAVY ORGANI
ZATION OF THE NAVY DEPARTMENT ASSIGNMENT
OF OFFICERS EARLY OPERATIONS IN VIRGINIA
WATERS.

AS the different States seceded from the Union, each
sovereignty made efforts to provide for a navy,
and conferred rank upon its officers. A few rev
enue cutters and merchant steamers were seized and con
verted into men-of-war. Thus, at the beginning, each
State had its own navy. At Charleston several naval
officers assisted in the capture of Fort Sumter ; notably,
Capt. H. J. Hartstene, in command of a picket boat, and
Lieut. J. R. Hamilton, in command of a floating battery.
General Beauregard mentioned the assistance rendered by
these officers; also the services of Dr. A. C. Lynch, late
of the United States navy. Mention is also made of
Lieut. W. G. Dozier, and the armed steamers Gordon,
Lady Davis and General Clinch. The keels of two fine
ironclads, the Palmetto State and the Chicora, were laid,
and Commodore Duncan N. Ingraham was put in com
mand of the naval forces.

Upon the secession of Virginia, April 17, 1861, a con
vention was entered into between that State and the Con
federate States of America, after which the seat of the
Confederate government was removed to Richmond, and
the Congress assembled there July 2oth; from which time
properly commences the history of the Confederate navy.
The navy department was organized with Stephen R.
Mallory, secretary of the navy ; Commodore Samuel Bar-
ron, chief of the bureau of orders and detail ; Commander
George Minor, chief of ordnance and hydrography ; Pay-

8



CONFEDERA TE MILITA R Y HIS TOR Y.

master John DeBree, chief of provisions and clothing;
Surg. W. A. W. Spottswood, bureau of medicine and
surgery; Edward M. Tidball, chief clerk. The Confed
erate government conferred commissions and warrants
upon officers in accordance with their relative rank in the
United States navy, and a more regular and satisfactory
course of administration was entered upon.

By act of Congress, April 21, 1862, the navy was to
consist of 4 admirals, 10 captains, 31 commanders, 100
first lieutenants, 25 second lieutenants, 20 masters in line
of promotion, 1 2 paymasters, 40 assistant paymasters, 2 2
surgeons, 15 passed assistant surgeons, 30 assistant sur
geons, i engineer-in-chief , and 1 2 engineers. But the Con
federate navy register attached (see Appendix) gives the
personnel of the navy on January i, 1864.

Commodore Lawrence Rousseau was put in command
of the naval forces at New Orleans; Commodore Josiah
Tattnall, at Savannah; Commodore French Forrest, at
Norfolk ; Commodore Duncan N. Ingraham, at Charles
ton, and Capt. Victor Randolph, at Mobile. Commodores
Rousseau, Forrest and Tattnall were veterans of the
war of 1812, and the last two had served with much dis
tinction in the war with Mexico. The name of Tattnall
is a household word among all English-speaking people
on account of his chivalry in Eastern waters while com
manding the East India squadron. Commodore Forrest,
who had in 1856-58 commanded the Brazil squadron,
threw up his commission when his native State (Vir
ginia), seceded, and joined the South with the enthusiasm
of a boy. His reward was small.

The secretary of the navy, Mr. Mallory, immediately
turned his attention to the building of a navy. He
entered into innumerable contracts, and gunboats were
built on the Pamunkey, York, Tombigbee, Pedee and
other rivers; but as these boats were mostly burned
before completion, it is not necessary to enumerate them.



10 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

The want of proper boilers and engines would have ren
dered them very inefficient at best.

The amount of work done was marvelous. "Before
the war but seven steam war vessels had been built in
the States forming the Confederacy, and the engines of
only two of these had been contracted for in these States.
All the labor or materials requisite to complete and equip
a war vessel could not be commanded at any one point of
the Confederacy." This was the report of a committee
appointed by Congress, August 27, 1862. This committee
further found that the navy department "had erected a
powder-mill which supplies all the powder required by
our navy; two engine, boiler and machine shops, and
five ordnance workshops. It has established eighteen
yards for building war vessels, and a rope- walk, making*
all cordage from a rope-yarn to a p-inch cable, and cap
able of turning out 8,000 yards per month. ... Of ves
sels not ironclad and converted to war vessels, there were
44. The department has built and completed as war
vessels, 12; partially constructed and destroyed to save
from the enemy, 10; now under construction, 9; ironclad
vessels now in commission, 12 ; completed and destroyed
or lost by capture, 4 ; in progress of construction and in
various stages of forwardness, 23. "| It had also one iron
clad floating battery, presented to the Confederate States
by the ladies of Georgia, and one ironclad ram turned
over by the State of Alabama.

The navy had afloat in November, 1861, theSumter, the
McRae, the Patrick Henry, the Jamestown, the Reso
lute, the Calhoun, the Ivy, the Lady Davis, the Jackson,
the Tuscarora, the Virginia, the Manassas, and some
twenty privateers.* There were still others, of which a
correct list cannot be given on account of the loss of offi
cial documents. It will be remembered that on the
sounds of North Carolina alone, we had the Seabird, the
Curlew, the Ellis, the Beaufort, the Appomattox, the

* Scharf s History of the Confederate States Navy, p. 47.



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 11

Raleigh, the Fanny and the Forrest. At Savannah were
the Savannah, the Sampson, the Lady Davis and the
Huntress ; at New Orleans, the Bienville and others.

Upon the secession of Virginia, followed in May by
Tennessee, Arkansas and North Carolina, officers who
had resigned from the United States navy were report
ing in large numbers at the navy department, but as there
were no ships ready for them, they were sent to the
different batteries on the York, James, Potomac and
Rappahannock rivers in Virginia, and to many other bat
teries on the Mississippi and other rivers. As a rule,
officers were at first detailed to do service in -the States
that claimed them. In Virginia we find, at Aquia creek,
Commodore Lynch, Captain Thorburn, and Lieuts. John
Wilkinson and Charles C. Simms ; on the Rappahannock,
Lieut. H. H. Lewis; on the Potomac, Commanders
Frederick Chatard and Hartstene, and Lieuts. William L.
Maury and C. W. Read; on the James, Commodore Hol-
lins, Commanders Cocke and R. L. Page, and Lieutenants
Pegram, Harrison and Catesby Jones ; at Se well s point
and batteries near Norfolk, Capt. Arthur Sinclair, Com
manders Mclntosh and Pinkney, Lieuts. Robert Carter
and Pembroke Jones; on the York, Commanders T. J.
Page and W. C. Whittle, and Lieut. William Whittle.
Lieut. Charles M. Fauntleroy was sent with two medium
32-pounders to Harper s Ferry. As the guns at these
batteries were necessarily manned by soldiers, these
officers occupied rather doubtful positions, and in many
cases were mere drillmasters.

In reference to the relative rank of navy and army
officers, General Lee addressed the following order to
the officers at Gloucester Point for the regulation of all
mixed commands:

As there are no sailors in the service, it is impossible to
serve river batteries by them, and artillery companies
must perform this duty. Naval officers from their expe
rience and familiarity with the peculiar duties connected



12 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

with naval batteries, their management, construction,
etc., are eminently fitted for the command of such bat
teries, and are most appropriately placed in command of
them. In a war such as this, unanimity and hearty co
operation should be the rule. Petty jealousies about slight
shades of relative command and bickering about trivial
matters are entirely out of place and highly improper, and
when carried so far as to interfere with the effectiveness
of a command, become both criminal and contemptible.
Within the ordinary limits of a letter it is impossible to
provide for every contingency that may arise in a com
mand which is not centered in a single individual. It is
therefore hoped that mutual concessions will be made,
and that the good of the service will be the only aim of
all.

In some cases, army rank was conferred upon naval offi-
cers in command of batteries ; but in this anomalous state
of affairs, jealousies were constantly arising, and the
navy men were only too glad to be assigned to duty
afloat.

At the navy department the work of preparing for the
manufacture of ordnance, powder and naval supplies was
very heavy, and most diligently pursued. Lieut. Rob
ert D. Minor was conspicuous in this duty, as was also
Commander John M. Brooke, whose banded guns proved
so efficient. Indeed, all the navy officers were most en
thusiastic in turning their hands to any work to help the
cause. Commodore M. F. Maury, who had been a mem
ber of the governor s advisory board, organized the naval
submarine battery service. Upon his departure for
England he turned it over to Lieut. Hunter Davidson, an
energetic, gallant officer, who, by his skillful manage
ment of torpedoes in the James river, contributed largely
to the defense of Richmond. Engineer Alphonse Jack
son established a powder-mill; Commander John M.
Brooke devised a machine for making percussion caps ;
Lieut D. P. McCorkle manufactured at Atlanta gun
carriages, etc. ; later in the war, Commander Catesby
Jones established a foundry for casting heavy guns, at



CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY. 13

Selma, Ala., and Chief Engineer H. A. Ramsay had
charge of an establishment at Charlotte, N. C. , for heavy
forging and making gun carriages and naval equipments
of all kinds.

On May 31 and June i, 1861, several vessels belonging
to the Potomac flotilla, under Commander Ward, U. S. N. ,
cannonaded the battery at Aquia creek, under Commo
dore W. F. Lynch, but with no particular result. The
object of the enemy, probably, was to develop the Con
federate defenses. Commodore Lynch mentioned favor
ably Commanders R. D. Thorburn and J W. Cooke and
Lieut. C. C. Simms. On June ayth, Commander Ward was
killed on board his vessel, the Freeborn, off Mathias
point on the Potomac river. Lieutenant Chaplin, U. S. N. ,
landed with a handful of sailors and attempted to throw
up a breastwork. He was soon driven back, but he
exhibited extraordinary courage in taking on his back
one of his men who could not swim, and swimming to his
boat. Batteries were at once constructed by the Confed
erates at Mathias point and Evansport, and put under the
charge of Commander Frederick Chatard. As the river
at Mathias point is but one mile and a half wide, the
battery almost blockaded the Potomac river, and consid
erably annoyed, successively, the United States steamers
Pocahontas, Seminole and Pensacola. Commander
Chatard was assisted by Commander H. J. Hartstene and
Lieut. C. W. Read, and others whose names are unob
tainable.

The batteries on the Potomac and Rappahannock
rivers were evacuated when the army retired from
Manassas ; those on the York when the army fell back on
Richmond, and those on the Elizabeth when the Confed
erates evacuated Norfolk.



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