The Battle of Fort Fisher, N.C.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

USS Osage

Reportedly, the first use of a periscope by the US Navy occurred April 12, 1864, when a gun fired from the USS Osage, a river Monitor using a periscope, hit Confederate General Thomas Green and took his head off. A marker was placed there within the last two years at the Lock and Dam No. 4 access road at what is called the Battle of Blair's Landing.

The periscope was invented a few days earlier by Lt. Cmdr, Thomas Selfridge who was also the one who fired the gun. He wrote about it in his memoirs.

The reason I'm writing about the Osage was that it was sunk by a mine the day after the USS Milwaukee off Spanish Fort, Alabama.

So, Even Though Selfridge wasn't on the Osage When It Sank, He Had Commanded It Earlier. Bad Luck Officer. --Old B-Runner

Battles of Newtonia, Missouri

I came across this article from the Joplin (Mo) Globe from April 2008 while going through some older Civil War notebooks and found that I hadn't had an entry about it. Better late than never.

Of course, I am fully behind Civil War preservation at any time. Plus, I know the Missouri Route 66 Association is planning a motor tour in 2011 to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the conflict. These two battles are not ones I'm familiar with either.

Newtonia is a small town of about 200 people near Springfield, Missouri, in the southwestern part of the state.

The article said that a dedicated group of people called the Newtonia Battlefield Preservation Association has been trying to get national recognition for the past ten years. A bill sponsored by US Representative Roy Blount (R-Mo)to have the National Park Service look into adding them to their holdings passed the Senate and was heading back to the House. where a decision was expected soon.

I did not have any follow up on it.

Always Great to Preserve Part of History

H. L. Hunley-- Part 2


A primitive shelf which served as the Hunley's dashboard which was notched for a depth gauge to fit behind it.

A compass box and oil can on a shelf where it is believed a candle was located.

Three pocket knives, one belonging to Lt. Dixon that looked like silver but actually was a nickel and copper alloy. Dixon did not engrave his name on it as he did with most of his possessions.

A silk bandanna was on James Wick's neck. He was one of the oldest crewmen. Silk is one of the few surviving textiles from the wreck because it is the strongest of cloth fibers. Cotton can degrade in a week.

However, the knot, probably tied by Wick, can not be untied. The color of it also can't be determined, but it was probably a vegetable die which washes out. The orange tint on it probably came from the oxidizing of the ship's iron hull.

Always Interested in This Kind of Stuff. --B-Runner

H. L. Hunley-- Part 1

The January 2, 2008 Charlotte (NC) Observer, ran an article on the ongoing efforts to restore the Confederate submarine Hunley.

At the time, an oil can, silk bandanna, and a pocket knife had been recovered and a lot of conserving was being on done on these as they would fall apart quickly after over 100 years underwater.

Clemson University is preparing the Hunley for a multi-year restoration by scientists at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center in North Charleston. They have been working to save the hundreds of artifacts found on board.

This will take many years as a long soak in fresh water to draw corrosive salts out is necessary.

More to Come. --Old B-R

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Back to That Napoleon Cannon at Grant Park

And it just goes on. Some more stuff in relation to the cannon at Grant Park in Galena, Illinois, that has led me on so many excursions in the Civil War.

The Ohio State House has two 12-pdr. Napoleons and two six-pdr. Napoleons made by Miles Greenwood's Foundry. They were never used in combat and restored by Paul "Big Boom" Miller of Cannon Ltd. in 1995.

According to the Galena newspaper, the one in Grant Park has the registry number 3 on it along with the name of the Federal ordnance officer in charge of production, John Rufus Edie, and weight at 1200 lbs.

The April 20, 1865, issue of the Galena Daily Gazette says it was captured at Vicksburg, but there is thought this might be post-war bravado.

It was displayed at the Galena Fairgrounds (Recreation Park) until 1882 when it was mounted on a granite block at the Soldier's Monument.

I have sure found out a lot of interesting stuff while looking up stuff for this cannon. What next? This thread started August 31st and continued September 1-11th, then 9-14, and today.

The Story That Just Won't End. --B-R'er

Running the Blockade: Flags Online-- 1874 Naval Auction

Some New News About an Old War.

1. FLAGS ONLINE-- The August 29th Richmond (Va) Times-Ledger reports that the Museum of the Confederacy's entire 685 flag collection are now available on a searchable data base including color photos, ids, history, and measurements.

2. 1874 NAVAL AUCTION-- Ships sold at auction by the US Navy at New Orleans September 12, 1874:

USS Winnebago
USS Yuma
USS Chickasaw
USS Klamath
USS Kickapoo

All were ironclads. Some white elephant sale? Perhaps estate? I guess they were considered excess at the time. Too bad that at least one wasn't kept to be used as a museum of some sort.

How Much for That Monitor inthe Window. --Old B-Runner

Monday, September 28, 2009

USS Milwaukee

Still continuing with what started out as a look at the Napoleon cannon at Galena, Illinois, in Grant Park. This led to Cincinnati which eventually led to monitors built along the inland areas.

The monitor USS Milwaukee was launched by James Eads in February, 1864 and commissioned in August. It was sunk March 28, 1865. It was 1300 tons, 229 feet long, 58.8 feet beam, and six foot draft. It had double turrets mounting 4 X 11-inch Dahlgreen smoothbore cannons.

It was launched by James B. Eads at his Carondolet, Missouri, ironworks and commanded by Lt. James M. Magune. It was sent to the West Gulf Blockading Squadron and in November, Lt. Cmdy. James H. Gillis.

On August 5, 1965, the Union Navy won the Battle of Mobile Bay, but the city remained in Confederate hands. It was decided to capture the town from the east. The key to that was Confederate fortifications along the Blakely River called Spanish Fort.

On March 27th, the Milwaukee and five other vessels crossed the Dog River Bar. The next day, the Milwaukee and the USS Winnebago steamed up the Blakely River to attack a ship resupplying Spanish Fort. After it withdrew, the Milwaukee dropped downriver, hit a torpedo and sank almost immediately. The entire crew was saved by the USS Kickapoo, which also came to the aid of the USS Osage when it met a similar fate the next day.

In 1868, the Milwaukee was raised and towed to St. Louis, where it was melted down and part reportedly used in the construction of the Eads Bridge.

From Monitor to Bridge. --Old B-R'er

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Confederate Fort Fisher Veterans Invited North

Augustv 19th Wilmington Star News.

The newspaper prints stories from 100 and 50 years ago. This one from August 19, 1909.

Confederate veterans of the Fort Fisher Survivors Association were invited to attend the reunion of the 117th New York regiment September 7-9, 1909 in Utica, New York. They had previously attended the Confederate group's reunion in Wilmington.

The Utica Chamber of Commerce had also invited the women of the association.

My Friend, the Enemy. --Old B-Runner

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Captain Albert Parks Hurt

Probably the first commander of the steamer A. P. Hurt. By 1870, he was captain of the Governor Worth.

An account of the fall of Fayetteville, NC, states that there was a serious food shortage because the railroad was cut off and steamboats were being detained in Wilmington.

Captain Hurt and five others volunteered to go to Wilmington to get supplies and proceeded down the river. General J. C. Abbott, in temporary command, promised to aid them, but when General Hawley returned, the assassination of Lincoln took place along with Johnston's surrender to Sherman being rejected. Hawley ordered them to return to Fayetteville.

One of the group, Ralph P. Buxton, pleaded to remain,even if he were jailed, to continue seeking relief. A week later, Johnston has surrendedered and the war was over. The steamer A. P. Hurt was given to him and loaded with provisions, went to Fayetteville.

Captain Hurt came to Wilmington and the Cape Fear River from Virginia in 1851. He supervised the building of the A. P. Hurt, Flora McDonald and other steamers and was a favorite captain on the river. He later tried his hand in the mercantile trade, but retired.

On June 10, 1883 the Wilmington Morning Star reported that he was found dead in his room at the Fayetteville Hotel.

Information from The Steamboats of the Cape Fear Blog.

An Interesting Story. Old B-Runner

Friday, September 25, 2009

Wreck of the Steamer A. P. Hurt

The wreck of the steamer A. P. Hurt lies in 15 feet of water in the Cape Fear River near Wilmington. It was launched in 1860 and sank in 1924. Apparently it plied the waters of the Cape Fear for most of its career, including the years of the Civil War.

It is owned by the state and on the National Register as part of an archaeological district of sunken ships and marine enterprises in the area.

It was built in Wilmington, Delaware, at a cost of $16,000 and became part of the Cape Fear Steamboat Line. It was built under the supervision of Captain A. P. Hurt and named after him. It was 118 feet long, had an 18 foot beam, weighed 125 tons and was both a passenger and freight boat.

It was powered by a sidewheel and had six state rooms and is described as having a steel hull.

In 1895, the Cape Fear River dropped suddenly, stranding steamers on land. This destroyed the steamer Cape Fear, but caused no damage to the A. P. Hurt.

I could not find any mention of what caused he ship to sink in 1924 or how much of it is left.

More to Come. --Old B-R

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Running the Blockade: 75th Anniversary of Gettysburg-- Tampa Park-- Cape Fear Historic Byway

Some New News About an Old War.

1. 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF GETTYSBURG-- In 1938, the 75th anniversary of the battle was held in Gettysburg. Around 1,900 Union and Confederate veterans attended. Some interesting statistics for the event; a fleet of wheel chairs was on hand for the aging men, 3,800tents, 20 miles of electric wire, 50,000 yards of mosquito netting, and 27 cases of whiskey were on hand.

The average age of the veterans was 94 and the only thing in short supply was whiskey. I guess some things you just can't change.

2. TAMPA PARK-- The Sons of Confederate Veterans Florida Division has dedicated a park near Tampa which flies the largest Confederate flag ever made. The 2,100 square foot flag is the size of an average American home and can easily be seen from two interstates.

It is part of the Division's Flags Across Florida project and will not be the last site. This flag has stirred up quite a bit of controversy, especially from one group in particular.

3. CAPE FEAR HISTORIC BYWAY-- The state's first urban and 50th byway overall became a part of the North Carolina Scenic Byways Program. This one is 7 miles in length and has great views of the Cape Fear River and Greenfield Lake.

It begins and ends at US-74/NC-133 and Third Street and covers the historic waterfront district, portions of US-421, Third Street, Water Street, Castle Street, and Lake Shore Drive. You can get a brochure by contacting

Now, You Know. --Old B-Runner

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

UT to Preserve Part of Battlefield

The August 31st WHNT News reported that the University of Tennessee has announced that it will preserve a section of a Civil War site discovered as crews began building parking and roads for a new sorority row.

They found Confederate gun emplacements and trenches over the 21 acre site between Neyland Drive, Kingston Pike, and Alcoa Highway where 13 new sorority houses are going to be built.

These date from the failed Confederate siege of Knoxville November 18 through December 4, 1863 and Battle of Fort Sanders November 29, 1863. Ruts from cannon wheels, friction primers and belt buckles were found.

A sixty feet stretch will be preserved. That is not much, but better than none at all. I'll take it.

Better Some, Than None. --Old B-Runner

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

First-Ever Combat Photograph?

What might be the first-ever picture taken of combat might have been taken at Dutch Gap Channel during the Civil War while it was being dug.

Two pictures were taken in a short time.

By the time the second was taken, smoke was evident and workers were scrambling on the dam.

An 1869 caption reads, "The mist arising against the bank is caused by a rebel shell, which exploded just as the view was being photographed."

You can see the two photographs yourself at

Never Heard of This Before. --B-R'er

Monday, September 21, 2009

Weird Things Happening at the Museum

If you visit the Columbus National Civil War Naval Museum in Georgia and go into the store, you'd best beware of flying books. A customer was hit recently and another book landed several feet away. And, nobody threw them.

Workers at the museum say this happens all the time. In addition, there is a square black spindle on the front counter with key rings, pins, and whistles that sometimes spins without anyone touching it.

The Alabama Paranormal Research Team will conduct an investigation.

August 10th Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.

Another Night at the Museum. --Old B-Runner

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sure Scared Me

The re-enactment battle was going on when I left the Lake Villa Civil War Days today. A slight rain was beginning to fall and I couldn't find the truck. Finally found it.

As I was backing up. it sounded like I hit something, even though there was no bump. Stopped and continued again, but the same thing. A loud noise and then a whole bunch of loud noises.

Finally realized the noises were coming from the artillery.

Felt kind of stupid, but continued backing up slowly.


One group at the re-enactment featured women serving in the military. They had a picture and information on Jenny Hodgers who fought with the 95th Illinois at 40 battles. After the war, she lived in Sauneman, about 16 miles east of Pontiac which is on the Mother Road.

She kept her identity secret until injured in an auto accident.

The Cannon That Roared. --Old B-Runner

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Running the Blockade: No Confederate Flags Allowed-- No Jail Time-- No Confederate Flags Allowed-- Union Soldier Returns Home

Some New News About an Old War.

1. NO CONFEDERATE FLAGS ALLOWED-- First, the Veterans Day Parade was cancelled, then back on, then the flag was allowed, now it's not in Homestead, Florida. They should make up their minds and do what is right. Allow the flag. Veterans receive pensions and Confederate soldiers received pensions.

2. NO JAIL TIME-- Gun charges against a Confederate re-enactor have been dismissed after Joshua Silva paid $1,200 restitution and took fire arms safety classes. He shot a retired New York City policeman who was a Union re-enactor. Silva claims he didn't know his gun was loaded with live ammunition. Sounds like a real likely story.

3. NO CONFEDERATE FLAGS ALLOWED-- In South Carolina an appeals judge ruled that na school district had the right to prohibit the wearing of Confederate flags on clothing. A high school student had a case saying it violated her right to free speech. Last month, a judge in Tennessee ruled in a similar suit. This is the reason we have to protect our heritage.

4. UNION SOLDIER RETURNS HOME-- The remains of a New York soldier have been returned to his home state and lie in state at the New York Military Museum in Saratoga burial. They were found several months ago at the Antietam Battlefield.

And the Battle Continues. --Old B-Runner

Friday, September 18, 2009

Butler's Dredge Boat-- Part 2

The boat had been used to deepen the southern approaches of the Dutch Gap Canal. It was later raised and "bomb-proofed so it could finish its work.

Digging of the canal began August 10, 1864, to enable Union ships and monitors to get past the Confederate batteries on the James and get to Richmond. There was a major bend in the river at this point.

Butler had put all sorts of obstacles in the river at this point to prevent the Confederate fleet from attacking, plus, cannon from Battery Dantzler commanded from the bluffs.

The capture of Confederate Fort Harrison on September 29th made the canal unnecessary, but work on it continued. On January 1, 1865, the bulkhead upriver was blown up with 12,000 tons of powder, throwing earth and debris back into the channel. It was used by smaller vessels, but no warships.

Today, Dutch Gap Canal is the main course of the James River at this point.

Why would they keep digging it if it was no longer needed. Only Ben could answer that.

I'm Forever Digging Big Ditches. --B-Runner

Civil War in My Backyard

And they said not much Civil War stiff happened here in northern Illinois. In July, we had a huge Civil War Days re-enactment in Wauconda, and now this weekend, we're having one just to the eats of Spring Grove in Lake Villa.

Last year's was rained out and hopefully they got all the ruts filled in from that mud march an encampment.

It is put on by the Lake Villa Historical Society which also runs the magnificent Lehmann Mansion, home of Chicago's Fair Department stores. Tickets are $5 a day, $5 if you want to tour the mansion, or for $10 you can visit both days and tour the museum.

Hours are Saturday 10 AM to 5 PM and Sunday 10 AM to 3:30 PM. There will be a battle each day, drill, camps, medical exhibitions, a presentation on the Confederate submarine Hunley, a meet and greet with President and Mrs. Lincoln, and a generals press conference along with numerous other activities.

Food will be available for purchase as well as Civil War era reproductions for sale at the sutler stores.

I'll be there helping to man the Camp Douglas Sons of Confederate Veterans tent. Stop on by and sit a spell. Always good Civil War talk.

Watch Out for Snipers. --Old B-Runner

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Butler's Dredge Boat-- Part 1

Shorpy's pictures today had one of the wreck of the dredge boat being used by General Benjamin Butler to dig the Dutch Gap Canal to bypass Confederate batteries on the James River in 1864.

It was sunk by a Confederate shell on Thanksgiving Day, 1864. I was unable to find out its name.

One thing I like about Shorpy is where you can view the photograph full size, up close and personal. This way you an look for detail.

Across the James River from the wreck, on a bluff, is a Union lookout tower. Plus, you can see monitors in the river, perhaps as many as three, or perhaps two if one of them is a double turret. Two Union soldiers are standing by the wreck near shore on some wooden planks.

But, Wait, There's More. --B-R'er

The Sound of Guns in Lake Villa, Illinois

This weekend, there will be the annual Civil War Days Re-enactment in Lake Villa at the Lehman Mansion. Hopefully this time we won't have the deluge like what washed it out last year.

Once again, I will be helping to man the Camp Douglas Sons of Confederate Veterans table and have as much success with membership as we had at the Wauconda celebration.

That will be this Saturday and Sunday off Illinois Highway 83 north of town near the bridge.

Come On Out and Experience the Past. --Old B-Runner

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Confederate Blockade-Runner Found Near Tampa

Divers from the Florida Aquarium are nearly certain that they have located the wreck of Confederate blockade-runner Scottish Chief in 15 feet of water in the Hillsbourough River near Blake High School.

They located the vessel, once owned by James McKay, one of Tampa's founders, by sonar after three weeks of search. It was 124 feet long steamer made of oak and pine. On outward trips through the blockade, it carried cotton and cattle hides and returned with guns and ammunition as well as Cuban cigars and fine wines.

McKay made six successful runs through the Union ships who decided to end them once and for all.

It was heavily damaged during a Union attack October 13, 1863, and towed to the spot and salvaged before sinking. The blockade-runner Kate Dale, also sunk in the attack, was found last summer. A third vessel, a barge called the Noyes, was also damaged and believed sunk within 150 yards of the Scottish Chief.

From September 15th Tampa Tribune.

Always Good News to Find a Relic of the War. --Old B-Runner

Monday, September 14, 2009

And, Now, Grant Park's Blakely Cannon

There is another captured Civil War cannon at Grant Park in Galena, Illinois. It is a Blakely cannon from Charleston, SC. All I can say is oh-oh!! The story of the Napoleon cannon that started August 31st ended up being 13 blog entries with a lot of then about monitors.

Who knows where this line of research will lead?

Why It Takes Me So Long to Do Stuff on This Blog. --Old B-Runner

A Route 66 Civil War Motor Tour

Yesterday morning, I was talking with Kip Wellburn at the Munger Moss Motel in Lebanon, Missouri, preparing to leave on the final day of the Missouri Rt. 66 Association's annual motor tour.

I mentioned that they should have one for Civil War sites on 66. There are two battles I can think of, Wilson's Creek and Carthage and evidently shipbuilding in St. Louis that I can think of right off the bat.

He said I'd be happy to know that they were going to have one in 2011, the 150th anniversary of the start of the war. Sign me up for that one right now. I even offered to help. He did not know of the story of the ironclad monitor USS Milwaukee being in the Eads Bridge in St. Louis (see September 11th entry).

Then, I got to thinking about working on an Illinois Civil War motor tour as well. I might even volunteer for that myself.

Right off hand, I can think of two Medal of Honor winners buried in towns along the road as well as Camp Butler and a GAR museum in Springfield. And that is not counting all the Lincoln stuff.

Route 66 and the Civil War. Who'd Have Thought? --Old B-Runner

Friday, September 11, 2009

Battle of Carthage, Missouri

Today, we drove through Carthage, Missouri, stopping by that great court house which served as the inspiration for the one in "Back to the Future." We also took a look at the old Boots Motel and went pot to Red Oak for the first time.

I saw a direction sign for Carthage Battlefield State Historic Site which I remembered to be a Civil War battle,

It pitted 1,100 trained Union troops against 4,400 disorganized and essentially untrained Missouri militia in 1861. Casualties were under 100 on both sides and it essentially wasn't a strategic victory for either side even though the Federal troops retired back to Carthage and later withdrew.

The Missouri militia, however, claimed a major victory.

So, It Was a Battle. --Old B-Runner

Here's Your Monitor in a Bridge

While doing my research on US Navy monitors, I came across the mention that it is believed that part of the USS Milwaukee double-turreted monitor was melted into iron for the famous Eads Bridge spanning the Mississippi River between East St. Louis and St. Louis.

Further research revealed that James Eads designed and built the USS Milwaukee in St. Louis, and that it was sunk near the end of the war near Fort Blakely in Mobile Bay after striking a mine.

Two years after the war, it was raised and towed to St. Louis where it was salvaged and parts melted down, just about the time James Eads was building that bridge.

I should mention that I am trying to connect the Civil War to our current trip on Route 66. And... Route 66 goes through St. Louis.

Makes Sense to Me That he World Have Used Some of His Creation to Make Another creation. --Old B-Runner

Monday, September 7, 2009

Cincinnati's Miles Greenwood and the Galena Cannon

At the Ohio Statehouse there are four Napoleons made by Miles Greenwood: 2 six-pounders and two 12-pounders. These were never used in combat and restored by Paul "Big Boom" Miller of Cannons Ltd. in 1995.

The 12-pounder in Galena has registry number 3 as well as the name of the Federal Ordnance officer in charge of production, John Rufus Edie and the weight, 1200 lbs.

It was originally in Union service, but at some point between 1862 and July 1863, it was captured by the Confederates. The April 20, 1865 issue of the Galena Daily Gazette reported that it was captured at Vicksburg, Mississippi, when that city fell July 4, 1863.

There is no account of what happened between 1863 and 1865. The Grant Park writer seemed to think that claiming it had been captured might have been postwar bravado.

It was displayed at the Galena Fairgrounds (Recreation Park) until 1882 when it was moved to a granite block at the Soldier's Monument.

I would like to have known how it came to be captured and what happened to it before it was sent to Galena.

The Story of a Cannon. --Old B-Runner

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Wanted, More Info on Alexander Swift

I also found there was a 17 page book from the US Congress's Senate Committee on Claims for the Relief of Alexander Swift and Company and Niles Works.

Unfortunately, I could not look at it, but I imagine it had something to do with the legal problems involving his selling the monitors Oneota and Catawba to Spain.

After that, I wasn't able to find any other information, but he was a rich and powerful man. I'm sure there has to be some other information on him.

If Anybody Knows Anything? --Old B-R

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Alexander Swift: Builder of Monitors and Pick Pocket Victim

Alexander Swift's company built four monitors: Catawba, Yuma, Oneota, and Klamath.

He most likely acquired some money from his company, but I can't find out much about his life or where he is buried. He must have been a very important man in Cincinnati, but there is not much on the internet about him.

However, I did come across an article in the April 27, 1882 article in the New York Times where5e he had $125 stolen from him. He was in New York to catch the White Star steamer Celtic to Europe.

Before leaving, he walked down Broadway where a young woman started talking with him and threw her arms around him. He repulsed her advances and she walked away very quickly. He soon discovered that his wallet was gone.

He ran after her and caught her. While grabbing her, she pleaded to the people around them to help. A detective arrived on the scene and recognized her as a known pickpocket.

While questioning her, Mr. Swift's pocket book fell out. The money was gone, but Swift's checks and ship tickets were still there.

Poor Mr. Swift. --Old B-Runner

Friday, September 4, 2009

USS Yuma and USS Klamath

From Wikipedia


The USS Yuma was a single-turreted, twin screw monitor of the Casco Class built in Cincinnati by the Alexander Swift & Co., designed for service in shallow rivers, bays, and inlets of the Confederacy. To keep the draft low,armor was sacrificed, but a ballast system was on board to lower the ship in battle.

The Yuma was 225 feet long, had a 45 foot beam and mounted 2 X 11-inch smoothbore Dahlgrens.

Launched May 30, 1865, too late to see action. It was laid up 1866 to 1874 and at one point had name changed to Tempest then back to Yuma. It was sold at auction in New Orleans on September 12, 1874.

From DANFS, Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships


225 feet long, 45 foot beam, crew of 69, 2 X 11-incj smoothbore Dahlgrens.

Launched in Cincinnati 20 April 1865 by S. T. Hambleton & Co., tinder subcontracted by Alexander Swift & Co. Delivered to US Navy 6 May 1866, but never commissioned.. renamed Harpy June 1869 and name changed back to Klamath in August.

Moved to New Orleans in in 1870 and sold at auction September 12, 1874 to Shickels, Harrison who also bought the USS Kickapoo double-turreted monitor the same day.

Somebody's Looking for Scrap!! --Old B-Runner

Alexander Swift & Company Monitors Built in Cincinnati

From Shipbuilding History.

Alexander Swift's company built 4 monitors for the US Navy, none of which ever saw service: Catawba, Oneota, Klamath, and Yuma.

In 1871 they built the steamer John T. Moore and 1873, the steamer Alexander Swift (named for himself).


I found mention of it being used in the New Orleans to Jefferson trade. Not sure where Jefferson is. I also came across the name of John T. Moore as a riverboat captain who died in 1906. Perhaps this is who the boat is named for?

River Boat Dave's site has just about anything you'd need to know about river boats.

According to him, sometime between 1886 and 1892, the name was changed to the Endeavor.

The Moore was a sternwheel, iron-hulled packet, later converted to a side wheeler. Launched 1871 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The hull was said to have cost $30,000 and the whole ship $80,000. It was built for the New Orleans-Red River trade.

There was no mention as to what became of the ship, but it was listed as operating as late as 1896.

My Kingdom for a Boat. --B-Runner

Thursday, September 3, 2009

USS Wyandotte II-- Part 2

It then became station ship at Washington, DC and laid up in 1885. In 1896, it was transferred to the Connecticut State Militia.

With the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, cities along the eastern seaboard feared attack by the Spanish Navy. With the US Navy stationed at Key West, several old vessels, mostly Civil War era, were pressed into service, including the Wyandotte which was recommissioned 30 April 1898.

The ship guarded Boston from May to September and was decommissioned in September 1898 and sold for scrap in 1899.

There are some good photos of the ship at One shows wash drying on the deck. Another shows the deck awash and two have the crew lined up in Boston in 1898.

The Monitor That Didn't Make It to the Civil War. --B-Runner

USS Wyandotte II-- Part 1

This was the Canonicus-class monitor built by Miles Greenwood in Cincinnati, Ohio. Like the two from Alexander Swift, it was launched too late to take part in the war. It was constructed at the shipyard of John Litherburg. It was laid down in 1862, launched December 1864 and commissioned April 16, 1865.

It was originally called the USS Tippecanoe, but had the name changed to Wyandotte after a naval ship by that name was decommissioned and sold into the merchant service in 1865.

The Wyandotte was 223 feet long, had a 43.4 foot beam and mounted two 15-inch Dahklgren smoothbore cannons in the turret.

After commissioning, it was sent to New Orleans where the name was changed from Tippecanoe to Vesuvius in 1869 and later to the Wyandotte that same year.

From 1870-1872, it was laid up in Key West and the Philadelphia naval Yard. The next two years it underwent extensive repairs and was recommissioned in 1876, serving in the North Atlantic Squadron.

More to Come. --Old B-R

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Monitors Built at Cincinnati, Ohio

While looking for the monitor built by Greenwood's company, I came across two Canonicus class monitors built by the Alexander Swift & Co.

One was the USS Catawba, a harbor and river monitor, launched 13 April 1864 and delivered to the Navy 7 June 1865, too late to see action in the war. It mounted two 15-inch Dahlgren cannons. It was placed in ordinary in Mound City, Illinois, and then sold back to the builder.

It was then sold to the Peruvian Navy, but legal problems kept it from delivery for awhile. Once in the Peruvian navy, it was renamed the Atahualpa and later scuttled in 1881 to prevent capture by Chile.

The other monitor built by Swift & Company shared a similar fate. The USS Oneota, also a Canonicus class monitor arrived too late to be of service in the war. It was at New Orleans until 1869 when it was sold to Peru and renamed the Manco Capoc. It was later scuttled in 1880 to prevent capture by Chile.

The wreck is still intact about two and a half miles offshore in 200 feet of water.

Three other Canonicus monitors participate against Fort Fisher: Canonicus, Saugus, and Mahopac.

Next, Greenwood's Monitor. --Old B-Runner

Eagle Ironworks, Cincinnati, Ohio

Continuing with yesterday's post.

Before the war, this foundry was the first to develop and manufacture a practical steam fire engine.

The firm struggled financially after the war and soon ceased operations, but several companies continued using the name.

Miles Greenwood was born in 1807 in Jersey City, NJ and moved with his father in 1817to Ohio. In 1829, he joined Cincinnati's Horse Co. #1 and remained involved with fire fighting throughout his life. A Cincinnati suburb bearing his names shows how important he was to the community.


A total of five northern companies produced Napoleons. Eagle Ironworks made 50 of them in 1862. The one in Galena was one of those.

Through research and development, the company could turn 800 muskets into rifles in a single day. They also made gun carriages, caissons, and cannons and even built an ironclad monitor.

Before the war, they had contracted to provide the iron for the Roebling Bridge, but the war interrupted its construction.

After seeing that he built a Union monitor, I had to find out more about it.

A Ship here, a Ship There. --Old B-Runner

Why It Takes me So Long to Do a Blog Entry

Case in point, this story on the 12-pdr Napoleon Civil War cannon at Galena, Illinois' Grant Park.

I got the information from the article, then did a search on the net for Galena's cannons and found more information.

Then, I looked up Miles Greenwood's Eagle Ironworks and found information on it. He could be called one of the arsenal's of the Union with all the war-related items they built. Then, I read that he built an ironclad in Cincinnati, which sent me off there. He built one and another foundry in the city built two. Then, there was a search for information on those. I came across other Union warships built there. I didn't know that warships were built in Cincinnati, especially monitors.

I then came across four Greenwood Napoleons that are at the Ohio state house.

I'll be writing about all this stuff.

No Wonder It Takes So Long. But, It is Sure Stuff I Don't Know About. --Old B-R

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Two Civil War Cannons in Galena, Illinois-- Part 2

Upon further research on Miles Greenwood's Eagle Ironworks in Cincinnati, Ohio, I have to continue with more interesting stuff. This is why it takes me so long to do this blog. I get started on one story then get into related items and so on and so on.

According to the Ohio History Central, Miles Greenwood established the ironworks in 1832 on the banks of the Miami and Erie Canal in Cincinnati (a good way to get materials and move products). It became the largest in the Midwest.

The firm produced much for the northern war effort in the Civil War. Early on, they produced 12 anchors for pontoon bridges at the request of General Fremont. Through improvements in manufacturing, they were able to produce 3000 smoothbore muskets by the end of the war. They were also able to produce the difficult-to-make turrets for Union monitors.

Their success led to Southern sympathisers trying to burn the foundry down three different times.

Wait, There's Lots More. --Old B-Runner