uss frolick Posted July 7, 2015 Share #1 Posted July 7, 2015 (edited) The CSS Nashville was a notoriously successful steam blockade runner during the first months of the civil war, and the northern press held her up as proof of the navy's ineptness at blockading. The truth was that the navy just didn't have enough steamers. So when the USS Jamestown failed to capture the grounded CSS Nashville in highly adverse circumstances one night, poor Captain Green had to formally account for is actions. I've always liked the USS Jamestown because her draught is beautiful, and because her first deployment overseas was in 1847 when she (and the new Macedonian) sailed to Ireland loaded with food for the famine relief.*** Note: I've done my best to clean up the scanning errors on the original text, but some are so screwy that I can't make heads or tails of the words! *** NORTH ATLANTIC BLOCKADING SQUADRON. ~65Report of Commander Green, U. S. Navy, commanding U. S. ship Jamestown."May 24, 1862. Sir, 1 have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter ofthe 24th instant, euquiring into the circumstances of the running of theblockade at Wilmington by the NashriUe and of her exit loaded withcotton. In reply 1 respectfully state the facts relating thereto, so faras I am informed, and which were immediately placed on record fortransmission to the flag-officer. Oii the 24th ultimo the Jamestown was obliged to haul oft from NewInlet on account of a strong breeze froni the northward and eastward.On the 25th, whilst on our retnrn, we fell in with the Mount Vernon andcommunicated with her. As we came in sight of time light-house, latein the afternoon, six steamers were discovered near the batteries bear-lug the rebel flag, and apparently awaiting our approach. I did notsuspect that the larger steamer was the Nashville, but supposed theirintention was to endeavor to dispute the blockade, knowing probablythat the Jamestown was the only vessel on that side of the shoal, witha view to cover the exit of other vessels loaded and waiting iiiside tomake good their escape. I was not able to fetcli far enough to windward to reach the steamerson that tack, but stood in toward them until within 3 miles, when, notwishing to place the ship so near the land as ~vonld 1)revellt maneuver-lug, I wore ship in the hope of drawing them away from the land andfrom under the protection of the batteries. We now discovered thatthe largest steamer was aground, and as the wind was getting light(about a 3-knot breeze), and it would be impossible to reach them beforeHi ght, I called for the opinion of the three senior sea officers as to thebest mode of procedure for attacking the enemy. Time opinion wasunanimous that the most certain way of insuring success would be toeuI(leavort() ol)tain the assistance of our steamers on the other side ofthe shoal. I accordingly stood on to the shoal into 8 fathoms of waterand threw up several rockets and fired a gun to attract attention, butwithout effect. The wind had become very light amid I concluded tosent a boat across time shoal. She was sent imin charge of Acting MasterI Midshipmanl Bache, who volunteered, as did also Acting MasterEhlery. In the morning, 26th, tIme Monticello came around and took usin tow, and we stood in prepared to attack steamers and battemies.The wind at this time sprung up from time northward and eastward, andimicreased so that when within about 8 miles of time bar the sea andwind had risen so much that it was evident the Monticello could notmanage the ship when brought into action head to wind and sea. Iwas therefore compelled very reluctantly to cast ofL I directed Lieu-tenant Commanding Braine to go in tIme Monticello and reconnoiter amidendeavor to destroy the large steamer which was side-wheel and ofAmerican build. Captain Braine S00~ returned and reported that timesteamer had got inside and beyond the range of his guns. At thistime the Victoria, steamer, arrived, amid I ordered her in to keep as closea blockade as could be, and the Monticello to returmi to her position onthe other side. I was compelled to carry sail to clear time shoal, andthe wind and current prevented my returim until time 1st. On meeting the Victoria, which vessel was then in p)lain sight of thelight-house at Federal Poimit, Acting Master Warren, in command,informed me of the plan pursued by him in blockading, which was totake the bearings of a knowim irnint and keep just in sight during theday, and when night set in to run in by compass close to the emmtrancPage 266266NORTH ATLANTIC 1~BLOCKADING SQUADRON.and anchor, not showing any light. I had not heard of the reportedescape of the Aashcdlc at the time, nor do I think she could have gotout at New Inlet with a cargo, as at high tide there is but it feet on thebar, and I have heard that was the draft of the steamer when light. I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,CHARLES GREEN,Commander. hon. GIDEON WELLES,Secretary of the Nary, Washington, D. C.: "Commodore GoldsborouThese deserters informed me that the steamer Nashville, now called the William L. Bragg, and sailing under English colors, ran in at New Inlet on the 26th of April.Whilst doing so, she struck on the bar and lay there twenty-eight hours, duringwhich time a portion of her cargo was taken out by live tugs which went to herassistance. They state that while she lay on the bar the US Sloop of war Jamestown came towithin about 3 or 4 miles of her and then stood offshore. The Nashville is reported by them to be injured, having her port wheelhouse stovein, and that she was towed to Wilmington." Green was in big trouble! The commander of the Steamer USS Monticello gave his report of the incident: "Report of Lieutenant Braine, U. S. Navy, commanding U. S. S. Monticello. U. S. S. MONTICELLO,Beau fort, N. C., June 15, 18(12. Sin: In reply to your letters of Julie 10 and 11, instant, in which yourequire a full report of all the facts within my knowledge concerningthe late entrance of the Nashville into the port of Wilmington and hersubsequent escape from that port; also in detail an account of my actionin the matter, I beg leave to state that on Saturday, April 26, 1862, theMonticello being at anchor off the western entrance Cape Fear River,it 3: 30 a. in. we discovered a boat to the southward of Smiths Islandpulling up to the northward and westward along the line of FryitigPan Shoals. We immediately got underway. The boat proved to bea cutter in charge of Acting Master Bache, from the U. S. sloop of warJamestown. He brought news of a rebel steamer being ashore on the barat New Inlet entrance, near Federal Point light-house, with orders fromCommander Green, of the Jamestown, for the Monticello and steamerTwtoria to proceed around the shoals. I directed the U. S. S. Victoriato follow us, taking in tow the cutter belonging to the Jamestown, andat 7 a. m. stood to the southward to clear the end of Frying Pan Shoals.At 10: 30 a. m. made a sail to the eastward across the shoals, whichproved to be the Jamestown; stood across the shoal, and at it: 20 a. m.telegraphed the following to the Jamestown: Shall I tow you? TheJamestown signalized: Communicate, I wish to. 1 ran close to herand was ordered on board by Commander Green. lie directed me totake him in tow. At 12 meridian took the Jamestown in tow and stoodfor New Inlet. At 2: 30 p. in. the weather became squally and thick;wind increased from the northward and eastward; we were ordered tocast off the hawser. We now stood in at full speed to New Inlet, andat 3: 30 p. in. we were near the bar when we discovered a large side-wheel steamer showing English colors lying in Cape Fear River, appar-ently discharging cargo into tugboats alongside of her. I stood in asclose to her as the water would permit. She was beyond the reach ofour guns. At 4 p. m. stood out to the southward and eastward; at 4: 30discovered the Victoria and Jamestown and stood for them, making thefollowing telegraphic signals: The strange steamboat is inside, safe,discharging cargo; she is American built. I then received orders fromCommander Green to proceed around Frying Pan Shoals to our formerstation; the Victoria was ordered iiito New Inlet. I immediately stoo(lto the southward and around the shoal and ominstant, at 9. 13 a. in., anchored on our i the morning of the 27thstation oft the western bar, CapeFear River. The evening of the 27th instant two deserters froni theConfederate Army stationed at Fort Caswell came oft to the ship in asmall boat; their names were Henry Garwood (private) and GeorgeHenry (private). My letter to you, May 3 (1862), gave you all the infor-mation I received from them. In that I stated the Nash cille struck onthe bar at New Inlet whilst trying to get in and lay there twenty-eighthours, during which time a portion of her cargo was takemi out by tugs.These deserters were sent to Beaufort, N. C., to be forwarded to you sothat they might give you personally all the information they possessed.I remained at my station on the blockade until May 18, when I wasordered by Commander Glisson to Beaufort, N. C., for provisions andcoal. At the expiration of forty-eight hours after may arrival there Ileft Beaufort, N. C., and at 11: 30 p. in., on the night of the 21st of May,I took up niy station on the blockade oft New Inlet. As regards theescape of the steamer Nashville, I have no personal knowledge of it. Iwas told l)y some officers that the contrabands which caine off fromNew Inlet to the U. S. S. Chippewa said that the Nasliiille ran out ofNew Inlet entrance to Cape Fear River on the miight of the 29th April,1862. This, sir, is all the information I possess relative to the entranceand egress of the steamer Nashrille.I am, very resI)ectfully, your obedient servant,D. L. BRAINE,Lieutenant, Commanding U. S. S. Monticello. Flag-Officer I~. M. GOLDSBOROUGH The USS Victoria was also present, and her commander gave his account: Report of Acting Master Warren, U. S. Navy, commanding U. S. S. Victoria.U.S. S. VICTORIA,Off Wilminqton Bar, June 15, 1862. Sin: Your orders nmm(ler date of the 10th instant, directing me tosend a full report of all the facts within my knowledge concerning thelate entrance of the Nashville into Wilmington and her subsequentescape from that port, has been received this day, and in reply I begleave to say that on the 26th of April, last, whilst lying off Fort Cas-well, I received orders from Captain Braiiie, of time U. S. S. Monticello,to accompany him around to New Inlet, the other side pf Cape Fear, toassist him to destroy a large steamer said to be ashore there. Weimmediately started around Frying Pan Shoals. Off the somithermi endof the shoals I was sent to board a vessel some way off; which separated my vessel from the Monticello. On my way around I spoke the U. S.sloop of war Jamestown working offshore, the wind blowing strong frommithe northeast, amid she had lost one anchor. I spoke the Monticello, whostated that the steamer above alluded to had floated oft amid gone intothe river. I was then ordered by Captain Green to go to the Federal[?] channel and stay there for tIme present. TIme [?} returmiedto Fort Caswell to guard that channel. It being at that time too darkto approach the channel, I kept underway all imight.0mm the 27th, at daylight, I stood in, and at 8 oclock a. in. anchored in9 fathoms of water. At 11:30 Igot underway and stoo(l in nearer thechannel. Seelming a steamer aground in the river, I stoo(l iii as near asI dared to, and made the steamer imiside to be the Nashville (as I sup-)posed). I iminediafely sent a rifled 30-pounder shell at her, but shewas too far distamit for me to reach her. At 3 p. m. the steamer floatedand went up the river. I kept umiderway till 6 oclock, sounding andtaking bearings. At 6 p. m. I anchored off the channel as imear as Icould judge. I have heard many stories about the Nashville, but this is all I knowabout her.All of which is most respectfully submitted.Your obedient servant,J. I). WARREN,Acting Master, Commanding U. S. S. Victoria. Flag-Officer L. M. GOLDSBOROUGHCommanding North Atlantic Blockading SquadronCaptain Green had to relinquish his command and travel to Philadelphia to stand court martial. He would be aquited. Edited July 7, 2015 by uss frolick hexnut, trippwj, sonofdust and 2 others 5 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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