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 Posted: Sun Nov 26th, 2006 07:44 am
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Hellcat
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Ok, just like the title and the description of this thread says, I need a little help finding some information. When I was growing up, my father's job meant we moved several times. No, it wasn't because he was in the military, he'd already been out of the navy before I was old enough to talk. Rather, he worked in maintenace, mostly as a plant engineer, and whenever he got a new job we'd end up moving. This meant at one point we lived in NC for a few years, and it's thanks to our time there that I'm asking for help.

When I was in fouth grade they were getting rid of some of the old textbooks, giving them to the students who might want them. One of thopse deals where they'd get newer textbooks and need to get rid of the old ones. Anyway among other old textbooks I managed to get was our social studies book which was on the state and it's people. Don't know if anyone else on here either managed to get an old copy of it, or even saw the same book. It's The people of North Carolina,  published by William Sadlier, Inc. in '72 and was already over ten years since it was published when I got it.

One of the things I've always liked about the book is that some of the pages were devoted to some odds and ends that fit in with the particular topic, but might be a little out of context with the rest of the lesson. Two such items are discussing a couple of ships that served during the war, "The Virginia Dare" and "The Southern Star." And these are what I'm looking for help with.

"The Virginia Dare was supposed to have been built by a company in Delaware for the Albemarle Steam Packet Company, but was not completed when the war broke out. So the federal government purchased her and turned her into the steamship Delaware. The Delaware was supposed to have transported troops up the Chowan River to Winton, NC where they proceeded to burn the town. Now I've managed to get some stuff of Haze Gray and Underway along with the Navy Histoical center, but of which are just the DANFS (Dictionary of American Fighting Ships) material on the Delaware. And that's pretty sparse. Seems to confirm that this is the same Delaware the book says was originally "The Virginia Dare". Built in Delaware in 1861, was in NC waters early in 1862, and traveled up the Chowan on the 19th-21st. But there's not terribly much there and nothing really to confirm that her intended buyer when she was being built was the Albemarle Steam Packet Company, or that she was indeed "The Virginia Dare." Though what there is does pretty much have me certain I've found her.

On "The Southern Star" my luck is a little less present. The book says she was built in 1857 at Murfreesboro and intended to operate between NY and NC. However, her builders went bankrupt and she ended up in federal hands. During the war she'd be made into a gunboat and end up as part of the blockading fleet. The only other thing the book really says about "The Southern Star" is that she sank when she was launched in 1857. Nothing about a name change or anthing else that might point me in the right direction.

If anyone has any information, I'd like to hear it. I'd also like it if anyone can point me to some helpful websites. I've got a few I want to check, but I'm asking here incase I miss something or someone knows anything I obviously don't.

Thanks in advance.

 



 Posted: Sun Nov 26th, 2006 01:00 pm
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Sarah Elizabeth
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Hellcat,

Check out this site:

http://www.sallysfamilyplace.com/Jackson.htm

There is a brief history of the Southern Star there.  You may find some information which will help you in your search.

Regards,

Sarah

p.s.  I often spend time searching websites for 19th century information.  Many times I run across interesting info...if I find anything else, I'll let you know.



 Posted: Sun Nov 26th, 2006 09:28 pm
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Hellcat
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Thanks Sarah, that's definately very helpful in several ways. For one, it tells me she wasn't originally named Southern Star, but rather Chowan, something not mentioned in the book. For another it lists all the names she had, Crusader probably being the best for me to check DANFS to see if there's any info there since that appears to be the name she had during the war. And it does confirm that she sank and had to be raised with the mention of foundering.

 

Again, thanks for your help.



 Posted: Sun Nov 26th, 2006 09:53 pm
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Sarah Elizabeth
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I'm so glad you found the website to be useful!

The history of the Southern Star is very interesting.  I had no idea that ships were renamed so often.  No wonder it's at times difficult to find accurate information.

Again, I'm glad I could help!

Regards,

Sarah



 Posted: Wed Jul 30th, 2014 05:32 am
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Hellcat
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After all these years I've returned to this topic. First, here is what caused me to start this thread in the first place. From page 87 of The People of North Carolina


"The Virginia Dare"

The Albermarle Steam Packet Company, a line of passenger steamboats, ordered a new steamer from a builder in Delaware, in 1860. It was to be called "The Virginia Dare." The ship was not yet ready when the Civil War began, in 1861, and was bought by the United States Government. By this time, North Carolina had left the Union. The ship was renamed the "Delaware."

Early in 1862, the steamer appeared on the Chowan River, on which the Albemarle Steam Packet Company operated. It came loaded with Union troops and stopped at Winton, a regular stop of the steamboat company in Hertford County. The soldiers set fire to Winton in the first combined land and sea operation in the history of the U.S. Army and the first burning of a town in the Civil War. Then the "Delaware" steamed back down the river, having helped cause the ruin of those who ordered it to be built, in 1860.



"The Southern Star"

Another strange story about a ship concerns "The Southern Star," a large steamboat built at Murfreesboro, in 1857. This ship was planned to operate between New York and eastern North Carolina and to be a great benefit to the people of this state. Instead, it's North Carolina builders went bankrupt, and the ship fell into the hands of the United States Government.

Made a gunboat in the U.S. Navy, "The Southern Star" spent the Civil War cruising up and down the Confederate coast. This action helped prevent the South from getting outside help, until the war was over. Perhaps the North Carolina sponsors of the boat should not have been surprised at this turn of fate: "The Southern Star" had sunk at the moment she was launched, in 1857, at Murfreesboro.


Ok, so that's what caused me to open this thread. I got the textbook at the end of the school year in 1986, the school actually got in replacements for a number of textbooks at the end of the school year and gave away some of the older books (looking back on it now it was extremely weird to be putting brand new textbooks still wrapped in plastic on the shelves on the last day of school). And for nearly two decades that would be a page I'd be trying to learn more about.

Now obviously it was easy to get the Virginia Dare because the textbook said she was renamed the Delaware. It was harder to get the Southern Star as the textbook only listed her as such. Back in '06 Sarah was a huge help with that link (the link has since changed and is now http://www.sallysfamilyplace.com/sallysfamilyplace/Jackson.htm). I'm sure back then I looked at DANFS as I had said I wanted to do. But then after looking things up back then the two ships pretty much just slipped from my mind until today.

Yesterday I got to thinking again about this thread and those two ships. Using the information here I hit DANFS on the Naval History & Heritage Command's webpage. So the DANFS entries are:


Delaware

An Indian tribe, the first state in the Union, a bay, and a river.

IV

(SwStr: t. 357; l. 161'; b. 27.'; dph. 8'3"; dr. 6'; s. 13 k.; cpl. 65; a. 4 32-pdr., 1 12-pdr. r.)

The fourth Delaware, a side wheel steamer, was built in 1861 at Wilmington, Del.; purchased by the Navy 14 October 1861, Lieutenant S. P. Quackenbush in command.

Assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, Delaware sailed from Philadelphia 12 December 1861 and stood up the James River 26 December on patrol. On 12 January 1862 she sailed for Hatteras Inlet, N.C. Remaining on the North Carolina coast until 2 June, she took part in the capture of Roanoke Island on 7 and 8 February and Elizabeth City on 10 February, where she shared in the capture of five Confederate steamers and two schooners. She made a reconnaissance up Chowan River from 19 to 21 February, and on 13 and 14 March bombarded New Bern and captured four vessels.

Delaware arrived in Hampton Roads 2 June 1862 for service in Virginia waters until 30 October. She had several encounters with enemy batteries and captured a number of small craft which she sent in as prizes. She returned to operations in the rivers and sounds of North Carolina from October 1862 to February 1863 when she sailed with Valley City in tow, arriving at Hampton Roads on the llth.

Until 5 April 1863 Delaware cruised in the James and York Rivers and Chesapeake Bay, then on the North Carolina coast until 27 November when she sailed to Baltimore for repairs. On 27 March 1864 she returned to the waters of Virginia, to patrol and perform picket duty, transport men and ordnance stores, and clear the rivers of torpedoes until the end of the war. Arriving at Washington Navy Yard 27 July 1865, Delaware was decommissioned there 5 August 1865 and sold on112 September to the Treasury Department.




Crusader

One pursuing a goal with great dedication.

I

(ScStr: t. 545; l. 169'; b. 28'; dr. 12'6"; s. 8 k.; cpl. 92; a. 4 32-pdr., 8 24-pdr, 112-pdr.)

Southern Star, a screw steamer, was chartered by the Navy in October 1858 to accompany a military-diplomatic expedition to Paraguay to settle grievances growing out of an unprovoked attack on Water Witch by Paraguayan forts in 1855. Commissioned 27 October 1858, Commander A. M. Pennock in command, Southern Star sailed 2 November for Asuncion, Paraguay, arriving 25 January 1859. Her mission accomplished, she departed from Montevideo, Uraguay, 22 March to return to Norfolk. Here she was purchased by the Navy and renamed Crusader. She was sent to Philadelphia Navy Yard to be outfitted for naval service under the command of Lieutenant J. N. Maffitt.

Crusader cleared Philadelphia 7 October 1859 for duty with the Home Squadron in the suppression of the slave trade in West Indian waters until 7 February 1861, returning to New York 16 February. Following another tour of duty in the Gulf of Mexico from 16 March to 28 August 1861, during which she captured two vessels to prevent their sale for use as Confederate privateers, she was placed out of commission 17 September 1861 for repairs.

Crusader sailed 18 January 1862 to join the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron. She cruised off the South Carolina coast until 10 August. With E. B. Hale she conducted a successful expedition up the South Edisto River on 28 April to capture a Confederate battery, the officers and men of both ships earning a commendation from the Secretary of the Navy for their courageous conduct. On a similar raid Crusader and Planter drove off a band of Confederates from Simmons' Bluff and destroyed their camp on 21 June.

After repairs at New York, Crusader put to sea 22 September 1862 to join the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron. She was diverted to duty in the Chesapeakeand inland waters of Virginia and served in this area until the end of the war. She captured five vessels with valuable cargoes and destroyed four others. Crusader was decommissioned at Washington Navy Yard 13 June 1865 and sold there 20 July 1865.


Ok, for those who maybe have some questions on the entries. Most folks on here can already answer these, but for those who can't this might be of some help in reading these entries:
  • Roman Numerals - This denotes which number of ship with this name in either the Continental Navy o the US Navy the ship is when more than one ship has the name. For example, the sloop George was captured in 1775 and commissioned into the Continental Navy as the USS Enterprise would be listed on it's DANFS page with the numeral I while the WWII aircraft carrier USS Enterprise would be listed as VII.

  • SwStr - Sidewheel Steamer.

  • ScStr - Screw or Screw-propeller Steamer

  • t. - Tons, displacement of the ship

  • l. - Length

  • b - Beam, width at the widest point at the waterline

  • dr. - Draft

  • s. - Speed in Knots

  • k. - Knots, nautical miles

  • cpl. - Compliment, ship's crew

  • a. - Armament

  • -pdr. - Pounder, how many pounds the gun weighs

  • r. - Rifled gun.

Most of those, if not all, oughta be obvious to most of us. The list is more for those just getting into studying the war or those just starting to study the naval side of the war and who are less likely to be familiar with most of the abbreviations used in DANFS.

Now there was at least one problem with what was written in the textbook. Keep in mind this is, or was, a textbook for fourth graders at the time I got it and that fourth graders were less likely to notice errors of this nature. This entry states that the Delaware sailed up the Chowan and participated in the first land-sea operation in US history. Weren't amphibious operations combined land-sea operations? The Battle of Hatteras Inlet in August 1861 would have been the first land-sea operation. Even in February 1862, when the Delaware was to have sailed up the Chowan according to the DANFS entry, this could not have been the first combined land sea operation of the year as the Battle of Roanoke Island was a land-sea operation. Others may know if Winton, NC was the first town set fire to during the war or if this too in an inaccuracy. But as said, this was a 4th grade textbook and most textbooks I ran into in elementary school, junior high, and high school weren't always the most accurate when it came to the "lesser" aspects of the war and US history. They might not always be the most accurate when it came to the "greater" aspects either.

So going from the DANFS pages I then decided to check things on Wikipedia. Rather than enter the entries,
USS Delaware and USS Crusader. Ok, so what do we see here? Well one of the first things that stood out for me on the Delaware is something missing in the DANFS entry. The DANFS entry does not mention that this was the Virginia Dare, I had to look at the dates on the DANFS entry to make certain I had the right ship. In other words it had to have been around during the war. The fourth Delaware is the only one that fits dates (the third Delaware was still in existence in April 1861, though she had be decommed in 1844, but she was burned to keep her out of Confederate hands).

But the Wikipedia article does state she was the Virginia Dare. However, she didn't start out as such, she began life as the Edenton, possibly in honor of the Albemarle Steam Packet Company's intial investors being from Edenton (http://ncpedia.org/albemarle-steam-navigation-company). As the Edenton she was built by Harlan & Hollingsworth of Wilmington, Delaware. At some point her name was changed to Virginia Dare. But before the Albemarle Steam Packet Company paid her off President Wood over fears of the impending war. This allowed her to be purchased by the US Navy and turned into the gunboat USS Delaware.

As the Delaware she was assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Sqaudron. The date of her purchase puts her out of the Battle of Hatteras Inlet but does put her into Goldsborough's squadron that took part in the Battle of Roanoke Island. Her participation at Roanoke Island is mentioned in the DANFS entry, what isn't mentioned in either entry is that division commander Commander Stephen Clegg Rowan was aboard her during the battle. The details on Elizabeth City and New Bern line up between the two, but given as the Wikipedia article sites DANFS as a source for these details it's likely that these details were taken from DANFS.

However, more important to me is what is said about the mission up the Chowan. The textbook states the Delaware sailed up the Chowan and Federal troops set fire to Winton before she sailed back down the river. The DANFS entry only states the Chowan mission was a reconnaissance, nothing about whet happened during said reconnaissance. The article states that the purpose of the reconnaissance was to supposedly destroy two railroad bridges above Winton. Believable. I'd like to have access to Barrett's The Civil War in North Carolina to see more about it, but given the nature of what was happening at the time I can certainly see a mission being carried out for such a purpose. Though the mission looks to have ended in failure due to a Confederate ambush and the burning of Winton was revenge for being ambushed. Note that the burning of Winton took place the ay after the failed reconnaissance, that sounds more like an act of revenge rather than a legitimate war target.

Virginia operations look to be copied from DANFS. This is where DANFS ends it's entry, Wikipedia goes on to reveal Delaware went on to become a revenue cutter after the war, serving for the next thirty-seven years with the Department of the Treasury's US Revenue Cutter Service (DANFS did say she was sold to the Treasury). In 1873 USRC Delaware was renamed USRC Louis McLane, the name she would serve under for the rest of her federal career. The name change may have been to avoid confusion with USS Delaware the former USS Piscataqua which was renamed as the fifth Delaware in 1869. She saw service in the Spanish-American War as a part of the North Atlantic Squadron. In 1902 she was decommissioned and almost a year later she was sold into the private sector where she would spend about the next sixteen years as the Louis Dolive. After that there is no mention of what happened to her. According to this page on the Albemarle Steam Navigation Company, which was also linked above, she was original purchased for both passengers and freight, it looks like it took forty-three years from the time she was ordered before she was serving for one or both of those.

And then there's the Southern Star. As already stated, Sarah was a huge help in my finding out about her. She began her life as the Chowan. Irony there because when all this started I wanted to learn more about the Virginia Dare which was originally purchased by a company that operated on the Chowan River. But whether she was named for the river or for the county I can't say.

Now the link Sarah provided states that she was commissioned by a Jesse A Jackson with the help of the NY commission house Glines & Graham and investors in NC. Wikipedia states that John K. Kirkham was commissioned to build the Chowan. When Glines Graham failed in their business, mostlikely going bankrupt, the NC investors backed out and r. Jackson was unable to pay for the ship which led to Kirkham having the sheriff put a lien on the ship for the payment. The ship was sold at auction in 1858 to John W. Southall and Capt. Thomas W. Badger who renamed her Southern Star and had her towed to Delaware to be fitted with engines and then sailed her to Norfolk to finish her fitting out.

Ironically they didn't possess the Southern Star for very long either. The US government chartered her a month after she sailed to Norfolk for the expedition to Paraguay. The US Navy purchased her the following March, renaming her USS Crusader. She'd serve during the war in the Gulf of Mexico, the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, and the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron. Immediately after the war the Crusader was decommed and sold.

Most of this seems again like copying DANFS to the Wikipedia article. In fact except for her construction the entire Wikipedia article seems a copy of DANFS. However, of interest in the Wikipedia article is the third reference, which is a link to a Google e-book. hat little I've looked at from the book looks interesting so far.

The link Sarah provided states that Crusader was renamed Kalorama in 1865 and was lost in 1876, wrecked south of San Buernaventura.



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