Category Archives: Gunboats

April 14, 1864: Porter to Sherman: Sorry.

Porter writes in disgust to Sherman about the defeat and retreat of Banks’ army. The gunboats are in trouble due to low water on the Red River, and they can’t sent back A.J. Smith’s division as planned as a result. … Continue reading

Posted in Arkansas, David Porter, Gunboats, Nathaniel P. Banks, Red River Campaign, William Tecumseh Sherman | Leave a comment

April 6, 1864: Selecting the shallow-draft boats for Shreveport

Gen. Charles P. Stone and daughter Hettie **************************************************** The Red River campaign continues. The Union forces have captured Natchitoches, and are preparing for the next 75 miles up to Shreveport. The river is low, however, and many of their transports … Continue reading

Posted in Andrew Jackson Smith, Arkansas, Charles P. Stone, Gunboats, Red River Campaign | Leave a comment

August 14, 1863: Beach the Marines

The Autocrat, flagship of A.W. Ellet’s Marine Brigade Apparently General Ellet had a brigade of cavalry on boats on the Mississippi, and these “marines” were a bit hard to handle. Grant appealed to the Secretary of War to give him … Continue reading

Posted in Alfred W. Ellet, David Porter, Edwin M. Stanton, Gunboats, Navy | Leave a comment

June 20, 1863: Taking out Whistling Dick

The gunboat Sterling Price takes action against “Whistling Dick“. Official Records (Navy): U. S. S. STERLING PRICE, Below Vicksburg, June 20. SIR: Agreeable to your instructions contained in your order of this morning, proceeded with the Mound City to the … Continue reading

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June 17, 1863: Going after Whistling Dick

One of the cannons in the river-side defenses of Vicksburg, because of some peculiarity of the rifling of its barrel, threw shells that whistled in flight. While it’s not clear that this cannon was any more effective than others, its … Continue reading

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June 10, 1863: Grant asks Porter for a gunboat

Grant appeals to Porter for a gunboat to protect the movement of troops to reinforce him. Note the respectful and collegial tone of his message. Official Records NEAR Vicksburg, MISS., June 10, 1863. Rear-Admiral DAVID D. PORTER, Commanding Mississippi Squadron: … Continue reading

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May 31, 1863: Congrats to the men who sank the Cincinnati

As we saw earlier, the Confederate troops defending Vicksburg sank the gunboat Cincinnati. Here Pemberton passes his thanks to the troops for this feat. Official Records: Brigadier-General BOWEN, Commanding DIVISION: GENERAL: The lieutenant-general commanding desires to tender his thanks to … Continue reading

Posted in Gunboats, John C. Pemberton, Mississippi, Vicksburg | 2 Comments

May 27, 1863: Sinking of the Cincinnati

Sherman had Porter send a gunboat to take out a couple of guns that were giving him trouble in establishing his siege lines near the river. The Confederates concealed the guns, setting a trap for the Cincinnati. When the boat … Continue reading

Posted in David Porter, Gunboats, Mississippi, Vicksburg | 1 Comment

April 29, 1863: Attack on Grand Gulf

John S. Bowen ****************************** New map! Click for large map. *********************************** Grand Gulf was Grant’s first choice of a landing site on the east side of the Mississippi. The Confederates had fortified it well, even if Gen. Stevenson didn’t think … Continue reading

Posted in David Porter, Gunboats, John A. McClernand, John S. Bowen, Mississippi, Ulysses S. Grant, Vicksburg | Leave a comment

April 22, 1863: Porter ordering Grand Gulf softened up

Order of Acting Rear Admiral Porter US Navy to Captain Walke US Navy regarding operations against Grand Gulf. US Mississippi Squadron Flagship Benton, off Grand Gulf. April 22, 1863. Sir: Circumstances oblige me to go up river. While I am … Continue reading

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