Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

Cruise of the U.S. Flag-Ship Hartford–Wm. C. Holton

Aug. 10th. At twelve thirty A. M., passed a brig standing to the northward and eastward; at two thirty trimmed sails to the wind; set port fore-topmast and top-gallant studding sails; got port lower studding sails ready for setting; took in studding sails, and braced yards up to shift of wind; at three o’clock Delaware light-boat bore, per compass, north by west; at seven thirty Barnegat lighthouse reported; at nine o’clock, stood up for a pilot boat; at nine forty-five took a pilot on board; several sail in sight during watch; at eleven o’clock set the jib, flying jib, and main topmast stay-sail; at twelve o’clock set the main try-sail; at two P. M., steamer Golden Gate met and cheered us, which we returned; at three o’clock crossed the bar, at which time the battery on Sandy Hook saluted us with fifteen guns, returned with thirteen; sent down royal and squared yards; from four to six o’clock steaming up New York harbor; received salutes from the lower fleet, also Forts Hamilton and the Battery, which we returned; received a salute from an English sloop-of-war, and from a Spanish frigate, which we answered; at five thirty rounded to, and anchored off the Battery.

Aug. 9th. At twelve forty-five A. M., a light reported off port-quarter; at two o’clock took in and furled all the studding and square sails; at six o’clock set all plain sail to royals; at six thirty made a sail off weather bow, proved to be a schooner, standing on same course; weather clear and pleasant; at nine o’clock made a sail off port bow, and at twelve, noon, one right ahead; had inspection at quarters, and performed Divine service; at two P. M., passed a steamer standing to the southward, also passed the John Adams who made her number, which we answered; several sail in sight; at four thirty set all the port studding sails; clear and pleasant; at sundown three sail were in sight.

Aug. 8th. Commences with pleasant weather; hauled down and shifted over starboard foretop-gallant studding sails, set the foretop-gallant and topmast studding sails, hauled down jib and flying jib, brailed up the main topmast stay-sail and main try-sail; at three thirty set the main fore topmast stay-sail main try-sail and spanker, bending lower studding sails; from four o’clock to eight o’clock set the port lower studding sails, jib and flying jib; at nine o’clock inspected crew at quarters; all plain sail set to royals, also all port studding sails; exercised crew at taking in, loosening, furling, and setting royals and mizzen top-gallant sails; from four to six P. M., all plain sail set to royals, and all the port fore studding sails set also; at seven thirty made Hatteras light.

Aug. 7th. Commences, and until four A. M. pleasant weather; from four o’clock to eight o’clock braced sharp up on port tack; all plain sail set to royals; made a sail off starboard bow, and one off starboard beam; from twelve to four P. M. exercised the fore and main royal yardsmen in furling and loosening royals; at two o’clock set the foretop-gallant and topmast studding sails; at three o’clock took them in; passed a brig bound the same course; at six thirty laid the yards square, and took in all fore and aft sails except the jib; braced sharp upon starboard tack, and set foretop-gallant studding sails; at six forty-five inspected crew at evening quarters; from eight to midnight all plain sail set to royals.

August 5th. At twelve thirty A. M. took in all fore and aft sails; at five thirty braced around the yards; made a sail off port quarter, and one off port beam; at eight forty made Tortugas light house, bearing, per compass, northeast; at five thirty P. M. Sand Key light reported two points on port bow; at six thirty made Key West light off port bow—strong breezes from the eastward; at eight fifteen spoke ship Mayflower, from New York, bound to New Orleans; at eleven o’clock made Sombrero light.

August 4th. At twelve midnight stood off to west-southwest in chase of a sail; at twelve fifteen A. M. discovered her to be a brig, standing to northward and eastward, closehauled; stood on our course again; braced yards up by port braces, and then again by starboard braces; at three fifteen set mizzen-topmast stay-sail, and at three thirty fore-topmast stay-sail, jib, and main trysail; also set the spanker; at five o’clock hoisted our colors to an American barque standing to northward and westward.

August 3d. At sea; at eleven in the morning light rain squall passed over; at eleven thirty set all fore and aft sails; at eleven forty-five took them in; at three fifteen P. M. light rain-squall passed over; at four ten made a sail to the southward, and bore down for her, called all hands make sail, and at four thirty fired a gun in direction of strange sail, which hoisted the French colors. Furled sail and hauled up to course again. Unbent and sent down foretopsail for repairs, and sent up and bent a new one. At six ten inspected crew at quarters. From eight o’clock to midnight slight wind from southward and eastward, and clear; at eleven fifty a sail reported on starboard beam.

August 2d. Steaming down the river; at two ten o’clock in the morning a shot fired across our bow from Fort St. Philip, to heave us to; stopped the ship, and was boarded by an officer; at two fifteen started ahead again; at three forty S. W. Pass light in sight; at six thirty A. M. crossed the bar, and pilot left the ship; at nine o’clock made a sail off the starboard bow, bore down to her and spoke her. She proved to be the U. S. mail steamer Locust Point, from New York, bound for New Orleans. At ten o’clock ship and crew inspected by the Commodore, after which performed Divine service on the quarter-deck.

August 1st. Commences with pleasant weather. At nine thirty A. M. the U. S. gunboat Black Hawk, with Admiral D. D. Porter on board, came down the river, accompanied by the gunboat Conestoga. As they passed they fired a salute of fourteen guns, which the U. S. S. Portsmouth returned, and we cheered ship. Admiral Porter visited the ship, and was received by the marine guard. At six thirty P. M. called all hands up anchor, got under way and steamed up the river and turned round. Was cheered as we passed the fleet, which we returned. The church bells in the city also were rung. Stood down the river in charge of pilot.

July 31st. At nine A. M. inspected crew at quarters. Fleet-Surgeon J. M. Foltz reported on board for passage home. During the afternoon Commodore Morris, late of U. S. steam sloop Pensacola was hoisted inboard, upon a cot, an invalid, for passage to the North.