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

July 30th. At one thirty A. M. gunboat Albatross went down the river; at ten o’clock gunboat Katandin got under way and steamed down the river; at one P. M. received on board some of Admiral Farragut’s baggage. During the afternoon Mr. Van Denhougle, late Admiral Farragut’s Secretary, reported on board for passage to New York. Sent aloft topmast and topgallant studding sail booms; at four thirty P. M. U. S. steam sloop-of-war Richmond got under way, turned around, and went down the river. As she passed, our lads manned the rigging and gave them three hearty farewell cheers, which they returned. We were well aware our day for following in her path homeward-bound was now near at hand, and she was the messenger sent to announce our coming. The reader need not be informed of the feelings of all on board the Hartford, since he knows all must have been in high spirits.

July 29th. At two thirty A. M. a propeller came up the river, and at two forty the gunboat Katandin. The latter anchored off our starboard bow. At six o’clock sent fourth cutter to Tennessee, and brought off spare main and topsail yard, and sent up a new one; stowed outboard damaged main topsail yard; painted spare topsail yard. At ten P. M. the steamer Westmoreland arrived from Vicksburg, with two days later news from the North.

July 28th. Commences with pleasant weather and light westerly winds. The following is what has transpired this day:—At eight A. M. the U. S. steamer Virginia arrived; at three P. M. the Monongahela came down the river and anchored off the Richmond’s starboard quarter. Ship’s company engaged getting ship ready for sea.

July 27th. At three A. M. the sloop-of-war Seminole came up and anchored astern of the Portsmouth; at six o’clock, the U. S. gunboat Genesee arrived from up the river; at 9 o’clock, as usual, inspected crew at quarters. During the remainder of this day, engaged setting up topmast-rigging. At five P. M., steamer General Banks went down the river with rebel prisoners, under a flag of truce, for Mobile.

July 26th. At ten P. M., inspection of ship and crew by Commodore Palmer; at ten thirty called all hands to muster, and performed Divine service on the quarter-deck; at five thirty in the afternoon steamer Lancaster came down the river with a load of rebel prisoners.

July 25th. During forenoon of this day, engaged in fitting topgallant and royal yards. Bent fore and main top-gallant sails and royals, and placed them in the rigging; also bent the foresail and mizzen topsail. Gunboat New London went down the river. During the hours of eight and ten P. M., squalls of rain accompanied by thunder and lightning; wind from the southward.

July 24th. During the morning received fresh beef and vegetables for crew. Carpenters at work repairing fore-top-gallant mast; at two P. M. had top-gallant mast ready to send aloft.

July 23d. At six o’clock this morning, steamer Eugenie came up and anchored ahead of us, having our top-gallant and royal masts, also yards and rigging on board, which she had been to Pensacola for; at nine inspected crew at quarters; at nine thirty, sent our launch to steamer Eugenie, and brought on board our spars. Engaged repairing rigging during the afternoon or remainder of this day—got main top-gallant and royal yards in the rigging and painted them, and employed in sending aloft top-gallant rigging and getting top-gallant masts ready to send aloft. Weather cool and pleasant. Men very busy.


July 22d. Between the hours of four and eight A. M. steamer Crescent City came down the river with troops—some of Banks’s army. During the remainder of this day got ready, hoisted into launch, and sent one nine-inch Dahlgren and one thirty pounder Parrott rifle on shore; at six P. M. steamer Tennessee got under way and steamed down the river, with Admiral Farragut on board. Weather pleasant, but very warm.

July 21st. Between the hours of four and six A. M., slight fog. During the remainder of the forenoon, employed getting ammunition and guns ready to send on shore. During the afternoon, sent third cutter on shore for repairs; also sent two nine-inch Dahlgren guns and equipments, and a quantity of grape.