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

Post image for Cruise of the U.S. Flag-Ship Hartford – From the Personal Journal of Wm. C. Holton.

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

April 7, 2013

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

April 7th. This afternoon some men were seen on shore making signals with a flag. Thinking it to be some parties from the lower fleet wishing to communicate with us, we ordered our army signal officer to exchange signals with them, but he found that it was impossible to do so, as they used different signals from ours. The gunboat Albatross then got under way, and found them to be some of the enemy, and shelled them off.

Between eight and nine o’clock, P. M., as near as I can recollect, we fired three guns at intervals of three minutes each, and sent up three rockets with same intervals intervening, to attract the attention of lower fleet, but received no answer to same. Mr. Gabaudan, the Admiral’s Secretary, with despatches, left the ship in a skiff to run the gauntlet of the rebel batteries, taking with him a contraband for oarsman, to communicate with the vessels below. Another skiff with two contrabands in it was sent away from the ship about the same time as the one first mentioned, for the purpose of distracting the attention of the emeny’s pickets from the other boat, or in case either were discovered, to give one a chance to escape. About ten o’clock P. M., a rocket was observed sent up from below, as a signal from the lower fleet that the experiment had proved a success.

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