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.

May 21, 2013

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

May 21st. Firing was heard before daylight, down the river; at nine A. M. the steamer Gen. Sterling Price got under way and went up the Mississippi river; at nine A. M. as usual, inspected the crew at quarters. Commodore James S. Palmer went up Red river in steam gunboat Sachem; at two P. M., and from that hour until four P. M., infantry, cavalry, and artillery, were seen passing down the left bank of the river, some of Gen. Banks’s forces from the Teche country having come from Simsport or Alexandria; also two river steamers loaded with U. S. troops, came out of Red river, and made fast inshore ahead of us. Officers and men on board of them were in high spirits, knowing that it was owing to the old Hartford’s passage of the rebel batteries at Port Hudson, on the ever-memorable night of the 14th of March last, and her effective blockade of Red river since, that they could now meet with us to-day, and be transported from here to the village of Bayou Sara, a few miles above Port Hudson, and invest the latter place, and they gratefully acknowledged the service we had done them, by giving us three rousing cheers, which our boys upon manning the rigging, returned; at four ten P. M. the steam gunboat Estrella came out of Red river; at five thirty P. M. the gunboat Sachem, with Commodore Palmer and General Banks on board, came down and out of Red river, and in twenty minutes afterwards, the steamers Empire Parish, St. Maurice, Estrella, Bee, and Sachem, went down the river; at seven P. M. the steamer St. Charles, from Red river, with a coal barge for us in tow, arrived, bringing coal vessel alongside of us, and afterwards going down the Mississippi. Heavy firing heard in the direction of Port Hudson. This is a true account of all the occurrences of this day, and as the reader will readily perceive, there have been many, and such as will be remembered by us as well as by the enemy, for a long time to come. Secesh now looks crest-fallen, and thinks the mudsills of the North have got rather the best of him; he does not see what Jeff. is about.

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