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.

July 9, 2013

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

July 9th. At one A. M., received despatches from General Banks, and half an hour afterwards ordered the transports to get under way and report at Mount Pleasant Landing. Colonel Smith came on board, a bearer of despatches form General Banks, with orders to report for passage to Vicksburg. At three thirty A. M. the transports went down the river; at four thirty our Paymaster went below, in steamer Bee, for stores; at eight thirty called all to up anchor, and never before, during the Hartford’s cruise, was the anchor hove up by the boys with such a will and light hearts, or in a shorter period. The reader may here ask what was the stimulant administered to produce all this? In a few words I will tell him. The lads had been made to believe that the ship had been ordered home, and would leave New Orleans for the North very soon after she should arrive at that point, and general liberty had been given them; also there was another thing which made them light at heart: it was, that Port Hudson and Vicksburg had fallen, leaving the Mississippi clear from the Gulf to Cincinnati and St. Louis, and they had been in part instrumental in bringing about this work and felt proud of it. At nine A. M., came to anchor above Port Hudson batteries on account of some part of our machinery getting heated; at ten o’clock got under way again and stood down past Port Hudson; at ten ten the army firing a salute when the American flag was raised over the place; at ten forty-five came to anchor below Port Hudson; the gunboat Albatross accompanied us down; made signal to Richmond and New London at anchor here; finished taking provisions from steamer Bee on board during the afternoon; at seven thirty P. M., the steamer Laurel Hill passed down loaded with troops; at ten o’clock the transports St. Maurice, Empire Parish, Union, St. Charles, General Banks, and Louisiana Bell passed down the river with troops.

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