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 11, 2013

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

July 11th. Commences with light winds from the westward; at four forty-five A. M. got under way and steamed down the river; at nine ten went to general quarters; at nine thirty anchored off Donaldsonville; at ten fifty went to general quarters once more, and prepared for action; fired the forward Parrott rifle at the different points as we passed; fired the broadside guns at embrasures cut in the levee from which our vessels lately were fired upon by pieces of rebel flying artillery, but received no response; steaming down the river in charge of pilot; passed between the hours of twelve and four P. M., the sloop-of-war Monongahela and iron-clad Essex, gunboat, at anchor; the lads manned the rigging and cheered ship, which was vociferously returned by them; the steamers Albatross and Estrella were in company with us; about five P. M., passed the U. S. sloop-of-war Portsmouth anchored off Carrollton; from her we received another cheer which we quickly returned; she also dipped her colors as we were passing; cheer upon cheer rent the air from youngsters and grown-up persons on shore, who had seen us approaching, and flocked down to the levee to give expression to their feelings of joy at seeing the noble old ship Hartford once more, which they had begun to have a sort of veneration for on account of the great deeds she had performed, making her name to be held in dread by all traitors to their country; about six thirty passed the Pensacola, rounded to and at six thirty-five had ship cheered by Pensacola and Tennessee, which we returned; at six forty came to anchor off the city of New Orleans. Soon, the news spread of our arrival, and crowds of people flocked down to the levee to see us once more; they were informed by those in sympathy with the rebels, (loyal now because they were forced to be to save their property from confiscation, and themselves from being sent beyond our lines), that in attempting to pass the batteries at Port Hudson on the 14th of March last we had been sunk, and they, in proof of the truth of their statement, referred to the fact that when the Hartford left New Orleans last, she was painted black, and the vessel before them was of a light lead color; in fact they so talked their theory into them that they believe it to be the truth; even the statement of the Era, a daily loyal sheet, that the Hartford had arrived, was not believed, and some of our boys ashore on liberty, with the ship’s name on their hats, could not make them believe any different; in fact, they could not be made to believe it until parties had been on board who were acquainted with some of our officers, and returned, having seen them, and learned we had the power of changing our plumage wherever we might be.

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