March 19th. Thirteen sail of Capt. Porter's fleet arrived today, being towed up the river by tugboats, and immediately taken to Pilot Town to dismantle. As business is monotonous at this season, our journal occasionally skips a few days.
Cruise of the U.S. Flag-Ship Hartford–Wm. C. Holton
March 15th. Went up to the head of the Passes, which is eighteen miles from the mouth. The rumor prevails that we here wait for Capt. Porter's mortar fleet. This is a dreary place, but somewhat pleasanter than below; where nothing was to be seen but mud, muddy water, and huge fog banks.
March 11th. After failing to get up the river at this Pass we to-day steamed round to South-West Pass to try the depth of water there. We found the U. S. steam frigate Colorado here, besides several transports. On the following day the Brooklyn went over this bar and anchored on the other side. The [...]
March 9th. The Brooklyn tried all day, but with no effect, to cross the barrier before us. Capt. Bell went up the river in the gunboat Winona on a reconnoissance, and this evening came down with five prisoners, who were duly examined by the flag-officer, who after examination discharged them as neutrals.
March 8th. This afternoon the Brooklyn made an attempt to cross the bar, being led by a gunboat, but the Brooklyn grounded, and after persevering with commendable zeal gave it up for the day. The men are grinding their cutlasses, and making other preparations of a warlike character.
March 7th. Weighed anchor for the mouth of the Mississippi River; arrived in the evening, where we found the Pensacola and Brooklyn at Pass a l'Outre on the blockade. Our object in coining here was to go up the river, with the subsequent view of capturing New Orleans. Preparations were immediately made to cross the [...]
March 5th. The Rhode Island arrived, after having been to Galveston, Texas, visiting our ships as she passed them. On her way home she is to call among the blockaders, carrying home the sick and leaving stores. We put four patients aboard her for home. In the evening the U. S. sloop-of-war Richmond arrived from [...]
March 2d. The Niagara left to-day for home; we sent our mails and good wishes with her, and felt rather lonely when this noble frigate was gone.
March 1st. The Pensacola arrived from Key Wrest to-day; also a store-ship which brought us two nine-inch guns, increasing our number to twenty-two nine-inch, and two rifled pivots. This morning a boat expedition left the ship in tow of the New London for Biloxi, a small village on the main land, and returned in the [...]
February 27th. Practiced the ship's company at target-firing with the battery; thirty to forty rounds were fired, at some fifteen hundred yards, and some splendid shots were made. The marines were also drilled with muskets at a target.
February 25th. Had quite a scare through the bursting of one of our boilers, which made a loud report and a large amount of confusion, but did slight damage.
January 28 to February 22, 1862 On the 28th of January, we sailed for Fortress Monroe, and proceeded down the Delaware, amid a quantity of ice, which was daily increasing. The weather had been stormy for several days, and the men working in the cold rains had in many instances contracted severe lung diseases, so [...]
U. S. Flag-Ship Hartford, Philadelphia, Jan. 19, 1862. This morning, at 10 o'clock, the U. S. screw sloop Hartford was put in commission as the flag-ship of the Western Gulf Blockading Squadron. The following is a list of officers ordered to join her: Flag Officer—David G. Farragut. Fleet Captain—Henry H. Bell. Commander—Richard Wainwright. Lieutenant and [...]
May 29th. Early this morning the Brooklyn, with her attendants, arrived from up the river, when the Flag Officer ordered the troops, fifteen hundred in number, ashore to watch the city, while we broke out of our ship's hold nearly all of our provisions for their use. At ten o'clock the Brooklyn got under way [...]
May 28th. During the night the levee broke opposite to our ship, and the water is running through at a fearful rate, threatening to flood the surrounding plantations. We weighed early, and arrived at Baton Rouge at ten o'clock, A. M. Everything looked quiet, and the dingey was sent ashore with Chief Engineer Kimball, manned [...]
May 27th. Got under way, and taking a coal schooner alongside, proceeded on our way. Passed Natchez at eleven thirty, A. M., without stoppage, and ran all day without any occurrence of note, anchoring by a plantation, and sending ashore for fresh provisions at sunset.
May 26th. Another reconnoissance took place yesterday, but although the gunboats went very near the rebel batteries no firing took place. This morning all hands were surprised with the intelligence that no attack was to be made on the city at present, and that our large ships would again drop down the river. This is [...]
May 24th. We left Grand Gulf on the 23d, at which time the Flag Officer joined us, and arrived four miles below Vicksburg at four o'clock, P. M., where we found several gunboats awaiting our arrival. We swelled the number here to eleven vessels of war. The city is situated on a bluff perhaps sixty [...]
May 21st. We got under way early, leaving the Iroquois aground, and ran up to Grand Gulf, where we are to wait for orders from the Flag Officer who has gone to Vicksburg. We saw much cotton afloat to-day, and the country nearly all overflowed by the turbid waters of the Mississippi.
May 20th. The quartermaster was buried ashore this morning, after which we got under way and proceeded up some thirty miles, where we found the river again divided by an island, and the Brooklyn, Richmond and Iroquois having preceded us and taken the wrong channel, the two former ones had run aground. We lay by [...]
May 19th. We left Natchez this morning and went up some fifteen miles, followed by the other ships, and stopped in the woods. In the afternoon the steamer Laurel Hill arrived and passed from below with troops, and the gunboat Kennebec came down from Vicksburg with news. At eight P. M., William Preston, signal-quartermaster, died [...]
May 18th. Found us under way early, expecting to reach Natchez in the course of the day. About noon the order was given to get the anchor ready for letting go, and we looked ahead for an anchorage. In one of the everlasting bends of the river, on a bluff forty or fifty feet high, [...]
May 17th. Got under way at five o'clock, A. M., and steamed along very slowly, owing to our burning bituminous coal, of which we had taken a little. At about noon we were obliged to anchor to get up steam, and as usual a boat put off to the nearest house for officers' stores. Happening [...]
May 16th. After discharging through the night a line was attached to a kedge off our quarter, and a gunboat hauling at the same time, started her from the sand, and at ten o'clock the Hartford was again a thing of life. The day was spent in reloading.
May 15th. Was spent in exertions to get our ship afloat. A gunboat was dispatched for a lighter, and we commenced discharging our battery on board a gunboat, and shell on board a steamer, also coal into a lighter.