April 29th. We have been lying quietly at our anchorage here for two or three days, negotiating about the city and its flag and transfer. The river is alive with steamers which our people have taken possession of, and are gliding about seemingly practicing for duty by-and-by; among others, a fine steamer, the Tennessee, has [...]
Cruise of the U.S. Flag-Ship Hartford–Wm. C. Holton
April 26th. The Mayor of the city has surrendered it to Flag-officer Farragut, and a battalion of marines, under Capt. J. L. Broome, went ashore to raise the Stars and Stripes, but were opposed by the citizens and returned to the ship. In the afternoon we went up to Carrollton and captured sixty or eighty [...]
April 25th. Left our anchorage early and proceeded up the river, keeping constantly on the alert for a battery which had been reported in this vicinity. We found the batteries some five or six miles below New Orleans called the Chalmette batteries, and consisting of some ten to fifteen guns. They opened upon us before [...]
April 24th. This morning was destined to be recorded in history as the day on which occurred the most brilliant naval feat ever accomplished. It had been decided to run past the forts without stopping, and accordingly, at two o'clock A. M., all hands were quietly turned out, hammocks lashed, and everything put in order, [...]
April 22d. A serious accident occurred this evening severely wounding five of our crew. A submerged vessel drifted upon our cable with such force as to tear it from its fastenings, breaking the pawls from the capstan. As this chain was connected with the capstan, and the bars shipped, they were whirled around with great [...]
April 21st. At 1 o'clock this morning our gunboats returned, having succeeded in cutting the chain and setting two schooners adrift. At 3 o'clock all hands were aroused to ward off a large fire raft which among many others the enemy had sent adrift for our destruction, but like its predecessors it passed by harmless.
April 20th. The firing of yesterday was kept up all last night, and to appearances with considerable success. As the evening advanced the scene from the mortar boats rapidly increased in interest; as the shells left the gun the track of them through the air was distinctly visible, and the shots were quite accurate. This [...]
April 18th. In order to understand the proceedings of our fleet fully, it will be necessary to explain the position of the enemy. Forts Jackson and St. Philip are situated on a short bend of the river, some forty miles from its mouth, Fort Jackson occupying the right bank and being the principal fort, and [...]
April 17th. Was spent in making preparations for the ensuing battle. The mortar boats were towed within range, and the tops of their masts dressed with green boughs from the adjacent woods, some having a whole broadside covered, but most of them with only their masts covered. In this condition they reminded one of a [...]
April 16th. The remainder of the vessels, including the Hartford, followed up the river, and anchored at the head of the fleet.
April 15th. Yesterday a few vessels went up the river, and today the most of those remaining followed, including all of the mortar fleet. They "came to" just below range of the enemy's guns at the fort.
April 8th. Was signalized by the mortar fleet, twenty-two in number, arriving from Pilot Town, where they ha d gone to be stripped of their rigging. They looked very pretty as they ranged along the shore in line of battle, with their flagship, the Harriet Lane, at their head. We look for a great noise [...]
April 3d. The Connecticut arrived from home with mails and fresh provisions for the squadron, all of which were acceptable, and many a sailor's heart was gladdened by a letter from home.
March 31st. Discovered a portion of a submarine telegraph cable across the river directly under our ship. The cable was destroyed, and a sample brought on board ship.
March 29th. Nothing of importance is occurring now-a-days to mark one day from another. Yesterday, Capt. Bell, with the gunboats Kennebeck, Wissahickon and Winona, ascended the river to the forts, when Fort Jackson opened fire on them, and after firing about one hundred rounds at us our vessels hauled off. They discovered the position of [...]
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.
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.