The Civil War in NE North Carolina
This drawing of the capture of the CSS Fanny's flag at the battle of Elizabeth City shows 9 stars, which is highly unlikely. She was commissioned after 1 October 1861. There were 12 Confederate states at that time.
The above drawing was created from the drawing shown below. The drawing below was drawn by an artist that was on the scene. Notice there are 8 stars with 7 in a circle around the eighth. Again, this is the wrong number of stars for the time of her commissioning. Could this flag have originally been on another ship?
The CSS Ellis' flag was captured during the battle of Elizabeth City as well. This layout - 12 stars in 3 horizonal rows - was a very rare design, seen most often among the ships stationed in northeastern North Carolina.
The CSS Curlew flag (seen below) is extremely rare. Like the Ellis flag, it has 9 stars arranged in horizonal rows. Flags with 9 stars were only authorized between 18 May 1861 and 21 May 1861, when the 9th (Arkansas) and 10th (NC) states were admitted. The Curlew was not commissioned until late September 1861. Was her flag from another ship?.
Flag Officer Lynch created a flag for his tiny fleet. It looked like a French tri-color with 11 stars on the blue field in the shape of a Latin cross. The flag shown below is probably that of the CSS Sea Bird, captured at the battle of Elizabeth City. The CSS Beaufort flew a similar flag.
This is "The Confederate Soldier in the Civil War" version of the Underwriter. Notice the two masts. Did the Underwriter have masts? She was a tugboat in New York, after all, not a sea-going vessel.
Frank Leslie's Illustrated drawing of the USS Underwriter
This view is from a lithograph at Tryon Palace.
Posted by Bruce Long on March 17, 2017 at 8:00pm
This site will be closed as soon as my subscription runs out. I am porting the material over to a new WordPress site I am setting up. Brownwater Navies will be merged with my old NC Squadron WordPress site. The emphasis will remain on the Civil…Continue
Posted by Bruce Long on December 3, 2016 at 3:27pm
Two drawings of the Sea Bird appeared in the illustrated weeklies following her sinking during the battle of Elizabeth City. The first one is the most authentic looking. It shows a side-wheeler, which the Sea Bird was. It doesn't show a walking-beam engine, however.
The picture to the left shows a screw propeller steamer rather than a side-wheeler. The backgrounds for both drawings are fictional. The USS Commodore Perry, which rammed and sank the Sea Bird, was a converted NY ferryboat that had no masts for sails and no guns mounted in broadside. Her guns were mounted on her front and rear decks.
This drawing by Kazimierz Zygadlo is a pretty good approximation of what the Sea Bird actually looked like. She would have looked similar to the USS Ceres, the Seth Low, and USS I.N. Seymour, other ships built in Keyport, NJ, by Terry Shipbuilding.
I saw an Admiralty type anchor for sale in the shop across from Muddy's about a month ago. I was told it had been salvaged from a local scrap yard. It was "rusty fresh" from the water. I would say it was about 5 ft between the points of the flukes.…Continue
Started by Bob Smith. Last reply by Bruce Long Apr 14, 2016.
These three pictures are all supposed to be the CSS Ellis, yet the first and second ones are very different. Notice the rounded bow of the ship to the left. The ship below has a much sharper bow than the one seen to the left and has no raised pilot house.
There is a line running from the mast to the bow in the picture on the right. No such line is to be seen in the other two. However, the picture does show a small gun at the rear; the Ellis had an 8-pdr. gun at her stern. This drawing shows her at Roanoke Island following her capture.
The corner of the pilot house in the picture on the left looks similar to the second drawing. I can trace the origins of the second and third drawings. The artists were definitely present in northeastern North Carolina at the time the drawings were made.