Civil War Brown Water Navies

The Civil War in NE North Carolina

Bruce Long's Blog (48)

Where to find the content of this site once the migration is complete

The old Brown Water Navies site is being absorbed into my NC Squadron site. The old NC Squadron’s theme (Sunspot) couldn’t be arranged to handle the new material the way I wanted and it couldn’t be ported over to the new theme I’d chosen (Twenty Ten), so I’m building the site over again from scratch. I hope you enjoy the new drop-down menus.



Added by Bruce Long on March 17, 2017 at 8:00pm — No Comments

Do not apply for membership!

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 Water navies operating in the sounds of northeastern North Carolina. Two of my older sites will be involved in the merger as well. I get 3 gigs with WordPress, so I have enough room for all the data in one big site. (I was maxed out with NING with 1…


Added by Bruce Long on December 3, 2016 at 3:27pm — No Comments

Check out the Monitor turret

John Quarstein led Dennis Schurr and myself on a tour inside the tank holding the Monitor's turret. We actually got to touch the turret!

Check out the big gun. The curved photo is due to my using a wide-angle lens to get the whole gun in the picture.…


Added by Bruce Long on May 20, 2016 at 10:00am — No Comments

Black Warrior carriage

The charred Black Warrior gun carriage is back home in Elizabeth City after being conserved at the underwater archaeology facility at Kure Beach. Here it sits next to the CSS Albemarle smokestack on display in the gallery at the Museum of the…


Added by Bruce Long on February 8, 2014 at 10:19pm — 7 Comments

Where did Parker find his crew for the CSS Beaufort?

The Beaufort was originally part of the North Carolina Navy. When the state sold her five ships to the CS Navy on 12 July 1861, she did so with the stipulation that the Beaufort would stay under her control until 20 August 1861. The Beaufort was commanded by Lt. Commanding Robert C. Duvall, formerly of the US Navy. He had been dismissed from the US Navy in 1860 due to an incurable illness. He applied for a commission in the CS Navy but was turned down for the same reason.

When the…


Added by Bruce Long on August 8, 2013 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Who were the original crewmen of the CSS Raleigh? (Hint: over 12 of them were Currituck natives)

French Forrest ordered the captains of the Raleigh and Ellis to turn their vessels over to Commander Lee on 22 July 1861 at Gosport Navy Yard. He also ordered Lt. J. W. Alexander to report to Commander Lee as commander of the CSS Raleigh on that same day. The Raleigh was at William A. Graves Shipyard in Norfolk August 17-20. On 22 August 1861, the CSS Raleigh passed through the locks on the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal. I think it would be safe to assume the Raleigh was being outfitted…


Added by Bruce Long on August 3, 2013 at 10:00pm — No Comments

The NCS Albemarle and the NC Navy

Before North Carolina even seceded from the Union, Governor Ellis began purchasing ships for a North Carolina Navy. By June of 1861, the state had seceded and officers were appointed for the NC Navy by the Military and Naval Board. Commander William Muse, the head of the new state navy, and naval agent Marshall Parks, president of the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal Co., were charged with the task of evaluating the ships available for purchase. On their recommendation, the Caledonia, Loper,…


Added by Bruce Long on July 14, 2013 at 3:05pm — No Comments

Just in case you want to see Civil War sailor service records

Terry Foenander, Si Harrington, and I recently decided to post our lists of Civil War era sailors and marines online. Terry's covers the entire Confederate navy. Si's cover sailors and marines that were NC natives or lived in North Carolina. Mine covers the sailors that were in the North Carolina Squadron.

Why three lists? Each one is incomplete, a work in progress. We plan to identify the NC members of the NC Squadron, add data from their service later in the war that Terry has…


Added by Bruce Long on July 6, 2013 at 10:59am — No Comments

I have about come to the conclusion that...

I've about come to a conclusion that most of the sailors in the "mosquito fleet", except for the officers, were natives of northeastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia and may have been pre-war members of their ship's crew. This is definitely the case of the Curlew. I strongly suspect the same for the Raleigh and Ellis. Both rosters are loaded with Currituck and Dare County names.

Si Harrington, Terry Foenander, and I have set a goal to identify as many NC sailors and Marines…


Added by Bruce Long on June 22, 2013 at 5:58pm — No Comments

Interesting point

Chris Olsen made an interesting point in an e-mail this week. He had just read my article entitled "I don't like mysteries" that conjectures about the names of the original eight members of the CSS Curlew crew. He pointed out that three of the names on my list had connections with the Curlew prior to the war. After doing some more checking, I found three of the other names had Albemarle area connections. Two more to go. 

Added by Bruce Long on March 1, 2013 at 9:16pm — No Comments

I need some help

In the Official Records of the Navy, Lt. Robert Duvall's report on the engagement between the Beaufort and the USS Albatross mentions that he has sent a list of his crew to the governor of North Carolina, the battle having occurred while the Beaufort was part of the NC Navy. I can't find the list in the ORN. Any ideas?

Added by Bruce Long on February 23, 2013 at 10:40pm — No Comments

Crews of prizes, part three

The Brig B.T. Martin left Philadelphia on 20 July 1861, bound for Havana. She was chased and overtaken 110 miles east of Cape Hatteras on the 23rd by the privateer York, a former pilot boat out of Norfolk, Virginia. A prize crew was put on board and the Martin's crew was taken aboard the York for the journey back to Hatteras Inlet.

The B.T. Martin carried a valuable cargo: a sugar mill and staves for barrels. Her prize crew steered for Hatteras, only to be discovered by the USS…


Added by Bruce Long on February 23, 2013 at 7:26pm — No Comments

More court records arrived today from Duke University

On 8-9 August 1861, District Court Judge Asa Biggs issued several warrants while presiding over a court session in New Bern. They included:

- advertising the sale of the Schooner Transit on 26 August 1861

- advertising the sale of the perishable cargo (fruit) of the Sea Witch on 12 August 1861

- advertising the sale of the perishable cargo (fruit) of the Nathaniel Chase

- advertising the sale of the perishable cargo (molasses and sugar) of the Itasca for cash on…


Added by Bruce Long on February 22, 2013 at 10:30pm — No Comments

Crews of prizes, part 2

The Mariner made her first and only capture off Hatteras on July 25th. Her prize, laden with fruit from Caracoa, Cuba, was the schooner Nathaniel Chase, commanded by Master Daniel Doane. She was taken to New Bern. The crew continued on to Raleigh in charge of Sergeant William M. Stevenson of the Washington Grays. With the exception of 5-6 days while enroute to Raleigh and back under armed guard to receive passports, the crewmen were held at Hatteras Inlet. They embarked on the schooner…


Added by Bruce Long on February 18, 2013 at 9:00pm — No Comments

Trying something new

I'm posting the "mosquito fleet" posts on my new WordPress site at  in chronological order to make it easier to follow the events from the formation of the squadron to its dissolution after the battle of Hampton Roads.

Added by Bruce Long on February 18, 2013 at 8:16pm — No Comments

Black sailors on the Winslow

There were seven blacks among the sailors of the Winslow. Two were slaves belonging to Thomas Crossan, commander of the vessel. Four more slaves belonged to Master Patrick McCarrick. One 1st class boy, Ottoway Bell, appears to have been free.

Alex Crossan - 1st class boy

William Crossan - seaman

John Moore - fireman

John Southall - ordinary seaman

Jim Carey - ordinary seaman

Frank Tucker - seaman

Ottoway Bell - 1st class boy



Added by Bruce Long on February 17, 2013 at 9:00pm — No Comments

Where did they go?

I recently received 500+ pages of Confederate States District Court records for the Pamlico District of North Carolina, many of them dealing with the prizes taken off Hatteras.

Of the prizes:

2 were wrecks (Brig Lydia Frances and Bark Linwood)

3 were sold (Schooner Transit, Brig Hannah Balch, Schooner Herbert Manton)

2 were released due to Confederate ownership (Schooner Charles Roberts, Schooner Pricilla)

4 were seized by the state and sunk as obstructions…


Added by Bruce Long on February 16, 2013 at 11:30am — No Comments

I don't like mysteries.

In Flag Officer Lynch's official report on the capture of the Fanny, he stated, "Our crew, although few in number, worked with great alacrity. This vessel [the Curlew] was managed and fought by a crew of eight men, assisted by ten of the Georgia volunteers, who had previously trained at the battery on shore." Who were these eight sailors?

No list of the original crew seems to exist. There does exist a payroll dated 20 November 1861. Twenty names were on the list. Which ones were the…


Added by Bruce Long on February 5, 2013 at 11:00pm — No Comments

I came across a couple of new items this weekend

Following the capture of the Fanny on the 1st of October and the Chicamacomico Races on the 4th, Lynch left Roanoke Island on Sunday, 13 October 1861 enroute to Hatteras Inlet. Firing from the direction of Hatteras was heard at daybreak Monday at Roanoke Island, lasting until around 8 a.m. . The commander of the USS Stars and Stripes reported firing at the "Coffee" (NCS Winslow) in the sound on October 15th while the Stars and Stripes was in the ocean off Cape Hatteras. The Winslow,…


Added by Bruce Long on January 27, 2013 at 10:00am — No Comments

Where did all the crews of the prizes go?

The crewmen of the brig Lydia Frances were taken prisoner by the Winslow on 12 May 1861 after being aground for six days. They were taken to Fort Hatteras, which was under construction, where they were detained until July 19th. They were then taken via New Bern to Raleigh, where they received passports and were returned to New Bern.

Upon his release, Master Daniel A. Campbell of the Transit joined Master Henry W. Penny of the Linwood, two other masters, four mates, and two boys in an…


Added by Bruce Long on January 13, 2013 at 1:30am — No Comments

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