Civil War Brown Water Navies

The Civil War in NE North Carolina

Why was William Marrow among the captured?

William Marrow (also spelled Murrow and Mara in the records) was a 2nd class fireman on the CSS Forrest at the time of the battle of Elizabeth City. He is the only member of the Forrest's crew listed among the captured. How did this come about?

The Forrest was sitting on the marine railway awaiting repairs to a propeller shaft that became displaced during the battle of Roanoke Island. Some of her crew fought at the fort during the battle. Lt. Harwar Parker of the Beaufort wrote, "Some of the officers and men of the Forrest made their way to us at the fort upon learning that the militia had fled." Was he captured there? I have never seen a report stating that anyone at the fort was captured.

I have always wondered where the men manning the Black Warrior's guns during the battle came from. I had once assumed they came from the Curlew, since their ship had sunk during the battle of Roanoke Island and her guns were placed on the Black Warrior. However, I came across a report that stated Commander Hunter and his Curlew crew were sent to South Mills to fix the broken canal lock there so ammunition could be sent down from Norfolk. Hunter marched his crew from there to Gosport and placed them on the receiving ship. 

Midshipman Frank M. Harris of the Forrest was left in command of the Black Warrior. So did the gun crews come from the Forrest? Puzzling.

The Black Warrior crew abandoned ship after setting her afire once the Union flotilla passed between her and the fort and her guns could no longer be trained on them. Union reports indicate one crewman surrendered from the shore and claimed to be a pilot that knew all of the local waters. Could this have been Marrow? Or was he on the Ellis? Five men from the Ellis were reported on the dock in Elizabeth City waiting to be sent to Roanoke Island following the battle.

Who knows?

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