Tuesday, December 21, 2010

James A. Young, African American-Civil War-Navy.

James A. Young, was a African American who was born at Campbells Point, Maryland. While at New York he enlisted in the United States Navy, on September 7, 1861, at the age of 42, his Height was 5'7", and his enlistment was for three years. His Rating was Landsman ( New recruit ), his ship was the steamer Valley City. He boarded the steamer Valley City on September 13, 1861, the ship soon sailed for North Carolina to join the North Atlantic blockading Squadron. On February 9, 1862, at 8 o’clock p.m. the steamer valley City, came to anchor 17 miles below Elizabeth City. On the morning of the 10th. They upped anchor and headed for Elizabeth City, as they neared the city they were fired upon and a battle soon ensued. During the battle James, who was now rated as a Officers Cook, was severely injured. The records give no information on what happen to James after the battle, but he is found on the muster roll, of the steamer Valley City, for December 31, 1862, after that no record is found.

Here is the report of Lieutenant J. C. CHAPLIN, on the attack on Elizabeth City, and the part the Steamer Valley City, took in it.

UNITED STATES STEAMER VALLEY CITY, Off Elizabeth. City, .N C., February 10, 1862.

SIR: I respectfully beg to submit the following report of the proceedings of this vessel in the action off this city on this day: After steaming up the river until 8 o’clock yesterday evening, I came to anchor with the other flotilla about seventeen miles below Elizabeth City.

February 10.—At 6.30 a. m. got under way in obedience to signal, and stood up the river, in company with the rest of the flotilla. When nearing the approaches of the city, received the fire of a rebel battery on shore. I immediately manned my port battery, and kept up a brisk return of the fire. A steamer and schooner, bearing the rebel flag, opened fire on our starboard bow; returned their fire with my starboard battery. A shell from the enemy passing through both my boats, rendered them entirely unfit for service.

Upon signal “make a dash at the enemy,” increased the speed, and fired several brisk broadsides at the enemy’s battery. A shell from the shore penetrated the side and passed through the magazine, exploding outside the screen on the berth-deck. Several of the powder divisions were severely scorched, the protecting bulkheads were torn to pieces, and the forward part of the berth-deck set on fire by the explosion. Ordered the pumps to be manned, and speedily got the fire subdued. In forty minutes from the commencement of the action, came to anchor within the precincts of Elizabeth City.

I take pleasure in again bearing testimony to the gallant conduct of the officers and crew of this vessel, and particularly I desire to bring under your notice the cool intrepidity and thorough practical seamanship displayed by master’s mate, J. A. J. Brooks, in marneuvring this vessel while under the hottest of the enemy’s fire; also to the undaunted presence of mind of the gunner’s mate, John Davis, who, while at his station in the magazine, when the shell penetrated the side and ignited the berth-deck, as above reported, did cover a barrel of powder with his own person, thereby preventing an explosion, while at the same time passing powder, providing for the gun divisions on the upper deck.

I beg to enclose the surgeon’s report of the casualties during the day.
1 am, sir, very respectfully, &e.,
J. C. CHAPLIN, Lieutenant Commanding.

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