Thursday, May 05, 2011

The Empress, Sumter And Petrel, Ships Of The Civil War.

Here are the names of the crew men, maybe you will find a family ancestor on the lists.

Bark Empress.

The English bark Empress captured by the U. S. sloop Vincennes while running the blockade at the Northeast Pass of the Mississippi and was conveyed to New York. U. S. Marshal Murray, of New York, having informed the Secretary of State of the arrival of the crew of the Empress and that they were in his custody an order was issued from the State Department dated December 28, 1861, directing the marshal to release Jones and his companions. The crew of the bark Empress were accordingly released.

The Crew.

1. William Jones.
2. Michael O'Brien.
3. William Sanger.
4. George Watt.
5. Arthur Wardle.
6. William Cuthbert.
7. James Hopkinson

Privateer Sumter.


1. Captain, Semms [Semmes].
2. First Lieutenant, Carl Kell.
3. Henry Spencer, age 21.
4. John Davison, age 38.
The Sumter carried a crew of 120.

Privateer Petrel.

The rebel privateer Petrel captured by the U. S. frigate Saint Lawrence and brought into the port of Philadelphia by the U. S. steamer Flag. Said Brookbanks remained in custody at Fort Lafayette February 15, 1862, when in conformity with the order of the War Department of the preceding day he was transferred to the charge of that Department.


1. Tomas A. Brookbanks.
2. John W. Dearing.
3. A. C. Delahay.
4. William Bryan.
5. C. H. MARRIOTT, of privateer Petrel, and a native of Frederick, Md.
6. JOHN H. EDWARDS, of privateer Petrel, and a native of New York.
7. THOMAS WOODS, of privateer Petrel, native of Liverpool, England.
8. JOSEPH CRUZ DEL CANO, of the privateer Savannah, native of Manila, Spanish Island.
(Wife is in Liverpool, England.)
9. THOMAS QUIGLEY, of the Jeff. Davis, native of New York.
10. RICHARD LEWIS, of the privateer Petrel, native of New York.
11. THOMAS A. BROOKBANKS, of privateer Petrel, of Philadelphia, Pa.
12. William Perry, captain of Petrel.
13. Rich. M. Harvey, first lieutenant of Petrel.
14. Colin Campbell, second lieutenant of schooner Petrel.
15. Thomas Woods, seaman of Petrel.
16. John G. S. Tucket, seaman of Petrel.
17. John Mack seaman of Petrel.
18. J. N. Morgan, steward of Petrel.
19. Henry Mills, seaman of Petrel.
20. George Hawkins, seaman of Petrel.
21. Edward Murphy, seaman of Petrel.
22. Hugh Monaghan, landsman of Petrel.
23. Robert (his x mark) Barnet, mate of Petrel.
24. Richard R. Jeffers, seaman of Petrel.
25. John Cronin, seaman of Petrel.
26. Geo. H. Roberts, seaman of Petrel.
27. Michael Dooling, landsman of Petrel.
28. C. H. Marriott, ordinary seaman of Petrel.
29. John C. (his x mark) Cunningham, seaman of Petrel.
30. Frank A] boy of Petrel.
31. Wm. (his x mark) Brain, cook of Petrel.
32. H. Oltmans, cook of Petrel.
33. John M. Dearing, seaman of Petrel.
34. George Sawden, seaman of Petrel.
35. Wm. H. (his x mark) Hazlehurst, seaman of Petrel.
36. Daniel (his x mark) Courney, second cook of Petrel.
37. Henry A. Rowan, seaman of Petrel.
38. Edward Flynn, seaman of Petrel.
39. A. C. Delahay, seaman of Petrel.
40. John H. Edwards, seaman of Petrel.
42. George S. Harrison, seaman of Petrel.
43. A. C. Williams, seaman of Petrel.

They Drown In The CIvil War.

When one joins the army, drowning may have been the farthest thing from a soldiers mind. But the soldier would soon learn that there was a good possibility that he could drown. When I hear the name Army, I think of Marching, riding horses or wagons, being on water would be the farthest thing from my mind. Water played a big part in the army, to travel long distances they used steam ships, and for transporting prisoners from place to place, and if one wanted to attack a fort on a Island they had to use boats.

You were always in danger when near the water. One tactic used by both sides was if you had your enemies back to the water you keep moving forward till they were forced into the water. Then it became a turkey shoot, those that couldn’t swim drown, and those that could swim may make it if they were lucky enough not to be shot. In one attack 1300, were forces into the water, 500 hundred drown.

The second Indian Home Guards was faced with this kind of attack, where 250, drown. One of the officers was later heard to say; “All Indians young and old, can swim, only a third of whites can.”

Even if you were lucky enough that you didn’t have to enter the water, there was still a chance of drowning. Pontoons bridges broke apart and bridges collapse, you may even be faced with a flash flood. When the army was on the march they had to cross many rivers. When they came to a river they may find the bridge over crowded with hundreds of troops, and it could take days to cross, they would take too the water. Upon entering the water a soldiers horse may become panicky and drown and the soldier would be carried away in the swift current. There were times when they came to a river and found it to high, but some soldiers that were good swimmers would give the river a try, only to find they couldn’t fight the current and drown.

Not all drawings were accidental, case in point. The was a officer who was some what of a trouble maker, and was ordered not to go too this one flag of truce, well he went and was no officer nor gentleman. Later he was ordered to Headquarters to face charges, a few minutes after the boat left dock the officer jumped over board and drown. The were a few cases of suicides by drowning.

1. Private Huston Mayfield, Second Indian Home Guards, Company F, drowned in the Arkansas.

2. Private George Epart, Company H, Thirtieth Indiana Volunteers.
Read the account of No.3.

*3.Private David Lampa, Company K, Thirtieth Indiana Volunteers.

The Indiana recorders state he died February 1, 1863 at Richmond, VA. while A Prisoner.
This statement is not true here is the true account on how he died.

Annapolis, Md., February 5, 1863, Lieutenant-Colonel SANGSTER, Commanding Post, Annapolis, Md.

SIR: In compliance with your request I have the honor to report the following in regard to an accident which occurred to paroled (Federal) prisoners while on their way from their prison to the railroad for City Point to meet flag-of-truce steamer New York, January 27, 1863. The detachment of 800 paroled (Federal) prisoners left the prison at about 4. 30 a. m. and on their way to depot while crossing the canal bridge, an iron structure over which 1,000 of our men had passed the day before, gave way and precipitated about 100 men into the canal.

4. Manley Knowlton, private, First Kansas Infantry, company D., is reported on the company roster as being killed in action on May 10, 1863, Caledonia, La. In truth he was a orderly for Major William Y. Roberts, and was unfortunately drowned in trying to swim a bayou on the field of battle while carrying a dispatch from Captain Wheeler to Major Roberts.

5. Thomas G. McClelland, Captain, Third Illinois cavalry, company H., died May 11, 1862, drowned while on duty, crossing the White river.

6. First Lieutenant or Captain Alais Babo, or Baba, company C or G., and Second Lieutenant Reynhold or Reinhold Wesselhoeft, company C., or G., of the Twentieth Massachusetts Infantry.

I have put these two men together for this story, couldn’t be told without one or the other.

October 1861.

Captain Babo and Lieutenant Wesselhoef under took to swim the river without taking off their uniforms, their shoes, or their equipments even pistols. Nevertheless they seemed to be doing well until, immediately after a volley was fired, one of them was heard to exclaim in German that he was shot, and that was the last that was seen of either of them until Lieutenant Wesselhoef ’s body was discovered thirteen days after wards in the river, some twenty miles below. As there was no wounds upon it, it is probable that Captain was the one shot, and his devoted friend had lost his life in trying to save him.

7. The steamer Brother Jonathan was wrecked off Crescent City, Cal., July 31 [30], and Brigadier General George Wright, U. S. Volunteers and colonel Ninth Infantry, was drowned. He was en route for his new command the Department of Columbia. He formerly commanded the Department of the Pacific.

8. Captain H. I. Hodges, assistant quartermaster of volunteers, in endeavoring to communicate with the gun-boats, was accidentally drowned by the upsetting of a canoe; no further information in regard to his fate has ever reached me.

9. January 12,1864., Here I lost First Sergeantt. Bernhard Kraft, Company K, and his horse by drowning. Bernhard Kraft, Sergeant, Third Indiana cavalry, Co. K., The roster says he drowned January 12, 1863.

10. Captain W. W. Mead; he was shot from his horse and drowned in the river.
In the official records it states he was of the New York First Cavalry, no record could be found.

11. Crossing the South Branch of the Potomac at Petersburg over a ford that was very rocky and swift, we had the misfortune to have three of our horses and their riders swept down the stream. One, William Evans, of Company F, was drowned. It’s stated in the official records that he was of the Sixth Virginia, Cavalry.

12. Steamer H. Von Phul, April 22, 1863. J. H. Miller & A. B. Tuner, thought to be drowned.

13. March 25, 1863, U. S. steam ram Lancaster. Orderly Sergeant, William [H.] McDonald was drowned. While in our yawls, making our escape from the sinking wreck.

14. Joseph Meyer, private, 29, Boston, enlisted Twentieth Massachusetts Infantry, company C., July 18, 1861, drown October 21, 1861.

15. Emery A. Mellen, Sergeant, 24, Boston, enlisted Twentieth Massachusetts Infantry, company G., August 8, 1861, drown October 21, 1861.

16. John P. McKay, private, 30, Boston, enlisted Twentieth Massachusetts Infantry, Company (?), August 24, 1861, drown October 21, 1861.

17. William Paul, private, 26, Carver, enlisted Twentieth Massachusetts Infantry, company (?), August 5, 1863, drown in the Boston Harbor while attempting to desert.

18. Richard Key, Private, 7th. Kansas, Cavalry, Company B., Home Atchison, enlisted September 5, 1861, Mustered in September 5, 1861., Drowned in the Missouri river, January 1, 1862.

19. George Hamilton, private, 7th. Kansas, Cavalry, Company E., Home Chicago Ill., enlisted August 6, 1861, mustered in August 6, 1861. Drowned in Missouri river May 28, 1862, near Waverly, Mo.

20. Charles Dowd, private, 7th. Kansas, Cavalry, Company E., Home Chicago Ill., enlisted January 1, 1864, mustered in January 1, 1864. Drowned in Black River, Mo., May 13, 1865.

21. Joseph Sutton, private, 7th., Illinois infantry, company H., enlisted July 25, 1861, mustered in July 25, 1861. Drowned Cairo. Ill., January 19, 1862.

22. Urias Humphries, private, 7th., infantry, company I., Drowned, New River, South Carolina, January, 1865.

23. Harvey E. Bennett, recruit, 8th., Ill., infantry, company C., enlisted December 1, 1863, mustered in December 17, 1863. Drowned July 24, 1864, from steamer B. M. Ronyan.

24. Daniel Croley, private, 11th., Ill., infantry, company D., home Winnebago Co., enlisted October 24, 1861. Drown December 9, 1861.

25. George W. Allen, First Kentucky Cavalry, Co. (?), enlisted & mustered in at Lebanon Ky., January 1, 1863. Drown in the Licking River, April 30, 1864.

26. Fred Nave, private, 25th. Ohio, infantry, company K., Age 40, enlisted February 26, 1864, 3 years, Drowned June 27, 1864, at Jenkins Island.

27. James Hunter, private, 26th., Ohio infantry, Age 27, enlisted 22, 1864. Drowned October (?), 1862, in the Ohio River, by falling from a steamboat.

28. James Bostley, private, Second New York, regiment Mounted Rifles, company A., Age 41, enlisted September 22, 1863, 3 years, home Loclport. Drowned October 18, 1863, in the Erie Canal.

29. Alpheus M. Woodard, private, 5th., New York, Artillery, home Pinckned, Age 18, enlisted August 4, 1862, 3 years. Drowned at Sacketts Harbor, August 31, 1862.

30. William Joek, Detroit, enlisted company F., 17th., Michigan infantry, July 15, 1862, at Detroit, for 3 years, Age 19, mustered in August 26, 1862. Accidentally drowned July 1, 1864, buried in National Cemetery. New Albany Indiana. Grave No. 864.

Monday, May 02, 2011

The mystery Of Co. A. Fourteenth Kansas Cavalry.

There seems to be a mystery attach to the Fourteenth Kansas cavalry, in particular, company A. The Fourteenth was Organized at Fort Scott and Leavenworth in April, 1863, but their Military history didn’t began till November 20, 1863. Companies A. & B. were detached from the regiment and worked independently of the regiment. Companies A. & B., left Fort Scott on October 28, 1863, and head for Fort Smith Arkansas, they would met up with the Fourteenth regiment at Fort Arkansas on December 18, 1863.

Note. This information comes from the Field Staff and Company field notes.

The mystery now begins. In the field notes of company A., it states they were in a action near Waldron Arkansas, on September 11, 1863, in which one Collin C. Whitman was killed, company B., didn’t take part in the action. The record shows that Whitman, was indeed killed on and about September 19, 1863, Now the record we all get to see says he was killed near Waldron Arkansas on September 19, 1864. There were many errors made, but for myself I’m inclined to believe the field notes, for the officer that wrote the notes should know he was there.

Now what was company A. & B., doing from September to October, the field notes don’t say, and there are no official record either. In October of 1863, we again find company A. back in action near Waldron Arkansas. Private David Hise, lost his left arm near Waldron, and Sergeant F. N. Gott, was slightly wounded on the top of this head, in the action. Private Yack T. Hadley, was taken prisoner and held ten days then paroled by General Smith Pyne Bankhead, near Waldron Ark.

The only official record that says any thing about company A., of the Kansas fourteenth cavalry, is in this part of a report I copied, from the official records.

Fort Scott, Kans., October 19, 1863.

COLONEL: I have the honor to report, for the information of the general commanding, the following facts:

On the 4th instant, upon the receipt of dispatches from Fort Smith, informing me that the command there was threatened with a superior force of the enemy, I immediately left for that post, accompanied by a part of my staff, and taking with me the records, papers, and property belonging to the headquarters of the district. My escort consisted of Company I, Third Wisconsin Cavalry, and Company A, Fourteenth Kansas, about 100 men (all the available mounted men that could be spared from this post). I arrived near Baxter Springs about 12 m. of the 6th.

Major Benjamin S. Henning, of Third Wisconsin Cavalry, was part of the escort, and give a account of the 7th, day and what happen in the ranks of company A., of the fourteenth cavalry.

“ I will here state that of the 85 men of our escort, 20 men acted as rear guard to the train, and did not form in line at all, leaving only 65 men in line, of which 40 men were of Company A, Fourteenth Kansas Cavalry, on the right, and 25 of Company I, Third Wisconsin Cavalry on the left. At this time the distance between the two lines was not 200 yards, and the enemy advancing at a walk, firing. I had just time to notice these facts, when I saw 2 men in the center of Company A, Fourteenth Kansas, turn to run, but before they could fairly turn round, Major Curtis and the officers of the company forced them back, and I concluded the fight would be desperate, and was hopeful, but before the officers could get their places the same 2 men and about 8 more turned and ignominiously fled, which the enemy perceiving, the charge was ordered, and the whole line advanced with a shout, at which the remainder of Company A broke, and despite the efforts of General Blunt, Major Curtis, Lieutenant Tappan and Pierce, could not be rallied.”

Note.  Lieutenant Robert H. Pierce, was in command of Co. A.

The fourteenth Cavalry was mustered into service in November of 1863,normally a Regiments history starts on the day of being mustered in, but not in this case.  We find that company A., was in action near Waldron Arkansas, on September 11, 1863, then were back at Fort Scott, Kansas. Then on October 4, 1863, company A., was ordered to Baxter Springs, where they went into action. Then sometime in October they were in action again near Waldron Arkansas. There can’t be found a official or unofficial report on why they were sent to Waldron Arkansas.

The company was back at Fort Scott, and on October 28, 1863, companies A. & B., became detached from the regiment an left Fort Scott Kansas, on that date, and headed for Fort Smith Arkansas. They met up with the regiment at Fort Smith Arkansas, on December 18, 1863. From October 28 through December 18, 1863, there are no official or unofficial report on what they were doing in those months.

Here are the records of the men of company A., that took part in the action near Waldron Arkansas in September and October of 1863, that were either wounded, killed or taken prisoner.

1. First Lieutenant, Collin C. Whitman, Mustered in May 19, 63, killed by guerrillas near Waldron Ark., September 11, 1863.

2. Sergeant, F. N. Gott, Enlisted April 23, 1863, Mustered in May 19, 1863, remarks: Des. Ft. Scott, October 28, 1863.

3. Private, David Hise, Enlisted May 30, 1863, Mustered in June 12, 1863, remarks: Discharged for disability December 26, 1864, wounded September 3, 1863, near Waldron Ark.

4. Private Yack T. Hadley, Enlisted April 27, 1863, Mustered in May 19, 1863, remarks: Died of disease, Pine Bluff Arkansas, March 28, 1865.

In the beginning I said this was a mystery and it was at lest to me. I could not figure out how this company was being sent all over the country with out being mustered in, then it hit me. When the fourteenth Kansas cavalry was organized in April of 1863, they became a State Volunteer regiment and under the control of the state. Then when they were mustered in November of 1863, they became under the control of the United State Government. It’s at this time the Fourteenth cavalry military history official begins.

But one has to wonder why there are so little records on the movements of company A. from April through November 1863. But even with out official records or unofficial records, dose not take away the fact that Company A., had a rich and a interesting military history.


I would like to thank Wanda Gray, who is a professional historian, plus, a Commissioner, appointed by the Governor of the state of Arkansas on the Arkansas History Commission and State Archives, who helped me figure out some of the names and information from the field notes of Company A.