The Civil War Connections Blog

Monthly Archives: May 2011

submarine diving….1861 style

On May 30, 1861, Barnabas and Joseph Baker of the B & J Baker Co. of 3 Campbell’s Wharf, in Norfolk, VA, raised the burned-out hull of the Merrimack from the Elizabeth River.  Barnabas, who lived in Portsmouth, and Joseph, who lived in Berkeley, along with their partner E.M. Stoddard of Portsmouth prided themselves on […]

Not in our backyard……

Today marks the occupation of the city of Alexandria, VA by Union forces. An expedition left from the Washington Navy Yard under cover of darkness and crossed the Potomac into Virginia. Demanding the surrender of the city, Union sailors and soldiers hoisted the American flag on prominent buildings to send a strong message that the […]

putting it to the vote

Though technically Virginia had seceded back in April – the citizens had not actually voted on it. Until May 23, 1861, that is, when they voted three to one to secede.

just the thing……

Lona, one of our incredible volunteers, found the following tucked into the pages of our bound copies of Harper’s Weekly from 1861: Yankee doodle is the tune Americans delight in; Good to fiddle, dance, or sing, And just the thing for fightin’. Turns out – a version of this was written for a 4th of […]

“the forlorn hopes of the sea…”

In a statement presented to the Committee on Naval Affairs of the Confederate Congress, Secretary of the Confederate Navy Stephen Mallory proved himself to be something of a visionary yet again: These facts are presented for your consideration. I regard the possession of an iron-armored ship, as a matter of the first necessity. Such a […]

First Shots on Virginia Soil…..

150 years ago – the Union Navy engaged in its first real action of the war – just up the road aways from The Mariners’ Museum – at Gloucester Point. The Virginia forces who held the Point weren’t yet part of the Confederate Army. They were volunteers – the Richmond Howitzers, and they arrived at […]