The Civil War Connections Blog

Monthly Archives: August 2011


Hurricane Irene showed up at Hatteras a day early to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the battle of Hatteras Inlet. We send all our best wishes to our friends and colleagues on Hatteras Island – and hope that the recovery will be as swift as Barron’s capitulation.

Going to Carolina with my troops…..

150 years ago today, the squadron commanded by Flag Officer Silas  Stringham left Hampton Roads with 900 troops led by Major General Benjamin Franklin Butler. Their destination? Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina.

Meet Charles Davis…

Commander Charles Henry Davis was not Welles’ first choice for the Ironclad Board, his extensive technological experience notwithstanding.  Welles had hoped that ordnance expert Commander John Dahlgren would fill that role.  But Dahlgren requested that he be relieved of this particular duty, for the same reasons he had turned down the position of ordnance chief […]

Meet Hiram Paulding…

Hiram Paulding was born the same year as the venerable frigate USS Constitution – 1797.  Therefore it was fitting that his first berth was on that same vessel when he entered the service as a midshipman in 1811 at the age of 14.  A veteran of the battle of Lake Champlain in 1814, he continued […]

Meet Joseph Smith…

Joseph Smith was the senior member of the Ironclad Board.  Born in Boston in 1790, Smith had already distinguished himself during the Battle of Lake Champlain in 1814, fought in the Second Barbary War in 1815, and by 1861, at the age of 71, had been  tirelessly commanding the Navy’s Bureau of Docks and Yards […]

The Navy Department Will Receive Offers….

The knowledge that the Confederates were building an ironclad vessel prompted the Union into action. With the backing of Congress, the Navy Department took out advertisements in a number of newspapers across the northeast in early August, 1861. The Boston Daily Journal, New York Enquirer, Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, New York Times, and The Baltimore Clipper […]

Walt Whitman “Beat! Beat! Drums!”

This poem, written in 1861, in a sense was meant to awaken America to the coming of the war.  The beating of the drums and the blowing of the bugle would sound into every aspect of American life. Walt Whitman “Beat! Beat! Drums!”   Beat! beat! drums!—blow! bugles! blow! Through the windows—through doors—burst like a […]