The Civil War Connections Blog

Monitor Log: 4 July 1862


On 4 July 1862, the Monitor and the steamer Maratanza happened upon their old foe the CSS Teaser at Turkey Island in the James River. Commanded by Hunter Davidson, late of the CSS Virginia, the Teaser was transporting Confederate army officers to locations near Chaffin’s Bluff on the James. Two shells from the Maratanza disabled the Teaser and all on board leapt into small boats and “skeedadled” ashore, leaving papers and other war material on board. Among the items captured were diagrams of mines laid by the Confederates in the James River near Richmond, and, of particular importance to the men of the Monitor, Hunter Davidson’s private memorandum book which outlined a clever attack plan on the Monitor which had been forthcoming. Diagrams of the Monitor were included, with written instructions on how the Monitor was to be “boarded from four tugs at the same time…by men carrying turpentine, ladders, fire balls, wedges, sheets of metal, chloroform &c,” recalled Monitor’s Paymaster William Keeler.

Remarks July 4th 62


Commences & Till 4 AM

First part cloudy and latter part clear and pleasant.  Wind E. & light

                                                                                                            G F

From 4 to 8

Light breeze from N.E & clear weather                                 

William Flye



From 8. to Meridian

Wind & weather same.  At 11 got under weigh and proceeded

up the river to the Galena & came to anchor                                                                         

E V Gager for L.N.S.



From Meridian to 4 PM

Wind & weather same.  At 1.30 got underweigh and proceeded

up the river in company with the Maratanza.  At 3 the Maratanza rounding

Turkey I[slan]d fired several shells.  On coming up discovered the Rebel St[eame]r Teaser on shore and abandoned having been struck by a shell from the Maratanza anchored near. At 3.45 the Maratanza got the Teaser off and took her in tow

and proceeded down the river. 4 PM followed her                                                                                                                                                                            Louis Stodder



From Meridian to 4 PM

          4 to 6

Wind & weather same.  steaming down the river.  Maratanza fired

several shells towards City P[oin]t.                           




From 6 to 8

Light breeze from the E[astwa]rd & clear weather.  7.45 came to anchor near

the Galena in three fathoms   

William Flye



From 8 to Midnight

Calm & murky weather                                                          

E.V. Gager for L.N.S.