The Civil War Connections Blog

Tag Archives: Gideon Welles

Monitor Log: 4 May 1862

Boatloads of visitors swarmed the Monitor on this day 150 years ago. Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Gustavus Vasa Fox was aboard with several ladies, as well as the French Minister Mercier and Gideon Welles’ brother. Boat after boat of visiting Army officers came alongside throughout the day – leaving the officers and crew of […]

It’s official…….or at least 150 years ago it was…..

October 4, 1861 This Contract in two parts, made and entered into this Fourth day of October, Anno Domini One Thousand Eight hundred and Sixty-one, between J. Ericsson of the City of New York as principal, and John F. Winslow, John A. Griswold and C.S. Bushnell as sureties on the first part, and Gideon Welles, […]

It’s kinda obvious who read the instructions….

The Ironclad Board’s September 16, 1861 document continued – with their recommendations for construction:   We have made a synopsis of the propositions and specifications submitted, which we annex, and now proceed to state, in brief, the results of our decisions upon the offers presented to us. J. Ericsson, New York, page 19 – This plan […]

…zealously claiming the attention…

Report on Ironclad Vessels Navy Department Bureau of Yards and Docks,September 16, 1862 Sir: The undersigned, constituting a board appointed by your order of the 8th ultimo, proceeded to the duty assigned to them, in accordance with the first section of an act of Congress, approved 3d of August 1861, directing the Secretary of the […]

“your duty to the country…”

To John Ericsson’s surprise, when he arrived at the Navy Department on September 15, 1861, he found that not only was he not expected, but that his plan had been rejected! Cornelius Bushnell had conveniently left that bit out.  When Ericsson inquired as to the reasons for the rejection, Commodore Smith replied that because of […]

With a view to perfect protection….

In his report to Congress on July 4, 1861, Secretary of the Union Navy, Gideon Welles, voiced the following opinion: Much attention has been given within the last few years to the subject of floating batteries, or iron-clad steamers. Other Governments, and particularly France and England, have made it a special object in connection with […]

…in case of invasion…

Flag Officer Garrett J. Pendergrast, commander of the USS Cumberland, is ordered to keep his ship in Gosport Navy Yard ‘and, in case of invasion, insurrection, or violence of any kind, to suppress it, repelling assault by force.’ At the same time, however, Secretary of the Union Navy, Gideon Welles, ordered McCauley to remove all […]

“Excercise your judgment….”

150 years ago today, Gideon Welles – secretary of the US Navy – ordered Flag Officer Charles Stewart McCauley, commandant of the Gosport Navy Yard in Portsmouth, VA, to ready the USS Merrimack for transport out of harm’s way. Virginia had not yet seceded, but Welles was worried that the Merrimack would invite “unlawful attempts […]