The Civil War Connections Blog

Tag Archives: Hiram Paulding

“Gallant Heroes” and a boast…

  As it almost always happens, I find the most interesting things whilst looking for something else altogether.  In any event, I have been sifting through the digitized editions of the Richmond Daily Dispatch that were placed on line by the University of Richmond via an IMLS grant (hie thee hence to our Port of Call […]

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 […]

“I will go to-night!”

Bushnell immediately traveled to New York to entreat John Ericsson to come back with him to Washington DC.  Ericsson was adamant in his refusal to speak with the Navy – he was still smarting from their misplaced censure from the USS Princeton incident in 1844.  Bushnell would have to play to Ericsson’s vanity to get the […]

“It strikes me there’s something in it…”

The Ironclad Board was not pleased when it learned that the design Bushnell was promoting belonged to John Ericsson.  But Bushnell would not give up on Ericsson’s strange design.  He used his friendship with Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles to insinuate himself into a meeting with President Lincoln and the Ironclad Board on September […]

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 […]

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 […]

Meanwhile in Gosport…..

On this day 150 years ago, Chief Engineer Benjamin Franklin Isherwood completed repairs to USS Merrimack at Gosport Navy Yard. Though Isherwood proclaimed the frigate ready for sea, Yard Commander McCauley denied approval for the Merrimack to leave Gosport. Given the tenuous state of affairs following the news of secession, and the timidity of McCauley, […]