Item #7170 [Manuscript journal of service aboard the U.S.S. Kineo, mainly on the Mississippi River.]. James Franklin Geldert.
[Manuscript journal of service aboard the U.S.S. Kineo, mainly on the Mississippi River.]
[Manuscript journal of service aboard the U.S.S. Kineo, mainly on the Mississippi River.]
[Manuscript journal of service aboard the U.S.S. Kineo, mainly on the Mississippi River.]
[Manuscript journal of service aboard the U.S.S. Kineo, mainly on the Mississippi River.]
[Manuscript journal of service aboard the U.S.S. Kineo, mainly on the Mississippi River.]

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[Manuscript journal of service aboard the U.S.S. Kineo, mainly on the Mississippi River.]

Mississippi River, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Donaldsonville, La., Boston, Baltimore, and other locales, 1862–1863. Small 4to (10” x 8.5”), flexible black oilcloth covers. [1], 260, [9] pp., 1 pencil and ink drawing (2.5” x 3.25”), 1 manuscript map, 9.75” x 7.7”, plus margins; 1 folding chromolithographic map tipped in, 10” x 9.2”, plus margins, 4 page table on blue paper tipped in. One Thomas E. Ryan provides a single guest entry in the journal. The final page bears a few entries from the 1870s by Geldert. Laid in is a carte-de-visite (2” x 3.5”, plus margins) of a painting of the Union fleet of gun and mortar boats along the Baton Rouge or New Orleans waterfront, photographed by McPherson & Oliver of Baton Rouge. CONDITION: Covers separated from contents (covers and spine still united as a single unit); contents separated into four sections of leaves, first leaf of text detached with loss to section at top involving a few sentences, some chipping to edges of leaves, but minimal effect on text, a few minor stains to contents, leaves mostly clean; moderate wear to printed map, lower quarter separated along fold and reattached with document repair tape.

An important, unpublished, and exceptionally well-written “brown-water navy” journal kept between 1862 and 1863 during a critical phase in the execution of the Union’s Anaconda Plan on the Mississippi River, featuring extensive battle and contraband content as well as two important maps.

Evidently from Cape Breton, Canada (some 40,000 Canadians fought in the Civil War), James Franklin Geldert served on the USS Kineo, a Unadilla-class gunboat built for the U.S. Navy. Geldert’s journal begins in July of 1861 with a brief account of his travels through Canada and England before steaming out of Liverpool for Boston on 28 Dec. 1861. He arrives in Boston on 11 Jan. 1862, where he joins the crew of the Kineo as a coal passer. Proceeding south, the ship stops briefly at Key West, Florida, then reaches the Mississippi River on 10 March, joining other naval ships in the fleet under the command of Admiral David Farragut on Ship Island, Mississippi. 

From the beginning of the campaign, the Kineo is in the thick of it. The first sustained engagement they see is the pivotal Battle of Forts Jackson and St. Philip (16–28 Apr. 1862), the decisive battle for the possession of New Orleans that led directly to the city’s fall to Union forces. New Orleans was the largest city in the Confederacy and was safe so long as Forts Jackson and St. Philip, located on the river south of the city, could prevent Union forces from passing. On 24 April 1862, the Kineo battles its way past the forts along with other ships in the Union fleet. Though hit by enemy cannon fire, the Kineo is able to proceed upriver to participate in the capture of the Confederacy’s largest seaport—a critical blow—and continues to participate in operations on the lower Mississippi for more than a year, which sees the ship constantly shuttling between New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Donaldsonville, and other locales. Geldert offers an extensive account of the fighting on the 24th, describing the battle as “one of the greatest naval victories ever accomplished.” While the forts initially remained in Confederate control after the Union fleet had passed, the demoralized enlisted rebel men in Fort Jackson mutinied and forced their surrender. 

On 5 Aug. 1862 the Kineo participates in the Battle of Baton Rouge. They learn on this day that an army is approaching the city and that a Confederate Ram is only a few miles above them, ready to act in concert with the rebel troops. After hearing the charge made by the rebels, the Kineo fires its heavy guns on a tower, keeping up the fire for some four hours. During the Siege of Port Hudson (20 May–17 June 1863), the last battle in the Union campaign to capture the Mississippi River, the Kineo is engaged in firing upon the batteries in late May and transports prisoners as well. During the early days of the siege, Geldert witnesses African American troops on their way to join the fighting near Port Hudson. On 23 May, he notes that “everyday there is a battle and consequently the fate of Port Hudson must soon be decided,” and also writes that some 12,000 Union soldiers are about ten miles away. While Gen. Ulysses Grant was laying siege to Vicksburg upriver, Gen. Nathaniel Banks was ordered to capture the lower Mississippi rebel stronghold of Port Hudson, in order to join forces with Grant. After his assault failed, Banks settled into a forty-eight-day siege—the longest in U.S. military history up to that point. It was only after the fall of Vicksburg that rebel commander Gen. Franklin Gardner surrendered Port Hudson. 

During the Second Battle of Donaldsonville on 28 June 1863 in Ascension Parish, the Kineo fends off thousands of dismounted rebel cavalry troops under the command of Brig. Gen. Tom Green and Col. James Patrick Major. On 28 June, Geldert writes on the battle and the Kineo’s crucial participation: “the rebels had made a charge this morning, having been engaged…they were repulsed with great loss. …our two gun boats were of the greatest service and without their aid no doubt…the rebels would have been in possession of the town and fort. Our troops here only number about 100, while the rebel charge was made by between 5 and 7000 dismounted cavalry.” After eighteen months of action, in August 1863 the battered Kineo steams from New Orleans to Boston for repairs. 

Geldert works aboard the Kineo in several capacities, including as coal passer, writer of the steam log and observer of the vessel’s engineers, his logs periodically submitted to the U.S. Government. Among the many subjects Geldert covers in his journal are numerous incidents involving contrabands and slavery, skirmishes, ambushes, and guerilla warfare; chasing rebel vessels; repairs to the Kineo after collisions; wounded men and the amputations that sometimes follow; the burning and/or destruction of rebel vessels and homes; the drowning of a crew member; taking prisoners to New Orleans; Union foraging expeditions for goods; Confederates surrendering; crew members getting drunk and being put in irons; war news; his jobs and duties on the Kineo; religious services on board (he notes, “I am careless of all form of religion”); examining machinery, and so forth. Geldert often writes to his family in Cape Breton by way of his sister Sarah who lived in Boston. On 5 Sept. 1862, he learns from her that his daughter Maria has died. Geldert evidently worked as a seaman prior to the Civil War as in several instances he records having made prior visits to the Gulf Coast region.

Geldert includes a four-page manuscript table entitled, Showing the distance from the mouth of the Mississippi River to the mouth of the Ohio River and intermediate places. Also included is a copy of a petition he composed on behalf of the ship’s company, seeking to obtain their discharge in Baltimore on 25 Aug. 1863. This appeal was evidently unsuccessful, as he notes on the final page of his journal that he “was transferred in Baltimore in the fall of 1863 to the Penguin Capt. Beers and from here was discharged in 1865.” A pencil and ink drawing by Geldert of the USS Kineo dated 1862 appears on page one.

Incorporated into the journal at the end of the entry for 22 April 1862 is an untitled manuscript map showing the situation during the Battle of Forts Jackson and St. Philip. A portion of the Mississippi River is depicted, showing a rebel chain supported by hulks at a bend in the river in front of the forts. Much detail is accorded to the river’s banks, which are populated by houses, masked batteries, rebel troop encampments, and more. Geldert notes that “our gun boats are all on their smoke stacks 1 to 9, 3 Kineo’s no.,” and he provides the names of Union ships and gunboats in three divisions: 1st Div., Flagship Hartford, Brooklyn, Richmond, Pensacola; 2nd Div., Iroquois, Varuna, Itasca, Winona, Sciota, and Pinola; 3rd Div., Cayuga, Mississippi, Oneida, Katahdin, Kennebec, Kineo and Wissahickon. A key identifies eighteen features, including Forts Jackson and St. Philip, the Confederate fleet, the Union fleet, fire rafts, masked batteries, hospital, and more. Also included is a note indicating that Fort St. Philip is “an irregular Spanish work,” while Fort Jackson “is a work of modern construction” and is “located just below the old French work Fort Bourbon long since abandoned.”

The unrecorded printed map tipped into the journal is entitled Map of Port Hudson and Vicinity Compiled by Capt. W. C. Hawksworth Top. Engr. Showing position of Adml. Farragut’s Fleet and Confederate Batteries. From Observations during the action. March 15 1863. The map shows the Union Navy’s mid-March maneuvers in the lead-up to the Siege of Port Hudson (22 May–9 July 1863). The area covered reaches from Pointe Coupée in the west to East Feliciana in the east, and from West Feliciana in the north to West Baton Rouge in the south. Numerous identified Union vessels are shown on the Mississippi River near Port Hudson, which is connected to the Clinton Railroad. Lining the shore are parrots, artillery, the railroad depot at Waterloo, rebel encampments, and more, and distances from Port Hudson to New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Vicksburg are provided. The map, created almost a year after the fall of New Orleans, was acquired by Geldert in New Orleans at the St. Charles Hotel, as indicated by a period inscription on the verso. An annotation by him identifies the Kineo on the map, which is located adjacent to the USS Monongahela. On 14 March 1863, the Kineo was tied alongside the Monongahela for a run past enemy fortifications at Port Hudson. Their efforts were thwarted when Monongahela’s rudder was disabled, but the Kineo was able to pull her larger consort out of danger.

The map’s compiler, Captain William C. Hawksworth (ca. 1834–?), was a civil engineer who enlisted on 22 Sept. 1861 in New York City. In October 1861 Hawksworth was commissioned into the New York 88th Infantry Company G. Discharged in February 1862, he was then re-commissioned into the 88th in April 1862, then discharged in September 1862. Hawksworth is known to have been serving in December of 1862 as a civil engineer aboard the steamer North Star in the Gulf of Mexico, which undertook an expedition commanded by Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Banks. On 16 Feb. 1863 Hawksworth applied to Banks for a commission as field officer in one of the Regiments of the National Guard of Louisiana. Hawksworth would have drawn his map of Port Hudson and Vicinity shortly after his re-appointment. He appears to have stayed in New Orleans after the Civil War at least until the early 1870s.

Lithographer John E. Boehler (ca. 1811–?) was born in Germany and immigrated to America, probably in the late 1830s. By 1840, he was working as a lithographer in New Orleans, and in the summer of 1840 was arrested for forging notes and was sent to prison. In 1846 he began working as a lithographer again, and is known to have served as a Captain in the Louisiana Volunteers under Col. Horatio Davis in 1846 during the Mexican-American War (1846–48). Boehler is also recorded as having served in the Civil War. In 1867 he received an award at the Grand State Fair for the best lithograph and another award in 1868 for best colored lithograph and best display of lithographic views. Producing numerous sheet-music covers, Boehler was active until 1875, when he was succeeded in business by his sons John F. Boehler Jr. and Emile R. Boehler.


Boston; 11 July 1861 “Went on board the recruiting ship Ohio, was again examined by a doctor & vaccinated. Got a hammock & mattress $4.95.”

At sea; 12 July 1861 “McMconnell, one of the engineers of the Kineo came for me. The engineer of the Kennebec could not take me, as he already had his complement of men. I was therefore ordered on board the Kineo. Arrived on board at noon.”

At sea; 13 [Feb.?] 1862 “I was placed on the list with coal passers, receiving for wages $18 per month. Wrote a letter to my sister, Sara requesting her to look out for my trunk, hatbox and carpet bag, left at boarding house…When we passed the Man of War in harbor they loudly cheered us, to which we responded. We soon lost sight of Boston…Slept very soundly having worked very hard, shoveling coal… Warm enough in the engine room, the perspiration flowing freely.”

16 Feb. “This evening Mr. Cray[?] the Chief Engineer called me, asked for a specimen of my handwriting &c., and then told me to take the place of the Store Keeper, for which I would have $25 per month & light duties to perform in comparison to passing coal…the said duties consist of taking charge of all the tools, oil, wiping stuff &c &c… daily observations of the engineers in a yearly log…I must make out a copy from the yearly, into a quarterly logbook, which goes to Washington.”

Key West, Florida; 26 Feb. “There are a number of vessels here [Key Island, Florida] and constant fresh arrivals. This island is but small I cannot ascertain its exact size…It is fortified by Fort Taylor a very formidable structure, not yet complete…Had a hurricane this evening.”

27 Feb. “The Richmond is here, also a few Gun Boats are arriving among them the Harriet Lane & Pinola came in today. There are also here about 12 of Com. Porters Mortar Fleet, destined for the Mississippi River.”

Ship Island, Mississippi; 7 Mar. “There are at present here at anchor the Wissahickon, Sciota, New London, Hartford, Richmond & Black Prince.”

8 Mar. “The Fulton & ship America arrived and landed troops today making now 7000 on the island.”

Mississippi River; 11 Mar. “Opposite us is a small shanty in which were 2 men & 2 women, one of the men went on board the Kennebec & reported that as river steamers were coming down there every day, he was afraid of his life, as they had threatened him only the day before & carried his wife to New Orleans. He pretended to be a Union man, which is doubtful. Seeing a rebel steamer at 2 PM we got underway & gave chase. She got away from us.”

Mississippi River; 12 Mar. “We came within about a couple of miles of Fort Jackson and St. Philip. Here we perceived the whole rebel fleet under cover of the guns of the fort…The Winona and Kennebec fired into the rebel fleet 2 rounds each.”

18 Mar. “Besides the above named pivot gun which takes 25 men to train her, from side to side, there are two Howitzers above the smoke stack and one rifled gun…on the forecastle.”

21 Mar. “Saw a large fire up river last night, probably the folks burning their cotton, fearing it may fall into our hands.”

23 Mar. “A rebel steamer came so near we could read her name, the Star. She had cotton bales piled upon each side to protect her boilers.”

25 Mar. “The only [local inhabitants] remaining are two fishermen, who are carrying on a lucrative trade with our fleet, in selling oysters, barrels of which were purchased on board us today at $2 per brl [i.e., barrel].”

28 Mar. “Fort Jackson is supposed to mount 170 good guns and 2 batteries opposite have about 125 guns.”

13 Apr. “Running pretty near Fort Jackson we fired 15 shots at the Hulks, the Fort opened fire on us, some of their shell coming very near us.”

Battle of Forts Jackson and St. Philip; 16 Apr. “The mortar fleet are lying close by the bank of the river, and two of them been firing their 11 inch shell across the point of land between here & Fort Jackson. The Fort returning the fire, but their shell fell short. The position of the mortar fleet, with their masts now gaily decorated with branches of trees will be seen by a glance of the map which I shall place on a sheet, after I get out position before we attack the forts, which we are daily expecting if the mortar fleet do not destroy them, which is very doubtful I think. Having nothing to do at present my time is totally taken up making observations & studying the art of war.”

Battle of Forts Jackson and St. Philip; 19 Apr. “It is reported among us that in yesterday’s engagement we lodged no less than 8 shells right into the fort, one of which dismounted a gun on the parapet.”

Mississippi River, Battle of Forts Jackson and St. Philip; 24 Apr. “The firing from the enemy increased by the 1st and 3rd divisions passing through at the same time, as we were about going through, the Brooklyn sheered striking us with great force, and so careening our vessel that most all on board thought we were sinking.” 

“On we steamed until within pistol shot of St. Philip batteries when we blazed away, working our guns as fast as they could be worked. The firing was now tremendous shaking everything. The smoke at times almost blinding the men at the guns. Yet amid the flashes we could see, plainly, the men working their guns on the parapets. Most of their shells just grazed our rail, while many struck us. One solid shot from St. Philip struck our pivot gun passing through the body of one man and flying into thousand pieces, wounded 7 men, 2 of them severely, the man was killed instantly and his blood and pieces of flesh was scattered over decks and into the faces of the men at the gun… our gunner Jacob Thompson as if in revenge pulled the trigger, sending an 11 in. shell right into the muzzle of one of the enemy’s guns and bursting with a fearful noise, sent, no doubt, all near it, into eternity. Just afterward, a red hotshot from Fort Jackson struck us forward on the port side.”

“The Mississippi…was just ahead of us. As soon as the Ram saw us coming for her she immediately put her helm hard aport and ran on shore, the Mississippi giving her two broadsides. As soon as she struck ground, up flew the trap hatch and the men ran on shore hiding themselves in the swamps. It was such a ludicrous sight we would not fire but gave them perfect liberty to get away. Then one of our engineers went on board and destroyed her machinery, she shortly after blew up and floated down river. …each man shaking the hand of his comrade in congratulating him for his safety… and so ended this memorable morning battle, one of the greatest naval victories ever accomplished.”

Battle of Forts Jackson and St. Philip; 25 Apr. “A boat with a flag of truce came from the McRea to the Wissahickon to obtain permission to take their dead and wounded to New Orleans and it was granted.”

Battle of Forts Jackson and St. Philip; 26 Apr. “Commodore Farragut had demanded the surrender of Gen. Lovell of the Forts Jackson and St. Philip under penalty of the total destruction of the city. We steamed about for some time and were engaged taking prisoners from the canal to the opposite side.”

Battle of Forts Jackson and St. Philip; 27 Apr. “We were expecting Gen. Lovell would endeavor to escape by the canal and of course we were desirous of capturing him. No one however passed that way…Our troops are arriving by the Bayou and making their quarters at the hospital. We took a company of the 26th Mass. over the river.”

1 May “We are opposite the Crescent City…The rebels have destroyed all the dry docks and nearly all the levee in front of the city…The destruction of property has been immense… Enjoy[ed] the sight of about 15,000 men land and walk up the levee to the music of the soul of an American, the National air, and Yankee Doodle.”

10 May “The troops under Gen. Williams have been engaged in destroying the R.Road from New Orleans and Jacksonville to prevent surprise from Beauregard’s army.”

15 May “Last evening we picked up 4 men, who were from Red River, two of them were badly wounded in a skirmish before leaving their home, they stated that their property is in danger of being destroyed. They being Union men, and requested our Captain to go up the river and protect the cotton &c belonging to them.”

20 May “During the morning a contraband came down river in a skiff. We took him on board. He had a hard time making his escape, was chased by 12 or 15 hounds and a crowd of men who fired at him a number of times.”

25 May “Sent the bread rec’d yesterday to the troops on board the Laurel Hill, also two contrabands we had rec’d from the Oneida…Our Commodore sent an order today to the authorities at Vicksburg for them to take their women and children out of the city in 24 hours.”

26 May “The Brooklyn, who also came back with us, sent a boat on shore, and we hear that it was a company of ‘flying artillery’ who fired into the transport.”

28 May “At 4 PM passed the town of St. Francisville and a boat coming alongside with 2 slaves, we took them on board.”

Baton Rouge; 1 June “Colonel Dudley of the 30th Mass. Reg. took possession of the State House today as his quarters.”

Baton Rouge; 20 June “The soldiers are daily on the scout and have had but one or two slight skirmishes with guerillas who have begun to be very troublesome.”

Baton Rouge; 7 July “The country is in a wretched state, being infested with numerous bands of guerillas who are at every opportunity molesting the quiet and peacefully disposed people by plundering them of any and everything they wish to take…Some 2 or 300 of them are frequently seen prowling round.”

Battle of Baton Rouge; 5 Aug. “At 5 AM all hands were suddenly called to weigh anchor. We were soon underway and ready for action. It was reported that an army was approaching the city [of Baton Rouge] and the rebel Ram was a few miles above us, ready to act in concert with their troops…We distinctly heard the charge when made by the rebels and we fired our heavy guns, as directed by our officers on the tower. We kept up the firing about 4 hours and then ceased…The Battle was a severe one, on our side, as they had to contend with nearly three times their numbers. Gen. Williams was killed in the first onset…On the Rebel side the dead were double that number…It is reported on reliable information that the 1st Indiana’s drove off 3 of the rebel Regts.”

9 Aug. “We steamed up river conveying a river boat with some troops on board they stopped at several plantations and took therefrom slaves to work on the fortifications at the city. 

20 Aug. “All the prisoners of the penitentiary have been set at liberty 400 in number…The city is to be evacuated by an order from Gen. Butler.”

Off New Orleans; 28 Aug. “We stopped several times on the way, destroying all boats of any service to the enemy in crossing the river. A flag of truce was hoisted by a rebel officer who was conveying a dead body from near Baton Rouge to New Orleans.”

Mississippi River; 4 Oct. “At 2 PM all hands called to Quarters when soon after, a masked battery suddenly opened a tremendous fire on us. We were soon engaged in fierce combat. We drove them off in about 25 minutes.”

Off Red Church; 22 Oct. “We steamed down river arriving at Carrollton at noon. Seven river boats were to all appearance ready at this place, for a trip up river. They were crowded with troops, horses, batteries &c…The troops all disembarked by an order from Gen. Butler at 5 PM. A plot was discovered that some [?] had formed to destroy the transports by running into each other on the way up & so destroy the troops.”

Off New Orleans; 5 Nov. “Four contrabands whom we had taken from slavery and shipped ran away this evening, preferring their former mode of life to the duties on board a man of war.”

16 Nov. “We took on board 2 contrabands who gave us information to the following effect. One of them has been employed at work on the fortifications. He states that most of the batteries are below the R.Road Depot at Waterloo, extending two miles along shore and back to the road leading to Baton Rouge. Every knoll is strongly fortified and some of the batteries masked. When he left there one month ago they had 100 guns mounted, one as large as our 11 in. Dahlgren and of the same pattern, the others brass field pieces of 32 pounders.”

Off Donaldsonville; 26 Nov. “Some of our soldiers just above Donaldsonville handed over to us a rebel Lieut. whom they took, while he was watching our movements.”

Donaldsonville; 30 Nov. “Some troops are constantly on the road between here and Plaquemine and frequently have skirmishes with guerillas. The Cayuga came down river and soon after we got underway and steamed up river 6 or 7 miles and anchored. One of the river steamers was captured and burned last night by the guerillas.”

Donaldsonville; 1 Dec. “This evening hammocks were given out to change and the dirty ones are to be scrubbed in the morning. Give a negro 25 ct. to scrub mine.”

Off Prophets Island; 13 Dec. “Just below Baton Rouge we took 2 men and a boy from a skiff. One of the men was a Confederate soldier on furlough of 20 days to see his mother at Plaquemine. He gave pretty much the same account of Port Hudson Batteries that we received from the contrabands…that there were there 50,000 men and that everyday they were increasing the strength of the fortifications.”

Off Donaldsonville; 3 Jan. 1863 “At 2 PM while the Capt. was handling a revolver it accidentally discharged the ball striking Aness[?] Renny, a contraband and wounded him severely in the groin.”

Off Donaldsonville; 9 Feb. “A band of the Louisiana Regt was on board and played several national airs, polks &c. this evening.”

Donaldsonville; 10 Feb. “Observed a little girl who reminded me of Maria… I entered into conversation with her, her mother came out of the house and talked with me for some time. Her husband is an officer in the Confederate army, Mr. [John?] Comstock.”

Donaldsonville; 15 Feb. “A number of contrabands visited their friends on board here today. It was truly amusing to hear them tell of the ‘Secesh’ [i.e., secessionist] running when we would fire at them.”

Donaldsonville; 18 Feb. “Came back and visited my little friend Lilly Comstock. Her ma was out and remained but a short time. She was gardening.”

Off Baton Rouge; 10 Mar. “At 6 AM we received on board an Army Capt., Lieut. And 35 men, then steamed up river about 12 miles to a rebel signal station. The soldiers went on shore and soon captured the two fellows who had been employed making signals to the next station.”

14 Mar. “I wrote a note of instruction concerning the disposal of my wages &c. Should I fall in battle and placed the same in my pocket…We are expecting a very serious time of it, no doubt they have ‘torpedos’ or ‘infernal machines’ in the river and should we strike one of them none of us would likely escape.”

15 Mar. “We engaged the batteries on the port side while our partner [Monongahela] engaged with those on the opposite shore. Our guns were worked rapidly and the enemy threw their deathly weapons in quick succession among us…Our engines soon began to show symptoms of disability…We floated down river, amidst a terrific fire of musketry and artillery on one side and heavy cannon on the other, until…we got beyond range of the batteries…having been exposed to the fire of the enemy about 45 mins during which time our vessel was aground and unmanageable, and being in action about 2 hours…not a man killed…on examination [we] find that a 32 lb ball is lodged in the rudder, and it is supposed that a hauser is coiled in the propeller…I only write but a meager description of the battle.”

“One remark however made by our Captain will not be amiss, for me to transcribe as it caused a thrill of pleasure…‘Truly Captain Ransom did not say too much of these men when he affirmed they were brave, for I never saw men work with greater courage.’ Our position was fearful at the time we were ashore being directly in range of the batteries…had they fired a little lower [they would] have blown us out of the water…[The Mississippi’s] Captain ordered her crew off and then set fire to her … a number of her crew are missing…some of them have no doubt met a watery grave, while it is supposed many have been taken prisoners…The Monogahela had 7 men killed and about 25 wounded…The Richmond and Monongahela sunk the rebel ram Webb. We saw nothing of the Queen of the West.”

Off Prophets Island; 18 Mar. “Some say that Port Hudson is impregnable, and that 100,000 men cannot take it.”

Off New Orleans; 25 Mar. “This evening the Sallic Robinson went up river with a regiment of Black soldiers.”

New Orleans; 4 Apr. “Numbers of citizens came to have a view of our guns etc. and a close observer could easily detect Secesh from a Union man. Among the women here the Confederate sympathy is shown frequently, in their manner towards us whom they called impudent Yankees.”

“At Sea”; 21 Apr. “Our boats returned having seen nothing but cattle, although they went up the Bayou or river Montau about 7 miles. Our trip here has proved a disappointment as Gen. [Nathaniel] Banks informed us that several schr’s were here, about to run the blockage loaded with cotton.”

Mississippi River; 24 Apr. “A grand ball was to take place today in New Orleans in commemoration of the Battle of Forts Jackson and St. Philips on this day…Our officers are grievously disappointed not being able to reach there in time.”

New Orleans; 30 Apr. “The crew have been regaling themselves with a dance to the music of a violin.”

New Orleans; 5 May “Thousands of bales of cotton have been confiscated by Gen. Banks this side of Vicksburg.”

Off Prophets Island; 22 May “We got underway and steamed down stream between the Island and main, following the Time & Tide who had Black soldiers on board. They landed at a road leading to Fort Hudson…It was quite exciting while the troops were landing, we being so close to the bank that we could talk with them…I noticed among the cavalry a fellow who ran away from us in New Orleans…Some of the Colored Regt had a skirmish this morning in which they took a prisoner and 2 or 3 horses.”

Prophets Island; 23 May “Our Army is about 10 miles from here, consisting of about 12,000 men. Everyday there is a battle and consequently the fate of Port Hudson must soon be decided.”

Engagement with Port Hudson Batteries; 24 May “We were in action about an hour and during that time discharged our pivot gun 5 times with good effect. It is presumed that the army were engaged in the rear of the batteries, as, long after we ceased firing we could distinctly hear the report of guns.”

Mississippi River; 25 May “A regiment of Blacks, as sappers and miners, landed here and proceeded towards the army.”

Springfield Landing, Mississippi River; 26 May “There are here today 40 poor fellows in camp, some with legs and arms shot off and all of them seriously wounded. Never in the history of the world was known such a dreadful civil war. The country is literally deluged with blood.”

Springfield Landing; 28 May “It is a sad picture to see those poor wounded fellows, some Johny men [i.e. rebels] of 19 or 20 years with leg or arm off and some old men with grey hairs in the same predicaments.”

Springfield Landing; 29 May “Report says that our army took 800 of the enemy last night and that 700 of our troops are now lying wounded on the battlefield in addition to about 500 which have been within a few days conveyed to Baton Rouge and also that the hospitals at that place are now overflowed.”

Springfield Landing; 1 June “One of our men accidentally shot a contraband while in the act of shooting a bullock.”

Springfield Landing; 2 June “Numbers of negroes are here this evening a customary looking on our vessel, with admiration, calling her the ‘massa gunboat.’”

7 June “At the mouth of [the] Red River…are lying the Laurel Hill, St. Maurice[?], Union & 1 or 2 others as they cannot return to New Orleans until Port Hudson is taken.”

Below Prophet Island; 16 June “About 5:30…one of the river transports passed down loaded with contrabands.”

Mississippi River; 19 June “A large force of rebel calvary are hourly expected here [i.e., Donaldsonville], our guns are trained all ready, to give them a warm reception. Numbers of the citizens gathered their families and furniture together on the waterside of the river under protection of the Gun Boats…the whole population was in trouble … All business is suspended and numbers of people, black and white, haven taken refuge near the levee under protection of our guns.”

Second Battle of Donaldsonville; Mississippi River; 28 June “The levee was crowded with people of the town [of Donaldsonville]. The rebels had made a charge this morning, having been engaged…they were repulsed with great loss. At the onset of the charge the rebel Colonel planted a Confederate flag on the parapet but was instantly shot dead…our two gun boats were of the greatest service and without their aid no doubt…the rebels would have been in possession of the town and fort. Our troops here only number about 100, while the rebel charge was made by between 5 and 7000 dismounted cavalry.”

Off Donaldsonville; 29 June “300 rebels had gone up river and 200 down, destroying the telegraph on their way.”

New Orleans; 2 July “We are informed that our shell last night killed one negro, and wounded 2 others also that the guerillas had taken away a number of negros, horses &c. from off the plantation at this place.”

New Orleans; 3 July “It is reported that the guerillas, whenever they can make a successful raid on the plantations, that they kill all the slaves that they think are not useful to them and the remainder they take with them.”

New Orleans; 4 July “In the evening a party of contrabands visited the ship, bringing eggs, potatoes &c. to sell.”

A rich and important journal constituting an untapped source of information on the pivotal Mississippi River Campaign and the broader Gulf Coast Theatre.

REFERENCES: Last, Jay. The Color Explosion: Nineteenth-Century American Lithography (Santa Ana, CA: 2005), p. 166; Poesch, Jessie J. Printmaking in New Orleans (Jackson: University Press o

Item #7170

Price: $27,500.00

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