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Naval chronology 1861-1865: important naval engagements of the Civil war March, 1861-June, 1865

Chronological summary of important actions in which the Federal and Confederate navies were engaged, based on official records. Minor engagements are omitted; also joint operations where the army played the principal part.

March, 1861.


March 20, 1861.


Sloop Isabella, with provisions, for the Federal Navy-Yard at Pensacola, seized at Mobile by request of Gen. Bragg.

April, 1861.


April 17, 1861.


Seizure of the U. S. transport Star of the West, at Indianola, by Texas troops under Col. Van Dorn.


April 19, 1861.


Ports of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas ordered blockaded by President Lincoln.


April 20-21, 1861.


Gosport Navy-Yard, Norfolk, Va., abandoned by Union officers in charge, and seized by Virginia State troops.


April 27, 1861.


Ports of Virginia and North Carolina included in the blockade.

May, 1861.


May 4, 1861.


S. S. Star of the West made the receiving ship of the Confed. navy, New Orleans, La.


May 9, 1861.


U. S. ships Quaker City, Harriet Lane, Young America, Cumberland, Monticello, and Yankee enforcing the blockade off Fort Monroe.


Steamers Philadelphia, Baltimore, Powhatan, and Mount Vernon armed by U. S. Government, and cruising on the Potomac.


May 13, 1861.


Proclamation of neutrality issued by Queen Victoria, in which the subjects of Great Britain were forbidden to endeavor to break a blockade “lawfully and effectually established.”


May 18-19, 1861.


Shots exchanged between U. S. S. Freeborn and Monticello and the Confed. battery at Sewell's Point, Va.


U. S. S. Harriet Lane arrives off Charleston.


May 26, 1861.


U. S. S. Brooklyn commenced the blockade of the Mississippi River.


Blockade of Mobile, Ala., commenced by U. S. S. Powhatan.


May 28, 1861.


U. S. S. Minnesota begins real blockade of Charleston.


Blockade of Savannah initiated by U. S. gunboat Union.


May 31, 1861.


U. S. S. Freeborn, Anacostia, Pawnee, and Resolute attacked Confed. batteries at Aquia Creek, Va.

June, 1861.


June 27, 1861.


Engagement between U. S. gunboats Freeborn and Reliance and Confed. batteries at Mathias Point, Va., Commander Ward of the Freeborn killed.

July, 1861.


July 2, 1861.


U. S. S. South Carolina begins blockade of Galveston.


July 4-7, 1861.


U. S. S. South Carolina captures or destroys 10 vessels off Galveston.


July 7, 1861.


“ Infernal” machines detected floating in the Potomac.


July 19, 1861.


Captain-General of Cuba liberated all the vessels brought into Cuban ports as prizes by Confed. cruiser Sumter.


July 24, 1861.


Naval expedition from Fort Monroe to Back River, Va., by Lieut. Crosby and 300 men. Nine sloops and schooners of the Confederates burnt, and one schooner with bacon and corn captured.


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Thomas Freeborn (2)
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