the reputation. When the Commonwealth of Virginia seceded from the Union this vessel was, fortunately, in James river. She was seized by the State, and the Governor and Council determined to fit her out as a man-of-war. She was taken up to the wharf at Rocketts, Richmond, and the command conferred upon Commander John Randolph Tucker, late an officer of the United States Navy, who had resigned his commission in that service in consequence of the secession of Virginia, his native State. Naval Constructor, Joseph Pearce, with a number of mechanics from the Norfolk Navy Yard, commenced the necessary alterations, and in a short time the passenger steamer, Yorktown, was converted into the very creditable man of-war steamer, Patrick Henry, of ten guns and one hundred and fifty officers and men. The vessel being properly equipped, so far as the limited resources at hand could be used, proceeded down James river and took a position off Mulberry Island, on which point rested the right of the Army of the Peninsula under Magruder. It was dull work laying at anchor off Mulberry Island; the officers and crew very rarely went on shore, the steamer being kept always with banked fires, and prepared to repel an attack which might have been made at any moment, the Federal batteries at Newport News and the guard vessels stationed there, the Congress, Cumberland, and several gunboats being plainly in sight. After awhile the monotony became so irksome that Commander Tucker took the Patrick Henry down the river to within long range of the Federal squadron and opened on them with his two heavy guns, with the hope of inducing a single gunboat to ascend the river and engage vessel to vessel. The challenge was not accepted, and the enemy having moved a field battery of rifled guns up the bank of the river, and taken a secure position from which they opened an annoying fire, the vessel was steamed slowly back to her station off Mulberry Island. The Northern papers stated that in this little affair, which took place on September 13, 1861, the fire of the Patrick Henry did considerable damage to the frigate Congress. About this time intelligence was received that one or two of the Federal gunboats came up the river every night on picket duty and anchored about a mile and a-half above their squadron at Newport News. Here was a chance; so on the night of the 1st of December, 1861, the Patrick Henry again went down the river, keeping a sharp lookout for the expected picket boat. Not a sign of a vessel was seen, and when day broke there were the Federal squadron and batteries looming up against the dawn with all the gunboats quietly at anchor near the larger vessels. As
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Annual reunion of Pegram Battalion Association in the Hall of House of Delegates , Richmond, Va. , May 21st , 1886 .
Presentation of Colonel Pegram 's sabre.
Extracts from the diary of Lieutenant-Colonel John G. Pressley , of the Twenty-Fifth South Carolina Volunteers .
Ceremonies connected with the unveiling of the statue of General Robert E. Lee , at Lee circle, New Orleans, Louisiana , February 22 , 1884 .
Oration by Hon. Chas. E. Fenner .
First Maryland campaign.
Died for their State.
Report of the conduct of General George H. Steuart 's brigade from the 5th to the 12th of May , 1864 , inclusive.
Virginia 's preparation for the war.
Report of the Adjutant-General of the State .
Address before the Virginia division of Army of Northern Virginia , at their reunion on the evening of October 21 , 1886 .
Address of Colonel Edward McCrady , Jr.
Address of Bishop Joseph P. B. Wilmer , of Louisiana , on the demise of General Robert E. Lee , delivered at University place , Sewanee, Tennessee , October , 1870 .
President Davis in reply to General Sherman .
The letter of Mr. Davis .
The battle of Chancellorsville .
Fortification and siege of Port Hudson —Compiled by the Association of defenders of Port Hudson ; M. J. Smith , President ; James Freret , Secretary .
The position and occupation.
Lieutenant-Colonel Marshall J. Smith 's report of the Bat-Tle at Port Hudson on the night of March 14th , 1863 .
Official report of Colonel J. G. W. Steedman , First Regi-Ment Alabama Volunteers .
Roster of Confederate forces engaged in the defence of Port Hudson , May 21st to July 8 , 1863 .
River Batteries — Lieutenant-Colonel Marshall J. Smith commanding right wing in front of the village of Port Hudson .
An address of the chaplains of the Second corps ( Stonewall Jackson 's), Army of Northern Virginia , to the churches of the Confederate States .
The Maryland Confederate monument at Gettysburg .
General Johnson 's address.
A visit to Beauvoir — President Davis and family at home.
Two addresses of President Davis to the soldiers of the Confederacy .
Beast Butler outlawed.
General Stuart 's expedition into Pennsylvania .
Address of honorable B. H. Hill before the Georgia branch of the Southern Historical Society at Atlanta , February 18th , 1874 .
Address delivered by Governor Z. B. Vance , of North Carolina , before the Southern Historical Society , at White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia , August 18th . 1875 .
The campaign from the Wilderness to Petersburg —Address of Colonel C. S Venable (formerly of General R. E. Lee 's staff), of the University of Virginia , before the Virginia division f the Army of Northern Virginia , at their annual meeting, held in the Virginia State Capitol , at Richmond , Thursday evening , October 30th , 1873 .
Campaign of 1864 and 1865 .
Narrative of Major-General C. W. Field .
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.