Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Oct. 4, 1861

Oct. 4, 1861: Mississippi River Delta, Louisiana - Two Rebel blockade runners, the schooners Ezilda and Joseph R. Toone, attempt to run the Union blockade at the Southwest Pass outlet of the river to go upriver to New Orleans, but are fired upon and captured by the (ironically named) USS South Carolina. These blockade runners are found to be carrying nearly 5,000 stand of arms with which to arm Confederate troops.

Washington, DC - John Ericsson of New York, a Swedish immigrant who runs a shipbuilding yard and is an innovative naval architect, receives a contract from the Navy to contruct armored warships of his own design.

Governor's Island, New York - In a Federal prison, Capt. Thomas Sparrow of the 7th North Carolina Infantry Regiment (who had been captured when Ft. Hatteras had surrendered), wrote to his family about a case of wine and some grapes they had promised to send him:
To day the wine turned up, & a basket of grapes for the sick. Mr. D[?]‘s valet had neglected to bring the bottles yesterday. I delivered Mr. D’s note of to day to Lieut. G. & shall write him a note explanatory & apologetic. Requested him to show D[?]‘s note to Coln. L.
Took the basket of grapes (a beautiful collection) & a bottle of wine to the Castle & went to each casemate in both floors among the sick, & made glad their hearts. They expressed themselves glad that some one had thought of them. The wine gave out. All got part of the grapes. I will begin with the second bottle in the morning where the first gave out.

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