150 years ago: Fireworks on the James – capture of the CSS Teaser

One hundred and fifty years ago today (July 4, 1862), Lieutenant Hunter Davidson, commanding the armed tug CSS Teaser, headed down the James River to place torpedoes (mines) and generally reconnoiter the Federal positions near Harrison’s Landing.  Meanwhile, the gunboat USS Maratanza, commanded by Lieutenant T.H. Stevens, was also on a reconnaissance of the riverContinue reading “150 years ago: Fireworks on the James – capture of the CSS Teaser”

150 years ago: The debut of railway artillery at Savage Station

One hundred and fifty years ago today (June 29), the seven days battles continued. Following the defeat at Gaines’ Mill, General George McClellan’s Army of the Potomac concentrated south of the Chickahominy River. The Federal position centered on a railway stop named Savage Station, on the Richmond and York River Railroad. The railway passed throughContinue reading “150 years ago: The debut of railway artillery at Savage Station”

150 Years Ago: The Guns of Fort Donelson

Happy Valentine’s Day.  But in 1862, Valentine’s Day wasn’t such a pleasant day.  I yesterday mentioned the engagement on the Savannah River between Federal batteries and Confederate gunboats.  The respective seats changed along the Cumberland River where the Federal Mississippi River Squadron rounded the bend (seen below) to engage Confederate batteries at Fort Donelson. ThisContinue reading “150 Years Ago: The Guns of Fort Donelson”