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French Naval War
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  Authorized Battle Streamer Pictures for the U.S. Navy

Part #N129     Revolutionary War    Ribbon #129


Part #N168     French Naval War    Ribbon #168


Part #N185     Barbary Wars    Ribbon #185


Part #N152     War of 1812    Ribbon #152


Part #N075     Indian Wars    Ribbon #075


Part #N187     Operations Against West Indian Pirates    Ribbon #187


Part #N186     African Slave Patrol    Ribbon #186


Part #N095     Mexican War    Ribbon #095


Part #N025     Civil War Campaign    Ribbon #025


Part #N138     Spanish Campaign    Ribbon #138


Part #N117     Philippine Campaign    Ribbon #117


Part #N022     China Relief Expedition    Ribbon #022


Part #N111     Nicaraguan Campaign    Ribbon #111


Part #N148     World War I Victory    Ribbon #148


Part #N132     Second Nicaraguan Campaign     Ribbon #132


Part #N154     Yangtze Service    Ribbon #154


Part #N023     China Service    Ribbon #023


Part #N010     American Defense Service    Ribbon #010


Part #N009     American Campaign    Ribbon #009


Part #N017    Asiatic-Pacific Campaign    Ribbon #017


Part #N057     European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign    Ribbon #057


Part #N078     Korean Service    Ribbon #078

Part #N012     Armed Forces Expeditionary    Ribbon #012

Part #N151     Vietnam Service    Ribbon #151


Part #N356     Southwest Asia Service    Ribbon #356

Part #N125     Presidential Unit Citation (Navy)    Ribbon #125

Part #N107     Navy Unit Commendation    Ribbon #107


Part #N167     Meritorious Unit Commendation    Ribbon #167


Part #N532     Kosovo Campaign    Ribbon #532

 

 
 

The Federal Fleet in the Civil War


The Naval Jack  was flown from the ships forward jack-staff.  Each star represented on state in The Union.

The leaders of The Union Navy were:
Gideon Welles, Navy Secretary
Gustavus V. Fox, Assistant Navy Secretary
Admiral John A. Dahlgren
Admiral Samuel F. Du Pont
Admiral David Porter
Admiral David G. Farragut
Admiral Andrew H. Foote


 
 

At 8:30 on Friday morning, January 13,1865, the U.S.S. New Ironsides - a powerful iron-plated warship dropped anchor off the North Carolina coastline and opened fire with explosive broadsides. Supporting the New Ironsides were four Federal ironclad monitors and dozens of other warships a total of 59 vessels bringing together the largest naval fleet assembled during the Civil War. Their target was Fort Fisher, the largest coastal fortification in the Confederacy and the fort which guarded the North Carolina port of Wilmington. It was the South's only surviving major port upon which General Robert E. Lee's army in Virginia depended for desperately needed arms and equipment from Great Britain. Capturing this fortification would seal Wilmington and deliver a deathblow against the South. To soften Fort Fisher enough to be taken by a Federal ground assault, Rear Admiral David Porter's huge fleet unleashed the largest naval bombardment of the war.

 

"The Most Terrible Storm of Iron and Lead..."

As the Federal fleet bombarded Fort Fisher, Admiral Porter's seamen directed the landing of 8,000 Federal troops commanded by Major General Alfred H. Terry. The fleet held off Confederate forces so Terry's troops could establish a beachhead and move into place for a ground assault.
"I assure you it was the most terrible storm of iron and lead that I have ever seen during this war," recalled a Confederate survivor of the bombardment. The modern-style naval barrage produced devastating results: a Federal eyewitness reported that "...the Confederate artillerists tried in vain to stand to their guns. One by one, these were broken or dismounted...."
On January 15,1865, Fort Fisher fell to General Terry's troops after a fierce defense by its Confederate garrison. The South's greatest coastal fortification had fallen, the irreplaceable port of Wilmington was closed  and the mighty victory was due in great measure to the Federal navy.

The United States Navy that assembled the huge armada which bombarded Fort Fisher was a vastly different naval force than what had existed when the Civil War began in 1861. At that time the U.S. Navy consisted of 1,457 officers and 7,600 enlisted men with barely half of its 90 ships in serviceable condition. By war's end, the Federal navy had grown to 641 ships with 51,500 men in uniform and almost 17,000 more employed at Federal navy yards. The dramatic expansion was the work of U.S. Navy Secretary Gideon Welles and Assistant Navy Secretary Gustavus V. Fox. Despite limited experience in naval affairs, Welles distinguished himself by building a world-class navy in four years. He developed ironclads and steam-powered warships, encouraged joint operations with the army, and equipped warships with heavy artillery. He was ably assisted by Fox, a career naval officer with influential political connections, who encouraged Welles to build ironclad warships, upgrade the U.S. Naval Academy and implement important new naval procedures.
President Abraham Lincoln brought the navy into the war immediately. Less than a week after the surrender of Fort Sumter in April of 1861, Lincoln declared a naval blockade of the Southern coast. It was an ambitious attempt that required blockading 3,500 miles of coastline on the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. Success looked unlikely, but by war's end the powerful navy developed by Welles and Fox had captured or destroyed more than 1,500 blockade runners, seized or sealed all major Southern ports, and placed a naval stranglehold on the imports dependent Confederacy. While 90 percent of blockade runners were able to penetrate the Northern naval blockade in 1861, only one of every three blockade runners succeeded in making port by war's end.

Joint Operations Open the Mississippi

Aided by the technological developments of the Industrial Revolution, the Federal navy emerged during the war as a powerful force that despite remarkable Southern resourcefulness could not be matched by the Confederacy.
Once refueling bases for the Federal North Atlantic and South Atlantic Blockading Squadrons were established on the North and South Carolina coasts, the Federal blockade was extended from Virginia to Texas.
In 1862, the U.S. Navy struck a mighty blow to the South by capturing New Orleans, the largest city in the Confederacy and a major port on the Mississippi River. In the same year, the innovative Confederate ironclad, the C.S.S. Virginia, dealt the U.S. Navy the worst defeat of its history at Hampton Roads, Virginia, but the Federal navy redeemed itself the next day with a successful defense by the U.S.S. Monitor in the first battle between ironclad warships.
The U.S. Navy's cooperation with army forces in joint operations produced many victories throughout the war. Among the most important was penetration of the Southern heartland via the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers, which resulted in the capture of Forts Henry and Fort Donelson by Northern forces in 1862. Joint army-navy operations at Island Number 10, New Madrid and Vicksburg eventually opened the entire Mississippi to Federal control and split the Confederacy.
One by one, the major Southern ports fell to Federal forces until Lee's beleaguered army was dependent on the military cargoes shipped through Wilmington, North Carolina. Taking Wilmington required capturing mighty Fort Fisher using the greatest naval bombardment in American history at the time. Until the end, the Federal navy remained a key element of the Northern war effort. When the Confederate capital of Richmond finally fell to Federal forces in April of 1865, President Lincoln was escorted into the captured capital by an armed contingent of Federal seamen.

This is a list of 15 Union Naval Operations that earned the three embroidered silver stars displayed on the Civil War Battle Streamer:
1.  Blockade operations
2.  Capture of Hatteras Inlet. N.C. (29 August 1861)
3.  Capture of Port Royal Sound. S.C. (7 November 1861)
4.  Capture of Fort Henry.  Tennessee River (6 February 1862)
5.  Capture of Roanoke Island—key to Albemarle Sound (7-8 February 1862)
6.  Monitor-Virginia (ex-Merrimack) (9 March 1862)
7.  Battle of New Orleans (24 April 1862)
8.  Capture of Vicksburg (4 July 1863)
9.  Kearsarge-Alabama (19 June 1864)
10. Battle of Mobile Bay (5 August 1864)
11. Destruction of C.S.S
Albemarle(27-28 October 1864)
12. Capture of Fort Fisher.  Wilmington, N.C. (13-15 January 1865)
13. Operations on the Mississippi and tributaries
14. Campaigns in the Chesapeake and tributaries
15. Atlantic operations against commerce raiders and blockade runners.


CONFEDERATE STATES NAVY

The Atlanta. When Commander Webb learned of the two Federal monitors, he decided to engage them before carrying out his planned raid.
 

 On June 17,1863, the C.S.S. Atlanta, a newly-launched Confederate ironclad ram, steamed down Georgia's Wilmington River toward the Wassaw Sound near Savannah. Commander William A. Webb had an ambitious mission for the Atlanta: he hoped to clear Wassaw Sound of Northern warships, break the Federal blockade between Savannah and Charleston, then turn the powerful ironclad's guns on the Yankees' South Atlantic Blockading Squadron based near Beaufort, South Carolina.
Warned by Confederate deserters of the Atlanta's pending raid, Rear Admiral Samuel F. Du Pont hurriedly dispatched two Federal ironclad monitors, the U.S.S. Weehawken and the U.S.S. Nahant, to surprise

the Atlanta. When Commander Webb learned of the two Federal monitors, he decided to engage them before carrying out his planned raid.

The First Naval Jack Goes into Battle

At 3:30 a.m., on June 17, Webb took the Atlanta down the Wilmington River toward the Wassaw Sound, hoping to surprise the monitors. Fluttering from the Atlanta's jackstaff was the first Confederate naval jack. At 4:55 a.m., the Atlanta confronted the Weehawken and the Nahant. The Nahant lay almost a mile away, so Webb headed full speed for the Weehawken. As he prepared to ram and discharge the Atlanta's spar torpedo, the ironclad suddenly ran aground. Webb reversed engines, freed the ironclad and tried to move into deeper water, but the Atlanta again ran aground. Aboard the Weehawken, Captain John Rodgers saw the Atlanta's dilemma and steamed forward. Webb opened fire, but nothing slowed the Weehawken's approach. Rodgers held his fire until at close range, then opened up with his two heavy guns. One round went high, but the other caused severe damage, disabling two gun crews and inflicting about 30 casualties.
Hard aground, Webb could not maneuver the Atlanta to effectively return fire. The Weehawken fired twice more and the battle was over. Realizing that the Atlanta could not be freed and knowing his ship and her crew could easily be destroyed, Webb surrendered. Down went the Atlanta's proud banners and up went the Stars and Stripes. The Confederacy had recently replaced its colors, so the engagement between the Atlanta and the monitors in June of 1863 was one of the final appearances of the first Confederate naval jack.

The Confederate States established a Navy Department on February 20,1861, organized with the prewar U.S. Navy as a model. The new Confederate Navy had little more than organization. The Southern states had an odd handful of seaworthy ships, scant shipyards and no factories capable of producing marine engines. But the South did have one important naval resource: Stephen R. Mallory. A former U.S. Senator from Florida, Mallory served as the influential chairman of the Senate Committee on Naval Affairs, and worked for almost a decade to expand and strengthen the prewar U.S. Navy. A day after the Confederate Navy was established, Stephen Mallory was named secretary.

 

Mallory Builds an Innovative Navy

Unable to match the growing power of the U.S. Navy, Mallory concentrated on making the Confederate Navy a force to be respected through innovation and initiative. He dispatched agents to the North, Canada and Europe to buy vessels. He arranged for the construction of cruisers in Great Britain, focused on development of torpedo defenses that resembled the water-borne minefields of the 20th century, and developed construction of new armored "ironclad" warships.
Through his efforts, the Confederacy launched cruisers against Northern merchant and whaling fleets in an attempt to damage the Northern economy and siphon Federal warships away from blockading the Southern coast. Two cruiser commanders, James Waddell of the Shenandoah and Raphael Semmes of the Alabama were responsible for the loss of more than 200 Northern vessels and millions of dollars in shipping.
On March 8,1862, the most famous Confederate ironclad, the C.S.S. Virginia, ravaged the Federal fleet at Hampton Roads, Virginia and proved the superiority of ironclad warships over traditional wooden vessels. The next day, the Virginia, which was built on the refitted hull of the U.S.S. Merrimack, battled to a standstill with the U.S. Navy's first ironclad, the U.S.S. Monitor, in the first battle between ironclad warships. Other Confederate ironclads faced the Federal navy with mixed success.
The Confederacy's torpedoes, used mainly as floating mines in rivers and inlets, caused serious concern within the ranks of the U.S. Navy and sent several Northern warships to the bottom. In 1862, the powerful Federal ironclad U.S.S. Cairo was sunk by a torpedo in Mississippi's Yazoo River, and in 1865, Admiral John Dahlgren's flagship, the U.S.S. Harvest Moon, was sunk by a torpedo in South Carolina's Winyah Bay. Southern ironclad rams were often equipped with torpedoes fixed to a spar on the bow — a fearsome weapon to Northern seamen. The Confederate Navy also advanced development of submarine warfare with semi-submersible craft like the David and the H. L. Hunley. In 1864, the Hunley became the first submarine-type vessel to sink a warship in combat when she sank the U.S.S. Housatonic off Charleston.
Mallory was the only Confederate cabinet officer to hold his post throughout the war. Despite his determined efforts, the Confederate Navy could never break the U.S. Navy's effective blockade of Southern ports. However, the impressive innovation of Stephen Mallory and the Confederate Navy helped to revolutionize naval warfare.

 
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