David Porter

David Porter


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David Porter was born in Pennsylvania in 1813. The son of Commodore David Porter, in 1824 he sailed with his father to the West Indies to suppress piracy. After a serving in the Mexican Navy (1827-29) he joined the US Navy in 1829. Over the next thirty years he served in the Mediterranean, the South Atlantic and the Gulf.

On the outbreak of the the outbreak of the American Civil War Porter was given command of the USSS Powhatan and in December, 1861, joined with his foster brother, David Farragut, on the New Orleans expedition. Porter and Farragut captured the forts guarding the port in April, 1862 and troops led by General Benjamin F. Butler occupied the city soon afterwards.

After this success Porter took command of the Mississippi Squadron and working with General William T. Sherman captured Arkansas Post in January, 1863. He also took part in the Vicksburg campaign in July, 1863. As commander of the North Atlantic Squadron, he participated in the capture of Fort Fisher, North Carolina.

Porter received four Thanks of Congress during the war. Promoted to the rank of Vice Admiral in 1866, he was superintendent of the Naval Academy, until being appointed Admiral in 1870. David Porter died in Washington on 13th February, 1891.


American Civil War: Admiral David Dixon Porter

Born at Chester, PA on June 8, 1813, David Dixon Porter was the son of Commodore David Porter and his wife Evalina. Producing ten children, the Porters had also adopted the young James (later David) Glasgow Farragut in 1808 after the boy's mother had aided Porter's father. A hero of the War of 1812, Commodore Porter left the US Navy in 1824 and two years later accepted command of the Mexican Navy. Traveling south with his father, young David Dixon was appointed a midshipman and saw service aboard several Mexican vessels.


David Porter

David Porter is most famous as the songwriting partner of Isaac Hayes during the 1960s. Functioning as house composers for Stax, they penned most of Sam & Dave's hits, including such classics as "Soul Man" and "Hold On! I'm Coming" they also wrote material for other acts on the roster, such as Carla Thomas, Johnnie Taylor, and the Soul Children. Starting in the late '60s, Hayes became increasingly involved in his own recording career, eventually leading to the end of the partnership. Many soul fans remain unaware that Porter also began to record his own albums for Stax. In fact, in the '60s he had released a few singles for Savoy and Hi under the pseudonyms of Little David and Kenny Cain, and had done a single for Stax itself in 1965, "Can't See You When I Want To." A remake of "Can't See You When I Want To" became a Top 30 R&B hit for Porter, and he cut several albums for Stax in the early '70s, including an ambitious concept LP, Victim of the Joke?, which connected conventional pop/soul tunes with dialog. By this time he had teamed up with a different songwriting partner, Ronnie Williams, but as a solo artist he ultimately made little impact. In 2005, he and Hayes were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.


War of 1812: Commodore David Porter and the Essex in the South Pacific

Captain David Porter, United States Navy, was unhappy with his new command. His 32-gun Essex, in his opinion, was poorly armed. Originally consisting of 12-pounder cannons capable of accurate long-range fire, the frigate’s armament had been diluted by 1811 with 32-pounder carronades. Though they threw a much heavier shot, these short-barreled weapons were effective only at short range. And so, with only six ‘long twelves’ remaining aboard, Porter worked fervently to have his ship refitted with her original armament.

Were his ship to lose rigging in the early part of an engagement, he wrote to the secretary of the Navy, ‘a ship much inferior to her in sailing, armed with long guns, could take a position out of reach of our carronades and cut us to pieces.’ His requests were never granted, and his words would prove sadly prophetic.

In June 1812, the United States declared war on Great Britain. The first wartime cruise of Essex began shortly thereafter–she sailed from New York Harbor on July 3. Porter was an experienced officer, having fought in the Tripolitan War and against Caribbean pirates. Now, in a two-month cruise, he snatched up 10 prizes, including a troop transport and the sloop Alert, the first British warship captured during the War of 1812. The last vessel was lured under Essex‘s guns while she posed as a merchantman. Porter would often use such deception to good effect.

Essex was soon ordered to sea again, this time to join Constitution and Hornet in the South Atlantic, where the small squadron could harass British shipping.

The cruise was likely to be a long one, and Porter would be leaving behind a pregnant wife, knowing he would not be seeing his new child during the first year of its life and quite possibly longer. The child would be a son, also named David, destined to be the second person to obtain the rank of admiral in the U.S. Navy. The Navy’s first admiral would be David Farragut, then an 11-year-old midshipman aboard Essex.

The voyage started well. On December 11, Essex lookouts spotted a small British ship. All day and throughout the night, Essex pursued the ship, finally coming within hailing distance. The vessel, a mail packet christened Nocton, tried to come around Essex‘s stern, probably intending to rake the frigate, then run for it again. Porter ordered a musket volley that killed one of Nocton‘s crew and forced her to surrender. To Porter’s delight, Nocton was found to be carrying $55,000 in gold bullion.

Essex stopped at several pre-established points, but was unable to find the other two American warships–both had become involved in successful single-ship actions, distracting them from the rendezvous. Their absence left Porter free to decide upon an independent course of action. The South Atlantic offered little opportunity for an American ship on its own. No port would be safe for Essex, and Porter had learned of the presence of a British frigate, Hyperion, that was bound for Rio de Janeiro. Returning to home waters was also dangerous–Porter correctly reasoned that ‘our coast would be swarming with enemy cruisers.’

The South Pacific, on the other hand, offered definite possibilities. Porter believed he would be able to safely resupply in the Chilean port of Concepcion, with the captured British gold providing his expense money. Afterward, he would be able to prey upon British whaling ships. The ambitious captain saw in the Pacific both a chance to do serious damage to enemy commerce and an opportunity to earn prize money and personal glory.

But would his crew be willing to undertake the venture? Porter posted a notice. Along the Pacific coastline of South America, he promised, Essex would find ‘many friendly ports.’ Further: ‘The unprotected British commerce…will give you an abundant supply of wealth and the girls of the Sandwich Islands, shall reward you for your sufferings during the passage around Cape Horne.’

The crew did prove willing. Porter’s arguments, especially regarding wealth, were effective and, besides, he was a very popular commanding officer. By early 19th-century standards, David Porter showed an enormous level of concern for the welfare of his men. He kept them occupied with work and training, holding daily boarding and small-arms exercises. But he did not overwork them, setting aside two hours every evening ‘for amusement.’ He permitted them to sling their hammocks on the open deck, rather than forcing them to crowd into crew quarters below. He stressed cleanliness, establishing a practice of daily bathing, probably the primary reason Essex was to remain a healthy ship. All this, in addition to Porter’s strong personality, kept his crew together as a disciplined unit for 1 1/2 years of danger, hardship and boredom.

The voyage to the South Pacific by way of Cape Horn was far from easy. On February 18, 1813, a strong gale blew up, interspersed with unpredictable squalls. Essex reduced sail and rode out both this gale and a second that quickly followed. A huge wave broke over the ship in the early morning hours of March 3, ‘and for an instant destroyed every hope,’ Porter later wrote. ‘Our gun-deck ports were burst in, both boats on the quarters stove, our spare spars washed from the chains, our headrails washed away, hammock-stanchions burst in, and the ship deluged and waterlogged….Many were washed from the spar to the gun-deck, and from their hammocks, and did not know the extent of the injury.’ The damage proved to be minor.

As the frigate then progressed northward up the coast of Chile, the weather swiftly improved. Essex had become the first American warship to round Cape Horn.

The gales had driven Essex north past her original destination of Concepcion. On March 14, 1813, Porter brought his ship into the Chilean port of Valparaiso, uncertain of what sort of reception he might receive, since Chile was a colony of Spain, and Spain was an ally of England. Also, Spain and the United States had recently been involved in a dispute regarding Florida.

To his relief, Essex‘s arrival was a ‘most joyful event’ to the local populace. Chile had recently declared its independence from Spain its people showed strong feelings of friendship and sympathy toward the Americans, fellow rebels who had successfully cast off their European yokes. But Porter soon learned of privateers, commissioned by the viceroy of neighboring Peru, who were snatching up American ships bound for Chile.

Essex was reprovisioned and sailed again on March 23. Several days later, the frigate encountered Charles, an American whaler. From Charles’ captain, Porter learned that two other whalers recently had been captured by an English ship and a Peruvian vessel working in concert.

It was not long before Essex ran across the Peruvian privateer, Nereyda, with 15 guns. Essex was again posing as a merchantman, this time flying the Union Jack to add to the deception. Nereyda‘s unsuspecting first lieutenant came aboard Essex, complaining bitterly that Nimrod, a British privateer, had taken Nereyda‘s two American prizes, leaving the Peruvians with nothing. His chagrin was only heightened when Porter suddenly raised the Stars and Stripes and seized his ship. Twenty-three American prisoners were released. Nereyda was stripped of weapons, ammunition and most of her sails, then was dispatched to Lima, Peru, carrying a letter from Porter to the viceroy that protested the seizure of American vessels and stressed the point that Peru was supposed to be a neutral county.

Essex‘s good fortune continued as, on March 28, she recaptured Barclay, one of the prize ships that had earlier been captured by Nereyda. The whaler, sailed by her liberated crew and a few of Essex‘s men, became the frigate’s companion.

Now, however, Porter’s good fortune seemed to drain away, at least temporarily. For most of April, Essex cruised uneventfully along the South American coast, then around the Galapagos Islands (located west of the continent along the equator), where British whalers were said to congregate. Likely anchorages were found and searched, but were always empty of ships. Both Porter and his crew were discouraged. ‘There were few on board,’ wrote Porter, ‘who did not now despair of making any captures about the Galapagos Islands…but I could not so lightly lay down my opinions…and I determined not to leave the Galapagos so long as there remained a hope of finding a British vessel.’

His stubbornness was eventually justified. Late in April, three British whalers were spotted. Essex again raised English colors, then approached the first of the enemy ships, Montezuma. The whaler’s captain came aboard Essex, and while he and Porter conversed in Porter’s cabin, his ship was quickly boarded and captured.

Essex took off in pursuit of the remaining two whalers. The frigate had closed to within eight miles when the wind abruptly died, leaving all three ships becalmed. But Porter had prepared for this. Knowing that the tricky winds around the Galapagos had a tendency to suddenly fail, he had organized and trained armed boat crews. Soon, a flotilla of tiny vessels was in the water, pulling for the whalers, crossing the last mile under providentially inaccurate cannon fire. The whalers Georgiana and Policy were soon in American hands.

Porter was pleased with the catch, estimating the worth of the prizes and their cargoes of whale oil at $500,000. In addition, he appropriated badly needed supplies and provisions, as well as a number of the huge tortoises native to Galapagos, ‘wherewith to furnish our crew with several delicious meals.’

Porter inspected Georgiana and found her to be ‘a noble ship.’ Ten of Policy‘s guns were transferred aboard her, adding to the six she already carried. First Lieutenant John Downes was put aboard with 46 men. That Porter could spare them was thanks to the fact that whaling was an international trade and many of the sailors serving on the captured vessels were Americans. Most now volunteered to serve aboard Essex, and Porter could consider ‘the sloop of war Georgiana no trifling augmentation to our own force.’

Downes took Georgiana on an independent cruise while Essex, Barclay, Montezuma and Policy continued to search the islands. Another month would pass before the flotilla would encounter British ships again.

It was the afternoon of May 28 when Essex‘s lookout spotted a sail dead ahead. Essex cast off Montezuma, which she had been towing, and gave chase. The gap between Essex and the stranger soon was narrowed, but the frigate could not close it completely before sunset. Knowing the chase was certain to change course under cover of darkness, Porter spread his tiny fleet out in a wide arc, covering as much of the surrounding waters as possible. Soon after daybreak, Montezuma signaled that she had the pursued ship in sight.

Essex resumed the chase, eventually overhauling and capturing the quarry. The newest prize turned out to be Atlantic, a six-gun whaling ship, though her captain also carried a letter of marque that allowed him to take war prizes as a privateer.

At virtually the moment of capture, another sail was spotted in the distance. As Porter reported, he ‘threw some men on board the Atlantic‘ and sent the newly taken prize (‘reputed to be the fastest sailor in those seas’) after the newly spotted ship. With Essex accompanying Atlantic, the newcomer, Greenwich, with 10 guns, was overhauled and taken after sunset.

Further patrols of the Galapagos Islands turned up nothing, so Porter’s growing fleet returned to the South American coast, hoping for better luck there. On June 19, he anchored off Tumbes, Peru. Five days later, Downes and Georgiana rejoined their commander, with two additional prizes tagging along.

Downes had actually taken three prizes. The whalers Catherine and Rose had been surprised and easily seized, but Hector, which had 11 guns, had put up a fight. Five successive broadsides from Georgiana eventually took the fight out of her. Rose then had been paroled to St. Helena–Napoleon’s final home–with all prisoners. Catherine and Hector, sailed by prize crews, were brought to Porter.

Porter now reorganized his fleet. The fast Atlantic was rechristened Essex Junior and given to Downes. Porter kept Georgiana and Greenwich, the latter now acting as his storeship, and turned Essex west again for a return to the Galapagos. Downes would escort the prizes to Valparaiso, where they would be sold. The liberated American whaler Barclay would accompany him, her prize crew commanded by 12-year-old David Farragut. During the voyage, Barclay’s navigator, Gideon Randall, threatened mutiny, but backed down when the plucky midshipman threatened to throw him overboard. Farragut later wrote that ‘from that moment I became master of the vessel.’

Porter returned to the Galapagos in mid-July. This time, he snatched up more prizes when, after only three days of searching, a trio of sails was spotted. The whaler Charleston was quickly taken by Essex. Nearby, Greenwich confronted the 14-gun Seringapatum and exchanged broadsides, damaging the British ship. Seringapatum tried to run for it, but Essex cut her off and forced her surrender. Then the frigate overhauled New Zealander.

Guns were shifted between the prizes, giving Seringapatum 22 guns. Charleston was paroled to Rio de Janeiro with 49 prisoners.

Porter decided to send Georgiana to the United States, reasoning that she would arrive in the dead of winter and stand a fair chance of avoiding British blockaders. He loaded her with $100,000 worth of captured sperm oil before she took her leave of the fleet. Unfortunately, Georgiana would never reach her goal. Just short of home, she would be captured by HMS Barossa.

It was two months before Porter found another prize. Sir Andrew Hammond was cutting up whales when spotted. Essex, again disguised as a merchantman, approached to within three miles before Hammond cut the whales loose and tried to escape, only to be quickly overhauled. This would prove to be Essex‘s last prize. Hammond became the only ship ever to be skippered by a U.S. Marine when Porter put Marine Lieutenant John Gamble in charge of her crew.

Essex Junior rejoined the fleet in late September. Downes had been unable to sell the prizes because war between Peru and Chile had brought commerce in Valparaiso to a standstill. He had sent Policy to the States with a cargo of sperm oil and left his other prize moored in the harbor. Like Georgiana, Policy would fall into British hands off the North American coast.

Downes also brought dramatic news: The British frigate Phoebe, along with the slopes Cherub and Racoon, had been dispatched to the Pacific to hunt down Essex.

Porter had already decided on a voyage to the Marquesas Islands, lying nearly 3,000 miles to the south and west of the Galapagos. Several factors figured in this decision. First, he needed a harbor safe from British eyes to overhaul Essex‘s rigging, scrape her bottom and smoke out the rats that infested her. These vermin were threatening to overrun the ship. They already outnumbered the crew by 4-to-1 and were getting into provisions, eating through water casks, and even venturing out on the open deck at night. Second, his crew badly needed a rest.

On October 25, Essex and her companions anchored off the island of Nukahiva, where Porter soon managed to establish reasonably friendly relations with the Taiis, one of several tribes living on the island. During the weeks that followed, a small village was built ashore to house the crew. Then the frigate was emptied of all stores, and over a thousand rats were smoked out. Repairs and refits were done thoroughly and the copper bottom was scraped clean of barnacles, grass and moss.

This activity all would have been fairly straightforward had not other factors complicated the situation. Porter allowed himself and his men to be drawn into local tribal wars as allies of the Taiis. He sent his Lieutenant Downes and 40 men on an expedition against the neighboring Happahs. They were met with spears and slings, but a volley of musketry put the Happahs to flight. Soon after, the defeated tribe sued for peace. Other tribes also agreed to peace, but the Typees, acknowledged as the strongest tribe on the island, responded to peace overtures with insults. Porter was eventually pressured by his allies into launching an expedition against the Typees.

The first such expedition was a dismal failure. Porter, Downes and 35 of their men, accompanied by a large force of Taiis and Happahs, were ambushed and driven back. Downes was struck by a slung stone that broke his leg.

A second, better-planned expedition, this time employing 200 Americans, captured and burned a large Typee town. A Typee delegation sued for peace. Several of Porter’s men and a number of Nukahivans had been killed in the interim. On November 19, Porter ‘annexed’ the island in the name of the United States, rechristening it ‘Madison’s Island.’ Upon his return home, Porter tried to convince the government to follow up, but nothing would ever come of it.

Essex, accompanied by Essex Junior, sailed for Valparaiso in mid-December. New Zealander was sent to the States, only to follow Georgiana and Policy back into British hands. The three remaining prizes remained at Nukahiva, along with Lieutenant Gamble and 21 volunteers.

Gamble was to wait until May for Porter’s return, then sail for Valparaiso. But lacking Porter’s strength of personality, Gamble soon found himself dealing with a mutinous crew and rapidly deteriorating relations with the Taiis. Eventually, the mutineers deserted aboard Seringapatum. A wounded and ill Gamble was forced to crawl from gun to gun aboard Hammond, beating off attacking Taiis, before he and seven others could burn Greenwich, then set sail on Hammond and escape from the island. They were later captured by HMS Cherub near Hawaii.

Meanwhile, Porter had arrived in Valparaiso on February 3, 1814. He had returned to the port knowing that the British squadron was almost certain to find him there. True, he could have done harm to the British war effort by avoiding confrontation and remaining at large in the South Pacific. By threatening to turn up anywhere at anytime, he would have forced the British to assign more and more ships to the Pacific to protect their commerce and hunt him down, thereby leaving them with that many fewer ships in the more critical Atlantic theater.

But Porter instead chose to confront a superior enemy force because, as he admitted, he was ‘in search of glory.’ It had been 1 1/2 years since Essex‘s cruise began. In that time, he had taken only 13 prizes, compared to the 10 he had seized during the mere two-month duration of his first cruise. And those captured had fallen to him without any serious fighting. Porter was a fighting captain, eager to finally meet in battle a warship at least equal to his own, anxious to end the cruise ‘by something more splendid’ than he had yet achieved. Thus, he would earn for himself the fame and advancement such a victory would bring.

Porter kept Downes and Essex Junior on patrol outside the harbor, keeping an eye out for the expected British squadron. And sure enough, on February 8, Phoebe came barreling into the harbor, her deck cleared for action.

Porter was waiting, equally prepared. Phoebe abruptly found herself sandwiched at close range between the two American vessels, at their mercy.

Phoebe was commanded by Captain James Hillyar, a gray-haired man of 50 years. He and Porter had known and liked one another when both had served in the Mediterranean. Now they met again, each duty-bound to destroy the other.

They politely and calmly inquired after one another’s health. Porter warned the Englishman that ‘if he did fall on me there would be much bloodshed.’ Not surprisingly under the circumstances, Hillyar assured him that his intentions were not hostile.

Porter accepted the pledge rather than violate the neutrality of the port. He allowed Phoebe to sail clear and anchor in a separate part of the harbor, but Hillyar soon was back outside the harbor. For the next six weeks, hostile intentions fully evident, he kept Porter bottled up inside Valparaiso. The Englishman was careful to always keep Phoebe and her ally Cherub close together, refusing to allow himself to be drawn into a single-ship duel. Hillyar was not at all a glory-seeker, but a clever and methodical officer who would take every advantage he could get to accomplish his goals. ‘He was not disposed,’ wrote Porter, ‘to yield the advantage of a superior force which would effectively blockade me until other ships arrived.’

On March 28, a strong wind blew up from the south. Essex‘s port anchor cable snapped and the starboard anchor began to drag. Rather than bemoan the accident, Porter decided to use the wind to make a run past the British ships. Under close-reefed topsails and topgallants, Essex sailed from Valparaiso. But a squall blew up, tearing off the main-topmast and hurling it, along with several men, into the sea. The frigate was no longer a graceful sailor, but a cripple at the mercy of the weather and the British. Porter anchored a quarter-mile from shore, hoping that Hillyar would respect the arguable neutrality of Chilean waters.

Unfortunately, Hillyar was not about to let such a golden opportunity pass. Phoebe and Cherub quickly closed in.

The battle began at about 4 p.m. Phoebe took position to rake Essex‘s stern, while Cherub was off the starboard bow. Essex was virtually helpless.

Porter fought back as best he could. A few guns would bear on Cherub, and the British sloop was soon forced to shift position, joining Phoebe off Essex‘s stern. Three times, a spring was placed on the anchor cable so that Essex could be swung about and her guns brought to bear. Each time, the spring was shot away before it could be used. Three of the few long guns aboard were shifted to the stern gunports, allowing the Americans to return fire, albeit with a mere fraction of the firepower directed at them.

The long guns proved effective enough to force both British ships to back off and repair damage, but Essex had herself suffered heavy damage to her rigging, as well as many casualties.

The British soon resumed their attack, this time taking position off the port quarter, out of both carronade range and the stern guns’ fields of fire. Porter ordered the anchor cable cut and the flying jib, the only remaining workable sail, set. Essex began to close with the enemy. Porter had decided his only chance lay in boarding Phoebe.

Essex passed close enough to Cherub to drive the sloop off with carronade fire, but Phoebe, skillfully handled by Hillyar, remained out of carronade range and continued to pound the American vessel with her long guns. Porter’s attempt to board the British ship never came close to success.

By now, conditions aboard Essex were hellish. The deck was littered with bodies, and space belowdecks was overflowing with wounded. ‘One gun, in particular,’ wrote Porter, ‘was three times manned󈝻 men were slain at it in action, but, strange as it may appear, the captain of it escaped with only a slight wound.’ Fires had broken out in several places, forcing men to abandon their guns to battle the flames. Seven men deserted in the only intact boat.

Porter turned his battered ship toward shore, hoping to beach and destroy her. The wind betrayed him again, however, by shifting and forcing Essex away from land, again to expose her to ‘a dreadful raking fire’ from Phoebe. Fires still raged aboard, and only one of Porter’s officers was unwounded. Two and a half hours after the first shot was fired, Porter struck his colors.

Essex‘s casualties numbered 58 dead, 65 wounded and 31 missing, or about 60 percent of the crew. British losses were 5 dead and 10 wounded.

The seized Essex would be repaired and would serve in the Royal Navy for 19 years. Porter and his surviving crewmen were paroled home in Essex Junior, arriving in New York on July 6, 1814. The end of Porter’s cruise had been far from a roaring success–he had lost his ship, and nearly all of his prizes had been recaptured or destroyed. Despite all, though, he and his remaining men received a hero’s welcome upon their return home. After all, theirs really had been an epic voyage, a war patrol to have few rivals for endurance, innovation, self-reliance and early successes. *

This article was written by Tom DeForest and originally appeared in the June 1994 issue of Military History magazine. For more great articles be sure to subscribe to Military History magazine today!


David H. Porter

David H. Porter, the college's fifth president, came to Skidmore in 1987 from Carleton College, where he taught classics and music. Early in his presidency, Porter established the Commission on the '90s to help chart Skidmore's course to the twenty-first century. The commission recommended new institutional priorities, with an emphasis on enhancing the academic tone on campus, ensuring long-term financial stability and promoting greater diversity within the campus community and curriculum.

During the Porter presidency, Skidmore launched the Honors Forum as well as a program of scholarships in science and mathematics, now named in his honor.

The campus landscape changed dramatically during his tenure, as Skidmore renovated and expanded Scribner Library, constructed an outdoor athletic complex, built an addition to the Sports and Recreation Center and expanded Dana Science Center.

In addition, Porter helped lead the largest fundraising effort in Skidmore's history, the Skidmore Journey: A Campaign for Our Second Century, launched in 1993. The five-year campaign raised $86.5 million, enabling the college to substantially increase its endowment and providing funds for construction of the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery.

Following his term as president, he returned to the classroom, teaching at his alma mater, Princeton University, as well as Williams College, Indiana University and Skidmore, where he served as the first Tisch Family Distinguished Professor. He retired from the classroom in 2013, but remained an active scholar and contributor to the Skidmore community until his death in 2016.


SongCraft Presents: The Story of the Song Educated at Woodstock? David Porter Tells the History of “Soul Man”

“I was educated at Woodstock,” Sam Moore barks in the third verse of “Soul Man,” the 1967 pop and R&B hit he recorded with duet partner Dave Prater. The song became a massive hit for Sam & Dave and was revived again in 1979 when it was released as the debut single by The Blues Brothers. But it was written two years before the legendary Woodstock music festival, so what were Sam & Dave talking about? In an interview with the Songcraft: Spotlight on Songwriters podcast (part of the American Songwriter Podcast Network), Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee David Porter sheds new light on the details of the song that won Sam & Dave a Grammy and earned induction into the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry.

“Isaac and I always wanted to top what we had just done,” Porter explains of his songwriting partnership with Isaac Hayes that flowered at Memphis’s legendary Stax Records, “so we would be trying to come up with ideas.” It was Hayes who brought in the title “Soul Man” as a starting point. “He saw it or heard it in Detroit,” Porter recalls, “for something that was going on, something relative to race situations, civil rights.” In an interview with National Public Radio, Hayes elaborated that the genesis for the idea came from the 1967 12 th Street Riot in Detroit. “It was said,” he recounted, “that if you put ‘soul’ on the door of your business establishment, they wouldn’t burn it….It was a galvanizing kind of thing for African Americans.”

As Porter reveals, he and Hayes often spent a good bit of time discussing the ideas they wanted to communicate through lyrics. “We talked about a way to make that title have some unique and special thing,” he explains, “an idea that talked about education, that talked about humble beginnings, that talked about all of the special things that make you a special man, a soul man. It was, we felt, a way to create a motivational thing for people—certainly for black people at the time—but also for any person who wanted to feel that they had something inside of them that gave them the wherewithal to go to the next level.” For Hayes and Porter, the song worked as an anthem of racial empowerment, as well as a celebration of anyone who sought to overcome obstacles. “We were thinking in terms of how to make that idea more than just a song talking about a hip guy,” David elaborates. “We were trying to make it about a special guy.”

But what about Woodstock? Turns out it wasn’t referring to the town in upstate New York, but to an educational facility in rural Shelby County, outside Memphis. “Woodstock was a high school near where Justin Timberlake came from, from Millington, Tennessee,” Porter reveals. “That’s the humble beginning part of that….No one put very much attention on the Woodstock phrase until here comes the music festival and here comes Belushi and Aykroyd….It had everything to do with the context that the song was created in—humble beginnings, dirt road, getting an education…coming from the soil, so to speak, to build yourself up, to be all the man you need to be.”

Hayes and Porter wanted the concept to come across in both the lyrics and the music. “We were looking at ways,” he says, “to create the uniqueness…from the message perspective, [but] also from the rhythm of it. There was a little beat that [drummer] Al Jackson put on the track that we called sanctified.” The slide guitar lick, which Stax lore says Steve Cropper created by using a Zippo lighter across the frets, was an intentional nod to a simple upbringing. “We wanted to take it all the way back to the Mississippi steel guitar beginnings,” Porter adds. The result was so electrifying that Sam Moore spontaneously exclaimed, “Play it, Steve”—a shout-out that remained on the final recording.

Hayes and Porter had already created a string of Top 10 R&B hits for Sam & Dave, including “You Don’t Know Like I Know,” “Hold On, I’m Comin’,” “Said I Wasn’t Gonna Tell Nobody,” “You Got Me Hummin’,” and “When Something is Wrong With My Baby,” but none of them had cracked the Top 20 on Billboard’s pop chart. With “Soul Man,” however, Porter had a feeling they’d created something special. He was so certain, in fact, that he made a wager with label owner Jim Stewart (the “ST” of Stax) that it would become a #1 pop hit. “I said, ‘I’ll bet you $20,000 it’ll be a #1 record,’” Porter laughs. “So Jim Stewart shook my hand that I said it would be a #1 pop record. ‘Soul Man.’ $20,000. Now, you have to understand what year that was…$20,000 was a lot of money! And, so, he shook my hand. ‘Soul Man’ hit #1 for one week. The Beatles didn’t let it stay long. Top 10 record on Billboard, #1 on Cash box. And Jim Stewart lost $20,000.”

Scott B. Bomar is a Grammy-nominated writer, researcher, and award-winning author. He is the co-host, with Paul Duncan, of the podcast Songcraft: Spotlight on Songwriters.


A history of Cambodia

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Porter, David Dixon

Porter, David Dixon (1813�), American admiral.Born in Chester, Pennsylvania, Porter was the son of David Porter, naval hero in the War of 1812. A midshipman in the U.S. Navy at sixteen, young Porter commanded his first ship at thirty‐three during the Mexican War. In the Civil War, he became one of the leading commanders in the Union Navy. In April 1862 during the Siege of New Orleans, he led a flotilla of twenty‐one small gunboats each with a 13‐inch heavy mortar, which bombarded the forts guarding the narrow channel, enabling Adm. David Farragut's fleet of warships to get upriver and successfully besiege the city itself. During the following year, Porter, in charge of the gunboats, ironclads, and supply ships on the Mississippi north of Vicksburg, aided Gens. Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman in their long and ultimately successful Siege of Vicksburg (1862�) and establishment of Union control of the entire Mississippi River. Promoted to rear admiral�ter Farragut, the second in U.S. history to hold that rank—Porter assumed command of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron and the naval portion of two joint land‐sea expeditions in the winter of 1864� against Fort Fisher, guarding the port of Wilmington, North Carolina. After Gen. Benjamin F. Butler failed in his assault, Gen. Alfred Terry succeeded with the support of Porter's sizable fleet, which bombarded the fort and sent 2,000 sailors and marines to join 8,000 soldiers in storming the parapets, achieving the only successful large‐scale amphibious attack against a strongly fortified position in the Civil War. After the war, Porter served as superintendent (1865�) of the U.S. Naval Academy. He was promoted to vice admiral (1866) and full admiral (1870) on the death of Farragut. The two officers, aggressive and successful in their coordinated efforts with the Union Army, were the leading Union naval commanders of the Civil War.

Richard S. West, Jr. , The Second Admiral: A Life of David Dixon Porter, 1813� , 1937
Chester G. Hearn , Admiral David Dixon Porter: The Civil War Years , 1996.

John Whiteclay Chambers II

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David Porter - History

History of Porter, New York

FROM LANDMARKS OF NIAGARA COUNTY, NEW YORK
EDITED BY: WILLIAM POOL
PUBLISHED BY D. MASON & CO. PUBLISHERS, SYRACUSE, NY 1897

CHAPTER XV.
THE TOWN OF PORTER.

The other one of the three towns which were set off from Cambria in 1812 (Niagara and Hartland having already been described) was Porter, which was erected on the same date with Hartland-June 1 of that year. When erected this town included what is now the town of Wilson which was set off in 1818. The town was named in honor of Judge Augustus Porter. It is the northwestern town in the county and includes Fort Niagara, Youngstown and Lewiston along its lake and river front-localities which, as the reader has already learned, were the scene of some of the most memorable early events in American history. The surface of this town is generally level and the soil along the lake shore a many clay, while in the central and southern parts it is sandy and gravelly loam. Four-mile and Six mile Creeks cross the town in a northerly direction and the west branch of Twelve-mile Creek crosses the southeastern part in a similar direction. The first town meeting was held at the house of Peter Tower, but the date is probably lost. There is an existing record that the town meeting was held April 11, 1815, two years after the erection of the town. In the old book with this record are meagre accounts of a few other meetings, but containing nothing of especial importance. It is quite probable that the war interfered to such an extent that these meetings were almost wholly interrupted in the early years but there is nothing to indicate that the meeting of 1815 was the first one held, while the absence of records for two or three years prior to 1819 could scarcely be attributed to the war troubles. Following is a copy of the proceed. ings of the meeting of April 11, 1815. as recorded in the old book:

Dexter F. Sprague, supervisor Elijah Hathaway, town clerk Joseph Pease, Nathaniel McCormick and Thaddeus N. Sturges, assessors Conrad Zittle and Zebulon Coates, overseers of the poor Benjamin Kemp, John Martin and John Brown. commissioners of highways David Porter, constable and collector Thaddeus McIntyre, constable Conrad Zittle and David Porter, poundkeepers.

On the 20th of June of that year Reuben Wilson was chosen supervisor in place of Mn. Sprague, the reason not being recorded. At the town meeting of April 6, 1819, the following officers were chosen:

Michael Helms, supervisor Thomas Brown, town clerk Jonathan Bell, George Ash and William Doty, assessors John Dunlap, collector Conrad Zittle and Daniel Kelley, overseers of the poor Conrad Zittle, Daniel Kelley and Richard Cuddaback, commissioners of highways Moses Barto, A. G. Hinman and John A. Hyde, commissioners of schools Jonathan Bell and Isaac Swain, inspectors of schools John Dunlap. constable Daniel Kelley, poundmaster.

The usual regulations for the government of the town were voted at this arid the preceding meetings. Among them was the appointment of fourteen pathmasters to have charge of the road districts.

The supervisors of Porter from 1819 to the present time have been as follows
Michael Helms, 1819-24 Moses Barto, 1825-27 William Doty, 1828-29 no election, 1830 Leverett Bristol, 1831-34 Timothy Hosmer, 1835 Leverett Bristol, 1836-41 John Porter, 1842 Ziba Henry. 1843 Jehiel C. S. Ransom, 1844 Solomon Moss, 1845-47 John Porter, 1848 Solomon Moss, 1849 Ira Race, 1850-53 Peter Simmons, 1S54 Ira Race, 1655 George Swain, 1856-59 James L. Fowler, 1860-62 Ezra S. Holden, 1863-64 Ira Race, 1865-66 Rensselaer Ward, 1867-70 Elton T. Ransom, 1871-73 James M. Foster. 1874 Elton T. Ransom, 1875-77 Richard D. Balmer, 1878 Peter S. Tower, 1879 Rensselaer Ward, 1880 Joseph Thompson, 1881-82 Alonzo U. Gatchell, 1883-84 Joseph Thompson, 1885 George Swain, 1886 Nelson D. Haskell, 1887 A. Judson Eaton, 1888 Harvey Cudaback, 1889-90 John E. Reardon. 1891-93 Elmer E. Brookins, 1894-96 Edwin S. Carter, 1897-98.

The other town officers for 1897 are:
Edward G. Hall, town clerk William J. Sweet, H. H. Helms and Warren Curtis, justices of the peace Francis Kyte, Frederick Kelley and William Hill, a.sessors George Parker, highway commissioner William N. Burmaster, collector George C. McCormick and John W. Haskell, overseers of the poor.

The town has now a population of about 2,300.

John Gould came from New Jersey in 1788 as a drover. He gave some of his recollections to Turner as follows:

Col. Hunter was then in command at Fort Niagara. Our cattle and pack horses were ferried across to Newark in hateaux and Schenectady boats. Nothing then at Newark but an old ferry house and, the barracks that had been occupied by Butler's Rangers. The Massasauga Indians were numerous then in Canada. They had no fixed habitations migrated from camping ground to camping ground in large parties their principal camping grounds, Niagara and Oueenston. There were their fishing grounds. Sometimes there would be dye or six hundred encamped at Niagara. They were small in stature, gay, lively, filthy antI much addicted to drunken ness.

We sold our cattle principally to Butler's Rangers. They were located mostly at the falls, along the Four and Twelve-mile Creeks. Oxen brought as high as cows, £20.

The settlement of this town which may be considered as permanent did not take place until about the beginning of the present century, although momentous events had preceded along the frontier. John Lloyd, who had been a soldier in the garrison in 1799, settled in 1801 about three miles from the fort. After the war he occupied a farm on lot 27. The following list embraces the names of all who took land from the Holland Company down to the year 1807, and are given in the order of the dates of their contracts: 1803, Elijah Doty, John Waterhouse, Silas Hopkins, Peter Hopkins, Obadiah Hopkins, Conrad Zittle, Ephraim Hopkins, John Clemmons, Robert Bigger, James Benedict and William McBride. 1804, Peter and Ephraim Hopkins, additional land, Samuel Hopkins, John Freeman and John Wilson. 1805, William Coggswell, Jonathan Jones, Abijah Perry and Samuel Shelly. i 8o6, Peter Ripson and John Brown, and William McBride took additional land. A few of these men were not actual settlers, but bought for speculation, among them Silas Hopkins. Conrad Zittie located at what became known as Zittle's Corners, later as Porter Center. Abijah Perry was father of William Perry, born August 11, 1812, the first birth in the town after this permanent settlement began. William Coggswell was a man of considerable education and taught the first school in town in 1806. Jonathan Lutts settled in 1806 and afterwards bought a farm of the Holland Company and lived in the town thirty years or more.

In 1808 Isaac Swain, who had previously settled on the Military road, in the town of Niagara, removed to this town and purchased eighty acres of John McBride. which was the southern half of lot 3 of the Mile Reserve. He had an exciting war experience and was father of William and George Swain. Michael Lutts came in about the same time with his brother Jonathan, and William Arbuthnot came during or directly after the war.

Settlement here was almost wholly stopped by the war, only two pioneers of importance coming in 1814 these were Rudolph Clapsaddle and Joseph McCullum. The former located on lot 4, and the latter on lot 9. John Vrooman came in at the close of the war, having been stolen by Indians during the Revolution and brought to Twomile Creek, where he remained a captive a number of years. He was afterwards rescued and taken to Montreal, whence he removed to his former home in Schoharie. John McLoughiin settled in town in 1815, coming over from Canada. Peter Tower also came that year, he and his brother Otis making their way from Massachusetts with a two horse wagon. Peter bought 100 acres of Conrad Zittle, and Otis settled on another farm in this town. Michael Helms was living in town before the war Peter Tower lived with him before his marriage and worked at his trade of carpenter and cabinet maker. He was a prominent citizen in public affairs and caused the opening of the first road east from Four mile Creek to the Cambria line.

William and John Clapsaddle came into the town in 1816, John locating on lot 9. He built the first saw mill and grist mill about the year 1817, and kept an early tavern at what is now Tryonville. In the same year David Baker settled in Youngstown, worked there as a carpenter three years, and then removed to the site of Porter Center, where he purchased land of Gideon Curtiss. In the next year Mr. Curtiss took up land within the limits of Ransomville, and cut the first timber in that part of the town, and helped to lay out the road through the village and the one from the Ridge to the lake. His brother, Capt. Gilbert W. Curtiss, came in and ultimately made a home near by and went back to Connecticut, their native State, for his bride. They returned in a one-horse lumber wagon, and when they reached the Ridge they were compelled to cut a road through the woods to the site of Ransomville. They brought apple seeds with them. from which an orchard was started, which was the beginning of the large fruit growing interest of the eastern part of the town. He was a captain in the old militia, and from that position obtained his well known title. In 1825 he opened a tavern at Ransomville in a log building which stood in front of the later hotel. His brother Gideon had already opened an earlier inn at this place, but gave up the business before 1823. The tavern was kept in later years by the two Sons of Captain Curtiss, the well known business firm of Curtiss Brothers. Captain Curtiss died in 1868.

Other prominent settlers in the town between 1820 and 1840 were Stephen Eaton, who came about 1820 and settled where his son subsequently lived Charles Quade, who was the first settler on lot 51, and in 1830 built a tavern at what was then called Quade's Corners, and afterwards Ransomville Jonathan Moss, who came from Vermont in 1823 and took up 168 acres at Moss's Corners, a mile and a half west of Ransomville David Force, who settled on lot 25, in 1825 Horace Munson Durand, who arrived about 1823 the Jeffords family, who came in 1826, and purchased of Richard Cuddaback the farm occupied in later years by James Warren Jehial S. C. Ransom, after whom Ransomville was named, who came from Ulster county on foot about 1826 he was the first postmaster at Ransomville L. C. Beals, William Kyte, and John Hutchinson, who came in 1829 J. B. Clark, father of P. C. Clark, came in 1830 Charles G. Willie, who settled on lot 11 in 1831 Lyman Whittaker and Erastus Downer, both of whom settled in town in 1831 David Johnson, William C. McCormick, John Robertson, and David Johnson, all of whom came in 1832 Chester Balcom, John Powley, and William and John Whitfield, who settled in 1834 James Warren and Henry Balmer, who came in 1836. Many other families are represented in Part III of this work.

Among the prominent residents of the town are S. Park Baker, Peter S. Tower, Daniel Bradley, Samuel Brookins, E. S. Carter, John and Joseph Clapsaddle, Robert and William Clapsaddle, James M. Foster, Francis Kyte, Henry Lutz, Madison McCollum, Richard McCracken, George L. Moot, George Parker, H. B. Timothy, George P. Tower, H. B. Tower, John E. Reardon, William Smithson, Christopher Quade, George C. McCormick, N. D. Haskell, Nicholas and Frank Hoffman, Edward Calvert, Almeron Barker, Smith Bradley, Leander Dutton, A. J. Eaton, Charles R. Ayer.

A tannery was in existence in this town before the war on lot 9 of the Mile Reserve, and was owned by Burton & Son. John Clapsaddle built a small grist mill in 1817, which was operated some years, when the water power failed and the town was without a mill until the building of the one at Youngstown in 1840. Mr. Clapsaddle also built a saw mill about the time of the erection of the grist mill it long ago went to decay.

The village of Youngstown is one of the oldest on the frontier, as the reader has learned in earlier pages of this work. At the establishment of the Niagara customs district in 1799, the port of entry was located at Fort Niagara and remained there until 1811 when it was removed to Lewiston. Only a very small settlement was gathered at Youngstown at the time of the devastation of the frontier by the British in 1813, and that was wholly destroyed. After the war the locality again assumed considerable importance and activity the cutting of the fine oak timber in this section gave employment to many of the early settlers, and the shipment of large quantities of the timber to England for use in shipbuilding was a source of a considerable commercial interest here for some years. Later on a good deal of wheat was shipped from here to Oswego, and other business interests came into existence which contributed to the growth of the place.

Robert Grensit kept the first tavern in this town on the site of Youngstown, and the house was conducted by his widow after his death. Colonel Hathaway, a prominent early resident, kept a tavern as as early as 1815 on the site of the present Ontario House a small grocery was connected with the house. Peter Tower, before mentioned, opened a small public house here about 1819-20. John Young, who came from Niagara, Ont., probably kept the first store, and the village received its name from him he was identified prominently with the early public interests of the place. A school was opened in the village in i8o6 by William Cogswell, and the first school house was built about 1823. The village was a small and quiet hamlet until towards 1825, after which the business interests were extended more rapidly. The following decription of the place in 1823 is taken from another work

The woods grew down to the rear of the lots on Main street and between this place and Lewiston the road passed through the forest that extended to the eastward and to the edge of the river on the west. There were not more than a dozen frame houses within the limits of the present corporation. There was only one store, which from the color of the building in which it was kept, was called the "red store." It was conducted by two young men named Chittenden and Woodruff, but John Young furnished the merchandise, and the business was carried on in his interest. Of taverns there seems to have been more than the business of that time demanded, there being no less than three. The first was located at the north end of Main street and was kept by Phillips & Williams the second about midway of the street, was that of Col. Elijah Hathaway, and the third, which stood at the end of the Street. was conducted by Robert Campbell. The accommodations were good for that day. There was one wagon shop and one blacksmith shop, the first being the property of two men named Squires & De Wolf, and the second that of Nathaniel Brown. Judge A. G. Hinman was the postmaster, the post-office being in his house, near the center of the settlement. Mail arrived daily by stage from Lewiston and points east and south

The foregoing gives a clear picture of Youngstown in its early business existence, and is sufficient evidence that as late as 1820 the village was not one of great importance or bright prospects. Gordon Davis came from Connecticut in 1823 and soon afterward began business in the shoe and leather trade. David Burge came from New Hampshire to the village the same year and afterwards was a partner with Mr. Davis they added other goods to their stock and for some years carried on a large trade. Mr. Davis retired from the firm in 1830 and Mr. Burge continued it.

Jason Davis, brother of Gordon, came to Youngstown in 1835, with his sons, Bradley D. and Nelson R. Davis. They had previously in 1830 spent one year in Lewiston, and returned to New Hampshire. Soon after their arrival in Youngstown the father and Bradley D. Davis opened a grocery under the firm name of J. Davis & Son. A general stock of goods was later added and for twenty years the firm did a large trade for the times the firm was dissolved by the death of the senior member. Bradley D. Davis, and later the firm of B. D. Davis & Co. carried on the business.

Dr. John A. Hyde came to Youngstown in i8i8, and for many years was the only physician there.

W. H. Doyle, who later became a member of the business firm of W. H. Doyle & Co., merchants, came to the village in 1835. Alfred Emerson, at one period a member of the firm of Alfred Emerson & Co, settled early in the village, became a leading merchant and buyer of produce. Alexander Barton, a painter, came to the village in 1823, worked at his trade for a time and afterwards opened a hotel, which was burned with other structures on the night of April 19-20, 1863, and was rebuilt by him. Ira Race settled in the place in 1826, followed farming until 1833, when he was chosen deputy sheriff and held the position three years after that he held various local offices, and for about forty. seven years was a justice of the peace. He is still living (1897), with his wife, both being over ninety.

Judge A. G. Hinman was a conspicuous citizen of Youngstown for many years, was respected for his high character exhibited in his official life and his activity in promoting the early religious and educational institutions of the town. George Swain was a son of Isaac Swain, the pioneer, and became a prominent citizen. He was born in the town in 1819, was a successful farmer and held various public offices his brother William, born in 1821, also was prominent asa farmer and fruit grower.

The stone grist mill in the village was erected in 1840 by Hezekiah H. Smith it was burned on the night of February 22, 1851, but was soon afterward repaired and was operated by Jason and Nelson R. Davis, and still later by B. D. Davis. It is still standing, though used for other purposes.

In 1855 B. D. Davis & Co. erected their large brick block. The stone hotel (the Ontario House) was built in 1842 by Alexander Lane, near the site of the old Hathaway tavern it subsequently became the property of Robert McKnight, and later of his heirs, and has been conducted under the name of the Ontario House by H. C. Root and others. It is now kept by Timothy J. Murphy. The El Dorado Hotel, of which Frank C. Steele is proprietor, was built about 1891.

A saw mill was built in Youngstown in 1866 by W. D. Clark. A foundry was established and long conducted by William Ripson & Co. it is now conducted by Julius Ripson. D. & J. Onen manufactured barrels for a time. The present business interests of the village consists of Edward G. Hall, shoes, etc. Charles L. Taylor, drugs John A, Haskell, George M. Carter, and L. C. Beals, groceries William A. Hutchinson, general store F. C. Thompson, dry goods and W. R. Robinson, hardware.

The Youngstown News was started March 4, 1881, by Nelson D. Haskell, who on January 1, 1889, was succeeded by G. Oliver Frick, the present editor and publisher. It is an eight-page weekly.

G. Oliver Frick, editor and proprietor of the Youngstown News, is the son of Joseph A. and Clara Elizabeth P. Frick, and was born in Pittsburg, Pa.. January 26, 1872. He came to Wolcottsville, Niagara county, in 1880, and in 1884 removed to Youngstown, where he finished his education, which was supplemented by attendance at the public schools of Buffalo. When thirteen he began learning the printer's trade on the Youngstown News, then owned by Nelson D. Haskell, and he also spent one year in Buffalo in the book department of Matthews, Northrup & Co. On January 1, 1889, he purchased the Youngstown News, of which he has since been the editor and proprietor, and which he has placed in the front rank of Niagara county weekly newspapers. He was married in September, 1893, to Sarah W., daughter of Aaron Winchester, of Youngstown.

The village of Youngstown was incorporated April 18, 1854, upon the presentation of a petition to the Legislature prepared by the following persons: Ira Race, A. G. Skinner, W. H. Doyle and L. P. Babcock. The boundaries of the village were made to include Jots and 2 and parts of lots 3 and of the Mile Reserve. The first village election was held on the 4th of October, 1854, and the following officers chosen:
President, George Swain trustees, George Swain, Samuel Fosdick, Nelson R. Davis, Lewis C. Beals, and Alfred Emerson clerk, S. Olney assessor, David Burge collector, Paul Durfee treasurer George C. Hotchkiss poundmaster, John Hart.

The present (1897) village officers are Frank C. Steele. president Charles Ripson, August Turner, and Patrick Fitzpatrick, trustees John W. Thompson, clerk.

The settlement on the site of Ransomville was of little importance until after the location there ofJehial C. S. Ransom in 1826, and the establishment of the post-office. He opened a store and established a good business. Other pioneers here were Lambert Hail and Leverett Bristol In 1839 William H. H. Ransom, a nephew of the pioneer, settled in the village and worked at his trade of carpenter until 1843, when he bought out his uncle's store, and was the leading merchant until his death his son, Elton T. Ransom, was associated with him under the firm name of W. H. H. Ransom & Son, which is still retained.

The Curtiss Brothers, before mentioned, have long been prominently identified with the business interests of the village. Besides conducting the hotel, the Ransomville House, they. in 1877, built the Excelsior elevator and grain storehouse with a capacity of 25,000 bushels, and are engaged largely in the handling of grain and fruit.

W. H. H. Ransom & Son built a large brick store in 1872, and in 1877 erected a brick storehouse on a side track to the R., W. & O. Railroad, which runs through the village. They carry on an extensive grain, produce and general mercantile business.

Fowler & Harwick built a brick store building, which passed to possession of James Bullock, who carried on mercantile business there. Other old merchants were C. A. Barnes, Clark Ransom, A. U. Gatchell, S. D. McCracken and George I. Eaman. The present merchants are W. H. H. Ransom & Son, William T. Gentle, Corwin & Hubbell, F. D. McCormick, A. J. Barry, Dwight Sanger and A B. Thompson & Sons.

David Bagley also has a cider and vinegar works. The Ransomville Basket Manufacturing Company was started in 1894 and gives employment to a number of hands S. H. Morris is president and W. T. Gentle secretary and treasurer.

East Porter, Tryonville and Porter Center are hamlets in this town, the latter having a general store kept by C. C. Clapsaddle.

Fort Niagara is situated at the mouth and on the east bank of the Niagara River, and its historic periods are recorded in Peter A. Porter's book as follows:

Recognizing the title to the spot where Fort Niagara stands as vested in the Senecas after their conquest of the Neuters in 1651, we may divide its history into the following periods: Indian ownership, 1651-1669 Indian ownership, French influence predominating, 1669-1725 Indian ownership. French occupation, 1725-1759 indian ownership, English occupation, 1759-1764 English ownership and occupation, 1759-1783 American ownership, English occupation, the hold-over period, 1783-1796: American ownership and occupation (excepting December 19, 1813, to March 27, 1815), 1796-1896.

The history of the fort has been noticed in detail in earlier pages of this volume. It has been garrisoned, with the exception of a brief interim, since March 27, 1815, and the last defensive work of consequence-the brick facing of the bastions, facing east, dates from 1861. It is now the regimental headquarters of the 13th U. S. Infantry, Col. Alfred T. Smith commanding.

The village of Youngstown and vicinity in late years has attracted a number of summer residents, whose pretty homes have added much to the beauty of the place. In 1896 an electric railroad, known as the "Old Fort Route," was built by the Lewiston and Youngstown Frontier Railway Company, of which Laurence D. Rumsey is president Henry C. Howard, vice president Kari Evans, secretary George R. Teller, treasurer and Robert B. Goodman, superintendent. The main line, opened August 11, 1896, is eight miles long a branch extends to Rumsey Park and Beach on Lake Ontario.

The first school in this town has been mentioned. The town was early divided into districts and school houses gradually built, to accommodate the growing population. The first school house in Youngstown was built about 1823, and was subsequently moved away and a stone structure erected in its place. The first school house was used for religious meetings until churches were built. For the last fifty years the number of districts has been e.leven, and there is now a comfortable school house in each. The town with six others of the county constitutes the second commissioner's district A graded school building was erected of brick in Youngstown about two years ago.

The first religious services in the town were held in very early years at the fort, but there was little attempt to hold regular meetings elsewhere until 1823 Methodist itinerants came into the town with more or less regularity and held meetings. In 1823 a preacher named Everett visited Youngstown and finding a few persons who were inclined to co operate in the formation of a church, he appointed a meeting at the house of Judge A. G. Hinman for that purpose. The society was organized in the Presbyterian faith in 1823, with the following members: Mr. and Mrs. Bartol, Mr. Kelly, Mrs. Lutts, Mrs. McCormick, Mrs. Rebecca Hathaway and her daughter Pauline, and Judge Hinman. A church was built in 1836 under direction of Hezekiah H. Smith, John A. Hyde, Gordon Davis and David Burge. The building was enlarged in 1844 to accommodate the increasing membership. In 1896-97 this was replaced by the present structure.

The Baptist church at Ransomville was organized in March, 1834, with thirty seven members. The first pastor was Rev. Samuel J. Olney. The first church was built in 1840, of wood it was remodeled in 1870.

A Methodist church was organized at Porter Center. a hamlet in the central part of the town, in March, 1838, with forty members. A church edifice was built in 1851. The first pastor was Rev. William Buck.

Another Methodist church was organized at East Porter, the class of which was formed in 1821 but the church (Fillmore chapel) was not built until 1852. The original members numbered fourteen. This society was in the Porter Center charge.

The Methodist church of Youngstown was regularly organized in June, 1852, with twenty members meetings were held in the school house until 1854, when the church edifice, begun in the previous year, was finished. Through the prevailing division in this denomination, which took place in 1869, this church was sold at auction, and was purchased by John Carter for the purpose of having services continued. Regular meetings were held until 1869 after which no stated services were held. In July, 1872, regular meetings were renewed and in that year the conference united the Youngstown and Porter Center churches in one charge they were again separated in 1876, in which year Mr. Carter deeded back the church building to the society under a favorable arrangement. It was re opened in May, 1877, and has since continued active.

St. John's Episcopal church at Youngstown is noticed in the chapter devoted to Lockport.

St. Bernard's Roman Catholic parish was organized in Youngstown about 1830, when a chapel was instituted, and services were conducted by priests from Suspension Bridge or Lewiston.


Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War.

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Letters relating to the battle of Port Royal and occupation of the Confederate forts.

From Flag-officer Dupont , Commander Steedman , and Lieutenants-commanding C. R. P. Rodgers , Ammen , Stevens and Watmough -- Major John G. Reynolds , U. S. M. C.--Commendatory letters of Secretary Welles --General orders, etc

Report of Flag-officer Dupont :

Sir — I have the honor to inform you that yester day I attacked the enemy's batteries on Bay Point and Hilton Head ( Forts Beauregard and Walker ), and succeeded in silencing them after an engagement of four hours duration, and driving away the squadron of rebel steamers under Commodore Tatnall . The reconnoissance of yesterday made us acquainted with the superiority of Fort Walker , and to that I directed my especial efforts, engaging it at a distance of, first, eight, and afterwards six, hundred yards. But the plan of attack brought the squadron sufficiently near Fort Beauregard to receive its fire, and the ships were frequently fighting the batteries on both sides at the same time.

The action was begun on my part at twenty-six minutes after 9, and at half-past 2 the American ensign was hoisted on the flag-staff of Fort Walker , and this morning at sunrise on that of Fort Beauregard .

The defeat of the enemy terminated in utter rout and confusion. Their quarters and encampments were abandoned without an attempt to carry away either public or private property. The ground over which they fled was strewn with the arms of private soldiers, and officers retired in too much haste to submit to the encumbrance of their swords.

Landing my marines and a company of seamen, I took possession of the deserted ground, and held the forts on Hilton Head till the arrival of General Sherman , to whom I had the honor to transfer its occupation.

We have captured forty-three pieces of cannon, most of them of the heaviest calibre and of the most improved description.

The bearer of these dispatches will have the honor to carry with him the captured flags and two small brass field-pieces, lately belonging to the State of South Carolina , which are sent home as suitable trophies of the day. I enclose herewith a copy of the general order , which is to be read in the fleet to-morrow morning at muster. A detailed account of this battle will be submitted hereafter.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully,

Your most obedient servant,

P. S.--Bearer of dispatches will also carry with him the first American ensign raised upon the soil of South Carolina since the rebellion broke out.

General order no. 2 .

It is the grateful duty of the Commander-in-chief to make a public acknowledgment of his entire commendation of the coolness, discipline, skill and gallantry displayed by the officers and men under his command in the capture of the batteries on Hilton Head and Bay Point , after an action of four hours duration. [392]

The flag-officer fully sympathizes with the officers and men of the squadron in the satisfaction they must feel at seeing the ensign of the Union flying once more in the State of South Carolina , which has been the chief promoter of the wicked and unprovoked rebellion they have been called upon to suppress.

Report of Flag-officer Dupont .

Sir — I have the honor to submit the following detailed account of the action of the 7th of November:

From the reconnaissance of the 5th we were led to believe that the forts on Bay Point and Hilton Head were armed with more than twenty guns each, of the heaviest calibre and longest range, and were well constructed and well manned, but that the one on Hilton Head was the strongest. The distance between them is two and two-tenths nautical miles-too great to admit of their being advantageously engaged at the same time, except at long shot. I resolved, therefore, to undertake the reduction of Hilton Head (or, as I shall hereafter call it, Fort Walker ) first, and afterwards to turn my attention to Fort Beauregard --the fort on Bay Point . The greater part of the guns of Fort Walker were presented upon two water-fronts, and the flanks were but slightly guarded, especially on the north, on which side the approach of an enemy had not been looked for.

A fleet of the enemy — consisting of seven steamers, armed, but to what extent I was not informed further than that they carried rifle-guns — occupied the northern portion of the harbor, and stretched along from the mouth of Beaufort River to Scull Creek .

It was high water on the 7th instant at 11h. 35m. A. M. by the tables of the Coast Survey.

These circumstances — the superiority of Fort Walker and its weakness on the northern flank, the presence of the rebel fleet, and the flood-tide of the morning — decided the plan of attack and the order of battle.

The order of battle comprised a main squadron ranged in line ahead, and a flanking squadron, which was to be thrown off on the northern section of the harbor, to engage the enemy's flotilla and prevent them taking the rear ships of the main line when it turned to the southward, or cutting off a disabled vessel.

The main squadron consisted of the frigate Wabash , Commander C. R. P. Rodgers , the leading ship the frigate Susquehanna , Captain J. L. Lardner the sloop Mohican , Commander S. W. Godon the sloop Seminole , Commander J. P. Gillis the sloop Pawnee , Lieutenant-Commander R. H. Wyman the gun-boat Unadilla , Lieutenant-Commander N. Collins the gun-boat Ottawa , Lieutenant-Commander T. H. Stevens the gun-boat Pembina , Lieutenant-Commander J. P. Bankhead and the sailing sloop Vandalia , Commander F. S. Haggerty , towed by the Isaac Smith , Lieutenant-Commander J. W. A. Nicholson .

The flanking squadron consisted of the gun-boat Bienville , Commander Charles Steedman , the leading ship the gun-boat Seneca , Lieutenant-Commander Daniel Ammen the gun-boat Curlew , Lieutenant Commanding P. G. Watmough the gun-boat Penguin , Lieutenant Commanding T. A. Budd and the gun-boat Augusta , Commander E. G. Parrott , the closing ship of that line.

The plan of attack was to pass up mid-way between Forts Walker and Beauregard (receiving and returning the fire of both) to a certain distance, about two and a half miles north of the latter. At that point the line was to turn to the south around by the west, and close in with Fort Walker , encountering it on its weakest flank, and at the same time enfilading, in nearly a direct line, its two waterfaces. While standing to the southward the vessels were head to tide, which kept them under command, whilst the rate of going was diminished.

When abreast of the fort, the engine was to be slowed and the movement reduced to only as much as would be just sufficient to overcome the tide, to preserve the order of battle by passing the batteries in slow succession, and to avoid becoming a fixed mark for the enemy's fire. On reaching the extremity of Hilton Head and the shoal ground making off from it, the line was to turn to the north by the east, and, passing to the northward, to engage Fort Walker with the port battery nearer than when first on the same course. These evolutions were to be repeated. The accompanying plan will explain the preceding description.

The captains of the ships had been called on board and instructed as to the general formation of the lines and their own respective places.

At 8 o'clock the signal was made to get under way. At 8h. 10m. the ship, riding to the flood, tripped her anchor and at 8h. 30m. the ship turned, and was headed in for the forts. At 9 the signal was made for close order. At 9h. 26m. the action was commenced by a gun from Fort Walker , immediately followed by another from Fort Beauregard . This was answered at once from this ship, and immediately after from the Susquehanna . At 10 o'clock the leading ship of the line turned to the southward, and made signal to the Vandalia (which ship, in tow of the Isaac Smith , was dropping astern, and was exposed, without support, to the fire of Fort Beauregard ) to join company. At 10h. 15m. the signal was made for closer action, the Wabash slowly passing Fort Walker at a distance, when abreast, of eight hundred yards. At 11 the signal was made to get into and preserve stations, and at 11h. 15m. to follow the motions of the Commander-in-chief .

Standing to the northward, nearly in the line shown in the diagram, the ship's head was again turned to the southward, and she passed the guns of Fort Walker at a distance less than six hundred yards (the sights were adjusted to five hundred and fifty yards). At 11h. 30m. the enemy's flag was shot away.

The second fire with the starboard guns of the Wabash , and Captain Lardner , in the Susquehanna , my second in command, who always kept so near as to give me the entire support of his formidable battery, seems at this short distance to have discomforted the enemy. Its effect was increased by the shells thrown from the smaller vessels at the enfilading point. It was evident that the enemy's fire was becoming much less frequent, and finally it was kept up at such long intervals and with so few guns as to be of little consequence.

After the Wabash and Susquehanna had passed to the northward, and given the fort the fire of their port battery the third time, the enemy had entirely ceased to reply and the battle was ended.

At 1h. 15m. the Ottawa signalled that the works at Hilton Head were abandoned. This information was, a few minutes later, repeated by the Pembina . As soon as the starboard guns of this ship and the Susquehanna had been brought to bear a third time on Fort Walker , I sent Commander John Rodgers on shore with a flag of truce. The hasty flight of the enemy was visible, and was reported from the tops. At twenty minutes after two Captain Rodgers hoisted the flag of the Union over the deserted post. At forty-five minutes after two I anchored and sent Commander C. R. P. Rodgers on shore with the marines and a party of [393] seamen to take possession and prevent, if necessary, the destruction of public property.

The transports now got underway, and came rapidly up, and by nightfall Brigadier-General Wright 's brigade had landed and entered upon the occupation of the ground.

I have said, in the beginning of this report, that the plan of attack designed making the reduction of Fort Walker the business of the day. In passing to the northward, however, we had improved every opportunity of firing at long range on Fort Beauregard . As soon as the fate of Fort Walker was decided, I dispatched a small squadron to Fort Beauregard to reconnoitre and ascertain its condition, and to prevent the rebel steamers returning to carry away either persons or property.

Near sunset it was discovered that the flag upon this fort was hauled down, and that the fort was apparently abandoned.

At sunrise the next day the American ensign was hoisted on the flag-staff at Fort Beauregard by Lieutenant-Commander Ammen .

The Pocahontas , Commander Percival Drayton , had suffered from the gale of Friday night so badly as not to be able to enter Port Royal until the morning of the 7th. He reached the scene of action about 12 o'clock, and rendered gallant service by engaging the batteries on both sides in succession.

Lieutenant-Commander H. L. Newcomnb , of the R. B. Forbes , which vessel had been employed in towing in the Great Republic , arrived in time to take good part in the action.

And, finally, the tug Mercury , Acting-Master Martin commanding, employed his single Parrott gun with skill and effect.

After congratulating you upon the success thus far of our expedition, which had its origin in the counsels of the Department, and which the Department has fostered and labored to render efficient, the gratifying duty remains to be performed of according to each and all their due share of praise for good conduct in their encounter with the enemy. This duty, though most welcome, is still delicate.

I am well aware that each one did his part in his place, and when I discriminate it is in cases that necessarily fell under my own immediate observation. I have no doubt that all would have embraced and improved the same opportunities of distinction and in noticing those who were made prominent by their stations, or who were near me during the action, I aim showing no invidious preference.

The General Order No. 2 , already forwarded to the Department, expressed in general terms my commendation of the gallantry and skill of the officers and men.

The reports of the commanding officers of the several ships, herewith enclosed, do justice to those under them while the results speak for the commanding officers themselves. The names of the latter are mentioned in the beginning of this dispatch. I refer with pleasure to them again. They (lid their duty to my satisfaction, and I am most happy to bear testimony to their zeal and ability.

The officers of this ship, to whom I am deeply indebted, will be mentioned by her commander, C. R. P. Rodgers , in his special report.

It affords me the highest gratification to speak of the manner in which this ship was handled during the engagement, owing, in a great measure, to the professional skill, the calm and rapid judgment and the excellent management of Commander C. R. P. Rodgers . His attention was divided between this duty and the effective service of the guns, which involved the estimation of distances, the regulation of fuses and the general supervision of the divisions. His conduct and judicious control of everything within the sphere of his duty, though no more than was to be expected from his established reputation, impressed me with a higher estimation than ever of his attainments and character.

I had also an opportunity to remark the admirable coolness and discrimination of the first-lieutenant , T. G. Corbin . The good order, discipline and efficiency, in every respect, of this ship are, to a great extent, the results of his labors as executive officer, and they were conspicuous on this occasion. Acting-Master Stiles , acting as pilot, was devoted and intelligent in the performance of his duties and the third-assistant engineer, Missieveer , who attended the bell, was prompt and always correct.

Acting-Master S. W. Preston , acting as my flag-lieutenant, displayed throughout the day an undisturbed intelligence and a quick and general observation, which proved very useful. His duties as signal-officer were performed without mistake. This gentleman and the young officers-- Mr. R. H. Lamson , Mr. J. P. Robertson and Mr. J. H. Rowland , who were also under my eye, in immediate command of the pivot-guns and spar-deck divisions — sustained the reputation and exhibited the benefits of the Naval Academy, the training of which only could make such valuable officers of such young men.

Commander John Rodgers , a passenger in this ship, going to take command of the steamer Flag , volunteered to act upon my staff. It would be difficult for me to enumerate the duties he performed, they were so numerous and varied, and he brought to them all an invincible energy and the highest order of professional knowledge and merit. I was glad to show my appreciation of his great services by allowing him the honor to hoist the first American flag on the rebellious soil of South Carolina .

My secretary, Mr. Alexander McKinley , was by my side throughout the engagement, making memoranda under my direction. He evinced the same cool bravery which he once before had an opportunity of showing under fire in a foreign land. It gives me pleasure to mention him here as a gentleman of intelligence, of great worth, and of heartfelt devotion to his country.

I have yet to speak of the chief of my staff and fleet-captain, Commander Charles H. Davis . In the organization of our large fleet before sailing, and in the preparation and systematic arrangement of the duties of our contemplated work — in short, in all the duties pertaining to the flag-officer --I have received his most valuable assistance. He possesses the rare quality of being a man of science and a practical officer, keeping the love of science subordinate to the regular duties of his profession. During the action he watched over the movements. of the fleet, kept the official minutes, and evinced that calmness in danger, which, to my knowledge, for thirty years has been a conspicuous trait in his character.

I have the honor to be, sir, respectfully,

Your most obedient servant,

Report of Lieutenant-Commander C. R. P. Rodgers .

Sir-Although I know that the conduct of the officers and crew of the Wabash are warmly commended by you in the action of the 7th instant, yet, in obedience to your demand for a special report, I respectfully submit the following:

The men did their duty, as became American [394] seamen, with calmness, precision and resolute earnestness. They fought their guns with energy, and pointed them with admirable coolness.

The three gun-deck divisions of 9--inch guns, under Lieutenants Luce , Upshur and Barnes , were commanded by those officers in a manner which illustrated the highest power of both men and guns, and exhibited the greatest effect of manhood and training. I beg leave to commend these officers in terms of the warmest praise, both for skill and conduct and also Lieutenant Irwin , who, in command of the powder division, did everything that a brave and earnest man could do to make his ship efficient.

Acting-Masters Lamson , Rowland and Robertson , in command of the spar-deck guns, followed the example of their seniors on the gun-deck, and did honor to the Naval School, which had, at their early age, trained them to do such efficient service in battle.

Acting- Masters W. H. West , Rockwell , Gregory and Palmer , stationed at the various divisions, evinced patriotic zeal and courage.

Mr. Coghlan , the boatswain, not only did his duty in the sixth division, but also skillfully served the rifled boat-guns, with which he did good service.

The gunner, Mr. Stewart , in the magazine, and the carpenter, Mr. Boardman , with his shot-plugs, did their duty manfully.

The engine and steam, during the whole action, were managed with consummate skill, which did great credit to Chief Engineer King and his assistants. Third- Assistant Engineer Missieveer , who stood upon the bridge by my side during the action, impressed me very favorably by his cool intelligence and promptness.

All the other officers, in their various departments, did their whole duty faithfully.

Acting-Master Stiles rendered most valuable service by his careful attention to the steerage and soundings of the vessel, and by his skill and vigilance in keeping the ship clear of the shoals. I desire to commend him especially to your notice.

My clerk, Mr. Blydenburgh , acted as my aide, and did prompt and good service.

The two oldest seamen in the ship, John Dennis and Henry L. Coons , both quartermasters — the one at the wheel and the other at the signals — well represented the gallantry of their class and generation.

The marines were used as a reserve, and, whenever called upon, rendered prompt assistance at the guns, with the good conduct that has always characterized their corps.

It only remains for me to speak of the executive officer, Lieutenant Corbin , who has filled that post since the Wabash was commissioned. The admirable training of the crew may, in a high degree, be attributed to his professional merit and his gallant bearing and conspicuous conduct throughout the whole action were good illustrations of the best type of a sea-officer.

At the close of the action the Wabash was engaged with Fort Walker at a distance of six hundred yards or less, and her officers and men may well feel satisfied with the precision of their aim and the overwhelming power of their rapid fire. Eight hundred and eighty shells were fired from her guns, chiefly with 5-second fuses Some grape was fired with good effect from the 10-inch gun, in the latter part of the action.

I have to thank that most brave and distinguished officer, Captain C. H. Davis , the captain of the fleet, for the aid he gave me when not engrossed by the important duties of his special station and I desire to pay the same tribute to Commander John Rodgers , who, being a passenger on board, had volunteered to serve on your staff, and never failed to give me most valuable assistance. Nor must I fail to bear witness to the gallant bearing and striking coolness of your young flag-lieutenant, Mr. Preston . I thank you, sir, in the name of the officers and men of your flag-ship, for the example you gave us.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

Report of Commander Charles Steedman .

Sir — I have the honor to report that in the action of yesterday with the forts this vessel was struck several times, one shot passing through and through her, another striking bulwarks, forward, unfortunately mortally wounding two men, Patrick McGuigan and Alexander Chambers (since dead), and slightly wounding three others, Peter Murphy , Alexander Finey and William Gilchrist , while gallantly fighting at their guns.

The other shots did but little damage. It affords me the utmost gratification to bring to your notice the excellent conduct of the officers and men. It would be impossible to particularize the bearing of any one officer or man, such was their gallant conduct.

During the engagement, we fired from this vessel eighty-four 32 solid shots, thirty-nine 32-pound shell, and sixty-two rifle-shell.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Report of Lieutenant-Commander Daniel Ammen .

Sir-In obedience to your order of this date, I nave the honor to make the following report:

On Monday, the 4th, this vessel entered Port Royal , and sounded the channel until within three miles of Bay Point , when we were signalled from the Ottawa to return and anchor, which we did at 4 P. M., near her, about a mile further out and a cable's length nearer the batteries. The fleet generally, at this time, was standing in and anchoring. An hour later, three rebel steamers approached us and opened fire with rifled guns, but at a distance which proved ineffective. The Ottawa , Pembina and this vessel got underway, and, standing in at an angle, allowing our heavy guns to bear, drove them before us. At sunset we returned, and anchored as before.

At daylight on Tuesday several rebel steamers again attacked us. We got underway, and, obeying signals from the Ottawa , accompanied her, with the Pembina , Curlew , Isaac Smith , and afterwards the Pawnee , drove them until we were within a cross-fire of the batteries of Hilton Head and Bay Point , both opening upon us. No material damage was sustained. A heavy shell — or shot, probably — struck the vessel on the port-side, but I have been unable to find it, and probably will not until we get in a sea-way. Our rigging was struck three times. The object being effected — that of ascertaining the strength of the rebel batteries — we returned and anchored, as before, about half-past 8.

Two or three hours after, the rebel steamers again approached us, and, finding that they were within range, I had the satisfaction of firing an 11-inch shell at the flag-ship, which was seen from aloft, as well as by several persons on deck, to strike just abaft the starboard wheel-house. The vessel put into Bay Point , and on returning, or rather showing [395] herself, in the afternoon, had a large white plank forward of the port wheel-house, probably where the shell went out. On the morning of the 7th, obeying signal, we took position assigned us in the line, and, passing up, delivered our fire at Bay Point , and on arriving out of fire of the batteries, made chase — as directed by instructions — to the rebel steamers. They, being river boats, soon left us, and I had the chagrin of having wasted several shells at them at ineffective distance.

Returning to the attack on Hilton Head , we passed so near to the shore as to be fired upon by riflemen, who kept quiet on being fired on by our Parrott 20-pounder. From an enfilading position we began with 10-second fuses, and, closing up, found ourselves within effective 5-second range. As to the latter part of the action, we were within howitzer range, and were using both howitzers effectively, as well as 11-inch gun and Parrott 20-pounder.

During the engagement we fired sixty-three 11-inch shells, 9 with 15-second fuses, 28 with 10-second fuses and 26 with 5-second fuses. Thirty-three projectiles from the Parrott-gun were also fired, and twelve 24-pounder shrapnel.

I am sorry to say that the Parrott shell appears defective its flight was wild and range short. As I fired once myself, I know they were not to be depended on, and the captain of the gun was much disappointed at his results.

During the engagement an officer was kept at the mast-head, whose duty it was to report our firing, by which we were governed. I have, therefore, reason to believe that our fire was effective.

Few of our crew have served before in a vessel-of-war, and as we went into commission only three weeks before the engagement, Mr. Sproston , the first-lieutenant of the vessel, fired nearly all the 11-inch shells with his own hands. Of him, as well as of the officers and crew generally, I have to express my warmest commendations, and my surprise that amidst such a shower of shot and shells we received no damage.

I am, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

Report of Lieutenant-Commander T. H. Stevens .

Sir — I have the honor to report that, as soon as the Ottawa , under my command, could take up her position in the order of battle, I weighed anchor, following in the wake of our leading vessel. When abreast of Bay Point battery, finding that our 11-inch gun was doing good execution. I stopped the engine to engage it, and threw about a dozen shells in and about the fortifications. Discovering, however, that we were under a cross-fire, I steamed up to take distance, in the order assigned. About this time a 32-pound shot struck the Ottawa in the port-waist, just abaft the pivot-gun (11-inch), wounding severely Mr. Kerne , one of the acting-masters who subsequently lost his leg by amputation), one other man seriously, and four others slightly, and doing considerable damage to the deck of the vessel, the coamings of the forward coal-bunker hatch, and splitting two of the upperdeck beams.

Discovering, as we ranged up with the fort on Hilton Head , that we occupied an enfilading position, I continued to occupy it until the enemy deserted their batteries, when, being nearest to them, I signalized the same to the flag-ship and stopped firing, about 500 yards from the fort. While engaging at a distance of about 1,000 yards, and when within 300 yards of the beach of Hilton Head , some of the riflemen of the enemy commenced firing upon us, when we opened with the howitzers charged with shrapnels, and quickly dispersed them.

It only remains for me to notice the good conduct, coolness and gallantry of both officers and men upon the occasion, who behaved with the steadiness of veterans, and to commend them to your favorable notice, and the notice of the Department, as worthy supporters of the cause we have espoused.

Very respectfully,

Order for Unadilla and other ships to take possession of Beaufort, S. C.

Sir-It has been reported to me by Lieutenant-Commander Ammen that, on taking possession of the town of Beaufort , under my orders of the 8th instant, he found that most of the white inhabitants had abandoned the town, and that the negroes were committing excesses and destroying private property.

You will proceed with the most convenient dispatch in the gun-boat Unadilla , under your command, to Beaufort , where you will find the gun-boat Pembina ( Lieutenant-Commander Bankhead ), and the gun-boat Curlew ( Lieutenant-Commander Watmough ), and assume command of the station.

You will employ your forces in suppressing any excesses on the part of the negroes and you will take pains to assure the white inhabitants that there is no intention to disturb them in the exercise of their private rights, or in the enjoyment of their private property.

Acting on this principle of conduct, you will pursue any other measures that may tend to create confidence, to bring back the people to their houses and to re-establish order.

You will please send Lieutenant-Commanding Watmough to report to me to-morrow morning in person upon the actual state of things, and upon the steps you may have found it expedient to take.

Any information you may have it in your power to collect, concerning the state of the surrounding country, will be valuable.

Letter commending the officers of the Curlew by Acting-Lieutenant-Commander Watmough .

Sir-It affords me great pleasure to speak with praise of the general gallantry, coolness, and cheerfulness of the officers and men under my command during the several actions with the rebel squadron and batteries on the 4th, 5th, and 7th instants. Master H. E. Mullan , acting executive officer, rendered efficient service by his readiness and zeal. Acting-Master C. A. Curtis , in charge of the battery of 32s, is deserving of all praise for the spirit he instilled the men with, and effectualness and accuracy [396] of the divisional firing. Acting-Master Spavin 's steadiness at the wheel merits commendation. Acting-Master H. N. Parish , who had charge of the Parrott pivot-gun, disabled early in the action of the 7th by the enemy's shot, afterwards assisted with his crew at the broadside battery.

The paymaster, Wm. A. A. Kerr , acting as signal-officer, by his coolness and watchfulness was of material assistance he also kept a careful record of the incidents of the several actions. Messrs. Emory , Swasey , McConnell and Lloyds , engineers of the vessel, with great difficulties to contend against, in the general unfitness of the engine, boilers and condensing apparatus for such rough service, managed to carry us through the action, for which I was thankful.

Fortunately, the readiness of our medical officer, Mr. Perucer , was not called upon. Master's Mate Duncan , acting as gunner, provided a bountiful supply of ammunition for the battery.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

Commendatory letter to Flag-officer Dupont .

Sir-It is with no ordinary emotion that I tender to you and your command the heartfelt congratulations and thanks of the Government and the country for the brilliant success achieved at Port Royal . In the war now raging against the Government in this most causeless and unnatural rebellion that ever afflicted a country, high hopes have been indulged in the Navy, and great confidence reposed in its efforts.

The results of the skill and bravery of yourself and others have equalled and surpassed our highest expectations. To you and your associates, under the providence of God, we are indebted for this great achievement by the largest squadron ever fitted out under that flag, which you have so gallantly vindicated, and which you will bear onward to continued success. On the receipt of your dispatches announcing the victory at Port Royal , the Department issued the enclosed general order , which, with this letter, you will cause to be read to your command.

I am, respectfully, etc.,

General order .

The Department announces to the Navy and to the country its high gratification at the brilliant success of the combined Navy and Army forces, respectively commanded by Flag-officer S. F. Du - Pont and Brigadier-General W. T. Sherman , in the capture of Forts Walker and Beauregard , commanding the entrance of Port Royal harbor, South Carolina .

To commemorate this signal victory, it is ordered that a national salute be fired from each Navy Yard at meridian on the day after the receipt of this order.

Flag-officer Dupont 's report concerning the Marine battalion, Nov. 15.

Sir — I avail myself of the first moment of leisure to transmit to you the report of Major John George Reynolds , commanding the battalion of marines attached to my squadron, in which he relates all the circumstances attending the loss of the chartered steamer Governor , and the rescue of himself and his command by the frigate Sabine , Captain Ringgold .

The Department will find this report exceedingly interesting, and will be gratified to learn that the conduct of the officers and of nearly all the men of the battalion was such as to command Major Reynolds ' approval, as it will, I doubt not, receive the favorable notice of the Department. The established reputation and high standing of Major Reynolds might almost dispense with any observations of my own upon the bravery and high sense of honor which he displayed in disputing with Mr. Weidman (though not a seaman) the privilege of being the last to leave the wreck.

I have the honor to be, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,

Report of Major John Geo. Reynolds , U. S. M. C.

Sir — I have the honor to report that the marine battalion under my command left Hampton Roads on transport steamboat Governor , on the morning of Tuesday, the 29th of October, with the other vessels of the fleet, and continued with them, near the flag-ship Wabash , until Friday, the 1st of November.

On Friday morning, about 10 o'clock, the wind began to freshen, and by 12 or 1 blew so violently that we were obliged to keep her head directly to the wind, and thereby leave the squadron, which apparently stood its course. Throughout the afternoon the gale continued to increase, though the Governor stood it well till about 4 o'clock. About this time we were struck by two or three heavy seas, which broke the port hog-brace in two places, the brace tending inward. This was immediately followed by the breaking of the hog-brace on the starboard side. By great exertions on the part of the officers and men of the battalion, these braces were so well stayed and supported that no immediate danger was apprehended from them. Up to this time the engine worked well. Soon after, the brace-chains, which supported the smoke-stack, parted, and it went overboard. Some three feet of it above the hurricane-deck remained, which enabled us to keep up the fires. Soon after the loss of the smoke-stack, the steam-pipe burst. After this occurrence we were unable to make more than fourteen pounds of steam, which was reduced, as soon as the engine commenced working, from three to five pounds. The consequence was, we had to stop the engine frequently in order to increase the head of steam. At this period the steamer was making water freely, but was easily kept clear by the pump of the engine, whenever it could be worked. About 5 o'clock we discovered a steamer with a ship in tow, which we supposed to be the Ocean Queen . To attract attention, we sent up rockets, which signals she answered. When our rockets, six in all, were gone, we kept up a fire of musketry for a long time, but the sea running high and the wind being violent, she could render us no assistance. She continued on her course, in sight the [397] greater part of the night. About 3 o'clock Saturday morning the packing around the cylinder-head blew out, rendering the engine totally useless for some time. The engine was finally put in running order, although it went very slowly. The rudderchain was carried away during the night, the water gaining constantly on us, and the boat laboring violently. At every lurch we apprehended the hogbraces would be carried away, the effect of which would have been to tear out the whole starboard-side of the boat, collapse the boiler, and carry away the wheel-house. Early in the morning the rudderhead broke, the engine was of very little use — the water still gaining on us rapidly — and we entirely at the mercy of the wind. It was only by the untiring exertions of our men that we were kept afloat. Nearly one hundred of them were kept constantly pumping and bailing, and the rest were holding fast to the ropes which supported the hogbraces. Towards morning, the weather, which during the night had been dark and rainy, seemed to brighten and the wind to lull. At daybreak two vessels were seen on our starboard-bow, one of which proved to be the United States steamer “ Isaac P. Smith ,” commanded by Lieutenant J. W. A. Nicholson , of the Navy. She descried our signal of distress — which was ensign half-mast, union down — and stood for us. About 10 o'clock we were hailed by the Smith , and given to understand that, if possible, we would all be taken on board. A boat was lowered from her, and we were enabled to take a hawser. This. through the carelessness of Captain Litchfield , of the Governor , was soon cut off or unavoidably let go. The water was still gaining on us. The engine could be worked but little, and it appeared our only hope of safety was gone. The Smith now stood off, but soon returned, and by 1 o'clock we had another hawser from her, and were again in tow. A sail (the propeller-bark Young Rover , which had been discovered on our starboard-bow during the morning, was soon within hailing-distance. The captain proffered all the assistance he could give, though at the time he could do nothing, owing to the severity of the weather. The hawser from the Smith again parted, and we were once more adrift. The Young Rover now stood for us again, and the captain said he would stand by us to the last, for which he received a heartfelt cheer from the men. He also informed us a large frigate was ahead, standing for us. He then stood for the frigate, made signals of distress, and returned. The frigate soon came into view, and hope once more cheered the hearts of all on board the transport. Between 2 and 3 o'clock the United States frigate Sabine ( Captain Ringgold ) was within hail, and the assurance given that all hands would be taken on board. After a little delay, the Sabine came to anchor. We followed her example, and a hawser was passed to us. It was now late in the day, and there were no signs of an abatement of the gale. It was evident that whatever was to be done for our safety must be done without delay. About 8 or 9 o'clock the Sabine had payed out enough chain to bring her stern close to our bow. Spars were rigged out over the stern of the frigate, and every arrangement made for whipping our men on board, and some thirty men were rescued by this means. Three or four hawsers and an iron stream-cable were parted by the plunging of the vessels. The Governor , at this time, had three feet of water, which was rapidly increasing. It was evidently intended by the commanding officer of the Sabine to get the Governor alongside, and let our men jump from the boat to the frigate. In our condition this appeared extremely hazardous. It seemed impossible for us to strike the frigate without instantly going to pieces. We were, however, brought alongside, and some forty men succeeded in getting on board the frigate one was crushed to death between the frigate and the steamer in attempting to gain a foot-hold on the frigate.

Shortly after being brought alongside the frigate, the starboard quarter of the Sabine struck the port-bow of the Governor , and carried away about twenty feet of the hurricane-deck from the stein to the wheel-house. The sea was running so high, and we were being tossed so violently, it was deemed prudent to slack up the hawser and let the Governor fall astern of the frigate with the faint hope of weathering the gale till morning. All our provisions and other stores — indeed, every movable article — were thrown overboard, and the water-casks started, to lighten the vessel. From half-past 3 till daylight the Governor floated in comparative safety, notwithstanding the water was gaining rapidly on her. At daybreak, preparations were made for sending boats to our relief, although the sea was running high, and it being exceedingly dangerous for a boat to approach the guards of the steamer in consequence, the boats laid off, and the men obliged to jump into the sea and then hauled into the boats. All hands were thus providentially rescued from the wreck, with the exception, I am pained to say, of one corporal and six privates, who were drowned or killed by the crush or contact of the vessels.

Those drowned were lost through their disobedience of orders in leaving the ranks or abandoning their posts. After the troops were safely re-embarked, every exertion was directed to securing the arms, accoutrements, ammunition and other property which might have been saved after lightening the wreck. I am gratified in being able to say nearly all the arms were saved and about half the accoutrements. The knapsacks, haversacks and canteens were nearly all lost. About ten thousand rounds of cartridges were, fortunately, saved, and nine thousand lost. Since being on board this ship every attention has been bestowed by Captain Ringgold and his officers towards recruiting the strength of our men, and restoring them to such condition as will enable us to take the field at the earliest possible moment. Too much praise cannot be bestowed upon the officers and men under my command — all did nobly. The firmness with which they performed their duty is beyond all praise. For forty-eight hours they stood at ropes and passed water to keep the ship afloat. Refreshments in both eating and drinking were passed to them at their posts by non-commissioned officers. It is impossible for troops to have conducted themselves better under such trying circumstances. The transport continued to float some hours after she was abandoned, carrying with her when she sunk, I am grieved to say, company books and staff returns. In order to complete the personnel of the battalion, I have requested Captain Ringgold to meet a requisition for seven privates, to which he readily assented. I considered this requisition in order, as I have been informed by Captain Ringgold it is his intention, or orders were given, for his ship to repair to a Northern post, in which event he can be easily supplied, and my command, by the accommodation, rendered complete, in order.to meet any demand you may make for our services.

Under God, we owe our preservation to Captain Ringgold and the officers of the Sabine , to whom we tender our heartfelt thanks for their untiring labors while we were in danger, and their unceasing kindness since we have been on board the frigate.

This report is respectfully submitted.

I am, Commodore , very respectfully, your obedient servant,

The capture of Tybee Island, Georgia .

Sir — I have the honor to inform the Department that the flag of the United States is flying over the territory of the State of Georgia .

As soon as the serious injury to the boilers of the Flag had been repaired, I dispatched Commander John Rodgers to Tybee entrance, the mouth of Savannah River , to report to Commander Missroon , the senior officer , for a preliminary examination of the bars, and for the determination of the most suitable place for sinking the proposed obstructions to the navigation of the river.

Captain Rodgers was instructed to push his reconnoissance so far as to “form. an approximate estimate of the force on Tybee Island , and of the possibility of gaining access to the inner bar” and further, “if the information acquired by this reconnoissance should be important, to return and communicate it to me immediately.”

I was not surprised when he came back and reported that the defences on Tybee Island had probably been abandoned. Deeming it proper, however, to add the Seneca , Lieutenant Commanding Ammen , and Pocahontas , Lieutenant-Commander Balch , to his force, I directed him to renew his approaches with caution, and, if no opposition was met with, to occupy the channel.

I am happy now to have it in my power to inform the Department that the Flag , the Augusta , and the Pocahontas , are at anchor in the harbor abreast of Tybee beacon and light, and that the Savannah has been ordered to take the same position.

The abandonment of Tybee Island , on which there is a strong Martello tower, with a battery at its base, is due to the terror inspired by the bombardment of Forts Beauregard and Walker , and is a direct fruit of the victory of the 7th inst.

By the fall of Tybee Island , the reduction of Fort Pulaski , which is within easy mortar distance, becomes only a question of time.

The rebels have themselves placed sufficient obstructions in the river at Fort Pulaski , and thus by the co-operation of their own fears with our efforts, the harbor of Savannah is effectually closed.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

Note.-The reports of the other commanding officers do not contain any statements of historical interest, being general in their character, and are therefore omitted.


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