Report of Lieutenant Warley, C.S. Navy, commanding the C.S. ram Albemarle.
NC, October 28, 1864.
SIR: The night of the 27th instant, a
dark, rainy night, I had the watch on board doubled and took extra precaution. At or about 3 o'clock a. m., on the 28th, the
officer of the deck discovered a small steamer in the river, hailed her, received an unsatisfactory answer, rang the alarm
bell and opened fire on her with the watch. The officers and men were at their quarters in as quick time as was possible,
but the vessel was so near that we could not bring our guns to bear, and the shot fired from the after gun loaded with grape,
failed to take effect. The boat running obliquely, struck us under the port bow, running over the boom, exploded a torpedo,
and smashed a large hole in us just under the water line, under a heavy fire of musketry. The boat surrendered and I sent
Lieutenant Roberts to take charge of her. Manned the pumps and gave the order to fire up, so as to use the donkey engine.
The water gained on us so fast that all exertions were fruitless, and the vessel went down in a few moments, merely leaving
her shield and smokestack out.
justice to myself I must say the pickets below gave no notice of her approach, and the artillery which was stationed by the
vessel for a protection, gave us no assistance, manning only one piece at too late a time to be of any service.
condensed this report as much as I could, I respectfully request a court of enquiry, to establish on whose shoulders rests
the blame of the loss of the Albemarle.
am, respectfully, your obedient servant.
||A. F. WARLEY,|
Lieutenant, Commanding, C.S. Navy
HON. S. R. MALLORY,
Secretary of the Navy.
Source: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion.
Series 1, Vol. 10
Recommended Reading: The Hunt for the Albemarle:
Anatomy of a Gunboat War (Hardcover). Description:
On a muddy waterway, once called the River of Death, James Cooke and Charles Flusser met again after parting
when the Civil War started. Once both navy lieutenants, they now were the opponents in naval warfare. Confederate Navy Lieutenant
James Cooke had as many years of active naval service as Charles Flusser had years of living. Cooke was a devoted family man
while Flusser was a bachelor with a mind for young Southern women, whiskey, cigars, fast horses, and early promotion. Continued
ironclad Albemarle was the key to the river wars in North Carolina. Flusser's
search for this ship would determine the success or failure of the Union navy in securing the North Carolina coast and
rivers. James Cooke and the Confederates knew their only chance to break the blockade was with the new ironclad. The Hunt
for the Albemarle
is the dramatic story of these two men and their destiny. Both of these men shared one common characteristic. Each was willing
to die for the cause he believed was right.
Recommended Reading: Ironclads and Columbiads: The Coast (The Civil War in North Carolina)
(456 pages). Description: Ironclads and Columbiads
covers some of the most important battles and campaigns in the state. In January 1862, Union forces began in earnest to occupy
crucial points on the North Carolina coast. Within six months,
Union army and naval forces effectively controlled coastal North Carolina from the Virginia line south to present-day Morehead
City. Union setbacks in Virginia, however, led to the withdrawal of many
federal soldiers from North Carolina, leaving only enough Union troops to hold a few coastal strongholds—the vital ports
and railroad junctions. The South during the Civil War, moreover, hotly contested the North’s ability to maintain its
grip on these key coastal strongholds.
Reading: A History of Ironclads: The Power of Iron over Wood. Description: This
landmark book documents the dramatic history of Civil War ironclads and reveals how ironclad warships revolutionized naval
warfare. Author John V. Quarstein explores in depth the impact of ironclads during the Civil War and their colossal effect
on naval history. The Battle of Hampton Roads was one of history's greatest naval engagements. Over the course of two days
in March 1862, this Civil War conflict decided the fate of all the world's navies. It was the first battle between ironclad
warships, and the 25,000 sailors, soldiers and civilians who witnessed the battle vividly understood what history would soon
confirm: wars waged on the seas would never be the same. Continued below…
About the Author: John V. Quarstein is an award-winning author and historian. He is director
of the Virginia
War Museum in Newport News and chief historical advisor for The Mariners' Museum's new USS Monitor Center
(opened March 2007). Quarstein has authored eleven books and dozens of articles on American, military and Civil War history,
and has appeared in documentaries for PBS, BBC, The History Channel and Discovery Channel.
Reading: Civil War Ironclads: The U.S.
Navy and Industrial Mobilization (Johns
Hopkins Studies in the History of Technology). Description:
"In this impressively researched and broadly conceived study, William Roberts offers the first comprehensive study of one
of the most ambitious programs in the history of naval shipbuilding, the Union's ironclad
program during the Civil War. Perhaps more importantly, Roberts also provides an invaluable framework for understanding and
analyzing military-industrial relations, an insightful commentary on the military acquisition process, and a cautionary tale
on the perils of the pursuit of perfection and personal recognition." - Robert Angevine, Journal of Military History "Roberts's
study, illuminating on many fronts, is a welcome addition to our understanding of the Union's industrial mobilization during
the Civil War and its inadvertent effects on the postwar U.S. Navy." - William M. McBride, Technology and Culture"
Reading: Iron Afloat: The Story of the Confederate Armorclads. Description: William N. Still's book is rightfully referred to as the standard of Confederate Naval history.
Accurate and objective accounts of the major and even minor engagements with Union forces are combined with extensive background
information. This edition has an enlarged section of historical drawings and sketches. Mr. Still explains the political background
that gave rise to the Confederate Ironclad program and his research is impeccable. An exhaustive literature listing rounds
out this excellent book. While strictly scientific, the inclusion of historical eyewitness accounts and the always fluent
style make this book a joy to read. This book is a great starting point.
Reading: A History of the Confederate Navy
(Hardcover). From Publishers Weekly: One of the most prominent European scholars of the Civil War weighs in with a provocative
revisionist study of the Confederacy's naval policies. For 27 years, University of Genoa history professor Luraghi (The Rise
and Fall of the Plantation South) explored archival and monographic sources on both sides of the Atlantic to develop a convincing
argument that the deadliest maritime threat to the South was not, as commonly thought, the Union's blockade but the North's
amphibious and river operations. Confederate Navy Secretary Stephen Mallory, the author shows, thus focused on protecting
the Confederacy's inland waterways and controlling the harbors vital for military imports. Continued below…
As a result,
to Savannah to Richmond, major
Confederate ports ultimately were captured from the land and not from the sea, despite the North's overwhelming naval strength.
Luraghi highlights the South's ingenuity in inventing and employing new technologies: the ironclad, the submarine, the torpedo.
He establishes, however, that these innovations were the brainchildren of only a few men, whose work, although brilliant,
couldn't match the resources and might of a major industrial power like the Union. Nor did
the Confederate Navy, weakened through Mallory's administrative inefficiency, compensate with an effective command system.
Enhanced by a translation that retains the verve of the original, Luraghi's study is a notable addition to Civil War maritime
history. Includes numerous photos.
Reading: Naval Campaigns
of the Civil War. Description: This analysis
of naval engagements during the War Between the States presents the action from the efforts at Fort Sumter during the secession
of South Carolina in 1860, through the battles in the Gulf of Mexico, on the Mississippi River, and along the eastern seaboard,
to the final attack at Fort Fisher on the coast of North Carolina in January 1865. This work provides an understanding of
the maritime problems facing both sides at the beginning of the war, their efforts to overcome these problems, and their attempts,
both triumphant and tragic, to control the waterways of the South. The Union blockade, Confederate privateers and commerce
raiders are discussed, as is the famous battle between the Monitor and the Merrimack.
of the events in the early months preceding the outbreak of the war is presented. The chronological arrangement of the campaigns
allows for ready reference regarding a single event or an entire series of campaigns. Maps and an index are also included.
About the Author: Paul Calore, a graduate of Johnson and Wales University,
was the Operations Branch Chief with the Defense Logistics Agency of the Department of Defense before retiring. He is a supporting
member of the U.S. Civil War Center and the Civil War Preservation Trust and has also written Land Campaigns of the Civil
War (2000). He lives in Seekonk, Massachusetts.
Reading: Confederate Ironclad 1861-65 (New Vanguard). Description: The creation of a Confederate ironclad fleet was a miracle of ingenuity,
improvisation and logistics. Surrounded by a superior enemy fleet, Confederate designers adapted existing vessels or created
new ones from the keel up with the sole purpose of breaking the naval stranglehold on the nascent country. Her ironclads were
built in remote cornfields, on small inland rivers or in naval yards within sight of the enemy. The result was an unorthodox
but remarkable collection of vessels, which were able to contest the rivers and coastal waters of the South for five years.
This title explains how these vessels worked, how they were constructed, how they were manned and how they fought.