Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

Friday Night Concert: “The Brooklyn, Sloop-of-War”

Posted in Memory by Andy Hall on May 16, 2014


One of the reasons I enjoy this album is because four of the thirteen songs on it are explicitly about events that happened in the Gulf of Mexico. The four songs are “The Fight of the Hatteras and Alabama,” “Farragut’s Ball,” “The Florida‘s Cruise,” and this one, “The Brooklyn, Sloop-of-War.” Four out of thirteen may not seem like a lot, but it’s more attention than the Gulf gets most of the time when talking about the naval side of the Civil War.

This particular song deals with Farragut’s passage of the forts below New Orleans in April 1862, but Brooklyn gave long service with the West Gulf Blockading Squadron during the war. She was the division flagship stationed off Galveston for a time, and in August 1864 led the Federal fleet when Farragut forced the entrance to Mobile Bay, ending Mobile’s time as a blockade-running port.



7 Responses

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  1. Foxessa said, on May 18, 2014 at 11:40 am

    According to T.J. Stiles in his biography of Cornelius Vanderbilt, The First Tycoon, the Commodore had more than a share in organizing the federal navy fleet for the Gulf waters between Central America, Galveston and New Orleans — to protect the gold deliveries to NYC from the California gold fields.

    Love, C.

    • Andy Hall said, on May 19, 2014 at 11:07 am

      Vanderbilt and other magnates generally found a way to adjust to the circumstances of the war and find other means of building their empires. The threat to the gold ships was not entirely theoretical, either. In early 1865 the runner ACADIA carried a group of men from Canada to Mexico, who were alleged to be Confederate operatives who were going to go overland to California with the intent of seizing one of the steamers carrying gold on the Pacific coast. Seems improbable they could have pulled it off, even had the war gone on longer, but (at a minimum) they seem to have convinced enough people that they could that they were able to get the financial and logistical backing to make the attempt.

      (That would actually be a good plot for a novel.)

  2. Foxessa said, on May 20, 2014 at 11:25 am

    Among Vanderbilt’s contributions to the war effort was donating the ship that became the USS Monitor — become an ironclad via his advice on how to do it.

    Though he did marry an unreconstructed rebel as his second wife, and was very proud of her rebel-ness. For him, as with all his ilks, politics had no more a place in business than did friendship.

    But then, T Roosevelt’s mother was an unreconstructed rebel too, even while the war was going on. Little Teddy helped his mom and grandmom secretly put together aid and assistance packages fro the confederate army (and relatives) behind his daddy’s back — who was out there, thanks to a paid army substitute — managing collection of material and supply for the federal army.

    Confederate carpetbaggers are among my ongoing fascinations.

    Love, C.

  3. Craig L said, on May 21, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    Wasn’t Doug MacArthur’s mom a Georgia peach from Atlanta?

  4. Craig L said, on May 21, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    Just read the obituary of my high school civics and economics teacher from my senior year in high school, my only year of high school in Texas. She died in January this year after sixty years of running that school with an iron fist. I learned the first day of class that you did not question her wisdom, judgment or authority. My younger sister’s English teacher there was a German-Texan from the Hill Country. Nobody else in the school was willing to tangle with Miss K. He was a terrific teacher. She ran him off a few years later. He eventually married one of my classmates, a great granddaughter of the town’s founder. Galveston County. What a place. They didn’t teach much history there because it would tend to rattle before it bit.

  5. H. E. Parmer said, on May 22, 2014 at 12:45 am

    … in August 1864 led the Federal fleet when Farragut forced the entrance to Mobile Bay

    At first, anyway. Of course, if I’d just seen the monitor to starboard of me get its bottom blown out and go down with almost every hand in less than a minute, I might have been a bit hesitant about leading the squadron into a minefield, too. No one can say Alden and his crew didn’t acquit themselves well, once they broke into the bay.

    The Brooklyn — and her sisters — must have been quite an unusual sight, for people living on the lower Mississippi.

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