April 24, 2012

With the USS Brooklyn at the Battle of New Orleans

Location: New Orleans, LA, USA
Bombardment of Forts Jackson and St. Philip, April 24, 1862 (HW 5/24/1862)
Carson and two other Marines from Lancaster fought aboard the USS Brooklyn

After the war's outbreak, a band of a half dozen young men from Lancaster joined the United States Marine Corps.  Three of them were assigned to the USS Brooklyn, and expected their Civil War experience to consist of a three-year cruise in the Mediterranean.  However, that plan failed, and all of them found themselves fighting on board ships battling to open up the Mississippi River and ports on the Gulf Coast.  (DEE 12/12/1861)
USS Brooklyn (Source)

In addition to martial accomplishments, the cohort displayed exceptional literary talents and letters or diary entries from at least three of them were published in newspapers.  One Lancaster Marine, Henry O. Gusley, even had the crazy experience of being captured and then having his diary being republished in serialized form by a Confederate newspaper in Galveston, Texas.  (It has since been re-republished with annotations as a book by Edward Cotham.)  Another, G. W. Jack, wrote a couple letters to the Lancaster Inquirer, which I'll post when the time comes this summer.

Today's post, though, includes a letter with fascinating details of battle by Henry Carson describing the capture of New Orleans from his vantage point on the USS Brooklyn.  For context, I'll yield to the Wikipedia entry on this battle as well as Craig Swain's excellent introduction to the bombardment.
Confederate Fire-Rafts (HW 5/24/1862)

From the May 28, 1862, Lancaster Examiner and Herald: (alternate link)

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