Wednesday, August 3, 2011

US Congress invests in ironclad technology as blockade tightens

  • In Washington, the US Congress authorizes Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles to appoint a three-member board to plan and construct “iron or steel-clad steamships or steam batteries” and appropriates $1.5 million dollars for the purpose./1861
  • US General Nathaniel Lyon skirmishes with Missouri State Guard troops at McCulla's Store, Missouri/1861 
  • In Washington, Prince Napoleon (Napoleon Joseph Charles Paul Bonaparte) of France, the nephew of the former French emperor and traveling in U.S. as private citizen, visits President Lincoln at noon. The Prince, arriving at the White House with Baron Mercier, found no one—neither butler nor doorman—at the main entrance to show him in, and an employee who happened to be passing by, took care of this duty. The meeting was "not so gay"; the Prince, huffed at his reception, "took a cruel pleasure in remaining silent." At 7 p.m., President Lincoln and his wife, Mary, host a state dinner for Prince Napoleon. He is seated at the right of Mrs. Lincoln and opposite General Winfield Scott, who is at the President's left. Gen. George B. McClellan is at the right of the Prince. The dinner turns out to be an unusually sociable and enjoyable affair./1861
  • At Hampton Roads, Virginia, John LaMountain makes the first ascent in a balloon from Union ship Fanny to observe Confederate batteries on Sewell’s Point, Virginia—a harbinger of the twentieth century aircraft carrier./1861
  • Off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina, the USS Wabash, commanded by Captain Mercer, recaptures the American schooner Mary Alice, which had been taken by Confederate ship Dixie, and also captures the blockade running brig Sarah Starr. /1861  
  • At Galveston, Texas, the USS South Carolina under Commander Alden, engages Confederate batteries on the Galveston coast./1861

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