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ORN Series 1, Vol. X: Report of Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Amos P. Foster, USS Commodore Perry, June 16, 1864

Report of Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Foster, U. S. Navy, commanding U. S. S. Commodore Perry, of engagements with Fort Clifton in cooperation with army forces June 16, 1864.

U. S. S. Commodore Perry, June 16, 1864.


The USS Commodore Perry fired 47 rounds against Fort Clifton on June 16, 1864.

Sir: I have the honor to report that I was requested by Major-General Butler to cooperate with his forces, then near Petersburg, and was asked to direct my fire on Fort Clifton, which request I complied with. I fired 47 shots from the 100-pounder Parrott, which did good execution. Enclosed please find list of ammunition expended.

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

Amos P. Foster,
Acting Volunteer Lieutenant, Commanding.

Acting Rear-Admiral S. P. Lee,
Commanding North Atlantic Blockading Squadron.



List of ammunition expended on board U. S. S. Commodore Perry, June 16, 1864.

100-pounder rifle charges…………………………………47

100-pounder percussion shell……………………………47

Respectfully submitted.

Amos P. Foster,
Acting Volunteer Lieutenant, Commanding.1

  1. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume X, p. 152
{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Lisa Fulton January 27, 2021, 9:20 am

    What is an “Acting Volunteer Lieutenant”? Always something new to learn!

  • Brett Schulte January 27, 2021, 10:58 am


    GREAT question! I hate to link to Wikipedia, but they do a good job in this case:
    Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acting_rank
    “In the United States Navy, acting appointments were common during the 19th century. The number of commissioned naval officers at each rank in the Navy was fixed by Congress, so it was difficult to fill vacancies if the number of officers needed to man ships exceeded that fixed number of officers allowed by Congress. Acting appointments were also common with warrant officers and ratings, although neither were subject to congressional approval and were simply temporary assignments. The regulations stated that in the United States, acting appointments were not allowed unless specifically authorized by the Department of the Navy. In most other cases, only the commander-in-chief of a fleet or squadron would be authorized to appoint an officer to fill a vacancy, and this order would be subject to approval of the Department of the Navy. In this way, the Department of the Navy was able to fill vacancies while the Navy grew before Congress took action to permanently increase the number of officers. Outside of the United States and not part of a fleet or squadron, the commanding officer of the ship was allowed to appoint officers to a higher rank in the case of death on board the ship.

    The officer was temporarily appointed to the higher rank, appended “acting” to his new rank, wore the uniform of the higher rank, and was addressed and paid at the higher rank. When the ship returned to the United States, or joined a fleet or squadron, the appointment was subject to review by the commander-in-chief of the fleet or squadron or the Department of the Navy.”


  • Lisa Fulton January 27, 2021, 2:34 pm

    Thanks Brett, you always have the answer. BTW – I really LIKE Wikipedia when it comes to the ACW. I hop on there often – it’s so quick, and usually has enough to answer my basic questions.

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