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ORN Series 1, Vol. X: Letter from Lieutenant Commander Jonathan S. Barnes, Fleet Captain on the James River, June 21, 1864


Captain John Clitz of the USS Osceola was a busy man on June 21, 1864, tasked with securing large caliber ammunition for the monitors fighting near Howlett’s Bluff. (MOLLUS)

[Engagement of Federal fleet with Confederate ironclads and shore batteries at Howlett’s, June 21, 1864.]

Letter from Lieutenant-Commander Barnes, U. S. Navy, to Commander Clitz, U. S. Navy.

Flagship Malvern,
James River, June 21, 1864.

Sir: We are having smart work here and desire that the Rosewhich carries this, may be filled up to her capacity for carrying with XV-inch and 150-pounder ammunition and dispatched with all speed on her return.

I have already sent the Hydrangea on the same errand. Let the proportion be one third of 150-pounder to the XV-inch.

The ironclads (rebel) are shelling us from the bend and the batteries from Howlett’s are doing their best. No casualties that I know of as yet.

Yours, respectfully and truly,

Jno [Jonathan]. S. Barnes,
Fleet Captain.

Commander J[ohn]. M. B. Clitz,
Commanding Osceola, City Point.1


  1. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 10, pp. 177178
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