1865 Report of Navy Lieutenant John F. Harden of Steamer Antona - Destruction of Confederate Blockade Runner Will O' the Wisp

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1865 Report of Navy Lieutenant John F. Harden of Steamer Antona - Destruction of Confederate Blockade Runner Will O' the Wisp

360.00

Item No. 5142580

A very interesting February 1865 report written by U.S. Navy Lieutenant John F. Harden, commanding the steamer Antona, about his crew’s participation in the destruction of the Confederate blockade runner Will O'The Wisp, which had run aground near Galveston, Texas. Antona had previously been a blockade runner herself before she was captured by Pocahontas in January 1863. Put into service, she was used by the Union Navy as a dispatch boat and gunboat in support of the blockade. Lieutenant Harden’s report was addressed to Commander Melancthon B. Woolsey of the Princess Royal, the other ship participating in the operation. The report reads:

U.S. Steamer Antona
off Galveston February 10 1865

Sir
In obedience to orders received from you last evening, I have the honor to report that I returned to my ship and called for a boats crew of of volunteers to accompany a boat from your ship for the purpose of firing the blockade runner on shore. Acting Ensign William G. Jones (who had previously asked me for a boats crew for the same purpose) Acting Asst Paymaster H. M. Whittman and twelve petty officers and men immediately responded and after making the necessary preparation I gave Mr. Jones orders to report with the boats crew under his charge to you and to obey your instructions. When the boats left your ship I got underway and took the position you had assigned for the “Antona” for the purpose of covering the expedition in thirteen feet of water to the Eastward of the wreck ready to open fire when your ship should do so. No demonstration was made on the boats, which returned after accomplishing the object of the expedition. For the details of opinion I respectfully refer you to the enclosed report of Acting Ensign William J. Jones.

I am Sir very respectfully
Your Obt Servant
John F. Harden
A.U. Lieut. Comdg
U.S. Steamer Antona

Commander
M. B. Woolsey
Senior Officer Present

The report was written on a single sheet of paper measuring about 7 3/4” x 12 1/2”. It is in very good condition with even toning and very light foxing. Creased where originally folded.

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