CSS BEAUFORT, built at Wilmington, Del., in 1854, as CALEDONIA was put in commission at Norfolk, Va., on 9 July 186; by Lt. R. C. Duvall, North Carolina Navy, and sailed immediately for New Bern, N.C. While en route she engaged the large steamer ALBATROSS, in an inconclusive battle off Oregon Inlet.
After North Carolina seceded, BEAUFORT was turned over to the Confederate States Navy and on 9 September Lt. W. H. Parker CSN, was placed in command. Thereafter she participated in the battles of Roanoke Island on 7-8 February 1862, and Elizabeth City, N.C., 2 days later. Escaping via the Dismal Swamp Canal to Norfolk, she was tender to CSS VIRGINIA (ex-MERRIMACK) off Hampton Roads, Va., on 8-9 March 1862. The Confederate Congress tendered thanks to the officers and crew for their gallantry during the action.
From May 1862, BEAUFORT operated on the James River, her commander in November 1863 being Lt. W. Sharp, CSN. She served until the evacuation of Richmond 3 April 1865 when she was taken into the United States Navy. She was sold 15 September 1865.
I know of no images of the CSS Beaufort. If you are aware of any, please contact me.
W. H. Parker in his Recollections reports that 8 were killed or wounded from the Beaufort.
Dawson, Francis W., Masters Mate (mid-March - April 17, 1862)
He is not listed on the Muster Roll.
Reminiscences of Confederate Service; 1861-1865.
Bell I Wiley, editor. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge, Lousiana. 1980. 214pp. Originally published by The News and Courier Book Presses, Charleston, S.C., 1882.
Although Dawson became a CSA Captain, he began the war in the Navy. In Chapter VIII he covers the April trip of the Virginia and the preparations to take the Monitor while he was on the Beaufort. (Copy at MT)
From North Carolina. Took down the flag of the Congress. Promoted to Master, Oct. 4, 1862, and 2nd Lt., Dec.29, 1863 (ranked from Apr. 29, 1863), 1st Lt., June 2, 1864 (ranked from Jan. 6, 1864).[T3]. Died December 21, 1864.[T4] He is not listed in the muster roll. Virginius Newton labels him "acting volunteer".
Foreman, Ivey, Letter, 1862 March 11, Portsmouth, [Va.], to M[artha] E. [(Hoskins) Foreman] Lewis concerning the Battle of Hampton Roads. The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, XLIV (April 1936), 116-119. (at Va. Hist. Soc.)
Parker's Recollections indicates that he ("Ivy Foreman)" came on board just before the battle and that he was a volunteer aide to Parker. Parker says he received the flag from Foreman.
H. DeHaven Manley (gunner of the Congress) reported that Foreman was a young shipmate of his, and that Foreman seized the flag that was hauled down and was shot as he was taking it from the Congress to the Beaufort.
Library of Virginia card indicates he served as a pilot on the Beaufort at sometime in 1862 (not necessarily on March 8-9). From Norfolk. Later on the steamer Merrimac (not the Virginia). Not listed in muster roll.
"The Ram Merrimac,"Southern Historical Society Papers, Vol XX, 1892, pp 1-26. Also published by
The Confederate States Ram Merrimac or Virginia : the history of her planned construction, and her engagements with the United States Fleet, March 8 and 9, 1862. Hermitage Press in Richmond, 1907. 34pp. (Copy at LoV, VMI, UVA, UTA, SMU)
Letter in the Richmond Dispatch, March 1890(?) about the "Merrimack's Men." Referred to by Porter's letter.
Recollections of a Naval Officer 1841-1865. Charles Scribner's Sons, NY, 1883. Reprinted by the Naval Institute Press, Anapolis, Maryland,1985, in their Classics of Naval Literature Series. Chapters XVI and XVII describe his pre-Civil War years on the USS Merrimack. Chapters XXII through XXV cover the time of the Virginia.
William H. Parker
(from Scharf's History of the Confederate States Navy)
[T1] Listed in the MUSTER ROLLS, ETC., CONFEDERATE VESSELS, p. 281, Series II, Volume 1, Parts 1 to 4. in U.S. Office of Naval Records and Library. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion.
Washington: GPO, 1894-1922.
Series 1, 27 vols.; Series 2, 3 vols.; General Index, 1927.
[T2] Parker, William Harwar. Recollections of a Naval Officer 1841-1865. See bibliography
[T3]Journal of the Congress of the Confederate States of America. 1861-1865. See bibliography.
[T4] Trigg, Angela. A Romantic Adventurer Comes of Age: The Life of Daniel Trigg of Abingdon, Virginia. Master's Thesis. Georgia State University. 1997.