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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Confederate Stone Fleet in the Pamunkey

An annex from  
Navy Department,
Office of the Chief of Naval Operations
Naval History Division,
Washington, D.C.

The Confederate Army and Navy found it expedient at times to construct 
barricade at strategic points in inland waterways to permit the escape 
of their forces, prevent captures, and impede the Federal advance. 
During the first half of 1862, two areas of Virginia, Croatan Sound and 
the Pamunkey River, were obstructed with numerous ships which were 
seized from private owners specifically for this purpose, or which had 
served briefly as transport. Varied sizes and types of ships, having 
little if any previous service were loaded with stone and sand, or 
filled with dirt, then towed to a designated spot and sunk as a hazard 
to all craft that passed.

The following ships were seized by forces under Gen. J. E. Johnston, 
CSA, and employed to carry provisions and supplies while the arrny was 
at Yorktown. When the army withdrew toward Richmond, the transports were 
loaded with Government stores that were discharged at White House, Va., 
on the Pamunkey River. Most of the ships were then sunk in that vicinity 
during May 1862 to delay Union gunboat.

Ships sunk at White House, Va., between 5 & 10 May 1862

CLAUDIA, owned by M. Williams

LITTLE ADDIE, sloop owned by J. Montgomery 
Ships destroyed at Cooke's Island 5 & 10 May 1862

AMERICAN COASTER, schooner owned by M. Crockett, was loaded with dirt 
and prepared for sinking but was captured by USS CURRITUCK. She was 
later used as a Union transport.

DAVID VANAME, schooner owned by C. Johnson

DIANA HOPKINS, schooner owned by E. Phillips

EXPERIMENT, schooner owned by W. Messick

FRIENDSHIP, schooner owned by Allman and Watts

HANNAH ANN, schooner

J. & G. FAIR, schooner owned by W. Lee

J. T. CONNOR, owned by J. Bagby

JOSEPHINE, schooner owned by W. Dansey

KING WILLIAM, schooner owned by Sayre & Fleming


MARY LUYSTER, owned by J. T. Bland

ORNAMENT, sloop owned by Crittenden and Post

PALESTINE, schooner owned by Thomas


PRINCESS, schooner owned by W. Lee

R. P. WALLER, schooner owned by T. Gilliam

SARAH ANN, schooner owned by W. Ward


WILLIAM EDWARD, schooner owned by J. and W. Thomas

WILLIAM SHANBERG, schooner owned by W. Messick and E. Phillips 
Ships destroyed at Garlick's landing Between 5 & 10 May 1862

JENNY LIND, schooner owned by J. F. New & Co.

STAR, owned by S. Moon 
Ships Burned Near Indian Town Between 5 & 10 May 1862


WAY, schooner owned by Gresham and Bagby 
Ships burned at Newcastle on 17 May 1862

MARGARET SCHULTZ, owned by Harrenn and Ballown

O. WHITMOND, owned by J. Wright

WALTON, owned by J. Warring

WATCHMAN, owned by J. Brown

WAVE, owned by R. Howard

WILLIAM S. RYLAND, owned by W. Berkley 
Ships burned at Cumberland between 5 & 10 May 1862

CALIFORNIA, schooner owned by Blassingham

CAROLINE BAKER, schooner owned by F. and C. Post 
Ships sunk near Bassett's Landing on 17 May 1862

ALERT, owned by A. West

ANN BELL, owned by W. Thomas

BETTY RICHARD, owned by W. Smith

FRANCIS AND THEODORE, owned by J. Arrington


JAMES BRADEN, owned by S. Kimble

JEFFERSON, schooner owned by Garefoster & Braumly

JOHN ALLEN, schooner owned by S. Guy

LITTLE WAVE, owned by T. Hibble

MARY ALICE, owned by Captail Gage

MARY BAXTER, owned by C. Parks


OXFORD, schooner of 85 tons and 7' draft built in 1855 at Dorchester, 
Md., and owned by Claybrook and Dobyns

PARAGON, sloop

SARA WASHINGTON, schooner owned by Moore and Elliston

SEA WITCH, owned by J. Robins

UNION, owned by B. F. Gresham

VIRGINIA, owned by E. Lawson

WILD PIGEON, schooner owned by W. Messick

WILLIAM AND WESLEY, schooner owned by J. Cronmonger

WILLIAM FRANCIS, schooner owned by C. Coleman
 * PLANTER, a schooner, was prepared for sinking but was captured by USS 
CURRITUCK on 7 May 1862. Sbe was turned over by the Union to her former 
owner in recognition of assistance rendered in the York and Pamunkey 

** STARLIGHT, also scheduled for destruction, was approached while 
underway for White House, Va., by USS CORWIN. STARLIGHT escaped up the 
Potopotank River where she was abandoned. She was seized by CORWIN on 16 
June and sent into Norfolk at a prize.

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