MARINE BARRICKS, NORFOLK NAVAL SHIPYARD
Hamersly's Naval Encyclopedia, published in 1881, contains the
following information on the "Navy Yard (Gosport), Norfolk, Virginia
Transcription: This document's spelling and punctuation is lightly edited for modern readers.
"No navy yard belonging to the United States, from its geographic position, is more important than that at Gosport, Va. Located near enough to the entrance of the Chesapeake Bay to be easily accessible, it is, at the same time, in a position readily defended from attacks either by land or by water, and, as has been repeatedly shown, can be held by a small force against a very largely superior one. There is in the vicinity an abundant supply of timber and other material, while the close proximity of a populous city secures to it the command of all skilled labor that can be required. Such is the mildness of the climate that work of all sorts can be carried on at all seasons of the year without interruption. Hampton Roads, the outer harbor, is an excellent point of rendezvous for a fleet or squadron.
"At a glance a the map will demonstrate the very great importance of a naval station in this vicinity. The Chesapeake, with its navigable tributaries, penetrates into the heart of several of the richest states in the Union, reaching to the national capital. A foothold in its waters would, therefore, be of the utmost strategic importance to an invading enemy, and would probably be one of the earliest objects sought by them, as past history has fully shown. The width of the entrance of the bay is so great that it would be impossible to defend it except by a naval force, which should have a repairing, coaling, and victualing station as near at hand as possible, consistent with entire defensibility for itself, with a reasonably secure outer harbor large enough for the necessary maneuvers of a squadron in getting under way and forming. All of these conditions are admirably filled by the location of the Gosport Yard.
"Just before the breaking out of the war of the Revolution, the British established a marine yard, for the use of their navy, on the site of the present navy yard at Gosport (as that portion of Portsmouth has always been called), having, as is stated in a letter now on file in the Navy Department, written in 1824, by Miles King, United States navy agent, selected this point, after a careful survey of all the ports within its dominions in North America, as the most eligible situation for a naval station. The name of Gosport was doubtless taken from Gosport, near Portsmouth, England, where one of the most important of the British dock yards is located. There is a tradition that this spot had been used for some time by the British as a careening ground for their ships, but the writer has not been able to find any proof of the fact. Mr. King's letter further states that scarcely had the British government commenced the works when the Revolution began, and the yard, together with the adjoining property of Andrew Sprowle, the British navy agent, became confiscate and forfeited to the State of Virginia.
"Virginia immediately commenced preparations for establishing a navy, and vigorous measures were adopted to that end. Several vessels were built or purchased. A rope walk was established, which was probably at Gosport, though it is not certain. The published histories of Virginia and of the U. S. Navy are alike singularly silent upon the subject of the Virginia navy, which was employed mainly for the defense of the bays and rivers of the State. Commodore Barron was appointed its commander-in-chief, being styled "Commodore of all the armed vessels of the Commonwealth." His two sons, Samuel and James Barron, and also Richard Dale, all afterwards distinguished officers of the U. S.. Navy, served under his command. At the conclusion of the war, the State navy was disbanded.
"The marine yard was retained for the benefit of the Commonwealth, though no use is known to have been made of it until the year 1794. The lands adjoining the yard were sold in 1785. It was lent to the government by the State of Virginia, and was purchased by the United States several years later. Capt. Richard Dale was appointed superintendent of the yard; Josiah Fox, naval constructor or master builder; and William Pennock, navy agent.
"By an act of Congress passed March 27, 1794, the President had been authorized to procure by purchase or otherwise, equip, and employ to protect our commerce from the Algerines, 4 ships of 44 guns each, and 2 ships of 36 guns each. One of the ships thus authorized was laid down at the Gosport yard. Various causes combined to delay its completion, and at the end of the year 1795 it was still unfinished.
"In a report of the Secretary of War, dated December 12 of that year, it is stated that about two-thirds of the live oak frame of the frigate at Norfolk (Gosport) had been received, a part of the planking, the copper for sheathing and fastening, most of the iron work, the masts and spars, and the most of the other materials necessary were in store or getting ready. The keel had been laid, and part of the frame bolted together ready for raising.
"On the establishment of peace early in 1796, between the United States and Algiers, work was suspended upon the ship at this yard, and such of the materials collected as were thought perishable were sold, and the rest put in store, Mr. Pennock, the agent, being employed to take charge of them. In June 1797, the materials on hand at Gosport were valued at $52,989.
"In July orders were sent to Mr. Pennock to recommence work on the frigate at Gosport, for which the name Chesapeake had been chosen. During the same month, a brig of 200 tons, which had been built near the navy yard by Mr. Herbert, and which was nearly ready for launching, was purchased by the government and fitted out under the name of Norfolk. Capt. Thomas Williams of Norfolk was appointed superintendent and afterward commander of the brig, being regularly commissioned in the navy.
"Mr. Josiah Fox, who had been discharged from the yard upon the suspension of work in March 1796 was now reappointed as naval constructor, and directed to proceed with the work upon the Chesapeake, on a plan proposed by himself by which the size of the vessel was reduced from 44-to a 36-gun ship.
"Considerable activity prevailed at the yard during the remainder of the year. A brig was purchased by the citizens of some of the principal towns of Virginia and presented to the government. It was named Richmond, and was fitted out under the command of Capt. Samuel Barron who had served in the Virginia navy during the Revolution.
"The vessels of Commodore Truxtun's squadron frequently resorted to the yard for repairs and supplies and to pay off their crews.
"We also find that large quantities of bread and of some other articles of provisions were furnished during the year and the next succeeding for other stations. The yard was also made a depot for the supply of masts and spars to cruising ships, and even to vessels fitting at Baltimore and Philadelphia.
"By a report submitted to Congress by the Secretary of State, March 2, 1799, it appears that commissions were issued for the district of Norfolk, between July 9, 1798, and January 1, 1799, to 10 private vessels, mounting in the aggregate 65 guns.
"In June 1799 a brig called the Augusta was purchased and fitted out at Gosport.
"July 16, 1799, Commodore Samuel Barron was ordered to duty as superintendent of the yard; Mr. Pennock, the agent, not having exercised the degree of economy which the Department desired. In the following month, however, Commodore Barron was detached and ordered to the command of the Constellation at New York.
"The importance of the Gosport yard, particularly as an equipping, recruiting, and victualing station had now become so well established that the Secretary of the Navy resolved to make it one of the permanent navy yards of the country. At his suggestion the Legislature of Virginia, by an act dated January 25, 1800, ceded to the United States the property known as Gosport for the purpose of establishing a navy yard there, such cession to take effect as soon as the value of the property could be ascertained, and the Governor be satisfied that the United States were willing to pay the amount thereof to the Commonwealth.
"In accordance with the requirements of this act, Thomas Newton, Jr., was appointed on behalf of the State of Virginia, and, by an order dated 7th of April 1800, Mr. William Pennock was appointed to act on the part of the United States to ascertain, with Mr. Newton, the value of the lands required. In a letter bearing the same date, the Secretary of the Navy enjoined the greatest economy on the part of Mr. Pennock, and informed him that the only funds available out of which the property could be paid for, were those appropriated for the building the "74-gun ships." He also intimated to Mr. Newton that the less the amount paid for the property the more there would be available for improvements, and suggested $100 per acre as a fair valuation.
"In a report to the President, dated April 25, 1800, the Secretary, in recommending the establishment of permanent navy yards to be the property of the United States, remarks that a large part of the expense of building the frigates arose from handling the timber owing to the confined space in which it was piled, - enough, he thinks, to have purchased ground and to have improved it. He states that the ground at Gosport had recently been ceded to the United States on condition of the payment of its value, which he hopes will not exceed $2000.
"To the surprise of the Secretary, the value assigned to the land was $12,000, or $750 per acre. In a letter addressed to Mr. Pennock on the 7th of August, he expressed the opinion that the ground should have been given to the government without charge, but that it must be taken at the valuation named, though he considered it exorbitant. He also directed Mr. Pennock to have prepared plans for improving the timber stock, a creek making up into the yard and which was then used as such.
"January 24, 1801, $12,000 were remitted to Mr. John Hopkins of Richmond, Va., to be paid to the State, as the purchase money of the Gosport lands, and under date of June 15, 1801, a deed was executed by Governor Monroe, by which the title and jurisdiction of the property were conveyed to the United States. This deed is now on file in the Bureau of Yards and Docks, Navy Department.
"In a report submitted to the House of Representatives, April 27, 1802, by Mr. Mitchell from the Committee on Naval Affairs, that gentleman stated that $12,000 had been expended for purchase and $4,000 for improvements at Gosport without authority of law. Under date of March 10, 1802, Mr. Mitchell, from the same committee, reported that in the opinion of the committee, Gosport and Charlestown, Mass., from the improvements already made and from other circumstances, were the most eligible places for receiving and repairing the ships in actual service; and that should any additional improvements be necessary at those places, they ought to be made. He also recommended the appointment of suitable persons to make plans for improving those yards, and the appropriation of $50,000 to carry the plans into effect.
"The $4,000 above referred to as having been expended in improvements at Gosport had been used to build a spar shed, timber shed, a bridge across a small creek which separated the yard from the rest of Gosport at that time (outside of where the present north wall stands), and probably in part for wooden wharves along the water front, and a fence around the property.
"We find mention of vessels laying up, repairing, and fitting out at this yard in 1800, 1801, and 1802. In 1801 a squadron under Commodore Dale fitted out. On the 27th of July 1801 orders were sent to heave down the Chesapeake for repairs.
"In October 1801 a marine guard was sent to Gosport Yard, and the navy agent was directed to furnish it with quarters. It is probable that the wooden barrack building which stood on about the same site that the brick barracks were afterwards built upon was erected for that purpose.
"In April 1802 Mr. Pennock recommended the building of a store house for provisions, etc., within the yard. Up to that time private warehouses had been hired for the use of the navy stores.
"April 26, 1802, Mr. Pennock was removed and Daniel Bedinger was appointed navy agent and superintendent of the navy yard.
"In April 1803, $10,000 were sent to Mr. Bedinger to build a warehouse and a timber shed at Gosport. We find by the correspondence of a little later date that instead of expending the money for the purpose authorized, Mr. Bedinger built with it, first, a brick wall, beginning a short distance from the waterside, running along the north front of the yard, and down the west side to the creek which formed the southern boundary, and part of which forms the present timber basin; secondly, a brick dwelling house for himself within the yard, and which was afterward for many years used as the commandant's house, and, with what money was left, a very indifferent shed for timber, and a warehouse, which afterward had to be taken down to prevent its falling.
"August 6, 1804, an order was sent to Mr. Bedinger detaching the marine guard from the navy yard and ordering it to Washington.
"In May 1805 Mr. Bedinger was ordered to repair the wharves which had been represented by a citizen as being much out of order. We find, under date of February 6, 1806, a report from Mr. Thomas Turner, accountant of the navy, in which that gentleman states that $42,748.78 had been expended in improvements and repairs at this yard, and yet, except the wall, scarcely anything of permanent value seems to have been done. The wharves were, and continued to be for many years later, of wood, and, of course, in waters infested with the Teredo navalis, were constantly requiring extensive repairs, and often complete renewal. During the summer of 1806 we find several gunboats and ketches fitting out and laying up, under the direction of Lieut. Arthur Sinclair.
"On the 28th of November 1806 Capt. Stephen Decatur was ordered to superintend the building of 4 gunboats at Norfolk. He seems to have superseded Lieut. Sinclair in his duties also, although that officer continued on duty under him. In July 1807 Mr. Bedinger was ordered to contract for materials for 10 additional gunboats, and, a little later, to contract for building the same. Capt. Decatur was ordered to superintend the construction. We now find Capt. Decatur addressed by the Department as "Commanding naval forces at Norfolk," and he appears to have continued in this command until November 1811; his force consisted of the frigate United States which he himself commanded, and of such gunboats and other vessels as were from time to time put into commission. He appears, however, to have had no immediate charge of the navy yard, which continued under the control of the navy agent.
"In November 1807 a marine guard was again ordered to the yard. February 10, 1808, Bedinger's appointment was revoked, and Theodore Armistead appointed in his place as navy agent and superintendent of the navy yard. We now find complaints lodged against Bedinger for having used the public wharves and property in repairing his own vessels, though whether these charges were substantiated does not appear.
"The agents up to this time seem not to have been required to give bonds, and, in fact, to have been held very little responsible for their acts, the Department having no military control over them.
"In March 1808 Mr. Armistead was authorized to contract for 50 tons of native hemp, and to have it made into cordage for the navy. The work was done by private manufacturers, however, and not at the yard.
"In April of the same year, authority was sent to Mr. Armistead to build a new timber shed and a warehouse.
"In May 1809 an order was sent to build a powder magazine in the yard. This stood near the creek, now timber basin.
"In June 1810 on account of the uncertain relations with Great Britain, a small cruising squadron was ordered to Norfolk under the command of Commodore Decatur.
"July 7 of the same year the Department, having become tired of the practice of operating the navy yard under irresponsible civil administration, ordered Commodore Barron as commandant of the yard, the gunboats, the officers, and men. The navy agent was, however, still continued as purchasing and disbursing agent, and, as such, in charge of "all stores other than military." The following letter, addressed to Commodore Barron by the Secretary of the Navy, is of some interest as being the first instructions to the commandant:
September 29, 1810
Sir, --In defining your duties and your authority in the yard at Gosport, it will be sufficient for me to state that all the military stores of every description will be under your care; that the direction of all improvements in the yard and of all reparations to our vessels at the yard are committed to you; and that within the yard you are to have the entire, undivided command.
The navy agent, as heretofore, will have the charge of all stores other than military, as he must have a warehouse at the yard for their safekeeping, with perfect liberty in ingress and egress.
"The house which has been mentioned as having been built by Mr. Bedinger was assigned to Commodore Barron as a residence. It was at the time occupied by the storekeeper or clerk of the yard, an eccentric person of the name of Thomas Dulton, an exshipmaster. Although the navy agent was nominally superintendent of the yard, Capt. Dulton had been in immediate charge of it for some years, performing all sorts of offices therein, ringing the bell and mustering the workmen himself. Many singular anecdotes of him are preserved among the tradition of the yard.
"Commodore Barron had scarcely entered upon his command when, on the 29th of October 1810, he was overtaken by death. Lieut. Robert Henley, under date of November 10, was ordered to assume temporary command of the yard until a relief should be ordered.
"In May 1811 Capt. Samuel Evans was ordered as commandant, and from that time we find lieutenants, masters, medical officers, boatswains, and gunners attached to the yard and to the vessels in ordinary.
"Capt. Evans continued in command until August 10, 1812, when Capt. John Cassin was ordered to relieve him. Capt. Cassin had, as lieutenant and master commandant, been for several years attached to the navy yard at Washington, part of the time as superintendent and part of the time second in command. The Department seems to have regarded him as a valuable dockyard officer, and the pay and allowances of a captain commanding a separate squadron were given him in his new position, although he was almost the junior captain on the list when ordered to the command.
"In August, as stated above, Capt. Evans was relieved by Capt. Cassin. Very little of interest occurred during the remainder of the year. In October a blacksmith's shop was erected. By the letters of Capt. Cassin we find that considerable quantities of timber, lumber, and other stores, and munitions or war, were furnished from time to time from the navy yard to the army in the vicinity, particularly to the engineer officers, who were erecting fortifications. During the summer Capt. Cassin's little force was increased by an armed yacht under Lieut. E. P. Kennedy.
"Early in February 1813 Capt. Charles Stewart, in the Constellation which had fitted out at Washington in attempting to get to sea, was met by a large force of British ships which were seen entering the Chesapeake as he came abreast the Horseshoe. It being the calm when he discovered the enemy, Capt. Stewart kedged the Constellation from the Horseshoe to a position in the Elizabeth River just opposite Fort Norfolk, now the navy magazine.
"Capt. Stewart now became commanding officer of the station in general by virtue of his seniority, though Capt. Cassin continued to command the gunboat flotilla and made his reports directly to the Department. The most untiring vigilance, activity, and skill were now required to defend the frigate and flotilla from capture, and at the same time to annoy the enemy as much as possible. Both objects were successfully accomplished.
"On the 30th of November 1813 Mr. Jones, the Secretary of the Navy, in answer to a resolution of the House of Representatives calling for information on the subject of navy yards, submitted among other papers the following letter of Capt. Cassin, giving a description of the yard at the date of the report:
'Navy Yard, Gosport
May 25, 1813
Sir,--I have the honor to enclose you a statement of the accommodations provided in this yard, with the number of officers and men attached . . . The Commander's dwelling of brick, two stories high, made comfortable quarters; marine barracks, miserable huts of wood, wanting much repair; the officers' quarters are low two-story frame buildings, the whole 150 feet from the west wall, which is only 5½ feet high; the northwest is bounded by warehouses and timber sheds, having to extend a fence on the east end to low water mark.
The marine hospital stands in the center of the yard, two stories high, was formerly occupied as boatswain's and gunner's store rooms, built of wood, the Centrex of which is occupied as the hospital, the garret as rigging loft, and lower part gunner's store, storekeeper's office, purser's issuing room and office.
The blacksmith's shops, begun of brick, 165 feet by 50, including anchor and plumber's shops, not completed, the old shops being dangerous to heat a large fire.
One large timber shed, 300 feet long, with brick pillars, and 50 feet wide.
One small shed for the armorer and plumber; two sheds appropriated, one for the joiners, the other for mast makers.
"In April 1815 an order was sent to Capt. Cassin by the Secretary of the Navy to raise the hulks which had been sunk in the channel during the war, and which constituted a serious obstruction to the narrow channel.
"During the summer of 1816, under an order dated the 7th of May of that year, an examination was made by the Board of Navy Commissioners, then consisting of three of the most distinguished officers in the navy, viz., Commodore John Rodgers, Stephen Decatur, and David Porter, to ascertain the best manner of defending the Chesapeake Bay, and also to determine the most advantageous site for a naval station and depot within its waters.
"Differing somewhat in their opinions, especially as to the best location for a naval station, each officer made a separate report. Commodore Rodgers favored a position in York River, 10 miles above York, called the Clay Banks; Commodore Porter, the mouth of the St. Mary's River; and Commodore Decatur, the site already occupied at Gosport.
"No action seems to have been taken upon the reports of the board, and no material changes occurred for the next few years.
"In the summer of 1817 the keep of a line-of-battle ship was laid. The timber for this ship had been in store for years, having been collected under the provisions of the act of Congress of February 25, 1799, and subsequent amendments. The name afterward chosen for this ship was Delaware. We find authority given during the same summer to build a saw shed and a steam stove.
"In January 1818 authority was sent to Capt. Cassin to remove or pull down the old hospital which was situated within the yard. A small frame building, located near the present drydock, was afterward used for some years as the hospital.
"In June 1818 the ship Alert was assigned as receiving ship at Norfolk, Commander Jesse Wilkinson being order to command her,
"In September 1818 Capt. Arthur Sinclair was ordered to this navy yard to superintend the construction of the Delaware under Capt. Cassin. Capt. Sinclair is soon after addressed as "Commanding Naval Officer Afloat" at Norfolk, and held a command separate from the yard for several years later. The receiving ship was a part of his command, and all recruiting was done under his direction. We find about this period, and for some years after, considerable quantities of timber, plank, knees, masts, and mast pieces, and also of cordage furnished from Gosport to the navy yards in other parts of the country,
"In the latter part of 1818 the old wooden buildings used as marine barracks were pulled down and a brick building put up in their place. The line-of-battle ship New York was also commenced in this year.
"In October 18120 the Delaware was launched and housed over, not being required for service immediately.
"In June 1821 Capt. Cassin was relieved by Capt. Lewis Warrington. During the summer of that year Capt. Warrington was directed to fill in the old timber basin. This was a shallow basin, originally formed by a creek or cove, and included the spot where shiphouse B was afterward built; its banks were protected by wharf logs, with a wharf across the entrance provided with slips for boats to enter. A shiphouse was authorized to be built over the New York; this was afterward lettered A. A pair of masting shears was also authorized.
"In August 1821 a school for midshipmen was established under the charge of Chaplain David P. Adams, on board the Guerriere, frigate, then in ordinary at Norfolk.
"Improvements to the navy yard buildings, repairs to the wharves, filling in and leveling the grounds, were carried on from year to year under the current appropriations.
"In December 1824 Capt. Warrington was relieved from the command of the Yard by Master Commandant James Renshaw.
"On the 25 of May 1825 Commodore James Barron relieved Capt. Renshaw as commandant of the yard.
"On the 28th of November Commodore Barron, in answer to a complaint of the Secretary of the Navy that too long a time was required to repair and fit out ship, informed the Secretary that the delays were immediately owing to want of proper workshops, storehouses, and a dock, and proposed a plan for the improvement of the yard, which involved the purchase of more land (the yard being altogether too confined for the purpose for which it was required), the erection of suitable buildings and shops, and of a floating drydock. He furnished a plan and estimates for the last. He especially urged the inexpediency of erecting wooden wharves and docks in waters infested with the Teredo navalis, which destroyed the structures at the water's edge, and left the substructure to form actual obstructions in the channel.
"The question of purchasing additional ground seems thus to have been reopened, and under date of February 26, 1826, Mr. King, the navy agent, suggests to the Navy Department the plan of applying to the county court to appoint a jury to appraise the lands required by the government. This suggestion was approved by the Secretary, but seems to have been a very slow process.
"On the 22d of May 1826 a resolution of Congress of the following purport was approved, viz:
"The President to cause an examination and accurate survey to be made by skillful engineers of a site for a drydock at the navy yards at Portsmouth, N. H., Charleston, Mass., Brooklyn, N. Y., and Gosport, Va., respectively; and that such engineers be required to state the dimensions necessary for such docks, the advantages of each of the above-named establishments, and the objections that apply to either, with a detailed estimate of the expense of a suitable site, and of constructing a dock at each of said places; and the President be requested to communicate the same to Congress in the first week of the session.
"On the 26th of July Col. Baldwin (the civil engineer before mentioned) was appointed by the Department to make the required surveys. The first spot selected at Gosport as the site of the dock was at the northern side of the entrance of the creek, now forming a timber dock; this site was chosen as being the best in the yard as it then existed.
"During the same year (1826) the frigate St. Lawrence was laid down, and a shiphouse built, afterward lettered B.
"On the 3d of March 1827 Congress passed an act entitled "An act for the gradual improvement of the navy of the United States," by which there was appropriated the sum of $500,000 per annum for six years, to be applied to the purposes specified in the act.
"By section 4 of the act, the President was authorized to cause to be constructed two drydocks to be erected at some point to the south and the other to the north of the Potomac River.
"By section 6, the President was authorized to cause the navy yards of the United States to be thoroughly examined, and plans to be prepared for the improvement of the same and the preservation of the public property therein; from which plans, after they should be sanctioned by the President, no deviation should be made but by his special order.
"On the 29th of March 1827 Mr. King, the navy agent, reported that the lands from Jefferson Street, along the line of Third Street to the county road, and thence down to the water, could be purchased for $7825. He was authorized to make the purchase, and also of such other lands adjoining the yard on the south as should be deemed necessary, and was directed to consult with Commodores Bainbridge, Morris and Chauncy, who then constituted the board charged, under authority of the act above alluded to, with the examination of the yards and the formation of plans for their improvement.
"The Board of Commissioners, of which Commodore Bainbridge was president, during the winter of 1827-28 made an elaborate plan for the improvement of the yard, based on a thorough survey of the yard and the adjacent waters by Col. Baldwin.
"On the 17th of June 1833, the anniversary of the battle of Bunker Hill, the dock was opened for the reception of the line-of-battle ship Delaware, the first liner built at Gosport, and the first national ship ever docked in a drydock belonging to the United States.
"The line-of-battle ship North Carolina was soon afterward admitted to the dock.
"Commodore Warrington, who had assumed command of the yard May 26, 1831, continued in it until the 7th of October 1840. The yard was constantly used in the meantime for fitting out, refitting, repairing, and laying up the ships and vessels of the navy.
"The sloop John Adams was built in 1830. The frigate Macedonian was rebuilt here between the years 1832 and 1836. The surveying brig Pioneer was launched in 1836. The line-of-battle ship Pennsylvania became the receiving ship in 1837. The sloop Yorktown was commenced in 1835 and launched in 1839.
"Of the old buildings that were standing in 1837, the shiphouses, the office buildings along the north wall, the commandant's house, and a portion of the marine barracks, were still standing in 1840; the rest had all been removed or rebuilt.
"Commodore W. B. Shubrick assumed command of the yard in October 1840 and retained it until October 1843. A plan of the yard, made under his direction by Capt. Sanger and received at the Bureau of Yards and Docks in November 1842, shows little progress up to that date beyond what is mentioned above, -- the continued appropriation for "gradual improvements" having ceased. A blacksmith's shop and turning machine and a foundry and plumbery had been added to the steam engine house, and some other storehouses had been begun.
"The steamer Union was laid down at the yard in 1841 and launched in 1842. The storeship Southampton was commenced in 1842.
"In October 1843 Commodore Shubrick was relieved by Commodore Jesse Wilkinson as commandant.
"In 1842 an appropriation was made by Congress for a dredging machine for this yard, which was completed the following year, and successfully used for deepening the channel in front of the drydock and along the wharves; the earth brought up was used for filling up where needed in the yard. During the year 1843 the ground around the drydock was graded and the pavement relaid; by this the dock was protected from injury to which it had been subject from filtration.
"The brig Perry was laid down in 1843, and some additional machinery was erected in different shops during the same year. The quay wall was completed during that and the following years, i.e., 1843-44, as far as shiphouse B
The sloop Jamestown was laid down in 1843 and launched in 1844. In 1845 another storehouse, No. 16, was built. A bridge across the timber dock was completed. The dock itself was still in unfinished state, no appropriation having been made for several years. A new building slip was commenced in 1845 under special appropriation. The storeship Southampton was launched the same year.
"On the 26th of August 1846 the lot of ground opposite the navy yard, on the Norfolk side of the Elizabeth, and known as St. Helena, was purchased and added to the yard. This ground was needed for ordnance purposes. Jurisdiction over it was ceded to the United States by an act of the General Assembly of Virginia, dated March 22, 1847.
"Commodore Lawrence Kearny became commandant on the 1st of June 1847. Some progress was made that year upon the launching slip previously spoken of. Another storehouse, No. 13, commenced the year before, was finished. The frigate St. Lawrence and the brig Perry were launched. The former had been on the stocks for over twenty years. The steam frigate Powhatan was laid down.
"January 19, 1848, Commodore John D. Sloat was order to relieve Commodore Kearny as commandant.
"In 1848 a small appropriation was made by Congress for continuing the quay wall, and was applied to build a cofferdam for the north wall of the timber dock. Appropriations were also made for a new pair of masting shears, for additional machinery, for various shops, and for improvements at Helena.
"In September 1849 Fort Norfolk and the grounds about it were turned over to the navy by the War Department for the establishment of a magazine for powder and shells. Work was immediately commenced upon the shellhouse. A building near the site of the present sawmill, outside of the yard, when built had been used as a magazine for some years previously. During the same year, building No. 51 was erected, also some brick stables. An engine house to the smithery was commenced. A gun park, a coal house and a landing wharf were built at St. Helena. Work upon the quay wall progressed as far as the appropriations would permit.
"Between the years 1850 and 1860 great progress was made in improving the yard, under current appropriations, while at the same time great activity prevailed in building, repairing, fitting out, and laying up the ships and vessels of the navy. The steam frigate Powhatan was launched in 1850. Work upon the quay wall was steadily continued from year to year. The timber dock was finished in 1854, together with the bridges across it. A culvert was built in 1853 to drain the lands adjoining the yard and to conduct the water from them into the dock, thereby considerably freshening that in the dock. The culvert was built of brick laid upon a pine plank floor.
"There being but a limited supply of fresh water at Gosport, appropriations were made in 1850 for building cisterns for collecting rainwater; one was completed in 1851 with a capacity of 38,000 gallons. Afterward two large reservoirs were built: one completed in 1856 holding 124,000 gallons, with a head when full 14½ feet above the grade of the yard. The other reservoir was completed in 1857; its capacity is 128,000 gallons.
"Work upon the magazine and the keeper's house at Fort Norfolk was commenced in 1851, but not completed until 1856. A reservoir was built near the magazine to contain 90,000 gallons of water. A seawall and landing wharf were also built, and two old houses converted, one into a storehouse and the other into a filling house.
"Building No. 19, a rigging loft, armory, and offices, and the entrance gateway, was erected in 1851-52. A building was constructed in 1853 near timber shed No. 33, which was designed for a saw mill and burnetizing house., It was entirely devoted to the latter purpose, however, and in 1856 a saw mill was erected at the south end of the yard, on one of the sites intended for a dry dock. A culvert was constructed in 1855 from the burnetizing house to the timber dock.
"Dredging was carried on from year to year during the decade, deepening the channel and furnishing material for filling in the low places of the yard, and the space between the old shoreline and the quay wall as well as at St. Helena. A new dredging machine was built in 1854.
"Grading the yard was also attended to; pavements were laid around the buildings, and brick footwalks through the yard in various directions; roads were macadamized, and a thorough system of drainage established by which the sanitary condition of the yard was much improved.
"Gas for lighting the yard and buildings was introduced in 1855.
"On the removal of the saw mill in 1855 and 1856, new machinery was added to the machine shop, and a new foundry was erected, completed in 1859, on site 41, designed in the "approved plan" for an iron and copper store. A boiler shop was commenced to the northward of the machine shop. A new engine for pumping out the dry dock was completed and set up in 1856. A large and commodious building was erected in 1856 as a receiving and issuing store for the department of provisions and clothing. It was located on the new-made ground, just south of the entrance of the timber dock, into which a culvert from its cellars leads. An ordnance building, not on the "approved plan," was commenced and 1858 and completed in 1859. Gun and shot platforms were built at St. Helena, and also at the yard south of the ship house A.
"Two large lifting cranes were erected on the quay wall in 1857, and a large amount of machinery of various sorts was added to the different shops through the yard. Alterations, additions and improvements were made to some of the buildings under the appropriation for "repairs of all kinds." Rail tracks were laid down at St. Helena, and also at the yard; in the latter connecting the anchor racks near the dry dock, the different shops and storehouses, with the wharf near the shears.
"Considerable building, repairs, etc., of ships was carried on during the same period. In 1855 the magnificent steam frigates Roanoke and Colorado were laid down; these vessels were finished and launched in 1857. The steam sloops Dakota and Richmond were begun in 1858 and launched, the former in 1859, and the latter in 1860. A purchased steamer called the Dispatch was rebuilt in 1859 under the name of Pocahontas.
"The following were the commandants of the yard during this period, viz.: Capt. Silas H. Stringham (late rear admiral), from 17th February 1851 to 1st April 1852; Capt. Samuel L. Breeze from 1st April 1852 to 10 May 1855; Commodore Isaac McKeever from 10th May 1855 until his death which occurred on the 1st of April 1856; Capt. Thomas A. Dornin (late commodore) from 6th May 1856 to 30th April 1859; Capt. Charles H. Bell (late rear admiral) from 30 April 1859 to 1st August 1860 when he was relieved by Commodore Charles S. McCauley.
"On the 1st of April 1861 there were at the yard or in the stream the following ships and vessels of war, viz.:
Ship-of-the-line Pennsylvania, 120 guns, receiving ship
Ship-of-the-line Columbus, 74 guns, in ordinary
Ship-of-the-line Delaware, 74 guns, in ordinary
Ship-of-the-line New York, 74 guns, on the stocks
Steam frigate Merrimac, 40 guns, on the stocks
Frigate United States, 50 guns, in ordinary
Frigate Columbia, 50 guns, in ordinary
Frigate Raritan, 50 guns, in ordinary
Sloop Plymouth, 22 guns, ready for sea
Sloop Germantown, 22 guns, ready for sea
Brig. Dolphin, 4 guns, ready for sea
In addition to these, the frigate Cumberland, 24, the flagship of Flag Officer Pendergrast, commanding the Home Squadron, was also lying off the yard, fully manned.
"The evacuation of the yard; the destruction of the government property; the scuttling of the German, Plymouth, Dolphin and Merrimac; the occupation of the yard by the rebels; the raising and rebuilding of the Merrimac as an ironclad under the name of Virginia, though to the public always known by her old name; the destruction by her of the frigates Congress and Cumberland; the opportune arrival of the Monitor under Lieut. Worden (now rear admiral), by which the Merrimac was driven back to Norfolk, and afterward held for months blockaded in the Elizabeth; and the capture of Norfolk by the U. S. forces under the immediate direction of President Lincoln in May 1862, are all well known matters of history.
"The vessels of Admiral Goldsborough's squadron participated in the attack on Norfolk by shelling the batteries at Sewell's Point. The ironclads Monitor and Stevens, with some wooden steamers to act as rams, endeavored to draw out the Merrimac, but without success, she declining to engage.
"The city of Norfolk was surrendered by the civil authorities to Gen. Wool on the 10th of Mary 1862. Early on the following morning the Merrimac was blown up by her own people to avoid capture by Admiral Goldsborough's squadron. The navy yard was fired and abandoned at the same time.
"Admiral Goldsborough immediately moved his flagship to Norfolk anchoring off the naval hospital. By his order, sanctioned by the President, the forts along the shores of the Elizabeth, and as far down as Sewell's Point, and also those for some distance up the Nansemond, which had been erected by the rebels, were dismantled and blown up. Lieut. Selfridge was charged with the work of destroying the former, and Lieut. John Watter the latter.
"Admiral Goldsborough took possession of all the naval property in the vicinity, including the yard, the magazine, and the naval hospital. By his order a careful examination of the yard was made by Lieut. Selfridge, who, under date of May 19, reported substantially as follows:
"The only buildings uninjured by fire were 5 brick dwellings, the boiler shop, the foundry, and one wooden timber shed. He found and collected about the yard a quantity of chain cables, sheet and bolt copper, 15 old ships' galleys, smiths' tools, and detached pieces of machinery belonging to the smithery, a quantity or cordage, a diving bell, a large quantity of oak timber, some pine planks, and 50 pieces of spar timber, 150 barrels of pitch, fourteen 82-pounder guns, two 100-pounder rifles, 140 old guns, worthless, and three 82-pounder gun carriages, a number of water ballast, a number of iron plates punched for bolting, 30 anchors, and a number of kedges. He found some of the machinery in the machine shop in good condition and some injured.
"On the 20th of May 1862 Capt. John W. Livingston was ordered to the yard as commandant. He at once commenced the work of putting the yard in as good order as its ruined state would permit, and of gathering up the public property, a large quantity of which was found outside by the citizens, or pointed out so that they could be taken possession of. A considerable quantity of timber, 3 fire engines, and a number of guns were among the things so restored. Two diving bells, anchors, shot, shell in boxes, and may other articles were recovered from the water, having been thrown overboard from the quay and the wharves.
"Repairs were commenced as soon as possible, particularly upon those shops which were most immediately needed. The machine shop was put in working order in a very short time. An appropriation was made to restore the dry dock, which the rebels had temporarily disabled by destroying the gates. New gates were constructed and the dock put in working order during that year.
"Considerable appropriations for the fiscal years ending July 1865, 1866 and 1867 respectively were made by Congress for restoring the various workshops, stores, wharves, shears, cranes, and machinery in the yard. The objects most needed to make the yard a repairing and refitting station were first attended to in order that the immediate requirements of the service might be met.
"The arrangement of storehouses was systematized in which, by the way, this yard set the example to most of the others in the country; separate buildings or parts of buildings were assigned to the different departments whose heads were made responsible each for his own stores. By this means the public property was much better cared for and preserved than under the old system, the accountability made much more perfect, and the facility for handling and issuing stores vastly increased.
"The restoration of the yard has been steadily progressing under the current appropriations, which, however, have been very small since 1867, and only under the head of "repairs of all kinds."
"The following is a list of the buildings which have been repaired or rebuilt, though in some instances the purposes to which the buildings are devoted have been changed from those originally designed; the new arrangement is here given, viz.:
No. 9 Smithery, etc.
No. 11 Construction storehouses
No. 13 Equipment store
No. 14 Provisions and clothing store. This building substituted in 1870 for victualing house, which had been rebuilt on the new-made ground just south of the entrance to the timber dock, but which commenced to settle and became a danger of falling; to prevent which the building was taken down.
No. 15 Steam engineering storehouse
No. 16 Ordnance building
No. 17 Yards and docks storehouse
No. 18 Ship carpenters shop, just north of the drydock
No. 19 (one of the entrance buildings, so called). Contains offices, drafting rooms, court martial room, cordage store, navigation store, and marine guardroom.
No. 57 (the other entrance building) Rigging lot and sail loft
No. 20-25, both inclusive, as marked on the plan, have never been built upon, and some of the numbers have been reassigned, viz.:
No. 21 Sawmill, in the south part of the yard
No. 22 Foundry
No. 23 Boiler shop
No. 28 Mast house and house joiners shop
No. 29 Boat builders shop, boat house, block makers and ship joiners' shops
No. 30 Timber shed and furniture storeroom for the construction department
No. 31 Timber shed, paint shop, and sail storerooms
No. 36, 37 and 39. Machine shop. These constitute one building, and have recently been so extended as to join them with the foundry
No. 37 This number is now given to a small building on part of the foundation of the former ordnance building just south of No. 9; it is used as a plumber's shop
"The officers' quarters are now lettered, viz.: A, commandant's; B, executive officer's; C, Surgeon's house; and the two houses on the site marked 39 are lettered D and E.
"No. 39. This number is now used to designate a new building which has been constructed as a workshop for the department of yards and docks. It is built of the materials of the victualing house, which was taken taken down in 1870, and is located south of No. 12. In excavating for the foundation of this building, a number of human remains were found, to account for which several theories were advanced. By consulting a very old plan of the yard, which is without date but which was made about the year 1816, it is found that a burying place existed on that spot at that time; it was near the bank of the stream or creek, a part of which now forms the timber basin. The remains are, therefore, no doubt, those of U. S. sailors and marines.
"In addition to the buildings above mentioned, there are in the yard stables, sheds, tar, pitch, lime and oil houses, watch houses, offices, etc., in various parts of the yard. The car tracks have been restored, wharves repaired, new shears and a large lifting crane have been erected. The reservoirs for rainwater with their system of pipes leading to various parts of the yard are in good condition.
"A contract was entered into by the government with companies of wreckers, by which on terms advantageous to the government, nearly all of the hulks of the vessels destroyed at the yard, as well as of the Merrimac, have been raised and broken up, thus clearing the channel.
"Dredging has been carried on from time to time, and is going on now, for deepening the channel off the yard, the design being to gain 24 feet of water at least. The earth removed is used for filling in where needed in the yard.
"The following have been the commandants of the yard since its repossession by the United States, viz.:
"Capt. John W Livingston, May 20, 1862, to November 16, 1864
Capt. John M. Berrien, November 16, 1864, to October 7, 1865
Commodore Robert B. Hitchcock, October 31, 1865, to August 7, 1866
Rear Admiral S. C. Rowan, August 7, 1866, to July 23, 1867
Commodore A. H. Kilty, August 15, 1867, to October 1, 1870
Rear Admiral C. H. Davis, October 1, 1870, to July 1, 1873
Commodore Thomas H. Stevens, July 1, 1873, to 1876
Commodore J. B. Creighton 1876 to 1879
Commodore A. K. Hughes 1879 to [present time]."
At this time, quotation marks only indicate correspondence
Although the above source states that "In October 1801 a marine guard was sent to Gosport Yard," no record can be found in muster rolls that a regular Marine Guard was established at Gosport until about April 1802 when one first lieutenant and approximately 20 enlisted men are shown on duty at that station. On 6 August 1804, due to the urgent need for Marines in the Mediterranean in the operations against Tripoli, the Marine Guard was withdrawn from the Gosport Navy Yard and ordered to Washington, D.C. (At this time the entire strength of the Marine Corps was 25 officers and 364 enlisted ,of which more than half were serving in the Mediterranean.)
A Marine Guard was reestablished at the Gosport Navy Yard in November 1807 with 1st Lieutenant Edward Hall as Commanding Officer. The Lieutenant Colonel Commandant, Franklin Wharton, indicated his desire to establish permanent Marine Guards at Portsmouth (Gosport) and other navy yards in the following letter to 1st Lieutenant Edward Hall, dated 12 August 1807:
"I have been long convinced that a Guard was essential, wherever a deposit was made of the property of the U.S. at their Navy Yards . . . I shall, as the troops from New Orleans are arrived and as recruits from Baltimore are coming on, shortly order from this detachment for the boats and as you have observed, that Commodore Decatur and Captain Hull expressed to the Department or so intend to do their opinions as to the propriety of a detachment for Portsmouth. It is probable I may send one to that place at the same time, where your services may be necessary . . . "
Lieutenant Hall, from Gosport, reported to the Commandant of the Marine Corps in a letter dated 22 November 1807 that:
"The detachment in the Argus . . . arrived in good order and complete. The men are all quartered at the Navy Yard. We have not yet got into ours, as Mr. Bedinger, clerk, occupies the house (a mean one, intended for us. He says he will move on Monday. We shall find no difficulty with Mr. Bedinger, as he appears disposed to accommodate and I am confident shall live in harmony with the citizens . . . "
Apparently the bad housing situation for the Marines continued, for on 1 May 1812 Surgeon L. Griffin at "Gosport, Navy Yard," wrote Lieutenant Thomas R. Swift, Commanding the Marine Guard, that "Having examined the situation of the Marine Barracks, I have no hesitation in saying they are not in a situation to accommodate the men, as their health must be injured by residing in them, from their very open and decayed state."
On 15 July 1812, after a number of requests for additional men, particularly musics, had been turned down by Marine Corps Headquarters in Washington, (the total strength of the Corps was 10 officers and 483 enlisted) Lieutenant Thomas R. Swift, C. O. of Marines at the Gosport Navy Yard, poured out his troubles in the following letter to the Commandant of the Corps:
" . . . I am sorry to find you cannot supply me yet with music and men, as the station requires them very materially. I have only 33 men and 22 of them are only capable of doing duty. There are nine sentries required constantly to protect the property here, which makes the duty extremely hard. I have only recruited one man since I opened my rendezvous . . . as I said before in a former letter, nothing can be done without Music . . . If you can spare a good sergeant from Headquarters who can and will carry respect among the men I wish you would send such a one down to me . . . I am my own Sergeant, Corporal and in fact everything."
Two weeks later, Headquarters wrote to Swift that 18 men were being sent down by the schooner Frame. However, on 15 January 1813 Swift wrote that he had only 23 men.
Captain Swift continued his efforts during the economy years following the War of 1812 to have the strength of the Marine Barracks at Gosport increased. For example, on 31 March 1816, he wrote to the Commandant of the Corps:
"My guard remains much as when I last wrote you, with the exception of one man dead . . . The guard have very arduous duty to perform. I have lately had to triple my sentries round the yard, in consequence of an attempt being made to fire it; but was fortunately discovered by Sergeant Dentzell . . . I am in hopes you will be enabled to send me some more men shortly. They are much wanted here. I should be much pleased, if a wall could be put up round the yard; it would prevent many desertions, and all attempts of incendiaries . . ."
A few days later, in a letter to the Commandant, he strengthened his argument for an increased complement with the following:
"Captain Cassin, USN, Commandant of the Gosport Navy Yard, has stated to me, should the guard be competent he would require five sentinels for the protection of the public property in the yard; these are independent of the one which is requisite in front of the barracks, and one at the marine battery; I should therefore say six at the smallest calculation; that from eighty to ninety effective men would not be beyond the number to be stationed in this yard, taking into consideration deaths, sickness, and desertions."
In Know Norfolk at War, published by the Norfolk Advertising Board, the following passage appears:
"A British fleet of 22 sail attacked Norfolk, June 22, 1813, (six years to the day after the Chesapeake-Leopard debacle). But the disaster of 1776 was not to be repeated and the shame of 1807 was avenged by a Norfolk lawyer, Robert Barrand Taylor, his courageous officers and the patriotic volunteers who flocked in from the farms of Virginia . . ."
The Marines at Gosport played an important part in preparations for defense of the Navy Yard against the British during the War of 1812. Captain John Cassin, USN, Commandant of the Yard, wrote the Secretary of the Navy on 16 September 1814 that:
"I have taken the liberty of giving you a sketch of the situation of this place, and presuming the enemy's first object in attack would be the Navy Yard . . . I was resolved to erect a battery inside of the yard which is finished with six eighteen pounders, pointing from west to southwest, and two thirty-two pounders from southwest to south, long guns; the battery is made of timber sufficient for sailors to work on without injury to the timber, also four twelve pounders at the gateway, ready to secure the causeway from Portsmouth to Gosport, and contemplated to have taken the Marine (about 130), with what little force I have in the Yard to have defended it, after moving all the stores on board the gun boats laid up for want of men, and moved them up the river to some point where they could be sunk provided the enemy pursued them . . . I don't know what the War Department would do without the assistance of the Navy."
The Marines at Gosport continued to have their trouble with transportation as well as quarters and rations. Captain Swift wrote the Commandant of the Corps on 21 May 1816 that "the Boat belonging to the Marine Corps" at that station was "from the various hard services she has had to perform for nearly five years is in such a wretched state that it is nearly impossible to have her repaired," and requested approval to have a new boat built. Apparently, approval to build a new boat was not given, for on 20 May 1818, two years later, Captain William Anderson, Commanding the Marines at Gosport, wrote the Commandant that:
"The rotten and wreck'd condition of the Marine Boat, is such, that we have been oblig'd to lay her aside as unworthy of repair, and trust entirely to the goodness of Commodore Cassin for the use of his boats. The constant employ we have for boats, in transporting recruiting parties to and from Norfolk and sending after provisions regularly every morning, and frequently two or three times a day, together with the Public business devolving on the officers, render it impossible to perform the duties required of the guard without a boat for the purpose exclusively, and as the guard have not before been without a boat, I therefore respectfully solicit the commandant for order to procure a boat for use of the marine guard on this station."
The condition of the Marine Barracks was the subject of a letter from Captain William Anderson to the Commandant of the Corps, 6 November 1817:
"The emaciated state in which I found the Guard and the number of Marines now in hospital several of whom (from the report of the Surgeon) at the point of death, induces me to petition the Commandant for the privilege of making merely the repairs necessary for the preservation of health, and indeed I may say of life; the Barracks, as well as my own Quarters are in a damp, leaky and unwholesome condition and cannot now be occupied with safety . . ."
Rations was the subject of a letter from Captain Anderson to the Commandant on 26 April 1818:
"I have for this last month had much difficulty in obtaining a regular supply or rations for the Marine Guard at this Post, and from inquiry find that no regular contract has been made, fresh meat has been refused for a month past, in consequence of the extreme high price demanded for it, and it is probable it will not be lower during the summer. 20 cents is now given for the ration, and the contractor demands an additional sum of two cents, if he furnishes the usual supply of fresh provisions, which I do not feel authorized to allow without the sanction of the Commandant."
On 14 November 1817, Captain Anderson, in a letter to the "Quarter Master, M. Corps, Washington," requested uniforms and equipment for his own men and the Marines of the USS Congress being readied for a trip to the "South Sea," wrote that "the muskets we have on hand are unfit for service and as it is impossible to have them made serviceable here, shall I send them to you?"
On 5 January 1818 to C. O. of the Marines at Gosport wrote the Quartermaster at Headquarters reiterating his plea for clothing. He concluded his letter with: "We have not one shirt to issue. Should the navigation be closed between here and Washington, will you have the goodness to inform me in what way our men are to be supplied?"
On 26 January 1818, one officer and 25 enlisted men from the Marine Barracks, Gosport, proceeded to Norfolk as a guard for the funeral of Surgeon's Mate Edward Woodward.
The question of permanent barracks for the Marines at Gosport was again revived early in 1818. On 31 March 1818, the Commandant of the Marine Corps wrote the Secretary of the Navy:
"I have the honour to enclose for your decision the opinion of the Navel Commanding Officer at the Navy Yard, Gosport. Permit me in so doing to state that no Buildings as Barracks for Marines have been there erected since the purchase of the property - that with all attention to the comfort of the Guard by temporary repairs, it has been found impossible to protect them from the severity of the seasons, and that on the removal of the buildings, now used, no others can be furnished - with this report allow me to remark that I can, it is believed, with your sanction and a site fixed on - build substantial Quarters as I have been instructed to do at other Yards - on terms to meet your approval as to the expenditure."
The Secretary of the Navy replied on 6 April 1818 as follows:
"I have considered the subject of your letter of the 31st Ult. and determined that Barracks shall be erected for the Marines upon the Norfolk Station, in the manner following, viz:
"To commence at the Southern extremity of our line on Second Street, that is on the fast ground nearest the extremity of that line; this will bring the Building near the bridge; the outer wall to form a part of the enclosure of the Navy Yard on that line.
"An enclosure by a wall of stone, or brick, twelve feet in height, running at right angles seventy feet from the point of commencement, above stated, within the Yard; thence parallel with the outer wall a distance adapted to the intended building; thence running to the outer wall, and thus forming an oblong within the Yard, by a wall twelve feet in height. There must be no communication with the interior of the Yard from the inner wall, which must be surmounted with iron pickets.
"I request you to furnish me as soon as practicable with a plan of the Buildings, and an estimate of the cost which if approved you shall be authorized to carry the same into effect."
The Commandant incorporated his ideas concerning the proposed barracks in a letter to the Secretary under date 9 April 1818 as follows:
"I have had the honor of receiving your instructions relative to the building of Barracks on the Norfolk Station and beg leave to state that I can form no opinion as to the probable expense of the Plan contemplated - because of the wall - however desirable it may be, will necessarily add I presume, greatly to the expenditure, and consequently require more from the fund out of which it was intended to build - that it would perhaps admit of at this time. When I took the liberty of submitting for your consideration the necessity of some Quarters, for the officers and men of the Guard, I did not suppose that more than 2500 or 3000 dollars would be required to therein place them for the present - comfortably and by the Mechanics of the Corps so to finish them as opportunity permitted. But of these Mechanics it was ascertained that we had scarcely any bricklayers or stone- masons. The buildings which were supposed amply sufficient for the present strength of the detachment, were a two-story brick house, two rooms on a floor, about 16 to 18 feet each, and a kitchen below. Four rooms about 20 feet each, and a kitchen below. Four rooms about 20 feet each for soldiers quarters and a brick building on the left for Officers Quarters, corresponding in its appearance to Captain Anderson's on the right so as to admit of its becoming the Center Building for officers should the service require an extension of barracks to the left for an increased Guard.
"With due deference to your opinion I must suggest the idea that the Barracks should they be built on the street, will I fear become an evil to the Yard rather than a protection, by the admission of liquor into them through the agency of the unprincipled citizen, as well as a deposit for whoever the dishonest of the Guard may be enabled to take from the Yard to traffic or trade with the former - removed from the wall it must be otherwise, as a Post of a Sentinel - will counteract the intentions of both.
"Should the wall at this time be dispensed with, a high fence with a gate to admit the relief to pass through in posting and relieving the Sentinels could be erected, I should imagine at the expense only of the Materials."
The Secretary of the Navy in a letter dated 10 April 1818 authorized the Commandant to "commence the erection of barracks for the comfortable accommodation of the officers and men of the Marine Corps on the Norfolk Station; agreeably to the plan submitted by you, and on the site designated in my letter to you or the 6th instant." The Secretary pointed out that the "strictest economy must be observed in the expenditure" and that "the question respecting the building of the wall remains as yet undecided, a decision will however take place in due time and the result be communicated to you."
Lieutenant Colonel Commandant Franklin Wharton then proceeded to Gosport where he made a personal study of the site for the proposed new Marine Barracks. He wrote the Secretary of the Navy from Gosport on 9 May 1918:
"On examining the site intended for the erection of Barracks with Commodore Cassin, we have discovered that to commence them on the exact line of your instructions of the 6th April last it will be necessary to disturb the remains of the dead, or to begin the left flank of the building for officers, some small distance from the point you had contemplated, which will not it is believed in any way counteract the arrangements of the Yard for Naval purposes on the discovery, I do not consider myself empowered to deviate there from, and have requested the Navy Agent to ask proposals for laying the bricks during one week which I presume will enable me to receive your further orders on the subject, the opinion of Commodore Cassin, I have the honor to enclose."
The Secretary of the Navy replied on 15 May 1818, as follows:
"In answer to your letter of the 9th instant, I agree to your placing the walls of the barracks at such distance from the original line designated as will avoid disturbing the remains of the dead, deposited in the burying place, and at the same time keeping as nearly as possible to the former limits."
The Commandant then wrote Miles King, Navy Agent at Norfolk, under date of 27 May 1818, outlining certain details of construction and equipment for the new Marine Barracks at Gosport, as follows:
"Having executed the wishes of the Honorable the Secretary of the Navy, in regard to barracks at the Navy Yard, Gosport, as far as I consider they, through me, embraced I will take the liberty on my contemplated return to Headquarters to ask your polite attention to the following points deemed by me essential for their partial completion, viz - the brick work agreeably to plan by a wall in front on Second Street with Main entrance by a gate opposite to the arch dividing the quarters of our men. This gate to open said Street, with a small one to admit, under charge of the Sergeant of the Guard, those who may be absent after the Main Gate has been closed. A guard room from the pillar of this running south 20 feet to the East 10 - thence 20 to the north, thence 10 to the west to the place of the beginning. With the same sized building on the left of the Main Entrance for a place of confinement, or any other purpose required. A pump for the convenience of the officers and men on the Parade so as not to interfere with it, which can be easily ascertained whenever the walls or lines of the buildings are fixed. Small gates through the wall on Second Street to enter by to the Quarters of the Commanding Officer on the right, and another for the admission of officers to the left, which include it is believed, all in relation to the work of the Mason. In regard to that of the carpenter, I will merely state my wishes for the present, viz. the doors, jambs and window frames, for the lower story, understood to be the cellar of the whole building. The lower and upper floors of the same with stair cases, window sills, and door panel work for the buildings right and left Common for the center - 4 fire chimney pieces - with wash board and chair board or sur base - wash boards only for the center. The window sashes to be made for the upper story only. Sills for that and so to be closed by boards as to prevent injury from the weather. Slate or tiled roof - grates for the Quarters of the men to use coal, which can also be placed in the Quarters of the officers, should they prefer their use. The funds to which the expenditure is to be charged will be the contingent and I am necessarily called on, at this time to use great economy in the draft, as these buildings were not contemplated when the late appropriation was made.
Convinced as the the propriety of having a boat for the use of the Guard, and thereby save public money, I will thank you to have one purchased and delivered to Capt. Anderson for public purposes. Excuse I pray you the trouble I am about to give and believe me to be. P. S. Some sand &c, &c, may be requested by Capt. Anderson to plaster as the work progresses, be pleased to cause their delivery, he having a mechanic of the kind belonging to the Guards."
On June 18, 1818, Miles King wrote the Commandant of the Corps, forwarding copies of the "contracts for the brick and woodwork of the Marine Barracks," and stating that the "foundation is nearly dug out, the materials are collecting and the workmen will begin on Monday next." On 30 October 1818 the Commandant wrote the Secretary of the Navy submitting the "Estimate for the Pay and Quarter Master Departments of the Marine Corps for 1819," in which he suggested that "the necessity of an addition to the Contingent Fund in order to meet expenditures that will become necessary in consequence of the contract for building Barracks at Norfolk."
The building of the Marine Barracks was nearing completion in the Spring of 1819, and the C. O., Captain William Anderson, commenced requisitioning the furnishings and equipment. On 15 May 1819 he wrote Miles King, Navy Agent at Norfolk:
"Required for the Marine Barracks, Gosport, Va., the following articles of furniture, Viz. For the officers' quarters, 1 small sideboard, 1 pair table ends, mahog'y, 1 doz. chairs, 1 pair andirons, shovel and tongs, for mess room, 1 pair andirons, shovel and tongs for the kitchen, 1 pair andirons, shovel and tongs and 2 yds. green baize for the office, 1 passage lamp with pullies, cords and weights for each wind (officers' quarters), 300 yds sacking and 500 lb. straw for the Barracks rooms as it may be required for use."
Captain Anderson wrote the Commandant of the Corps on 2 October 1819 concerning furniture, as follows:
"I have omitted in the enclosed requisition kitchen furniture and two Class Passage Lamps with cords and pullies, which I think should be permanently attached to the Quarters. If they can, consistently, be allow'd, I would be glad the Commandant would have them together with what articles of kitchen furniture may be thought sufficient, entered on the requisition before it is appd. The side board will not cost more than about thirty dolls. a second handed one will answer every purpose. The table ends are from a dining table, the officers now have in their possession."
Apparently the barracks were poorly or cheaply constructed for in his annual report for fiscal year 1834 the Secretary of the Navy stated:
"At Norfolk the barracks are within the bounds of the navy yard, but inadequate to the accommodation of the force required there. Besides they are much out of repair; and the commanding officer has been necessarily allowed house rent in lieu of quarters."
Again in 1837 the Marines at Gosport were having their troubles with quarters. On 14 November 1837, the Commandant of the Corps wrote the Secretary of the Navy:
"Your letter of 11th Inst. has been received. The public property within the Navy Yard at Gosport has always been under the protection of a Guard of the Marine Corps, until a report was made by Commd. Warrington in March last that "the temporary" unhealthiness of the Barracks should cause the Marines to be removed. The temporary unhealthiness was caused by some operations of digging &c. then prosecuted by the Yard,
"From Lt. Col. Wainwright's letter to the Dept. of the 18th March, I should conclude that this was the only reason assigned by Commd. Warrington for the removal of the Guard. If so the cessation of this would remove the cause of its exclusion.
"It is not however my wish that the Guard of Marines should interfere with the operations within the Yard. I would therefore suggest the propriety of renting temporary Barracks until those authorized by law, and for which an appropriation has been made by Congress, have been erected. A suitable building can probably be obtained at a moderate price.
"The importance of this Guard cannot but present itself in a forcible point of view to the Dept. when a reference is made to the immense amount of public property in the yard. Long experience has shown that no other body of men except one under military law, can furnish proper sentinels to watch over the public property in the yards. Barracks outside the yard cannot be erected in less than a year and a half or two years. It cannot be intended to dispense with the Guards the whole of this time. Under these circumstances I would ask authority from the Dept. to rent temporary Barracks for the Guard.
"The state of things induces me again to call the attention of the Dept. to the purchase of sites for the Barracks in the vicinity of the Navy Yards at Gosport, Charlestown, Mass., and Pensacola. Appropriations for these Barracks were made at your own suggestion. Their erection is important for the welfare both of the Navy and Marine Corps. At Pensacola there are no Barracks at all except a small building temporarily given to the Guard, and not large enough for thirty men. At Norfolk the Barracks not only interfere with the arrangements of the Yard but are in a dilapidated condition. At Charlestown they are similarly situated with those at Norfolk,
"I therefore conceive it my duty once more to ask your attention to this subject and to request that these appropriations may be applied to the objects for which they were made."
During the latter part of 1819 rations again became a problem for the Marines at Gosport. In a letter to Commandant Anthony Gale of 17 December 1819 Captain Anderson reported:
"I have never been authorized by the commandant to make contracts for rations or fuel, the Navy Agent claiming for himself that privilege, my requisition for wood which was lately app'd by the Commandant, was for 60 cords, which has been furnished by the agent on the requisition, the wood will be amply sufficient for the year commencing 1st Oct. last. Having the privilege occasionally of taking chips from the yard the guard do not require their full complement of fuel."
On 22 December 1819, Miles King, Navy Agent, wrote the Commandant of the Corps concerning rations:
"Understanding that you wish to know at what time the contract for rations for the Marines will expire, and at what price the contract has been made, I have now the honor to state that there is no contract for rations for any particular period, and that I have not been able to make one to furnish such articles as are required here at the price limited 20 cents, by the Honorable Secretary of the Navy in his letter of the 5th May 1818. Some time since I contracted with the gentleman who furnished the soldiers on this station to supply the Marines, but there was so much complaint on account of the badness of the provision, they not being willing to receive such as were furnished the soldiers, I was compelled to purchase provision myself, until Mr. T. B. Seymore agreed to supply them, till I could find someone to contract with, but I have not been able to find any person willing to contract at 20 cents,, as the number to be supplied is so small. As provisions are now falling in price, and the Honorable Board of Navy Commissioners have contracted for all the fresh beef required on this Station, that being the most expensive part of the ration, I hope to be able to contract for the other parts at a reduced price for the next year, if you shall think proper to direct one to be made."
After advertising for bids on furnishing rations for the Marines at Gosport Navy Yard, John B. Kuhn, of Norfolk, on 29 December 1819, proposed to "furnish rations for the Marines at the Barracks at Gosport for twenty cents per ration." The next day John Dickson of Gosport wrote that he was willing to contract for the ensuing year at eighteen cents per ration, furnishing fresh beef three times a week and salt pork four with the other requisites . . .
Piracy in the waters of the West Indies and the "Spanish Main" had become so notorious by 1822 that Congress passed an act, approved by President James Monroe on 20 December 1822, which authorized an additional naval force for its suppression. Eight days later, the Secretary of the Navy directed the Commandant of the Marine Corps to organize a force of Marines for "sea service" with the "Anti-Piratical Squadron" under command of Captain David Porter. The Commandant, in keeping with the traditional "always ready" policy of the Corps, furnished the Marines, but in doing so he was forced to deplete the personnel of the Marine Barracks at the various Navy Yards to such extent "that insufficient men were left to furnish all the sentinels asked by the Commandants of the various Navy yards." (The entire strength of the Corps consisted of 20 officers and 861 enlisted.) The Marine Barracks at the Gosport Navy Yard contributed the majority of its personnel to the "West Indian Expedition" which sailed from the "Virginia Capes" on 14 February 1823,
Through the mangrove swamps and coral reefs of the "Bahama Channel" along the "Spanish Main" and the islands of the Caribbean Sea, the small vessels of Porter's squadron sought out, chased, and fought the pirates. In most of these boarding and landing engagements, the Marines formed the spearhead. The fighting was of the "no-quarter-asked-or-given" variety, but the climate was even deadlier. A Marine Corps officer on the expedition called the climate "Pestiferous" and recalled that "I can well remember the rainy season during the months of June and July, during which time exposed to the 'pitiles pelting of the storms,' I may safely say I was truly an amphibious animal."
In August 1823 activities against the pirates came to a virtual standstill due to an outbreak of yellow fever, which exacted a far greater toll than the pirates. And the medical treatment for this "Malignant fever," or as the press described it, "that dread pestilence of the southern latitude," was of the hit-or-miss type. For example, Lieutenant Josiah Tattnall, USN, became so ill of the fever that the surgeon, convinced that his case was hopeless, suggested that Tattnall could have anything he wished to eat or drink, in other words, the usual dying man's last wish. The Lieutenant asked for a mint julep, which was provided. The records fail to give credit to the julep for the young naval officer's remarkable recovery, but they do show that he lived to sire a son for the Marine Corps and to become a commodore in the Confederate States Navy.
An interesting sidelight of this expedition against the pirates was the first joint action of the U. S. and British Marines since 1740-42, when they fought against Spain at Carthegena. In March 1825 U. S. Marines of the steam galliot Sea Gull and barge Gallinipper and British Marines of the Dartmouth formed a joint expedition to capture a pirate schooner hidden at the key of Justia Gordo near Sagua la Grande. During the ensuing fight eight pirates, including their chief, Antonio Stepol, were killed or captured. One British Marine was wounded.
Piracy in the West Indian Ocean was pretty well under control by 1827, and most of the Marines, including those from the Gosport Navy Yard, returned to their home stations.
In 1836, a few months after fighting had broken out between the Indians and U. S. Army forces in Florida, Colonel Commandant Archibald Henderson volunteered the services of the Marine Corps for duty with the Army in the field. On 21 May 1836 the Adjutant General's Office, War Department, issued the following order:
"The Colonel of the Marines having tendered the services of his Corps for duty in the field, the President accordingly has been pleased to direct that all the disposal Marines be withdrawn from their respective stations, leaving at each a Sergeant's guard, and that the Corps, under the direction of the Commandant be organized and forthwith proceed in two detachments from the New York and Norfolk stations, via: Charleston and Augusta for Fort Mitchell, and there report to the Commanding General for active duty with the Army in the Field."
Two day later Colonel Commandant Henderson issued instructions to the Commanding Officers of the Marine Barracks at Gosport (Norfolk), Va., Washington, D.C., Boston, Mass., Portsmouth, N. H., New York, NY., and Philadelphia, Pa., that "The President of the United States has ordered that all the Marines at the different stations be withdrawn except a Sergeant's Guard, to consist of one Sergeant, one Corporal, and twelve Privates . . ." (At that time the strength of the Corps was 43 officers and 1298 enlisted.) During the next days he wrote letters to certain officers of the Corps appointing them to various staff and command positions "to the Marines under my command during the campaign against the Creek Indians."
The first contingent consisting of Marines from the Marine Barracks at Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Pa., and Gosport (Norfolk), Va., rendezvoused at Fortress Monroe on 2 June 1836. According to the Norfolk Beacon at 3 June 1836 "Captain Twiggs' command at the Navy Yard, (Gosport), consisting of about 81, embarked in the steam packet Columbia, yesterday afternoon, and joined by those at Fortress Monroe, would proceed immediately for Charleston. The officers and men were all in fine spirits." This contingent left Charleston on 6 June 1836 and arrived at Augusta, Ga., the following day. While en route to Charleston, the entire force was organized into a First Battalion, consisting of Companies A, B, C, D, and G. The majority of the Marines from Gosport were designated Company A under the command of Captain Levi Twiggs, who was killed in September 1847 while leading a charge against the Castle of Chapultepec, near Mexico City, during the war with Mexico. The remaining Marines from Gosport, together with about 30 from Washington, D.C., were designated Company G under command of Brevet Captain James McCawley, also from Gosport. The Marines from Philadelphia Navy Yard were designated Company B under command of Captain John Harris, while those from Headquarters and the Navy Yard at Washington, D.C., were designated Companies C and D. The First Battalion left Augusta for Columbus, Georgia, arriving on 23 June, after marching 224 miles in 14 days. On their arrival at Columbus, orders were received from Major General Winfield Scott, commanding "the forces in Florida," to proceed to a camp 15 miles below Columbus which was named "Camp Henderson." Colonel Henderson reported that on the evening of 24 June "five companies of Marines with a train of wagons under his command encamped on the plantation of Mr. Forsythe," that after crossing the Chattahoochee River on 25 June the "opposite side of the River, for many miles above and below, was in the possession of a band of Creek Indians most actively engaged at that time in hostilities against the Whites;" and that "Jim Henry, with the only party of hostile Indians of any consequence then in arms, occupied the swamps within a few miles of the position taken by the troops under my command." On 25 June, Companies A and D under Captain Levi Twiggs (formerly Commanding Officer of the Marine Barracks at Gosport Navy Yard), were sent out on a scouting expedition in search of Jim Henry, but failed to locate him.
Meantime, a second battalion of Marines had been mobilizing for duty in the field pursuant to instructions issued on 23 May 1836 when Colonel Commandant Henderson wrote Brevet Lieutenant Colonel Freeman at Boston, Mass., as follows:
"Under an order from the President of the United States, I am directed to withdraw all the force from the different stations of the Marine Corps, with the exception of a Sergt's guard to consist of 1 sergt., 1 corpl. and 12 privates and those are to be selected from the men who are unable to perform field duty. I have accordingly to direct that you take charge of such force as shall report to you from Portsmouth, and with that and all the other officers and men from your post, you will proceed with all possible dispatch to New York. Lt. McNeill if he is unable to perform field duty can remain in charge of the Sergt's guard. On your arrival in New York you will receive from Lt. Col. Gamble such troops as he shall be directed to turn over to you. As soon as practicable thereafter you will procure for them the most expeditious conveyance that you possibly can for Charleston, South Carolina. From thence you will proceed by the railroad to Augusta, Georgia, where you will find all the necessary arrangements made for the transportation of the force under your charge to Fort Mitchell in Alabama. If you do not find me there you will report to Major Genl. Jesup or the military officer in command at that post."
This contingent consisting of 14 officers and 143 enlisted Marines from the Marine Barracks at Boston, Mass., Portsmouth, N. H., and New York, N. Y., was organized into three companies, E, F, and G, and was designated the second Battalion of Colonel Henderson's Regiment of Marines. This battalion under the command of Brevet Lieutenant Colonel William H. Freeman joined the First Battalion in the field on 1 July 1836.
On the same date Colonel Henderson reported as follows to Secretary of the Navy Dickerson:
"Not a single casualty has occurred among the men notwithstanding their exposure to unusual fatigue and hard duty in a sickly climate. The erection of a picket on the right bank of the Chattahoochie, fifteen miles below Columbus and in the heart of the hostile country, was assigned to my command the day of our arrival at Columbus, so that we were immediately ordered on hard duty. We have nearly finished two storehouses for provisions and we are now actively engaged in putting up the pickets and occasionally in sending out scouting parties to show that we are prepared for fighting as well as for working. We were very near taking a body of Indians the first day we set foot on this shore. It is now expected that the campaign will be closed in the course of ten days or two weeks as General Scott is now on this side of the river scouring the whole hostile country, and I daily expect orders to join him on this service. I have ever reason to be satisfied with my entire command. They have borne a fatiguing and rapid march of thirteen days from Augusta to Columbus in such a manner as to be able to at once to undertake and execute an arduous duty assigned them."
The Army and Navy Chronicle of 14 July 1836 quotes an article appearing in the Columbus Sentinel of 1 July 1836 which reported "that since their arrival at Camp Henderson the Marines have all enjoyed good health and spirits, and pursued their work with vigilance and promptness." The article continued:
"Their location being in a most exposed part of the enemy's country, it is a great privation for them to be confined to the monotonous duties of the camp, though well convinced of the importance of their present work. Their Camp has been for two successive nights roused by Indians lurking about, and approaching the picket sentinels within a few yards when they were fired on and pursuit immediately given, but no trace of them could be found. Last night after the roll of the drum had ceased, a whoop was distinctly heard up the river, which no doubt was a signal to a party above. On Friday morning last, a Negro boy who had escaped from the Indians that morning, and who had been a prisoner some five or six weeks, was brought into the camp by Captain Love, of the Georgia Volunteers. He stated that a party of twenty or thirty had camped the night before within six or seven miles, and had left that morning for a large swamp not far off, no doubt Cowagee swamp, and that he saw Jim Henry that day, who advised them to go as soon as possible, and that he had been badly wounded in the shoulder. Captain Twiggs and Dulany's companies, together with a company of Georgia Volunteers, under Captain Love - the whole under the command of Captain Twiggs - was immediately dispatched in hopes of overtaking them, but without success."
Numerous scouting parties were sent out between 11 July and 18 September 1836, and the most important one perhaps was led by Captain Levi Twiggs to Upton Mills, Georgia, to intercept the passage of the Indians into Florida.
Assisted by the Marines, the small Army forces in the Southern Department were able to bring the Creek Indian War to a successful conclusion by the middle of 1836. General Winfield Scott received orders on 28 June 1836 to report to Washington, D.C., turning over command to Major General Thomas H. Jesup. Before he departed, General Scott signed General Order No. 29 of 7 July 1836 which reads in part:
"To the regular troops, including the United States Marines, the usual praise is due. They have exhibited steadiness, discipline and an eager desire to come in contact with the enemy. Although disappointed in that favorite wish, they have in all respects, rendered themselves highly useful."
After the departure of General Scout, the command of the troops in Florida, pending the arrival of General Jesup, devolved upon Governor Call of Florida Territory. General Jesup relieved the Governor at Volusia, Florida, 8 December 1836.
Early in October 1836 Colonel Henderson received orders to "proceed to Florida forthwith." The next morning the Marines were on the move from their various stations in Alabama to the vicinity of Fort Brooke, Tampa Bay, Florida. Meantime, the Marines under command of Colonel Henderson had been reorganized into six companies, A, B, C, D, E, and F, including a detachment of "Mounted Marines." The detachment of Mounted Marines (Company B, under command of Captain John Harris), with a similar detachment from the Army, was sent out from Tampa Bay on 12 November 1836 in search of Indians.
On the morning of 3 January 1837, Colonel Henderson's Marines, with the exception of Lieutenant Colonel Miller and Company A, with the Army, left Fort Brooke for the interior in search of Seminole Indians, who had changed their minds about going to reservations "West of the Mississippi." The Marines continued in the field with the Army until 18 May 1837 when they returned to Fort Brooke.
Meantime Major General Jesup at Fort Dade, on 8 January 1837, issued "Orders No. 34," which provided in part:
"1. The army of the South will be reorganized and divided into two Brigades.
"2. The First Brigade will be commanded by Brevet Brigadier Armistead and will be comprised of the Third and Fourth Regiment of Artillery (united into one regiment), the Sixth Infantry, the Alabama Volunteers, and one of the Battalions of friendly Indians.
"3. The Second Brigade will be commanded by Colonel Archibald Henderson, U.S. Marine Corps, and will be comprised of the First and Second Regiment of Artillery (united into one regiment), the Fourth Infantry, the Marine Corps, the Georgia Volunteers, and one Battalion of friendly Indians.
"9. (A mounted detachment was formed in each brigade.) These (mounted) detachments will be united under the Command of Lieutenant Colonel Miller, of the Marine Corps, who is charged with the duty, until further orders of guarding the convoys dispatched from time to time from the Main Depot at Tampa Bay to the several depots on the Fort King Road.
"10. Lieutenant Colonel Miller is also charged with the command of such of the depots referred to as are garrisoned by regular troops.
"12. Fort Dade will be garrisoned by a detachment from the Second Brigade under Colonel Henderson . . ."
On 7 October 1837 Colonel Henderson wrote the Secretary of War concerning his service with the "2nd Brigade of the Army of the South" as follows:
"On the 7th Jany., I was placed in command of the 2nd Brigade of the Army of the South, and continued in situation until two Departments were created by an order form the Commanding General, dated the 26th April 1837. One of the Departments was placed under my command. I left Florida on the 23d May following."
On 22 January 1837 the main body of the forces under General Jesup marched to the headwaters of the Ocklawaha, "where it was supposed were the strongholds of the enemy." The next day General Jesup ordered the "mounted battalion of Alabama Volunteers, Captain Harris' Company of Marines (mounted), and Major Morris' Indian warriors, to attack Osuchee, commonly called the Chief Cooper, whose rendezvous was then on the borders of Ahapopka Lake." The expedition made a surprise attack on Osuchee's camp, killed the Chief and three of his men, and captured a number of his followers. Information from the prisoners indicated that the main body of the Seminoles had moved southward.
On 22 January 1837 General Jesup moved out from Fort Armstrong with his forces, consisting of the two brigades, one under command of Brevet Brigadier General Armistead and the other under the command of Colonel Henderson, for the Ocklawaha Swamp, and the next day joined the mounted Marines and other units who had made the successful attack on Osuchee's forces.
On 27 January 1837 Colonel Henderson's brigade (including the Marines from Gosport) made contact with the Indians near the Hatchee-Lustee. Colonel Henderson described the Battle of Hatchee-Lustee in the following report to General Jesup:
"Under your direction, I left the main army on the morning of the 27th with the Mounted Alabama Volunteers, under Lieutenant Colonel Caulfield, and the company of Mounted Marines under Captain John Harris, and proceeded, accompanied by your aide, Lieutenant Chambers, on a southerly trail. Orders were left for Major Morris, with his command to follow as rapidly as possible . . .
"The troops under my command then pursued the trail for about a mile, when we came to two diverging trails, one taking a southeasterly course, and the other more to the eastward. On these two trails, the signs were the most recent; and Lieutenant Chambers, with a few men, proceeded to trace out one of them while the rest of the troops, joined here by Major Morris's, pursued the other. We had proceeded but a short distance, when a volunteer sent by Lieutenant Chambers, brought information that fresh signs of women's and children's tracks were discovered, and requested a company to be sent to him. Captain Prices's company of volunteers was ordered accordingly.
"About a mile in advance a Negro man was captured at a fire. He informed us that a large number of Negroes were in advance, and from fort[y] to fift[y] Indians, with Alabama, were in our rear. He stated that he had left the latter body since sunrise in the morning.
"The determination was promptly made to retrace our steps and attack the Indians. Just as we were about to march, one of the volunteers came up and gave information that Lieutenant Chambers had overtaken a considerable force of Indians and Negroes. An order was given to proceed to his support, and a rapid movement made for that purpose. When we came up with him, he was in possession of two Indian women and three children, besides a body of Negroes taken by the volunteers in the adjoining pine woods. He had also in his possession over a hundred ponies with a large quantity of plunder packed on them as well as several stand of arms.
"The main body of the enemy escaped in the swamp, and Major Morris was ordered, with his command, to pursue, and bring them in. He enter the swamp in accordance with the order.
"The remaining troops were then ordered to form and pursue the Indian force in our rear, and were ready to march, when a firing commenced in the swamp. . .
"About half past eleven, the Marines, preceded by the officers, entered the swamp, and were immediately followed by the Alabama Volunteers. Four or five hundred yards after entering the swamp we arrived at a deep stream from twenty to twenty-five yards wide, and Major Morris's battalion engaged with the enemy across it. A tree had been felled from each side and formed the only way of passing it.
"The troops, as they came up, were ordered to extend to the right and left, and by a cross fire, to dislodge the enemy . . . Their fire soon slackened, and an order was given to cross the stream, when Captain Morris (Major of the First Indian Battalion) gallantly advanced on the log, followed by Lieutenant Chambers, Lieutenant Searle, Captain Harris, Lieutenant Lee, (Captain of the Indian Battalion), swam the stream at this time, and joined the officers on the other side. I attempted to cross in this way, but had to return to the log, and crossed there. (At this crossing, one Marine was killed and three were wounded.)
"Just as I was crossing, an officer was sent from Lieutenant Colonel Caulfield, on our right, for orders. He was directed to cross as rapidly as he could with his men, after the regulars and Indians had crossed over.
"We were then promptly joined by the Marines, Morris's Artillery, and some friendly Indians, and pursued the enemy as rapidly as the deep swamp and their mode of warfare admitted.
"Another fire was received from them further in advance and their trail from the swamp was followed through an open pine woods, and traced till it again entered the swamp three-quarters of a mile from the place it came out. We were joined by Lieutenant Colonel Caulfield and his men, who had delayed in crossing the stream. The swamp was again entered, deeper and more difficult to pass than it had been. The friendly Indians were directed to enter on each flank, while the Regular and Volunteers advanced in the center. The Regulars were ordered to lead the march. ("Regulars" referred to troops of the Regular Army and Marine Corps.)
"After advancing about half a mile, the enemy again fired on us, but retreated on the advance of the troops. (A Marine drummer was killed and a Marine corporal severely wounded in this fight.)
"On further advance into the swamp, a few more guns were fired by the enemy, who retreated as the troops followed them . . .
"The loss of the enemy in these several attacks could not be ascertained, as the troops made no halt in the pursuit and returned after dark . . .
"The result of this day's operations was the capture of two Indian women and three children, and twenty-three Negroes, young and old, over a hundred ponies, with packs on about fifty of them. All their clothes, blankets, and other baggage, were abandoned by the enemy, and either taken or destroyed by us . . .
"The Regular troops, both Artillery and Marines, displayed great bravery, and the most untiring and determined perseverance. The Marines, however, I cannot refrain from mentioning in a particular manner. The killed and wounded show where they were, and render any further comment from me unnecessary.
"I would recommend to the particular notice of yourself, and the Government, the five officers who first crossed the stream and who, in pursuit, constantly led the van. It would be as gratifying to me, as it would be just to them, that some marks of distinction be bestowed, where such gallantry had been displayed . . ."
In his report to the Adjutant General of the Army, General Jesup stated that "the enemy was found on the Hatchee Lustee, in and near the Great Cypress Swamp, and promptly and gallantly attacked . . . Colonel Henderson, leaving one company with the prisoners and horses, entered the swamp with the remainder of his command, drove the enemy across the Hatchee Lustee, passed that river under their fire, and drove them into a more dense and difficult swamp, where they dispersed."
On the recommendation of General Jesup, Colonel Commandant Archibald Henderson was awarded brevet rank of Brigadier General on 27 January 1837, "for gallant and meritorious services while in command of the Marines in Alabama, Florida, and Tennessee, during the campaigns against the hostile Indians." Captain John Harris, USMC, was awarded brevet rank of Major on 27 January 1837, "for gallantry and good conduct in the war against the Florida Indians, particularly in the affair of Hatchee Lustee." Captain William Dulany, USMC,, also was awarded the brevet rank of Major on 3 March 1843, for services in the war against the Florida Indians.
After the Battle of Hatchee Lustee, the Marines took station at Camp Dade, and on 6 March 1837 an agreement was signed at that place by the Seminole Chiefs and General Jesup, in which the former agreed to emigrate west of the Mississippi. Colonel Henderson entered the following in his Journal:
"The Indians come in slowly, but such is their characteristic, and I doubt not they will all be in this month or early in the next. We expect the first emigrating party to start the last of this week. So soon as this takes place, I shall ask orders to return to Washington. I did not wish to be premature in this request, and thereby do away any of the character which the Corps or myself has acquired on this service. I am anxious to leave Florida and our connection with the Army without the shadow of a stain on our escutcheon, and that the Corps shall return to its stations with an untarnished character. It has gone through both campaigns (Creeks and Seminoles) in great harmony with all the Corps, of all sort and kinds, with which it has been associated, Regulars, Volunteers, Indians and all and with almost uninterrupted good feeling towards all. We have some unquiet spirits among ourselves, which I have endeavored to allay, so that no want of harmony should appear to others . . ."
In April 1837 the Marines left Fort Dade and took station as follows: Company A at Little Hillsboro; Company B at Camp Henderson; Company C at Fort Brooke; Company D at Little Hillsborough River; and Company E at Fort Foster.
By 26 March 1837 General Jesup believed the war to be over and commenced to discharge the volunteers and to relieve the Marines and seamen of the West India Squadron of their duties at the forts. On 22 May 1837 Major General Jesup, commanding Army of the South at Tampa Bay, issued Orders No. 108, which read in part as follows:
"1. The presence of Colonel Henderson being required at the Headquarters of his Corps, he will proceed to Washington City, and report to the Adjutant General of the Army.
"The Major General Commanding would be forgetful of what is due to merit, and would do injustice to his own feelings, were he to omit on the present occasion the expression of the high sense he entertains of the distinguished and valuable services rendered by the Colonel. He tenders his warmest thanks for the able, zealous and cheerful support he has on every occasion received from him both in Florida and Alabama; and begs him to accept his best wishes for his future fame and happiness.
"2. Captain Howle, Adjutant and Inspector of the Marine Corps, and Surgeon John A. Kearney, of the Navy, Medical Director of the Army, will accompany Colonel Henderson . . .
"3. Until further orders Major Thompson will command the troops North of the Hillsborough and South of the Ouithecoochee (Withlacoochee); also Fort Armstrong so long as a guard shall be necessary at outposts.
"4. Lieutenant Colonel Miller (U.S. Marine Corps) will command, with his brevet rank, the Troops south of the Hillsborough . . ."
Colonel Henderson left Florida on 23 May 1837, arrived in Washington on 19 June 1837 and assumed command of the Marine Corps on 23 June 1837. The Washington National Intelligencer of 22 June 1837 reported Colonel Henderson's return to the Capital City as follows:
"We are glad to learn that Col. Henderson, and the officers who accompanied him, have returned to their families in good health. They have suffered much, in common with all with whom they have served, not less from the climate, and the peculiar nature of the country which has been the theatre of the war, than from the necessary hardships of service in so wild and destitute a region. The gallant corps which it is Col. Henderson's good fortune to command, has always been distinguished wheresoever duty has called it. In the present case, the corps deserves commendation from having volunteered in the war in Florida and having repaired to its theatre, a thousand miles distant, to share in its perils and privations. Its commander deserves the praise of having proven himself worthy of his post, both by his gallantry in the field, and by patience and good example under all difficulties; and he, his officers and men, have most honorably maintained the pledge which they gave to the Government and to their country, when they first tendered their services. The corps remains in Florida under the veteran and gallant Lieutenant Colonel Miller, to make further sacrifices, and endure fresh hardships, should the obstinacy of the Indians, as now appears too probable, unhappily prolong the war."
The Intelligencer's gloomy predictions concerning the "obstinacy of the Indians came true, for on 15 June 1837 Brevet Lieutenant Colonel Miller wrote to Colonel Commandant Henderson from "Headquarters of the Troops South of Hillsboro, Tampa Bay," that "before this reaches you the information will have reached Washington that the Seminoles encamped in this vicinity have decamped and taken French leave. It is said that many of them are on the Oc-le-wai-hoo and south towards the Cape."
Shortly after resuming his duties as Commandant of the Marine Corps, Brevet Brigadier General Archibald Henderson wrote Major General Jesup requesting that "the Corps now in Florida be sent to its stations as soon as their services could be dispensed with." General Jesup replied on 4 July 1837 that "There is nothing within my power which I would not do to serve your Corps - I owe it too many obligations to be indifferent to its interests, or even to it wishes . . . The number of troops composing the Corps cannot be abstracted from service here without endangering the peace and security of the frontier." General Henderson continued his efforts to have his Marines relieved from their duties with the Army of Florida. On 24 June 1837 he wrote Major General Jesup that "An order was sent from the Adjt. General's office, two days ago, that the portion of the Corps now in Florida be sent to its stations as soon as their services could be dispensed with. This order was issued at my instance and in consequence of the Secretary of the Navy having desired me to say to the Secretary of War, that the services of these troops were required at their posts."
Brevet Lieutenant Colonel Miller was relieved from duty in Florida by "Orders No. 151" of 18 July 1837; he reported at Headquarters Marine Corps on 18 August 1837. Captain William Dulany [spelling changed from Dulaney] then assumed command of the Marines in Florida, consisting of one battalion of five companies, A, B, C, D and E. Marine Corps officers serving under Captain Dulany were: Captain Benjamin Macomber; 1st Lieutenant Thomas L. C. Watkins; 2nd Lieutenant Robert C. Caldwell; 2d Lieutenant William L. Young (from the Marine Barracks, Gosport Navy Yard); and 2d Lieutenant Josiah Watson.
On 2 September 1837, Major General Jesup ordered a detachment of 50 Marines to proceed north; Captain Dulany then reorganized his battalion into two companies. On the same date, 1st Lieutenant George H. Terrett's company of Marines who had been garrisoning Fort Pike was ordered to join Captain Dulany's command at Tampa Bay. On 30 November 1837 four officers and 170 enlisted men of the Marine Corps were serving in Florida under Major General Jesup.
On 29 April 1838, Major General Jesup directed Captain Dulany to "proceed with the Marines under his command to Baton Rouge" where he would "receive orders in relation to his march to the Cherokee Country." After completion of this duty, Captain Dulany and his battalion (Companies D and E) of Marines proceeded to Washington, D. C., reporting to Headquarters Marine Corps on 23 July 1838. On 28 July the Commandant reported to the Secretary of the Navy:
"I have the honour to report to the Department the return of the Battalion of Marines from their tour of service with the Army. It will now be in my power to furnish a small guard on the Norfolk station. The Barracks there are in a condition to receive this detachment if it be the pleasure of the Dept. to give the order."
Thus, after more than two years of arduous service with the Army in the field, the Marines returned to their regular station at the Gosport (Norfolk) Navy Yard.
As a part of these Marines of Captain Dulany's battalion were assigned to the Marine Barracks, Gosport Navy Yard, the following letter from Colonel Persifor F. Smith, USA, to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, 17 July 1838, should be included in this narrative:
"During the last campaign in Florida, I had the honor to include as part of the Brigade under my command the Detachment of the Marine Corps serving under Captain William Dulany. The duties performed by the Corps were so arduous and so frequent that to mention them would be but to give a history of the campaign. It was first on the ground marked out for our operations and was the last to leave it, and no moment of the intervening time was spent in idleness. A large part of the Brigade consisted of volunteers who had just entered service, on whom the value of good discipline, correct conduct, and of soldierly bearing could in no way be so forcibly impressed as by example. It was my good fortune to find that example, in its highest perfection, in the Battalion under Captain Dulany. No order however sudden ever found it unprepared; no labor however severe even produced a murmur, and no indulgence ever produced disorder. It was always ready and always cheerful, its privations, its labors, etc., its merit must be probably without reward - for we had not the fortune of meeting the enemy in contest but the constancy displayed by the Marines through a difficult and protracted pursuit showed more of their excellence then twenty fights could do, they had all the hardships of the latter without any of their inspiring motives. From the officers of the Corps and especially from the Commander of the Battalion, Captain William Dulany with whom I was more immediately in relation, I received not only that assistance which I had a right to expect from officers under my command - but that zealous and hasty cooperation which distinguishes the generous and high-minded soldier . . . The position in which I am placed affords me no means by which I can repay the obligations under which I lie to Captain Dulany, his officers and his men. I can only record in your hands as Commanding Officer of the Corps my testimony in favor of their perfect discipline and enduring constancy and my regret that the distribution of rewards for 'meritorious services in Florida' is not with me. The feeling with which I parted with Captain Dulany and his Command are such as will always interest me in the Marine Corps, and I shall hear of its honors and of its success as if I partook of them."
After the arduous two years of service in the Florida Indian Wars, the Marines at Gosport settled down to the routine duty of guarding the installations at the Navy Yard. Their strength of one officer and 32 enlisted in 1815 had increased to six officers and 74 enlisted in 1833, and continued to increase until the war with Mexico when the necessity for additional Marines in the expanding Navy reduced its strength to a low of two officers and 29 enlisted men in August 1847.
"The Story of the Cumberland," a paper read 10 March 1891 by Rear Admiral Thomas O. Selfridge, Jr., USN, and published in Naval Actions and History, 1799-1898, for the Military Historical Society of Massachusetts in 1902, gives the following account of activities at Norfolk in 1861:
"Sailing from Portsmouth, N. H., in the fall of 1860, she (USS Cumberland) remained at Vera Cruz till February 1861, when the rapid procession of events which led to the secession of the Gulf States, caused her recall to Hampton Roads, where she arrived in March 1861. At this time the excitement ran high in Norfolk: many inducements were held out to the crew to desert, but few yielded to the temptation. At the suggestion of officers who afterwards resigned and went into the Rebellion, the Cumberland was finally moored head and stern off the Navy Yard at Norfolk, ostensibly as a protection to that Yard, but really that she might not interfere with the plan of blocking the channel at the mouth of the Elizabeth River with sunken vessels, which if done effectually would have left her penned like a rat in a trap. It may all sound strange at this period; but at that time so fearful was the paternal government of hurting the feelings of the Virginians, that it permitted this attempted closing by a so-called Vigilance Committee of Norfolk, a body of self-constituted individuals, to go on day and night without protection or interference. The writer volunteered to take the brig Dolphin and a detachment of the Cumberland's crew to Craney Island and keep the channel open to all hazards.
"This was approved by Captain Marston and Commodores Pendergrast and Paulding. But the rebel officers who were at the Yard advised Commodore McCauley, the senior commanding officer present, not to do it, as the youth and rashness of Lieutenant Selfridge might bring on bloodshed, which would hasten Virginia out of the Union. It was this desire to conciliate the latter that led to the evacuation of the Norfolk Yard, and not the fear of rebel forces . . .
"Friday, April 14th, brought the news of the bombardment of Fort Sumter, and caused the wildest excitement in Norfolk. The Navy Yard was closed, the Commandant had sent his family away; all the officers resigned, including about one-half of the Cumberland's, but not one of the crew asked this privilege; they were all truly loyal. There remained the Cumberland and a small body of Marines to defend the Yard . . .
"On the following day, Saturday, hearing nothing from Washington, it was determined to scuttle the Merrimac; that is, to open her underwater valves, and let her sink . . . The order was given, and the Merrimac slowly sank till she grounded with her gun deck a little out of the water.
"Saturday evening (20 April 1861) the steam sloop-of-war Pawnee, with a number of officers (100 Marines from Washington, D. C.), and a detachment of the Third Massachusetts, taken on board at Fortress Monroe, all under the command of Commodore Paulding, arrived from Washington. The latter was the senior officer present, and, after a consultation with Commodore McCauley and other commanders, decided to set fire to the shipping and buildings, and abandon the Navy Yard . . . Three line-of-battle-ships, the Pennsylvania, Columbus and Delaware; four frigates, the Merrimac, Brandywine, Columbia, and Raritan; one sloop-of-war, the Germantown, and the brig-of-war Dolphin, with the immense ship houses, were fired.
" Thus was destroyed at one blow one-fourth of the American Navy. It was a splendid but melancholy spectacle; and in the lurid glare, which turned night into day, the Cumberland slipped her moorings, and in tow of the Pawnee, left Norfolk.
"Had the Merrimac not been previously sunk, she would have been totally destroyed with the rest. But resting on the bottom with her gun deck above water, only the upper works were burned. After taking possession of the Yard it was not a difficult matter for the rebels to close the valves, pump the ship out, and float her into the dry dock, from which she emerged several months after as an ironclad called the Virginia.
"At daylight the Cumberland was off Sewell's Point, at the mouth of the Elizabeth River . . . With the assistance of the Pawnee, Keystone State, and the tug Yankee, she was finally forced over the obstructions, and a nightfall anchored off Fortress Monroe . . ."
At about midnight of 20-21 April 18161 the Marines from the Pawnee and those from the Gosport Barracks, completed their work and went on board the Cumberland and Pawnee.
All the workshops, storehouses, and other buildings at the Gosport Navy Yard were again destroyed early in March 1862 by Confederate forces who were forced to abandon Norfolk due to the advance of the Army of the Potomac up the peninsula. The civil authorities surrendered Norfolk to the forces under General Wool on 11 May 1862. Flag Officer L. M. Goldsborough, in the USS Minnesota, reported on 12 May 1862 that he had visited the Navy Yard the day before and that "it was still burning in very many places. Nearly everything was destroyed. Of the buildings the officers' alone remained intact. There are a large number of iron tanks, however, apparently in perfect condition, a good deal of mast and other timber, a number of old and generally worthless guns, and considerable machinery of one kind or another. The dock gates are all destroyed, and the pier ends connected with the gates have been blown up to a partial degree, but otherwise the dock itself seems uninjured . . . On returning from Norfolk, I left our naval forces there under the command of Captain Lardner, an officer in whose discretion and good sense I have great confidence."
On 25 May 1862, a detachment of Marines (Captain Clement D. Hebb, commanding) in the King Philip, proceeded from Hampton Roads to Norfolk and took possession of the Gosport Navy Yard. Due to the fact that the Marine Barracks had been destroyed in 1861, when the Navy abandoned the Navy Yard, the Marines had to use makeshift quarters for many years. They were quartered in all kinds of buildings and ships. As late as 21 June 1872 the Secretary of the Navy authorized the Quartermaster of the Marine Corps "to have new awnings made for the St. Lawrence, used as barracks at Norfolk, Va., at a cost not exceeding the estimate of $480."
In his annual report for 1880, Colonel Commandant Charles G. McCawley of the Marine Corps requested an appropriation for better quarters for the officers and men, pointing out that "the men are miserably quartered in the most unhealthy part of the Navy Yard," that "no quarters for the officers exist, and discipline is lacking when the officers and men are not together," Again in 1883, Colonel Commandant McCawley reiterated his request for an appropriation for the erection of quarters at the Marine Barracks, Norfolk.
In September and October 1892, several ships carrying cholera patients arrived in New York; quarantine camps were established at Sandy Hook, where a large number of immigrants were segregated under guard of a battalion of Marines under command of Major Robert W. Huntington. The battalion consisting of 10 officers and 201 enlisted men was formed from detachments drawn from the small force at the various navy yards, including the Marine Barracks, Norfolk. In his annual report of 1892, the Commandant stated that "in some cases . . the men were prepared to start for Brooklyn, in heavy marching orders, in forty minutes after the order to proceed was received. The report continued: "This shows in a marked degree the discipline and efficiency of both officers and men, and the cheerfulness and ability of marines to perform, on the shortest notice, all and any duty that may be required of them, particularly in this case which was attended with some danger and great exposure and discomfort. These men were isolated for over three weeks, having no communication with the outside world at all during that time, and they deserve the highest credit for the work they performed."
In July 1893 a detachment of Marines from the Marine Barracks, Norfolk, were selected to form a special Marine battalion for duty at the Columbian Exposition at Chicago, Illinois. The appearance and efficiency of this battalion of Marines was the subject of praise by officials of the exposition and the press.
Living conditions at the Norfolk Navy Yard was the subject of a special report by the Yard Surgeon to the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery in 1893. The following are extracts from this report:
". . . at the beginning of 1892 la grippe was epidemic in this locality and continued for several weeks. Considerable stomach and bowel troubles prevailed, but few of those attacked were sick enough to be relieved from duty. Typhoid fever occurred among the officers of the yard, the marines at the barracks, and also on board the receiving ship and ships at the wharves. Its source could not be ascertained . . . There is a growing suspicion that the manufactured ice, now so largely used in this locality, is responsible for some of the typhoid cases of the past summer. That furnished the dispensary is said to be manufactured, and quite often the water in which it has been used has a disagreeable taste.
"No change has been made in the sewers of the yard since the special report on their condition. The one leading from the marine barracks will probably cause an outbreak of disease at some future period. It receives the sewage and kitchen drainage of the barracks, the rainfall from the roof and grounds, and the surface water from part of the yard. Often the offensive smell can be noticed several feet away from its inlets . . ."
One of the personal discomforts at the Navy Yard, the "outhouses" (latrines), is graphically portrayed in one part of the Surgeon's report, as follows:
"As personal comfort is an important factor in preventive sanitary measures, it is to be regretted that it receives such scant consideration at this station. The closets furnished for use of those in the building for officers' offices are in a detached structure, with the seats over water. As a result officers resort to them only when nature's demands can no longer be restrained. The unfortunates are surrounded in the summer by odors not divine, and furnish feast to mosquitoes and other insects, while in winter they often leave a warm office, struggle against a driving rain to this retreat, and then, with the thermometer in the thirties, sit over a gale of wind till the exactions of nature are satisfied. The distance from the surgeon's office to the closet provided is 639 feet. That this condition of affairs has been in existence probably for years is the only argument advanced for its continuance . . ."
In his "annual estimate for the support of the Marine Corps for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1899," Colonel Commandant Charles Heywood pointed out:
"It has become necessary to materially improve the lighting arrangements at the marine barracks and officers' quarters at Portsmouth, N. H., and the marine barracks, Norfolk, Va., owing to the poor and insufficient quality of gas now used at both of these stations, and it is thought be desirable, as well as a matter of economy, to install electricity at these stations rather then to extensively repair the present system of gas, as after the first expense of installation the cost for maintenance will be considerably less than at present for the payment of gas bills. The proposed estimates for this electric light at the two posts only aggregate $2,000, and it is hoped this will be allowed . . . "
In his annual report for 1899, the Commandant stated that at Norfolk, Virginia, "Electric lights have been placed in the men's quarters, which make the men more contented, as the gas did not sufficiently light their quarters. The expense for electric light is much less than for gas."
In his annual report to the Secretary of the Navy in 1903, Brigadier General Commandant Elliott suggest that the Marine Detachment at Norfolk be expanded to the extent of two or three battalions of Marines, "with storage capacity for the necessary stores, supplies, camp and garrison equipage for such a force, so that in the event of the arising of an emergency a command of from 300 to 600 men can be promptly equipped and embarked for any destination."
Five years later, the Commandant stated in his annual report:
"Estimates are submitted for additional barracks at this post. For this purpose them sum of $150,000 has been placed in the estimates. Norfolk is the chief southern place of rendezvous for the Corps, and the extra number of men there are considered necessary. Four additional sets of officers' quarters are urgently needed at this station, and for this purpose an appropriation of $60,000 has been asked. Twenty-five thousand dollars has been inserted in the estimates to carry on the extensive sewerage, draining, and filling required, and otherwise improving the parade ground, and for the erection of a fence around the reservation."
Also, during the World War period (in 1917), a second Marine Barracks was built (the first was completed about 1906) at the Norfolk Navy Yard.)
The Quartermaster School was opened at the Marine Barracks, Navy Yard, Norfolk, on 21 August 1918. Fifty enlisted Marines, selected by Major Seth Williams, Assistant Quartermaster, formed the student body for the first course which lasted for three months. Included in the lecture subjects were expeditionary service, handling of native labor in foreign countries, experiences relating to the purchasing of supplies, and their care and transportation in foreign countries. Official correspondence, typewriting and bookkeeping also were included in the training. Lieutenant Carl F. Merz was in charge, and was assisted by Quartermaster Clerks James I. Dickey and Arthur L. Wadsworth, Jr.
In 1925 the Marine Barracks at Norfolk consisted of two large barracks, one built in 1906, the other in 1917, two apartment houses for officers, which housed about ten families, and seven set of officers' quarters, all constructed of brick. The command consisted of a Barracks Detachment with guard platoon, Quartermaster's Detachment with garage force, and Sea School Detachment where East Coast recruits were trained in nautical subjects for service afloat.