Expedition to blow up an Ironclad

May, 1864

25 A pleasant day. Rec'd. revolvers. Co. A got the same and cutlasses. Went on board Steamer Massasoit and left at 7 P. M. Took 5 days uncooked rations with us.

26 Arrived at Cape Hatteras at 3 A. M. During the day took on board from a schooner 25 tons of coal. About noon started for Roanoke Island. Arrived there at about 5 P. M. Lay at anchor all night. Find we are on expedition to blow up the ram that is up the Roanoke river. He is referring to the Albemarle (see entry on April 19.)

27 A fine day. About three o'clock started for the fleet in Edonton Bay. Arrived there at about nine o'clock. Capt. Lee (John C.) of Co. I has charge. He had got up a torpedo to be fastened on to a spar 60 ft. long that is to be attached to the bows of the boat. Edonton Bay is in northern North Carolina between the towns of Edonton and Plymouth. There is a Captain John C. Lee in Company I.

28 A fine day. Went to the picket boat at the mouth of Roanoke river, then back to the fleet. I think that if we go up the river, the boat will be disabled and all killed or taken prisoners. We have rations for 95 men.The picket boat was positioned there to alert the Federal Fleet if the Albemarle would sail into the Bay.

29 A pleasant day. Lay at anchor with the fleet which consists of the double enders Massabesset (flag ship), Tacony, Wild Lucy, Ferry Boats, Com. Barney, Com. Hull, and propeller Whitehead. A double ender is a ship that is similar on both ends. It can sail in either direction without reversal. It is particularly effective in navigating narrow river channels.

30 A pleasant day. Took from off Flag Ship 4 deserters who said that they belonged on board the ram. Also 2 contrabands. And went to Roanoke Island, arriving there in the evening.

31 Lay at anchor all night off the island. Took on board ten days ration. A good deal of growling on board. A little matter would stir up a mutiny. Started for the fleet at about 5 o'clock. Had poor chance to cook. The steamer is small. Had to cook a part of the rations in the furnace.

June, 1864

1 Lay at anchor with the fleet. Sent on board the Commodore Barney some freight that we brought up to her.

2 Lay at anchor last night near the mouth of the river. With the fleet today. When Lee got a lot of liquor in him, he would do a little toward getting the torpedo arrangement ready. This is Captain John Lee of Company I. See entry on May 27.

3 A little cloudy. The Thos. Collyer came up. Had the Col. of 15 Ct., Ass't Quartermaster Bradley, and the 15 Ct. band and some few others. Capt. Smith commanding fleet, and the above got on our boat and we went ashore at Edenton. It is a pleasant place, only it looks lonely and deserted. Yet quite a number people were there. Saw a number of pretty girls. The band played national airs. This is the 15th Connecticut Infantry. Today, Edenton calls itself "The South's Prettiest Town." Many of its homes and buildings predate the Civil War and its appearance looks similar to what Goodwin would have seen.

4 Did not do anything today.

5 A fine day. The Steamer Rockland came up with orders for us to return on her, which we obeyed with alacrity and pleasure. Got to Roanoke island about five o'clock. Went ashore into an old building and staid all night. They withdrew without ever engaging the Albemarle. It was sunk on the evening of October 27, 1864 in a daring raid by a torpedo boat with a torpedo on a spar, similar to what Goodwin described in his May 27 entry. A spar is a mast or long pole. William Cushing led the raid on October 27.

6 A little showery today. Still on the island. When we went to the fleet on the 31st, had a number of N. C. people who were put ashore to see their friends, who were some ways into the country. They were kept on board several days.

7 Staid on the island till about noon, then took the Steamer Thomas Collyer for Newbern via Hatteras. When we went to fleet 31st, also had a man, wife, and two little children. They were going to see their friend. The smallest child was sick. They were kept on board two nights, then sent back to Roanoke. We found them in the building we occupied there two nights. They had to stay there with us, women and all together.

8 Got to Newbern this morning at about two o'clock.

9 Had nothing to do today. Pleasant.

10 Fine day. All that came back from Roanoke Island went to the Red House and Beech Gr. Our detachment went to Beech Grove. Got there about dark. Put up a tent; had a quiet time.

11 Quite a pleasant day. Was detailed for guard. Had to visit the posts twice. There were 4 posts. Went to the out post across the creek, and then went to a house ½ mile beyond and got some eggs and milk.

12 Quite rainy today. Went to Newbern city. The pay rolls came up to be signed. My boots gave out and I had to go barefoot a while, and I know I shall catch cold.

13 Quite a pleasant day. We got relieved and went to Newbern city. Took up our quarters in the old barracks.

14 A pleasant day. Nothing to do. Expect to start for home in a day or two, as soon as a transport arrives. His three-year enlistment will be up and he expects to be mustered out of the army.