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Thread: The Belaying Pin in Confederate naval Service?

  1. #1
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    Question The Belaying Pin in Confederate naval Service?

    Belaying pins are a common item about ships in the civil war period.

    Does anyone know if sailors in the CSN carried or used them ashore?



    Thanks ~
    I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

    Quarter Gunner & Apprentice Sailmaker, R. Bohlman, CSN
    late of the C.S.S. Ram Arkansas,
    now attached to the CS Naval Station
    Jackson, Mississippi

    Member USNLP
    http://www.usnlp.org/

    Soldiers Rest Cemetery, Vicksburg, MS
    Aide-toi et Dieu t'aidera

    Member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans
    Camp # 265, Rankin County Rough and Ready’s
    http://www.scv265.com/

  2. #2
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    Two distinct issues here: belaying pins going ashore and sailors actually going ashore. Often, the cast of historical characters we strive to portray are meshed in with those with modern naval service. Shore leave, liberty, and interaction with civilians are strong memories for many who served. We can't confuse Civil War history with modern history. From the CS perspective, there was little liberty to just stroll around at a port of call. Most ships that went overseas were in neutral areas where they were not allowed off, or if they did it was as part of a work party to secure supplies. The other CS ships that served in the south were usually short handed and also could spare little time for liberty (and the pay was such that they had little to spend if given the opportunity). As to what I've found on the use of belaying pins, they were often ship's property and as such couldn't leave a vessel. With the various shapes and sizes, some of them make ideal personal protection devices and could be easily hidden. Could they have gone ashore? Absolutely. Do we know if they did? I've found no evidence or contemporary accounts that they did. I have no doubt that some did, but probably sailor-made devices and not ship's property. As with many things, we often look for evidence to justify a modern impression, but I just haven't found any concrete support for it.
    Ross L. Lamoreaux
    Tampa Bay History Center
    www.tampabayhistorycenter.org
    On Facebook at: Tampa Bay History Center Living History Programs

    "The simplest things, done well, can carry a huge impact" - Karin Timour, 2012

  3. #3
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    Thanks, your reply helps alot!
    I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

    Quarter Gunner & Apprentice Sailmaker, R. Bohlman, CSN
    late of the C.S.S. Ram Arkansas,
    now attached to the CS Naval Station
    Jackson, Mississippi

    Member USNLP
    http://www.usnlp.org/

    Soldiers Rest Cemetery, Vicksburg, MS
    Aide-toi et Dieu t'aidera

    Member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans
    Camp # 265, Rankin County Rough and Ready’s
    http://www.scv265.com/

  4. #4
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    In everything I have found on the Savannah Squadron and the Savannah station, liberty ashore was not unusual. However, I highly doubt a captain or 1st Luff would allow a sailor to take a part of the ships equipment, espeically something used to secure lines, aka a belaying pin, to go with him.

    Here is Page's General Order No 1. for the Savannah Squadron... note the highlighted sections dealiing with Liberty

    C. S. S. SAVANNAH, Savannah River, April 17, 1863.

    1. The regulations of the Navy of the Confederate States, issued by the Secretary of the Navy, dated April 29, 1862, will be enforced by the commanders of all vessels in this squadron.

    2. The tender Firefly will run between Savannah and the ship while lying below Fort Jackson at the following hours, viz: Leave Savannah, Exchange Wharf, at 7:30 a.m., returning at 10:30 a.m.; at 5 p.m., returning at 6:30 p.m. After starting, the boat is not to be stopped by anyone. On returning and arriving she will start from and come to the steamer Savannah.

    3. The first and second in command of each vessel are not to be absent on liberty at the same time. At this time, when the enemy are threatening an attack, officers should leave their vessels as little as possible. Midshipmen and master's mates will be given permission to leave the ship on liberty only by the commanding officer afloat.

    4. All officers are required to be on board at 9 a.m., ready for the general duties of the ship and the service. Officers who have families in the city only will be allowed to be out of the ship all night, unless by special permission of the commanding officer afloat. Where there are two medical officers attached to a vessel, one always to be on board.

    5. Four men from each ironclad vessel, and two men from the other vessels, will be allowed liberty each afternoon until the next morning at 8 o'clock (when the place and duties of the service will admit of it). (This indulgence will only be extended to those who behave themselves, and return promptly at the time specified. A strict and correct liberty and deportment book will be kept by each commanding officer.)

    6. Whenever liberty is given to men, they must be furnished with a pass from their commanding officer, stating the time when their liberty will expire.

    7. No person will be sent to the hospital without a proper ticket, approved by the commanding officer afloat. Copies of the sick list will be sent to the commanding officer afloat daily.

    8. As many of the midshipmen and master's mates as can be spared from duty will repair on board the Savannah each day (Sundays excepted) at 10 a.m. for instruction and study in their profession, under such officers as may be designated for that purpose.

    9. One boat from each vessel to be at all times fully equipped with arms, oars (ready to be muffled), water, and provisions for three days.

    10. Until the 1st of August no boat to be absent after 8 p.m. except on duty; and during the months of August and September, not after sunset, except by permission of the commanding officer afloat. No boat to leave the vessels during meal hours except on urgent duty.

    11. Paymasters will have their pay rolls punctually made up to the end of each month, and the officers paid on the last day of each month. Such money as may be ordered for the crews will be paid on the 1st of each month. Three months' pay of the men to be reserved on the books.

    12. All requisitions will strictly conform to the prescribed rules, and will be submitted only on Monday of each week (except in case of great urgency). They will be signed by their proper officers and be handed to the secretary afloat, for approval by the commanding officer afloat.

    13. Requisitions for clothing and small stores to be made on the 1st of each month; at the same time the men's clothes to be inspected.

    14. One month's provisions will be kept on board of each vessel.

    15. Clothes will be washed on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays of each week; hammocks on the first and third Monday of each month, at which time the bedding will he spread out to be aired. The preparatory signal will be made the previous evening at sundown.

    16. The men will be exercised not less than half an hour each day (Sundays excepted) at the great guns and small arms. The marine guards will be drilled every day (Sundays excepted) under the direction of the marine officers.

    17. The attention of officers is especially called to the extravagant prices of all articles of supply, and they are enjoined to practice the greatest economy in every department.
    18. It is expected that commanding officers of vessels will cause the above orders to be strictly enforced.

    R. L. PAGE, Commanding Naval Forces Afloat.
    The above order sent to all commanding officers. C. LUCIAN JONES, Secretar
    Bobby Hughes
    Co A, 2nd Battalion Ga Sharpshooters/64th Illinois Vol Infantry "Yates' Sharpshooters"
    Savannah Republican Blues
    Co C, 3rd US Infantry
    Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum & William Scarbrough House, Savannah, GA


    "I hope to live long enough to see my surviving comrades march side by side with the Union veterans along Pennsylvania Avenue, and then I will die happy." - James Longstreet at a Memorial Day Parade in 1902.

  5. #5
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    Excellent stuff Bobby. The Savannah Squadron was one of those "red headed step-children" of the CS Navy. They were given an incredibly difficult job of defending a tremendous amount of coast and multiple rivers and inlets, with very little resources and personnel. They weren't as "uniform" or by-the-book, but they usually had a strong command structure both overall and shipboard and they saw a lot of service in a short time.
    Ross L. Lamoreaux
    Tampa Bay History Center
    www.tampabayhistorycenter.org
    On Facebook at: Tampa Bay History Center Living History Programs

    "The simplest things, done well, can carry a huge impact" - Karin Timour, 2012

  6. #6
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    The were also the man power pool for Charleston.... everytime Charleston needed men they drew on Savannah, at one point they had drawn so significant an amount that one ship, the Isondiga spent more than a little time layed up for want of crew. The Squadron was also bled of officers, and at one point suffered a severe officer shortage.
    Bobby Hughes
    Co A, 2nd Battalion Ga Sharpshooters/64th Illinois Vol Infantry "Yates' Sharpshooters"
    Savannah Republican Blues
    Co C, 3rd US Infantry
    Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum & William Scarbrough House, Savannah, GA


    "I hope to live long enough to see my surviving comrades march side by side with the Union veterans along Pennsylvania Avenue, and then I will die happy." - James Longstreet at a Memorial Day Parade in 1902.

  7. #7
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    But.... according to Maurice Melton..... the ate pretty dern well compared to their counterparts not only in the Navy, but Army as well.
    Bobby Hughes
    Co A, 2nd Battalion Ga Sharpshooters/64th Illinois Vol Infantry "Yates' Sharpshooters"
    Savannah Republican Blues
    Co C, 3rd US Infantry
    Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum & William Scarbrough House, Savannah, GA


    "I hope to live long enough to see my surviving comrades march side by side with the Union veterans along Pennsylvania Avenue, and then I will die happy." - James Longstreet at a Memorial Day Parade in 1902.

  8. #8
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    I agree with you Ross. Taking a belaying pin ashore as a landing party member would be the equivilent of taking a club to a gunfight. LOL They do make line handing easier though.

    Geo. Dailey
    USNLP (western waters)

  9. #9
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    I understand as a ex-sailor about ship property and what I am attemping to research is if their are any recorded accounts of confederate sailors using belaying items that they might had taken for their own use ashore when departing from their vessels after burning or sunking them to keep them out of emeny hands? I would assume that a landing party would be commanded by a officer or petty officer with standard period equipment such as a rifle, pistol, or maybe a cutlass.

    Thanks Again ~
    I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

    Quarter Gunner & Apprentice Sailmaker, R. Bohlman, CSN
    late of the C.S.S. Ram Arkansas,
    now attached to the CS Naval Station
    Jackson, Mississippi

    Member USNLP
    http://www.usnlp.org/

    Soldiers Rest Cemetery, Vicksburg, MS
    Aide-toi et Dieu t'aidera

    Member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans
    Camp # 265, Rankin County Rough and Ready’s
    http://www.scv265.com/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Port Wentworth, GA
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    I have not seen anything at least amongst the Savannah Squadron so far........ when they burned the ships here, they were in a bit of a hurry, so I doubt they worried about things like Belaying pins, and considering that a majority of the ships were river steamers, there were probably not a whole lot of em laying around
    Bobby Hughes
    Co A, 2nd Battalion Ga Sharpshooters/64th Illinois Vol Infantry "Yates' Sharpshooters"
    Savannah Republican Blues
    Co C, 3rd US Infantry
    Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum & William Scarbrough House, Savannah, GA


    "I hope to live long enough to see my surviving comrades march side by side with the Union veterans along Pennsylvania Avenue, and then I will die happy." - James Longstreet at a Memorial Day Parade in 1902.

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