Decklog of the USS Cimarron

USS Steamer Cimarron
USS Cimarron

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph



This is a collection of notes and citations to provide insight into daily life on the St. Johns River during 1862. Quotation marks are used around entries that are a transcription of the decklog. The remainder are notes.

Multiple spellings of "Cimerone" are used in the records. The spelling went through a formal name change. For more information and log citation, see the links at the bottom of the page.



Vessel came into the river
Paul Jones also named
Two small gunboats arrived
Crew putting iron work about ship
Getting bags of sand from shore



"From 4 to 8 as per cols at 5.30 got underway, went to quarters and cast loosed the battery & stood up the river. At 6.30 commenced the engagement with the batteries on St. Johns River Bluff in company with gunboat Paul Jones & three other small propeller gunboats. The port after main shroud struck by a rifle shell, 12 feet above deck

From 8 to merid as per cols continued engaging the batteries, the rebels replying at intervals At 11.30, hauled off after silencing the batteries & proceeded to our former anchorage where we came to with Stbd anchor and 15 faths chain

From Merid to 4 as per cols, crew employed in repairing damages, brought gig from shore"



4 to 8 Steamer Neptune got underway

"From 8 to Merid as per cols took 2nd cutter on board & repaired her, launched her overboard again, sent launch and first cutter on shore for sand & iron"



"At 9 AM sent first cutter on board of Gunboat Patroon with Sergeant and nine Marines. At 11.20 Gunboat E. B. Hale went up the river to reconoitre"

afternoon Patroon and Hale came down the river, communicated, then stood out over the bar

"From 4 to 8 [PM] as per cols, saw a rebel steamer standing down toward the battery, she returned up the river again"



Crew scraping the ironwork, cleaning ship
Furled sails in afternoon after signal from Paul Jones
Patroon & Hale arrived from up the coast b/t 6 and 8 pm
Put a sergeant, corporal, and private for being intoxicated and using abusive language



Water Witch and Uncas arrive between 4 and 8 AM

"From 8 to Merid as per cols, Furled sails, crew employed in painting ship and transporting powder & projatiles from Steamer Uncas, Drilled the Marine guard at the field howitzer"

still taking in powder and painting in afternoon

"From 8 to Mid as per cols, saw a number of lights up the river"



Hale returned
Afternoon - "drilled marine guard at field howitzer & single sticks, pumped ship"
Evening - Uncas went upriver
After 8 PM - sent marine guard and field howitzer and ammunition on board Paul Jones; at 10 sent launch and 2nd cutter with armed boats crew on same vessel; returned 11 pm



"At 7 am three steamers hove in sight…at 7.30 came too off the bar"

"From 8 to merid as per cols. Steamer Hale got underway with commanding officer on board and went outside the bar to communicate with Steamers previously reported, At 11.30 Steamer Neptune arrived inside the bar, also Stmr Boston with troops, inspected crew at quarters"

"From merid to 4 as per cols. The Stmr Ben Deford arrived with troops. At 401 PM hove short and moored the launch & 2nd cutter to left bank of the river. At 1.30 got underway in company with Stmr Water Witch & Uncas and drew the fire from the rebel batteries in order to ascertain their position & metal, which we returned, at 3 hauled off stood down the river half a mile & anchored, The army transports engaged in landing troops at Mayport Mills"



"At 2 o'clock [am] sent launch and 2nd cutter to transport steamer Neptune for the purpose of disembarking Troops"

"From 4 to 8 as per cols, boats employed din transporting troops from Stmr Neptune to shore"

"From 8 to merid as per cols boats employed din landing troops. At 11 a.m. Gen Boat Hale came alongside & supplied us with coal. At 11.20 marine guard returned on board, Paul Jones boat brought on board a prisoner captured on shore, supposed to be a spy"

Merid to 4 - finished coaling, marines on shore with howitzer, Darling coming down the creek

6 to 8 - "1 & 2nd cutters with armed boats crews to Stmr Neptune to assist in landing troops"



4 to 8 [am] - Uncas comes alongside with more coal, 1 ton 1990 pounds, Hale also comes alongside and delivers coal

"At 9.30 the cutters returned from shore bringing the marines who after marching 8 miles were unable to find the army. As also the launch bringing back the howitzer"

More coal 8 to meridian

"From Merid to 4 as per cols, loosed sails to dry, sent cutters to land troops. At 1.45 Stmr Cosmopolitan in company with gunboat Patroon stood outside the bar, sent marines with field howitzer and amunition on shore to join the army (in charge of Masters Mater Maskoe). Finished taking coal from the Uncas and cast her off. She then in company with the Hale went up the river when getting within range they opened fire on the batteries, to which they received no reply. At 3.40 the stars & stripes were run up on the flagstaff on St. Johns Bluff, the fort - being evacuated by the enemy. At 3.50 Gunboats Paul Jones & Water Witch got underway & stood up the river."

"At 4.30 U.S. Stmr Massachusetts hove in sight off the bar, hove short, got underway & came to again, in 3 fath water & 15 chain on Stbd anchor, Gunboat Uncas came down the river & stood to sea"

6 to 8 - Darling [Darlington] came down river and 1st cutter returned to ship



"From 4 to 8 as per cols at 5.40 Paul Jones launch left the ship to go to Stmr Masschusets. At 6 got underway and stood up the rivers opposite St Johns Bluff where we came to with Stbd and 15 faths chain, and in 3 faths water. Stmr Cosmopolitan (Army transport) passed up with troops"

11.50 got mail and provisions from Paul Jones

"From merid to 4 as per cols at 2.10 hove short, Recd a pilot on board and prepared to get underway. At 3 P.M. weighed anchor and stood up the river, stopped to receive our Marines on board with field howitzer ammunition &c Proceeded up, beat to quarters and prepared for action"

8 to mid - shifted forward & after pivot guns to starboard, ship swung at 11 PM



12 to 4 am - "received on board one contraband named George Hewit[?]"

9.15 held divine service, received a prisoner on board, Steamer Waterwitch with Commander Woodhull on board and Steamer Hale went up the river

"From merid to 5 as per cols. At 2 Stmr Paul Jones and Steamr Transport Boston came up from St Johns Bluff the latter vessel went alongside the dock and landed troops"

"From 4 to 6…got underway & shifted our berth a short distance, at 5. pm commenced firing shell from our two pivot guns in the directions of a body of the enemies cavalry. Army transports Ben Deford and Darlington arrived"

"From 6 to 8 as per cols, continued firing from our two pivot guns until 7.15 when we ceased…"

"…at 11.30 P.M. shifted pivot guns to Starboard, secured on board colored pilot named Davis"



before 4 am received on contraband on board

"From 8 to merid as per cols sent the launch on shore to embark the marines, on coming on board instituted a search for property taken from the rebels, found considerable & sent it to the flag ship"



Woodhull and Water Witch return
Shifted pivot guns to starboard
Shifted pivot guns to port
Sent 2nd cutter on board Ben Deford with two contrabands also sent 1st cutter on shore & broke up a sail boat
Paul Jones arrived from down the river, Uncas from up the river, WW and Boston with troops got underway and steamed down the river

Shifted pivot guns to starboard, and later "vessel swung to the flood and shifted pivot guns to port" at 7.40



"At 6 A.M. Gunboat Hale and Stmr Darlington arrived having in charge the Stmr Go Milton captured 163 miles above Jacksonville"

Brought off a sail boat

Paul Jones, Hale, Darling & Ben Deford, with Gov Milton, steamed down river

11.30 sent launch on shore to bring off boats

"From merid to 4 as per cols brought off from shore a new scow which we anchored astern. At 1 the Waterwitch got underway and steamed down the returned, at 2 bringing in tow a sail boat. Sent a boat after a canoe crossing the river which contained a white man he had previously been our prisoner. Sent him on the same side of the river that he came from and confiscated the canoe. At 3.50 vessel swung to Ebb tide and shifted pivot guns to Starboard"



More shifting of guns with tide
Send howitzer in launch with marine guard and armed crew
Stood up river
Received coal from Uncas
Went down river to report to flag officer

"From 4 to 6 as per cols, received on board two contrabands named Henry Fisher & Adam Thomas"



"From 4 to 8 as per cols at 5.30 sent contrabands Henry Richards, Henry Fisher, & Josephine Floyd on board the Gunboat Hale to be conveyed down the river. At 8 sent one of our captured boats to the Hale for the same purpose. At 8.40 the Hale got underway and steamed down"

"From 8 to merid as per cols received on board Chas Pandergraff [Thos Vandergriff] a white boy who came off to the Uncase curing the night from Jacksonville, at 10 am inspected the crew at quarters, at 10.30 performed divine service at 11.40 vessel commenced swinging to flood tide shifted 9 in gun to Port. Heard firing of heavy guns down the river."

"At 1.30 weighed anchor and steamed down the river in charge of a colored pilot. At 3.45 run aground below Yellow Bluff."

"From 6 to 8 as per cols, still aground, Gunboat Paul Jones came up and anchored near us"

"From 8 to mid….at 9.40 hove off in deep water…"



Sent on shore the Sgt & 5 marines to guard the contrabands



Crew sent on shore returned, Woodhull ordered Henry Peterson to be put in double irons


10/17/62 [photocopy]

"From 8 to merid as per cols, Recd on board from the Paul Jones J. V. Gilespie white man & Richard Pacter [?] colored. Crew employed in coaling ship, sent ashore thirty nine rations to the contrabands, sent Thos Vandergriff, white boy on board the Uncas. Recd from Paul Jones the following provisions…"



Release private Barry from confinement



8 to mer - sent boats crew on shore to cut wood for Stmr Gov Milton

0.30 pm crew goes on board Gov Milton and heads up river

"From 4 to 6 as per cols. Stmr Gov Milton under command of Lieut Comg B. B. Taylor returned from up the river after accomplishing their object (viz) destroying salt works belonging to the Rebels"



From 8 to merid as per cols, sent carpenters mate & gang on board the Gov Milton to repair stanchions for the howitzers, also Engineer & two men to repair machinery, sent launch with armed boats crew to assist in loading Steamer Neptune with lumber at Mayport Mills. Exhanged numbers with the Gunboat Seneca off the Bar, sent on board the Milton 14 sailors for one week. Delivered to the Stmr Hale one thousand______ Enfield cartridge & one thousand caps


10/22/62 [photocopy]

Neptune towed scow L.T. Myers outside

"From 8 to merid as per cols, took from Stmr Milton our two 24m howitzers & ammunition also put on board the Milton our field howitzer with two boxes of ammunition she then stood up for Sister creek"

"From merid to 4 as per cols sent ashore launch with armed boats crew & six men as a working party to load the Neptune, sent ashore the 2nd cutter to destroy small boats at Mayport Mills hove up Stbd anchor and shifted our berth abreast of Pilot town dock let got the Port anchor & veered to thrity fath chain, sent the Dingy to sound sound the vessel"



Took on board from Hale wrecked stuff - 300 yd old canvas, 200 lb old junk, 1 kedge anchor & quantity chain, more…



Released Andrew Devine from confinement



Put Felix E Smith in double irons and solitary confinement



Released Smith from confinement



Ellis Light into double irons for insubordination



Released Light from irons

"From 8 to merid as per cols, at 10 A.M. a Stmr hove in sight off the bar which proved to be the Mohawk, at 11.30 sent launch in charge of Acting Master Mate to Stmr Hale with our mail. The Hale then stood out seaward with launch in tow. A boat with five contrabands came alongside, 3 grown persons and two children, which we landed at Pilot town. Delivered to Mr Grace, (refugee) a lantern from the Masters department to serve as a signal light in case of being attacked"

"at 12.30 a boat with a contraband came down the river, sent him to Pilot town with the rest"

4 to 6 - Hale returned with launch, received on board beef and vegetables, Hale returned up river



Morning - men sent up river to recon

"From merid to 4 as per cols launch returned from her reconnaissance, on her return picked up a canoe containing a woman, (refugee) from Pablo creek, landed her at Pilot town"



11 a.m. Hale in company of the Delphene of Providence came inside the bar

"From 4 to 6 as per cols, Put Stephen A. Curtis (Lds) in close confinement on bread & water for endeavoring to steal a package of tea from the Paymaster at 5.45 swing to the Ebb tide, a canoe containing two white men (refugees) from Mill Cove came alongside landed them at Pilot town"



Uncas plants buoy on the bar



"sent 2nd cutter on shore for white woman and luggage to go on board Stmr Neptune also sent mail"



Anchored off PT at 7.30 am

Inspections and exercises, all boats left ship

"at 1 sent launch ashore armed for sand & lumber at Mayport Mills, at 3 the Launch returned"



"Lieut - Com Taylor left the ship in command of first division (Seamen) & Marine guard for the purpose of demolishing the remains of a fortification on the sea beach"

"at 1 PM the Expedition before mentioned returned to the ship after accomplishing this object"


10/20/62 [11/20/62]

"Gov Milton with marine guard and seamen, under command of Lieut Comm B. B. Taylor returned from up the river after accomplishing their object (viz) destroying salt works belonging to the Rebels"



"From 8 to merid as per cols, sent the 3rd division armed on shore in Comd of acting Master March to throw up obstructions on the road leading to William Island."

"From merid to 4 as per cols at 43' P.M 3d division returned on board at 1 Furled sails. Employed Wm M. Kinsly (contraband) as extra Pilot at 1.50 Uncas returned from up the river, bringing a number of contrabands, hove up Port Anchor and let go Stbd one veering to 30 fath chain, sent rations on shore for contrabands and refugees"



[After 12.30] Recd from Water Witch

300 lb cannon powder No. 4
300 " Musket " " 7
30 100pr Parrot Shell (Short)
30 " " Long
60 Metal Fuzes fro 110 pr Shell
25 " Stock Fuzes 10"
25 " " "15"
20 fathm lock string stuff
60 cylinders for 100 pr Parrot
50 " 9in Gun
1 pound Wollen Yarn
1 Coil 21/2 in Manella Rope



"sent rations on shore for contrabands & refugees"



Confined John Ronca (seaman) for disrespect to the quarterdeck



Released Ronca



Rec'd from the Uncas pilot



Sent Pilot with 1st & 2nd cutters to buoy out the bar
Saw steamers outside but could not make her out due to thickness of weather
(turned out to be Blackstone)
Rec'd on board Mr. Godfrey (coast pilot), sent 2nd cutter for provisions



"sent first cutter to Mayport Mills for lumber"

Confined Wm Snyder (fireman) in double irons for insolence

Sent pilot onto Water Witch



"at 1.27 noticed a total eclipse of the moon which continued until 2.58 [am]"

Water Witch gave supplies: glue, screws, lead, brooms, paper, paint, Gimblets, hinges, compasses

Afternoon recd: pepper, beef, bread, port, sugar, flour



Stood off & anchored at Fernandina



Preparations to go to sea

"…Shipped Cupid Wilson (colored) as 2nd class boy"

sent Pilot in 2nd cutter to sound out the Bar

Ship Draft
Forward 7 feet
Aft 7 feet
Amidships 8 feet



"…at 8.45 got underway & crossed the bar in charge of a Pilot, came to anchor in 5 fath water of Pilot town, veering to 30 faths chain on Port anchor at 10 Waterwitch got underway and stood out to sea, unbent sails, crew employed in scrubbing masts…"



Chas Seafelt into irons - disobedience of orders

Read President's proclamation concerning the better observance of the Sabbath in the army & navy



"secured on board from Mayport Mills one contraband, named James Burt



"From 8 to merid as per cols sent first cutter with Pilot in charge of Mr Herring to place buoys on the bar &c. Sent marine guard & First division in charge of Act Master Geo E Thurston to a placed marked on the cart as Gibbs House to transport some unginned cotton from there if possible at 2.30 the expedition returned"



"From 8 to merid as per cols, sent marine guard & 2nd division in charge of Act Master Waterbury to drag [?] a cart load of cotton from Talbot Island"

Expedition returned early afternoon

Afternoon - "confined Robert Spratley (colored) in double irons and solitary confinement for fighting"



Released Chas Crawford from confinement



Put Samuel Stowe in solitary confinement on bread and water for throwing his ration of beef overboard



Norwich arrives

"…Recd on board 9__ [cut off copy] lbs unginned cotton, Transferred 2nd class boy Cupid (colored) to Uncas…"

Also gave Uncas ammunition


Decklog of the Cimarron (Cimerone), Volume 1, July 5, 1862 - October 10, 1863, Record Group 24: Records of Bureau of Naval Personnel, Logs of Ships and Stations 1801-1946, Logs of US Naval Ships 1801-1915, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.

Learn more about the USS CIMERONE/CIMARRON:

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships

Naval Historical Center

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Last updated: April 14, 2015

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