Educator's Guide: A Sailor's Story: Activity Sheet 2

Friday Oct 3rd
At 8 1/2 a.m. the Str "Champion" came alongside with coal barge. commenced coaling ship. Weather clear and warm wind South east. At 12 m (night) we finished coaling. At about same time the Str Gladiator came down from Memphis with mail.

Sunday Oct 12th
At 10 a.m. mustered at quarters and at 10 1/2 a.m. we had church. Capt Selfridge acting as
chaplain. Weather clear & cool Wind Nor West. At 1 P.M. some of our officers went on shore. At 1
1/2 P.M. some of our men went ashore on liberty. resumed at 6 P.M. I wrote to Willie today.
Weather pleasant in the afternoon but cold in the morning and at night
Flag Officer C.H. Davis has
been relieved by Admiral Porter.

Monday Oct 13th
We drilled considerable to day and I think that our Captain intends to try to soon have the best drilled crew in the fleet the boat looks much cleaner and nicer now than it ever did before. all hands are called every morning at 5 a.m. and then the decks are scrubbed and the guns cleaned. at 8 a.m. the men have breakfast for 1 hour and at 9:30 all hands to Quarters for exercise. at 12 m. dinner and at 4 P.M. supper. at Sunset Quarters for inspection and at 8 P.M. everyone who is not on watch must go to bed. Hammocks are generally piped down just after evening quarters and at evening quarters the guns are cast loose so as to be ready for instant use in case they are needed.

Sunday Oct Sunday Oct 19th
Weather Clear. Wind westerly. Genl Hindman with 20,000 troops is back of Helena about 8 miles. He sent in a Flag of truce yesterday with the word that he would give us three days to leave the country in. if we did not he would give us a start. Well I suppose General Hindman does not know that the U. S. Gun Boat "Cairo" is at Helena. he doubtless thinking her still at Fort Pillow, but should he make the attempt to take Helena the Gun Boat "Cairo" will send him messages to let him know that the "Cairo" is in dangerous proximity to him and his army.

Tuesday Oct 21st
At 11.30 P. M. after everybody had been asleep for 3 Hours we were called to quarters for action. it just took 3 minutes to lash and carry our hammocks up on deck to the hammock Netting and cast loose the guns ready for action and every man was at his post ready to go into action we drilled about 20 minutes had a fire alarm and boarders called away. the Captain said that we did very well indeed.

Friday Decr 12th 1862
at 11.30 a.m. just as we were training on the battery (which was about 2 1/2 miles further up the river) we were struck by a Torpedo which exploded under the Forward part of our boat crushing in the bottom of the boat so that in 5 minutes after the explosion took place the whole forward part of the Hold was full of water and it was running over the deck forward the explosion dismounted one of our heaviest Guns which was in the Port bow severely injuring 3 men one of whom was an engineer (Mr. Wilkins)_ the boat was sent ashore as soon as possible to prevent her sinking in deep water the water was all over the Gun deck when the Ram Queen of the West" came alongside to take us off we were then told to leave quarters and take all the small arms we could and go on board the Ham which we did in double quick time I can tell you. we fired one Gun at the Fort just as she was sinking I saved 2 Revolvers and most all of us saved something some of us saved our bags some Hammocks some all and several saved nothing except theirselves.

13. How long didit take to "coal" the CAIRO?
14. What time was church on Sunday morning?
15. What does "on liberty" mean?
16. What time does the crew get up each morning?
17. What chores are completed before breakfast?
18. Where do the men sleep?
19. How did General Hindman threaten the CAIRO?
20. Was George proud of the CAIRO?
21. On Oct 21st how long did it take the men to get ready for action?
22. How much quicker was the crew on Oct. 21 st than on May 13th?
23. What happened at 11.30 a.m. on December 12, 1862?
24. How were three crew members injured?
25. Why was the CAIRO sent ashore?

Last updated: April 14, 2015

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