This day 150 years ago in Rebel Raiders’ History
-Dedicated to Civil War episodes, battles, people and ships that also appear in my game,
Raiders on the High Seas.
February 7, 1864
– Admiral Dahlgren Attacks Jacksonville
Historical Event: On
February 7, 1864 Admiral
John Dahlgren and five powerful Union warships supported the landing at Jacksonville
by General Truman Seymour and 7,000 Union troops. The admiral’s stated purpose was
three-fold: to close the port to
Blockade Runners, to free and recruit Black men for the army and navy, and to
“engineer Florida’s return” to
The troops were borne up the
by USS Ottawa and USS Norwich. The USS Mahaska, USS Water Witch and USS Dai
Ching escorted and provided fire support for the operation. The Union move
would culminate in the St.
John’s River Battle
of Olustee, a railroad depot 50 miles
southwest of Jacksonville. There on February 20 Confederate General
Joseph Finnegan and his 5,000 men thoroughly defeated the Union,
forcing Seymour to retire upon Jacksonville
– thus ending the campaign to “engineer Florida’s
return” to the Union.
Game Connection: Admiral John Dahlgren is represented in Rebel Raiders on the High Seas by USN Card 31 – John Dahlgren. Due to the scale of the map,
itself is not individually represented, but is included in the St.
Augustine site. The USS Ottawa was an Unadilla-class
“90 Day Gunboat;” the lead vessel for
which that class is named is represented by USN Card 17 – USS Unadilla.
Union amphibious assaults on Confederate ports are a major part of the Northern player’s strategy, allowing the Federals to turn the sea into a front line, from which to strike the Confederacy. Naval forces must be present to allow the army to land, as they must clear the
warship and can duel
with any Confederate defending the port. Taking ports not only reduces places
for Blockade Runners to unload cargo, but also hurts Confederate production –
and moves the North one step closer to restoring the Union. port