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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND
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Archer

 

(Sch: t. ca. 90; a. 1 12-pdr. how.)

 

Archer, a fishing schooner, was captured on 24 June 1863 off Portland, Maine, by the bark Tacony under Lt. C. W. Read, CSN. Realizing that the U.S. Navy was carrying on an intensive search for his raiding ship, Lieutenant Read, in order to elude his pursuers, transferred his force to Archer and burned Tacony.

 

Archer was piloted into Portland, Maine, by two unsuspecting fishermen from whom Lieutenant Read learned of the presence in port of the U.S. Revenue Cutter Caleb Gushing. In the early morning hours of 27 June, Read and his men quietly boarded and seized Caleb Gushing, and locked her crew below in irons. It was Read's plan to get the cutter away from Union shore batteries and then return before daylight and set fire to merchant shipping in the harbor. Archer with three of Read's men on board, and Caleb Gushing with the rest of Read's crew were unable to clear the Union forts before daybreak and found it impossible to return to carry out their plan.

 

About 20 miles at sea in late morning of 27 June Caleb Gushing, surrounded by Federal ships, was fired by Lieutenant Read to prevent capture. He and his prisoners in small boats surrendered to the steamer Forrest City. Archer, in which Lieutenant Read had intended to send his prisoners back after transferring his supplies to Caleb Cushing,was also captured later on in the day by Forrest City.