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Maria J. Carlton

 

A former name retained.

 

(Sch: t. 178; l. 98'; b. 27'; dph. 7'8"; a. 1 13" m., 2 12‑pdr. rifled how.)

 

Maria J. Carlton was purchased by the Navy at Middletown, Conn., from a Mr. Warner of Haddam, Conn., 15 October 1861; converted to mortar schooner at New York Navy Yard; and commissioned 29 January 1862, Acting Master Charles E. Jack in command.

 

Assigned to the Mortar Flotilla organized by the Navy to neutralize Confederate forts guarding the sea approach to New Orleans, the schooner got underway for the mouth of the Mississippi in mid‑February 1862; despite a heavy gale offCape Hatteras which carried away her mainmast, rigging, and sails, she crossed the bar at Pas a l’Outre 18 March and anchored in the chocolate colored waters of Mississippi Delta. After preparing for the assault, the schooners moved upstream to carefully selected positions and opened fire on Forts St. Philip and Jackson which stood between Flag Officer Farragut’s invasion fleet and the South’s largest and wealthiest city. Maria J. Carlton operated with the 2d Division of Commander Porter’s Mortar Flotilla in the cannonade. On the second day in the thick of action a Confederate shot struck her magazine deck and tore a large hole in her bottom. Two crewmen were wounded and the schooner quickly sank.