Skip to main content
Related Content
Document Type
  • Ship History
Wars & Conflicts
File Formats
Location of Archival Materials
Horace Beals
(Barkentine: t. 296; l. 121'6"; b. 30'8"; dph. 11'8" ; a. 132-pdr. ;130-pdr.)

Former name retained.

Horace Beats was purchased in New York City 14 September 1861; and commissioned at New York Navy Yard 5 February 1862, Lt. Comdr. K. R. Breese in command.

Two days later she departed New York for Key West, where, upon her arrival 23 February, she became a supply ship for the flotilla of mortar schooners being organized by Comdr. D. D. Porter. The flotilla sailed from Key West 3 March, arrived Ship Island, Miss., and 5 days later crossed the bar at Pass a L'Outre. When, after almost a month of backbreaking labor, Farragut finally succeeded in getting his heavy deep-sea ships inside the mouth of the Mississippi on 16 April, he ordered the mortar flotilla to commence operations. Porter's ships, camouflaged with bushes and tree branches, moved up river to preassigned positions below Forts Jackson and St. Philip and opened fire 18 April. During the ensuing 6-day bombardment, Horace Beals kept the mortar schooners supplied with ammunition and provisions, took on board ordnance and other stores, and embarked and cared for sick and wounded from ships of the squadron.

After New Orleans and the forts protecting her bad surrendered, the mortar flotilla sailed to Mobile Bay, Ala.; but Farragut then ordered Porter to return to the Mississippi, where the mortars were needed to engage the enemy's cliffside batteries at Vicksburg. The Confederates had cleverly placed these guns high on the bluffs of the Chickasaw Hills perfectly safe from the low trajectory cannon mounted on the Union's salt-water ships.

All vessels of Porter's flotilla were back at New Orleans 9 June. Kensington steamed up the Mississippi with Horace Beals and Sarah Bruen in tow 22 June. On the 26th the cruise upstream was enlivened by a duel with enemy batteries at Ellis Cliffs in which the Northern ships silenced the Confederate guns. The mortars opened fire on the batteries at Vicksburg 26 June and continued the attack while Farragut's ships ran by the thundering hillside cannon 28 June. They repeated the service when Farragut again ran the gauntlet on his return passage 15 July.

After withdrawing from the Mississippi with Admiral Farragut, Horace Beals spent the rest of the year supplying ships of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron, operating from Pensacola as a base. She was ordered back to New Orleans 22 December and arrived there 1 January 1863. She arrived below the Confederate batteries at Port Hudson 16 March two days after Farragut's heavy damage passing the enemy guns at that point. Horace Reals continued to supply ships operating against Vicksburg and Port Hudson until those last Confederate strongholds on the Mississippi were taken and President Lincoln could boast that "The Father of Waters again goes unvexed to the sea." During the remainder of the war this reliable supply ship operated between New York and stations in the Gulf of Mexico bringing indispensable war material to ships of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron. Shortly after the end of hostilities Horace Beals was sold in New York City to A. Leary 30 May 1865.

Published: Mon Jul 20 09:44:42 EDT 2015