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George E. Welch Naval Papers, 1859-1865: Finding Aid

Published in September 2014

Summary Information

  • Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
  • Publisher Address:
    589 McNair Road
    Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
    Phone: 410-293-6917
    https://www.usna.edu/Library/sca/index.php
  • Call number: MS 6
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: George E. Welch Naval Papers
  • Dates: 1859-1865
  • Size: 3 linear inches (3 volumes)
  • Creator: Welch, George E.
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: George E. Welch was an American steamship captain and volunteer in the United States Navy. The George E. Welch Naval Papers are the product of his service as master of the U.S. Mail Steamship Washington and as an Acting Volunteer Lieutenant in the United States Navy during the Civil War.

Biography of George E. Welch

Born in Massachusetts, George E. Welch was appointed an Acting Volunteer Lieutenant in the United States Navy from New York on July 1, 1862. Assigned primarily to blockade duty with the East Gulf and South Atlantic Blockading Squadrons, Welch held commands aboard U.S.S. Kittatinny (Schooner), U.S.S. Amanda (Bark), U.S.S. Potomska (Steamer), U.S.S. Lodona (Steamer), and U.S.S. C. P. Williams (Mortar schooner). Towards the closing days of the Civil War, he was stationed at Port Royal, South Carolina, where he served as harbor master, before being honorably discharged from voluntary service on September 13, 1865. Prior to his service during the Civil War, Welch had served as master of the U.S. Mail Steamship Washington.

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Description of Contents

The George E. Welch Naval Papers, comprising three linear inches of documentation in three volumes, span from 1859 to 1865. The materials, which were produced or maintained by Welch, are the product of his service as master of the U.S. Mail Steamship Washington and as an Acting Volunteer Lieutenant in the United States Navy during the Civil War.

Included in the collection are a logbook, a letter book, and an order book.

The Welch Naval Papers are arranged chronologically into a single record series. The earliest of the volumes, Log of the U.S. Mail Steamship Washington, dates from Welch's civilian career as a mail steamship captain, focusing on the Washington's course, speed, weather encountered, and daily occurrences. The collection's remaining two volumes are the product of Welch's volunteer service in the U.S. Navy during the Civil War. The volumes focus largely on the operations and Welch's command of the U.S.S. Amanda of the East Gulf Blockading Squadron, but also touch upon the operations of U.S.S. Potomska and U.S.S. Lodona off the coasts of Florida and the Carolinas, as well as Welch's time as harbor master at Port Royal. During Welch's time as her commanding officer, U.S.S. Amanda was stationed in Saint George Sound off Dog Island, where the Amanda aided Southern refugees and launched an operation up the Ochlockonee River in an attempt to seize the Confederate schooner Onward.

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Arrangement

The George E. Welch Naval Papers are arranged chronologically.

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Access and Use

Access

Access is restricted to microfilm.

Copyright and Permission

The George E. Welch Naval Papers are the physical property of Nimitz Library. Copyright belongs to the authors or creators of the works, or their legal representatives. For further information, consult the Head, Special Collections & Archives.

It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure written permission to publish, reprint, or reproduce material from Special Collections & Archives. The researcher assumes responsibility for infringement of copyright or literary or publication rights. Please contact the Head, Special Collections & Archives for permission to publish and for further information.

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Acquisition and Appraisal

Custodial History

Log of the U.S. Mail Steamship Washington, 1859 was formerly cataloged as MS 152.

George E. Welch Letterbook, 1862-1865 was formerly cataloged as MS 153.

George E. Welch Orderbook, 1862-1864 was formerly cataloged as MS 154.

Provenance and Acquisition

Gift of Lillian H. Maddren.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Material

There are no other known collections of papers of George E. Welch.

Materials Cataloged Separately

No materials have been removed from this collection and cataloged separately.

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Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

George E. Welch Naval Papers, MS 6

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Selected Bibliography

The following sources were consulted during preparation of the biographical note:

United States. Bureau of Naval Personnel. Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1814-.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by David D'Onofrio in September 2014. Finding aid written by David D'Onofrio in September 2014.

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Subject Headings

These materials have been indexed in the Naval Academy Library online catalog using the following terms. Those seeking related materials should search under these terms.

Name and Subject Terms

  • Amanda (Bark)
  • Florida -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865
  • Lodona (Steamer)
  • Potomska (Steamer)
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Blockades
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Naval operations
  • United States. Navy -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
  • United States. Navy. East Gulf Squadron
  • Washington (Steamer)
  • Welch, George E.

Genre Terms

  • Letter books
  • Manuscripts
  • Orders (military records)
  • Ships' logs
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Contents List

Box 1

Log of the U.S. Mail Steamship Washington, 1859 1 volume (61 leaves)

The logbook is the product of a cruise of the Washington while under Welch's command. Spanning from March 9 to May 20, 1859, the logbook details the ship's daily weather, speed, and other encounters on a cruise to Pernambuco, Greytown, Kingston, and St. Catherine (Brazil). An undated entry at the beginning of the volume indicates the Washington's cruise originated in New York, heading towards Aspinwall, Panama, with most of the remaining entries indicating the ship (or its passengers and mail) as steaming towards San Francisco.

Box 2

George E. Welch Letterbook, 1862-1865 1 volume (24 leaves)

Copies of letters sent and received by Welch while in command of U.S.S. Amanda of the East Gulf Blockading Squadron, and later U.S.S. Potomska of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron. Specific entries include discussion of the use of Dog Island as a refuge by Southerners avoiding Confederate conscription and the rescuing of refugee women and children (October 20, 1862-January 19, 1863); a rebuke to a Confederate seeking the return of his slaves, whom Welch refers to as "the Devil himself" (January 1, 1863); orders for handling of Flags of Truce (January 8, 1863); report of an expedition under Richard J. Hoffner on the Ochlockonee River to capture the Confederate schooner Onward (March 26, 1863); shipboard discipline and the poor condition of the Amanda, and a related court-martial (April 7, 1863); and the death of the commanding officer of U.S.S. Para (September 19, 1863). The final letters are the product of Welch's stationing at Bay Point (Port Royal), South Carolina. The volume also includes several special orders dated 1862.

Box 3

George E. Welch Orderbook, 1862-1864 1 volume (14 leaves)

Orders issued by Welch while in command of U.S.S. Amanda and U.S.S. Lodona. The shipboard orders pertain to crew conduct, requisitions, the stationing of officers, the launching of boats, crew drills, the handling of equipment, and liberty. The final few orders were received by Welch while serving as harbor master at Port Royal, South Carolina, and pertain to the operations of the harbor and the handling of prize vessels. At the back of the volume is a list of Welch's duty stations.

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