OUR FLAG WAS
DECEMBER 1863-FEBRUARY 1864
THERE IS A HIATUS OF more than a month in Lamson's personal letters that results in the omission of any description of an event that was to have an important bearing on his future career: the capture on November 5, 1863, of the blockade runner Margaret and Jessie. Following this capture, Lamson took the Nansemond to Baltimore for needed repairs and obtained a brief leave in order to travel to Irvington, New York, where he saw Kate Buckingham for a few days and no doubt told her all about the exciting chase. The navy decided to convert the captured runner into the USS Gettysburg. Built in 1858 as an Isle of Man packet, the iron-hulled Margaret and Jessie had been the fastest ship in the world when she came off the ways in Glasgow. Armed with seven guns, the Gettysburg became the swiftest vessel in the Union fleet, capable of sixteen knots (about eighteen miles an hour). It did not take the Navy Department long to decide who should command her. In December Lamson received orders to supervise the Gettysburg's conversion and then take her to sea as a blockader.
Because no personal letters describe the capture of the Margaret and Jessie, this chapter begins with Lamson's official report of the incident.
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Publication information: Book title: Lamson of the Gettysburg:The Civil War Letters of Lieutenant Roswell H. Lamson, U.S. Navy. Contributors: James M. McPherson - Editor, Patricia R. McPherson - Editor, Roswell H. Lamson - Author. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1997. Page number: 145.
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