Muster Roll of the C.S.S. Sea Bird.

compiled by Terry Foenander.


Series 2, Volume 1 of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion contains a number of Confederate Naval Muster Rolls, but this is by no means a complete collection of the Muster Rolls of all the vessels in the Confederate States Navy. Others were lost through various means, and some can be found at other repositories. Those included in the Official Records were mainly Rolls held by the U.S. Navy Department during the compilation of the Naval Official Records.

Reproduced here is the Roll, dated July - November, 1861, for the Confederate States side wheeled steamer Sea Bird, a vessel originally built at Keyport, New Jersey in 1854, and purchased by the state of North Carolina at Norfolk, Virginia in 1861. After refitting, and being armed with 2 cannon, she commenced operations along the Virginia and North Carolina coasts, with Lieutenant Patrick McCarrick in command. At a later stage she was used as the flagship of the "mosquito fleet," and was used during the invasion of Roanoke Island and Elizabeth City, North Carolina, in February, 1862, at which time she was rammed and sunk by the USS Commodore Perry. [1]

The following list of names has been copied verbatim, from the Muster Roll shown at page 306, Series 2, Volume 1 of the Official Records. Additional information has been extracted from various other sources as referenced at the end of the list. Although not included in this list, third assistant engineer J.J. Henderson and a seaman Bragg (who was killed in action) are also mentioned as being personnel of the Sea Bird in the Naval Official Records, Series 1, Volume 6, page 596.


Levy Ballance, ordinary seaman; born in Currituck County, North Carolina, where he resided as a farmer; previously enlisted as private in Company B, 8th Regiment North Carolina State Troops, August 19, 1861, aged 19; company muster rolls indicate he was transferred to the Confederate States Navy on October 13, 1861; Roll of Honor states he was killed at Roanoke Island on February 7, 1862. [6]

James Barnett, seaman; born in Tyrrell County, North Carolina, and resided in Currituck County, North Carolina, where he was by occupation a sailor prior to enlisting at age 18, August 1, 1861 in Company B, 8th Regiment, North Carolina State Troops; transferred to the Confederate States Navy on or about January 10, 1863. [7]

Thomas T. Baum, ordinary seaman; shown as being captured and paroled at Roanoke Island, North Carolina, in February, 1862. [10]

Stephen Beasley, seaman; shown as being captured and paroled at Roanoke Island, North Carolina, in February, 1862. [10]

Robert Benton, second class fireman.

John J. Carrence, seaman.

James L. Day, seaman; shown as being captured and paroled at Roanoke Island, North Carolina, in February, 1862. [10]

L.S. Day, seaman.

G.W. Dixon, seaman.

George W. Dowday, seaman; possible service in Company B, 8th Regiment North Carolina State Troops where he is shown as being born in Currituck County, North Carolina, occupation farmer; enlisted at age 24 on August 1, 1861; captured at Cold Harbor, Virginia, June 1, 1864; confined at Point Lookout, Maryland, until transferred to Elmira, New York, July 12, 1864; released on May 15, 1865, after taking the Oath of Allegiance; also shown as being captured and paroled at Roanoke Island, North Carolina, in February, 1862. [11]

J.H. Harnesson, seaman.

George W. Hobbs, seaman; born in Currituck County, North Carolina, enlisted at age 23, August 2, 1861 in Company B, 8th Regiment North Carolina State Troops; later served as quartermaster and pilot aboard the CSS Albemarle, 1864; Halifax Station, 1864. [3]

John W. Horton, seaman; shown as being captured and paroled at Roanoke Island, North Carolina, in February, 1862 (also shown as ship's cook in this source). [10]

John P. Kenion, ordinary seaman.

John Luark, seaman.

William F. Lynch, born in Virginia in 1801; entered United States Navy as midshipman in January 1819; promoted lieutenant in May, 1828; promoted captain in 1856; resigned on April 21, 1861; entered Confederate Naval service on June 10, 1861, as captain; served along the North Carolina coast, and later on the Mississippi River; died at Baltimore, October 17, 1865. [2]

A. Maudling, seaman.

William McDonald, seaman.

Samuel Merrill, seaman; Series 2, Volume 3, of the War of the Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies in the War of the Rebellion indicates that a Purser's Steward's of this name was captured at Roanoke Island, North Carolina in February, 1862.

J.S. Norman, seaman.

William H. Partridge, born in Currituck County, North Carolina, where he resided as a seaman; previously enlisted in Company B, 8th Regiment North Carolina State Troops, August 9, 1861, aged 23; promoted to corporal on October 27, 1862; transferred to Naval service on or about February 9, 1863; seaman, also served aboard CSS Arctic, as landsman, and CSS Yadkin, as master at arms. [5]

John Sanders, born in Currituck County, North Carolina, where he resided as a farmer; previously enlisted in Company B, 8th Regiment North Carolina State Troops, August 19, 1861, aged 20; transferred to Naval service on or about February 9, 1863; ordinary seaman, also served aboard CSS Arctic, and CSS North Carolina. [4]

Thomas O. Sanders, born in Currituck County, North Carolina, where he resided as a farmer; previously enlisted in Company B, 8th Regiment North Carolina State Troops, August 19, 1861, aged 18; transferred to Naval service on or about February 9, 1863; seaman, also served aboard CSS Arctic, and CSS North Carolina. [4]

Antonio Silva, seaman.

William Smithson, ordinary seaman.

Isaiah Thompson, seaman.

John Thornton, seaman; also served aboard CSS North Carolina; born in Pasquotank County, North Carolina, where he resided as a mariner; enlisted at age 18, August 1, 1861, in Company A, 8th Regiment North Carolina State Troops; transferred to the Confederate States Navy on or about January 9, 1863. [8]

George W. Walker, seaman; born in Tyrrell County, North Carolina, and resided in Pasquotank County, as a mariner; enlisted in Pasquotank County aged 18, July 22, 1861, as a corporal in Company A, 8th Regiment North Carolina State Troops; transferred to the Confederate States Navy at an unspecified date. [9]

L.A. Williams, seaman.

John A. Wilson, seaman; shown as being captured and paroled at Roanoke Island, North Carolina, in February, 1862. [10]


Reference Sources:

[1] Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, Volume 2, page 565.

[2] History of the Confederate States Navy, J. Thomas Scharf (hereinafter cited as CSN History), 1996 edition, Random House, New Jersey, page 377n.

[3] See the entry for George W. Hobbs in the Register of Officers of the Confederate States Navy, 1861-1865, 1983 reprint by J.M. Carroll & Company, Mattituck, New York; see also page 538, Volume 4, North Carolina Troops: 1861-1865, Broadfoot Publishing Company, Wilmington, North Carolina, reprint edition, 1989.

[4] See page 540, Volume 4, North Carolina Troops: 1861-1865, Broadfoot Publishing Company, Wilmington, North Carolina, reprint edition, 1989, where his surname is shown as Saunders.

[5] See page 540, Volume 4, North Carolina Troops: 1861-1865, Broadfoot Publishing Company, Wilmington, North Carolina, reprint edition, 1989, where his surname is shown as Partriage.

[6] See page 534, Volume 4, North Carolina Troops: 1861-1865, Broadfoot Publishing Company, Wilmington, North Carolina, reprint edition, 1989, where his name is shown as Levin Ballance; he is also shown as being killed in action at Roanoke Island in the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 6, page 596.

[7] See page 534, Volume 4, North Carolina Troops: 1861-1865, Broadfoot Publishing Company, Wilmington, North Carolina, reprint edition, 1989.

[8] See page 532, Volume 4, North Carolina Troops: 1861-1865, Broadfoot Publishing Company, Wilmington, North Carolina, reprint edition, 1989; CSN History, page 391n, notes that there was a John Thornton, ordinary seaman, amongst those Confederate Naval personnel captured at Roanoke Island, North Carolina, in February, 1862.

[9] See page 532, Volume 4, North Carolina Troops: 1861-1865, Broadfoot Publishing Company, Wilmington, North Carolina, reprint edition, 1989.

[10] CSN History, page 391n.

[11] See page 536, Volume 4, North Carolina Troops: 1861-1865, Broadfoot Publishing Company, Wilmington, North Carolina, reprint edition, 1989 (his surname is spelt Dowdy in this source); and CSN History, page 391n.


Copyright, Terry Foenander.

November, 2000.