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The Famed North Carolina Sailor James Iredell Waddell

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The Famed North Carolina Sailor James Iredell Waddell. This story and article was published in 2010 by the Civil War Courier Newspaper.

The Famed North Carolina Sailor James Iredell Waddell. This story and article was published in 2010 by the Civil War Courier Newspaper.

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  • 1. The Famed North Carolina Sailor A brief summation of the life of James Iredell Waddell FORMER UNITED STATES NAVAL OFFICER, USN FORMER CONFEDERATE STATES NAVAL OFFICER, CSN Lieutenant Commanding, C.S.S. Shenandoah By Martin CJ Mongiello © 2010 for Professor Christopher Jepson The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • 2. A brief summation of the life of James Iredell Waddell, Former Commissioned United States Naval Officer, USN, Former Commissioned Confederate States Naval Officer, CSN, Lieutenant Commanding, C.S.S. Shenandoah, By Martin CJ Mongiello T hose demons of the past that were extinguished on the wrong side of the war should be forever forgotten - within time and history. Regardless of your previous contributions to a society, once you are found on the losing side, your existence on earth shall be erased from all history books. Is that your opinion, reader, for the likes of Robert E. Lee and General George Custer? Each lost and was found to be on the wrong side of an issue. Once blame can be ascertained and proven, doesn’t it follow within nature to next affix punishment? For this is the course of history, the course of all natural things and all of our courts and proceedings. Accusation, indignation, conflagration = proof of guilt, agreed upon blame, concede therefore shame and finally – punish. I submit to you that often this is the case in history, after a war is finished or battle is over. Few know of General Custer’s service at the battle of Gettysburg and helping to save the Union from disaster. With the invasion of the northern states, Harrisburg and Philadelphia were in a full panic and evacuation calling to, “declare martial law” (Rhodes 230). But many can quickly tell you they knew Lee was there and lost. But, what most remember about Custer is that he lost at the great battle out west with the Indians. Few know he was in the Civil War or at Gettysburg. Nor of his long a valuable service in the Union army. Which one should be removed from the history books then? Should it be Lee for supporting the wrong side? Or Custer for his acts against the Indians? True, your answer will most likely be that each was under orders from the War Department to do their ordered duties or face a court martial. S uch is the case with one of the most famous sailors in American history, James Iredell Waddell. He, like Lee and Custer, started with the good guys and later found himself depicted as a villain by many - for following out his Wednesday, February 10, 2010 ~ The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 2
  • 3. A brief summation of the life of James Iredell Waddell, Former Commissioned United States Naval Officer, USN, Former Commissioned Confederate States Naval Officer, CSN, Lieutenant Commanding, C.S.S. Shenandoah, By Martin CJ Mongiello orders. That is a pity if you don’t know his real story and especially so if you are a sailor, Navy or from North Carolina. B orn in Pittsboro, NC, Chatham County, North Carolina he grew up in a landlocked area of open fields, farming and rural life far away from anyone’s mind of salt air, seagulls and the shrill whistle of a boatswain’s pipe. His air was country baked apple pies in the air, the red cardinal bird of our state landing in a nearby tree and the shrill whistle of a steam locomotive bustling down the tracks from some distant town on the ocean. In 1841, he received an appointment by Secretary of the Navy, George E. Badger (under President Harrison), as an acting midshipmen and was ordered to report to Commodore William B. Shubrick for duty on board the USS Pennsylvania. She was a three-decked man of war complete with 120 guns. She was the only kind of her lot in the United States Navy. “I reported for duty, and I shall never forget the intelligent advice given to me by Commodore Shubrick…Young gentleman you must remember that you are now a servant of the people. They are taxed for your support, and you should at all times be respectful to the people. They can dismantle the Navy whenever they choose to exercise that power” (Waddell 54). Here we see a lifetime basis of service to the people which will formulate most opinions by Lieutenant Waddell. These are of being a servant and staying out of politics and doing what you’re told to do as per your orders. O nce the civil war begins, Waddell has already sailed about the earth and utilized his tolerance in servitude to the great gain and prestige of the United States. His service to the country spans more than twenty years of faithful behavior, fidelity, zeal and obedience. He also graduated from the United States Naval Academy and would later have a ship named after him, the USS Waddell – DDG 24, a Charles F. Adams-class guided missile destroyer. Upon notification that the country will rip itself apart so that a father can shoot a son and a mother can spy on a brother – Waddell submits his resignation to Wednesday, February 10, 2010 ~ The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 3
  • 4. A brief summation of the life of James Iredell Waddell, Former Commissioned United States Naval Officer, USN, Former Commissioned Confederate States Naval Officer, CSN, Lieutenant Commanding, C.S.S. Shenandoah, By Martin CJ Mongiello the Captain of his then assigned ship, the USS John Adams. He clearly states that he has no inclination towards slavery or any of the issues at hand but cannot possibly remain in the military and take up violence against his own state and family. He later recants this and submits a letter to President Lincoln himself. Regret fully, it proves a few days too late as the Department of the Navy has already been angered and issued a dismissal letter. This was often done in an attempt to disgrace the person – rather than accept their resignation. On the Federal side of things, they might retort with, “He disgraced himself when he submitted the letter to begin with – so if there is anybody here who is disgraced then we did not do it.” Can the reader understand both sides of the story? I think so. Hero becomes villain in this classic thriller or hero becomes hero – it all depends on how you view the story. In March of 1862 he is Commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Confederate States Navy and is assigned to the ironclad CSS Mississippi in New Orleans and various other theaters of war like Drewry’s Bluff in Virginia and Charleston. Finally he is sent overseas and stationed in England awaiting orders for a raider or ironclad to take to sea. If he is lucky, he will get one of the newer ships being built to destroy Yankee cities and still stand up to the growing fleet of monitors (most all designed after the style of the original USS Monitor with a turret). O n October 5th, 1864 he will receive his orders from CSN Flag Officer Samuel Barron in Paris to destroy the US merchant fleet, worldwide, in the CSS Shenandoah. He will be the only Confederate flag to circumnavigate the globe, rip open the fleets by fire and smoke, continue the Civil War well beyond Lee’s surrender in April…May, June, July – cruising, torching, firing his cannon relentlessly while taking prisoners, bounty and prizes until August of 1865 – he ceases. For many, they will tell you the actions and cannons fired in the anger of the war ended in the Spring of 1865. They did not. They will also tell you the last Confederate flag was taken, burned or handed over then as tulips started to show their green stems – wrong again. It would be a global Confederate Navy man from North Carolina who captured 38 ships, burned 32 and took 1,053 prisoners while cruising 53,000 miles to continue bearing the flag six months after the war had ended. Wednesday, February 10, 2010 ~ The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 4
  • 5. A brief summation of the life of James Iredell Waddell, Former Commissioned United States Naval Officer, USN, Former Commissioned Confederate States Naval Officer, CSN, Lieutenant Commanding, C.S.S. Shenandoah, By Martin CJ Mongiello Later, after the war and his sailing of CSS Shenandoah from the Pacific back to England he will become Captain of the commercial steamer City of San Francisco. Returning to the United States in 1875, he later commanded the state of Maryland’s Oyster Regulation Force - close enough to provide influence as a former instructor of the US Naval Academy. He passed away at Annapolis, Maryland on March 15, 1886. As part of the exercise for this white paper three position points are afforded to Captain Waddell to express himself in the 1840’s and 1850’s and how he thinks leading up to the war. O N FREE LABOR: I am well known to be a good and decent gentleman (Jones 119) to all and appreciate free labor. In the rains and squalls of the North Atlantic or Pacific our ships “are manned by free labor and the spirit of independence. With the ice storms, frigid weather upon us and myself a farm boy from Pittsboro, North Carolina - I lead a Navy that embraces free labor - to survive. Also, please take note the United States Navy in which I have now served for twenty years – already has free blacks serving on board ships! Unlike the Army, we live with the threat of death in each day on the oceans of the world and form a common brotherhood of survival. Such is why I embrace free labor in all regards. Let all see what free men working together at sea can accomplish when faced with survival. The whip is not needed with slaves to win, my friends. It is not needed” (Mongiello 1) S TATES RIGHTS: I am for many of the rights of states but hold for the power of the overall Federal government to be in charge. However, one of my rights recently exercised (which is not legal in all states) is the right to duel with pistols such as my favorites of a Navy 36 or 44 Octagon. I recently elected to defend a matter over a lady and in my home state dueling as outlawed in 1802 – regardless my shootout occurred in Maryland (Stevens 451). The reader can see my point clearly, no? “Those of you reading may be surprised to find that, I have no contest in taking sides against the Federal flag. In my resignation letter to the Secretary Wednesday, February 10, 2010 ~ The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 5
  • 6. A brief summation of the life of James Iredell Waddell, Former Commissioned United States Naval Officer, USN, Former Commissioned Confederate States Naval Officer, CSN, Lieutenant Commanding, C.S.S. Shenandoah, By Martin CJ Mongiello of the Navy I stated, “In thus separating myself from association’s which I have cherished for twenty years, I wish it to be understood that no doctrine of the right of secession, no wish for disunion, of the state’s impel me, but simply because my home is the home of my people in the South, and I cannot bear arms against it or them” (Waddell 66) (Mongiello 1-2). P OPULAR SOVEREIGNTY: “I am constantly reminded of the fact that I am an advocate of popular sovereignty…in our fine country where those who are elected consider themselves to be servants. Such is the manner of most naval men who on a daily basis find themselves inside a floating prison, awash on the seas of the world. You will find that naval men espouse to 1the greatness of a flag that they fly under…Naval men, such as me, have little regard for the political mockery and carnival that some leaders desire to create for themselves in government” (Mongiello 2). We tend have a more worldly air being exposed to other nations and other governments on a continual basis we see the imperfections in each and see the wars in each as well. We elect restraint therefore based on a global view of religion, government and what you think is unjust, righteous or needs changing. We have seen it all, see it each week and listen to those who rattle sabers daily – my colleagues; a bit more travel around the world by you would enlighten you greatly. Popular sovereignty is far better than a seated King or Queen born divine, by birth alone. The popular voting procedures of majority and elections and ballots are on my plate for things I endorse and support. Goldfield, David, Virginia Anderson, Jo Ann Argersinger, Peter Argersinger, William Barney, Carl Abbott and Robert Weir. The American Journey: Teaching and Learning Classroom Edition, Combined Volume, The American Journey, MyHistoryLab Series, Edition 5. New York, Boston, San Wednesday, February 10, 2010 ~ The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 6
  • 7. A brief summation of the life of James Iredell Waddell, Former Commissioned United States Naval Officer, USN, Former Commissioned Confederate States Naval Officer, CSN, Lieutenant Commanding, C.S.S. Shenandoah, By Martin CJ Mongiello Francisco, London, Toronto, Sydney, Tokyo, Mexico City, Paris, Cape Town, Hong Kong, Montreal: Prentice Hall, 2009. 388-421 Jones, Virgil. The Civil War at Sea. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1961. 119 Mongiello, Martin. “Tad – the son of President and First Lady Lincoln.” Managing Director of Historic Naval and Marine Forces interpretation on the set of the ABC Family Channel feature film, City Point. 1995. Mongiello, Martin. The Ironclads: “Reenacting a Real Civil War Navy Enlisted Impression.” Camp Chase Gazette Sep. 1995: 39 Mongiello, Martin. “Lieutenant James Iredell Waddell responds to three topics of question.” US History – HIS 1010, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, 2010: 1-2 “Of duels, fighting and boxing.” The Civil War Sailor and Marine Magazine and Association. 1994. 10 Jan. 2010. http://www.cwsmma.com/duel.htm Rhodes, James, History of the Civil War, 1861-1865. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1917. 230 Stevens, John, Benjamin Franklin DeCosta, Henry Phelps Johnston, Martha Joanna Lamb, Nathan Gillett Pond, William Abbatt. “The code in North Carolina.” The Magazine of American history with notes and queries, Volume 26. A. S. Barnes., 1891: 451 Waddell, Alfred. Some memories of my life. Raleigh: Edwards & Broughton, 1908. 96-97 Waddell, James, James Horan. C.S.S. Shenandoah, The Memoirs of Lieutenant Commanding James I. Waddell. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1960. 54 Wednesday, February 10, 2010 ~ The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 7