Trivia 10-9-19

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Trivia Master

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During the Mexican-American War a screw steamer carrying General Winfield Scott was engaged in a reconnaissance at Veracruz. It was bracketed by cannon fire from Castle San Juan de Ulua. A better shot could have significantly altered the course of the Civil War as the ship was also carrying other four officers destined for significant roles in the Civil War. Two questions:

  • What was the name of the ship
  • Who were the four officers headed for high rank in the Civil War (hint: one Federal; three, Confederate)

credit: @hughes
 

SWMODave

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Per the Encyclopedia of the Mexican-American War
USS Petrita
(future) Generals Robert Patterson and George Meade for the Union. And for the South, David E Twiggs, Gideon J Pillow, Robert E Lee, Joseph Johnston, and PGT Beuregard.

(underlined name signify answer based on highest rank)

Source
1570621835797.png


Source 2
 
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DBF

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The Screw Steamer - The Petrita
Future Union General - Ethan Allen Hitchcock, (although his service appears to be administrative in the War Department during the Civil War working closely with the President and Secretary of War); future Confederate Generals - Robert E. Lee; Joseph Johnston; P.G.T. Beaureguard.
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1) The name of the ship was "Petrita". It was a small steamer.

2a) The future important Union officer was probably Civil War Major General Ethan Allen Hitchcock
"After the start of the Civil War, Hitchcock applied to return to the service, but was rejected. It was only after the intervention of Winfield Scott that he was commissioned a major general in February, 1862 and became special adviser to the Secretary of War. From March 17 to July 23, 1862, he served as the chairman of the War Board, the organization that assisted President Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton in the management of the War Department and the command of the Union armies during the period in which there was no general-in-chief. (Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan had been relieved of his responsibilities as general-in-chief and Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck had not yet replaced him.)
Hitchcock sat on the court-martial of Maj. Gen. Fitz John Porter which convicted the general of disobedience and cowardice. From November 1862 through the end of the war, he served as Commissioner for Prisoner of War Exchange, and then Commissary-General of Prisoners."


Source

2b) The three future Confederate generals were of course: Robert Edward Lee, Joseph Eggleston Johnston and Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard

1570624855389.png


Source
 
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"From a rendezvous at Lobos Island almost fifty miles south of Tampico, General Scott’s force of 13,660 men, of whom 5,741 were regulars, set sail on March 2, 1847, for the landing near Vera Cruz—the first major amphibious landing in the history of the U.S. Army. On March 5 the transports were off the coast of their target, where they met a U.S. naval squadron blockading the city. In a small boat, Scott, his commanders, and a party of officers including Lee, Meade, Joseph E. Johnston, and Pierre G. T. Beauregard ran close inshore to reconnoiter and were almost hit by a shell fired from the island fortress of San Juan de Ulua opposite Vera Cruz. That shell might have changed the course of the Mexican War and the Civil War as well."

1570629410217.png


Edit - Answer to first part of question is contained in subsequent post.

hoosier
 
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1. USS Petrita was a steamer that served in the United States Navy from 1846 to 1848.
2. Union generals George McClellan and Ulysses S Grant and conf general Robert E Lee and Conf Prez Jefferson Davis
source-
Sea to Shining Sea: The Mexican American War and the Manifest Destiny
By Jack White page 200

Edit - I do not have a copy of the book you cited and I can find no other source stating that either Grant or Davis was aboard the Petrita.

Even if they were, the question asked for one Federal and three Confederate officers, and you only named two Confederate officers.

hoosier

Second edit - Stony has belatedly sent me a private conversation with a link to the indicated book. In the interest of fair reporting, I can state that the book does, indeed, say that both Grant and Davis were on the Petrita. I can find no other source saying that either one of them was aboard.

The scoring, however, remains unchanged, since the response named only two Confederates.

hoosier
 
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WJC

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During the Mexican-American War a screw steamer carrying General Winfield Scott was engaged in a reconnaissance at Veracruz. It was bracketed by cannon fire from Castle San Juan de Ulua. A better shot could have significantly altered the course of the Civil War as the ship was also carrying other four officers destined for significant roles in the Civil War. Two questions:

  • What was the name of the ship
  • Who were the four officers headed for high rank in the Civil War (hint: one Federal; three, Confederate)

credit: @hughes
Sources differ.
Most say that Commodore David Connor with Scott and his entourage were in USS Petrita. Hitchcock's first-hand account says it was USS Champion.
Aboard were "General Scott with Generals [Robert] Patterson, [Gideon] Pillow, [William J.] Worth and their respective Staffs."
These included Brigadier General Persifor F. Smith, Col. Joseph G. Totten, Lt. Col. Ethan A. Hitchcock; Captains Joseph E. Johnston and Robert E. Lee; First Lieutenant P. G. T. Beauregard; Second Lieutenant George G. Meade; Second Lieutenant Zealous B. Tower.
During the American Civil War:

  • Patterson served as Major General of Pennsylvania Volunteers and commanded the Department of Pennsylvania and the Army of the Shenandoah.
  • Totten served as Chief Engineer of the U. S. Army, achieving the rank of Brigadier General and Brevet Major General.
  • Hitchcock was commissioned Major General in 1861 and served in various administrative positions, including advisor to the Secretary of War and Chairman of the War Board.
  • Meade rose to command the Army of the Potomac, achieving the rank of Major General.
  • Tower served as a Brigadier General in the U. S. Army and, while convalescing from wounds suffered in Second Bull Run, as Superintendent of West Point. As an Engineer, he supervised the building of the defensive works at Nashville in 1864. He was breveted Major General of Volunteers.
  • Pillow, it may be recalled, served as a rebel Brigadier General under various commanders, chiefly in the Western Theater.
  • Most here are familiar with rebels Johnston, Lee, and Beauregard: Johnston and Beauregard achieved the rank of General; Lee became General in Chief.
<"Petrita", Naval History and Heritage Command. https://www.history.navy.mil/content/history/nhhc/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/p/petrita.html>
<Ethan A. Hitchcock, Fifty Years in Camp and Field (New York" George Putnam's Sons, 1909), p. 237.>
<George G. Meade, The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1913), Vol. I, p. 187.>


Edit - I do not have copies of any of the three books you cited. The link supports only the name of the ship and does not mention any of the officers on board. However, I will trust to your honor that the books support your contention that all of these many officers who played significant roles in the Civil War were there.

hoosier
 
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hoosier

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1. The ship was the USS Petrita.
2. The Federal officer - other than Winfield Scott - who held high rank in the Civil War was Ethan Allen Hitchcock.
The three Confederate officers who held high rank in the Civil War were Joseph Johnston, Robert E. Lee, and P. G. T. Beauregard.
 
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