Request for Input About Farragut Aide


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LilRhody

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Apr 8, 2018
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Bellingham, WA
I am writing a book about a USNA midshipman who was present at several key battles with David Farragut: Port Hudson, Mobile Bay, and this young man (Oliver Batcheller from northern NY state) was also a participant at the Head of the Passes debacle at the mouth of the Mississippi River on Oct 12 1861--that sorry encounter involving Batcheller's ship VINCENNES, the CSS Manassas, et al. happened long before Farragut was called in to clean up the mess that was the early Gulf Blockading Squadron. One interesting tidbit I have encountered in my research is David Farragut's reference to his "secretary," whom I interpreted to be separate and apart from a Flag attendant like a Lieutenant Commander or Lieutenant. It almost sounds like the guy was a civilian. Farragut writes a story about the secretary grabbing onto a piece of log at night and silently floating down river past Vicksburg with a tactical message in hand for delivery to ships Farragut was trying to communicate in an expeditious manner during the Vicksburg campaign. The message was successfully delivered. A pretty cool story, I think. Anyone know if Farragut and other Flag officers only had military aides or were there, in addition to civilian pilots, civilian secretaries that were assigned to these guys? Thanks. RH
 

Mark F. Jenkins

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I believe you're talking about Bradley Sillick Osbon, who I believe was a newspaperman by trade.

It seems to me to be sort of uncommon, though of course there were plenty of people like that who were in uniform. Henry Walke's clerk was a seaman named John Ford, who in civilian life wrote for a Philadelphia paper (and continued as on e of their war correspondents even after enlisting).
 

LilRhody

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Apr 8, 2018
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Bellingham, WA
I believe you're talking about Bradley Sillick Osbon, who I believe was a newspaperman by trade.

It seems to me to be sort of uncommon, though of course there were plenty of people like that who were in uniform. Henry Walke's clerk was a seaman named John Ford, who in civilian life wrote for a Philadelphia paper (and continued as on e of their war correspondents even after enlisting).
This is helpful. Thank you. Rod H.
 

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