The Harvest Moon and the Maple Leaf ships

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Dr. Holland asked me to relay his question to the CW forum: What two things did Rear Admiral Dhalgren's flag ship Harvest Moon have in common with the troop transport Maple Leaf? Any comments welcome.
 

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kvholland

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They were both sunk by mines.

They also were of similar dimensions and configuration, and might easily be mistaken for one another at a distance. I'm sure that's not the answer he's looking for, but it's an interesting coincidence.
Yes to the mines. The other is "dang" close, and leads to the more specific answer ~ they were both owned by the same person Charles Spear. Spear & Lang leased Maple Leaf and several months later sold Harvest Moon to the Army. It was constructed in Portland, Maine.
Andy, read about the Congressional Act ~ requiring ALL vessels to be "Readmeasured" which was discussed through out 1864 and became law in early 1865. This law was passed because of flagrant overages of earning tonnage capacity by shipbuilders and lessors, thereby perpetrating gross fraud, with possible quartermasters collusion.
Maple Leaf's original Canadian deed at Kingston shipyards is recorded as 396 Tons of earning capacity. It's charter with the USA was recorded as 500(+) tonnage capacity. Over three charters Spear and Lang profited by several hundred thousand dollars.
 

kvholland

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Ah, the joys of measuring and comparing 1860s tonnages... :x3:
Mark, I believe it is probable that Spear aided and assisted the Confederate Torpedo Squad.. in blowing up Maple Leaf. It's registry originated in a neutral country, was clouded by the sale to American businessmen, and earning tonnage grossly exaggerated. It was sunk April 1, 1864; the Act of Re-admeasurement passed Congress on May 6, 1864. If the tonnage was fraudulently overstated, they would surely have been implicated. There are countless primary sources confirming Spear, Lang & Delano's shipping business (Boston) with many important sourthern contacts for decades prior to the war. There business suffered greatly from revenue losses as a result of the Annaconda blockade. I know this research is of little interest to the whole when studying the War. But, it is an aspect of great relevance to Maple Leaf NHL's history.
Keith
 


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