Discussion in 'Civil War History - The Naval War' started by Stiles/Akin, Oct 12, 2017.
That's got to be one of the more unique vessel names I've heard of.
Cool ship's name. Did you look up nardle in the dictionary?
Someone had a sick sense of humor in that naming
Well one can only assume it is pink.
Once again, local pronunciation and subsequent mis-spelling strikes the writer. This 'Pink Nardle' was actually the Pink Varble # 2, a small sternwheel towboat built in Louisville in 1859. She was of 71 78/95ths tons with a hull 100' x 18' x 4'3". During construction she received the engines of the former Silver Moon (built in 1857) and was constructed by a Mr. Collins. She was named after the Falls pilot and towboat master Daniel Pinkney Varble.
The incident described above was picked up by most newspapers as it was one of the few exceptions made by authorities on both sides to allow trade to occur under blockade. The mill's owner must have had significant political connections. When the towboat attempted to return, her path was blocked by newly placed Confederate river obstructions. She was eventually seized by Southern authorities and was being converted into a CS Army gunboat named Slidell when recaptured in January 1863.
All the best,
Pink Varble was a riverboat pilot. I found this in geneology.Com
"Historian studying steamboat captain B. Frank Littrell, wife Elizabeth, children John N., Fred, and Mary Francis Littrell (who married Capt. Pink Varble, famous Falls pilot of Louisville, KY"
I would say that reporter needed to spank his spellchecker if he confused "Varble" for "Nardle."
I knew something was up when I could find no other mention
CAPTAIN PINK VARBLE is one of the best known river men in Louisville, and one of the safest and best Falls pilot ever on the Falls, having piloted more boats over the Falls than any one man in the business. He was born near Salisbury, North Carolina, September 8, 1828. He is the son of Henry and Alia (Catha) Varble, both of North Carolina.
His parents moved to Kentucky in 1831 in wagons, and located in Oldham County, near Westport, Ky. Subject remained on the farm until 1842, then moved to Louisville and engaged in driving a wood wagon for J. M. Collins; remained with him for three months, after which he engaged himself to the old Falls pilot, Eli Vansickle, which was the foundation of his present occupation. He worked for Mr. Vansickle for six months, then made a contract with him to work four years for his board, clothing and three months' schooling each winter and learning of the Falls. The second year he was with him he took charge of the business, which was buying and selling flat-boats and lumber.
Before his time was out Captain Vansickle established a ferry line between Portland, Ky., and New Albany, Ind., young Varble taking charge and running the boats for two years, then selling out and retaining on boat.
His time being out with Mr. Vansickle he was re-engaged, at $400 per year, to run his boat up Salt River to bring out pig iron. Having found a purchaser for the boat he sold out and went to Vicksburg, Miss., in the fall of 1851, and opened a coal yard for J. H. Mulford, of New Orleans, La., and stayed there until April 1852, but came back to Kentucky.
On April 28, of same year, he was married to Frances Littrell, of Ghent, Ky., eight children were the result, four of whom are now living; the eldest, Mary, the wife of John A. Stratton; second, Nelson L. Varble, the junior member of real estate firm of John A. Stratton & Co.; third, Pink Varble, Jr., the junior member of real estate firm of S. J. Hobbs & Co.; the youngest, Melvin Varble, is engaged with a collecting agency.
Captain Varble was elected by the city council of Louisville to the office of Falls pilot in September, 1853, and was held that office ever since. In 1859 he built the tow-boat Chas. Miller; since that time he has built and owned fifty-seven steamboats. In 1861 he transported fifty street cares to New Orleans (first used in that city) on barges, having to get permit from the Secretary of War to go through the lines, also to get proper papers to come back from the Confederate authority. The papers read in this way:
"By authority of President of Confederate States of America, the steamer Chas. Miller is permitted to pass into United States without molestation.
[Signed] Governor Moore, State of Louisiana."
On his return from this trip he began to buy and build the number of steamboats as mentioned before, a great number of which were sold to the government. He also built the pontoon bridge across the river at Paducah, Ky., also one across the Ohio, at Louisville, at which time Bragg was threatening to burn the city. He was appointed captain of flag ship "Diana" which moved Nelson's division of army from Louisville to Nashville, Tenn. After the fall of Fort Donelson he was appointed in command of the river, to go to Vicksburg to bring back the sick and wounded soldiers.
Varble owned one-eighth interest in Louisville and Jeffersonville Perry Company, and had also $90,000 interest in the Champion Saw Mill in Louisville. He has had command and piloted all sizes of boats, from the smallest to the largest, constructed barges for the government service during the war, and is at this time Falls pilot at Louisville. He is fifty-nine years old, and quite active yet.
(Kentucky: A History of the State, Perrin, Battle, Kniffin, 8th ed., 1888, Jefferson Co.)
Okay, so then... what's a varble? (And what's a henway?)
Pink Varble was actually a famous river pilot's name. I kid you not.
That is one strange name for a ship either way. I would not care to be stuck with the name Pink. It may have been his christine name, but I would have changed it.
Would you think in those times a boy named Pink had a rough go in school?
[Sept. 6, 1861]
Yes, you descry no difference between ' Nardle ' and ' Varble ', surname notwithstanding? They might have considered poor sea men, having an after-work drink in the local pub, gee whiz. " What's your ship, mate? "............ " Sigh, Pink Vardle "
No disrespect to anyone holding the surname ' Vardle '- ' Washington ' would have a tough time withstanding ' Pink ' glued on to the front end.
The Pink Varble was a busy and enterprising little towboat:
[Louisville Daily Democrat, 16 Jan. 1861]
The story of the Pink Varble and that Yankee Machinery got a lot of press coverage in late 1861-spring 1862: most of it very brief and often ill-informed notices. One paper said the vessel “ran the blockade" with a cargo of “cotton gins for the rebels,” another reported it carried cotton machinery and “came through the blockade under a special permit issued by Secretary Chase, obtained by a Union man, formerly of Nashville.” The Pink Varble was still in Nashville when Buell captured the city on February 26, 1862. A report of the fall of the city includes the note:
[Louisville Daily Democrat, March 1, 1862]
Separate names with a comma.