Many claim that Horatio was born in Calais Maine. He was actually born at a small place called Dufferin NB, just a few miles down river from St Stephen, a border town to Calais. In his youth it was a daily event for the kids and grown ups to walk across the border and hang out, do the shopping and visit the town before the day was out. Thus it was assumed by many that had come from there instead of Canada. On one of those visits the 18 year old kept going and did not stop till he got to the recruiting offices of the navy at Boston.
The above map is from another date so it confuses. But geography stays the same! At lower right is Morris Island. Gillmore's men are there probably pushing northbound. As you move north in this area and along the coast you see the identification of Fort Wagner. It was here that the 54th Massachusetts a few months earlier became famous for their attacks against the Confederates. The movie Glory of a decade ago and mentioned in a past blog tells the story and unlike the movie, my earlier blog told off no less than 39 Canadians, or with connections to Canada, and all of colour, who fought bravely in that battle. Some of them no doubt died there and are buried in mass pits on site.
At the very tip of Morris Island is the Cummings Point where Gillmore feared a landing may occur. And to the left of that point about a mile is Fort Sumter, above mentioned. Still looking at the map, directly north of Cummings point is the powerful Confederate battery at Fort Moultrie. Having a good look at the map you can see a lot of red and not so much blue, The red being the Confederates and thus, the blue Union were in very deep enemy territory. Territory that was very well defended by the South, as the map clearly shows.
Admiral Dahlgren ordered the Lehigh in with instructions to drop anchor as close to the Point felt safe and to defend it against any Confederate attempts to land. As instructed, the monitor moved into position during the dark hours and dropped anchor. When Horatio Young and the crew were awoken in the early a.m. they realized that the tides had dropped and in so doing, the ship swung around and ran into the ocean floor and got hung up, and thus grounded.
It would not be long before the enemy realized this and opened up with full force from not one or two or three...but NINE different batteries on the helpless vessel. It immediately sent a signal to the fleet and soon three other monitors arrived and a three hour battle ensued with thousands of pounds of shells being exchanged by both sides. The Confederates would later report that they had expended no less than 189 shells and canisters at the Union ships and that... "our principal fire was directed on the monitor aground." The Union would later document firing some 52 cannon shells from the monitors and 22 from land batteries in the area. One 15 " shell was said to have left a large crater 9 feet by 4 and yet another left a 15" gun dismounted with ten inches of its barrel broken off. But for the most part both sides were far enough apart that actual damages to both were minimal.
In this midst of all of this firing, the Lehigh was known to have dumped large quantities of supplies just in an attempt to lighten her load. Four times one of the monitors tried to send a hawser over to the Lehigh, but the first was lost, and the next three were blown away by enemy fire. Finally three brave sailors, Horatio being one of these volunteered for, and got approval to actually get in a small rowboat and physically haul the ropes off to another monitor under very heavy fire, and after about three hours and an incoming tide, two of the vessels managed to haul the Lehigh to safety. Not not long before this, the officers were considering abandoning the ship.
Several men were recommended for Medals of Honor and also promoted on the spot. Young instantly became a Seaman, thus the suspicion he came on board as only a Landsman. Soon Secretary of Navy Welles wrote back to the admiral and advices that not only were the promotions supported by DC, but so were the nominations for the Medal of Honor.
The admiral issued a General Order to be read on the deck of all vessels involved congratulating all, and especially those promoted and receiving the medals. A letter was also read on all these decks from the Secretary of the Navy offering his thanks for the work the navy did that day.
It is not known how long Young stayed in the navy, but after the war he moved to the New York area and worked as a patrolman. His employer also gave him a bravery medal for saving a woman in a fire. Later he worked as an engineer on the building of the Manulife Insurance building and still later may have been working in the insurance field itself.
He raised 6 boys and one girl in new York and passed away on July 3 1913 and was buried back in his home area of St Stephen New Brunswick. His death occurred exactly one hundred years ago today.