Maritime Expeditions in Beaufort County
The "Picket(t)"


Thumbnail of Frank Leslie's Illustration
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(Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper)

Sketch No.1- A sketch of the Burnside Expedition passing through the marshes between Croatan and Pamilco Sounds. Sketch No.2- A sketch of the Burnside Expedition landing of the National Troops on Roanoke Island, under cover of the Union Gunboats, Delaware and Picket. 35.5cm Wide by 24.5cm High.


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Local Divers Inspect Sunken U.S. Gunboat
(Washington Daily News article)

The Pickett is still reportedly lying on the bottom of the Tar River according to project coordinator and certified diver, Carter Leary. Leary reported that a feasibility study was being done to determine if the Pickett could be raised. Although the wreck was reported covered with sand and silt, it appeared to have a strong structure. The gunboat was actually a riverboat converted by the Union Army and is located at the bottom of the Tar River, west of the Washington City Bridge. The vessel was originally named the Philadelphia and possibly, the J.W. Winslow. According to a study made by the Marine Committee, no evidence has been found of machinery or boilers during examinations of the gunboat's remains. It is suggested the gunboat sank because of the explosion of its boilers. Artifacts have been recovered. The ultimate goal is to raise it and establish a museum.


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Archaeologists Visit Wreck Site On Tar
(Washington Daily News article)

Archaeologists from the N.C. Division of Archives visited Washington, N.C. to begin excavation of a Civil War shipwreck in the Tar River believed to be the U.S.A. Gunboat, Pickett. Carter Leary of Washington, N.C. has worked with local divers the past ten years to begin excavation of the wreckage. About 500 artifacts have been recovered from the wreckage, which lies in about 15 feet of water on the south side of the river near the U.S. 17 bridge. The Pickett was part of General A. E. Burnside's fleet and is believed to have sunk September 6, 1862. The Pickett, a 200-ton boat designed primarily to patrol river boats, is believed to have been caring a 30-pound Parrot gun and two other light guns at the time of its sinking. The captain and 19 crewmembers were supposedly aboard.


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Thumbnail of Replacement Document No. 1a

Documents Pertaining to the Replacement of
the Picket(t) 2 pages

Document No.1- Col. W. A. Howard was authorized to recruit the First Regiment, Marine Artillery Naval Brigade for service on gunboats. The regiment was organized in New York City. Its men served for three years, between November 12, 1861, and August 18, 1862.


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Document No.2- A copy of a letter to Gen. J. G. Foster from Col. W. A. Howard concerning the purchase of a steamer to replace the Picket(t).


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Document No.3- A copy of the letter sent to General Foster.