Influential Man Behind the Official Navy Civil War Records

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Richard Rush (1848-1912) was the grandson of diplomat Richard Rush (1780-1859), and great-grandson of Benjamin Rush (1746-1813), a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Rush entered the U.S. Naval Academy in its temporary location at Newport, R.I., in 1863, and spent the Civil War on the Academy’s sloop-of-war Marion, which was used as a training ship. He graduated in 1867, and was promoted through the ranks until in 1891, when he was made Lieutenant Commander. In 1893, he was appointed superintendent of naval war records, and in this capacity oversaw the early publication efforts of The Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies, a thirty volume set grouped in two series. According to the preface, “the long-delayed publication was finally authorized by act of Congress approved July 31, 1894, and begun by Mr. Rush. The first five volumes were published under his efficient administration, and the important duty of organizing the office for the distribution of these volumes was accomplished.”

Rush was ordered to sea in March 1897, thus ending his association with the project.

This image is new to my collection, and is available on PinterestTumblr, and Flickr.
Influential Man Behind the Official Navy Civil War Records

Participated in the “Powder Boat” Affair

Iowa-born and Oregon raised Roswell Hawks Lamson (1838-1903) graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1862. He was promoted to lieutenant, and commanded the gunboats Mount Washington, Gettysburg and Wilderness. In the latter vessel, he participated in the December 1864 attempt to destroy Fort Fisher using a boat loaded with 215 tons of gunpowder. The “powder boat” exploded, but did not damage the fort.

Lamson sat for this carte de visite in the Napoli, Italy, studio of Fratelli Alinar of Napoli. He resigned from the navy in 1866, and returned to Oregon.

This image is new to my collection, and is available on PinterestTumblr, and Flickr.

A Civil War Era Academy

“Orford Academy opened its doors in 1851. Tuition was $3 per term and some families paid with goods instead of cash,” notes Rivendell Trail History. “All students were expected to exhibit good moral behavior and attend church. Orford Academy, as a private school, closed its doors in 1871.The building remained empty until 1898. There were 14 students pursuing a high school degree in 1898 when the town took over the operations. After some difficult times, Orford High School opened up in 1926 as a teacher-training site for Plymouth and Keene State colleges. It began with just a sophomore and freshman class and added a class each year. It must have been an interesting experience for students as a new group of teachers arrived at the midyear mark. The only sense of consistency was provided by Ms. Gladys Twitchell, who served as the headmistress from 1926-1945. In 1949 the connection to Plymouth Teachers’ College ended, and the town debated whether to continue running Orford Academy as a town school or tuition students elsewhere. In 1950, the town voted to keep the high school and hired its first set of teachers.”

The Connecticut River Joint Commissions describes the old town section of Orford, N.H.: “The Historic District was the site of Orford’s first schoolhouse (1770), and two later schoolhouses (1785 & 1829, the latter being the only one of the three remaining, and now converted to a dwelling). Orford’s first Academy building (built 1796, burned about 1850) stood on the West Common. Unsuccessful as an Academy, it became a grade school where students as young as seven or eight wrestled with problems of Colburn’s Mental Arithmetic. A second Academy building (1851) is now the Orford High School. In 1898 the building was sold to the town and fitted out for a grammar school. It became the Orford High School in 1926. It stands on the southern end of the Ridge in the Historic District.”

This carte de visite was taken by A.F. Clough of Warren and Orford, N.H., and is new to my collection. It is available on PinterestTumblr, and Flickr.
A Civil War Era Academy