Excitement in Brooklyn!

Tuesday, January 22, 1861

To prepare for its defense, the State of Georgia placed an order with D.C. Hodgkins & Sons of Macon for 200 muskets. In turn, they ordered the firearms from a New York arms manufacturer who filled the order. As the shipment of the 38 boxes of muskets was being loaded onto the ship Monticello, they were seized by the New York City Police.

Though this seizure was unlawful, it was suspected that the orders came directly from Governor Edwin Denison Morgan, a Republican. As we will see, Georgia will not take kindly to this.1

Also that night in New York, there were rumors flying everywhere that the Brooklyn Navy Yard was to be seized. To put down this possible attack, the Fifth Brigade of New York State Militia was called out by Major General H. B. Duryea and Brigadier General P. S. Crooke. The Brigade assembled at the Armory on the corner of Henry and Cranberry streets.

A large crowd of spectators were already gathered, though only men in uniform were permitted to enter the Armory itself. The Brigade set to drilling under arms as a detachment of New York City Harbor Police patrolled the Navy Yard.

The Police at the yard did not seem to believe in the validity of the rumored attack, but were prepared just in case. The USS North Carolina, a 74 gun ship-of-the-line was also there for protection, along with 100 Marines.

As the night went on, it became clear that there would be no attempt to seize the Navy Yard. Though the police force and the assembly of the Fifth Brigade of Militia were not needed, it was reassuring to the City of New York that the citizen soldiers could be assembled so quickly.2


The Steamer USS Brooklyn, having recently come too late to aide the Star of the West in her attempt to resupply and reinforce Fort Sumter, shipped off for Fort Pickens near Pensacola, Florida. Captain W.S. Walker, commander of the ship, received orders to steam to the fort and establish contact with the United States troops holding it.

He was not to enter the harbor at Pensacola, but to land the troops as near to Fort Pickens as practicable. Their purpose was to help in the defense of the fort if it were attacked. They were to act strictly on the defensive.3

  1. Joseph E. Brown of Georgia by Joseph H. Parks, LSU Press, 1977. []
  2. Richmond Daily Dispatch, January 24, 1861. []
  3. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies, Series 1, Vol. 4. 1896. []


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