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Gary of CA
11-21-2006, 10:50 PM
I've been told that Selfridge, skipper of the Cairo when she was sunk, was a martinet who had his men button up their coats to the top and also kept the gunports of the Cairo closed for fear of incoming minies. Can anyone confirm it?

Union Navy
11-22-2006, 01:10 PM
It appears he did not hold with profane language. You don't graduate at the top of your Naval Academy class without being a stickler for details. He was also not afraid to go in harm's way, and was in command of the USS Osage (river ironclad) during the Red River campaign. During this time his ship went up against Confederate cavalry commanded by Brig. Gen Thomas Greene, who was killed in this engagement. His father (Thomas O. Selfridge, Sr.) retired as a rear admiral in 1866. It was somewhat common practice for Mississippi Squadron ships to keep their gunports closed to discourage sharpshooters on shore.
Here are some online sources:

http://www.nps.gov/archive/vick/visctr/sitebltn/selfrdg.htm

http://cssvirginia.org/vacsn4/original/sto93.htm