Author: Damian Shiels

  • Celebrating Thanksgiving on a Union Monitor

    Celebrating Thanksgiving on a Union Monitor

    As Thanksgiving approaches, we wanted to take a look at how U.S. sailors during the American Civil War celebrated the holiday. Thanksgiving was an important day for immigrants as well as for native-born Americans during the Civil War, as it provided them with an opportunity to embrace one of the flagship dates in their new […]

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  • Bluejacket Community Discoveries: Surviving Sabine Pass- Deception & Deceit in the Life of a U.S. Sailor

    Bluejacket Community Discoveries: Surviving Sabine Pass- Deception & Deceit in the Life of a U.S. Sailor

    Our latest Bluejackets Discoveries post comes courtesy of our Zooniverse community member @dona79. While working on transcribing details from a Muster Sheet of USS Arizona, @dona79 noted that four of the men had the following entry recorded beside them: “escaped from U.S. Gunboat Sachem and transferred to U.S.S. Portsmouth“. What was the story behind these […]

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  • Bluejacket Community Discoveries: The African American Crew of USS Albermarle

    Bluejacket Community Discoveries: The African American Crew of USS Albermarle

    Our latest Zooniverse Community Discoveries post is based on identifications made by Community member @bmp77, who noted that the entire crew on one muster sheet was marked as “negro”. @bmp77 identified that the ship in question was USS Albermarle, and the sheet was dated to June of 1865. We decided to take a closer “visual” […]

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  • Sheets from the Fleet: Tattoos & Scars Aboard USS Acacia

    Sheets from the Fleet: Tattoos & Scars Aboard USS Acacia

    In our second instalment of the Sheets from the Fleet series, which explores a random sheet from the Civil War Bluejackets Project, we are looking at entries aboard USS Acacia from the closing days of the war, on 1st April 1865. The Acacia was a steam-powered tugboat that entered U.S. service in late 1863. The […]

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  • Research Update: A First Look at Civil War Sailor’s Occupations

    Research Update: A First Look at Civil War Sailor’s Occupations

    Thanks to everyone who is working so hard to complete classifications on Civil War Bluejackets. It is still very early days, but our Information Science team have begun to have a look at some of the early data coming in from your efforts on “A” vessel muster sheets. Ultimately, we are hoping that we will […]

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  • Bluejacket Community Discoveries: “Property Of…”

    Bluejacket Community Discoveries: “Property Of…”

    Our latest Community Discoveries post- showcasing information spotted by our Zooniverse Citizen Scientists– relates to detail uncovered by community members @Okapi24 and @monkalie. While working on a muster from the USS Alfred Robb, taken on 30th June 1864, they identified something interesting about the first two men listed- instead of providing nativity information under the […]

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  • Bluejacket Community Discoveries: What’s in a Name? The Case of “Burden Portsmouth”

    Bluejacket Community Discoveries: What’s in a Name? The Case of “Burden Portsmouth”

    On our Zooniverse Talk forums, one of our community members- A Panther Incensed (@chocloteer) -alerted us to a particularly unusual name encountered on one of the muster sheets. @chocloteer noted the following: “The 12th person listed is named ‘Portsmouth, Burden’. He transferred from Portsmouth.” It seemed a little odd that someone who transferred from “Portsmouth” […]

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  • PRESS RELEASE: MAJOR NEW PROJECT TO REVEAL NEW INSIGHTS INTO 19TH CENTURY SAILORS IN THE U.S. NAVY

    PRESS RELEASE: MAJOR NEW PROJECT TO REVEAL NEW INSIGHTS INTO 19TH CENTURY SAILORS IN THE U.S. NAVY

    A new project will help tell the stories of sailors in the American Civil War in ways never before possible. The “Civil War Bluejackets” Project—so named because of the distinctive uniform worn by U.S. Civil War sailors—is a collaboration between historians at the Northumbria University, information and data scientists at the University of Sheffield and […]

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  • Volunteer for Civil War Bluejackets Beta Testing!

    Volunteer for Civil War Bluejackets Beta Testing!

    We are moving closer and closer to the full launch of the transcription phase of Civil War Bluejackets, where we will be seeking Citizen Scientists to assist us in transcribing all the Civil War Muster Rolls of the U.S. Navy on the Zooniverse platform. We have just entered the Beta Testing phase on Zooniverse, where […]

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  • Crew Correspondence: The Last Letter of Paymaster’s Steward Thomas Brown

    Crew Correspondence: The Last Letter of Paymaster’s Steward Thomas Brown

    One of the central aims of the Civil War Bluejackets Project is to facilitate the “linking” of Civil War sailor’s data across different record types. Perhaps the richest of all of those records are the pension files of naval dependents. They were claimed when a serving or pensioned sailor passed away. Within files relating to […]

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