The Revenue cutter Harriet Lane fires the first naval shot of the Civil War, when the SS Nashville tried to run into Charleston harbor, South Carolina. The Nashville was trying to run an impromptu blockade on Charleston.
The Harriet Lane was named after the niece of President Buchanan, of Pennsylvania. Perhaps one of the worst Presidents the United States ever endured. Miss Lane was also the United State's first unofficial First Lady, as President was not at the time married, and he needed someone to set the table at State Dinners.
The ship, the Harriet Lane, was later in the war captured by General Magruder, who was then valiantly defending the city of Galveston.
Harriet Lane was sold and converted to a blockade-runner renamed Lavinia in 1864. Sunk at Havana on January 18, 1865, she was raised and rerigged as the ship Elliott Richie, remaining in service until wrecked off the Pernambuco River in 1884.
The Harriet Lanes commander was named Jonathan M. Wainright. His grandson was Jonathan M. Wainright IV, the hero of Bataan, and Medal of Honor winner.
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