Third Thursday Lectures are presented by the Mandarin Museum & Historical Society in partnership with and held at the Mandarin Community Club, located at 12447 Mandarin Rd. Refreshments begin at 6:30 pm with the lecture at 7 pm. It is free and all are invited and encouraged to attend.

Mandarin Community Club, 7 PM
November 15

John Moseley, From the St. Johns to the Cape Fear: Severing the Lifeline of the Confederacy

We know the fascinating story of the National Historic Landmark Maple Leaf, the Union troop transport that was sunk by Confederates at Mandarin Point on April 1, 1864. We view the artifacts in the Mandarin Museum – some of the Civil War material that was recovered and preserved by Dr. Keith Holland and the divers of the St. Johns Archaeological Expeditions. We look at the personal items there and wonder what happened to the men who owned them, the men from New York and Indiana who were waiting for the belongings to be unloaded at the pier in Jacksonville.

In April 1864, the men of the 112th New Yok, 169th New York, and 13th Indiana Regiments could hardly prepare them for what lay ahead after the sinking of the Maple Leaf and the loss of their equipment. But for the men of these three regiments, they were soon to be a part of the bloody summer and fall campaigns in Virginia and finish the year in North Carolina. It was their time in North Carolina that would test them as they had never been tested. They would be a part of largest amphibious operation the US military would carry out until June 6, 1944 and would observe the largest naval bombardment of the American Civil War. It was the biggest event in US history at the time of its occurrence. Newspapers in the United Kingdom and Frances carried stories of the assault on Fort Fisher. For the men of both sides who survived the battles, it was more brutal than anything ever experienced. After the savage fighting was over, seventy-two soldiers, sailors, and marines would be awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions. One of those Medal of Honor recipients, Private William Freeman of the 169th New York, might have materials still in the hold of the Maple Leaf.

Jacksonville native and Historic Sites Manager I, Fort Fisher State Historic Site, John Moseley, will give a lecture and visual presentation of the battle that sealed the fate of the Confederacy, aided in bringing an end to the war, and the Maple Leaf’s connection to Fort Fisher.

Members of Company G, 13th Indiana Regiment Infantry. Baggage of the 13th Indiana was on the Maple Leaf, and the regiment was soon after in battle at Fort Fischer. Photo: Gift of Rae Donnelly, great-granddaughter of Barnabus Curtis Hitchcock (front row right)