The logbook of the British warship H.M.S.
Desperate kept by Lt. Marshall Little contains wind and weather information and descriptions of daily life aboard ship in port and at sea. Little was Master's Assistant of the
Desperate under two commanders, J. F. Ross (July 5-July 30, 1862) and A. T. Thorp (July 31, 1862-Nov. 7, 1863). The ship, headquartered in Bermuda during the Civil War, traveled to Halifax and Pictou, Nova Scotia; Newfoundland; Jamaica; and Honduras. While at anchor outside Charleston, South Carolina (Feb. 25-Feb. 27, 1863), the vessel exchanged colors with American federal ships, contacted a federal commander, and sighted several federal gunboats. She was anchored off Fortress Monroe (Mar. 2-6), Hampton Roads, and Norfolk, Virginia (ca. Mar.-June, 1863), and went to Chesapeake, Virginia, before departing for Bermuda (June 21, 1863). Crew members' time in port was spent in housekeeping chores, regular military drill, and keeping careful records of arrivals and departures of all ships and their countries of origin.
Of interest are names of ships encountered at sea and in port; mention of floggings, deaths and burials; sightings of icebergs; religious services; and cleaning and repair of the ship.
The first page of the book is decorated with watercolor flags and emblems. A watercolor map of Nova Scotia; eight watercolor "track" maps of voyages; and pencil drawings of Cape Henry lighthouse, harbor at Omoa, Honduras, and Bermuda are included.
Inserted in the back of the book are two period photographs of crew and visitors aboard the ship. One photograph contains the identification of several people.