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Joseph Saville Cony, born in 1834 in Eastport, Maine was appointed acting Ensign 3 November 1862. He commanded several successful small-boat expeditions along the Carolina coast while serving in Western World and as executive officer in Shokokon.
Promoted to acting master 7 September 1863, Cony was honorably discharged 7 November 1865, and was lost at sea off Cape Hatteras 10 February 1867, when his merchant command City of Bath burned and sank.
Joseph Saville Cony was born in 1834 in Eastport, Maine.
His father was Joseph Cony who had a sister named Mary Cony.
The lady who christened the USS Cony, Alice Sleight (See pictures under Jack Smith)
Mary Cony was the great grandmother of Alice Corning Hume Sleight the lady from Eastport who christened the USSCony.
Alice was a long time Librarian in Eastport at the Peavey Memorial Library where we have placed a granite stone in honor of the Cony.
Alice Hume Sleight was the daughter of Bessie Fabins Corning who was the daughter of Lucy Stow Stevens who was the daughter of Mary Cony who was the sister to Joseph Cony the father of Joseph SavilleCony.
Obituary of Alice C.H. Sleight
RYE, N.H. – Alice Corning Hume Sleight, 98, passed away peacefully Jan. 6, 2004, at her home at Webster at Rye Health and Retirement Community in Rye, N.H., after a brief illness. She was the daughter of George Seward and Bessie Fabens Stevens Corning Hume. She graduated from the Eastport public schools and from Howard Seminary and Kathryn Gibbs in Boston. She worked for Houghton Mifflin Publishing House in Boston for several years. Upon the death of her father, she returned to Eastport to manage the C.W. Hume Insurance Agency. She also worked as an assistant to Dexter Cooper, who designed the Quoddy Tidal Power Project. She later served as librarian of the Peavey Memorial Library in Eastport for 24 years and remained in Eastport until 1983, when she and her husband relocated to Portsmouth, N.H. She returned to her cottage on Boyden Lake summers up until the time of her death. A descendent of an Eastport naval hero of the Civil War, Joseph S. Cony, she was asked in 1942 to christen the destroyer USS Cony, built in the Bath Shipyard, and to rechristen the ship after World War II, when it again saw service in the Korean War. She was a charter member of the Eastport Literary Round Table and a member of the Washington Street Baptist Church. During her years in Portsmouth, she attended the North Church of Portsmouth, UCC, and became active in their Nearly New Shop and Bible Study programs. She was a member of the Portsmouth Garden Club and the Graffort Club, and a frequent guest of the Rye Arts Study Group. She is survived by her two daughters, Elizabeth S. Canney of Portsmouth, N.H. and Ann S. Harrison of Readfield; two sons-in-law, Calvin A. Canney and Millard D. Harrison; five grandchildren, Lisa Ann Chesaux of Portland, Sara J. Leonard of Falmouth, Thomas C. Canney of Boston, William S. Harrison of East Winthrop and Jill Hume Harrison of Newport, R.I.; six great-grandchildren; a half sister-in-law, Mrs. Hartland (Gladys) Kelley of West Lubec; two nieces, Anne P. Rugh of Lubec and Portland, and Mary P. Collegeman of Bellvue, Wash.; a nephew, Earland Sleight of Orono and six great-nephews. She was predeceased by her husband, William R. Sleight. Funeral services will be held 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 10, at the Washington Street Baptist Church, Eastport. In lieu of flowers, friends may make gifts in her memory to the Peavey Memorial Library, the Washington Street Baptist Church or the Tides Institute.
I have looked up the complete listing of all of the Fletcher Class Destroyers built during WWII. There were 175 of those ships built. CONY was the sixteenth to enter service according to the listed commissioning dates. The prototype ship, USS FLETCHER DD445, was not the first since she was commissioned 30 June 42. USS NICHOLAS DD449 commissioned 4 June 42 was the first to enter service. The early Fletchers, of which CONY was one, were distinguished by having a rounded pilothouse bridge structure surmounted by a high 5" gun director barbette. In later Fletchers, they changed to a squared-off pilot house with a wraparound bridge and a low director barbette. This change enabled the conning officer to move from one side of the bridge to the other without having to go through the pilothouse. It lowered the center of gravity, and it was easier to fabricate.
The Fletchers have been referred to as "the perfect fighting destroyers" in which the naval designers finally got it right.
Did you know that THE USS CONY has a memorial plaque placed on a wall of the Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C. It is placed just above a plaque for the USS INDIANAPOLIS. Our plaque cost our crew association $2500, but it was worth it as it will be seen by many visitors to the memorial. It was dedicated in a ceremony attended by our people who came to the May 2000 reunion in Baltimore. I was privileged to deliver a short memorial address on the occasion.
You made reference to my knowledge of the CONY's history. I do have the war diary to refer to plus I am blessed with having a good memory for details even though those WWII days were a long time ago. I cherish my memories of life aboard ship even though some of those times were grueling and hazardous. To me, at the age I was at the time, it was one great adventure.
U.S.S.Cony (DD/DDE-508) Memorial
Description: Rose Granite marker, with inscription and outline of U.S.S. Cony, placed in May, 1997, as a monument to the ship and crews, the men who died on ship in W.W.II, and to Eastport Civil War hero Joseph S. Cony.
Location: In front of Peavey Memorial Library. Water Street, Eastport, ME 04631
Open to the Public?: Yes
Bus Tours Welcome?: Yes
Dates Open: Year round
Hours Open: Normal Daylight Hours
Items for Sale: None
Responsible Organization: Peavey Library, Water Street, Eastport, ME 04631; Phone: 207-853-4021
The Rebellion record: a diary of American events
edited by Frank Moore
From the archives of
The Blockade of the North Carolina Coast.;
A BOLD EXPLOIT INTERESTING REPORT FROM LIEUT. CUSHING.Published: September 6, 1863
Admiral LEE transmits to the Navy Department the following interesting report of the destruction of the blockade runner Alexander Cooper, which was accomplished in New-Topsail Inlet, North Carolina, on the 22d ult.:
UNITED STATES STEAMER SHOCKOKON, OFF WILMINGTON, N. C, Aug. 26, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report that we have destroyed the blockade-running schooner Alexander Cooper, under the following circumstances: On the 12th I made a reconnaissance with boats in New-Topsail Inlet, and was driven out by four pieces of artillery stationed opposite the mouth, but not before I had discovered a schooner at a wharf some six miles up the sound, This schooner I determined to destroy, and as it was so well guarded I concluded to use strategy.
On the evening of the 22d the Shockokon anchored close into the sea beach, about five miles from the inlet, and I sent ashore two boats' crews, who shouldered the dingui, and carried it across the neck of land that divides the sea from the sound. This was about half a mile in width, and covered with a dense thicket. The crossing placed my men some miles in rear of the artillery force guarding the entrance.
The dingui being launched on the inside waters, six men under my Executive Officer, Acting Ensign Jos. S. CONY, started with orders to destroy or capture anything that could be of use to the enemy.
Now, it seems that a 12-pounder howitzer was stationed at the point for which we were aiming, and the smoke-stack of my steamer having been seen over the trees, the commandant of the post, Capt. ADAMS, had come down from the main camp to insure a bright lookout.
While the rebels at the schooner's mast-heads were straining their eyes in looking to the south, my boat was approaching in the other direction, and the men succeeded in landing about sixty yards from the wharf without being discovered. The Master-at-Arms, ROBERT CLIFFORD, crept into the rebel camp and counted the men, and having returned to his ship-mates, a charge was ordered, and our seven men bore down on them with a shout.
In a moment the enemy (who outnumbered us 3 to 1) were routed, leaving in Mr. CONY'S possession ten prisoners, including Capt. ADAMS and Lieut. LEATHAM, one 12-pound army howitzer, eighteen horses, one schooner, and some extensive salt works.
Mr. CONY then threw out two pickets, detached two men to guard the prisoners, and with the remaining two fired the vessel and salt works. These were thoroughly consumed.
The object of the expedition being accomplished, my men returned to the vessel without loss, bringing with them three of the prisoners -- all that the boat would contain. The rebel officers and privates dress alike, and Mr. CONY was at a loss to know what three to retain. He settled the matter, however, by picking out the three best looking ones, who all turned out to be privates. So the officers owed their safety to their lack of physique -- a new feature in military strategy.
While this was going on at the main-land, my pickets on the beach tide, under Acting Master's-Mate PROUDFIT, engaged and repulsed the rebel picket force In that quarter, without loss on our side. * * * * * *
This schooner cleared from New-York for Port Royal, S. C, with an assorted cargo, and was towed once outside the line of the blockade by a gunboat.
I shall try to learn the names of the patriotic citizens of my State who entered into this little speculation.
W.B. CUSHING, Lieut.-Comd'g.
To Acting Rear-Admiral S.P. LEE, Commanding N.A.B. Squadron.