||USS Cony Commanding Officers
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.
Regards, Russ Poe
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,
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
Blockade of the North Carolina Coast.;
A BOLD EXPLOIT INTERESTING REPORT FROM LIEUT. CUSHING.Published:
September 6, 1863
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.:
STEAMER SHOCKOKON, OFF WILMINGTON, N. C, Aug.
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
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. * * * * * *
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.
Rear-Admiral S.P. LEE, Commanding N.A.B. Squadron.