At the top of the page, it said January 1865. Smoothing the wrinkles, I first looked for the poetry column…
Unfortunately, there wasn’t a poem in this copy. On the back page was a shocking report about some bad Confederate raiders. I didn’t want to read that and turned to the front page. The headline caught my eye. A fort – Fort Fisher – had been captured by Union soldiers. The port of Wilmington closed, meaning no ships could go in or out. The article explained that Wilmington had been an important port for blockade runners, but it didn’t explain what those were. (Lighthouse Loyalty, Chapter 5)
In Lighthouse Loyalty, a historical fiction book, young Susan Rose Arnold reads old newspapers and wonders about the recently ended American conflict, the Civil War. One afternoon she reads about Fort Fisher and Wilmington’s port, which played important roles in the maritime aspects of the war.
If you’ve been curious for details, here are 10 things you should know about Fort Fisher: Continue reading →
Here are ten things you’ll want to know about Europe and European rulers and their roles during the American Civil War. The facts we’re briefly presenting tie to the blockade runner situation, and it’s not a comprehensive list. Europe and the American Civil War is a complicated topic, and today is a cliff-note version.
(My apologies for missing the maritime post last week. You’ll get an extra post soon!) Continue reading →
It’s the post that some of my readers have been waiting for…
Let’s talk about Blockade Runners’ role in the Confederate economy and their economic impact. These unarmed merchant vessels – owned privately or by the state or Confederate governments – carried cargoes worth thousands of dollars in and out of the blockaded Southern states. Today, we’ll do a “twenty-thousand” foot overview of King Cotton, the gross value of the cargoes, who was paying for the cargoes, and what happened (economically) when they were captured. Continue reading →
I don’t know how you envision blockade runners, but I know before I started studying I assumed they were sailing ships. I don’t really know why I thought that, and it was quite a learning revolution as I started exploring the details of these ships.
Blockade Runners were steamships. And some of the cutting edge technology of their day was incorporated into their design. You know how we think of stealth ships today (wow, amazing technology)? That’s kind of how designers felt about the new ships running the Union blockade. But – just to be perfectly clear – blockade runners were not stealth!
I’ve collected some interesting details about the construction of the some of the most “techy” blockade runners to sail the Atlantic: where they were built, their fuel, their speed, and their size. Continue reading →
What did blockade runners bring to the Confederate states? Or maybe a better question: what didn’t they bring? In previous posts, I’ve briefly mentioned some of the cargoes, but I thought it might be worthwhile to devote a whole post to the subject and dispel a myth or two created by a famous (or infamous) movie about the Civil War. Continue reading →
Today we’ll delve into five fascinating facts about blockade runners during the American Civil War. Facts beyond the basics. (Check out last week’s infograph for the introduction!)
Did steam or wind propeller these 19th Century vessels? What were their favorite Southern ports? Where did they sail? What if they were captured? Who owned the blockade runners?
Read on and discover the answers: Continue reading →