Blockade Runners: Technology At Work

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

5 Things To Know About Blockade Runners

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