So…what happened if a blockade runner was captured? What happened to the ship? The crew? And what would a captain do to prevent capture?
Today, we’ll continue our discussion of blockade runners bringing supplies to the Confederacy during the Civil War, focusing on a relatively common circumstance, but one that every Southern captain wanted to avoid. A captured ship meant loss of supplies entering the Southern states and loss of profit for the owners, captain, and crew. 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 →
It’s time to focus on some aspects of maritime history during the American Civil War. We’ll spend the rest of the year (on Wednesdays) taking about Blockade Runners – their voyages, international politics, ships, captains and crew, and other aspects of these “secretive” merchant vessels.
However, in today’s blog post we’ll talk about the blockade. After-all, it’s rather hard to have a blockade runner if there is no actual blockade. So I’ve asked the five classic questions (what, when, where, why, and how) and the answers will give some anchoring information as we sail into this new topic connected to 19th Century American Maritime. Continue reading →