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Title: Derelicts - An Account of Ships Lost at Sea in General Commercial Traffic and a Brief History of Blockade Runners Stranded Along the North Carolina Coast 1861-1865
Author: Sprunt, James
Language: English
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An Account of Ships Lost at Sea in
General Commercial Traffic and
a Brief History of Blockade
Runners Stranded Along the
North Carolina Coast 1861-1865





Wilmington, N.C.

Copyright 1920
James Sprunt

The Lord Baltimore Press
Baltimore, Md., U.S.A.






  "Some night to the lee of the land I shall steal,
        (Heigh-ho to be home from the sea!)
  No pilot but Death at the rudderless wheel,
        (None knoweth the harbor as he!)
  To lie where the slow tide creeps hither and fro
  And the shifting sand laps me around, for I know
  That my gallant old crew are in Port long ago--
        Forever at peace with the sea!"

  _The Song of the Derelict._

  Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae.


About twenty-five years ago I wrote for the _Southport Leader_ a series
of stories of the Cape Fear blockade from my personal experiences as
a participant in the blockade runners _Advance_, _Eugénie_, _North
Heath_, _Lilian_, _Susan Beirne_, and finally in the _Alonzo_, which
greatly interested the Cape Fear pilots who had taken part with me
in this hazardous service and were found entertaining by some other
readers. Later, in the year 1901, I contributed at the request of Chief
Justice Walter Clark for his admirable _North Carolina Regimental
Histories_ an account of my personal adventures and observations in the
_North Heath_, _Lilian_, and _Susan Beirne_, in the capacity of purser,
or paymaster, at the age of seventeen and a half years, and as prisoner
of war on the _Keystone State_ and the _Glaucus_, Federal cruisers, and
later prisoner of war in Fort Macon and in Fortress Monroe.

Again, in 1914, I wrote in the _Cape Fear Chronicles_ at some length
on this interesting phase of Cape Fear history, in the form largely of
personal reminiscences, which have been most generously commented upon
by eminent writers and historians; and now, at the end of the skein, I
have endeavored, in this unpretentious little volume, to reveal some
secrets of old ocean which it has kept hidden in its bosom for more
than half a century. I have desired to refrain from repetition, but in
several instances it was unavoidable. This compilation of new stories
and twice-told tales is now presented in more portable form than in the
original bulky volumes. The title, _Derelicts_, is general, but much
space has been given to blockade runners destroyed or left as derelicts
along the Cape Fear coast during the War between the States. Some
space has also been given to a few sea tales not dealing directly with
derelict ships.

The Northern Navy doubtless contributed more than any other arm of the
Federal forces to the final defeat of the Southern Confederacy, and
this was because the South at the beginning of hostilities did not
possess a single ship of war.

A dozen such ships as the ironclad _Merrimac_, which type originated
in the South during the war and later revolutionized the navies of the
world, could probably have entirely destroyed the Federal fleet of
inefficient ships in the second year of the war, raised the blockade,
and compelled the recognition of the Great Powers. The errors of the
Confederacy were numerous, but its failure to buy or build promptly an
efficient navy proved irremediable and fatal. "Yet with its limited
resources," says Chief Justice Clark in concluding his history, "the
Confederacy was on the very eve of success, but some unexpected
fatality intervened. At Shiloh within half an hour of the capture of
the Federal Army with Grant and Sherman at its head, a single bullet,
which caused the death of Albert Sidney Johnston, changed the history
of the continent. At Chancellorsville, one scattering volley, fired
by mistake of his own men, took the life of Stonewall Jackson, when,
but for that fatality, the capture of Hooker and his whole army was
imminent. The unexpected humiliation of the Federal Government in
surrendering Mason and Slidell to British threats avoided a war with
that power, and, with it, the independence of the South, which would
have come with the command of the seas, within the power at that time
of Britain's fleet. If Stuart's cavalry had been on hand at Gettysburg,
or even a competent corps commander, to have held our gains of the
first two days, in all human probability the war would have ended in a
great Southern victory at that spot. Had Mr. Davis, when he sent his
commissioners to England to negotiate a loan of $15,000,000 acceded to
the pressure of foreign capitalists to make it $60,000,000, not only
would the Southern finances not have broken down (which was the real
cause of our defeat) and the Southern troops have been amply supplied,
but European Governments would have intervened in favor of Southern
independence ere they would have suffered their influential capitalists
to lose that sum."

Notwithstanding the increasing effectiveness of the blockade and the
serious reverses which followed Chancellorsville to Appomattox, a
buoyant optimism as to the ultimate triumph of the Southern cause
prevailed among the blockade runners; and it was not until the failure
of Wilkinson in the _Chameleon_, and Maffitt in the _Owl_, to enter
Charleston, which was captured after the fall of Wilmington, that
hope gave place to despair, for then, to quote Captain Wilkinson, "As
we turned away from the land, our hearts sank within us, while the
conviction forced itself upon us that the cause for which so much blood
had been shed, so many miseries bravely endured, and so many sacrifices
cheerfully made, was about to perish at last."

  James Sprunt.

  Wilmington, N.C., January 1, 1920.


Years before the beginning of the Great War I took passage from New
York for Liverpool in one of the most beautiful examples of marine
architecture of that era. When we were about a thousand miles from
Queenstown, our port of call, we sighted a vessel in distress,
dismasted and water-logged, crowded as we thought with passengers. Our
course was changed to carry us nearer the vessel, when we perceived
that what we thought were human beings on deck were the bare ribs of
a barque from St. John's, New Brunswick, loaded with timber, and that
the dynamic force of the sea had broken away the vessel's bulwarks,
leaving the frame standing, which resembled a crowd of men. A derelict
abandoned upon the wide ocean, staggering like a drunken man on the
heaving bosom of the sea, a menace to every vessel upon the great
highway of commerce, this mass of unwieldy timber was a greater danger
in the darkness than any other peril of the ocean.

To my surprise and indignation our captain turned away from the wreck
without attempting its destruction by dynamite as he was in duty bound
to compass. We were one of the famous flyers of that day and could not
afford, he said, to reduce our record of speed by any delay.

Three months after this incident I was returning homeward on the
same steamer, and when we were at least 2,000 miles from Queenstown
I sighted, through a powerful binocular, a wreck ahead, and as we
approached nearer I said to the first officer, "That is the derelict
we passed three months ago." He laughed at the idea of such a thing.
"Why," said he, "she is thousands of miles away in another current if
she is still afloat." But my observation was correct. We ran close to
the same vessel that we had seen three months before. What destruction
of life and property she had wrought meantime, no one could tell, and
we again disgraced the service by leaving her untouched.

The meaning of a derelict in law is a thing voluntarily abandoned or
willfully cast away by its proper owner; especially a ship abandoned at

Mr. William Allingham, author of _A Manual of Marine Meteorology_, whom
I quote at length, says in _Chambers's Edinburgh Journal_, February,

"Every storm that travels over the waters which divide, yet unite, the
New World and the Old, leaves in its wake some sailing ship abandoned
by her crew. As a rule these dreaded derelicts are of wooden build
and laden with cargoes of lumber. Often they have carried costly
cargoes under every sky with credit to themselves and profit to their
owners, but the increasing infirmities of age have caused them to
engage in the lowliest forms of ocean-carrying. Under the adverse
influence of a careering cyclone these gallant craft meet their fate.
The savage sea opens wide their straining seams; the pumps, clatter
as they may, are quite unable to cope with the ingress of sea water;
and the disheartened crews seek safety in a passing ship at the first
opportunity. Thus it happens that many a lumber-laden sailing ship
drifts deviously at the will of wind and current, a menace to safe
navigation, until her hull is driven into fragments by the combined
forces of Æolus and Neptune, or reaches land after a solitary drift of
many weary leagues of sea.

"Quite naturally, the North Atlantic holds the record for drifting
derelicts, inasmuch as it is the great ocean highway of the nations.
During the five years 1887 to 1891 not fewer than 957 derelict ships
were reported to the Hydrographer at Washington, then Capt. (now
Admiral) Richardson Clover, U.S. Navy, as in evidence between the
fifty-second meridian of west longitude and the east coast of North
America. Of this large number 332 were identified by name, and the
remainder were either capsized or battered out of recognition. On
an average there were about twenty derelicts drifting in the North
Atlantic at any instant, and the life of each was one month. The
Washington Hydrographic Office receives reports from shipmasters
under every flag setting forth the appearance and the geographical
position of every derelict sighted during the passage across, and this
information is published in the weekly Hydrographic Bulletins and the
monthly Pilot Charts, which are freely distributed among navigators
visiting American ports by the branch offices of that department of
the United States Navy. The British Board of Trade also furnishes
shipmasters in United Kingdom ports with similar printed information,
and the British Meteorological Office has followed suit by graphic
representation on their monthly Pilot Charts of the North Atlantic.

"Many derelicts disappear within a few days of abandonment, but some
drift several thousand miles before the end comes. A vessel left
to her fate near New York, for example, may drift southward with
the Labrador current until not far from Cape Hatteras. Thence she
finds a way into the relatively warm waters of the Gulf Stream, and
may eventually drift ashore on the west coast of Europe. Should the
derelict happen to get into the Sargasso Sea, an area in mid-Atlantic
of light winds and variable currents, made memorable by the pen of
Julius Chambers, she will probably travel in a circle for a long series
of days.

"The schooner _W.L. White_, abandoned during the blizzard of March,
1888, just eastward of the Delaware Capes, made tracks for the Banks of
Newfoundland; there she remained for many days, right on the route of
palatial passenger liners; then she got another slant to the northeast,
and eventually drove ashore at Haskeir Island, one of the Hebrides,
after traversing 6,800 miles in 310 days. Her timber cargo was salved
by the islanders in fairly good condition.

"Metal ships are seldom left derelict; but there are not wanting
remarkable verified drifts even of this class. In October, 1876, the
British iron barque _Ada Iredale_ was abandoned, with her coal cargo
burning fiercely, when 2,000 miles east of the Marquesas Islands,
South Pacific. She moved slowly westward with the south equatorial
current, traveled 2,500 miles in 241 days, and was then picked up by
a French warship, which towed her to Tahiti. After the fire had died
out the hull was repaired; she was fitted with new masts and rigging,
and has ever since been known as the _Annie Johnson_ of San Francisco,
Cal. On her being boarded some time ago, she was still doing well and
quite a handsome vessel. In April, 1882, the _Falls of Afton_ was
precipitately abandoned while on the way from Glasgow to Calcutta with
a valuable cargo. A few days later she was picked up by a French vessel
and taken to Madeira. Since that time she has had many successful
voyages; but the master at the time of her abandonment suffered
severely under the finding of a court of inquiry.

"Ships which have been abandoned more than once in their career are
not unknown. In November, 1888, the iron ship _Duncow_ stranded close
to Dunkirk Harbor during heavy weather. The crew sought safety on
shore, and the ship afterwards floated. Belgian fishermen boarded the
derelict, obtained the services of a tug, and took her to Terneuzen,
thus assuring for themselves salvage payment, which could not have been
legally claimed had she reached a French port. In 1897 this vessel,
while carrying timber from Puget Sound to Australia, went ashore not
far from her destination. She again floated off after abandonment; and
once again a tugboat earned salvage by bringing the derelict into port

"Derelict ships add to the difficulties of trans-Atlantic navigation;
hence the demand of the shipping industry for specially constructed
derelict destroyers, such as the American _Seneca_, to patrol the
Atlantic, experience having shown that a derelict is not nearly so
impossible to locate as is sometimes alleged. The barque _Siddartha_
was abandoned near the Azores in February, 1899. She drifted slowly
to the northeast until within 400 miles of Queenstown, and there she
hovered over the liner tracks for several successive weeks. Moved by
a joint appeal of the White Star and Cunard Companies, the British
Admiralty sent out two warships in quest of the derelict, and she
was soon anchored in Bantry Bay. This vessel, while derelict, was
reported to the United States Hydrographic Office by more than sixty
ships. In February, 1895, the barque _Birgitte_ was abandoned on the
western side of the Atlantic: and on the 1st of March she was sighted
about 1,000 miles west of Cape Clear. Drifting slowly eastward,
almost continuously on the routes followed by the large trans-Atlantic
liners, this derelict was found by a tugboat and towed into Queenstown.
Forty-three vessels had reported her to Washington during the interval.
At nighttime and in thick weather such dangers may be passed quite
close without any one's having an inkling of their proximity. About
the same date, but more to the northeast, the Russian barque _Louise_
was abandoned. She apparently went north as far as the Faroe Islands,
under the influence of the Gulf Stream extension; thence proceeded
eastward; and was picked up by two steam trawlers when sixteen miles
from Aalesund, Norway, and thence towed into that port, after a drift
of approximately 1,400 miles. The American schooner _Alma Cumming_ was
left to her fate in February, 1895, off Chesapeake Bay. After the end
of May nothing was heard from her until March, 1896, when she was about
800 miles off the Cape Verde Islands. She was then totally dismasted,
had evidently been unsuccessfully set on fire by some passing ship, and
her deck was level with the sea surface. In August she was observed
ashore on an island off the San Blas coast, Isthmus of Panama, with the
natives busily engaged annexing all they could from the wreck. On the
1st of March, 1911, in 53 deg. N., 28 deg. W., the Russian steamer
_Korea_ was abandoned by her crew; and two days later, about a degree
farther east, the steamer _Ionian_ sustained considerable damage by
collision with the derelict.

"Some of the reports of alleged derelict ships are as thrilling as a
nautical novel. In May, 1823, the _Integrity_ fell in with a derelict
close to Jamaica, the decks and hull of which were showing a rich crop
of barnacles. Her cabin was full of water, but a trunk was fished up
which contained coins, rings, and watches. This salvage realized 3,000
pounds. In August, 1872, the schooner _Lancaster_ sighted a dismasted
derelict, the _Glenalvon_, on board of which several skeletons of
men were discovered, but not a morsel of food. An open Bible, it is
reported, lay face downward on the cabin table alongside a loaded
revolver and a bottle containing a piece of paper on which was written:
"Jesus, guide this to some helper! Merciful God, don't let us perish!"
All the bodies were reverently committed to the deep, and the derelict
left for whatever the future had in store for her.

"In 1882 the Nova Scotia barque _L.E. Cann_ was towed into a United
States port by a steamship which had found her adrift. Later on in
dry dock, fifteen auger holes were located in her hull, below the
water line. They had all been bored from the inside, and subsequent
inquiry revealed the fact that her former captain had conspired with a
resident of Vera Cruz to load the vessel with a bogus cargo, insure it
heavily, scuttle her when in a suitable position at sea, and divide the
insurance money. Unfortunately for these partners in crime, the barque
did not lend herself to their nefarious operations nearly as well as
was expected.

"In 1894 the Austrian barque _Vila_, carrying a cargo of bones, which
were said to have been gathered from the battle fields of Egypt, was
found derelict by a Norwegian steamer and towed into New York. Not
a word has ever been heard as to the fate of this vessel's crew.
Presumably they took to the boats for some reason, and disappeared
without leaving a trace. About the same time the sailing vessel _C.E.
Morrison_ was fallen in with, a drifting derelict and set on fire. The
crew of a destroyer first salved a bank-book, a sextant, fifty charts,
and some pictures, all of which were eventually returned to their
rightful owner, Captain Hawes, who had been compelled to leave his
vessel without standing on the order of his going. In 1895 the derelict
and burning barkantine _Celestina_, bound from Swansea to the Strait
of Magellan, was boarded by a boat's crew of the barque _Annie Maud_. A
written message was found on the cabin table stating that she had been
abandoned in open boats. The fire having been partially subdued, sail
was made on the prize, and volunteers navigated her to Rio Janeiro.

"The _Marie Celeste_ is a mystery of the sea. This brig left America
for Gibraltar; and nothing more was heard of her until she was sighted
approaching the Strait in a suspicious manner, when she was found to
be derelict. Her hull was sound, there was no sign of an accident
aloft, and her boats were in their appointed places. Some remains of
a meal on the cabin table were still fresh, and a watch was ticking
unconcernedly; yet her captain and his wife and daughter, together with
the crew, had disappeared forever.

"Nautical novelists have made moving pictures of drifting derelicts,
and hoaxers have also utilized them. In 1893 some witty person closely
copied parts of a soul-stirring yarn by Clark Russell, and the alleged
modern experience was telegraphed round the world, appeared in the
press, and was then decisively contradicted. It was asserted that
the Norwegian ship _Elsa Anderson_ arrived at Galveston with an
English-built brig in tow, which had apparently been burned and sunk
more than a half century previously. A submarine seismic disturbance
was invented to account for the vessel's return to the surface. The
hull was covered with strange sea shells, and in the hold were chests
containing many guineas bearing date 1800, several watches, and a
stomacher of pearls! One of three skeletons was said to be that of
a man over seven feet in height. This hoax was successful until it
reached Galveston. Then the authorities denied that the story had
the slightest foundation in fact. Six years later a similar hoax was
perpetrated, which ought immediately to have been recognized as merely
a variant of _The Frozen Pirate_, by the above-mentioned eminent
nautical novelist. It was gravely asserted that the barque _Silicon_,
on her way from the United States to Greenland, had picked up an
old-fashioned derelict ship near the Greenland coast. When access to
the hold was gained, the salvors, so ran the hoax, discovered that she
was laden with furs in good condition; and her log book showed that she
had been abandoned by her crew in 1848. Like the ship imagined by Clark
Russell, she was said to have been fast in the ice in the far North.
One of the most ridiculous derelict-ship hoaxes of the past century
had quite a boom in 1896. A burning derelict, read an astonished
world, had been passed between the Cape of Good Hope and Australia,
with her lower holds full of coal and petroleum, and the between-decks
portion crammed with the dead bodies of people who had met their fate
by suffocation while on their way from Russia to Brazil. The burning
cargo had generated gas which suffocated the emigrants; the bodies
had swollen out of human shape, and subsequent explosions had torn
many limb from limb! This tissue of falsehoods appeared in many of the
world's daily papers without comment.

"H.M.S. _Resolute_, since broken up, was one of the most famous of
derelicts. She was abandoned in 77 deg. 40 min. N., 101 deg. 20 min.
W., drifted southward in the center of a solid sheet of ice, and was
eventually picked up by an American whale-ship off Cape Mercy, in 65
deg. N. After having been refitted by the United States Government,
she was presented to England with impressive ceremony. A desk of
the President of the United States, in the White House, Washington,
D.C., was made from the timbers of the _Resolute_, and sent by Her
Majesty Queen Victoria in memory of that courtesy and loving-kindness
of America to England. It is a substantial token of the good will
existing between the two kindred peoples."

The gifted editor of our National Geographic Society's admirable
magazine, Gilbert H. Grosvenor, in the September number, 1918, page
235, says on the subject of "Strange Stories of Derelicts," "How hard
it is sometimes to send a ship to the bottom is strikingly shown by
the experience of the _San Francisco_ in destroying the derelict
three-master _Drisko_ a decade or so ago. That derelict was only 248
tons, but she was lumber laden. The officers of the _San Francisco_
first tried to tow her to port, but found that impossible. Then they
attached three 30-pound guncotton bombs to her keel and set them off,
but still she floated. Five more bombs were set off; these broke her
back and frames, but still she refused to go to the bottom. Then the
_San Francisco_ rammed her amidships and broke her in two, releasing
the cargo; but even after that it took several shells to drive the
afterpart of the staunch old schooner down into the jurisdiction of
Davy Jones.

"Even in peace times ships are often reported missing, and appear
to have been 'sunk without trace.' It is believed that most of such
catastrophes are the result of collisions with derelicts. How many
more such collisions there will be in the future may be imagined when
it is stated that for two years the number of derelicts has greatly
increased and the steps for their destruction have been much reduced.

"In peace times," continues Mr. Grosvenor, "there is no other menace
to navigation as dangerous as the derelict, unless it be the submerged
iceberg, such as sunk the _Titanic_. Refusing to stay in one location,
yielding to no law of navigation, hiding most of her bulk beneath the
waves, the lonely, desolate, moss-covered, weed-grown derelict, with
deck or keel all but awash, comes out of the night or through the fog
as an assassin out of a lonely alley, and woe to the sailor who has not
detected her approach.

"Drifting hither and yon, now forced on by the wind of a stormy
sea, now caught in a current and driven along, these rudderless,
purposeless, wanderers cover many a weary mile, with only screaming
sea birds to break the monotony of the roaring gale or the soft surge
of a placid sea. Sighted frequently for weeks together, now and again
they disappear, often reappearing suddenly hundreds of miles away. As
many as a thousand have been reported in a single year in the North
Atlantic. The majority of them frequent the Gulf Stream.

"Examining the records of the Hydrographic Office, one finds that in
six years twenty-five derelicts were reported as having drifted at
least a thousand miles each; eleven have 2,000 miles apiece to their
credit, while three sailed 5,000 rudderless miles.

"The classic story of the wanderings of a derelict is that of the
_Fannie E. Wolston_. Abandoned October 15, 1891, off Cape Hatteras,
she traveled northward in the Gulf Stream. When off Norfolk, Va., she
changed her course and headed across the broad Atlantic toward the
shores of Africa. On June 13, 1892, she was sighted half way across.
Then she headed southward for more than 300 miles; then shifted her
course to the northeast for another 200 miles, retraced her track for
several hundred miles, turned again and went in the opposite direction,
like a shuttle in the loom instead of a ship upon the sea. Then she
took another tack and headed west for nearly 400 miles; then shaped her
course north for 300 miles, and then headed east again for 700 miles;
so that in January she was almost in the same latitude and longitude
that she had been in the previous June. In the following May she was a
thousand miles away from where she had been in January, on the border
of Cancer and midway between Florida and Africa. Again she headed
toward America for 600 miles, and repeated her shuttle-in-the-loom
performance. Then followed many long months of erratic zigzags and
she was sighted for the last time 250 miles off Savannah, Ga. She had
remained afloat and had out-generaled the waves for two years and a
half, during which time she had sailed more than 7,000 aimless miles.

"In normal times," continues Mr. Grosvenor, "the Hydrographic Office of
the Navy Department keeps careful check on the derelicts. Every ship
that sights one of these menaces to navigation reports its location.
The names of some of them remain visible, while others are susceptible
of identification by their appearance. The Hydrographic Office gives
each wreck and derelict a serial number and plots its position on a
map. Each report is registered with an identification number. In this
way, by a system of cross checking, it is possible to identify each
derelict, to determine the direction of its drift, and usually to get
it so well located that the Coast Guard cutters may run it down and
sink it."

On January 16, 1919, I addressed an inquiry to the Coast and Geodetic
Survey, Washington, on the subject of international protection of
commerce in the destruction of derelicts, ice observation, etc., to
which I received the following courteous reply from Commodore Bertholf,
dated February 7, 1919:

"1. Your letter of January 16, addressed to the Coast Geodetic
Survey, seeking information on the subject of an arrangement between
our Federal Government and the Government of Great Britain prior to
the Great War for the protection of commerce in the destruction of
derelicts, has reached this office by reference.

"2. In reply I beg to state that Article VI of the International
Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, which was signed by the
delegates of the various countries on January 20, 1914, provided for an
international service of derelict destruction, study and observation of
ice conditions, and an ice patrol.

"3. Article VII of this convention invited the United States to
undertake this international service, and provided that the high
contracting powers which were interested in this international service
contribute to the expense of maintaining this international service in
certain proportions.

"4. While Article VI of the convention provided that the new
international service should be established with the least possible
delay, the convention, as a whole, could not come into force until
July 1, 1915, and if the organization of the international service
were deferred until after that date, the consequence would be that
the two ice seasons of the years 1914 and 1915 would not be covered
by the proposed international ice patrol, and, therefore, the
British Government, acting on behalf of the other maritime powers,
requested the United States to begin this international ice patrol and
observation without delay and under the same conditions as provided
in the convention. The President directed this to be done, and the
Coast Guard undertook the work and performed the ice patrol during
the seasons of 1914, 1915, and 1916. It was intended that the Coast
Guard should also undertake the international service of derelict
destruction at the conclusion of the ice patrol each year, but owing to
the outbreak of the war in Europe in 1914, the international service of
derelict destruction was never begun.

"5. As pointed out above, the international ice patrol and ice
observation service was begun in 1914 and was continued during 1915 and
1916, but for obvious reasons the patrol was discontinued in 1917 and
has not as yet been resumed.

"6. Of course, as you are aware, the various Coast Guard cutters
recover or destroy such derelicts as may be found within a reasonable
distance of our coast.

"7. I am sending you under separate cover a copy of the International
Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, also copies of Revenue-Cutter
Service Bulletins Nos. 1, 3, and 5, covering reports of ice patrol for
the years 1913, 1914, and 1915, respectively. The report of the ice
patrol for 1916 has not yet been published.


  "(Signed) E.P. Bertholf,

  "_Commodore Commandant_."


About forty years ago the fine British barque _David G. Worth_,
commanded by Capt. Thomas Williams, and owned by the writer, James
Sprunt, sailed from Wilmington, N.C., with a full cargo of naval stores
bound for the United Kingdom. The owner had spent $10,000 for extensive
repairs in London on the previous voyage, and the ship was in every
respect staunch and strong and classed A1 Lloyd's and 3/3 II French
Veritas. The captain's wife accompanied him, and the crew numbered

From the day of her departure from Wilmington bound to Bristol up to
the present time, not a word, not a sign of her, has ever come to
light. As Mr. Joseph Horner said in _Lost Liners_:

  "We only know she sailed away
  "And ne'er was seen or heard of more."

"Lost absolutely, in the fullest and most awful sense of the term!
Swallowed up wholly, mysteriously, by the devouring sea! Such has
been the fate of many gallant ships; no single survivor to tell the
story; no boat or piece of wreckage, no bottle, not a sign or syllable
from the vasty deep to reveal the nature of the awful catastrophe
by which vessel, cargo, crew, and passengers were blotted out of
existence! There is a weirdness, an awful terror, in such mysterious
disappearances. They fill the imagination with horror, and cause mental
tension in the minds of relatives of the lost far harder to bear than
when the fate of a wrecked vessel is told by survivors. The sinking of
the _Royal Charter_, or of the _London_, or of the _Northfleet_, though
gruesome and harrowing, does not produce in the mind that sense of pain
which comes with the recollection of the fate of the _President_, or of
the _Pacific_, or of the _City of Boston_."

Continuing, Mr. Horner in _Chambers's Journal_ says: "The number of
vessels which have so mysteriously disappeared at sea that not a trace
of them or of their crew or passengers has ever been found is larger
than most people imagine. In the North Atlantic service alone, from the
year 1841, when the _President_ disappeared with 136 souls, to 1890,
when the _Thanemore_ of the Johnston Line, with 43 lives, never came
to port, there have been, inclusive of these, no fewer than 24 big
steamers absolutely and completely blotted out of human knowledge,
together with their crews and passengers, numbering in all 1,453. At a
very moderate estimate, the value of these vessels with their cargoes
could not have been less than £5,000,000. The sum of human agony
involved is terrible to contemplate. And every year vessels are posted
up as missing.

"The _President_, one of the earliest Atlantic liners, was the first
steamer to be lost and never heard of again. She sailed from New York
on the 11th of March, 1841, with 136 souls on board. She was a nearly
new vessel, having left the Mersey on her first voyage on the 17th
of July, 1840. The commander was Lieutenant Roberts, R.N., a man of
iron will and resource. He had taken the _Sirius_ on her first voyage
from Queenstown to New York in 1838 in eighteen and a half days. The
_Sirius_ was the first steamer owned by an English company which
crossed the Atlantic, and but for the determination of Lieutenant
Roberts the crew would not have proceeded; they became mutinous, and
said it was utter madness to go on in so small a craft. He insisted
and had resort to firearms, and so brought the little vessel to her

"After the loss of the _President_ in 1841, thirteen years elapsed in
which only one life was lost by the wreck of an Atlantic steamer.
It is a curious coincidence that, after the _President_ was lost and
never heard of, the next great loss of life, which occurred in 1854,
was also that of a vessel which disappeared without leaving a trace.
This was the _City of Glasgow_, which sailed with 480 souls on board.
The _Pacific_, of the Collins Line, left Liverpool on the 29th of June,
1856, and with her living freight of 240 was never more heard of. In
the year 1859 an Anchor liner, the _Tempest_, mysteriously disappeared
with 150 souls. The _City of Boston_ of the Inman Line, with 177
persons, was never heard of after leaving port on the 28th of January,
1870. A board stating that she was sinking was found in Cornwall on
February 11, 1870. The Allan liner _Huronian_ left Glasgow in February,
1902, for St. John's and disappeared. The British gunboat _Condor_
was lost in the Pacific in 1901. Besides these, the names of many
lesser-known vessels swell the long list of tragic disappearances.

"The White Star cattle steamer _Naronic_, with a crew of sixty hands
and seventeen cattlemen, was lost in February or March, 1893, while
on a voyage from Liverpool to New York. She was a month overdue
before very much anxiety was felt, as it was known that heavy weather
had been experienced in the Atlantic, and it was thought that she
might have broken down and was making for the Azores. A boat with the
name _Naronic_ on it was subsequently found half full of water and
abandoned. In this case the vessel was a new one, launched in May
of the previous year. She was built with bulkheads and all modern
improvements, was 460 feet long, and had engines of 3,000 horsepower.
Yet she disappeared, perhaps 1,500 miles from New York, that being the
location of the abandoned boat."

Probably the most mysterious disappearance of recent times is that
of the United States collier transport _Cyclops_, which sailed from
Barbados for Baltimore March 4, 1918, and has not been heard of
since. The official information respecting this important vessel is
fragmentary and disconnected. In December, 1917, she reached Bahia,
Brazil, and was ordered to take on a cargo of manganese at Rio de
Janeiro for the return voyage. The Navy Department exchanged several
messages regarding her cargo with the commander in chief of the Pacific
fleet, and, on February 7, the latter sent the following message
concerning damage to one of her engines:

"Starboard high pressure engine found to be damaged on board U.S.S.
_Cyclops_ during passage Bahia, Brazil, to Rio de Janeiro. Board of
investigation reports accident due to loosening of nuts on follower
ring studs, resulting in breaking of follower ring. Cylinder is broken
into two parts by plane of fracture passing from inboard upper edge
down and outboard at angle of about 45 degrees. Cylinder cover and
piston ring broken and piston rod bent just below piston, which is
damaged. So far as now determined, responsibility seems to be upon
engineer officer watch Lieut. L.J. Fingleton, who did not stop engines
nor report noise. Board recommends that new cylinder, piston rod and
piston, piston rings and follower be manufactured. That cylinder cover
be repaired by welding upon return United States. Repair of cylinder by
welding believed possible. Can not be made here. Engine compounded and
vessel will proceed thus when loaded."

She reached Barbados safely and began her voyage from there to
Baltimore. Being overdue, the Navy Department sent the following
message to the naval stations at Key West, Charleston, Guantanamo, Navy
Radio San Juan, and the U.S.S. _Albert_:

  March 22, 1918.

"U.S.S. _Cyclops_ sailed from Barbados March 4 for Baltimore. Now about
ten days overdue. Endeavor communicate _Cyclops_ by radio and ascertain
location and condition."

The following day the Navy Department sent a similar message to the
commander of Squadron I, Patrol Force, Atlantic fleet. On March 24
the station at Charleston, S.C., reported that at intervals for
twenty-three hours messages by radio had been sent in an endeavor to
locate the _Cyclops_, but without success. Commander Belknap directed
that calls be continued, and on March 26 the Navy Department sent the
following message to the Governor of the Virgin Islands:

"U.S.S. _Cyclops_ sailed from Barbados March 4 for Baltimore. Has not
yet arrived. Have you any information regarding this vessel passing St.

The reply was "No information regarding U.S. S. _Cyclops_."

Every station within radio communication of her route and every ship
within call during the time of her passage, including foreign ships,
was asked for any fragment of information. The search was continued as
long as it seemed possible to gain news of her, but nothing definite
was ever heard. The only suggestion of how she may have been lost is
contained in a message to the Navy Department from the First Naval
District, received June 6, 1918:

"Mr. Freeman, now in Boston, telephone address held in this office,
states log of U.S.S. _Amalco_ shows that on night of March 9 U.S.S.
_Cyclops_ was about five miles distant. March 10 heavy gale damaged the
_Amalco_. Capt. C.E. Hilliard, of the _Amalco_, now at 2876 Woodbrook
Avenue, Baltimore, Md."

On April 22 the commander in chief of the Pacific fleet sent to the
Navy Department the following statement of her cargo:

"U.S.S. _Cyclops_ had by tally of bucket 10,604, by draft in feet
10,835 tons manganese, distributed number one hold 10,614; number two
hold 1,995; number three 2,250; number four 1,875; number five 2,870.
Cargo stowed direct on wood dunnage in bottom of hold. Reports differ
as to whether cargo was trimmed level or left somewhat higher in
middle. Incline to latter belief. Reported also vessel had 4,000 tons
of water, mostly in double bottoms. So far as ascertained, no steps
taken to prevent increasing of metacentric height, and this must have
been considerably increased."

What caused the catastrophe will probably never be known, but with one
of her engines reported out of order she was not in the best condition
to weather the storm reported by the _Amalco_, and it is not unlikely
that a sudden shifting of her cargo caused her to capsize and to be
instantly engulfed.

Exactly one hundred days from the date of her sailing the following
order was issued:

  "From: Secretary of the Navy.

  "To: Bureau of Medicine and Surgery
  (via Bureau of Navigation).

  "Subject: Re official declaration of death of men
  on board the Navy collier _Cyclops_.

"I. The following named enlisted men in the U. S. Navy and Marine Corps
should be officially declared dead as of June 14, 1918, deaths having
occurred in the line of duty through no misconduct of their own:"

(Here followed a list of the crew and passengers of the Navy collier
_Cyclops_ at the time of disappearance.)

  "(Signed) Franklin D. Roosevelt,


In his annual report for 1918 the Secretary of the Navy states
"_Cyclops_ was finally given up as lost and her name stricken from the

Causes of the Destruction of Lost Ships.

Since the veil that conceals the catastrophes that sent the missing
vessels to their doom can never be lifted, a wide field of surmise is
open. We can only guess at the causes of these losses by considering
what has taken place in the case of vessels which have received serious
injuries the nature of which is known. I quote Mr. Horner in giving
the following as the possible causes which may account for the total
disappearance of liners: "Capsizing; damage from within, as explosion,
breakdown of machinery, or fire; damage from without, as collision with
an iceberg or with a derelict hulk; and mysterious causes.

"In reference to explosions, there are two possible causes. One is due
to the steam boilers, the other to coal gas generated in the bunkers.
Accidents from both causes have frequently occurred; and though it
is not easy to see how the force could be sufficiently great to rend
a vessel asunder without affording time for the use of boats or
life-saving appliances, yet the possibility must be admitted. Boilers
are always in the bottom of the vessel, and it is quite conceivable
that one or more boiler explosions would rupture the sides and let
the water in in large volumes. In the case of a tug in the harbor at
Cardiff this actually happened. And although the loss of no big vessel
has been traced to this cause, it must be admitted that the cause would
be sufficient, and the end would be sudden.

"Explosions of coal gas have occurred; and in past years, when less
attention was paid to ventilation than at the present time and when
vessels were built of wood, it is within the bounds of possibility that
an explosion might have torn a hole or started planks, or might have
given rise to a fire of large extent. If to this is added the terror of
rough weather at night, when most of those on board would be asleep,
the chances of any vestige remaining would be slender.

"Breakdowns of machinery alone would hardly account for the loss of
vessels, but they might do so indirectly--first, by leaving a vessel
exposed to the mercy of rough weather; secondly, by damaging the hull
and letting the water in. Fractures of propeller shafts or of propeller
blades are not infrequent occurrences. Neither is damage to a rudder.
It is quite conceivable that a vessel disabled thus for several days
and encountering exceptionally heavy weather, might be overwhelmed
by the sheer force of the waves. In rough weather the chance of a
disabled vessel being seen in mid-Atlantic if she drifts out of the
regular routes is very slender. Steamers for many years past have been
entirely dependent on their machinery, having no sails to fall back on.
Only in recent years have the most modern and best liners been fitted
with twin screws and double sets of engines, one of which remains
available if the other is damaged. A disabled vessel might, therefore,
in the past have suffered badly if she drifted out of the trade routes,
and might have gone down in bad weather.

"Damage to machinery may also be sufficient to explain the loss of a
vessel by causing her to sink at once. The _City of Paris_, of the
Inman Line, had a big smash in one of her engine rooms on the 25th of
March, 1890. She was coming home in fine weather, and when she was near
the Irish coast the starboard engines broke down in consequence of
the fracture of the starboard propeller shaft, and the sea filled the
engine room. Then the massive fragments of the wrecked engine hammering
against the bulkhead smashed that and allowed the water to flow into
the engine room, completely filling that also. In about ten minutes
both engine rooms were filled with water, adding 3,000 tons to the
vessel's weight. Yet she still floated securely, and the outer skin
was not damaged in the least. The water-tight compartments kept the
_City of Paris_ afloat for three days until help came to tow her into
Queenstown. At Queenstown the openings in the sea connections of the
vessel were closed with the assistance of divers. The water was pumped
out of the engine rooms, and with her port engines and one screw the
vessel renewed her voyage and went on safely and quietly to Liverpool
without harm to anyone. In the case of the P. and O. steamer _Delhi_,
which stranded on December 12, 1911, off Cape Spartel, on the Morocco
coast, all the passengers were rescued, including the Duke of Fife and
the Princess Royal and her daughters.

"Capsizing is not so likely a cause as some others, but it is possible.
The _Captain_ capsized, with the loss of hundreds of lives. The type
was, however, very different from that of the liner. But the draught
of a vessel diminishes toward the close of her voyage, as coal is
reduced. Some vessels are unsteady, and it is conceivable that heavy
weather, shifting cargo, and insufficient ballast may cause a vessel
to roll over on her beam ends and capsize. There is little doubt that
the _Wartah_ capsized by reason of top-heaviness. One of her life buoys
was reported as being found (December, 1911) at Waiuku, New Zealand.

"But the most probable cause of unexplained losses of ships at sea
is fire, or it is one, at least, which divides probabilities with
explosions and icebergs. Even on the supposition of an explosion, it
seems almost inexplicable that no trace of a sunken vessel should ever
afterwards be seen. A missing liner or other large vessel is a source
of interest to all seafaring men, and a keen outlook is kept on the
track which the vessel was known to have taken. Any stray spar or belt
or bit of wreckage, therefore, could scarcely escape observation. If
a vessel sinks in mid-ocean some portions float. But if a vessel is
burned everything would probably be consumed, as the vessel would burn
to the water's edge. Boats might or might not be launched, according to
the rapidity of the rush of the flames, the state of the weather, etc.
If boats are launched, say, a thousand miles from land, the chances of
rescue or of making land are remote. Fire, therefore, seems adequate
enough to account for the loss of some of the numerous vessels which
have never been heard from after leaving port.

"Considering other possible external causes of the total disappearance
of liners, heavy weather must be regarded as a probable reason in some
instances. Although we do not admit that the roughest weather would
harm a modern liner, we must remember that the older vessels were not
as large and powerful as those of the present time. The _Pacific_, for
example, which disappeared in 1856, was not nearly half the length
of the latest vessels. Bulkheads had not been brought to the perfect
condition of security which they have now attained. Not infrequently
even now steamers become water-logged and reach a sinking condition
and their crews are happy if rescued. It may well have happened that
vessels have foundered in mid-ocean in consequence of not being able
to receive assistance, while the sailors could not take to their boats
with any hope of living in the tempest.

"Uncharted rocks also cause the loss of vessels, as in the case of the
_Pericles_. But her captain was a man of resource and no lives were

"Icebergs are a probable cause for the loss of some vessels, especially
of liners running to Canadian ports. The damage to the _Arizona_ may
be instanced, and many other vessels have had hairbreadth escapes. A
vessel insufficiently secured by bulkheads would stand a poor chance in
collision with an iceberg.

"Tidal waves are probably accountable for some unexplained losses.
There are three classes of such waves--those due to submarine seismical
disturbances, solitary waves occurring in an otherwise calm sea
(the origin of which is obscure), and cyclonic waves. Each is very
dangerous, the first and last chiefly in the vicinity of coasts, the
second out at sea. It was a seismic wave which wrought such havoc at
Lisbon in 1755 and in Japan in 1896, when 30,000 people were killed.
But the effects of these do not usually extend far out to sea, as do
those of solitary waves. Many records of the latter have been given
where the decks of vessels have been swept of all hands and of all
deck erections. In 1881 all hands were washed off the decks of the
_Rosario_. In 1882 the master and half the crew of the _Loch Torridon_
were swept off the deck by a tidal wave. In 1887 the _Umbria_ was
flooded by two great waves. In 1894 the _Normania_ was struck by a
solid wall of water reaching as high as the bridge, smashing the
cabin on the promenade deck, and carrying away the music room and
the officers' quarters. The height of tidal waves ranges from forty
to eighty feet. The Cunarder _Etruria_ was struck by a tidal wave on
the 10th of October, 1903, when a Canadian gentleman was killed and
several wounded. The captain's port bridge and stanchions were carried
away. Though such waves would not greatly endanger the huge modern
liners, they might have swamped their predecessors by breaking through
the decks or rushing down hatchways and skylights. Many vessels have
been lost by being pooped by vast storm waves, which are not as high as
many tidal waves.

"In reference to mysterious agencies, these can be dismissed in
the present state of knowledge. The secrets of the sea have been
investigated so well that no destructive agent is likely to exist that
is not known to science. Collision with a whale would not damage a
liner, though it would be bad for the whale. The sea serpent may be
dismissed without comment. The eruption of submarine volcanoes may be
dangerous to small vessels, but the idea of harm from them can not be
entertained in connection with the Atlantic service. So that, after
all, we are driven back for the solution of these disappearances to
the same causes which are known to have wrecked so many vessels. Among
these must be included collision with derelict wrecks, which have
been known to drift about in the Atlantic for over a twelvemonth, and
unhappily the malicious placing of explosives among the cargoes of
liners, as was done at Bremerhaven in 1875."

During the War between the States, on the 24th of August, 1864, the
writer was captured after bombardment for five hours while serving as
purser of the Confederate steamer _Lilian_, engaged in running the
Federal blockade off Wilmington, N.C., and made a prisoner of war.
Subsequently he escaped to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and reported to a
prominent citizen of that town who was acting as the Confederate States
representative. He was one of the most popular Southern sympathizers;
a man of fine presence, good business qualifications, courteous and
amiable to a degree. He was trusted by all, and he acted as banker for
nearly every Southerner who came his way. Halifax was then the center
of large Confederate interests. Several Confederate war steamers were
there, among them the _Chickamauga_ and the _Tallahassee_. It was the
rendezvous of blockade runners who had escaped from confinement or who
had been discharged after detention by the Federals for several months.
K---- was attentive to all of them. When the war ended K---- suddenly
disappeared with the cash entrusted to him by confiding Confederates.

Several years after, there was a great explosion upon the dock where
a German mail steamer was loading for sea which produced a sensation
throughout the world. An infernal machine intended to wreck the liner
had prematurely exploded on the quay and killed and maimed a large
number of persons, among whom was the shipper, under an assumed name.
This man, mortally wounded, was eagerly questioned by the police
as to his diabolical plans and his accomplices; the only clue they
obtained from his incoherent ravings was an intimation that he had
been connected in some way with the Confederacy, and strangely enough
he said something about Captain Maffitt and my ship the _Lilian_. The
authorities took photographs of him, which were imperfect because
of the reclining position of the dying man. Further investigation
after his death revealed one of the most fiendish plots in commercial
history; large shipments of bogus goods had been made by the liner,
and heavily insured by this stranger, who had designed a clock machine
intended, it was said, to explode three days after the sailing of the
steamer, and sink her with all on board. For many months the secret
service detectives were working on this case; at length one of them
came to Wilmington and questioned me about the man, whose picture was
exhibited. Neither I nor any of the pilots at Smithville could identify
him, although his face was strangely familiar to me. The detective
went away, but returned in a few weeks and asked me if I had known a
man named K----. "Yes," I at once replied, "and he was the author of
this awful crime." Such proved to be the case. It was the old story of
depraved associates and the downward road to ruin.


I have said in _Chronicles of the Cape Fear River_, pages 525-527,
that a public service which measures its efficiency by the number of
human lives saved from the perils of the sea is to be classed among the
highest humanities of a great government, and that an important arm
of great reach and efficiency is the admirable service of the U.S.S.
_Seminole_ on this station.

The activities of this ship in assisting vessels in distress are so
continuous as to be classed by her efficient commander as all in
the day's work. In the four months from December 1, 1912, this ship
assisted nine vessels in distress at sea and destroyed a tenth, the
_Savannah_, a dangerous derelict.

A typical case is described in the recent rescue in a gale of wind
three hundred miles off Cape Fear, of the British mail and passenger
steamer _Korona_, bound from St. Thomas, West Indies, for New York,
whose boilers broke down, rendering the ship helpless without motive
power, wallowing in a heavy sea which threatened to engulf her.

The story of this splendid rescue of a hundred human lives is told in
the matter-of-fact official report of Capt. Eugene Blake, jr., of the
_Seminole_, and in the letter of thanks to the Secretary of the Navy,
which follows, with the Acting Secretary's reply:

  "Wilmington, N.C.,

  "_April 2, 1919_.


  "From: Commanding Officer.

  "To: Commandant, Fifth Naval District.

  "Subject: Report of search and tow of Canadian
  S.S. _Korona_.

"1. At 1 a.m. on the morning of March 25, the following message was
transmitted to the _Seminole_ from the communication officer at
district headquarters:

"'March 24, 1919: _Korona_ boilers out of commission. Needs assistance.
Position, latitude 31-48 N., longitude 72-12 W., noon, today. Signed,
Doyle, Master.'

"2. The _Seminole_ left the Berkley oil docks at 7 a.m. the same
morning and proceeded at top speed for the reported position of the
_Korona_, passing through the Gulf Stream from 2 a.m. to 8 a.m. of the
morning of March 26.

"3. At 8 a.m. in the forenoon of March 26, intercepted a radiogram from
the Porto Rican S.S. Co.'s steamer _Coamo_ that she had the _Korona_
in tow, and was proceeding with her to the westward. Communication by
radio was immediately established with the _Coamo_, and the position,
course, and speed ascertained. It was also learned that as the Coamo
was bound to the southward for Porto Rico, she was anxious to be
relieved of the tow. Arrangements were therefore made to meet the
_Coamo_ at the nearest possible meeting point and at 10 that morning
the course of both vessels was changed to effect this meeting at about
7 that evening. The _Seminole_ was run under forced draft in order to
take advantage of the weather, which was then favorable to picking up
the disabled vessel.

"4. At 6.45 p.m. March 26, the _Coamo_ with _Korona_ in tow was
sighted bearing almost dead ahead, and at 8.15 p.m. the _Coamo_ had
been relieved of the tow and the _Seminole's_ hawser shackled into the
starboard chain of the _Korona_. The _Korona's_ master stated that
his port of destination was New York and requested to be towed to
the northward. Hampton Roads was accordingly selected as the port of
destination and the course shaped for Diamond Shoals buoy.

"5. The weather, which up to this time had been fine, commenced to show
signs of a decided change, and the storm warning received the following
morning, March 27, confirmed the prediction of an approaching gale. The
wind, however, was from southwest to south, and, being favorable, good
progress was made, at an estimated speed of five or six knots from the
time the _Korona_ was picked up until midnight of March 27.

"6. By this time the wind had shifted to west and was blowing a strong
gale, and the _Seminole_ was unable to hold up to her course with
the tow. We were shipping heavy seas at frequent intervals and were
practically hove to and drifting to leeward. About 2 a.m. March 28,
the wind shifted to northwest with slightly increased force, and the
_Seminole_ was put before the gale with engines turning over at dead
slow speed, sufficient to keep the _Korona_ astern, to act as a drag.
This is an unfavorable position for the _Seminole_ because she rolls to
a dangerous angle in a following sea and takes much water in the waist,
but it was the best that could be accomplished under the circumstances.
The tow seemed to be fairly comfortable.

"7. During the night of March 27 and daylight of March 28, the
_Seminole_ with tow lost about 60 miles in a general southeasterly

"8. On March 28, picked up an S.O.S. call from the steamer _Alapaha_ in
our immediate vicinity; in fact this steamer reported herself in sight
at one time during the day, but as she was going to leeward faster than
the _Seminole_ and reported no immediate danger to her crew, there
seemed no reason for abandoning one vessel for a doubtful chance of
picking up the other. It was also learned that the Coast Guard cutter
_Yamacraw_ was proceeding to her assistance.

"9. The weather moderated slightly during the afternoon of March 28,
and at 5.40 p.m. the _Seminole_ with tow was brought up head to wind
and sea on course northwest, making little if any progress. The gale
increased again in force from 8 p.m. to midnight, and at 3 a.m. March
29 west was the best heading that could be held.

"10. During the worst of the gale this night the _Seminole's_ air pump
stopped, and the two vessels fell off into the trough of the sea and
at one time were in imminent danger of collision. The _Seminole_ being
the lighter and naturally in the weather position, drifted faster than
the _Korona_, but was worked clear by setting the staysails and getting
a few turns out of the engine at the critical moment. As soon as the
_Seminole_ was to leeward of the _Korona_, the engine was stopped and
in the course of an hour the air pump was repaired.

"11. The northwest weather continuing throughout March 29 with gale
force, it was decided to make Wilmington, N.C., and a westerly course
was maintained throughout the day.

"12. About 2 p.m. on March 30 the _Korona_ managed to get a small head
of steam on one boiler, and, after coupling up propeller, which had
been disconnected on taking up the tow, was able to turn her engine
over at slow speed. This materially lightened the weight of the tow and
we were able to make way at a speed between four and five knots.

"13. Continued at this rate of speed through March 30 and 31 with
very slowly moderating weather, and at 1.40 p.m. on the 31st got on
sounding, sighting Frying Pan Shoal buoy at 5.30 p.m. that date.

"14. During the night of March 31 a moderate northerly gale developed,
but the tow, being under the lee of Frying Pan Shoal, was easily
manageable. Speed was regulated to arrive off Cape Fear River entrance
at daylight, and upon reaching that point the heavy hawser was
unshackled and the _Korona_ towed up the river to Wilmington with a
lighter line and short scope.

"15. Arrived off Wilmington at 2.30 p.m., where _Korona_ was turned
over to her agents, Alexander Sprunt & Sons Co., the _Seminole_
proceeding to her wharf at the custom-house.

"16. A Coast Guard statistical report of this assistance is attached.

  "Eugene Blake, Jr."

  "_April 2, 1919._

"Sir: As agents in Wilmington, N.C., of the Quebec Steamship Co.,
owners of the British steamer _Korona_, as agents of Lloyds, as agents
of the London Salvage Association, and as official agents of the
British Ministry of Shipping, and in behalf of Capt. Austin Doyle,
his officers and crew and passengers of the British steamer _Korona_,
numbering in all a hundred persons, we desire to express to you and to
Captain Blake, his officers and crew of the U.S.S. _Seminole_, through
you, our deep sense of gratefulness for the rescue from imminent peril
in a heavy sea of the disabled steamer _Korona_ while on her voyage
from St. Thomas to New York; and for their splendid seamanship in
averting collision and in towing her under great difficulties to this
port of refuge.

"Tossed upon a raging sea without motive power, the _Korona_ was in
great danger, and her rescue after four days' continuous assistance
adds another high record of splendid achievement by the U.S.S.
_Seminole_ and her devoted men.

"Permit us, Sir, to thank you cordially in the names of all concerned
for this added admirable and effective example of the highest degree of
humanity and efficiency in an important arm of the U.S. Navy.

  "Yours very respectfully,

  "(Signed) Alexander Sprunt & Son.

  "To the Honorable Josephus Daniels,

  "_The Secretary of the Navy_,

  "_Washington_, D.C."

  "Navy Department,

  "_Washington, April 7, 1919_.

"Dear Sirs: Receipt is acknowledged of your letter of April 2,
expressing gratitude for the rescue of the disabled steamer _Korona_ by
the U.S.S. _Seminole_.

"Your letter of appreciation has been forwarded to the commanding
officer of the U.S.S. _Seminole_ via the Commodore Commandant of the
Coast Guard Service and the Commandant of the Fifth Naval District,
under whose orders the U.S.S. _Seminole_ is operating.

"It is a great pleasure to know that the work of our salvage and
rescue ships is appreciated, and I thank you very sincerely for your
expression of thanks and recognition of the excellent seamanship and
devotion to duty shown by the captain, officers, and crew of the U.S.S.

  "Very truly yours,

  "(Signed) Franklin D. Roosevelt,

  "_Acting Secretary of the Navy_.

  "Messrs. Alexander Sprunt & Son,

  "_Wilmington, North Carolina_."


For many years the summer visitors on Wrightsville Beach have looked
out upon the hurrying swell of the broad Atlantic and have felt the
fascination of the long lines of crested breakers like Neptune's
racers charging and reforming for the never-ending fray; and, when the
unresting tide receded, they have seen the battered hulks of some of
the most beautiful ships that ever shaped a course for Wilmington in
the days of the Southern Confederacy. They represented an epoch that
is unique in our country's history, for, in the modern art of war the
conditions which then prevailed can never occur again.

Some of these wrecks may be visible for a hundred years to come, and,
as nearly every one who knew these vessels and of their last voyage has
passed away, I have thought it might interest some of our people, and
perhaps future generations, to know something of these ships, which I
still remember distinctly and with whose officers I was more or less
familiar. So that I have noted from memory and from official records
of the Four Years' War, the tragedies which involved the destruction of
these fine vessels between Topsail Inlet and Lockwood's Folly. These
will comprise about thirty ships, nearly all of the steamers that were
stranded on our coast during the war while running for the Cape Fear
Bar under a heavy bombardment by the Federal cruisers.

Many millions were lost with the destruction of these blockade runners,
and possibly valuable metal might be recovered now, in the present high
prices for all war supplies. The average cost of one of the blockade
runners was $150,000 in gold. They were mostly built of thick iron,
which does not corrode like steel in salt water.

The cargoes comprised perishable and imperishable goods, and they
were often as valuable as the vessels which carried them. When these
ships were stranded so high upon the beach that neither Federals nor
Confederates could salve them, the guns from both sides were used to
destroy them, so that neither could profit by a rescue. The bombshells
set some of the ships on fire, but none were totally destroyed, because
the breakers extinguished the fires when the superstructure was burned
away, so it is very probable that some of them still contain cargoes of

For more than fifty years these melancholy tokens of distress have
settled in the shifting sands. "Together," said Mr. George Davis,
Attorney-General of the Confederacy, "they stand for warning and for
woe; and together they catch the long majestic roll of the Atlantic
as it sweeps through a thousand miles of grandeur and power from the
Arctic toward the Gulf. It is the playground of billows and tempests,
the kingdom of silence and awe, disturbed by no sound save the
seagull's shriek and the breakers' roar."

It might be interesting to add later an account of the ships that were
captured at sea, numbering over a hundred during the four years of
the Cape Fear blockade, and to attempt, at the request of my friend,
Professor deRoulhac Hamilton, of the University of North Carolina, a
short history of this remarkable traffic (through the beleaguered city
of Wilmington) which almost wholly sustained the Confederate States
commissariat during the last two years of the war.

The "Fannie and Jennie."

The _Fannie and Jennie_ was a side-wheel Confederate steamer of note,
engaged in running the blockade for about a year during the Four Years'
War. She was of good speed, fourteen knots, and was commanded, it is
said, by Captain Coxetter, of Charleston. During the night of February
9, 1864, she made the land to the northward of Wrightsville Beach,
but her pilot, Burriss, was not sure of his position, so he anchored
the ship and made a landing in the surf to ascertain his bearings.
It having been the intention of the captain to make the land about
two miles north of Fort Fisher, he then proceeded down the beach in
the darkness. Unhappily, however, she stood too close in shore, and
grounded repeatedly, and at about midnight stranded on a shoal a mile
or two to the southward of where Lumina now stands. At daylight she
was discovered by the Federal cruiser _Florida_, commanded by Capt.
Peirce Crosby, who made me a prisoner of war a few months later.
Captain Crosby, desiring to save the _Fannie and Jennie_ and realize
big prize money, ran a hawser from his ship to the stranded vessel,
intending to pull her off into deep water, when a Confederate flying
battery of Whitworth guns of long range, from Fort Fisher, opened fire
from Masonboro Beach, and with great precision cut off one of the
_Florida's_ paddle-wheel arms, broke a second one, and cut a rim of the
wheel in two; also, one of the Confederate shells exploded on board
the _Florida_ and came near destroying her. The _Florida_ returned the
fire, which so alarmed the captain and crew of the _Fannie and Jennie_
that some of them attempted to reach the beach in boats. In this
attempt Captain Coxetter and his purser were drowned in the breakers,
the others gaining the shore; the rest of the crew, twenty-five in
number, who remained on board were made prisoners by the Federals.
Captain Coxetter had in his keeping a very valuable gold jewelled
sword, which was to be delivered to Gen. R.E. Lee as an expression of
the admiration of many prominent English sympathizers. It is still on
board this wreck, which lies near a line of breakers to the south of
Lumina. The _Fannie and Jennie_ was loaded with a valuable cargo, five
days out from Nassau bound to Wilmington, when she was stranded.

The "Emily of London."

During the month of January, 1864, while my ship was in St. George,
Bermuda, loading for Wilmington, I met frequently an attractive young
Virginian named Selden, of the Confederate Signal Service, who had been
detailed as signal officer on the fine new steamer _Emily of London_;
and I became most favorably impressed with this courteous Christian
gentleman and with the superior qualities of his beautiful vessel. All
of her appointments were first-class, and her equipment was superior
to that of any other blockade runner of the fleet. As she lies now in
sight of my cottage on Wrightsville Beach, visible at every turn of the
tide, I often wonder what became of Selden, for I never learned his
fate after the stranding and loss of his fine ship a mile or so above
the wreck of the _Fannie and Jennie_, on the same night, February 9,

The only particulars of the stranding of the _Emily_ are embodied in
the official report of her discovery on the beach by Captain Crosby, of
the Federal cruiser _Florida_, who found her ashore between Masonboro
Inlet and Wrightsville Beach after her captain and crew had abandoned
her. She was then set on fire by bombshells from the cruiser _Florida_,
a loud explosion on board of the wrecked vessel indicating that her
cargo was probably partly composed of explosives for the Confederacy.

Captain Crosby adds that she was a new and very handsome steamer,
expensively fitted out. It is presumed that the _Emily's_ captain and
crew, numbering about fifty men, succeeded in reaching the protection
of the Confederates.

The "Ella."

An ex-Confederate officer describing Wilmington during the blockade,
among many interesting things, said the following:

"Owing to the configuration of the coast it was almost impossible to
effect a close blockade. The Cape Fear had two mouths, Old Inlet, at
the entrance of which Fort Caswell stands, and New Inlet, nine miles
up the river, where Fort Fisher guarded the entrance. From the station
off Old Inlet, where there were usually from five to six blockaders,
around to the station off New Inlet, a vessel would have to make an
arc of some fifty miles, owing to the Frying Pan Shoals intervening,
while from Caswell across to Fisher was only nine miles. The plan of
the blockade runners coming in was to strike the coast thirty or forty
miles above or below the inlets, and then run along (of course at
night) until they got under the protection of the forts. Sometimes they
got in or out by boldly running through the blockading fleet, but that
was hazardous; for, if discovered, the ocean was alive with rockets and
lights, and it was no pleasant thing to have shells and balls whistling
over you and around you. The chances were then that if you were not
caught you had, in spite of your speed, to throw a good many bales of
cotton overboard.

"The wreck of these blockade runners not infrequently occurred by
being stranded or beached, and highly diverting skirmishes would
occur between the blockaders and the garrisons of the forts for the
possession. The fleet, however, never liked the Whitworth guns we had,
which shot almost with the accuracy of a rifle and with a tremendous
range. The soldiers generally managed to wreck the stranded vessel
successfully, though often-times with great peril and hardship. It
mattered very little to the owners then who got her, as they did
not see much of what was recovered--the soldiers thinking they were
entitled to what they got at the risk of their lives. But a wreck was
a most demoralizing affair. The whole garrison generally got drunk and
stayed drunk for a week or so afterwards. Brandy and fine wines flowed
like water; and it was a month perhaps before matters could be got
straight. Many accumulated snug little sums from the misfortunes of the
blockade runners, who generally denounced such pillage as piracy; but
it could not be helped.

"We recollect the wrecking of the _Ella_, off Bald Head, in December,
1864. She belonged to the Bee Company, of Charleston, and was a
splendid new steamer, on her second trip in, with a large and valuable
cargo almost entirely owned by private parties and speculators. She
was chased ashore by the blockading fleet, and immediately abandoned
by her officers and crew, whom nothing would induce to go back in
order to save her cargo. Yankee shells flying over, and through, and
around her, had no charms for these sons of Neptune. Captain Badham,
however, and his company, the Edenton (N. C.) Battery, with Captain
Bahnson, a fighting Quaker from Salem, N.C., boarded and wrecked her
under the fire of the Federals, six shells passing through the _Ella_
while they were removing her cargo. The consequence was that for a
month afterwards nearly the whole garrison was on 'a tight,' and
groceries and dry goods were plentiful in that vicinity. The general
demoralization produced by 'London Dock' and 'Hollands' seemed even to
have affected that holy man, the chaplain, who said some very queer
graces at the headquarters mess table."

The "Modern Greece."

One of the earliest strandings of friendly steamers near New Inlet, or
Cape Fear main bar, was that of the _Modern Greece_, which was also
the most important and interesting. On the morning of the 27th of
June, 1862, at 4.15 o'clock the _Modern Greece_ had safely evaded many
Federal cruisers and was within three miles of Fort Fisher, headed
for New Inlet, when she was seen by one of the Federal blockaders,
the _Cambridge_, which immediately gave chase and pelted the _Modern
Greece_ with bombshells. The _Cambridge_ was joined by the Federal
cruiser _Stars and Stripes_, which also opened fire on the _Modern
Greece_, the latter being then run ashore to avoid capture, her crew
escaping in their boats to the shore. In the meantime Fort Fisher was
firing at the enemy and also at the _Modern Greece_ where she was
stranded, in order to prevent the Federals from hauling her off. The
crew of the _Modern Greece_ was in great peril during this bombardment,
as part of her valuable cargo consisted of a thousand tons of powder
for the Confederacy and many guns. The garrison at Fort Fisher
subsequently landed a large amount of clothing and barrels of spirits,
and the spirits flowed like water for several weeks to the scandal
of the fort and its defenders. Its potent influence was also felt in
Wilmington. The _Modern Greece_ was a large British propeller of about
1,000 tons net register, one of the largest blockade runners of the
war. She now lies deep in the sand near Fort Fisher.

The "Elizabeth."

One of the regular passenger and freight boats which ran between New
Orleans and Galveston before the war was named _Atlantic_. She became a
famous blockade runner under her original name, which was changed later
to _Elizabeth_.

I think she was commanded for several voyages by the celebrated
Capt. Thomas J. Lockwood of Southport and Charleston, whose capable
brother-in-law, George C. McDougal, was her chief engineer. Mr.
McDougal was a man of fine qualities, quiet and retiring in his
demeanor. He made in various steamers sixty successful runs through
the blockade. For more than twenty-five years after the war I enjoyed
the privilege of his intimate confidences, and I have no hesitation
in saying that he was to my mind the most remarkable man who had been
engaged in blockade running.

On the 19th of September, 1863, the _Elizabeth_ sailed from Nassau with
a general cargo, mostly steel and saltpeter, bound for Wilmington,
but through some unknown cause ran ashore at Lockwood's Folly, twelve
miles from Fort Caswell. The captain set her on fire and burned her on
the 24th, the crew escaping to the shore. A man who gave his name as
Norris or Morris was captured, second officer on the _Douro_, stranded
October 12, 1863, and he told the commander of the cruiser _Nansemond_
that he was a Federal spy and that he was on the _Elizabeth_ when she
was stranded, and he exhibited eight ounces of laudanum and two ounces
of chloroform which he said he bought in Nassau to put in the whisky
and water of the firemen of the _Elizabeth_ and of the _Douro_ so as
to cause the capture of these vessels, but he did not explain why the
_Elizabeth_ went ashore while he was in her.

The "Georgiana McCaw."

About the year 1878 there flourished in Wilmington the Historical and
Literary Society, composed of about fifty eminent citizens of education
and refinement. In those days our representative men found pleasure and
relaxation from the drudgery of business or the strain of professional
life in the congenial company which assembled for mutual benefit once a
month in the lecture room of the Presbyterian Church on Orange Street.
Such men as Doctor Wilson, father of the President, Doctor DeRosset,
Alfred Martin and his son E.S. Martin, who sometimes represented
opposing views, Doctor Wood, Edward Cantwell, Doctor Morrelle,
Alexander Sprunt, Henry Nutt, and many others, engaged in learned
discussions of subjects suggested by the title of this organization.

On a certain occasion one of the gentlemen named, to whose patriotic
ardor we were almost wholly indebted for the closure of New Inlet
and the consequent benefit to Cape Fear commerce, rose in his usual
dignified and impressive manner with an air of extraordinary importance
and mystery. Said he, "Mr. Chairman, I hold in my hands a relic of
prehistoric times, cast up by the heaving billows off Federal Point,
formerly known as Confederate Point. It is a piece of corroded brass
upon which is inscribed a legend as yet indecipherable; in all
probability it long antedates the coming of Columbus."

A curious group immediately surrounded the learned member with
expressions of awe and admiration, and after several speeches had been
made, by resolution unanimously adopted, Mr. E.S. Martin and two other
members were entrusted with the precious relic for its elucidation by
conferring with the antedeluvian societies of the North.

At the following monthly meeting Mr. Martin reported for his
committee that their efforts to identify the relic through reference
to archæological societies in the North had been futile, but that a
profane Scotchman had informed them that the piece of metal was no more
than a part of the bow or stern escutcheon of the stranded blockade
runner _Georgiana McCaw_, the palm tree in the center surrounded by the
motto "Let Glasgow Flourish," being the coat of arms of Glasgow,[1]
Scotland, the home port of the said blockade runner. Alas! it was
only another case of Bill Stubbs, his mark, but we never took the
antedeluvians of the North into our confidence about it.

The official report of Acting Master Everson, U. S. Navy, commanding
the Federal cruiser _Victoria_, dated off Western Bar, Wilmington,
N.C., June 2, 1864, addressed to the senior officer of the blockading
squadron, is as follows, with reference to the stranding of the
_Georgiana McCaw_:

"Sir: I have the honor to report that at 3 a.m., of this date, and
while drifting in three and a half fathoms water, Bald Head Light
bearing east, saw white water near the beach to the south and
westward, which I supposed to be a steamer. I immediately steamed
ahead at full speed toward the beach in order to cut her off.

"On near approach I discovered her to be a side-wheel steamer, steering
for the bar.

"As he crossed my bow I rounded to in his wake and discharged at him
my starboard 8-inch gun, loaded with one 5-second shell and stand of
grape, and kept firing my 30-pound rifle as I continued the chase,
until 3.30 a.m. she struck on the bar. I immediately ordered the first
and second cutters to board and fire her, the former under command of
Acting Master's Mate William Moody, the latter under charge of Acting
Third Assistant Engineer Thomas W. Hineline.

"On arrival on board they found that two boats, with their crews, had
escaped to the shore.

"They, however, succeeded in capturing twenty-nine of the crew,
including the captain and most of the officers, together with three

"They fired her in several places, and she continued to burn until 10
a.m., when she was boarded from the shore. At daylight Fort Caswell and
the adjacent batteries opened fire on our boats with shot and shell,
which compelled them to return without accomplishing her destruction.

"She proved to be the _Georgiana McCaw_ of Liverpool, 700 tons burden,
from Nassau, bound to Wilmington, N.C.

"Her cargo consists of about 60 tons provisions, etc.

"I would add, sir, that too much credit can not be awarded to Acting
Master's Mate William Moody and Acting Third Assistant Engineer Thomas
W. Hineline for their perseverance and energy displayed, and their cool
and gallant conduct while under fire of the enemy."

The "Wild Dayrell."

One of the most prominent personalities of the blockade era was Thomas
E. Taylor, a young Englishman, aged twenty-one, who was sent by a
wealthy Liverpool firm to direct in person the movements of steamers
which they had bought or builded for this dangerous traffic. He began
with the old steamer _Dispatch_, which was found to be too slow and
after one or more voyages was sent back to England. His employers then
began building lighter, faster boats specially adapted to the purpose,
until they owned and operated a fleet of fifteen steamers. One of them,
the _Banshee_, was the first steel vessel that crossed the Atlantic,
and Mr. Taylor came in her to Wilmington. His agreeable manners and
courteous deportment attracted the favorable recognition of General
Whiting and of Colonel Lamb, whose personal and official regard was of
great value to Mr. Taylor. He wrote an interesting book after the war
from which I take the following incidents in his eventful career.

"As soon as the nights were sufficiently dark we made a start for
Wilmington, unfortunately meeting very bad weather and strong head
winds, which delayed us; the result was that instead of making out
the blockading fleet about midnight, as we had intended, when dawn
was breaking there were still no signs of it. Captain Capper, the
chief engineer, and I then held a hurried consultation as to what we
had better do. Capper was for going to sea again, and if necessary
returning to Nassau; the weather was still threatening, our coal supply
running short, and, with a leaky ship beneath us, the engineer and
I decided that the lesser risk would be to make a dash for it. 'All
right,' said Capper, 'we'll go on, but you'll get d----d well peppered!'

"We steamed cautiously on, making as little smoke as possible, whilst
I went to the mast-head to take a look around; no land was in sight,
but I could make out in the dull morning light the heavy spars of the
blockading flagship right ahead of us, and soon after several other
masts became visible on each side of her. Picking out what appeared to
me to be the widest space between these, I signaled to the deck how
to steer, and we went steadily on, determined when we found we were
perceived to make a rush for it. No doubt our very audacity helped us
through, as for some time they took no notice, evidently thinking we
were one of their own chasers returning from sea to take up her station
for the day.

"At last, to my great relief, I saw Fort Fisher just appearing above
the horizon, although we knew that the perilous passage between these
blockaders must be made before we could come under the friendly
protection of its guns. Suddenly, we became aware that our enemy had
found us out; we saw two cruisers steaming toward one another from
either side of us, so as to intercept us at a given point before we
could get on the land side of them. It now became simply a question of
speed and immunity from being sunk by shot. Our little vessel quivered
under the tremendous pressure with which she was being driven through
the water.

"An exciting time followed, as we and our two enemies rapidly converged
upon one point, others in the distance also hurrying up to assist
them. We were now near enough to be within range, and the cruiser on
our port side opened fire; his first shot carried away our flagstaff
aft on which our ensign had just been hoisted; his second tore through
our forehold, bulging out a plate on the opposite side. Bedding and
blankets to stop the leak were at once requisitioned, and we steamed
on full speed under a heavy fire from both quarters. Suddenly, puffs
of smoke from the fort showed us that Colonel Lamb, the commandant,
was aware of what was going on and was firing to protect us; a welcome
proof that we were drawing within range of his guns and on the landward
side of our pursuers, who, after giving us a few more parting shots,
hauled off and steamed away from within reach of the shells which we
were rejoiced to see falling thickly around them.

"We had passed through a most thrilling experience; at one time the
cruiser on our port side was only a hundred yards away from us with
her consort a hundred and fifty on the starboard, and it seemed a
miracle that their double fire had not completely sunk us. It certainly
required all one's nerve to stand upon the paddle box, looking without
flinching almost into the muzzles of the guns which were firing at us;
and proud we were of our crew, not a man of whom showed the white
feather. Our pilot, who showed no lack of courage at the time, became,
however, terribly excited as we neared the bar, and whether it was that
the ship steered badly, owing to being submerged forward, or from some
mistake, he ran her ashore whilst going at full speed."

On the following voyage Mr. Taylor says: "It was a critical time when
daylight broke, dull and threatening. The captain was at the wheel and
I at the mast-head (all other hands being employed at the pumps, and
even baling), when, not four miles off, I sighted a cruiser broadside
on. She turned round as if preparing to give chase, and I thought we
were done for, as we could not have got more than three or four knots
an hour out of our crippled boat. To my great joy, however, I found our
alarm was needless, for she evidently had not seen us, and instead of
heading turned her stern toward us and disappeared into a thick bank of

"Still we were far from being out of danger, as the weather became
worse and worse and the wind increased in force until it was blowing
almost a gale. Things began to look as ugly as they could, and even
Captain Capper lost hope; I shall never forget the expression on his
face as he came up to me and said, in his gruff voice, 'I say, Mr.
Taylor, the beggar's going, the beggar's going,' pointing vehemently
downwards. 'What the devil do you mean?' I asked. 'Why, we are going to
lose the ship and our lives, too,' was the answer. It is not possible
for any one unacquainted with Capper to appreciate this scene. Sturdy,
thickset, nearly as broad as he was long, and with the gruffest manner
but kindest heart--a rough diamond and absolutely without fear. With
the exception of Steele he was the best blockade-running captain we had.

"In order to save the steamer and our lives we decided that desperate
remedies must be resorted to, so again the unlucky deck cargo had to be
sacrificed. The good effect of this was soon visible; we began to gain
on the water, and were able, by degrees, to relight our extinguished
fires. But the struggle continued to be a most severe one, for just
when we began to obtain a mastery over the water the donkey engine
broke down, and before we could repair it the water increased sensibly,
nearly putting out our fires again. So the struggle went on for sixty
hours, when we were truly thankful to steam into Nassau Harbor and
beach the ship. It was a very narrow escape, for within twenty minutes
after stopping her engines the vessel had sunk to the level of the

"After this I made a trip in a new boat that had just been sent out to
me, the _Wild Dayrell_. And a beauty she was, very strong, a perfect
sea boat, and remarkably well engined.

"Our voyage in was somewhat exciting, as about three o'clock in the
afternoon, while making for Fort Caswell entrance (not Fort Fisher), we
were sighted by a Federal cruiser that immediately gave chase. We soon
found, however, that we had the heels of our friend, but it left us
the alternative of going out to sea or being chased straight into the
jaws of the blockaders off the bar before darkness came on. Under these
circumstances what course to take was a delicate point to decide, but
we solved the problem by slowing down just sufficiently to keep a few
miles ahead of our chaser, hoping that darkness would come on before
we made the fleet or they discovered us. Just as twilight was drawing
in we made them out; cautiously we crept on, feeling certain that our
enemy astern was rapidly closing up on us. Every moment we expected
to hear shot whistling around us. So plainly could we see the sleepy
blockaders that it seemed almost impossible we should escape their
notice. Whether they did not expect a runner to make an attempt so
early in the evening, or whether it was sheer good luck on our part,
I know not, but we ran through the lot without being seen or without
having a shot fired at us.

"Our anxieties, however, were not yet over, as our pilot (a new hand)
lost his reckoning and put us ashore on the bar. Fortunately, the flood
tide was rising fast, and we refloated, bumping over stern first in a
most inglorious fashion, and anchored off Fort Caswell before 7 p.m.--a
record performance. Soon after anchoring we saw a great commotion among
the blockaders, who were throwing up rockets and flashing lights,
evidently in answer to signals from the cruiser which had so nearly
chased us into their midst.

"When we came out we met with equally good luck, as the night was pitch
dark and the weather very squally. No sooner did we clear the bar
than we put our helm aport, ran down the coast, and then stood boldly
straight out to sea without interference; and it was perhaps as well we
had such good fortune, as before this I had discovered that our pilot
was of very indifferent caliber, and that courage was not our captain's
most prominent characteristic. The poor _Wild Dayrell_ deserved a
better commander, and consequently a better fate than befell her. She
was lost on her second trip, entirely through the want of pluck on the
part of her captain, who ran her ashore some miles to the north of Fort
Fisher; as he said in order to avoid capture--to my mind a fatal excuse
for any blockade-running captain to make. 'Twere far better to be sunk
by shot and escape in the boats if possible. I am quite certain that if
Steele or Capper had commanded her on that trip she would never have
been put ashore, and the chances are that she would have come through
all right.

"I never forgave myself for not unshipping the captain on my return
to Nassau; my only excuse was that there was no good man available to
replace him, and he was a particular protégé of my chief. But such
considerations should not have weighed, and if I had had the courage of
my convictions it is probable the _Wild Dayrell_ would have proved as
successful as any of our steamers."

The rest of the story of the loss of the fine steamer _Wild Dayrell_,
which was accidentally run ashore at Stump Inlet February 1, 1864, is
told in the official report of Lieut. Commander F.A. Roe of the U.S.
cruiser _Sassacus_ to Admiral S.P. Lee, as follows:

U.S.S. "Sassacus."

Off Stump Inlet, N.C., _February 3, 1864_.

"Sir: I have to report that about 11 o'clock a.m., on the morning
of the 1st instant, in about the parallel of Topsail Inlet, N.C., I
discovered a steamer close inshore, showing heavy columns of smoke. I
headed for her at once, and, upon approaching, found her ashore at the
mouth of Stump Inlet. Her crew were busy throwing overboard her cargo,
a portion of which was scattered along the beach. When within reach of
my guns, her crew and people fled in their boats, when I fired a few
guns to disperse any enemies that might be hovering near. I boarded and
took possession of the steamer, which proved to be the blockade runner
_Wild Dayrell_. All the papers which I could find I herewith transmit.
She was inward bound, two days from Nassau. I found her furnaces filled
with fuel and burning, with the intention of destroying her boilers.
I hauled her fires and found her machinery and the vessel in perfect
order, with a portion of her cargo, consisting of assorted merchandise,
still on board. I immediately got our hawsers and attempted to pull
her off, but failed, owing to the falling of the tide. I made another
attempt at 1 o'clock a.m. on the morning of the 2d, but parted the
hawser. The weather looking bad, I put to sea until daylight, when I
returned and assumed a new position to endeavor to get her off.

"In the meantime, I commenced to lighten the vessel by throwing
overboard about 20 tons of coal. At high water, about 2 p.m. of the 2d,
I commenced tugging at her again, when, after some time, the current
sweeping me close to the shoal to leeward, the _Sassacus_ struck
twice lightly. I cut the hawser and steamed up to a new position and
anchored. During this trial, the U.S.S. _Florida_, Commander Crosby,
came in and anchored, with offers of assistance to us. During this
trial the wind blew fresh from the southward and westward in heavy
flaws, which was the principal cause of my failure to get her off. I
then steamed up to a new position to try her again. On the 3d, while
getting on board our hawsers to the prize, with the assistance of the
boats of the _Florida_, my cable suddenly parted and I was forced to
steam out to keep from fouling the _Florida_, which was anchored near,
and in so doing parted the hauling lines of the hawsers, which were
being hauled in by the _Florida's_ men on board the prize.

"During this last operation the enemy appeared and opened fire with
musketry upon the _Sassacus_ and the boats coming from the prize. Both
vessels promptly opened fire and the enemy were driven off.

"I would here observe that the cable of this vessel parted unduly,
without having been strained by any swell or heavy wind, thus losing
the anchor and about five fathoms of cable. We were anchored in two and
three-quarter fathoms water; the cable was undoubtedly bad.

"Upon consultation with Commander Crosby we decided that it was
impossible to get the steamer off, and that we must destroy her.
Accordingly, I gave the signal to the men on board of her to set fire
to her thoroughly and return aboard, which was done. Both vessels then
opened fire upon the steamer, and she was riddled at about the water
line with raking shots from the _Sassacus_. No attempt was made to
save her cargo, as I deemed it impracticable to do so. Not one-half of
her cargo had been thrown overboard and the rest, which I deemed very
valuable merchandise, was consumed with the vessel. Valuable time would
have been lost in the effort, and to pillage her would have demoralized
my men for healthy action in some future similar service. Having
effected this duty, I put to sea at about eight o'clock of the evening
of the 3d.

"I transmit herewith an appraisement of value of the steamer and cargo,
made by a board ordered upon that service.

  "I have the honor to be, Sir,
  "Very respectfully,
  "Your obedient servant,
  "F.A. Roe,
  "_Lieutenant Commander_.

  "Acting Rear Admiral S.P. Lee,
  "_Comdg. North Atlantic Blockading Squadron,
  Hampton Roads_."

The "General Beauregard."

Of the steamer _General Beauregard_ I have but little information,
although I remember her as a valuable ship. The _Richmond Whig_ of
December 16, 1863, states that according to the _Wilmington Journal_
this steamer was chased ashore by the Federal blockaders on the night
of the 11th instant some distance above Fort Fisher, near Battery
Gatlin, and that she had been set on fire.

Captain Ridgely of the Federal cruiser _Shenandoah_ (which chased
my ship the _Lilian_ for five hours later) reported to Admiral S.P.
Lee, December 16, 1863, that on the evening of the 11th of December,
1863, between seven and eight o'clock, the cruiser _Howquah_ saw the
_General Beauregard_ coming down the beach heading for Cape Fear or New
Inlet. He gave chase and opened fire on him. The _Beauregard_ being
impeded by a heavy sea and finding escape impossible, ran ashore at the
point already described.

The next morning the cruiser, accompanied by the _Tuscarora_, tried
to board the _Beauregard_, but they were attacked by two Confederate
batteries, one to the north and another to the south of the stranded
vessel, and driven off, the _Tuscarora_ being struck by a Confederate
shell in her quarter. The _Beauregard_ is still conspicuous on Carolina
Beach at all stages of the tide, showing her battered hull high above
the level of the sea.

The "Douro."

In the spring of 1863 this fine steamer was captured at sea by the
Federal cruisers, sent to a port of adjudication in the North,
condemned and sold at auction, taken to the British Provinces (Halifax,
I think) and there purchased, it was said, by the Confederate
Government. At all events she was fitted out for the same service and
in a few weeks reappeared at Nassau, where I saw her as a Confederate
steamer under the Confederate flag. On the night of the 11th of
October, 1863, the _Douro_ attempted to run the blockade at New Inlet,
loaded with a valuable cargo of 550 bales of cotton, 279 boxes of
tobacco, 20 tierces of tobacco, and a quantity of turpentine and rosin,
belonging to the Confederate Government. At 8.30 of the same night she
eluded the Federal fleet and was running up the beach towards Masonboro
in two and one-half fathoms of water, when she was pursued by the
cruiser _Nansemond_, which tried to get between the _Douro_ and the
beach, but failed because of shoal water. Had the _Douro_ kept on her
course she would have escaped, but, taking a panic, she reversed her
course, and headed back for the bar at New Inlet, was then intercepted
by the _Nansemond_ and run ashore, instead of facing the gun fire of
the fleet with a chance of getting under Fort Fisher's protection.
The captain and most of the crew escaped in the _Douro's_ boats, but
five, remaining on board, were captured by the cruiser _Nansemond_. It
was said at the time that this fine ship (a propeller) was owned in
Wilmington and that her cargo was for the Confederate Government. She
now lies just above the _Hebe_ between Fort Fisher and Masonboro Inlet.

The "Dee."

Two of the finest blockade runners, sister ships, called the _Don_ and
the _Dee_, met at last with disaster. The _Don_, after running the
gauntlet some ten or twelve times, was captured at sea. She had been
commanded from her first voyage to the one before the last by Captain
Roberts, so-called, really Captain Hobart, of the Royal British Navy,
who later became Hobart Pasha, admiral in chief of the Turkish Navy. He
was a son of the Earl of Buckinghamshire. The _Dee_ was commanded for
three successful voyages by Capt. George H. Bier, formerly a Lieutenant
in the U.S. Navy. At 8 o'clock a.m. February 6, 1864, the U.S.S.
_Cambridge_ on the blockade off New Inlet discovered the _Dee_ from
Hamilton, Bermuda, loaded with pig lead, bacon, and military stores,
bound for Wilmington, ashore and on fire about a mile to the southward
of Masonboro Inlet.

The _Cambridge_ at once boarded the stranded vessel and attempted to
salve her, but the fire was too hot and the ship too deeply embedded
in the sand to haul her off into deep water. She was accordingly
bombarded and abandoned. The _Dee's_ crew escaped to the shore, with
the exception of seven men, who fell into the hands of the Federals. It
is not known whether the _Dee_ ran ashore from accident or design.

Steamer "Nutfield."

I learn from official reports that after Captain Roe of the U.S.S.
_Sassacus_ had practically destroyed the _Wild Dayrell_ by gun fire
he stood out to sea and regained his position in the outer line of
cruisers, known as the Bermuda line or track, and that at daylight
of the 4th of February, 1864, he discovered a blockade runner to the
northward, which proved to be the fine new iron steamer _Nutfield_ of
750 tons (unusually large size), from Bermuda bound for Wilmington.
The _Sassacus_, being the faster ship, increased her speed to thirteen
knots, and at noon succeeded in getting in range of the _Nutfield_
with her 100-pounder rifle guns, which did such execution that the
hard pressed _Nutfield_ changed her course, heading for the land,
and ran ashore at New River Inlet. The _Nutfield's_ crew set her on
fire and fled precipitately in their boats for the beach. One of the
_Nutfield's_ boats capsized in the surf and the Federals tried to
rescue the crew but only succeeded in saving the purser, the others
being supposedly drowned. Efforts were made by the _Sassacus_ for two
days to haul off the _Nutfield_, which was a very valuable prize, being
loaded with an assorted cargo of merchandise, drugs, munitions of war,
Enfield rifles, a battery of eight very valuable Whitworth guns, and a
quantity of pig lead; the battery and the lead were thrown overboard
during the chase. The _Nutfield_ had escaped from the blockading fleet
at New Inlet the night before and was off New River intending to try
the Cape Fear the following night, but most unfortunately fell in with
the _Sassacus_, a fast cruiser, during the day. A large part of her
valuable cargo was taken out of her by the Federals.

The "Banshee's" Narrow Escape.[2]

Mr. Thomas E. Taylor was agent for the blockade runner _Banshee_, and
I quote his narrative: "One very dark night (I think it was either on
the fourth or fifth trip) we made the land about twelve miles above
Fort Fisher, and were creeping quietly down as usual, when all at once
we made a cruiser out, lying on our port bow, and slowly moving about
200 yards from the shore. It was a question of going inside or outside
her; if we went outside she was certain to see us, and would chase us
into the very jaws of the fleet. As we had very little steam up we
chose the former alternative, hoping to pass unobserved between the
cruiser and the shore, aided by the dark background of the latter. It
was an exciting moment; we got almost abreast of her, as we thought,
unobserved, and success seemed within our grasp, till we saw her move
in toward us and heard her hail as we came on, 'Stop that steamer or I
will sink you!'

"Old Steele growled out that we hadn't time to stop, and shouted down
the engine-room tube to Erskine to pile on the coal, as concealment was
no longer any use. Our friend, which we afterwards found out was the
_Niphon_, opened fire as fast as she could and sheered close into us,
so close that her boarders were called away twice, and a slanging match
went on between us, like that sometimes to be heard between two penny
steamboat captains on the Thames. She closed the dispute by shooting
away our foremast, exploding a shell in our bunkers, and, when we began
to leave her astern, by treating us to grape and canister. It was a
miracle that no one was killed, but the crew were all lying flat on the
deck, except the steersman; and at one time I fear he did the same, for
as Pilot Burroughs suddenly cried, 'My God, Mr. Taylor, look there!' I
saw our boat heading right into the surf, so, jumping from the bridge,
I ran aft and found the helmsman on his stomach. I rushed at the wheel
and got two or three spokes out of it, which hauled her head off land,
but it was a close shave.

"Two miles farther we picked up another cruiser, which tried to treat
us in a similar manner, but as we had plenty of steam we soon left
her. A little farther we came across a large side-wheel boat, which
tried to run us down, missing us only by a few yards; after that we
were unmolested and arrived in safe, warmly congratulated by Lamb, who
thought from the violent cannonade that we must certainly be sunk.

"Not more than one man out of a hundred would have brought a boat
through as Steele did that night--the other ninety-nine would have run
her ashore."

The "Venus."

The official report of Lieutenant Lamson, U.S. steamer _Nansemond_,
off New Inlet, October 21, 1863, says, "I have the honor to report the
capture and entire destruction of the blockade runner _Venus_, from
Nassau to Wilmington with a cargo of lead, drugs, dry goods, bacon, and

"This morning at 12.30 she attempted to run the blockade, but was
discovered by this vessel, and after a short chase overhauled. When
abeam, I opened fire on her, one shot striking her foremast, another
exploding in her wardroom, a third passing through forward and killing
one man, and a fourth, striking under the guard near the water line,
knocked in an iron plate, causing her to make water fast. She was run
ashore. We boarded her at once, capturing her captain and twenty-two
of her officers and crew. The U.S.S. _Niphon_, Acting Master J.B.
Breck commanding, which was lying near where she went ashore, came
immediately to my assistance. I ran a 9-inch hawser to the _Venus_,
and Captain Breck sent a 7-inch hawser to the _Nansemond's_ bow, but
all our efforts were unavailing, as the tide had turned ebb and she
was going at least 14 knots an hour when she went ashore. Finding it
impossible to move her, I ordered her to be set on fire, which was done
in three places by Acting Ensigns Porter and Henderson, of this vessel.
Our boats were for some time exposed to a sharp fire of musketry from
the beach, and the vessel was within range of one of the batteries. We
had just commenced shelling her machinery when another vessel was seen
off shore, and by the light of the burning steamer I was able to give
her one shot and started in pursuit, but it was so cloudy and hazy that
we lost sight of her almost immediately. I ran east at the rate of
fourteen knots till 7 o'clock, but did not get sight of her again, and
ran back, making the land on the northward.

"In the meantime, Captain Breck, with the assistance of the _Iron Age_,
Lieut. Commander Stone, had completed the destruction of the _Venus_,
her boilers having been blown up and her hull riddled with shell.

"I have to express my thanks to Captain Breck for the prompt assistance
rendered me by sending his boats to assist in carrying my heavy hawser
to the _Nansemond's_ bows. His boats then reported to Acting Ensign
J.H. Porter, who was in charge of the _Venus_. The fire forward not
burning well as it was expected, he sent a boat on board in the morning
and rekindled it."

The _Venus_ was 265 feet long and 1,000 tons measurement, and is
represented by her captain and officers to have been one of the finest
and fastest vessels engaged in running the blockade. She had the finest
engines of any vessel in this trade and was sheathed completely over
with iron. She drew eight feet of water, and when bound out last,
crossed the bar at low water with over 600 bales of cotton on board.
The wrecks of the _Hebe_, _Douro_, and _Venus_ are within a short
distance of each other.

A private notebook was found by the Federal boarding party in the
effects of the captain of the _Venus_, in which a list of blockade
runners engaged in the year 1863 was entered as follows, a total of 75
steamers, of which 34 were captured or destroyed, but this list was not
complete, as a hundred at least were engaged during that period.

Vessels Engaged in Running the Blockade in 1863.

(Those marked C had been captured or destroyed.)

  _Nina_ (C)
  _Leopard_ (C)
  _Thistle_ (C)
  _Douro_ (C)
  _Calypso_ (C)
  _Granite City_ (C)
  _Ruby_ (C)
  _Eagle_ (C)
  _Annie Childs_ (C)
  _Wave Queen_ (C)
  _Giraffe_ (C)
  _Hebe_ (C)
  _Venus_ (C)
  _Juno_ (C)
  _Princess Royal_ (C)
  _Cronstadt_ (C)
  _Phantom_ (C)
  _Lord Clyde_
  _Spaulding_ (C)
  _Mary Ann_
  _Mail_ (C)
  Cornubia_ (C)
  _Nicolai I_ (C)
  _St. John_ (C)
  _Gertrude_ (C)
  _Britannia_ (C)
  _Emma_ (C)
  _Georgiana_ (C)
  _J.P. Hughes_
  _Alice_ (_Mobile_)
  _Aries_ (_St. Thomas_) (C)
  _Neptune_ (C)
  _Norseman_ (C)
  _Merrimac_ (C)
  _Kate_ (C)
  _Siriens_ (_Sirius_?)
  _Cuba_ (_Mobile_) (C)
  _Arabian_ (C)
  _Juno II_
  _Flora II_
  _Elizabeth_ (C)
  _R.E. Lee_
  _Margaret and Jessie_
  _Hero II_
  _Stonewall Jackson_

Total, 75; captured and destroyed, 34.

The "Hebe."

Between the 15th of August and the 21st of October, 1863, the Federal
fleet known as the "North American Blockading Squadron" drove ashore
five blockade runners between New Inlet and Masonboro--the _Arabian_
inside the bar of New Inlet, which became an obstruction to our ships
trying to pass her; the beautiful steamer _Hebe_ near Masonboro Inlet,
the _Phantom_, the _Douro_, and the _Venus_ near each other off
Masonboro Sound.

As her classical name implies, the _Hebe_ was a fine example of marine
architecture. She was loaded with a full cargo of drugs, coffee,
clothing, and provisions, and although she was a fast ship of 14 knots,
she seems to have made a bad landfall on the morning of the 18th of
August, 1863, and while she was heading for New Inlet, distant about
eight miles, she was intercepted by the Federal gunboat _Niphon_, when
she up helm and ran ashore, the crew escaping in boats.

When the Federals attempted to haul the _Hebe_ off the beach after
she had run ashore, they met with formidable resistance by the
Confederates. Owing to a heavy sea the _Niphon's_ boat was driven
ashore and the Federals were attacked by a troop of Confederate cavalry
and all of them were captured. A Confederate force of riflemen,
supported by a battery of Whitworth guns, also attacked the cruiser
_Niphon_ from the shore and drove the blockader away from the _Hebe_,
but not before the Confederate had destroyed another Federal boat load
of the enemy which attempted to land. The _Niphon_ and the _Shokokon_,
the latter under the command of the celebrated Lieut. W.B. Cushing,
then bombarded the _Hebe_ and set her on fire.

On August 24, 1863, General Whiting, in command of the Confederate
forces at Wilmington headquarters, sent to the Secretary of War, Mr.
Seddon, the following account of the _Hebe_ disaster:

  "_Wilmington, August 24, 1863_.

"Sir: * * * Yesterday the enemy took a fancy to destroy what remained
of the wreck of the _Hebe_, a Crenshaw steamer run ashore some days
ago, and from which a company of the garrison of Fort Fisher was
engaged in saving property. The steam frigate _Minnesota_ and five
other gunboats approached the beach, and, under a terrific fire,
attempted to land, but were gallantly repulsed by Captain Munn, with a
Whitworth and two small rifle guns of short range. The site was about
nine miles from Fisher, on the narrow and low beach between the sounds
and the ocean, and completely under the fire of the enormous batteries
of the enemy. A portion of the squadron, steaming farther up the beach,
effected a landing some two miles off in largely superior force, and
came down upon Captain Munn, still gallantly fighting his little
guns against the _Minnesota_, they being moved by hand, and, having
fired his last round, the Whitworths disabled, one gunner killed, a
lieutenant and four men wounded, Captain Munn and his small party were
compelled to fall back under a heavy enfilade fire toward Fort Fisher,
with the loss of his guns.

"This took place about nine miles from Fort Fisher and about the same
distance from the city. The narrow beach, separated from the mainland
by the sounds, gives every facility to the enemy, and secures them from
us who are without boats or means of getting at them. The Fiftieth
(North Carolina) Regiment--the only one I have--was off at a distance,
called by a landing made by the enemy at Topsail, in which they burned,
the night before, a schooner, a salt work, and took two artillerymen

"These little affairs, however, are only mentioned in illustration.
This is the first time they have landed; but what they have done once
they can do again and doubtless will. There is no day scarcely until
the winter gales set in but what they could put 5,000 men on the beach;
they can get them from New Berne and Beaufort before I could know it.
I only say if they do they can get either Fort Fisher or the towns, as
they elect, if they set about it at once.

"The efforts of the enemy to stop our steamers are increasing. Their
force is largely increased. I have met with a serious and heavy loss
in that Whitworth, a gun that in the hands of the indefatigable Lamb
has saved dozens of vessels and millions of money to the Confederate
States. I beg that a couple of the Whitworth guns originally saved
by him from the _Modern Greece_ may be sent here at once. Their long
range, five or six miles, makes them most suitable for a seaboard
position. Could I get them with horses we could save many a vessel that
will now be lost to us. But chiefly in this letter I beg of you, if you
concur in my views, to lay the matter of the necessity of increasing
the force here before the President.

  "Very respectfully,

  "W.H.C. Whiting,

  "_Major General_.

  "Hon. James A. Seddon,

  "_Secretary War, Richmond_."

A Port of Refuge.

The natural advantages of Wilmington at the time of the War between
the States made it an ideal port for blockade runners, there being two
entrances to the river--New Inlet on the north and Western or Main Bar
on the south of Cape Fear.

The slope of our beach is very gradual to deep water. The soundings
along the coast are regular, and the floor of the ocean is remarkably
even. A steamer hard pressed by the enemy could run along the outer
edge of the breakers without great risk of grounding; the pursuer,
being usually of deeper draft, was obliged to keep farther off shore.

The "Lilian."

The Confederate steamer _Lilian_, of which I was then purser, was
chased for nearly a hundred miles from Cape Lookout by the U.S. steamer
_Shenandoah_, which sailed a parallel course within half a mile of her
and forced the _Lilian_ at times into the breakers. This was probably
the narrowest escape ever made by a blockade runner in a chase. The
_Shenandoah_ began firing her broadside guns at three o'clock in the
afternoon, her gunners and the commanding officers of the batteries
being distinctly visible to the _Lilian's_ crew. A heavy sea was
running, which deflected the aim of the man-of-war, and this alone
saved the _Lilian_ from destruction. A furious bombardment by the
_Shenandoah_, aggravated by the display of the _Lilian's_ Confederate
flag, was continued until nightfall, when, by a clever ruse, the
_Lilian_, guided by the flash of her pursuer's guns, stopped for a
few minutes; then, putting her helm hard over, ran across the wake of
the warship straight out to sea, and, on the following morning, passed
the fleet off Fort Fisher in such a crippled condition that several
weeks were spent in Wilmington for repairs.

The "Lynx" and Her Pilot.

He is now the Rev. James William Craig,[4] Methodist preacher, but I
like to think of him as Jim Billy, the Cape Fear pilot of war times, on
the bridge of the swift Confederate blockade runner _Lynx_, commanded
by the intrepid Captain Reed, as she races through the blackness of
night on her course west nor'west, straight and true for the Federal
fleet off New Inlet, in utter silence, the salt spray of the sea
smiting the faces of the watches as they gaze ahead for the first sign
of imminent danger.

Soon there is added to the incessant noise of wind and waves the
ominous roar of the breakers, as the surf complains to the shore, and
the deep sea lead gives warning of shoaling water. "Half-speed" is
muttered through the speaking tube; a hurried parley; a recognized
landfall, for Reed is a fine navigator, and "Are you ready to take
her, Pilot?" "Ready, sir," comes from Jim Billy in the darkness. Then
the whispered orders through the tube: "Slow down," as there looms
ahead the first of the dread monsters of destruction; "Starboard,"
"Steady." And the little ship glides past like a phantom, unseen as
yet. Then "Port," "Port," "Hard a'port," in quick succession, as she
almost touches the second cruiser. She is now in the thick of the
blockading squadron; and suddenly, out of the darkness, close aboard,
comes the hoarse hail, "Heave to, or I'll sink you," followed by a
blinding glare of rockets and the roar of heavy guns. The devoted
little Confederate is now naked to her enemies, as the glare of rockets
and Drummond lights from many men-of-war illuminate the chase. Under a
pitiless hail of shot and shell from every quarter, she bounds forward
full speed ahead, every joint and rivet straining, while Jim Billy
dodges her in and out through a maze of smoke and flame and bursting
shells. The range of Fort Fisher's guns is yet a mile away. Will she
make it? Onward speeds the little ship, for neither Reed nor Jim Billy
has a thought of surrender. A shell explodes above them, smashing the
wheelhouse; another shell tears away the starboard paddle box; and, as
she flies like lightning past the nearest cruiser, a sullen roar from
Colonel Lamb's artillery warns her pursuers that they have reached
their limitations, and in a few minutes the gallant little ship crosses
the bar and anchors under the Confederate guns. The captain and his
trusty pilot shake hands and go below, "to take the oath," as Reed
described it--for the strain must be relaxed by sleep or stimulation.
"A close shave, Jim," was all the captain said. "It was, sir, for a
fact," was the equally laconic answer.

The "Ranger" and the "Vesta."

These two fine ships were stranded on our coast upon their first voyage
and as I had no personal knowledge of either of them, I have copied in
full the Federal official reports, and a letter dated Wilmington, N.C.,
January 27, 1864, by Lieutenant Gift of the Confederate Navy, who was
in command of the _Ranger_.

  "U.S. Flagship 'Minnesota,'
  "Off Lockwood's Folly Inlet,

  "_January 11, 1864_.

"Sir: At daylight this morning a steamer was seen beached and burning
one mile west of this inlet. Mr. O'Connor, from this ship, boarded her
with the loss of one man, shot under the fire from the enemy's sharp
shooters occupying rifle pits on the sand hills, which were high and
near, and got her log book, from which it appears that she is the
_Ranger_; that she left Newcastle [England] November 11, 1863, for
Bermuda, where, after touching at Teneriffe, she arrived on the 8th of
December; that she sailed from Bermuda January 6, 1864, made our coast
January 10, about five miles northeast of Murrell's Inlet, and landed
her passengers. The next morning at daylight, intercepted by this ship,
the _Daylight_, _Governor Buckingham_, and _Aries_, in her approach
to Western Bar, she was beached and fired by her crew, as above
mentioned. The attempts of the _Governor Buckingham_, aided by the
_Daylight_ and _Aries_, to extinguish the fire and haul the _Ranger_
off were frustrated by the enemy's sharpshooters, whose fire completely
commanded her decks. This ship, drawing about twenty-four feet, was
taken in four and one-half fathoms of water in front of the wreck,
and the other vessels stationed to cross fire on the riflemen on the
sand hills opened a deliberate fire with a view to dislodge the enemy
and allow an attempt to haul off the _Ranger_ at high water at night.
Meanwhile, the _Ranger_ was burning freely forward and the commanding
officers of the _Governor Buckingham_ and _Daylight_, who had a good
view of her situation, thinking that it was not practicable to get
her off, she was also fired into, which, as her hatches were closed,
had the effect of letting the air in, when the fire burned freely aft
and doubtless burned the _Ranger_ out completely. Meanwhile, black
smoke was rising in the direction of Shallotte Inlet, and the _Aries_,
withdrawn last night from her station there, was ordered to chase.
She soon returned, and Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Devens reported a
fine-looking double-propeller blockade runner, resembling the _Ceres_,
beached and on fire between Tubb's and Little River Inlets, and that
the enemy's sharpshooters prevented his boats from boarding her. This
was probably the same steamer that was chased the previous evening by
the _Quaker City_, _Tuscarora_, and _Keystone State_, and escaping from
them made the western shore, where, communicating and learning of the
presence of the blockaders in force, and perhaps being short of coal,
was beached by her crew and fired rather than be captured.

"The Department will perceive that this is the twenty-second steamer
lost by the rebels and the blockade runners attempting to violate the
blockade of Wilmington within the last six months, an average of nearly
one steamer every eight days. These losses must greatly lessen the
means of the rebel authorities to export cotton, obtain supplies, and
sustain their credit, and thus dispirit and weaken them very much.

"I have the honor to be, Sir,

  "Very respectfully yours,

  "S.P. Lee,

  "_Acting Rear Admiral_,
  "_Comdg. North Atlantic Blockading Squadron_.

  "Hon. Gideon Welles,

  "_Secretary of the Navy_,
  "_Washington, D.C._"

  "U.S.S. 'Aries,'
  "Off Little River,

  "_January 12, 1864_.

"Sir: I would most respectfully report that the steamer stranded
between Tubb's Inlet and Little River is the blockade runner _Vesta_.
Boarded her this a.m.; made a hawser fast to her, but on examining her
found her whole starboard side opened and several of the plates split;
took two anchors from her, which was all we could save.

"The _Vesta_ was exactly like the _Ceres_.

"I left her a complete wreck, with five feet of water in her. Her boats
lay on the beach badly stove.

"Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

  "Edward F. Devens,
  "_Acting Volunteer Lieutenant, Commanding_."

  "Wilmington, N.C., _January 27, 1864_.

"My Dear Sir: In Bermuda I took command of a splendid merchant steamer,
called the _Ranger_, for the passage to Wilmington. I had very heavy
weather and no observation for the first three days out. On the
fourth got sights which put me at noon eighty miles southeast from
lightship off Frying Pan Shoals. I went ahead full speed in heavy sea
to sight the light early in the night, but the Yankees had put it out,
and fearing the drift of the Gulf, I determined to run inshore and
anchor during the next day (10th instant) and ascertain my position
accurately, which I did, and landed my passengers and baggage. On the
morning of the 11th, at 12.25 a.m., I got underway and ran along
the coast for the bar near Fort Caswell. When eight miles from the
fort I made the _Minnesota_ about one mile off, and whilst observing
her motions the pilot (who had charge of the ship) suddenly sheered
her inshore, and in an instant she was in the breakers. I made every
effort to get her off, but unavailingly, so you see a couple of turns
of a wheel in the hands of a timid man lost a fine ship and a valuable
cargo. She was destroyed. I was loaded for Government.

  "Your obedient servant,
  "George W. Gift."

The "Spunkie."

Many blockade runners were given corresponding names, _Owl_, _Bat_,
_Badger_, _Phantom_, _Lynx_, but none seemed to be more appropriate
than that given to a little toy steamer from the Clyde named _Spunkie_.
She was not fast but she managed to make several successful runs.
When I saw her in Nassau I could scarcely believe that this little
cockleshell of a boat had crossed the North Atlantic and had run
through the blockading fleet. The commander of the Federal cruiser
_Quaker City_ reported to Admiral Lee February 13, 1864, that he had
discovered the _Spunkie_ ashore at daylight on the 9th on the beach
a short distance west of Fort Caswell, but he could not determine
whether she was attempting to run in or run out. Two tugs belonging to
the blockading fleet made repeated but ineffectual efforts to float
the _Spunkie_ and she still lies near Fort Caswell. As the _Spunkie_
was loaded with blankets, shoes, and provisions for the Confederate
soldiers, there is no doubt she was trying to come into the river by
the Western Bar when she ran ashore.

The "Phantom."

This was a new Confederate steamer built abroad on the most approved
lines for the Confederate Government. She was a handsome iron propeller
of about 500 tons, camouflaged, as were all blockade runners, to
decrease her visibility. The usual method was to paint the hull and
smoke funnels a grayish green to correspond with the sea and sky
and the coast-line sand dunes, which often made them invisible even
at close range. There were two Federal cruisers most dreaded by the
blockade runners because of their great speed: the _Connecticut_ and
the _Fort Jackson_. The former made many prizes. At daylight, the
morning of September 23, 1863, when about fifty miles east by north of
New Inlet, the _Phantom_ was discovered by the _Connecticut_ standing
to the eastward. The _Phantom_ was bound from Bermuda for Wilmington
with a very valuable cargo of Confederate arms, medicine, and general
stores. She had evidently made a very bad landfall too far to the
northward and eastward at daylight and was running away from the land
until darkness would help her into Cape Fear River, when she would face
the fleet again. But the _Connecticut_ gave chase at her top speed
and after four hours' vain effort to escape, the _Phantom_ suddenly
hauled in and ran ashore near Rich Inlet, where she still lies. The
crew escaped in their own boats, after setting the _Phantom_ on fire.
The Federals attempted to put out the fire and salve the _Phantom_, but
failed to do so.

The "Dare."

This steamer was built abroad in 1863 for the Confederate Government.
At daybreak on the morning of the 7th of January, 1864, the cruiser
_Montgomery_ saw the _Dare_ with Confederate colors flying near
Lockwood's Folly, heading for Cape Fear. The _Montgomery_ and her
consort the _Aries_ gave chase, the latter heading off the _Dare_,
which endeavored to escape, but being in range of the guns of both
pursuers for about four hours, she headed for the beach, and was
stranded at 12.30 p.m. a little to the northward of North Inlet, near
Georgetown, S.C. The weather was very stormy and the surf very high so
that one of the Federal boats, in attempting to board the _Dare_, was
capsized and her crew made prisoners by the Confederates behind the
sand dunes. Other Federal boats reached the stranded vessel and set her
on fire.

The officers and crew of the _Dare_ escaped to the shore.

The "Bendigo."

In 1863, when the demand for suitable merchant steamers to run the
Wilmington blockade could not be met, even at enormous prices, the
eager buyers began to bid on the Clyde River steamers. Some of
extraordinary speed but of frail construction were lost on the long
and often tempestuous voyage across the Atlantic via Madeira and
Bermuda, while others succeeded in passing the blockade with almost the
regularity of mail boats. Of such was the _Bendigo_, previously named
the _Milly_. Her description was as follows: Topsail yard schooner
_Bendigo_; steamship of Liverpool, late _Milly_, 178 tons, built of
iron, hull painted green, three portholes on either side fore and aft
of paddle boxes. Elliptic stern, carriage and name on same painted
white, bridge athwartships on top of paddle boxes; after funnel or
smokestack, with steam pipe fore part of same, fire funnel or smoke
stack with steam pipe fore part of same; draws eight feet six inches
aft and eight feet forward.

I am putting this description (now obsolete) on record because it was a
type of many other blockade runners in 1863-64.

The _Wilmington Journal_ of January 11, 1864, described the stranding
of the blockade runner _Bendigo_ at Lockwood's Folly Inlet, from
which it appears that the wreck of the blockade runner _Elizabeth_
was mistaken by the _Bendigo_ for a Federal cruiser, and in trying
to run between the wreck and the beach the _Bendigo_ was stranded.
The _Bendigo_ was discovered at 11 a.m. January 4, 1864, by Acting
Rear Admiral S.P. Lee on his flagship _Fahkee_, who attempted with
the assistance of the _Fort Jackson_, _Iron Age_, _Montgomery_, and
_Daylight_ to haul off the _Bendigo_, in which they failed because
the Confederate batteries on shore drove them off with the loss of
the _Iron Age_, which got aground and blew up. The _Bendigo_ was set
on fire and abandoned and her hull may be still visible at Lockwood's
Folly Bar.

The "Antonica."

This Confederate blockade runner I remember as a fine ship and very
successful. She was of the old American type of passenger and mail
boat, 516 tons, known previously as the _Herald_. So regular and
reliable in her runs was she that I recall a remark of one of her
officers that it was only necessary to start her engine, put her on her
course for either Wilmington or Nassau, lash her wheel, and she would
go in and out by herself.

She ran several times in and out of Charleston, where she was
registered carrying 1,000 to 1,200 bales of cotton and some tobacco.
She was commanded on her last voyage by Capt. W.F. Adair, who reported
that on the night of the 19th of December, 1863, the _Antonica_ made
the land at Little River Inlet, the dividing line between North
Carolina and South Carolina, and stood to the eastward of Lockwood's
Folly Inlet and waited until the moon set at 2.30 a.m., when he
attempted to run the blockade at Cape Fear Bar, but in trying to pass
the blockader _Governor Buckingham_ was forced ashore on Frying Pan
Shoals, and he and his crew, twenty-six all told, were captured while
making for the beach in their own boats.

The _Antonica_ was loaded and bound for Wilmington with a very valuable
cargo of war supplies when she was lost. The wreck still remains on
Frying Pan Shoals.

I recall an interesting episode with reference to the _Antonica_ which
nearly caused a rupture between the British and Federal Governments
while I was with my ship in the British port of Nassau. The incident
was referred to by the late Capt. Michael Usina of Savannah in his most
interesting address many years ago before the Confederate Veterans, and
I repeat it in his words:

"On one occasion I was awakened by the sound of cannon in the early
morning at Nassau, and imagine my surprise to see a Confederate ship
being fired at by a Federal man-of-war. The Confederate proved to be
the _Antonica_, Captain Coxetter, who arrived off the port during the
night, and, waiting for a pilot and daylight, found when daylight did
appear that an enemy's ship was between him and the bar. There was
nothing left for him to do but run the gauntlet and take his fire,
which he did in good shape, some of the shot actually falling into
the harbor. The Federal ship was commanded by Commodore Wilkes, who
became widely known from taking Mason and Slidell prisoners. After the
chase was over Wilkes anchored his ship, and when the Governor sent to
tell him that he must not remain at anchor there he said: 'Tell the
Governor, etc., etc., he would anchor where he pleased.' The military
authorities sent their artillery across to Hog Island, near where he
was anchored, and we Confederates thought the fun was about to begin.
But Wilkes remained just long enough to communicate with the consul and
get what information he wanted, and left."

The "Florie" and the "Badger."

These two fine boats were well known to me. The former was named after
Mrs. J.G. Wright, of Wilmington, the beautiful daughter of Capt. John
N. Maffitt, who commanded my ship the _Lilian_, a sister boat.

The _Florie_ was owned by the State of Georgia and by some of its
prominent citizens, Gov. Joseph Brown, Col. C.A.L. Lamar, and others.
She made several successful runs to Wilmington, but her end is clouded
in mystery. There is no record of her fate except a report by some
"intelligent contrabands" to the Federal fleet that she was sunk inside
the bar in Cape Fear River; whether by accident or by shell fire I am
unable to ascertain. It was said that the _Badger_, sister ship to the
_Lynx_, came to her end the same way after making several runs through
the fleet.

       *       *       *       *       *

The following order of the Confederate Secretary of the Navy to Capt.
John N. Maffitt, who was then in command of the _Owl_, will explain why
so many valuable ships were run ashore rather than surrendered into the
hands of the Federals:

Order of the Secretary of the Navy to Commander Maffitt, C.S. Navy,
repeating telegram of instructions regarding the command of the
blockade runner _Owl_.

  "Confederate States of America,
  "Navy Department, Richmond,
  "_September 19, 1864_.

"Sir: The following telegram was this day sent to you:

"It is of the first importance that our steamers should not fall into
the enemy's hands. Apart from the specific loss sustained by the
country in the capture of blockade runners, these vessels, lightly
armed, now constitute the fleetest and most efficient part of his
blockading force off Wilmington.

"As commanding officer of the _Owl_ you will please devise and adopt
thorough and efficient means for saving all hands and destroying the
vessel and cargo whenever these measures may become necessary to
prevent capture. Upon your firmness and ability the Department relies
for the execution of this important trust. In view of this order, no
passenger will, as a general rule, be carried. Such exceptions to this
rule as the public interests may render necessary, embracing those who
may be sent by the Government, will receive special permits from this

"Assistant Paymaster Tredwell has been instructed to pay over to you,
taking your receipt for the same, 5,000 pounds in sterling bills. You
will please keep an accurate account with vouchers in duplicate of all
your expenditures, one set of which you will submit to Mr. W.H. Peters,
our special agent at Wilmington, upon each round trip you may make.

"I am respectfully your obedient servant,

  "S.R. Mallory,
  "_Secretary of the Navy_.

  "Commander John N. Maffitt, _C.S. Navy_,
  "Care W.H. Peters, Esq.,
  "Wilmington, N.C."

The "Cape Fear."

A notable blockade runner called the _Virginia_ was bought by the
Confederate Government during the war and renamed the _Cape Fear_. She
was put under the command of Captain Guthrie, a Cape Fear pilot of
recognized ability, who was succeeded by an English gentleman, a fine
sailor, Captain Wise, who cast his lot with our people and ran the
_Cape Fear_ up and down the river for several years as a Confederate
transport. She was destroyed in the river when the Federals captured
Fort Fisher. Captain Wise married a Miss Flora McCaleb, of Wilmington,
and for years after the war conducted a lumberyard here. He was a most
courteous, attractive gentleman, generally respected in the community.
He died here many years ago.

The "North Heath."

During the third year of the War between the States, I was appointed
at the age of seventeen years purser of the blockade-running steamer
_North Heath_, under command of Captain Burroughs, who had successfully
run the blockade twelve times in charge of the Confederate steamer
_Cornubia_, later named _Lady Davis_, after the wife of the President.
I believe that under God, Captain Burroughs, by his fine qualities as
a cool and capable seaman, saved this ship from foundering at sea when
we ran into a hurricane shortly after our departure from St. George,
Bermuda, bound for Wilmington. For two days and nights we were in
imminent danger of our lives--tossed upon a raging sea, every man of
our crew of 48 except those at the wheel was lashed to the vessel,
while we bailed with buckets and the use of hand pumps the flooded
fireroom of our sinking vessel. For an entire night she wallowed
like a log in a trough of mountainous waves, which broke over us in
ever-increasing fury. I can never forget this frightful scene. It seems
photographed upon my memory in all its fearsome details.

The water had risen in our hold until every one of our fourteen
furnaces was extinguished. There was no steam to run our donkey
boilers and steam-power pumps. Lashed to one another, in the blackness
of darkness, relieved only by the intermittent flashes of lightning
which illuminated the giant waves towering around us and threatening
to overwhelm and sink the laboring, quivering fabric, we held on in
despair until morning, when we began to gain on the leaks until our
steam pumps could be used in relieving the boiler room, and our brave
captain got the ship under control. Then we succeeded in putting her
about and headed back to Bermuda.

The strain of this exposure resulted in an attack of fever, which
confined me to bed for a long time on shore, and Captain Burroughs
reluctantly left me behind when the ship was ready for sea. After
we repaired our badly damaged hull and machinery, the _North Heath_
proceeded again toward Wilmington, passing the blockading fleet safely.
When she was about to load cotton for the outward voyage, the Federal
expedition against Fort Fisher arrived off Cape Fear and presented
such a formidable appearance that the Confederate Government seized
the _North Heath_, loaded her with stone and sank her at a point below
Sunset Park where the river channel is narrow, as an obstruction to the
Federal fleet which subsequently captured Wilmington. For many years
after she was an obstruction to peaceful commerce, but the wreck was
finally removed by the River and Harbor Improvement Engineers.

The "Kate."

There were two blockade runners named _Kate_, but they were quite
different as to origin and enterprise. The first one of that name was
an American-built steamer, previously in the coast trade. She was
commanded by Capt. Thomas J. Lockwood, and it was this vessel that
brought to Wilmington on the 6th of August, 1862, the fearful plague
of yellow fever, which raged for ten weeks and carried off 446 of our
people. After several successful voyages she ran ashore above Fiddler's
Dreen, near Southport, and went to pieces.

About twenty years ago I related in Justice Clark's _North Carolina
Regimental Histories_, published in five volumes, 1901, an incident in
the career of this steamer _Kate_ which may be worth repeating:

On one occasion in the _Kate_ Lockwood had run inside the line of
blockaders at the Main Bar some distance up the beach, and suddenly
took the ground while jammed between an anchored man-of-war and the
breakers. The blockader did not see him, although so near that no
one on board the _Kate_ was permitted to speak above a whisper. The
tide was near the last of the ebb and there were only a few hours of
darkness in which to work. George C. McDougal, chief engineer and
Captain Lockwood's brother-in-law, always ready for an emergency, had
promptly loaded the safety valve down with a bag of iron castings to
prevent any noise from escaping steam, and when it became absolutely
necessary the steam was blown off very gently under the water. The
boats were lowered noiselessly and several passengers and a lot of
valuables landed in the surf on the lee side of the vessel, with
orders to proceed to Fort Caswell in the distance. At first it seemed
impossible to save the ship, as any noise from her paddles would
inevitably have led to her destruction by the blockaders, which were
seen plainly only a cable's length from the _Kate's_ perilous position.
Lockwood held a consultation with his trusted engineer, and decided
to open the gangway and quietly slide overboard a lot of lead wire in
heavy coils, which was part of the inward cargo, and which was intended
to be cut into bullets by the Confederate Government. This served to
lighten the ship and also as an effectual bulkhead which prevented the
vessel from working higher up on the beach when the tide turned, and
the discharge went on for some time without apparent effect; but the
rising tide soon after began to bump the bilges of the vessel against
the sand bank inside. Lockwood proposed an attempt to back clear or
to beach her at once, but the "Boss," as McDougal was called, calmly
showed him that unless they were sure of floating clear on the first
attempt they would never be permitted to make a second trial, as
the paddles would surely betray them to the fleet. Another fifteen
minutes that seemed an hour of suspense, and the captain again urged
immediate action, but the imperturbable engineer said: "Wait a little
longer, Oakie; she is rising every minute; let us be sure of getting
off before we make the effort." Meantime the bumping increased, and
at last, with everything in readiness and a full head of steam, the
engines were reversed full speed, and the _Kate_, quickly afloat and
responding to the wheel, gallantly passed the blockading fleet in
the gray dawn and shortly afterwards anchored under the guns of Fort
Caswell. She had hardly swung to the anchor before she was seen by the
disappointed blockaders, who sent shell after shell flying after her,
bursting in such uncomfortable proximity, that the _Kate_ was moved up
to Mrs. Stuart's wharf at Smithville, where the shell and solid shot
still followed her, many passing in a line more than a thousand yards
beyond the wharf. With the aid of a good glass a man could be seen in
the foretop of the Federal flagship with a flag in his hand, which he
waved to right or left as he saw the effect of the firing; this enabled
the gunners to better their aim until the shells struck just astern
of the _Kate_ or passed in a line ahead of the vessel. On a closer
approach of the fleet they were driven off by Fort Caswell's heaviest
guns. The _Kate_ and her crew were in great peril on this occasion,
owing to the fact that there were a thousand barrels of gunpowder on
board for the Confederacy, making the risk from the shells extremely
dangerous. Mr. McDougal said to me on this occasion that when the
Yankees began shelling them at Fort Caswell a detachment of soldiers
was being embarked for Wilmington on the Confederate transport _James
T. Petteway_, and that when the first shell struck the beach near the
_Petteway_, the whole company broke ranks and ran like rabbits to the
fort again.

Some time ago the _Wilmington Daily Review_ published an account of the
recovery of a large lot of wire from the bottom of the sea near Fort
Caswell. This was doubtless part of the _Kate's_ cargo thrown overboard
as described.

The Second "Kate."

The second _Kate_ was a new iron steamer, double-screw propeller,
344 tons, English built, commanded by Captain Stubbs. She had made a
successful run into Charleston with a valuable cargo, and was also
successful in running out again with 700 bales of cotton, which she
landed in Nassau.

She had loaded a second inward cargo at Nassau and sailed for
Charleston, but, failing to elude the blockaders, she ran for
Wilmington and on July 12, 1863, at 4.55 o'clock a.m., was making for
New Inlet close ahead when she was intercepted by the Federal blockader
_Penobscot_, which opened a heavy fire on her and drove her ashore on
the south end of Smith's Island, where her wrecked hull still remains.
The Federals attempted to haul the _Kate_ off into deep water, but
were prevented by the Confederates on shore, who drove them away. With
the exception of two of her crew who remained and were captured, the
officers and men of the _Kate_ escaped to the shore.

The "Night Hawk."

It is not surprising that the Federal blockading fleet so often failed
to refloat blockade runners after they were stranded on the beach,
because the runners always timed their attempt to pass the fleet at
high tide, the depth of water on the bar being only 10 to 12 feet and
the channel beset with shoals and obstructions, so that before the
Federals could prepare for hauling off these vessels and thereby secure
for themselves large sums of prize money, the tide would have fallen,
leaving the stranded ships more firmly embedded in the sand, and when
in daylight another high tide would come the Federals had to deal
with the Confederate guns, which kept them at a distance. There were,
however, several instances which I recall of the rescue of stranded
ships by the Confederates, notably that of the _Kate_ and of the _Night
Hawk_. The latter was a most spectacular, exciting affair, which I will
relate in Mr. Thomas Taylor's words:

"It was on my second trip to Bermuda that one of the finest boats we
ever possessed, called the _Night Hawk_, came out, and I concluded to
run in with her. She was a new side-wheel steamer of some 600 tons
gross, rigged as a fore-and-aft schooner, with two funnels, 220 feet
long, 21-1/2 feet beam, and 11 feet in depth; a capital boat for the
work, fast, strong, of light draught, and a splendid sea boat--a great
merit in a blockade runner, which sometimes has to be forced in all
weathers. The _Night Hawk's_ career was a very eventful one, and she
passed an unusually lively night off Fort Fisher on her first attempt.

"Soon after getting under way our troubles began. We ran ashore outside
Hamilton, one of the harbors of Bermuda, and hung on a coral reef for
a couple of hours. There loomed before us the dismal prospect of
delay for repairs, or, still worse, the chance of springing a leak and
experiencing such difficulties and dangers as we had undergone on the
_Will-o'-the-Wisp_, but fortunately we came off without damage and were
able to proceed on our voyage.

"Another anxiety now engrossed my mind: the captain was an entirely
new hand, and nearly all the crew were green at the work; moreover,
the Wilmington pilot was quite unknown to me, and I could see from the
outset that he was very nervous and badly wanting in confidence. What
would I not have given for our trusty pilot Tom Burriss! However, we
had to make the best of it, as, owing to the demand, the supply of
competent pilots was not nearly sufficient, and toward the close of the
blockade the so-called pilots were no more than boatmen or men who had
been trading in and out of Wilmington or Charleston in coasters.

"Notwithstanding my fears, all went well on the way across, and the
_Night Hawk_ proved to be everything that could be desired in speed
and seaworthiness. We had sighted unusually few craft, and nothing
eventful occurred until the third night. Soon after midnight we found
ourselves uncomfortably near a large vessel. It was evident that we
had been seen, as we heard them beating to quarters and were hailed.
We promptly sheered off and went full speed ahead, greeted by a
broadside which went across our stern. When we arrived within striking
distance of Wilmington Bar, the pilot was anxious to go in by Smith's
Inlet, but as he acknowledged that he knew very little about it, I
concluded it was better to keep to the New Inlet passage, where, at
all events, we should have the advantage of our good friend Lamb to
protect us; and I felt that as I myself knew the place so well, this
was the safest course to pursue. We were comparatively well through
the fleet, although heavily fired at, and arrived near to the bar,
passing close by two Northern launches which were lying almost upon
it. Unfortunately, it was dead low water, and although I pressed the
pilot to give our boat a turn around, keeping under way, and to wait
awhile until the tide made, he was so demoralized by the firing we had
gone through and the nearness of the launches, which were constantly
throwing up rockets, that he insisted upon putting her at the bar, and,
as I feared, we grounded on it forward and with the strong flood tide
quickly broached to, broadside on to the northern breakers. We kept
our engines going for some time, but to no purpose, as we found we
were only being forced by the tide more on to the breakers. Therefore
we stopped, and all at once found our friends, the two launches, close
aboard; they had discovered we were ashore, and had made up their minds
to attack us.

"At once all was in confusion; the pilot and signalman rushed to the
dinghy, lowered it, and made good their escape; the captain lost his
head and disappeared; and the crews of the launches, after firing
several volleys, one of which slightly wounded me, rowed in to board
us on each sponson. Just at this moment I suddenly recollected that
our private dispatches, which ought to have been thrown overboard,
were still in the starboard lifeboat. I rushed to it, but found the
lanyard to which the sinking weight was attached was foul of one of
the thwarts; I tugged and tugged, but to no purpose, so I sung out for
a knife, which was handed to me by a fireman, and I cut the line and
pitched the bag overboard as the Northerners jumped on board. Eighteen
months afterwards that fireman accosted me in the Liverpool streets,
saying, 'Mr. Taylor, do you remember my lending you a knife?' 'Of
course I do,' I replied, giving him a tip at which he was mightily
pleased. Poor fellow! he had been thirteen months in a Northern prison.

"When the Northerners jumped on board they were terribly excited. I
don't know whether they expected resistance or not, but they acted more
like maniacs than sane men, firing their revolvers and cutting right
and left with their cutlasses. I stood in front of the men on the poop
and said that we surrendered, but all the reply I received from the
lieutenant commanding was, 'Oh, you surrender, do you?' accompanied by
a string of the choicest Yankee oaths and sundry reflections upon my
parentage; whereupon he fired his revolver twice point blank at me not
two yards distant; it was a miracle he did not kill me, as I heard the
bullets whiz past my head. This roused my wrath, and I expostulated
in the strongest terms upon his firing on unarmed men; he then cooled
down, giving me into charge of two of his men, one of whom speedily
possessed himself of my binocular. Fortunately, as I had no guard to my
watch, they didn't discover it, and I have it still.

"Finding they could not get the ship off, and afraid, I presume, of
Lamb and his men coming to our rescue, the Federate commenced putting
the captain (who had been discovered behind a boat!) and the crew
into the boats; they then set the ship on fire fore and aft, and she
soon began to blaze merrily. At this moment one of our firemen, an
Irishman, sang out, 'Begorra, we shall all be in the air in a minute;
the ship is full of gunpowder!' No sooner did the Northern sailors
hear this than a panic seized them, and they rushed to their boats,
threatening to leave their officers behind if they did not come along.
The men who were holding me dropped me like a hot potato, and to my
great delight jumped into their boat, and away they rowed as fast as
they could, taking all our crew, with the exception of the second
officer, one of the engineers, four seamen, and myself, as prisoners.

"We chuckled at our lucky escape, but we were not out of the woods yet,
as we had only a boat half stove in in which to reach the shore through
some three hundred yards of surf, and we were afraid at any moment that
our enemies, finding there was no powder on board, might return. We
made a feeble effort to put the fire out, but it had gained too much
headway, and although I offered the men with me £50 apiece to stand
by me and persevere, they were too demoralized and began to lower the
shattered boat, swearing they would leave me behind if I didn't come
with them. There was nothing for it but to go, yet the passage through
the boiling surf seemed more dangerous to my mind than remaining on
the burning ship. The blockaders immediately opened fire when they
knew their own men had left the _Night Hawk_ and that she was burning;
and Lamb's great shells hurtling over our heads, and those from the
blockading fleet bursting all around us, formed a weird picture. In
spite of the hail of shot and shell and the dangers of the boiling
surf, we reached the shore in safety, wet through, and glad I was, in
my state of exhaustion from loss of blood and fatigue, to be welcomed
by Lamb's orderly officer.

"The poor _Night Hawk_ was now a sheet of flame, and I thought it was
all up with her; and indeed it would have been had it not been for
Lamb, who, calling for volunteers from his garrison, sent off two or
three boat loads of men to her, and when I came down to the beach,
after having my wound dressed and a short rest, I was delighted to find
the fire had visibly decreased. I went on board, and after some hours
of hard work the fire was extinguished. But what a wreck she was!

"Luckily, with the rising tide she had bumped over the bank, and was
now lying on the main beach much more accessible and sheltered. Still
it seemed an almost hopeless task to save her; but we were not going to
be beaten without a try, so, having ascertained how she lay and the
condition she was in, I resolved to have an attempt made to get her
dry, and telegraphed to Wilmington for assistance.

"Our agent sent me down about three hundred negroes to assist in
bailing and pumping, and I set them to work at once. As good luck would
have it, my finest steamer, _Banshee No. 2_, which had just been sent
out, ran in the next night. She was a great improvement on the first
_Banshee_, having a sea speed of 15-1/2 knots, which was considered
very fast in those days; her length was 252 feet, beam 31 feet, depth
11 feet, her registered tonnage 439 tons, and her crew consisted of
fifty-three in all. I at once requisitioned her for aid in the shape
of engineers and men, so that now I had everything I could want in the
way of hands. Our great difficulty was that the _Night Hawk's_ anchors
would not hold for us to get a fair haul at her.

"But here again I was to be in luck. For the very next night the
_Condor_, commanded by poor Hewett, in attempting to run in stuck
fast upon the bank over which we had bumped, not one hundred yards to
windward of us, and broke in two. It is an ill wind that blows nobody
good, and Hewett's mischance proved the saving of our ship. Now we had
a hold for our chain cables by making them fast to the wreck, and were
able gradually to haul her off by them a little during each tide, until
on the seventh day we had her afloat in a gut between the bank and the
shore, and at high water we steamed under our own steam gaily up the
river to Wilmington.

"Considering the appliances we had and the circumstances under which
we were working, the saving of that steamer was certainly a wonderful
performance, as we were under fire almost the whole time. The
Northerners, irritated, no doubt, by their failure to destroy the ship,
used to shell us by day and send in boats by night; Lamb, however, put
a stop to the latter annoyance by lending us a couple of companies to
defend us, and one night, when our enemies rowed close up with the
intention of boarding us, they were glad to sheer off with the loss of
a lieutenant and several men. In spite of all the shot and shell by day
and the repeated attacks by night, we triumphed in the end, and, after
having the _Night Hawk_ repaired at a huge cost and getting together a
crew, I gave May, a friend of mine, command of her, and he ran her out
successfully with a valuable cargo, which made her pay, notwithstanding
all her bad luck and the amount spent upon her. Poor May! he was
afterwards governor of Perth gaol, and is dead now--a high-toned,
sensitive gentleman, mightily proud of his ship, lame duck as she was.

"When she was burning, our utmost efforts were of course directed
toward keeping her engine room and boilers amidships intact, and
confining the flames to both ends; in this we were successful, mainly
owing to the fact of her having thwartship bunkers; but as regards
the rest of the steamer she was a complete wreck; her sides were all
corrugated with the heat, and her stern so twisted that her starboard
quarter was some two feet higher than her port quarter, and not a
particle of wood work was left unconsumed. Owing to the limited
resources of Wilmington as regards repairs, I found it impossible to
have this put right, so her sides were left as they were, and the new
deck put on the slope I have described, and caulked with cotton, as no
oakum was procurable. When completed she certainly was a queer looking
craft, but as tight as a bottle and as seaworthy as ever, although I
doubt if any Lloyd's surveyor would have passed her. But as a matter
of fact she came across the Atlantic, deeply immersed with her coal
supply, through some very bad weather, without damage, and was sold
for a mere song, to be repaired and made into a passenger boat for
service on the East Coast, where she ran for many years with success.

"It had been a hard week for me, as I had no clothes except what I had
on when we were boarded, my servant very cleverly, as he imagined,
having thrown my portmanteau into the man-of-war's boat when he thought
I was going to be captured, and all I had in the world was the old
serge suit in which I stood. Being without a change and wet through
every day and night for six days consecutively, it is little wonder
that I caught fever and ague, of which I nearly died in Richmond,
and which distressing complaint stuck to me for more than eighteen
months. I shall never forget, on going to a store in Wilmington for a
new rig-out (which by the by cost $1,200), the look of horror on the
storekeeper's face when I told him the coat I had purchased would do if
he cut a foot off it; he thought it such a waste of expensive material."

The Three-Funnel Boats.

In the latter part of the War between the States, the experience of
the blockade runners evolved a superior type of construction for great
speed, shallow depth of hold, and increased furnace draught, for which
three funnels were provided. A very interesting and unusual sight were
these three-funnel boats. I recall their names, _Falcon_, _Flamingo_,
_Condor_, _Ptarmigan_, _Vulture_. Mr. Taylor in his book says that
Admiral Hewett commanded the _Falcon_ on an ill-fated voyage, but I
remember it was the _Condor_ and also that one of the passengers was
the celebrated and unfortunate lady Mrs. "Greenhow" or "Greenough," who
lost her life when the _Condor_ ran aground near the bar. The _Condor_
went to pieces when she was stranded, the crew escaping to the shore.

The "Pevensey."

The last stranded steamer on my list, the _Pevensey_, was probably
named for the Earl of Wilmington, who was also Viscount Pevensey.

Her chief officer, who gave his name to his captors as Joseph Brown,
was undoubtedly Joseph Brown Long, who ran the blockade many times in
the _Cornubia_ as chief officer with Captain Burroughs, and as the
right-hand man of Maj. Norman S. Walker, the Confederate agent at
Bermuda. He was greatly esteemed by all Southerners. I recall his many
kindnesses to me with gratefulness.

I quote in full the official reports of the stranding and destruction
of the _Pevensey_.

_Destruction of the Blockade Runner "Pevensey," June 9, 1864._

  (Report of Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Harris,
  U.S. Navy.)

        "U.S.S. 'New Berne,'
        "_Hampton Roads, Va., June 16_.

"Sir: I have the honor to report the stranding, on the 9th instant, of
the blockade runner _Pevensey_ (named _Penversey_ in the extracts April
16, 1864), under the following circumstances:

"3.30 a.m., steering N.E. by N., Beaufort 45 miles distant, made a
steamer bearing N.E. by E., 4 miles distant, running slow and heading
E.N.E.; she, being to the eastward, did not immediately discover this
vessel. Hauled up E.N.E., when, gaining on her within 2-1/2 miles,
she made all speed, steering E. Opened fire and stood E by N. The
second shot carried away the forward davit of her quarter boat. She
immediately changed her course, steered N., and struck the beach 9
miles west of Beaufort at 8.05 a.m. Her crew took to the boats at once,
this vessel at the time being 1-1/2 miles distant. Ran into 3-1/2
fathoms, and when within 100 yards of the strand she blew up.

"Sent in three boats, boarded her, and found her engines and boilers
completely blown out. Plugged up the pipes; anchored in 3 fathoms, and
made arrangements to pull her off; 9 a.m., tug _Violet_ came down from
Beaufort and anchored on the quarter; 9.30 a.m., Commander B.M. Dove
arrived in the _Cherokee_, came on board and said he would take charge
of the wreck, and the _New Berne_ would proceed to Beaufort, it being
then high water, to save the tide in. Recalled boats and arrived at
Beaufort at 11 a.m., anchoring outside too late for the tide.

"One prisoner was found on board the vessel, unharmed from the
explosion, who proved himself to be an escaped prisoner from Johnson's
Island, of Morgan's guerillas. One body was found upon the beach, and
thirty-five prisoners were captured on shore by the cavalry, three of
whom are supposed to be Confederate officers, one of them adjutant
general to Magruder. She was loaded on Confederate account, cargo
consisting of arms, blankets, shoes, cloth, clothing, lead, bacon, and
numerous packages marked to individuals. She had been chased on the 7th
instant by the _Quaker City_, and had thrown overboard, by log book,
30 tons lead and 20 tons bacon; was 543 tons, of English register;
no manifest of cargo found. Gunner S.D. Hines has discovered seven
Whitworth tompions tied together, bright, and in good condition, which
suggests the possibility of that number of guns being under the musket

"The prisoners captured ashore were held in Fort Macon, and the one
secured on board was transferred there by order of Commander Dove. I
understood that after the army authorities had satisfied themselves
with regard to the identity of the prisoners they were to be
transferred to this [place] per _Keystone State_.

"I have learned since leaving Beaufort that the reputed mate is the
real captain; that he is a Captain Long, the outdoor agent of Major
Walker (the Confederate agent at Bermuda), a citizen of New York, and
having formerly commanded a ship from there. The reputed captain (an
Englishman) was merely the paper or clearing captain. Of these facts I
have informed Captain Gansevoort.

"It will not now be possible to get the vessel off, but a large amount
of the cargo can be saved, if properly guarded.

"Had the after 30-pound Parrott, for which the requisition was approved
by you April 22, been furnished, his chances of reaching the shore
would have been reduced. He evidently was ignorant of his position, as
the first question asked was, 'How far is it to Fort Caswell?'

  "Very respectfully,
  "Your obedient servant,
  "T.A. Harris,
  "_Acting Volunteer Lieutenant, Commanding_.

  "Acting Rear Admiral S.P. Lee,
  "_Commanding North Atlantic Blockading

  (Report of Acting Rear Admiral Lee, U.S. Navy.)

  "Flagship North Atlantic
  Blockading Squadron,
  "_Washington, D.C., July 14, 1864_.

"Sir: Inclosed I forward to the Department a list of those of the
crew of the blockade runner _Pevensey_, which ran on shore and was
destroyed by her crew near Beaufort, N.C., on the 9th ultimo, who are
now detained at Camp Hamilton, Fort Monroe, and at Point Lookout. The
late master of the _Pevensey_ was detained by Captain Gansevoort as
a witness, he supposing that a portion of the cargo of the blockade
runner was saved and would be sent North as a prize.

"The others are detained as habitual violators of the blockade under
the instructions of the Department, dated May 9, 1864, to Rear Admiral
Farragut, forwarded to me for my information May 16, 1864.

"The examination of these men took place in presence of Commander
Peirce Crosby and Lieut. Commander Chester Hatfield. The chief officer
of the _Pevensey_, Joseph Brown, is detained at Camp Hamilton as an
habitual violator of the blockade; all the others are detained at Point
Lookout. I have requested the commandant of the post at Fort Monroe
to discharge the master of the _Pevensey_, as there is no longer any
reason for detaining him, the vessel and cargo having proved a total

"I have the honor to be, Sir,

  "Very respectfully,
  "S.P. Lee,
  "_Acting Rear Admiral_,
  "_Comdg. North Atlantic Blockading Squadron_.

  "Hon. Gideon Welles,
  "_Secretary of the Navy_."

The "Ella and Annie."

The chief purpose of this book was to record the incidents leading
to the stranding of blockade runners upon the Cape Fear coast while
endeavoring to elude the Federal cruisers in the War between the
States. There were more than three times as many captured or sunk at
sea; and a recital of some of these exciting chases would make another

I am tempted, however, to include in these stories of derelicts, an
official account of the attempt of the Confederate steamer _Ella and
Annie_, in command of Captain Bonneau, with whom I was comparatively
intimate, to run down the Federal cruiser _Niphon_, which opposed
her entrance into the Cape Fear River, on the 9th of November, 1863,
because this incident was of unusual daring on the part of Captain
Bonneau, who was liable to be hanged as a pirate for such temerity.

The _Ella and Annie_ was subsequently armed and equipped as the U.S.
flagship _Malvern_ and served that purpose until the end of the war.

(Report of Acting Rear Admiral Lee, U.S. Navy.)

  "U.S. Flagship 'Minnesota,'
  "Off Newport News, Va.,
  "_November 12, 1863_.

"Sir: In addition to the captures of the _Margaret and Jessie_ and the
_Cornubia_, or _Lady Davis_, detailed in my Nos. 948 and 949 of this
date, I have the gratification of presenting to the department the
details of the capture of the rebel blockade runner _Ella and Annie_,
off Wilmington.

"At 5.30 o'clock on the morning of the 9th instant, the _Niphon_,
returning from an unsuccessful chase and steaming along the beach to
the northward of New Inlet, made another steamer near Masonboro Inlet
coming down along the shore. The stranger finding himself intercepted,
put his helm up and endeavored to run down the _Niphon_. This attempt
was partly avoided, though the _Niphon_ was struck about the fore
rigging, and her bowsprit, stem and starboard boats carried away. At
the moment of collision Acting Master Breck reports he opened upon the
enemy with shell and canister and carried the prize by boarding. A keg
of powder and slow match were found ready to blow her up.

"The _Ella and Annie_ is represented to be a vessel of 905 tons burden,
in good order, with the exception of some small damages from shell and

"Her cargo is chiefly composed of 480 sacks of salt, 500 sacks of
saltpeter, 281 cases of Austrian rifles, 500 barrels of beef, 42 cases
of paper, etc.

"In the collision three men on board the _Niphon_ and four on board the
_Ella and Annie_ were slightly injured.

"Inclosed is a list of passengers from this prize, brought up by the
_New Berne_ (thirty-eight in number) and sent to New York in her.

"The capture seems to have been well and gallantly made by Acting
Master Breck. Captain Ridgely, senior officer, commends his spirit and
promptness. I hope that the department, in view of this especial and
other good service on the part of Acting Master Breck, will favorably
consider my application for his promotion.

"The _Ella and Annie_, I am informed, was built at Wilmington, Del.,
is of light draft, fast, and would, I think, be very convenient for
general purposes in this squadron, being available either for inside or
outside service. I would suggest that she be purchased by Government
and sent to this squadron, if, after examination, she be found suitable.

"I have the honor to be, Sir,

  "Very respectfully yours,
  "S.P. Lee,
  "_Acting Rear Admiral_,
  "_Comdg. North Atlantic Blockading Squadron_.

  "Hon. Gideon Welles,
  "_Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D.C._"

(Report of Acting Master Breck, U.S. Navy, Commanding U.S.S. _Niphon_.)

  "U.S.S. 'Niphon,'
  "Off New Inlet,
  "_November 9, 1863_.

"Sir: I have the honor to report that on the morning of this date,
while near the beach, saw a blockade runner running along the beach;
gave chase, fired several guns and rockets, but at last lost sight of
her; stood back to my station and steamed along the beach to the north
and about 5.30 a.m. saw another steamer running along the shore to the
southward; stood in to cut him off, when he turned directly toward me,
evidently with the intention of running me down, which I avoided, in
part, owing to this vessel answering her helm with great quickness.
He struck me forward, both vessels running at great speed. As we
came together, I fired a broadside--grape, canister, and shell--and
immediately boarded him and took possession. In securing the prisoners
a lot of shavings and a slow match attached to a keg of powder were
found in the run, the captain acknowledging his intention to destroy
the vessel. The collision broke bowsprit, stove all my starboard boats,
broke beam, also some planks near the wood ends, damaged guard, chain
plates, and caused her decks to leak badly. We have three men wounded;
also four of the crew of the Confederate steamer, one dangerously,
by grape or shell. The blockade runner, which proved to be the _Ella
and Annie_, of Charleston, S.C., is 905 tons; is in good order with
the exception of numerous shot holes in her upper works. Her cargo
consists, as near as we can ascertain, of rifles, salt, saltpeter,
paper, and hardware. She is a Confederate steamer, officered mostly
[by men] of the Confederate Navy. She was captured off Masonboro Inlet
in four fathoms water, eighteen miles north of Fort Fisher; no vessel
in signal distance or in sight immediately after her capture. Steamed
toward the fleet, and in about half an hour made the mastheads of a
vessel which proved to be the U.S.S. _Shenandoah_, and shortly after
seven o'clock came to anchor about three miles north of the senior
officer's usual station. About half an hour afterwards the _Shenandoah_
came to anchor near us, and contrary to the usual custom the senior
officer sent his own prize master on board. Transferred the following
officers and crew on board the _Ella and Annie_ by order of senior
officer: Acting Ensign J.J. Reagean, Acting Third Assistant Engineer
J.J. Sullivan, one fireman, one ordinary seaman, three landsmen, and
two black refugees.

  "Very respectfully,
  "Your obedient servant,

  "J.B. Breck,
  "_Commanding U.S.S. 'Niphon.'_

  "Hon. Gideon Welles,
  "_Secretary U.S. Navy, Washington, D.C._"

(Third Report of Acting Master Breck, U.S. Navy, Commanding U.S.S.

  "U.S.S. 'Niphon,'
  "_Beaufort, N.C., November 12, 1863_.

"Sir: In addition to my former report, which was very hurried for
want of time, I have to say that F.N. Bonneau, captain of the _Ella
and Annie_, states that he has an appointment as lieutenant in the
Confederate Navy, and that one of the wounded prisoners, now on
shore in the Hospital Beaufort, has an appointment as master in the
Confederate Navy, and that all prisoners, except those detained on
board of the prize as witnesses, and those in the Hospital Beaufort,
were sent by order of Commander Lynch to Fortress Monroe per steamer
_New Berne_.

"I wish also to state that no vessels were either in sight or signal
distance at the time of the capture of the _Ella and Annie_ and that
I know nothing more as to her cargo, as the senior officer in command
sent an officer who is my senior to command the prize.

"I also find that my damage to this ship is more serious than I at
first thought, and will inclose reports from my executive officer and
master in regard to the matter.

"The _Niphon_ will be hauled up on the sand to-morrow to ascertain the
damage done to her, and we are lightening her forward.

  "I am, Sir, very respectfully,
  "Your obedient servant,
  "J.B. Breck,
  "_Commanding U.S.S. 'Niphon.'_

  "Acting Rear Admiral S.P. Lee,
  "_Comdg. North Atlantic Blockading Squadron_,
  "_Off Newport News_."

A Near Derelict.

This caption with reference to a vessel on fire at sea permits me to
describe one of my gallant Captain Maffitt's last runs through the
Federal blockade in the War between the States.

It should be borne in mind that the dangers of blockade running
materially increased as the enemy became more expert and accumulated
facilities to out-wit and out-maneuver the blockade runners. On
one of the last voyages of Captain Maffitt he found that the risks
were aggravated by the concentration of interest on the part of the
Federals to Abaco Light, a night's run from Nassau, and the turning
point for blockade runners. Three Federal men-of-war were stationed
in the neighborhood and greeted the appearance of the small vessel
with a salvo of shot which splintered spars and damaged bulwarks, and
would have made short order of the 900 barrels of gunpowder which
constituted a portion of the cargo, if the Confederate had not been
able, by superior speed facilities, to put a safe distance between her
and her pursuers. Hardly out of danger from these three men-of-war,
two others were sighted on the horizon, and the race was redoubled
as the Federals made a fight for the prize. The same methods used
so successfully in the war just concluded in Europe were the best
expedients in those days, and Captain Maffitt's ship was saved by
following a zig-zag course, which kept the enemy guessing, and finally
eluded him altogether. It was after these strenuous experiences of the
morning that the lookout announced to the weary officer, "A burning
vessel reported aloft."

Surely this was a challenge to the chivalry and humanity of the
captain of the hard-pressed Confederate. To the perils of adventure
that demanded all his wit and courage were now added the perils of the
unknown and the perils of delay and risk to the inflammable cargo.
Plainly, however, it was a duty to be faced, not a danger to be evaded,
and the captain ordered his ship's course in the direction of the
burning vessel. When near enough to discern her character, it was
perceived that she was a Spanish barque with ensign at half-mast. From
her fore hatch arose a dense smoke, abaft were gathered panic-stricken
passengers and crew. The chief mate was dispatched in a cutter to
render what assistance might be necessary, and he found on boarding the
foreign barque that there were four ladies among the few passengers,
and these were calmer than the officers and crew. The latter had
completely lost their heads, and in the very act of lowering the long
boat were confusedly hauling upon the stay tackle. The Confederate
mate went at once to the forecastle, which he instantly deluged with
water, to the astonishment of the Spaniards, who had not thought of
this method of dealing with the fire which proved so effectual in
this case that the flames were soon under control and the fire quickly

Three of the ladies were natives of Marblehead, returning from a visit
to their uncle in Cuba. They became quite confidential in explaining to
the mate their great fears of being captured by Confederate buccaneers
with which the waters were infested, according to Cuban rumors. On
leaving the boat after rendering this important service, the mate could
not refrain from declaring himself one of those awful Confederate slave
owners which were the terror of the high seas, but he did not add, as
he well might have done, that he was also an officer in command of one
of the blockade runners which they so greatly feared. Their amazement
was great enough without this bit of information, which might have been
passed on by them and given aid and comfort to the enemy.

As the Confederate came into the waters off the coast of North Carolina
the dangers were materially increased, because all beacon lights were
naturally shrouded to prevent disclosures to the enemy. Ten miles from
the bar one of the officers reported to Captain Maffitt his fear that
they were in the proximity of the blockaders. The atmosphere was
very hazy and to this they owed the possibility of escape, for two
cruisers were at anchor just ahead of them and there was no course to
pursue except the perilous one of running between the enemy ships. The
Federals were immediately aware of this daring maneuver, and a fiery
rocket revealed the Confederate and the moment's flare of a calcium
light was followed by the curt demand of a Federal officer, "Heave to,
or I'll sink you."

In this case discretion was the better part of valor, and Captain
Maffitt gave the order in a voice loud enough to be heard by foe as
well as friend. Assured that the Confederate captain was complying
with orders, the enemy did not suspect that the order that had been
so plainly heard was merely a ruse and that the engineer had received
whispered instructions, "Full speed ahead, sir, and open your throttle
valve." The movements of the paddle deceived the Federals into the
belief that the Confederate was really backing, but just as the
advantage was with the blockade runner and her clever scheme was
detected, fire was opened upon her with relentless fury. Drummond
lights were burned, doubtless to aid the artilleryists, but so radiated
the mist as to raise the hull above the line of vision, and the
destructive missiles were poured into the sparse rigging and the hull
was spared injury. Thus the blockade runner escaped from the foe and
delivered 900 barrels of gunpowder to the Confederates at Wilmington,
and this ammunition was used afterwards by General Johnston at the
battle of Shiloh.

A Human Derelict.

The story of disasters on Cape Fear during the Federal blockade,
1861-1865, would be incomplete without reference to a human tragedy,
the drowning of an accomplished Southern woman, Mrs. Rose O'Neal
Greenhow. Mrs. Greenhow was a prominent figure in Washington society
during the Buchanan administration. She had become a resident of
Washington in her girlhood, and had grown to womanhood under the
influences which are thrown around the society element in the Nation's
Capital. She was rich, beautiful, and attractive, possessing a ready
wit and a charming and forceful personality. She was a close personal
friend of President Buchanan and a friend of William H. Seward.
With such friends her social position was of the highest, and she
entertained many of the most prominent men in the country in her
hospitable home.

When the War between the States began she was entertaining Col. Thomas
Jordan, later Adjutant General of the Confederate Army. Knowing well
Mrs. Greenhow's strong sympathy for the land of her birth, Colonel
Jordan determined to secure her services for the newborn Confederacy,
and proposed to her that she become a secret agent for his government.
Her social position, her wide acquaintance, her personal magnetism made
her pre-eminently the one to extract information of military value for
the Southern cause. Mrs. Greenhow consented to perform this perilous
service for the land she loved, and started at once to get possession
of facts which would be useful in the coming campaign.

She began her work in April, 1861, and by November Allan Pinkerton,
head of the Federal Secret Service, sent in a report to the War
Department vehemently inveighing against Mrs. Rose Greenhow for
alienating the hearts of Federal officers from their sympathy with
their country, and accusing her of obtaining through her wiles and
powerful personal methods memoranda (and maps) which could only have
been known to officials of the Federal Government.

When the cry "On to Richmond!" was raised, it was absolutely essential
for the Confederate Army under General Beauregard to have definite
information about the point of attack. This data was furnished him by
Mrs. Greenhow. She advised him that the enemy would advance across the
Potomac and on Manassas, via Fairfax Court House and Centerville.

The Federal Army delayed the advance, and a second messenger was sent
to Mrs. Greenhow, who was able to add to her previous information, and
on the strength of it Johnston was ordered to re-ënforce Beauregard
with the last of his 8,500 men, and the wavering Federal Army turned
back and fled in a rout--a mob of panic-stricken fugitives. It was soon
known in Washington that Mrs. Greenhow had supplied the information
upon which the Confederates had constructed their plans, and she
was closely watched. Long after she knew that she must some day be
arrested, she continued her activities, finding opportunities every
day to communicate with Confederate officers, and her services were
so valuable that she could not be persuaded to take refuge in the
Confederate lines when there was so much work for her to do in the
Federal Capital.

She was in her own home when she was finally placed under arrest.
Here she was closely guarded, but a friend and her little daughter
were permitted to remain with her. In spite of the heavy guard, she
continued to communicate with Southern messengers and kept them
informed of what she heard. After a few months she was transferred to
the Old Capitol Prison and kept in confinement with her child in a
room 10 by 12. She suffered keenly in this cold and cheerless place.
The soldiers who guarded her were very strict, but in spite of their
closest scrutiny she managed under their very eyes to send messages to
the people who were eagerly awaiting news of her on the other side of
the lines. After tedious months of imprisonment she was tried[5] on the
charge of treason. There was much direct and indirect evidence against
her, but her attitude was uncompromising, and after the trial she was
permitted to make her way through the lines to Richmond, where she
spent some time until she took passage in a blockade runner with her
daughter, whom she wished to place in a convent in Paris. She took with
her letters to Mason and Slidell, which requested that every courtesy
be shown her.

In Paris she was given a private audience with Napoleon III.

While Mrs. Greenhow was in England her book, _My Imprisonment, or The
First Year of Abolition Rule in Washington_, was published and created
a sensation. It was a vehicle for the most pronounced propaganda for
the cause of the Confederacy and served it well. Not a little sympathy
was created for the South by this book of personal experience.

While in London Mrs. Greenhow became engaged to a nobleman and she
expected to return and marry him after a voyage to America. In August,
1864, she took passage on the _Condor_ and there is strong reason to
suppose that her business in Wilmington was in the interests of the

The _Condor_ arrived opposite the mouth of the river on the night of
September 30, but as she crept up the river, the pilot saw an object
about 200 yards from shore which he thought was an enemy vessel, and
he swerved his course and ran his vessel on New Inlet Bar. The object
was the _Night Hawk_, a blockade runner which had been run down the
previous night, and the _Condor_ might have completed the trip in
safety. Mrs. Greenhow and her party begged the captain to send them
ashore in a boat, as this seemed the only chance of escape from a
second arrest as a spy. The captain acceded to her request, and the
boat put off. It capsized, however, and Mrs. Greenhow, weighted by her
clothing and a quantity of golden sovereigns, was drowned a few yards
from land.

Her body washed ashore the next day and was found by Mr. Thomas E.
Taylor, who afterwards took it to Wilmington. She was laid out in the
Seamen's Bethel, beautiful in death as she had been in life. She was
wrapped in the Confederate flag and with full honors of war interred in
Oakdale Cemetery, where a small cross bearing her name may be seen to
this day.

After the funeral her personal effects and the articles she had brought
with her from abroad were sold at public auction. It was said that an
English countess or duchess had an interest in the speculation and was
to have shared the profits.


[Footnote 1: "Let Glasgow flourish by the preaching of the Word."]

[Footnote 2: The _Banshee_ and a few other blockade runners mentioned
in this book as escaping capture were later either captured or

[Footnote 3: Returned to England.]

[Footnote 4: Mr. Craig has since died.]

[Footnote 5: There are no formal records available to verify this.]



The following extract from _Southern Historical Papers_, written about
the year 1890, by Colonel Lamb, the commander of Fort Fisher, gives a
glimpse of the social side of life at the fort during the War between
the States and of some of the distinguished gentlemen who were drawn
into this dangerous traffic by a love of adventure, by sentiment, or
by sympathy with the Confederate cause, and by the promise of large
profits for successful enterprises.

"In the fall of 1857 a lovely Puritan maiden, still in her teens, was
married in Grace Church, Providence, R.I., to a Virginia youth, just
passed his majority, who brought her to his home in Norfolk, a typical
ancestral homestead, where, beside the 'white folks,' there was quite
a colony of family servants, from the pickaninny just able to crawl to
the old gray-headed mammy who had nursed 'ole massa.' She soon became
enamoured of her surroundings and charmed with the devotion of her
colored maid, whose sole duty it was to wait upon her young missis.
When the John Brown raid burst upon the South and her husband was
ordered to Harpers Ferry, there was not a more indignant matron in all
Virginia, and when at last secession came, the South did not contain a
more enthusiastic little rebel.

"On the 15th of May, 1862, a few days after the surrender of Norfolk
to the Federals by her father-in-law, then mayor, amid the excitement
attending a captured city, her son Willie was born. Cut off from her
husband and subjected to the privations and annoyances incident to a
subjugated community, her father insisted upon her coming with her
children to his home in Providence; but, notwithstanding she was in
a luxurious home with all that paternal love could do for her, she
preferred to leave all these comforts to share with her husband the
dangers and privations of the South. She vainly tried to persuade
Stanton, Secretary of War, to let her and her three children with a
nurse return to the South; finally he consented to let her go by flag
of truce from Washington to City Point, but without a nurse, and as
she was unable to manage three little ones, she left the youngest
with his grandparents, and with two others bravely set out for Dixie.
The generous outfit of every description which was prepared for
the journey, and which was carried to the place of embarkation, was
ruthlessly cast aside by the inspectors on the wharf, and no tears or
entreaties or offers of reward by the parents availed to pass anything
save a scanty supply of clothing and other necessaries. Arriving in the
South, the brave young mother refused the proffer of a beautiful home
in Wilmington, the occupancy of the grand old colonial mansion Orton,
on the Cape Fear River, and insisted upon taking up her abode with her
children and their colored nurse in the upper room of a pilot's house,
where they lived until the soldiers of the garrison built her a cottage
one mile north of Fort Fisher, on the Atlantic Beach. In both of these
homes she was occasionally exposed to the shot and shell fired from
blockaders at belated blockade runners.

"It was a quaint abode, constructed in most primitive style, with
three rooms around one big chimney, in which North Carolina pine knots
supplied heat and light on winter nights. This cottage became historic,
and was famed for the frugal but tempting meals which its charming
hostess would prepare for her distinguished guests. Besides the many
illustrious Confederate Army and Navy officers who were delighted
to find this bit of sunshiny civilization on the wild sandy beach,
ensconced among the sand dunes and straggling pines and black-jack,
many celebrated English naval officers enjoyed its hospitality under
assumed names: Roberts, afterwards the renowned Hobart Pasha, who
commanded the Turkish Navy; Murray, now Admiral Murray-Aynsley, long
since retired after having been rapidly promoted for gallantry and
meritorious services in the British Navy; the brave but unfortunate
Hugh Burgoyne, V.C., who went down in the British ironclad _Captain_,
in the Bay of Biscay; and the chivalrous Hewett, who won the Victoria
Cross in the Crimea and was knighted for his services as ambassador to
King John of Abyssinia, and who, after commanding the Queen's yacht,
died lamented as Admiral Hewett. Besides these there were many genial
and gallant merchant captains, among them Halpin, who afterwards
commanded the _Great Eastern_ while laying ocean cables; and famous
war correspondents--Hon. Francis C. Lawley, M.P., correspondent of the
_London Times_, and Frank Vizetelly, of the _London Illustrated News_,
afterwards murdered in the Soudan. Nor must the plucky Tom Taylor be
forgotten, supercargo of the _Banshee_ and the _Night Hawk_, who, by
his coolness and daring escaped with a boat's crew from the hands of
the Federals after capture off the fort, and who was endeared to the
children as the Santa Claus of the war.

"At first the little Confederate was satisfied with pork and potatoes,
cornbread and rye coffee, with sorghum sweetening; but after the
blockade runners made her acquaintance the impoverished storeroom was
soon filled to overflowing, notwithstanding her heavy requisitions on
it for the post hospital, the sick and wounded soldiers and sailors
always being a subject of her tenderest solicitude, and often the
hard-worked and poorly fed colored hands blessed the little lady of the
cottage for a tempting treat.

"Full of stirring events were the two years passed in the cottage on
Confederate Point. The drowning of Mrs. Rose Greenhow, the famous
Confederate spy, off Fort Fisher, and the finding of her body, which
was tenderly cared for, and the rescue from the waves, half dead, of
Professor Holcombe, and his restoration, were incidents never to be
forgotten. Her fox hunting with horse and hounds, the narrow escapes
of friendly vessels, the fights over blockade runners driven ashore,
the execution of deserters, and the loss of an infant son, whose little
spirit went out with the tide one sad summer night, all contributed to
the reality of this romantic life.

"When Porter's fleet appeared off Fort Fisher, December, 1864, it
was storm bound for several days, and the little family with their
household goods were sent across the river to Orton before Butler's
powder ship blew up. After the Christmas victory over Porter and
Butler, the little heroine insisted upon coming back to her cottage,
although her husband had procured a home of refuge in Cumberland
County. General Whiting protested against her running the risk, for on
dark nights her husband could not leave the fort, but she said if the
firing became too hot she would run behind the sand hills as she had
done before, and come she would.

"The fleet reappeared unexpectedly on the night of the 12th of January,
1865. It was a dark night, and when the lights of the fleet were
reported her husband sent a courier to the cottage to instruct her to
pack up quickly and be prepared to leave with children and nurse as
soon as he could come to bid them good-bye. The garrison barge, with a
trusted crew, was stationed at Craig's Landing, near the cottage. After
midnight, when all necessary orders were given for the coming attack,
the colonel mounted his horse and rode to the cottage, but all was dark
and silent. He found the message had been delivered, but his brave
wife had been so undisturbed by the news that she had fallen asleep and
no preparations for a retreat had been made. Precious hours had been
lost, and as the fleet would soon be shelling the beach and her husband
have to return to the fort, he hurried them into the boat as soon as
dressed, with only what could be gathered up hastily, leaving dresses,
toys, and household articles to fall into the hands of the foe."

Mr. Thomas E. Taylor's description of the famous Englishmen referred to
is worth repeating:

"As my memory takes me back to those jovial but hard-working days of
camaraderie, it is melancholy to think how many of those friends have
gone before; Mrs. Murray-Aynsley, Mrs. Hobart and her husband, Hobart
Pasha; Hugh Burgoyne, one of the Navy's brightest ornaments, who was
drowned while commanding the ill-fated _Captain_; Hewett, who lately
gave up command of the Channel Fleet only to die; old Steele, the king
of blockade-running captains; Maurice Portman, an ex-diplomatist;
Frank Vizetelly, whose bones lie alongside those of Hicks Pasha in the
Soudan; Lewis Grant Watson, my brother agent; Arthur Doering, one of
my loyal lieutenants, and a host of old Confederate friends, are all
gone, and I could count on my fingers those remaining of a circle of
chums who did not know what care or fear was, and who would have stood
by each other through thick and thin in any emergency. In fact, my old
friends Admiral Murray-Aynsley and Frank Hurst are almost the only two
living of that companionship.

"Of Hobart Pasha and of the important part he played in the
Turko-Russian war and Cretan rebellion (in which he acknowledged that
his blockade-running experiences stood him in such good stead) most,
if not all my readers will have read or heard. He commanded a smart
little twin-screw steamer called the _Don_, in fact one of the first
twin-propeller steamers ever built. And very proud he was of his
craft, in which he made several successful runs under the assumed name
of Captain Roberts. On her first trip after Captain Roberts gave up
command in order to go home, the _Don_ was captured after a long chase,
and his late chief officer, who was then in charge, was assumed by his
captors to be Roberts. He maintained silence concerning the point, and
the Northern newspapers upon the arrival of the prize at Philadelphia
were full of the subject of the 'Capture of the _Don_ and the notorious
English naval officer, "Captain Roberts."' Much chagrined were they to
find they had got the wrong man, and that the English naval officer was
still at large.

"Poor Burgoyne, whose tragic and early end, owing to the capsizing of
the _Captain_, everybody deplored, as a blockade runner was not very
successful. If I remember correctly he made only two or three trips.
Had he lived he would have had a brilliant career before him in the
Navy; bravest of the brave, as is evidenced by the V.C. he wore, gentle
as a woman, unselfish to a fault, he might have saved his life if
he had thought more of himself and less of his men on that terrible
occasion off Finisterre, when his last words were, 'Look out for
yourselves, men; never mind me.'

"Then there was Hewett, another wearer of the 'cross for valor,' who
has only recently joined the majority, after a brilliant career as
admiral commanding in the East Indies, Red Sea, and Channel Fleet; who
successfully interviewed King John in Abyssinia, and was not content to
pace the deck of his flagship at Suakim, but insisted upon fighting in
the square at El Teb, and whose hospitality and geniality later on as
commander in chief of the Channel Fleet was proverbial.

"Murray-Aynsley, I rejoice to say, is still alive.[6] Who that knows
'old Murray' does not love him? Gentle as a child, brave as a lion,
a man without guile, he was perhaps the most successful of all the
naval blockade runners. In the _Venus_ he had many hairbreadth escapes,
notably on one occasion when he ran the gauntlet of the Northern fleet
in daylight into Wilmington. The _Venus_, hotly pursued by several
blockaders and pounded at by others, while she steamed straight through
them, old Murray on the bridge, with his coat sleeves hitched up almost
to his arm-pits--a trick he had when greatly excited--otherwise as cool
as possible, was, as Lamb afterwards told me, 'a sight never to be


[Footnote 6: They are all gone now.--J.S.]


An almost daily incident of the Federal blockading fleet was the rescue
from frail boats of negro slaves, officially reported by the Federals
as "intelligent contrabands," who at the risk of their lives deserted
their owners and escaped to the Federal warships several miles from the
beach. They numbered several hundred during the war, and I am informed
that very few of them returned from the North, where many settled in
their new-found freedom. Some of the more industrious prospered, but a
larger proportion died from exposure to the rigorously cold winters of
the North.

Specimens of the official reports of such cases follow:

  "U.S.S. 'Monticello,'
  "Off Wilmington, N.C.,
  "_September 22, 1862_.

"Sir: I beg leave to forward you the following information obtained
from the within named persons, who came off to this vessel this morning:

"Frank Clinton, aged thirty-five years, belonging to Robert H. Cowan.

"Samuel Mince, aged twenty-three years, belonging to Mrs. Elizabeth

"Thomas Cowen, aged twenty-four years, belonging to Mrs. J.G. Wright.

"Charles Millett, aged twenty-eight years, belonging to Mrs. John

"James Brown, aged twenty-three years, belonging to John Brown.

"Horace Smith, aged twenty-two years, belonging to Mrs. William Smith.

"David Mallett, aged twenty-six years, belonging to Mrs. John Walker.

"The gunboat _North Carolina_ is to be launched next Saturday and is
to be clad with railroad iron down to the water's edge. The sides of
the boat are built angular, and the guns are to be mounted on a covered
deck. The lower part of the hull is of pine and the upper of heavy oak.
This vessel is to be fitted up by Mr. Benjamin Beery and the engine
she is to have is to come out of the steamer _Uncle Ben_, formerly a
tugboat. The contrabands state that they are sanguine of having her
ready by the 10th of October, 1862. These contrabands are from in and
about Wilmington city, and they all agree in stating that that city is
completely entrenched and guns mounted at every half mile upon the
works. From their account Cape Fear River has several batteries upon
its banks. The first is called Camp Brown, two miles from the city,
which is an earth and log work on the right-hand side going up the
river, and mounts two guns; opposite to it are obstructions in the
river, consisting of sunken cribs. The next fort below is called Mount
Tirza and mounts two guns and is on the same side of the river. The
next is Fort St. Philip, a large work, mounting sixteen guns, near Old
Brunswick, on the left-hand side of the river going up. Opposite this
last-named work the obstructions in the river are heavy piles with a
narrow passageway through them. At this point the lightboat, which was
taken from Frying Pan Shoals, is anchored inside the obstruction and
mounts four guns. There is also a lightboat anchored inside Zeek's
Island, mounting a like number of guns. One of these contrabands is
from Fayetteville, N. C., and states that they are making rifles and
gun carriages up there, and also that they are building a large foundry
and blacksmith's shop. As fast as the arms are completed they are sent
to Raleigh, North Carolina.

"These contrabands state that the rebels succeeded in getting out of
the _Modern Greece_ (which vessel was run ashore near New Inlet) six
rifled cannon, which, from their description, I should judge to be
Whitworth's breech-loading guns; also 500 stand of arms and a large
amount of powder and clothing, the last two in a damaged condition. One
also states that the steamer _Kate_, before running into this port,
was chased by a cruiser and threw overboard 10,000 stand of arms. This
he is positive of, as one of the hands on board the _Kate_, a friend
of his, told him so. From their accounts I judge that a regular and
uninterrupted trade is kept up between Nassau, New Providence, and
Shallotte Inlet, N.C., which inlet is about 20 miles to the westward
of this place. Schooners are said to arrive here weekly, and, after
discharging, take in cotton, turpentine, and rosin, and sail for Nassau
with papers purporting that they sailed from the city of Wilmington. I
would suggest that some means be taken to stop this trade, and I am,

  "Very respectfully,
  "Your obedient servant,
  "D.L. Braine,

  "Commander G.H. Scott,
  "_Comdg. U.S.S. 'Maratanza,'
  "Off Western Bar, Cape Fear River_."

  "U. S. Gunboat 'Penoboscot'
  "Off Cape Fear, N.C.,
  "_September 23, 1862_.

"Sir: I have to inform you that seven contrabands came to this vessel
this morning who gave their own and their masters' names as follows:

"William, owned by S.G. Northrop, of Wilmington.

"Lewis, owned by Dr. McCrea, of Wilmington.

"Ben Greer, owned by P.K. Dickinson, of Wilmington.

"George, owned by T.D. Walker, of Wilmington.

"Virgil Richardson, owned by James Bradley.

"Abraham Richardson, owned by D.A.F. Flemming.

"No information of importance was elicited, except that the steamer
_Mariner_, loaded with cotton, tobacco, and turpentine, was ready for
sea and would make an early attempt to run the blockade of this port.

  "I am, respectfully,
  "Your obedient servant,
  "J.M.B. Clitz,

  "Commander G.H. Scott,
  "_Commanding U.S.S. 'Maratanza,'
  "And Senior Officer Present_."

"From William Robins, contraband, ship carpenter, who has been at work
upon one of the rebel gunboats at Wilmington since July:

"1. There are two boats in process of construction; one at J.L. Cassidy
& Sons, the other at Beery & Brothers. Captain Whitehead superintends
the former and Mr. Williams the latter. Commander Muse has control of
the whole. Both boats are built upon the same plan, 150 feet keel,
23 feet beam, 12 feet draft. They are to be iron-roofed like the
_Merrimac_. The iron is to be made in Richmond and will be ready in
four months. The engines are on board but not set. One of them is new,
made at Richmond; the other was taken from the _Uncle Ben_. Propellers
are about eight feet in diameter. The boats are pierced for eight guns,
but will carry but three, which can be moved at ease. Guns are not yet
ready. Boats would have been ready for launching in three weeks had not
many of the workmen left. Some struck for more pay; some were fearful
of yellow fever. Formerly ninety-five to one hundred were at work on
each boat; now only thirty. Pay $2.50 to $3.

"2. Provisions scarce. Flour, $27; rice, 12-1/2 cents; potatoes, $3.50
to $4; bacon, 50 cents; beef, 25 cents; meal, $2; butter, 85 cents to

"3. There are no soldiers in Wilmington. Colonel Livingsthrop
(Leventhorpe), with one regiment, is at Masonboro Sound. There are
about 3,000 in all in this vicinity. Colonel Lamb is at Fort Fisher.
Captain Dudley evacuated Zeek's Island and is now at Fort Fisher.

"4. Friday last was set apart by President Davis as a day for
thanksgiving and prayer for the victories before Richmond and in
Maryland, as also for the capture of Harpers Ferry and Cincinnati, both
of which were taken without the loss of a life.

"5. No vessel has run in or out of the port since the _Modern Greece_
except the _Kate_. The _Modern Greece_ had two shots through her
boiler, and one through her donkey engine. Her cargo consisted of
powder and arms and whisky. Much was taken out and much remains. Powder
was all wet. They dried some of it. She had two heavy guns. She was a
very fine steamer. They saved none of her machinery.

"The _Kate_ ran in and out the main channel. The tug _Mariner_ is now
ready to run out, having 100 bales of cotton and 100 barrels of rosin.
They say a schooner ran in at Little River Inlet not long ago. The
_Mariner_ is going to Nassau for salt."

Information given by Colonel Shaw's body servant:

"Thirty-five hundred troops (a large margin given) in and about
Wilmington, including all the forts, under the command of General
Leventhorpe. At present most of the soldiers have left Wilmington
and moved down this way on account of yellow fever. There are about
800 at Fort Caswell, and about double the number at Fort Fisher. The
troops are clothed, very dirty, but apparently are sufficiently fed.
Provisions come to them from the country. They enlist from fourteen to
fifty years of age. Many of the conscripts run away; 300 have deserted
in one day. Have telegrams from Richmond, but they are in doubt about
the entire correctness of such. Previous to the battles before Richmond
the people were quite disheartened and were willing to give up the
place; since, however, they are much encouraged, and a better feeling
pervades. There are some Union men in W. Not any small craft at W. The
two gunboats, not rams, are being completed; workmen from the army. One
engine is new from Richmond; the other old from _Uncle Ben_, and each
boat will mount three guns on a side; also one forward and one aft. The
tug _Mariner_ is prepared to run for Nassau. Has two guns; is loaded
with cotton. Flour is $30 per barrel; whisky $15 a gallon; boots $20
a pair. Have grown some corn about W. this season. No business doing.
Clerks all enlisted. The fort's southwest breastworks were injured by
the _Otorara_; no one killed. Beauregard at Charleston, and Lieut.
Commander Flusser, who ought to have left out the 'l' in his name,
said: 'A "reliable contraband" who says he deserted from the enemy
today and who represents himself as an officer's servant, declares
that he has heard of no boat building up this river; that he does not
believe that there is one there; that one was some time since under
construction at Tarboro, but that work on her has been discontinued,'
etc. I fear the 'reliable contraband' was sent in by _Messieurs les
Secesh_. I do not think anyone can outlie a North Carolina white,
unless he be a North Carolina negro."

Also there were occasional white deserters from Fort Fisher and from
the out-lying Confederate camps or outposts. These were not named for
obvious reasons, and they were described in the official reports as
so ragged and so infested with vermin that they had to be immediately
divested of their clothing, which was thrown overboard, and the
deserters were clothed from the ships' supply chests. As cleanliness is
said to be next to godliness, it is manifest that these fellows were a
very bad lot.


It is remarkable that the blockade runners seldom included in their
complement of officers and crew a professional doctor or surgeon,
although there were occasions when they were greatly needed. Few of our
men were wounded, although the bombshells burst all round us again and
again and finally sunk the _Lilian_ to a level with the deck.

The runs from Wilmington to Nassau were made in forty-eight to
fifty-two hours, and to Bermuda in seventy-two to eighty hours, and
the sick or wounded received scant attention until they reached port.
It therefore devolved upon the purser or the chief officer to attend
such cases, and my very limited knowledge of medicine restricted
the treatment of our alleged sick men to compound cathartic pills
and quinine. A majority of the cases of "pains all over them" were
malingerers, some of whom dodged their duty during the entire voyage.
Captain Hobart, of the _Don_, told us of such a case on his ship
interviewed by his chief officer, C----, as follows:

C.: "Well, my man, what's the matter with you?"

Patient: "Please, sir, I've got pains all over me."

C.: "Oh, all over you, are they? That's bad."

Then during the pause it was evident that something was being mixed up,
and I could hear C---- say: "Here, take this, and come again in the
evening." (Exit patient.)

Then C---- said to himself: "I don't think he'll come again; he has got
two drops of the croton. Skulking rascal, pains all over him, eh?"

"I never heard the voice of that patient again," said Captain Hobart;
"in fact, after a short time we had no cases of sickness on board."

C---- explained that what he served out, as he called it, was croton
oil; and that none of the crew came twice for treatment.

The ship's discipline was generally well maintained at sea, but
instances of insubordination in port were of almost daily occurrence.
These were dealt with usually by the first mate, or, as he was
designated, the chief officer. But some of the incorrigibles were
brought before the commander for treatment and something like this
colloquy, which I take partly from _Punch_, would ensue:

Commander: "What is this man's character apart from this offence?"

Petty Officer: "Well, sir, this here man, he goes ashore when he likes,
he comes aboard when he likes, he uses 'orrible language when he's
spoke to. In fact from his general behavior he might be taken for the
captain of this ship," which exactly fitted the case of our skipper at
that time, who was an expert in the use of 'orrible language.


Eluding the blockading fleet at the Cape Fear Bar was not the only
adventure in those perilous days. It was quite within the range of
possibility that a steamer would run into a harbor and find the town,
hitherto perfectly healthy, withered under the malign spell of some
scourge like yellow fever or smallpox. Sometimes the plague would break
out in the town while the steamer was loading, sometimes it would break
out among the crew of the steamer, and this is what was alleged of the
_Lilian_ on the occasion I am about to relate.

After several narrow escapes from the squadron in the Gulf Stream,
the _Lilian_ made St. George, Bermuda, on the morning of the fourth
day, and at once discharged her cargo, hoping to get away in time for
another run while we had a few hours of darkness.

We had, however, hardly received the half of our inward cargo of
gunpowder and commissary supplies when we were visited by the harbor
doctor, who alleged that we had a case of smallpox on board and
peremptorily ordered us to the quarantine ground, about two miles out
of port, among some uninhabited rocks, which made the usual dreariness
of a quarantine station more distressing, and where he informed us we
must remain at least twenty-one days. In vain our captain protested
that he was mistaken, that the case to which he referred was a slight
attack of malarial fever, combined with other symptoms which were not
at all dangerous (which subsequently proved to be true). The doctor was
unrelenting; if we did not proceed at once, he said, he would report
us to the governor at Hamilton, who would send H.M.S. _Spitfire_, then
on the station, to tow us out, and after we had served our quarantine,
we would be arrested for resisting his authority. Finding remonstrance
of no avail, our captain agreed to get away as soon as possible, but
before we could make preparation for our departure a tug was sent
alongside which towed us out, _nolens volens_, and left us at anchor
among the sea gulls, with only ten days' provisions for a three weeks'

Being ex officio the ship's doctor, I began at once to physic the
unfortunate sailor who had unwittingly brought us into this trouble,
and, although my knowledge of the pharmacopoeia did not go beyond
cathartic pills and quinine, I soon had him on his feet to join all
hands for inspection by the quarantine officer, who came off to
windward of us every day and at a respectable distance bawled out his
category of questions which were required by law.

We were daily warned that if any of our officers or crew were found on
shore or on board any of the vessels in the harbor, the full extent of
the law would be meted out to them, and we were given to understand
that twenty-one days' quarantine was a mere bagatelle compared with the
punishment which would follow any attempt to evade these restrictions;
notwithstanding which, we came to a unanimous decision at the end of
three days that we would prefer the risk of capture at sea to such a
life in comparative security, and it was accordingly resolved by the
captain that if any of us were plucky enough to take his gig and a
boat's crew to St. George and secure some castings at a shipsmith's
on shore which were required by the chief engineer, we would proceed
toward Wilmington without further preparation and without the formality
required by law.

Being comparatively indifferent as to the result, albeit somewhat
confident of success, I at once volunteered, to which our captain
agreed, and amid a good deal of chaffing from several Confederate
officers who were with us as passengers, I started with our second
engineer and five trustworthy men for the shore.

We were careful to leave shortly after the visit of the health
physician, so that our absence would not be noticed when all hands were
turned out, and as we approached the harbor I was gratified to observe
that we were entirely unnoticed. We landed about half a mile below the
town, and leaving the men with the boat, which I ordered them to keep
concealed, I proceeded with the engineer to dispatch our business,
which delayed us several hours.

At last we were ready for the return, and finding our men unmolested,
we proceeded down the harbor toward the ship _Storm King_, which had
recently left the China trade to carry Confederate States Government
cotton from the Bermuda rendezvous to Liverpool. As we passed under her
quarter, we were excitedly hailed by her captain, to whom I was well
known personally, with the intelligence that a quarantine boat had just
left our ship and that we were probably discovered, as its course had
been suddenly changed for us while we were pulling down the bay.

Thinking to elude the pursuer, if such it proved to be, I steered for
the rocks along shore, the men giving way at the oars with a will, but
we soon saw that we were closely watched and that our friend's fears
were fully realized. The well-known yellow flag was borne by a boat
now clearly in pursuit of us; and, finding escape cut off, we at once
returned to the _Storm King_ and entreated the captain to secrete us
on board, and if the health officer boarded him, to profess ignorance
of us altogether. This the good fellow agreed to do, and my men
having been set to work as if they were part of the crew, I, with the
engineer, was at once secreted and locked in one of the many staterooms
then empty.

We had hardly settled ourselves in the berths, determined that if the
worst came we would cover up our heads and draw the curtains, when we
heard the measured sound of oars approaching the gangway near the room
in which we were hiding, and a moment later the hail, "_Storm King_
ahoy!" "Aye, aye, sir; what do you want?"

"You have on board a boat's crew from the steamer _Lilian_ in
quarantine, who have left contrary to law. I demand their surrender."

"Quite a mistake, Doctor; quite a mistake, I assure you," responded
Captain McDonald.

"But I saw the boat pull under your quarter a few minutes ago, and I
insist upon their forthcoming, or we will search your ship."

"But I protest, Doctor, there are no such people on board my ship."

"What a consummate liar old McDonald is," groaned the engineer,
sweltering under two pairs of blankets.

"Ah ha," exclaimed the health officer at this moment, "we have here the
captain's gig alongside; and here is the name _Lilian_ on the stern.
How is this?"

"Oh," replied the imperturbable McDonald, "we picked her up adrift this
morning; I am glad to know the owner."

"A very unlikely story, Captain, and we will have to search," quoth
the doctor; and then we heard several persons ascending the ladder,
followed by further expostulations on the part of our friend the
captain, evidently of no avail, for the party immediately entered the
saloon and began their search. Door after door was opened and shut, and
as they gradually approached our hiding place, I looked up at Sandy
McKinnon, the Scotch engineer, who presented a most ludicrous and
woeful sight, the perspiration pouring down his fat cheeks, as in a
most despairful voice he moaned, "It's a' up wi' us the noo, Purser,
it's a' up wi' us; we shall be put in preeson and the deil kens what'll
be to pay."

With anxious hearts we waited for the worst, and at last it came; a
heavy hand wrenched our door knob and an impatient voice demanded
that the door be unlocked. The steward protested that the room was
empty and that the key was lost, which only seemed to increase the
officer's determination to enter. High words ensued. The captain, with
a heartiness which excited our admiration but increased our fear,
poured a volley of abuse upon the unlucky doctor, who was apparently
discharging his duty, and at times I fancied they had almost come to
blows. This was at last quelled by a peremptory demand that the ship's
carpenter be sent for to force the door. The steward at this juncture
produced the key, which he averred had just been found in another
lock, and while he fumbled at our door I thought I heard the sound of
suppressed laughter on the outside, but dismissed the idea as absurd.

A moment after the door opened, and before our astonished vision
were ranged our good friends and shipmates, Major Hone of Savannah,
Capt. Leo Vogel of St. Augustine, Sergeant Gregory of Crowells, and
Eugene Maffitt, who with Captain McDonald and several of his friends
were fairly shrieking with laughter at our sorry plight. We had been
completely sold. The whole scheme was planned on board our own ship
immediately after our departure, and Captain McDonald was privy to the
arrangement which he so successfully carried out.

The voices which we supposed in our fright came from Her Majesty's
officers, were feigned by our own people, who made the most of the
joke at our expense. The trick was too good to keep, and when the
good doctor came next day to discharge us from quarantine, all traces
of sickness having disappeared, no one enjoyed the fun more than he,
although he said it might have resulted seriously enough.


The Confederate States Signal Corps frequently rendered some very
efficient service to the blockade runners after they had succeeded in
getting between the blockaders and the beach, where they were also in
danger of the shore batteries until their character became known to the

As the signal system developed, a detailed member was sent out with
each ship, and so important did this service become that signal
officers, as they were called, were occasionally applied for by owners
or captains of steamers in the Clyde or at Liverpool before sailing for
Bermuda or Nassau to engage in running the blockade.

The first attempt to communicate with the shore batteries was a
failure, and consequently the service suffered some reproach for a
while, but subsequent practice with intelligent, cool-headed men
resulted in complete success, and some valuable ships, with still
more valuable cargoes, were saved from capture or destruction by the
intervention of the signal service, when, owing to the darkness and bad
landfall, the captain and pilot were alike unable to recognize their
geographical position.

To the late Mr. Frederick W. Gregory, of Crowells, N.C., belonged
the honor of the first success as a signal operator in this service.
Identified with the corps from the beginning of the blockade, and
with the Cape Fear at Price's Creek Station, which was for a long
time in his efficient charge, he brought to this new and novel duty
an experience and efficiency equalled by few of his colleagues and
surpassed by none. It was well said of him that he was always ready
and never afraid, two elements of the almost unvarying success which
attended the ships to which he was subsequently assigned. It was
my good fortune to be intimately associated with Mr. Gregory for
nearly two years, during which we had many ups and downs together as
shipmates aboard and as companions ashore. He was one of the few young
men engaged in blockade running who successfully resisted the evil
influences and depraved associations with which we were continually
surrounded. Unselfish and honorable in all his relations with his
fellows, courageous as a lion in time of danger, he was an honor to his
State and to the cause which he so worthily represented.

The following narrative related by him gives a more explicit account of
the signal service than I could offer by description of its workings:

"Some time early in 1863, the Confederate Government purchased on the
Clyde (I think) two steamers for the purpose of running the blockade.
The first to arrive was the _Giraffe_. While in the Cape Fear, Captain
Alexander, who had charge of the signal corps at Smithville, suggested
the propriety of putting a signal officer aboard to facilitate the
entrance of ships into the port at night by the use of two lights, a
red and a white, covered with a shade in front of the globe to lift up
and down, by which we could send messages as we did with the flag on
land in the day and with the torch at night; the red light representing
the wave to the right and the white light the wave to the left. After
some consultation General Whiting ordered Captain Alexander to send
up a signal officer to join the _Giraffe_, and Robert Herring was
detailed for that purpose and sent to Wilmington, where the lights
were prepared, and he went aboard. The _Giraffe_ went out and returned
successfully, but from some cause (I never understood why) Herring
failed to attract the attention of the land force and sent no message
ashore. In the meantime the other steamer, the _Cornubia_, arrived
in port, and Captain Alexander having been ordered elsewhere, and
Lieutenant Doggett having been sent down from Richmond to take charge
of the signal corps, General Whiting ordered a signal officer for the
_Cornubia_, and I was detailed and sent to Wilmington to prepare the
lights and report on board.

"We cleared the bar successfully, with Captain Burroughs in command,
and C.C. Morse as pilot, and had a good voyage to St. George, Bermuda,
where we unloaded our cargo of cotton and reloaded with supplies for
the Southern Army. On our return trip we made the land fifty or sixty
miles above Fort Fisher and coasted down to the inlet, our intention
being to get near the land inside the blockading fleet, which was
obliged to keep off a certain distance on account of shoal water. As
well as I remember, when within fifteen to twenty miles of Fort Fisher,
Captain Burroughs sent for me to come on the bridge, and asked if I
had my lights ready, and if I thought I could send a message ashore,
Pilot Morse in the meantime telling me that he would let me know when
we were opposite the signal station on the land, where a constant watch
was kept all night for our signal. We had not gone far when Morse told
me we were opposite the post. We were feeling our way very slowly
in the dark. I was put down on the deck, with the gangways open, my
lights facing the land and a screen behind, when I was ordered to call
the station. The officers and sailors were highly interested in the
movement and crowded around to watch the proceedings. I had called
but a few times when I was answered from the shore with a torch. I
turned to Captain Burroughs and told him I had the attention of the
land forces, and asked what message he wished to send. He replied as
follows: 'Colonel Lamb, steamer _Cornubia_. Protect me. Burroughs.' I
got the O.K. for the message from shore, and saw the corps on land call
up one station after the other, and transmit my message down to Fort
Fisher, miles ahead of us, and afterwards learned that General Whiting
was notified by telegraph of the arrival of the _Cornubia_ before she
crossed the bar that night; and when we arrived at the fort we found
Colonel Lamb down on the point with his Whitworth guns ready to protect
us if necessary. The success of this attempt gave an impetus to the
signal corps, and from that time every steamer that arrived applied to
the Government for a signal officer before leaving port."

The name of the _Cornubia_ was subsequently changed to _Lady Davis_,
in honor of the wife of President Davis at Richmond, and Captain Gale,
an officer of the old Navy who had gone over to the Confederacy, was
placed in command. "About the 20th of December, 1863," Mr. Gregory
adds, "we left Bermuda with a cargo for Wilmington in charge of Captain
Gale, with Mr. Robert Grisson as pilot and myself as signal officer.
We made land some miles above Wilmington, apparently through bad
navigation, almost as far north as Cape Lookout, and when opposite
Masonboro in coasting down we observed rockets going up directly
ahead of us. We were running at full speed, when to our consternation
rockets appeared quite near abreast of us; in fact we were apparently
surrounded by cruisers. There was a hurried consultation on the bridge.
I was at my post with my lights, waiting to be called, when the order
was given to head for the beach and drive the ship high and dry. The
blockaders were then cannonading us very heavily. When our good ship
struck the beach she ploughed up the sand for a considerable distance,
and keeled over on her side. The boats were lowered, and every man told
to look out for himself, which I assure you we lost no time in doing,
as we had scarcely left the ship before the enemy were boarding her on
the opposite side and firing briskly with small arms. They followed us
to the beach, and kept up a heavy fire from cannon and small arms for
an hour. We dodged about in the bulrushes as best we could, and made
our way toward the fort. Captain Thomas, acting chief officer, took
ashore with him two fine chronometers, and selected me to carry one for
him, but after beating around with them in the rushes for a mile or so,
we became exhausted and had to throw them away. I have no doubt they
are still lying in the rushes on the beach. We at last met a company
of soldiers who protected and escorted us to the sound. We forded the
sound and remained all night and were sent to Wilmington the next day,
overland, by mule teams. I always thought it was a shame that the _Lady
Davis_ was lost, having no doubt we could have put to sea and escaped
on the occasion referred to, although I was not informed as to the
supply of coal on board.

"Captain Gale had been very sick the day before, and was too feeble
to leave the ship, so remained on board and was captured and taken to
Fort Warren. The U.S.S. _James Adger_, commanded by Capt. James Foster
of Bloomington, Ind., had the good fortune to capture our ship, and
hauled her off as a prize.

"After reaching Wilmington and supplying myself with clothing and a
hat, I immediately went on board the steamer _Flora_ with Captain
Horner and made a successful run to Bermuda. The _Flora_ was considered
too slow and sent back to England. I then joined the _Index_, commanded
by Captain Marshall, and made several successful voyages on her, but
she too was condemned as too slow and was returned to Glasgow.

"I had a thrilling adventure on this ship on a homeward voyage, when,
for the first time in all my experience, we made land opposite Bald
Head Light on Frying Pan Shoals. As we were coming around to New Inlet
we fell in with a Federal cruiser, so close when we discovered her that
we could easily discern the maneuvers of the men on deck. She seemed
to have anchors weighed, and was moving about and could easily have
captured us, and we were at a loss to understand why she did not fire
into us. Some of our people decided that she wished to secure us as
a prize without injury, as she steamed alongside of us for miles and
all at once put her helm hard down and went close under our stern and
attempted to go between us and the shoals. I remember the remark of
our pilot, Tom Grissom, to Captain Marshall: 'If she follows us on that
course I will wreck her before we reach the inlet.'

"The cruiser had only steamed half a mile or so, when she suddenly
passed from view, and in a few moments a rocket went up near where
we last saw her, which was repeated at short intervals. After a few
minutes, rockets could be seen going up from the whole squadron and
there was evidently a great commotion among them on account of our
pursuer, who seemed suddenly to have got into serious trouble. We
passed through the inlet without further molestation, as the entire
fleet had centered their attention upon the unfortunate cruiser which
had suddenly gone down. When morning dawned, it revealed the Federal
cruiser hard and fast on the reef, with the other vessels of the
squadron working manfully to relieve her. Colonel Lamb went down to the
extreme point with his Whitworth guns and opened fire on her. A month
or so afterwards, while in Bermuda, I saw a spirited sketch of the
whole affair in _Frank Leslie's Illustrated News_, giving an account of
the wreck, and of an investigation of the conduct of the officers in
charge. I think the vessel was the gun-boat _Petrel_.

"After the _Index_ was sent back to Glasgow, Captain Marshall took
charge of the steamer _Rouen_ and I joined her as signal officer. We
loaded our cargo and started for Wilmington, and on the third day
out sighted a steamer about one o'clock p.m. This ship proved to be
the U.S.S. _Keystone State_, which captured us after a hot chase of
six hours. We were all transferred to the _Margaret and Jessie_, a
former blockade runner which had been captured and utilized as a
cruiser. We were taken to New York and confined in the Tombs Prison.
Subsequently, all the officers and crew were discharged except four
of us, and we were transferred to the Ludlow Street Jail for further
investigation. After six weeks' imprisonment we succeeded in effecting
our escape through the medium of English gold, after which we went
down to East River and found an old barque loaded with staves and hay
for St. Thomas. Each one of us gave the captain $25 in gold with the
understanding that he would sail by St. George, Bermuda, and land us
there. We reached this place after several weeks to find it devastated
by yellow fever. Many personal friends died of this scourge, among
whom was our lamented purser of the _Index_, Mr. Robert Williams,
a well-known native of Wilmington, much beloved for his superior
personal qualities.

"I then made one voyage in the _Owl_, which became famous under the
command of Capt. John Newland Maffitt. After this I joined the new
steel steamer _Susan Beirne_, commanded by Captain Martin, of which my
old friend and shipmate James Sprunt was purser. After a very hazardous
voyage in this ship, during which we weathered a fearful gale, and
although we came very near foundering, we returned to Nassau to learn
from Captain Maffitt of the steamer _Owl_, which had just arrived, that
the last port of the Confederacy had been closed, and that the war was
practically over.

"A small party of almost reckless Confederates, composed of our chief
engineer, Mr. Lockhart; our second engineer, Mr. Carroll; our purser,
Mr. James Sprunt, and the purser of another steamer in port, Maj.
William Green, bought the steam launch belonging to our ship, a boat
about forty feet in length and six feet breadth of beam, and made a
perilous voyage by way of Green Turtle Cay to Cape Canaveral, Fla.,
where they landed in the surf after a two weeks' voyage, and proceeding
on foot 175 miles to Ocala, Fla., succeeded in evading the Federal
pickets and sentries at various points along the route and at last
reached Wilmington, having occupied about two months on the way.

"I chose an easier and more agreeable route and proceeded via New York
to visit some relatives in Indiana and returned later to North Carolina
to find peace restored to our unhappy and desolated country."


Among that devoted band of United States Navy officers whose home and
kindred were in the South at the outbreak of the War, and who resigned
their commissions rather than aid in subjugating their native State,
there was none braver than our own Capt. John Newland Maffitt, who,
yielding to necessity, severed the strong ties of service under the old
flag in which he had long distinguished himself, and relinquished not
only a conspicuous position directly in line of speedy promotion to the
rank of admiral, but sacrificed at the same time his entire fortune,
which was invested in the North and which was confiscated shortly
afterwards by the United States Government.

After the capture of the forts and the closing of the ports of
Wilmington and Charleston in January, 1865, Maffitt, in command of the
steamer _Owl_ and unaware of the situation, ran into each port in quick
succession, escaping from the fleet in each exploit as by a miracle,
although under a heavy and destructive fire. While running out of
Charleston Harbor when escape seemed impossible, his entire history
of the cruise of the _Florida_, which he had so long successfully
commanded, was, by an unfortunate misunderstanding on the part of a
subordinate, sent to the bottom of the sea, along with the Confederate
mail and other valuable papers. Captain Maffitt, gifted with the pen of
a ready writer, left many valuable accounts of his adventures, among
them a story of naval life in the old service entitled "Nautilus,"
and a number of articles for the _Army and Navy Magazine_ under the
title "Reminiscences of the Confederate States Navy." His paper
on the building of the ram _Albemarle_ by Captain Cooke, and that
gallant officer's subsequent attack upon the Federal fleet in Plymouth
Sound, which is copied entire by Colonel Scharf in his history of the
Confederate Navy, has been pronounced one of the finest descriptions of
the Civil War. It was my privilege to be numbered among his personal
friends from the time he honored me, a lad of seventeen years, with
his recommendation for the appointment as purser of his own ship, the
Confederate steamer _Lilian_, which was confirmed just before he gave
up the command to take charge of the Confederate ram _Albemarle_ at
Plymouth; and this friendship was unbroken until the close of his
eventful life, the sacrifices and services of which should ever be held
in grateful remembrance by our Southern people.

In the year after my appointment to the _Lilian_, I had the misfortune
to be captured at sea after an exciting chase of five hours by the
Federal cruisers _Keystone State_, _Boston_, _Gettysburg_, and two
others unknown, in which our ship was disabled under a heavy fire by
shot below the water line, and was held a prisoner on board the U.S.S.
_Keystone State_, whose commander, Captain Crosby, a regular in the
old Navy, treated me most courteously. Upon the invitation of the
paymaster, I messed with the superior officers in the wardroom, where I
heard frequent bitter allusions to Captain Semmes and other prominent
Confederates, but never a word of censure for the genial Maffitt, the
mention of whose name would provoke a kindly and amused smile as some
of his pranks in the old times would be recalled by those who had not
learned to regard him as a foe.

The following passages, taken from Admiral Porter's _Naval History of
the Civil War_, confirm the personal observations of the writer with
reference to Maffitt's reputation in the old Navy:

"Maffitt was a different man from Semmes. A thorough master of his
profession, and possessed of all the qualities that make a favorite
naval commander, he became a successful raider of the sea; but he made
no enemies among those officers who had once known him and who now
missed his genial humor in their messes. He was a veritable rover, but
was never inhumane to those whom the fortunes of war threw into his
hands, and he made himself as pleasant while emptying a ship of her
cargo and then scuttling her, as Claude Duval when robbing a man of his
purse or borrowing his watch from his pocket."

Porter then describes in almost flattering terms Maffitt's superior
skill and daring in fitting out the _Florida_ under most adverse
conditions, and then by way of explanation says:

"It may appear to the reader that we have exhibited more sympathy for
Commander Maffitt and given him more credit than he deserved; it must
be remembered that we are endeavoring to write a naval history of the
war, and not a partisan work. This officer, it is true, had gone from
under the flag we venerate to fight against it; but we know it was a
sore trial for him to leave the service to which he was attached and
that he believed he was doing his duty in following the fortunes of
his State, and had the courage to follow his convictions. He did not
leave the U.S. Navy with any bitterness, and when the troubles were all
over, he accepted the situation gracefully. What we are going to state
of him shows that he was capable of the greatest heroism, and that,
though he was on the side of the enemy, his courage and skill were
worthy of praise."

He then recounts the wonderful story of Maffitt's perilous run through
Commander Preble's fleet in broad daylight, with a crew decimated
by yellow fever, and he himself scarcely able to stand from its
prostrating effects.

"The _Florida_ approached rapidly, her smoke pipes vomiting forth
volumes of black smoke and a high press of steam escaping from her
steam pipe. As she came within hailing distance, the Federal commander
ordered her to heave to, but Maffitt still sped on, having sent all his
men below, except the man at the wheel, and returned to reply to the
hail. Preble then fired a shot ahead of the _Florida_, still supposing
her to be some saucy Englishman disposed to try what liberties he could
take, though the absence of men on deck should have excited suspicion.
He hesitated, however, and hesitation lost him a prize and the honor
of capturing one of the Confederate scourges of the ocean. Preble had
his crew at quarters, however, and as soon as he saw that the stranger
was passing him he opened his broadside upon her and the other two
blockaders did the same. But the first shots were aimed too high, and
the _Florida_ sped on toward the bar, her feeble crew forgetting their
sickness and heaping coal upon the furnace fires with all possible
rapidity. Every man was working for his life, while the captain stood
amid the storm of shot and shell perfectly unmoved, keenly watching the
marks for entering the port and wondering to himself what his chances
were for getting in.

"During the whole war there was not a more exciting adventure than this
escape of the _Florida_ into Mobile Bay. The gallant manner in which
it was conducted excited great admiration, even among the men who were
responsible for permitting it. We do not suppose that there was ever a
case where a man, under all the attending circumstances, displayed more
energy or more bravery.

"And so the _Florida_ was allowed to go on her way without molestation,
and Maffitt was enabled to commence that career on the high seas which
has made his name one of the notable ones of the war. He lighted the
seas wherever he passed along, and committed such havoc among American
merchantmen, that, if possible, he was even more dreaded than Semmes.
We have only to say that his being permitted to escape into Mobile
Bay and then to get out again was the greatest example of blundering
committed throughout the war. Every officer who knew Maffitt was
certain that he would attempt to get out of Mobile, and we are forced
to say that those who permitted his escape are responsible for the
terrible consequences of their want of vigilance and energy."

Preble's failure to sink the _Florida_--for nothing else would have
stopped Maffitt--brought him into disgrace with the Navy Department,
although he proved in his report of the affair that every means at his
command had been used to intercept the bold Confederate, and shortly
afterwards the Secretary of the Navy, supported by a majority of naval
officers, recommended the dismissal of Commodore Preble from the Navy,
which was carried into effect September 20, 1863.

Preble repeatedly demanded an investigation, which was refused, but he
ultimately got his case before Congress and was restored to the list
February 21, 1864, with the grade of rear admiral.

At the close of the war Captain Maffitt was summoned by a court of
inquiry demanded by Preble to testify as to the facts of his exploit in
entering Mobile Bay, in which he said:

"I can vouch for his (Preble's) promptness and destructive energy on
the occasion of my entering Mobile Bay. The superior speed of the
_Florida_ alone saved her from destruction, though not from a frightful
mauling. We were torn to pieces--one man's head taken off and eleven
wounded; boats, standing and running rigging shot away, also fore
gaff. Four shells struck our hull and had the one (9-inch) that grazed
our boiler and entered the berth deck, killing one and wounding two,
exploded every man belonging to the steamer would have been killed, as
I had only the officers on deck until about to cross the bar, when I
made some sail, and one man was wounded in the rigging. We had about
1,400 shrapnel shots in our hull, and our masts were pitted like a case
of smallpox. The damage done her was so great that we did not get to
sea again for over three months."

The last voyage of Captain Maffitt was made on the _Owl_, which he
boarded at Wilmington the 21st of December, 1864, receiving her cargo
of 750 bales of cotton. With three other blockade runners in company
he started for the bar. He escaped the Federal sentinels "without
the loss of a rope yarn," though one of his companions came to grief
through an accident to machinery. Their destination was St. George,
Bermuda, which they reached in safety, finding several steamers loaded
and anxiously awaiting news from the Federal expedition under General
Butler against Fort Fisher. Through a Halifax steamer the Northern
papers apprised them of the failure of the expedition, and in company
with six other steamers and many gallant spirits, the _Owl_ started on
her return to Dixie, all cheered by the joyful news.

In the meantime another expedition against Fort Fisher had been fitted
out under General Terry and Admiral Porter, which had been successful,
and the river was in possession of the Federals.

Communicating with Lockwood's Folly, where they reported all quiet
and Fisher intact, Captain Maffitt steamed for the Cape Fear. At
eight o'clock it was high water on the bar, and the moon would not
rise before eleven. Approaching the channel, he was surprised to see
but one sentinel guarding the entrance. Eluding him, he passed in.
Some apprehension was excited by a conflagration at Bald Head and no
response to his signals, but as Fort Caswell looked natural and quiet,
he decided to anchor off the fort wharf. He was immediately interviewed
by the chief of ordnance and artillery, E.S. Martin, and another
officer, who informed him of the state of affairs, and that the train
was already laid for the blowing up of Fort Caswell. Gunboats were
approaching, and in great distress Captain Maffitt hastily departed. A
solitary blockader pursued him furiously for some time, and far at sea
he heard the explosion that announced the fate of Caswell. As his cargo
was important and much needed, Captain Maffitt determined to make an
effort to enter the port of Charleston, although he had been informed
that it was more closely guarded than ever before.

Many attempts were made to overhaul his vessel as he made his way into
the harbor, but it was only necessary to stir up the fire draft a bit
to start off with truly admirable speed that enabled him to outdistance
his pursuers. Anticipating a trying night and the bare possibility of
capture, the captain had two bags slung and suspended over the quarter
by a stout line. In these bags were placed the Government mail not yet
delivered, all private correspondence and the captain's war journal in
which was the cruise of the _Florida_. An intelligent quartermaster
was instructed to stand by the bags with a hatchet, and to cut them
adrift the moment capture became inevitable.

The following is a description of what happened in Captain Maffitt's
own words:

"When on the western tail end of Rattlesnake Shoal, we encountered
streaks of mist and fog that enveloped stars and everything for a few
moments, when it would become quite clear again. Running cautiously in
one of these obscurations, a sudden lift in the haze disclosed that we
were about to run into an anchored blockader. We had bare room with a
hard-a-port helm to avoid him some fifteen or twenty feet, when their
officer on deck called out: 'Heave to, or I'll sink you.' The order
was unnoticed, and we received his entire broadside, which cut away
turtleback, perforated forecastle, and tore up bulwarks in front of
our engine room, wounding twelve men, some severely, some slightly.
The quartermaster stationed by the mail bags was so convinced that we
were captured that he instantly used his hatchet, and sent them, well
moored, to the bottom. Hence my meager account of the cruise of the
_Florida_. Rockets were fired as we passed swiftly out of his range
of sight, and Drummond lights lit up the animated surroundings of a
swarm of blockaders, who commenced an indiscriminate discharge of
artillery. We could not understand the reason of this bombardment, and
as we picked our way out of the mêlée, concluded that several blockade
runners must have been discovered feeling their way into Charleston.

"After the war, in conversing with the officer commanding on that
occasion, he said that a number of the steamers of the blockade were
commanded by inexperienced volunteer officers, who were sometimes
overzealous and excitable, and hearing the gunboats firing into me, and
seeing her rockets and signal lights, they thought that innumerable
blockade runners were forcing a passage into the harbor, hence the
indiscriminate discharge of artillery, which was attended with
unfortunate results to them. This was my last belligerent association
with blockade running. Entering the harbor of Charleston, and finding
it in the possession of the Federals, I promptly checked progress and
retreated. The last order issued by the Navy Department, when all hope
for the cause had departed, was for me to deliver the _Owl_ to Frazier,
Trenholme & Co., in Liverpool, which I accordingly did."


The following story was told me by the veteran blockade runner George
C. McDougal:

"When the Yankees ran the _Kate_ out of New Smyrna, Fla., we had to
run across light and leave Capt. Thomas Lockwood, who had gone to
Charleston, behind. The command devolved on Mr. Carlin, first officer.
We got the ship into Nassau Saturday night. On the following day,
Sunday, the British mail steamer appeared off Nassau with the new
Governor of the Bahamas on board, but owing to a heavy sea on the bar
she could not cross, and accordingly ran down to the west end of the
island and to smoother water in order to land the Governor. During the
day a number of prominent inhabitants of Nassau came aboard the _Kate_
and asked if the captain would go down to the west end and bring the
Governor up. Captain Carlin told them that they were quite welcome to
the ship if she could be got ready in time, which would depend upon
the chief engineer. He immediately consulted with me and we decided
that as the people of Nassau had been very kind to us, the _Kate_
being a favorite, we would try to accommodate them at once. As we had
arrived after midnight on Saturday, and, not wishing to work on Sunday,
we had not blown the boilers out. The water was hot, and I told the
captain I would be ready in an hour's time or less. I started the fires
immediately and in a few minutes the committee went on shore to gather
their friends and to send off refreshments. In a short time gunboats
began to crowd alongside with the aforesaid refreshments, both solid
and liquid, the latter as usual predominating in the shape of cases of
champagne, brandy, etc.

"When the guests were all on board we hove up the anchor and faced
the bar. A tremendous sea was running, and at times our topgallant
forecastle was under water. We worked out, however, and hauled down the
coast for the west end. In a short time the refreshments began to work
on the company, especially on the mate. Captain Carlin being afraid
that the small anchor would not hold the ship, ordered the mate to get
the large anchor from between decks to the gangway, carry the chain
from the hawse pipe along the side of the ship by tricing lines and
shackle it to the anchor. I noticed that the mate was almost incapable
from the aforesaid refreshments, and I said to him, 'You will lose
that anchor,' to which he replied, 'I know what I am about.' Presently
the ship took a roll down into the trough of the sea, and overboard
went the anchor. When it struck bottom the ship was going twelve or
fourteen miles an hour and the sudden jerk started the chain around the
windlass, and the way that seventy fathoms of chain flew around the
windlass and out of the hawse pipe made the fire fly. It looked as if
half a dozen flashes of lightning were playing hide and seek between
the decks. With a crack like a pistol shot the weather bitting parted
and the end of the chain went out of the hawse pipe to look for the

"We soon made the bay at the west end and ran alongside the mail
steamer and let go our anchor, but found to our disappointment that the
Governor had gone to town in a carriage sent for him by the officials.
After spending a pleasant hour in exchanging visits between the
officers of the two steamers, our guests in the meantime partaking of
refreshments, we hove up the anchor and started back toward Nassau.

"Among our passengers was the gallant Capt. John N. Maffitt, who
was then waiting at Nassau to get the _Oreto_, afterwards named the
_Florida_, out of irons. We had also Captain Whiting, the American
consul at Nassau, who asked permission to go down to the steamer to
get his dispatches, which was not denied him, although this man was
greatly disliked not only by Confederate sympathizers but by the
natives, having, as the Irishman said, winning ways to make everybody
hate him. During the run back the consul, overcome by his numerous
potations, lay down with his dispatches and was soon asleep. When we
aroused him at our destination the dispatches were missing, whereupon
he accused Maffitt of stealing them, resulting in a grand row all
round. The dispatches were restored to him on the following day, their
disappearance being caused by a practical joke on the part of the
Confederates. We delivered our passengers in a very shaky condition.

"On Monday morning, having turned out bright and early to start work,
our attention was attracted to the shore by a noisy and excited group
of negroes gathered around the flagstaff of the American consul,
gesticulating and pointing to the top of the flagstaff, from which,
to my astonishment, was flying a brand new Confederate flag. It soon
appeared that some one, said to be a Confederate sympathizer, and whom
every one believed to be Maffitt, who was always ready for a joke,
had climbed the flagstaff during the night, carrying up with him a
Confederate flag and a bucket of slush. The halyards were first unrove,
next the Confederate flag was nailed to the staff, and last of all as
the joker descended, he slushed the staff all the way to the ground,
making it impossible for any one to ascend to remove the ensign which
was so hateful to our friend the consul. When Whiting came down to the
consulate after breakfast and took in the situation, he performed a war
dance around that pole which was one of the most interesting spectacles
ever witnessed by the Confederates in Nassau. He then employed a number
of Her Majesty's colored subjects with cans of concentrated lye to
remove the slush, and, after great difficulty, one of them succeeded
in reaching the top of the staff and removed the Confederate flag,
replacing the halyards as before; but this was not the last of it.
On the following morning a United States man-of-war appeared off the
harbor, and when the consul in full official rig took his seat in the
stern of his gig he found on reaching the cruiser that he was hard and
fast by the nether extremities, some North Carolina tar having been
previously applied by the aforesaid Confederate sympathizer to the
seat of his gig. Of course these annoyances created a great deal of
feeling, and a down-east shipmaster, desiring to show his spite, made
a fool of himself by hoisting the American flag over the British flag,
the latter being union down, intending it as an insult, of course,
which was immediately noticed on shore, and in a short time several
thousand shouting, howling British negroes were lining the water front
looking for boats and threatening to drown the American captain who
had taken such a liberty with their beloved flag. Before they could
carry out their purpose, however, a man-of-war's launch shot out from
the British gunboat _Bulldog_ with a file of marines, and, boarding
the brig, ordered the flags hauled down and the English flag detached,
took the captain in the launch and pulled to the government wharf and
immediately shoved him into the calaboose, from which confinement he
was not released until the next day, with the admonition that if he
remained on board his ship he would have no need of a surgeon. He took
the hint and was seen no more on shore.

"On Thursday we were bound for the northwest channel with our
regulation cargo of 1,000 barrels of gunpowder and arms and
accouterments for 10,000 men. We ran into Charleston on Saturday night
and on Sunday morning the Confederate quartermaster pressed every horse
and dray in Charleston to haul the cargo to the railroad station. The
congregations of the churches along Meeting and King Streets probably
derived very little benefit from the sermons delivered that sacred
day, as the roar of the drays and wagons was incessant all day Sunday
and Sunday night. As fast as a train was loaded it was started out for
Johnston's army, and a conductor of a train told me afterwards that the
soldiers broke open the cases of rifles on the cars and distributed
the firearms and accouterments from the car doors. It may be said
that the _Kate_ was a most important factor in the battle of Shiloh.
Johnston's army was a mass of undisciplined men with single and double
barrel shotguns, old time rifles, and anything else in the way of
firearms that they could bring from home. They had nothing suitable to
fight with. The three cargoes of war stores, therefore, carried in by
the _Kate_, one by the _Mary Celeste_ to Smyrna and the fourth cargo
carried by the _Kate_ into Charleston, actually equipped Johnston's
army, immediately after which came the battle of Shiloh. One thousand
barrels of gunpowder was a dangerous shipment to run through the
Federal blockade, and it was a great relief to us when the Confederacy
established powder mills in Georgia, and our powder cargoes were
changed to niter for the mills."


One of the most intelligent and successful commanders of the
blockade-running fleet was Capt. John Wilkinson, who entered the United
States Navy as a midshipman in 1837, and, after an honorable and
distinguished career, tendered his services upon the secession of his
native State, Virginia, to the Confederacy.

Having received a commission in the Confederate States Navy, he served
in various responsible positions until ordered upon special service in
command of the Confederate States steamer _R.E. Lee_.

In his interesting book entitled _Narrative of a Blockade Runner_,
speaking of the citizens of Virginia who resigned their commissions in
the old service, he says:

"They were compelled to choose whether they would aid in subjugating
their State or in defending it against invasion; for it was already
evident that coercion would be used by the General Government, and that
war was inevitable. In reply to the accusation of perjury in breaking
their oath of allegiance, since brought against the officers of the
Army and Navy who resigned their commissions to render aid to the
South, it need only be stated that, in their belief, the resignation
of their commissions absolved them from any special obligation. They
then occupied the same position toward the Government as other classes
of citizens. But this charge was never brought against them till the
war was ended. The resignation of their commissions was accepted when
their purpose was well known. As to the charge of ingratitude, they
reply, their respective States had contributed their full share toward
the expenses of the General Government, acting as their disbursing
agent, and when these States withdrew from the Union their citizens
belonging to the two branches of the public service did not, and do
not, consider themselves amenable to this charge for abandoning their
official positions to cast their lot with their kindred and friends.
But yielding as they did to necessity, it was, nevertheless, a painful
act to separate themselves from companions with whom they had been long
and intimately associated, and from the flag under which they had been
proud to serve."

With reference to his experience in blockade running at Wilmington
Captain Wilkinson continues:

"The natural advantages of Wilmington for blockade running were very
great, chiefly owing to the fact that there were two separate and
distinct approaches to Cape Fear River; i.e., either by New Inlet, to
the north of Smith's Island, or by the Western Bar to the south of
it. This island is ten or eleven miles in length; but the Frying Pan
Shoals extend ten or twelve miles farther south, making the distance
by sea between the two bars thirty miles or more, although the direct
distance between them is only six or seven miles. From Smithville (now
Southport), a little village nearly equidistant from either bar, both
blockading fleets could be distinctly seen, and the outward-bound
blockade runners could take their choice through which of them to run
the gauntlet. The inward-bound blockade runners, too, were guided
by circumstances of wind and weather, selecting that bar over which
they could cross after they had passed the Gulf Stream, and shaping
their course accordingly. The approaches to both bars were clear of
danger with the single exception of the 'Lump,' before mentioned; and
so regular are the soundings that the shore can be coasted for miles
within a stone's throw of the breakers.

"These facts explain why the United States fleet was unable wholly to
stop blockade running. It was, indeed, impossible to do so; the result
to the very close of the war proves this assertion, for, in spite of
the vigilance of the fleet, many blockade runners were afloat when Fort
Fisher was captured. In truth the passage through the fleet was little
dreaded; for although the blockade runner might receive a shot or two,
she was rarely disabled; and in proportion to the increase of the fleet
the greater would be the danger, we knew, of their firing into each
other. As the boys before the deluge used to say, they would be very
apt to 'miss the cow and kill the calf.' The chief danger was upon the
open sea, many of the light cruisers having great speed. As soon as
one of them discovered a blockade runner during daylight, she would
attract other cruisers in the vicinity by sending up a dense column
of smoke, visible for many miles in clear weather. A cordon of fast
steamers stationed ten or fifteen miles apart, inside the Gulf Stream,
and in the course from Nassau and Bermuda to Wilmington and Charleston,
would have been more effectual in stopping blockade running than the
whole United States Navy concentrated off those ports; and it was
unaccountable to us why such a plan did not occur to good Mr. Welles;
but it was not our place to suggest it. I have no doubt, however, that
the fraternity to which I then belonged would have unanimously voted
thanks and a service of plate to the Honorable Secretary of the United
States Navy for this oversight. I say _inside the Gulf Stream_, because
every experienced captain of a blockade runner made a point to cross
the stream early enough in the afternoon, if possible, to establish the
ship's position by chronometer, so as to escape the influence of that
current upon his dead reckoning. The lead always gave indication of our
distance from the land, but not, of course, of our position; and the
numerous salt works along the coast, where evaporation was produced by
fire, and which were at work night and day, were visible long before
the low coast could be seen. Occasionally the whole inward voyage would
be made under adverse conditions. Cloudy, thick weather and heavy
gales would prevail so as to prevent any solar or lunar observations,
and reduce the dead reckoning to mere guesswork. In these cases the
nautical knowledge and judgment of the captain would be taxed to the
utmost. The current of the Gulf Stream varies in velocity and (within
certain limits) in direction; and the stream itself, almost as well
defined as a river within its banks under ordinary circumstances, is
impelled by a strong gale toward the direction in which the wind is
blowing, overflowing its banks, as it were. The countercurrent, too,
inside of the Gulf Stream, is much influenced by the prevailing winds.
Upon one occasion while in command of the _R.E. Lee_, formerly the
Clyde-built iron steamer _Giraffe_, we had experienced very heavy and
thick weather, and had crossed the stream and struck soundings about
midday. The weather then clearing, so that we could obtain an altitude
near meridian, we found ourselves at least forty miles north of our
supposed position, and near the shoals which extend in a southerly
direction off Cape Lookout. It would be more perilous to run out to
sea than to continue on our course, for we had passed through the
offshore line of blockaders, and the sky had become perfectly clear. I
determined to personate a transport bound to Beaufort, which was in the
possession of the United States forces and the coaling station of the
fleet blockading Wilmington. The risk of detection was not very great,
for many of the captured blockade runners were used as transports and
dispatch vessels. Shaping our course for Beaufort and slowing down
as if we were in no haste to get there, we passed several vessels,
showing United States colors to them all. Just as we were crossing
through the ripple of shallow water off the 'tail' of the shoals, we
dipped our colors to a sloop of war which passed three or four miles
to the south of us. The courtesy was promptly responded to, but I have
no doubt her captain thought me a lubberly and careless seaman to
shave the shoals so closely. We stopped the engines when no vessel was
in sight, and I was relieved of a heavy burden of anxiety as the sun
sank below the horizon, and the course was shaped at full speed for
Masonboro Inlet.

"The staid old town of Wilmington was turned 'topsy turvey' during
the war. Here resorted the speculators from all parts of the South
to attend the weekly auctions of imported cargoes; and the town was
infested with rogues and desperadoes, who made a livelihood by robbery
and murder. It was unsafe to venture into the suburbs at night, and
even in daylight there were frequent conflicts in the public streets
between the crews of the steamers in port and the soldiers stationed
in the town, in which knives and pistols would be freely used; and not
unfrequently a dead body would rise to the surface of the water in one
of the docks with marks of violence upon it. The civil authorities
were powerless to prevent crime. '_Inter arma silent leges!_' The
agents and employees of different blockade-running companies lived in
magnificent style, paying a king's ransom (in Confederate money) for
their household expenses, and nearly monopolizing the supplies in the
country market. Toward the end of the war, indeed, fresh provisions
were almost beyond the reach of everyone. Our family servant, newly
arrived from the country in Virginia, would sometimes return from
market with an empty basket, having flatly refused to pay what he
called 'such nonsense prices' for a bit of fresh beef, or a handful
of vegetables. A quarter of lamb at the time of which I now write,
sold for $100, a pound of tea for $500. Confederate money which in
September, 1861, was nearly equal to specie in value, had declined in
September, 1862, to 225; in the same month, in 1863, to 400, and before
September, 1864, to 2,000!

"Many of the permanent residents of the town had gone into the country,
letting their houses at enormous prices; those who were compelled to
remain kept themselves much secluded, the ladies rarely being seen upon
the more public streets. Many of the fast young officers belonging to
the Army would get an occasional leave to come to Wilmington, and
would live at free quarters on board the blockade runners or at one of
the numerous bachelor halls ashore.

"The convalescent soldiers from the Virginia hospitals were sent by
the route through Wilmington to their homes in the South. The ladies
of the town were organized by Mrs. DeRosset into a society for the
purpose of ministering to the wants of these poor sufferers, the trains
which carried them stopping an hour or two at the depot, that their
wounds might be dressed and food and medicine supplied to them. These
self-sacrificing, heroic women patiently and faithfully performed the
offices of hospital nurses.

"Liberal contributions were made by companies and individuals to this
society, and the long tables at the depot were spread with delicacies
for the sick to be found nowhere else in the Confederacy. The remains
of the meals were carried by the ladies to a camp of mere boys--home
guards outside of the town. Some of these children were scarcely able
to carry a musket and were altogether unable to endure the exposure
and fatigue of field service; and they suffered fearfully from measles
and typhoid fever. General Grant used a strong figure of speech when
he asserted that 'the cradle and the grave were robbed to recruit the
Confederate armies.' The fact of a fearful drain upon the population
was scarcely exaggerated, but with this difference in the metaphor,
that those who were verging upon both the cradle and the grave shared
the hardships and dangers of war with equal self-devotion to the cause.
It is true that a class of heartless speculators infested the country,
who profited by the scarcity of all sorts of supplies, but it makes the
self-sacrifice of the mass of the Southern people more conspicuous, and
no State made more liberal voluntary contributions to the armies or
furnished better soldiers than North Carolina.

"On the opposite side of the river from Wilmington, on a low marshy
flat, were erected the steam cotton presses, and there the blockade
runners took in their cargoes. Sentries were posted on the wharves
day and night to prevent deserters from getting aboard and stowing
themselves away; and the additional precaution of fumigating
outward-bound steamers at Smithville was adopted, but in spite of this
vigilance, many persons succeeded in getting a free passage aboard.
These deserters, or 'stowaways,' were in most instances sheltered by
one or more of the crew, in which event they kept their places of
concealment until the steamer had arrived at her port of destination,
when they would profit by the first opportunity to leave the vessel
undiscovered. A small bribe would tempt the average blockade-running
sailor to connive at this means of escape. The impecunious deserter
fared more hardly and would usually be forced by hunger or thirst to
emerge from his hiding place while the steamer was on the outward
voyage. A cruel device employed by one of the captains effectually put
a stop, I believe, certainly a check, to the escape of this class of
'stowaways.' He turned three or four of them adrift in the Gulf Stream
in an open boat with a pair of oars and a few days' allowance of bread
and water."

Colonel Scharf, writing of the Confederate States Navy, mentions the
shore lights: "At the beginning of the war," he says, "nearly all the
lights along the Southern coast had been discontinued, the apparatus
being removed to places of safety. In 1864 it was deemed expedient to
re-establish the light on Smith's Island, which had been discontinued
ever since the beginning of hostilities, and to erect a structure for
a light on the 'Mound.' The 'Mound' was an artificial one, erected by
Colonel Lamb, who commanded Fort Fisher." Captain Wilkinson says of
the "Mound" and the range lights: "Two heavy guns were mounted upon
it, and it eventually became a site for a light, and very serviceable
for blockade runners; but even at this period it was an excellent
landmark. Joined by a long, low isthmus of sand with the higher
mainland, its regular conical shape enabled the blockade runners
easily to identify it from the offing; and in clear weather, it showed
plain and distinct against the sky at night. I believe the military
men used to laugh slyly at the colonel for undertaking its erection,
predicting that it would not stand; but the result showed the contrary;
and whatever difference of opinion may have existed with regard to its
value as a military position, there can be but one as to its utility
to the blockade runners, for it was not a landmark alone, along this
monotonous coast, but one of the range lights for crossing New Inlet
Bar was placed on it. Seamen will appreciate at its full value this
advantage; but it may be stated for the benefit of the unprofessional
reader, that while the compass bearing of an object does not enable
a pilot to steer a vessel with sufficient accuracy through a narrow
channel, range lights answer the purpose completely. These lights were
only set after signals had been exchanged between the blockade runner
and the shore station, and were removed immediately after the vessel
had entered the river. The range lights were changed as circumstances
required; for the New Inlet Channel itself was and is constantly
changing, being materially affected both in depth of water and in
its course by a heavy gale of wind or a severe freshet in Cape Fear


Probably one of the quickest and most uneventful voyages made during
the war in running the blockade was that made by Capt. C.G. Smith, of
Southport. The following story on the blockade was told by Captain
Smith, and is published to show the contrast between what some of the
blockade runners had to undergo and how easy it was at other times to
make the round trip without hindrance or adventure:

"On a delightful day, about the first of May, 1863, I left Nassau as
pilot on the fine side-wheel steamer _Margaret and Jessie_, Captain
Wilson in command.

"The _Margaret and Jessie_ was at that time regarded as one of the
fastest steamers. Of about 800 tons, this steamer when in ballast could
make fifteen miles an hour, but of course she was usually loaded down,
therefore seldom doing better than ten knots while running the blockade.

"Passing out from Nassau with a general cargo of goods, bound for
Wilmington, N.C., the first twenty-four hours were passed without
incident, the steamer making a good passage, until a gale from the
northeast met us, which lasted till noon of the third day out.

"When the wind had lessened somewhat, Captain Wilson came to me and
asked what point of land I wanted to make, to which I replied that I
intended to run in at the Western Bar of the Cape Fear. Finding it an
impossibility on account of the weather to make the Western Bar before
daylight, I made for Masonboro and came in at New Inlet, anchoring
abreast of the mound battery which guarded this approach at about
11 o'clock at night, and at daylight, with a fair tide, ran up to

"Nothing in the shape of a blockader disturbed our voyage. At one
time a steamer was seen east-southeast of us, but paid no attention
to us. When at Masonboro, one of the blockading squadron went to the
southeastward of us, but being under the lee of the land she could not
make us out.

"After laying up in Wilmington about ten days, discharging our cargo
and taking on a load of cotton, we quietly dropped down the river one
morning, and, anchoring in five-fathom hole, waited until night, when
we passed out of New Inlet, bound for Nassau.

"The return trip was made without incident of any kind, the weather
was fine, not a vessel of any description could be seen on the voyage;
and in fifty-two hours from the time of leaving the Cape Fear, we
were safe at the dock at Nassau, discharging our cargo, making one
of the quickest and safest passages ever made by any of the blockade


In the year 1841, a winsome, honest lad who had determined to join
the Navy of his country, and who had been thwarted in his purpose by
friends at home, made his way alone from Florida to Washington and
demanded his right to speak to the President, which was not denied him.

Mr. Tyler was so pleased by the youthful manliness of the little chap,
who was only eight years old, that he invited him to dine at the White
House on the following day. The young Floridian was the observed of all
observers; members of the Cabinet and their wives, members of Congress
and officers of the Navy had heard of the little lad's story, and all
united in espousing his patriotic cause.

The President, won by his ardor as well as by his gentlemanly and
modest behavior, granted the boy's request and immediately signed his
warrant as a midshipman in the United States Navy.

The subsequent record of Capt. Joseph Fry, the Christian gentleman, the
gallant sailor, the humane commander, the chivalrous soldier, is known
to readers of American history. Of heroic mould and dignified address,
he was

  "A combination and a form indeed,
  Where every god did seem to set his seal
  To give the world assurance of a man."

When the Civil War came, it found him among the most beloved and
honored officers in the service. The trial of his faith was bitter but
brief. He could not fight against his home and loved ones, much as he
honored the flag which he had so long and faithfully cherished. He was
a Southerner, and with many pangs of sincere regret he went with his
native State for weal or woe.

His personal bravery during the war was wonderful; he never performed
deeds of valor under temporary excitement, but acted with such coolness
and daring as to command the admiration of superiors and inferiors
alike. He was severely wounded at the battle of White River, and
while on sick leave was ordered, at his own request, to command the
Confederate blockade runner _Eugénie_, upon which the writer made a

On one occasion the _Eugénie_ grounded outside of Fort Fisher while
trying to run through the fleet in daylight. The ship was loaded
with gunpowder, the Federal fleet was firing upon her, the risk of
immediate death and destruction to crew and ship was overwhelming. Fry
was ordered by Colonel Lamb to abandon the vessel and save his crew
from death by explosion. He accordingly told all who wished to go to do
so, but as for himself, he would stand by the ship and try to save the
powder, which was greatly needed by the Confederate Government. Several
boatloads of his men retreated to the fort; a few remained with Fry,
the enemy's shells flying thick and fast around them. In the face of
this great danger, Fry lightened his ship, and upon the swelling tide
brought vessel and cargo safely in.

Later on he commanded the steamer _Agnes E. Fry_, named in honor of
his devoted wife. In this ship he made three successful voyages, after
which she was unfortunately run ashore by her pilot and lies not far
distant from the _Virginius_. Captain Fry was then placed in active
service during the remainder of the war in command of the Confederate
gunboat _Morgan_ and was highly complimented by his general, Dabney H.
Maury, for conspicuous bravery in action.

After the war his fortunes underwent many changes. Several undertakings
met with varying success or failure. At last, he went to New York in
July, 1873, where he hoped to secure employment in command of an ocean
steamer. There he was introduced to General Quesada, agent of the Cuban
Republic, who offered him the command of the steamer _Virginius_, then
lying in the harbor of Kingston, Jamaica. He accepted the offer, and
received a month's pay in advance, $150, two-thirds of which he sent to
his needy family, and reserved the remainder for his personal outfit.
The _Virginius_, originally named _Virgin_, was built in Scotland
in 1864 and was specially designed for a blockade runner in the
Confederate service. She made several successful trips between Havana
and Mobile. Being shut up in the latter port, she was used by the
Confederates as a dispatch and transport steamer. For a time after the
war she was used by the Federal Government in the United States Revenue
Service, but proving unsatisfactory, owing to her great consumption
of coal, was sold at public auction by the United States Treasury
Department to an American firm. The owners in 1870 took out American
papers in legal form and cleared her for Venezuela. From that time she
was used in carrying volunteers and supplies to Cuba; and while engaged
in this business under the American flag, recognized by American
consuls as an American vessel, she was overhauled at sea on the 31st
of October, 1873, by the Spanish man-of-war _Tornado_ and declared a
prize to the Spanish Government. Fry never dreamed of greater danger;
he occupied the same position he had assumed while running the Federal
blockade and the same as in the recent cases of the _Commodore_ and
the _Bermuda_. He was a merchantman, carried no guns, made no armed
resistance, and flew the American flag. Notwithstanding all this, a
drumhead court martial was held on board the _Tornado_ and on the
second day afterwards the unfortunate victims were condemned as pirates
and sentenced to immediate execution at Santiago de Cuba, where the
Spanish warship had arrived. Even then Captain Fry and his crew, who
were nearly all Americans, expected a release through the intervention
of the United States authorities. Vain hope! The American consul was
absent; the vice-consul did what he could in vain; the Home Government
was silent; the British consul protested, but without avail, and the
butchery of these brave men began. We read from the newspaper accounts
of the dreadful scene as the victims were ranged facing a wall. Captain
Fry asked for a glass of water, which was given him by the friendly
hand of one of his own race. He then walked with firm, unfaltering
steps to the place assigned him, and calmly awaited the volley which
ended his noble life.

A touching incident occurred on the march to execution. When the brave
man passed the American Consulate, he gravely saluted the bare pole
which should have borne the flag, once and again so dear to his heart,
but which had failed him in his extremity.

Although the firing party was only ten feet away, says the published
account, Fry was the only one killed outright. Then ensued a horrible
scene. "The Spanish butchers advanced to where the wounded men lay,
writhing and moaning in agony, and placing the muzzles of their guns
in the mouths of their victims, shattered their heads into fragments.
Others were stabbed to death with knives and swords."

Fifty-three victims had suffered death, ninety-three more were made
ready for execution; the bloody work was to be resumed, when an
unlooked-for intervention came. The news had reached Jamaica, and it
found in the harbor the British man-of-war _Niobe_ under command of
Capt. Sir Lambton Lorraine, who, true to his Anglo-Saxon instincts,
needed no orders to speed to the rescue. Leaving in such haste that
many of his men were left behind, he steamed with forced draft to
Santiago. Before the anchor reached the bottom of the harbor the
_Niobe's_ drums had beat to quarters and the well-trained gunners were
at their stations.

Commander Lorraine ignored the customary formalities; precious lives
were trembling in the balance; moments were vital. Before the Spanish
general was made aware of his arrival, Lorraine stood before him and
demanded that the execution be stayed. To Burriel's unsatisfactory
response the brave commander returned answer that in the absence of an
American man-of-war he would protect the interest of the Americans.
Still the Spaniard hesitated; he had tasted human blood, but his
thirst was not satisfied. Again the gallant Britisher demanded an
unequivocal answer, and, report says, confirmed it by a threat that he
would bombard the town, as he had in Honduras for the protection of
the Anglo-Saxon. His prompt, decisive action arrested the bloody work,
and eventually saved the lives of the remainder of the crew of the

On his return to England some months later, Sir Lambton was detained
some days in New York. The city authorities, animated by his gallant
conduct, tendered him a public reception, which was modestly declined.
Virginia City, Nev., desiring to testify its appreciation of his noble
humanity, forwarded to him a fourteen-pound brick of solid silver,
upon which was inscribed his name and the incident, with the legend
"Blood is thicker than water," signifying also in Western eulogy
"You're a brick."

A tardy recognition of the rights of American possession was made later
by the Spanish Government, and the _Virginius_ was delivered to an
American man-of-war. While towing the unfortunate craft off Cape Fear
and bound for a Northern port, the _Virginius_ sprang a leak, or, some
say, was scuttled, and found her grave in the ocean depths beneath us.


The following strange story was told to me many years ago, and,
although some of the details have been forgotten, the incident, which
was declared to be quite true, led to one of the most extraordinary
exploits of the War between the States in the famous recapture of the
_Emily St. Pierre_.

While Great Britain was at war with France in the year 1813, a small
Scotch brig was approaching the British Channel on the last leg of her
voyage from the West Indies for Greenock on the river Clyde. She had
successfully eluded strange sails and the captain was quite hopeful of
reaching his destination without encountering a French privateer, but
alas, when the brig was within a few days' sail of the "land o'cakes,"
a smarter vessel, bearing the tricolor at her peak, overhauled the
Scotsman, and, with a round shot across her bows, compelled her
surrender. A French prize crew was placed on board with orders to
sail the brig to the nearest French port for adjudication. The Scotch
captain and his cabin boy were retained on board as prisoners, the
former to assist in the working of the brig and the latter to wait
upon the prize crew. With the enemy's flag apeak, the little brig
was headed for the enemy's country and was soon alone upon the sea.
With the accustomed discipline of the man-of-war somewhat relaxed,
the Frenchmen, wishing to make merry over their good fortune, sought
among the brig stores the red wine to which they were accustomed,
instead of which they broached a cask of Jamaica rum, under whose
masterful potency they became as dead men. The Scotsman was quick
to seize his opportunity, and with the lone assistance of his cabin
boy he dragged every man Jack into his forecastle and securely tied
them to their bunks; the officers were likewise secured in the cabin
and the course of the brig laid straight and true again for bonnie
Scotland. On the following morning while the brig was slowly proceeding
under light canvas, which the master himself had set while the boy
steered, another Frenchman gave chase and the hopes of the Scotsman
gave way to despair as the swift cruiser overhauled him hand over
hand. Turning to the French officer whom he had secured to the poop
deck for the fresh air, he was astonished to find him in a state of
terror instead of in triumph at the prospect of his release. Quickly
the Frenchman explained in his own language, with which the Scotch
captain was familiar, that his disgraceful plight and that of his crew
would result in his speedy courtmartial and execution at the yard arm;
that if the Scotch captain would accept his parole, restore to him his
uniform and sword, assume with his cabin boy the uniforms of two of his
Frenchmen, hoist the French ensign and leave the rest to him, he would
extricate the brig, resume his bonds, and cast his lot in Scotland, for
he could never see his own country again. This was quickly done, for
the alternative but assured the brig's recapture. On came the armed
Frenchman. Boom! went one of her guns. The brig rounded to, and in
response to his countryman's hail, the quondam prize master shouted
through his trumpet that he was of the French privateer, in charge of
a prize ship, taking her to a French port. The commander of the armed
vessel waved a salute and sailed away quite satisfied. The _status
quo ante_ of the brig was resumed, as arranged, the Clyde was reached
in safety, and the descendants of the French prize crew can account
for some of the mysterious French names still heard in the Scottish
Highlands to this day. And, _mirabile dictu_, the cabin boy of the brig
became the hero of the following true story and was subsequently well
known as the captain of a Confederate blockade-running steamer into
Wilmington. It was during the fourth year of the war that this very
extraordinary man, Capt. William Wilson, appeared in Cape Fear waters
in command of a steamer which ran the blockade at Wilmington perhaps
three or four times; but there was nothing unusual about this incident,
and perhaps for that reason I have forgotten her name. There was,
however, something very unusual about Wilson, whose unequalled bravery
in recapturing his ship the _Emily St. Pierre_, of Charleston, S.C.,
in 1861, was, of all the stirring incidents of the blockade, the most
admirable example of personal pluck and endurance. I have been told
by a kinsman of Miss Emily St. Pierre, for whom the ship was named,
that she still lives in Charleston, and I am repeating this story of
Wilson's wonderful exploits at his request. Although not strictly a
story of the Cape Fear, it will be none the less interesting to our
readers, and I reproduce the account published in _Chambers's Edinburg
Journal_ entitled "A Matter-of-Fact Story."

"On the morning of the 18th of March, 1862, the Liverpool ship _Emily
St. Pierre_ (William Wilson, captain) arrived within about twelve
miles of Charleston and signaled for a pilot. She had made a long and
tedious voyage of four months from Calcutta, bound for St. John, New
Brunswick, calling at Charleston for orders if Charleston was open.
If the Southern port was blockaded, Captain Wilson's orders were to
proceed direct to the British port of St. John, New Brunswick. The ship
had formerly belonged to Charleston, but since the outbreak of the
American Civil War she had sailed under the English flag. Her nominal
owners were Messrs. Fraser, Trenholm & Co., of 10 Rumford Place,
Liverpool, a firm doing an extensive business, who had very close
relations with the Confederate or Southern States, for whom they acted
as bankers and agents in this country.

"Upon approaching the Charleston Bar, the ship was hailed by a vessel
which proved to be the Northern cruiser _James Adger_, and in response
Captain Wilson hauled up his courses, backed his main yard, and lay
to. An American naval lieutenant and a score of men came on board and
demanded his papers. The manifest showed an innocent cargo, 2,000 bales
of gunny bags, and the registration of the ship as English was in due
order. Charleston being blockaded, the captain demanded permission
to proceed to his destination, the British port of St. John. The
lieutenant refused, and referred the matter to his superior in command;
and the two vessels proceeded into Charleston roadstead, where they
arrived at half past two in the afternoon.

"Captain Wilson was ordered on board the flagship of the blockading
squadron, the _Florida_, where he was kept for two hours in solitude
and suspense. At last a flag officer, Captain Goldsboro, came to him
and said they had decided to seize the _Emily St. Pierre_ on several
grounds. He asserted that she carried contraband of war--namely,
saltpeter; that her English registration was not bona fide; that many
articles on board had been found bearing the name Charleston; that the
same word had been scraped out on her stern and the name Liverpool
substituted; that Captain Wilson had not disclosed all his papers, but
had been observed from the _James Adger_ to throw overboard and sink
a small parcel, probably of incriminating documents. Captain Wilson
protested and appealed to the maritime law of nations, but in vain. He
was informed that the law courts of Philadelphia would adjudicate the
matter; and finally Captain Wilson was invited to take passage in his
vessel to Philadelphia and to place at the disposal of the navigator
his charts and instruments. The invitation in form was in fact a
command. He returned to his vessel to find that his crew had all been
removed, with the exception of two who were not sailors--the steward,
named Matthew Montgomery, and the cook, named Louis Schevlin, hailing
from Frankfort-on-the-Main. These were merely passengers and with them
was an American engineer who had obtained permission to take passage to

"The prize crew who took charge of the vessel consisted of Lieutenant
Stone, of the United States Navy, in command; a master's mate and
twelve men, fourteen in all; with the American passenger, fifteen. The
moment that Captain Wilson again stepped aboard his own vessel, he
formed the resolution to recapture her and take her home. He was bold
enough to think that it might be possible to recapture the ship even
against such odds. An unarmed man, aided by the questionable support of
a steward and a cook, was practically powerless against the fifteen of
the crew. On the other hand, Captain Wilson was a brawny, big-framed
Scotsman (a native of Dumfriesshire), a thorough seaman, determined in
resolve, cool and prompt in action. He called the steward and the cook
to him in his stateroom and disclosed the wild project he had formed.
Both manfully promised to stand by their chief. This was at half past
four on the morning of the 21st of March, the third day out from
Charleston. Captain Wilson had already formed his plan of operations,
and had prepared to a certain extent for carrying it out. With the
promise of the cook and the steward secured, he lost no time, gave
them no chance for their courage to evaporate, but proceeded at once
in the darkness and silence of the night to carry out his desperate
undertaking. He was prepared to lose his life or to have his ship; that
was the simple alternative.

"It was Lieutenant Stone's watch on deck, and the prize master's mate
was asleep in his berth. The Scotch captain went into the berth, handed
out the mate's sword and revolvers, clapped a gag made of a piece
of wood and some marline between his teeth, seized his hands, which
Montgomery, the steward, quickly ironed, and so left him secure. The
lieutenant still paced the deck, undisturbed by a sound. Then across
to another stateroom, where the American engineer lay asleep. He also
was gagged and ironed silently and without disturbance. His revolvers
and those already secured were given to the steward and the cook, who
remained below in the cabin. Captain Wilson went on deck.

"Lieutenant Stone was pacing the deck, and the watch consisted of one
man at the helm, one at the lookout, on the forecastle, and three
others who were about the ship. For ten minutes Captain Wilson walked
up and down, remarking on the fair wind, and making believe that
he had just turned out. The ship was off Cape Hatteras, midway of
their journey between Charleston and Philadelphia, the most easterly
projection of the land on that coast. It is difficult navigation
thereabouts, with the cross currents and a tendency to fogs, affording
the two captains subject for talk.

"'Let her go free a bit, Captain Stone; you are too close to the cape.
I tell you and I know.'

"'We have plenty of offing,' replied the lieutenant; and then to the
helmsman: 'How's her head?'

"'Northeast and by east, sir,' came the reply.

"'Keep her so. I tell you it is right,' said the lieutenant.

"'Well, of course I am not responsible now, but I am an older sailor
than you, Captain Stone, and I tell you if you want to clear Hatteras,
another two points east will do no harm. Do but look at my chart; I
left it open on the cabin table. And the coffee will be ready now,' and
Captain Wilson led the way from the poop to the cabin, followed by the

"There was a passage about five yards long leading from the deck to the
cabin, a door at either end. The captain stopped at the first door,
closing it, and picking from behind it an iron belaying pin which he
had placed there. The younger man went forward to the cabin where the
chart lay upon the table.

"'Stone!' The lieutenant turned at the sudden peremptory exclamation of
his name. His arm upraised, the heavy iron bolt in his hand, in low,
but hard, eager, quick words, 'My ship shall never go to Philadelphia!'
said the captain. He did not strike. It was unnecessary. Montgomery had
thrust the gag in the young lieutenant's mouth; he was bound hand and
foot, bundled into a berth, and the door locked. Three out of fifteen
were thus disposed of. There was still the watch on deck and the watch

"The construction of the _Emily St. Pierre_ was of a kind not unusual,
but still not very common. The quarters of the crew were not in the
forecastle, but in a roundhouse amidships. The name does not describe
its shape. It was an oblong house on deck with windows and one door.
From the poop, or upper deck, at the stern, over the cabins and
staterooms and the passage before mentioned, there was a companion
stair on the port side leading to the deck at the waist; whilst a
similar companionway at the stern led down to the level of the deck,
which could also be approached direct from the cabins through the
passage. In this space, behind the poop, was the wheel, slightly
raised, for the steersman to see clear of the poop; and there was
a hatchway leading to the lazaret hold, a small supplementary hold
usually devoted to stores, extra gear, coils of spare rope, and so on.
Nothing that might be done on this part of the deck could be seen,
therefore, from the waist of the ship; vice versa, except by the
steersman, who was elevated by a step or two above the level.

"Coming on this part of the deck from the cabin, Captain Wilson called
to the three men who were about, and pointing to a heavy coil of rope
in the lazaret, ordered them to get it up at once--Lieutenant Stone's
orders. They jumped down without demur, suspecting nothing, as soon
as the captain shoved the hatch aside. They were no sooner in than
he quickly replaced and fastened the hatch. The three were securely
trapped in full view of the helmsman, whose sailor's instinct kept him
in his place at the wheel.

"'If you utter a sound or make a move,' said the captain, showing a
revolver, 'I'll blow your brains out!' and then he called aft the
lookout man, the last of the watch on deck. The man came aft. Would
he help to navigate the ship to England? No; he would not. He was an
American. Then would he call the watch? He would do that. And eagerly
he did it; but the next moment he was laid low on the deck, and bundled
unceremoniously into the lazaret with his three companions, the
hatchway replaced and secured, Captain Wilson standing on guard near by.

"Meanwhile the watch below had been called and were astir. When sailors
tumble out they generally do so gradually and by twos and threes. The
first two that came aft were quickly overpowered, one at a time, and
bound. The third man drew his knife and dashed at the steward, who
fired, wounding him severely in the shoulder. It was the only shot that
was fired. Finding that cook and steward and captain were all armed,
the rest of the watch below quietly surrendered, and submitted to be
locked in the roundhouse, prisoners of the bold and resolute man who in
the course of an hour had thus regained possession of his ship against
overwhelming odds.

"For England! Yes, homeward bound in an unseaworthy ship; for a ship
that is undermanned is unseaworthy to the last degree. It is worse
than overloading. And here is our brave captain 3,000 miles from home
calmly altering her course the few points eastward he had recommended
to the lieutenant, homeward bound for England, his crew a steward and
a cook! Neither could steer, nor hand, nor reef. Brave-hearted Matthew
Montgomery, honest Louis Schevlin, now is the time to show what savor
of seamanship you have picked up amongst your pots and pans of the
galley and the pantry.

"The first thing was to wash and bandage the wounded shoulder of the
man who was shot, the next to put all the prisoners in the roundhouse
under lock and key. Four of them out of twelve volunteered to assist
in working the ship rather than submit to the tedium of imprisonment.
The irony of fate. But one of the four could steer, and he imperfectly.
And the courses are set, and the topsails, lower and upper, are drawing
and the topgallant sails, too--pray Heaven this wind may last and no

"The lieutenant was admitted to the captain's table under guard and on
parole. The meal over, he was ushered into his stateroom and locked in.
Once a day only--for the captain is captain and crew combined--bread
and beef and water were passed to the prisoners in the roundhouse; no
more attention than absolutely necessary could be spared to them.

"Homeward bound! Captain Wilson had overcome his captors; could he
overcome the elements? The glass was falling, the wind was rising,
threatening a gale. The reef tackles were passed to the capstan, so
that one man's strength could haul them. Then the wheel was resigned
to the Irish steward and German cook, whilst the captain had to lie
aloft and tie the reef points, ever and anon casting a look behind and
signaling to his faithful men how to move the wheel. Hours of hard
work, fearful anxiety before all is made snug to meet the fury of the
coming storm. All is right at last, thought the captain, if everything

"Yes, if. Everything did not hold. The tiller was carried away in the
midst of the gale, and Captain Wilson, brave heart as he was, felt the
sadness of despair. He had been keeping watch day and night without
intermission for many days, snatching an hour's sleep at intervals,
torn with anxiety, wearied with work. It was but a passing faintness of
the heart. The ship rolled and tossed, helmless, at the mercy of the
sea. For twelve hours he wrought to rig up a jury rudder, and at last,
lifting up his heart in gratitude, for the second time he snatched his
ship out of the hands of destruction; for the second time he could
inform Lieutenant Stone that he was in command of his own ship. No
longer was the ship buffetted at the mercy of the wild wind and the
cruel Atlantic rollers, but her course was laid true and her head
straight--for England.

"For thirty days they sailed with westerly gales behind them. They made
the land in safety, and the code signal was hoisted as they passed up
the English Channel. On the morning of the 21st of April, exactly one
month since her course was altered on Cape Hatteras, the _Emily St.
Pierre_ threaded the devious channels which led into the broad estuary
of the Mersey, the anchor fell with a plunge and an eager rattle of the
leaping cable, and the ship rode stately on the rushing tide.

"Much was made of Captain Wilson during the next few weeks. All England
rang with applause of his brave exploit. Meetings were convened,
presentations were made, speeches were delivered to the extent that
might have turned the head of a less simple and true-hearted man. Large
sums of money were subscribed, of which plucky Matthew Montgomery and
honest Louis Schevlin, the cook, got their share. But probably the
happiest and proudest moment of his life was when the captain stood on
deck on the day of the arrival, his wife by his side, near her the
owner of the ship, Charles K. Prioleau, of Fraser, Trenholm & Co.,
whilst he narrated in simple words the story of his exploit. His big
beard was torn and ragged, his eyes bloodshot with weariness and loss
of sleep, his face haggard, weather-beaten, and drawn; but he was a man
of whom all Britain was proud, a man to inspire her with the faith that
the race of heroes does not die."


The four years of blockade running, from 1861 to 1865, were so crowded
with incidents and adventures of an extraordinary and startling nature
that each day brought a new and novel experience.

I recall my first day under fire, the trembling knees, the terrifying
scream of the approaching shells, the dread of instant death. Again,
the notable storm at sea in which our ship was buffetted and lashed
by the waves until the straining steel plates cut the rivets and the
fireroom was flooded and the engines stopped, while the tempest tossed
us helpless upon the mountainous waves and all hope of our lives was
gone, until we were mercifully cast upon a reef which extends about
thirty miles from Bermuda. Again, when our party of five persons,
endeavoring to reach the Confederacy in a small launch after the fall
of Fort Fisher, was cast away the second day upon Green Turtle Cay,
an obscure island of the Bahamas, where we dwelt in a negro's hut for
three weeks, and then foolishly risked our lives again for two weeks at
sea in a small boat which landed us in the surf among the man-eating
sharks off Cape Canaveral, in Florida.

In the narration of these reminiscences of war times on the Cape Fear,
I have adhered to facts, supported, when in doubt, by official records.
In the following story of my personal adventures, I have written some
extraordinary incidents which came under my observation, although not
in the sequence described; and the romantic features are based on a
true incident of the war, the hero of which, Captain M----, still
lives in an honored old age. For uniformity, I have changed the text
as it appeared in the _Charlotte Observer_ many years ago, by the
substitution of real names.

Abstract Log of U.S.S. "Shenandoah."

"Saturday, July 30, 1864. At meridian, latitude (D.R.) 33 50 N.;
longitude (D.R.) 76 16 W., latitude (observed) 34 01 N., longitude (by
chronometer) 76 10 W. At 3.45 p.m. sighted a steamer burning black
smoke to the eastward; made all sail in chase. At 4.30 p.m. made
stranger out to be a double smokestack, side-wheel steamer, apparently
a blockade runner, standing to the northward and westward. At 5.45 he
showed rebel colors. Called the first division and powder division to
quarters and began to fire at her with the 30 and 150 pounder rifle
Parrott. At 6 p.m. boat to quarters and fired all the divisions. At
7 p.m. took in fore-topgallant sail and foresail. At 7.30 took in
fore-topsail. During the chase fired 70 rounds from 30-pounder Parrott,
18 rounds from 11-inch guns, and one round from 24-pounder howitzer. At
8 p.m. stopped firing, gave up the chase, stopped engines. At 9.20 Cape
Lookout Light bore N.E. by N., 14 miles distant. Sounded in 12 fathoms
of water. First saw the steamer in latitude 33 34, N., longitude 76
33 W. At midnight Cape Lookout Light bore N.E. by N. 1/2 N., distant
seventeen miles.

"(Signed) Acting Master, _U.S. Navy_."

This matter-of-fact entry, read at random from the official records of
the war, stirs my blood, because I, then seventeen years of age, was
purser of that blockade runner, and it was I who hoisted those "rebel"
colors on that eventful day fifty-five years ago; and thereby hangs a

The steamer _Lilian_ was one of the most successful examples of a
Clyde-built blockade runner of 1864 in design and equipment. Of
500 tons net register, with two rakish funnels, the finest marine
oscillating engines, a battery of boilers which drove her fifteen
knots an hour, and loaded to her marks, she presented to the critical
eye the graceful appearance of a racing yacht. A thing of beauty and a
joy forever she was to all of us on board, and our beloved chief, the
celebrated John Newland Maffitt, no less, was, we thought, the man of
all men to command her. Unluckily for us he was ordered to take charge
of the ram _Albemarle_, which the intrepid Cushing later destroyed--the
most conspicuous example of personal daring recorded in the history of
the war.

Another Southern man succeeded him, and, we having received from the
Confederate agent a cargo of mysterious packages, which was most
carefully handled, proceeded from St. George, Bermuda, bound for the
port of Wilmington, N.C. This desired haven of these fugitives of the
sea was preferred to the more difficult blockaded ports farther south.
There were two inlets, Main Bar or Western Channel, commanded by Fort
Caswell, and New Inlet, guarded by that Malakoff of the South, Fort

Many fine ships were lost in sight of these defenses when daylight
overtook a belated landfall, and it was pitiful to watch the desperate
efforts of the little greyhounds to run the gauntlet of the fleet,
whose concentrated fire at close range sometimes drove them among the
breakers, where many wrecks may still be seen after all these years.
There were many more fortunate, whose daring roused to the highest
pitch of enthusiasm the brave fellows of the Confederate garrison
who manned the protecting guns which kept the fleet at a respectful

As we passed the ships which lined the docks of the friendly islands
of Bermuda, their crews were mustered and cheer after cheer greeted us
from lusty throats in unison. Beyond the bar we sailed upon a tranquil
sea, without a sail in sight, and then I paid each man his bounty
of $40 gold, an earnest of the greater sum which he would get for a
successful run.

Upon our ship the discipline was rigorous and unrelenting. To each
was given in few words his orders for the run; sobriety, silence, and
civility were enforced. Our Chief Engineer Lockhart, Chief Officer
Vogel, Pilot Jim Billy Craig, our Signal Officer Fred Gregory and I
were served at the captain's table; the other officers messed together.
Our crew numbered 48 men.

When night drew on the finest Welsh coal was picked and piled upon
the boiler-room plates, for use in an emergency, and the dexterous
handling of the dampers prevented the telltale sparks from betraying
our dangerous course across the line of the ever-watchful cruisers,
which formed their cordon around the Bermudas, upon the edge of the
Gulf Stream, and across the most dangerous approaches to the Cape Fear
River. No lights were permitted, smoking was inhibited, as, through
impenetrable darkness, we ran full speed for Dixie's land.

A double watch was kept aloft, and upon the turtleback well forward,
and the keenest eyes were fixed upon the course to guard against a
collision with watchful cruisers, which also masked their lights.

Next in importance to the Wilmington pilot, Jim Billy Craig, who was a
man of great ability, was a long thin fellow, a landsman, a nondescript
known as "the watchman," who held himself in readiness day and night
for service as a special lookout. This person's vision was wonderfully
clear and far-reaching. He could see an object on the darkest night
quite invisible to the rest of us, and his most efficient service was
in the hour before daylight, when proximity to Uncle Sam's gunboats
was most undesirable. Several easy captures had been made in the first
streak of dawn by the accidental meeting of a casual cruiser and his
unhappy quarry, when escape by speed was simply impossible. It was for
this reason that our Long Tom was retained at high wages, which he
squandered with other prodigals in playing crackaloo with double gold
eagles. It was a simple game; two or more persons each threw up a gold
piece, the one falling upon a joint or crack in the deck winning the
others which fell between the lines. This was forbidden at sea, but
such discipline was relaxed in port.

Our first night at sea was clear and beautiful, the air, cool and
grateful, contrasted with the severe and at times almost suffocating
warmth of the limestone islands. After the evening meal, Gregory and
I, snugly ensconced in the lee of the cabin, which was on deck, sat
far into the night gazing with wonder upon the tranquil glory of the
stars, which shone with exceeding splendor, and talking with sad hearts
of the waning light of the star of the Confederacy, which had reached
its zenith at Chancellorsville and which sank so disastrously at the
later battle of Gettysburg. The wind was light, but the rush of the
staunch little ship at full speed brought to our listening ears the
faint sound of a bell, not that of a ship striking the change of the
watch, but a continuous peal of irregular strokes. In a few moments
it ceased, and I have often wondered what it meant, for no sail was
visible that night. Alert and eager for its repetition, which came
not, our wonderment was increased by the cry of a human voice in the
darkness ahead, which was also observed by the lookouts aloft and alow,
and, while Long Tom was rapidly climbing the ratlines of the foremast
to the crosstrees, our captain appeared on the bridge and brought the
ship to a full stop. In painful silence all eyes and ears were strained
to catch a sight or sound from the mysterious object ahead. Again and
again the long-drawn, wailing cry. Could it be a castaway? The sailor's
instinct and sympathy is never so much aroused as by such an incident.
Shifting our course a point or two, we proceeded slowly ahead; the
cry grew clearer, with despairful lamentations; again our course was
changed, the paddles slowly turning. Ignoring the usual precaution
of silence on board at night, the captain ordered the officer of the
deck to answer with a hail. Immediately the voice responded, and in
a few moments Long Tom reported to the commander on the bridge, "A
nigger in a ship's boat, sir." "What," said the captain, "can he be
doing out here in a boat 160 miles from land?" "I'm blessed if I know,
sir, but I'm telling you the truth." "Cast-away, sir, close aboard,"
was the second officer's report a few moments later. "Heave him a
line," said the commander. The falls of the davits were soon hooked
on and the boat, with its lonesome occupant, hoisted to the deck. The
next morning, when I was dressing, the chief steward knocked at my
door and gravely asked if I would see the man whom we had rescued the
night before, "for," said he, "there is something mysterious about
his plight which he refuses to make known to me." On going forward
I found a negro man of about fifty years of age, apparently in deep
distress; mutual recognition was instantaneous; the poor fellow fell at
my feet and embraced my knees, with broken sobs of "Oh, Marse Jeems,
Marse Jeems, Marse Jeems!" His story was soon told in the homely and
pathetic vernacular of the old-time Southern darkey. He had long been
the butler and body servant of my friend at Orton plantation, whose
lovely daughter had given her heart to a manly young neighbor before
he went away to the war which had desolated many Southern homes. The
fearful news of disaster had come from Gettysburg, in which her lover
was engaged with his company on Culp's Hill. He had been shot through
the lungs and was left dying on the field, which was later occupied by
the enemy. Then a veil was drawn, for all subsequent inquiries as to
his death and the disposal of his body were unavailing. The poor girl
at Orton, grief stricken, haunted by fears of the worst, and mocked by
her efforts to seek him beyond the lines, slowly faded to a shadow of
her former self. Again and again my friend returned from a hopeless
search among the living and the dead, when, he, too, began to pine
away, for the war had robbed him of all but the child whom he adored,
and now she was slipping away from him. It was then that this Nature's
nobleman in a black skin came forward and desired his liberty to go
through the lines in Virginia and never return until he brought the
body dead, or news of his young master living, to the dear mistress
whom he loved more than his own life. In vain my friend refused. How
could he, a slave, overcome obstacles which the master, with all his
influence, had failed to overcome? At last he gave the desired pass to
proceed to the missing boy's command upon this mission of mercy, which
was countersigned by the proper authority, and the faithful fellow
proceeded on foot toward his destination. What followed, "in weariness
and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings
often, in cold and nakedness," would fill a volume. He reached the
regiment at last, and carried to many hungry hearts the news of their
loved ones at home, but he was told that his quest was in vain; the
captain was dead, a Federal surgeon who approached him on the field
had found his wounds mortal, had received from him his sword, to be
sent home to the young mistress, with fond words of his devotion to the
last; he had better return home. But no, he attempted that night to
slip through the lines toward the Federal Army; he was caught, brought
back, and sentenced to be shot at sunrise. How he was saved, as by a
miracle, through the recognition of the officer of the firing squad,
and sent back to Wilmington need not be told.

He had formed another desperate resolve--he would go to Orton in the
night, and in a frail bateau attempt to pass the picket boats at Fort
Anderson and Fort Fisher, and reach the blockading fleet beyond the
bar. Perhaps when they heard his story they would take pity and send
him North, when he might resume his search. He had crossed the river by
the Market Street ferry and was passing through the cotton yard, where
several blockade runners were loading their outward cargoes, when a
new idea came to him; why could he not go as a steward on a steamer,
and, with his wages, reach the North by way of the West Indies? With
deferential humility he approached the captain of a steamer, which
shall be nameless. He was not an American, neither was he a man in the
sense of the noblest work of God; he was the embodiment of a personal
devil; he laughed the old man to scorn; he had carried away on previous
voyages runaway niggers, who, he said, had stowed away, and he had been
obliged to pay for them on his return; the next one he caught at sea
on board his ship would wish he had never been born; he didn't need a
steward, and he did not doubt his tale of the young master was a lie.
As the poor man turned away he was drawn aside by a kindly steward
who had overheard the conversation, and, after much discussion and
apprehension, he agreed to arrange a secret passage to Bermuda. That
night he was stowed away, where it was hoped that the cruel process
of fumigation for the discovery of fugitive slaves and deserters from
the army, then in vogue before sailing, would not reach him. Cramped
by the narrow space which forbade lying down, and deathly seasick, on
the second night he crawled out for fresh air, was detected and seized
by a passing sailor and reported to the captain. Infuriated by his
recognition of the stowaway, he actually stopped the ship and set the
poor wretch adrift in a leaky boat, without oars or food or water. It
was on the second night after that he heard the mysterious bell and
shrieked aloud for deliverance.

Although these qualities were not a common possession, this remarkable
instance of a slave's devotion to his owner was not exceptional. There
were hundreds and perhaps thousands of such examples, especially on the
part of those whose duties were of a domestic nature. It was not the
evolution of gentle traits of character, for this man's grandfather
had lived and died a savage in the wilds of Africa. It was the result
of daily contact with refined and kindly people whom he served,
whose characteristic urbanity was unconsciously imitated, and whose
consideration for others, which constitutes true politeness, was
reflected in their servitor's devotion. I have a pensioner at Orton
who is ninety-four years of age. He was the personal servant in his
youth of Doctor Porcher, of Charleston. He is as polite as a cultivated
Frenchman might be, but he is sincere in speech. He uses at times
French phrases. He can tell you in polished language, and with becoming
deference, of the grand people of the exclusive set of Charleston of
long ago, and his solicitude for your health and for that of everyone
connected with you whom he has never heard of is shown in expressions
of old-time gentility, but he belongs to a class that is passing away.

I have up to this time refrained from mentioning the fact that we had
on board, as passengers, three important personages of the old Navy,
whose duty, as they saw it, impelled them to resign their commissions
in a service which was dear to them, and to cast in their lot for weal
or woe with the fortunes of their native State, which had seceded from
the Union. They had served with distinction afloat and around the world
upon a noted Confederate war vessel, and they were under orders to
report to Secretary Mallory at Richmond. At the time of which I write
there were in Nassau and in Bermuda certain spies said to have been
in the pay of the Federal Government, and they sometimes succeeded
in passing themselves, disguised and under assumed names, as sailors
and firemen, but more frequently as stewards on the blockade runners
that were not careful enough in the selection of their crew. By this
means much valuable information was communicated to the authorities at
Washington, and the mysterious loss of several fine blockade runners
was attributed to the seditious influence of such persons in time
of peril. There were also in each of our foreign ports of refuge a
few fanatics, who, contrary to the usages of war, and upon their own
initiative and responsibility, attempted the destruction of Confederate
steamers at sea by secretly hiding in their bunkers imitation lumps of
coal, containing explosives of sufficient power to sink a vessel when
this object was shoveled into the furnaces under the boilers. Several
such attempts had been frustrated because the deception was clumsy and
easily detected in time by the coal passers, and I remember that these
nefarious undertakings were frequently discussed by the engineers of
our ship.

Meanwhile, I observed with some curiosity that we were off our regular
course, and also, with feelings of dismay, that we were approaching a
long, low, rakish-looking war vessel, barque-rigged and under steam,
which was evidently lying to and awaiting us, but my apprehension
was changed to wonder and amazement as I beheld flying apeak the new
white flag of the Confederacy. It was a sight I shall never forget;
alone upon the wide sea, hunted by a hundred adversaries, the corvette
_Florida_, under the gallant Maffitt, had circumnavigated the globe and
spread consternation among the merchant marine of the Stars and Stripes
without the loss of a man. She was a beautiful vessel and had been
handled with consummate skill and daring. There was something pathetic
in the object of our meeting, which had been secretly prearranged, for
a boat was immediately lowered, into which were placed sundry parcels
of opium for the hospital service of the Southern Army, probably from
the hold of one of her prizes; and this sympathetic offering from these
homeless fellows on the high sea to their sick and wounded comrades in
the field hospitals, for the mitigation of their sufferings, appealed
strongly to our hearts.

We tarried briefly, dipping in a parting salute to each other our
respective ensigns, probably the first and the last time that the
conquered banner was used to exchange courtesies with the same flag at
sea. The corvette proceeded under her new commander, Capt. Charles M.
Morris, cruising near and far until she reached Bahia, Brazil, in which
neutral port she was attacked while disarmed, and captured at night by
the _Wachusett_, and later, it is said, was conveniently cast away near
the last resting place of her famous commander, Captain Maffitt.

Our third and last day at sea began auspiciously, but we were drawing
toward the coast much farther north than our usual landfall. At about
half past three in the afternoon we were startled by the lookout in the
crow's nest, with a lusty "Sail ho!" "Whereaway?" called the officer
of the watch. "On the port quarter, sir, heading toward us." We were
in a bad position, to the northward of Cape Lookout, but the stranger
had not yet perceived us. In our eagerness for more steam, however, the
telltale smoke was vomited from our funnels, and in a short time it was
evident that we were being overhauled by a faster vessel under crowded
canvas and full steam. The rising wind favored him, because we had but
two sails, fore and aft, which served to steady us in a seaway, but
this added little to our speed. As the stranger drew rapidly nearer,
pushing us toward a lee shore, she opened fire with her rifled cannon,
and for the first time in my life I heard the scream of a hostile shell
as it passed between our funnels and plunged into the sea a half mile
beyond. The sensation was most unpleasant; had we been able to return
the fire, the excitement of battle must have been exhilarating, but
to be hunted like a rabbit and pelted with Parrott shells and 11-inch
projectiles was enough to reduce my backbone to such laxation that my
trembling knees refused to bear it. The cruiser's aim was deadly,
for the 11-inch shells came tumbling end over end with such fearful
accuracy that many of them passed only a few feet from my head. Others
sent the salt spray flying into our faces; and yet there were, up to
six o'clock, no casualties of any importance. The admirable conduct
of our naval passengers soon inspired me with courage--such is the
influence of veterans beside raw troops--and, strangely enough, as the
firing of single batteries was changed to broadsides, my despairful
feelings gave way to hope and confidence. Our pursuer was now fairly
abeam and sailing the same course. Why she did not destroy us utterly
at such short range must have appeared to them incomprehensible,
because we easily distinguished without glasses the movements of their
gunners and the working of their crew at quarters; and our pursuer must
have been surprised at the audacity of our passengers, who tranquilly
measured with their watches the intervals between the firing of his
projectiles and their passage overhead. They also used their sextants
continuously during the chase, and it was doubtless owing to their
superior knowledge and fortitude that our commander held on his course
in the face of imminent destruction, for, be it remembered, we were
loaded to the hatch combings with gunpowder for Lee's army. As the
sun sank lower on the horizon, so sank our hopes of escape, for every
moment seemed to be drawing us nearer to the end. Even our passengers
became disheartened and said at last that it was a useless risk to all
the lives on board. They accordingly proceeded to their cabins and
destroyed their official papers, and threw overboard some valuable side
arms and rifles, and I, by the captain's orders, took the Confederate
mail bag and government dispatches to the furnace and saw them go up
in smoke. Orders were now given to lower the boats to the rail, for
what purpose I do not know, when a strange thing happened. There was a
loud explosion in the forward fireroom, not made by the bursting of a
shell but accompanied by a cloud of steam. Immediately the stokers and
firemen swarmed up the iron ladders to the deck, terror-stricken and
bewildered. They had been kept at their work for hours at the point
of a pistol in the hands of desperate and determined men, but now,
panic-stricken, they rushed aft, not knowing what they would do. Our
chief engineer quietly reported the collapse of one of our boilers,
cause unknown, steam reduced nearly one-half in consequence, but our
slackened speed proved to be the means of our salvation. The sun had
gone behind a cloud bank, a mist hung over the land to leeward, our
ship, painted the dull grey color of the sand dunes along the shore
line, was obscured from the view of the enemy, which was quite visible
to us, forging ahead and firing wildly. Our engines were stopped and
sails lowered, every eye was upon the cruiser. Would she discover our
desperate expedient? Had she done so, I believe our crew would have
been ordered to the boats and the _Lilian_ abandoned, with a lighted
fuse for her destruction. But the cruiser drew farther away, firing
his broadsides at an invisible foe. Cautiously and slowly we limped
to windward, crossing the wake of our discomfited antagonist, and
laying our course straight and true for Wilmington. It was now eight
o'clock in the evening, a hundred miles between us and our dangerous
destination, and daylight comes early in the summer months. By the
closest calculation we might, without accidents, reach the Cape Fear
by sunrise, and then in our disabled condition how could we hope to
run the gauntlet of the blockading fleet? It was resolved to do it or
die. Fortune had favored us in an extremity, perhaps she would still
be kind. We had an anxious night; sleep, even after the excitement
and exhaustion of the previous day, was impossible. We saw the first
faint streaks of day off Masonboro Sound, where our watchful Gregory
picked up the signal lights ashore and passed the word along the beach
for our protection by the fort. It was a cloudy morning; on and on we
drove the little ship; she seemed to feel the crisis while she labored
like a sentient being to meet her fate as speedily as possible. At
last, in the friendly haze of dawn, we were among them; blockaders to
the right of us, blockaders to the left of us, blockaders ahead of us
loomed up like monsters of the deep. Craig coolly but anxiously peered
ahead. Long Tom, well forward on the turtleback, whispered the words
which a line of picked men reported to the bridge. Again and again we
stopped for the passage of a picket barge or gunboat in the darkness
ahead, who saw us not, and for the bearings, which in our devious
course we had lost in confusion. Once more we slowly proceeded, when
suddenly, out of the darkness and close aboard, flashed the fiery train
of a rocket, and a deep, commanding voice, just over the side, shouted
"Heave to, or I'll sink you." Quickly our bridge responded "Aye, aye,
sir, we stop the engines." "Back your engines, sir, and stand by for my
boats," called the lusty man-of-war. But our paddles were not reversed.
Lockhart said he never heeded such an order with the bar at hand; on
the contrary our engines were evidently running away with the ship,
and, while the confident blockader, diverted from his guns, was engaged
in lowering his boats, the _Lilian_ was gliding away toward the bar. A
trail of rockets and Drummond lights and bombshells from the rest of
the fleet followed in our wake, but the friendly flash of signals from
the fort encouraged us, while Gregory, with his masked lights, revealed
to them our steady progress until we anchored under the Confederate
guns. It was now broad daylight and the blockading fleet had sullenly
withdrawn to a safe distance. We proceeded toward Fort Anderson and
came to anchor at quarantine. The clouds had passed away, revealing
in the brightness of the morning light the stately white columns of
Orton House in the distance. Accompanied by our faithful Scipio and
escorted beyond the fort by its courteous Colonel Hedrick, we proceeded
in silence through St. Philip's churchyard and the dead colonial town
of Brunswick, past Russellboro, where Governor Tryon met the first
armed colonists (the cradle of American independence), through the long
avenue of oaks, where, looking ahead, we beheld a sight which cheered
our hearts; my friend and his daughter surrounded by the yelping hounds
returning from a chase, for reynard's brush was at her saddlebow. With
mutual exclamations of astonishment and delight we learned that the
young captain had written by a flag of truce of his convalescence in a
Northern hospital. I will not say the touching words that Scipio heard,
as, with hands clasped by master and mistress, and with bowed head, he
received their tearful benedictions. My friend has long since gone to
his eternal rest and Scipio's white soul soon followed him. They are
buried at Orton in a grove where the mocking bird builds its nest and
sings; where, above the murmur of the tree tops, which bend to the soft
south wind, is heard the distant booming of the sea, and in their death
they were not divided.


    Abaco Light, Federal ships stationed near, 144.

    _Ada Iredale_ (_Annie Johnson_), derelict merchant ship, 5, 6.

    Adair, Capt. W.F., blockade runner _Antonica_, 107.

    _Advance_, blockade runner, ix.

    _Agnes E. Fry_, steamer, 241.

    _Alapaha_, steamer, 45.

    _Albemarle_, Confederate ram, Captain Maffitt ordered to take charge
     of, 266;
      paper by Captain Maffitt on building of, 202.

    _Albert_, U.S.S., 26.

    Alexander, Captain, Confederate States Signal Corps, 191.

    Allingham, William, quoted, 2-14.

    _Alma Cumming_, derelict merchant ship, 8.

    _Alonzo_, blockade runner, ix.

    _Amalco_, U.S.S., log of gives last information concerning U.S.S.
    _Cyclops_, 28, 29.

    _Antonica_,[7] derelict blockade runner, 107-109.

    _Arabian_, derelict blockade runner, 90.

    _Aries_, U.S.S. blockader, 98, 99, 104.

    _Arizona_, steamship, damage to, 35.

    _Atlantic_, blockade runner, change of name, 61.

    _Badger_, derelict blockade runner, 102, 109, 110.

    Badham, Captain, Confederate service, 59.

    Bahnson, Captain, Confederate service, 59.

    Bald Head, wrecks near, 58.

    _Banshee_, derelict blockade runner, first steel vessel to cross
     Atlantic, 66, 83, 85, 160.

    _Banshee_, Number 2, blockade runner, 127.

    _Bat_, blockade runner, 102.

    Beaufort, N.C., held by Federals, 93, 226.

    Beery, Benjamin, 168.

    _Bendigo_, derelict blockade runner, 105, 106.

    _Bergitte_, derelict merchant ship, 7.

    Bermuda, Federal spies in, 276.

    Bertholf, Commodore E.P., letter by, 18-20.

    Bier, Capt. George H., blockade runner Dee, 81.

    Blake, Capt. Eugene, jr., U.S.S. _Seminole_, official report by,

    Blockade, Federal, effectiveness of, xii.

    Blockaders, names of:
      _Aries_, 98, 99, 104;
      _Boston_, 203;
      _Cambridge_, 60, 81;
      _Cherokee_, 133;
      _Connecticut_, 103, 104;
      _Daylight_, 98, 99, 106;
      _Fahkee_, 106;
      _Florida_, 54, 55, 56, 76, 252;
      _Fort Jackson_, 103, 106;
      _Gettysburg_, 203;
      _Glaucus_, ix;
      _Governor Buckingham_, 98, 99, 107;
      _Howquah_, 79;
      _Iron Age_, 87, 106;
      _James Adger_, 195;
      _Keystone State_, ix, 99, 134, 198, 203;
      _Minnesota_, 91;
      _Montgomery_, 104, 106;
      _Nansemond_, 62, 80, 85, 86;
      _New Berne_, 133, 139, 142;
      _Niphon_, 84, 86, 90, 91, 137, 138, 143;
      _Penobscot_, 119;
      _Quaker City_, 99, 102, 133;
      _Sassacus_, 82, 83;
      _Shenandoah_, 94, 141;
      _Shokokon_, 91;
      _Stars and Stripes_, 60;
      _Tuscarora_, 79, 99;
        stations of, 57, 224.

    Blockade runners, advantages of Wilmington, N.C., as port for, 94, 223;
      cargoes of, 52, 53, 58, 59, 60, 61, 66, 80,
    81, 82, 83, 87, 103, 108, 118, 133, 138, 141, 144, 148, 170, 173, 219;
      Halifax, N.S., rendezvous of blockade runners escaping from Federal
      prisons, 38;
      losses through destruction of, 52;
      number of (1863), 88, 89;
      number of wrecks on Cape Fear coast of, 51-152;
      type of construction of, 87, 105, 106, 107, 120, 130, 131, 265, 266.

    Blockade running, advantages of North Carolina coast for, 57;
      effect of Gulf Stream on, 225, 226;
      methods of, 57.

    Bonneau, Capt. F.N., blockade runner _Ella_ and _Annie_, quoted, 142;
      rams U.S.S. _Niphon_, 137, 140, 143.

    _Boston_, U.S. blockader, 203.

    Braine, Lieut.-Commander D.L., U.S.S. _Monticello_, official report
    by, 167-170.

    Breck, Acting Master J.B., U.S.S. _Niphon_, official reports by,

    Brown, Governor Joseph (Georgia), part owner of blockade runner
   _Florie_, 109.

    Brunswick, N.C. (colonial), 169, 284.

    _Bulldog_, British gunboat, 218.

    Burgoyne, Capt. Hugh, loses life on British man-of-war _Captain_, runs
    the blockade, 160, 163, 165.

    Burroughs, Captain, blockade runner _North Heath_, 112-114;
      _Cornubia_, 192, 193.

    Butler's powder ship, 162.

    _Cambridge_, U.S.S. blockader, 60, 81.

    Camp Brown, fort, location of, 169.

    Cantwell, Edward, 63.

    _Cape Fear_, derelict blockade runner, 112.

    Cape Fear blockade, accounts of, 57-59, 224, 225.

    Cape Fear River, approaches to, 223, 266; forts on, 169.

    Capper, Captain, blockade runner, 67, 70, 71.

    _Captain_, man-of-war, capsizing of, 33, 165.

    Carolina Beach, wrecks near, 79.

    Caswell, Fort, 57, 61, 65, 72, 73, 102, 103, 116, 117, 118, 135,
    174, 210, 266.

    _Celestina_, derelict merchant ship, 10, 11.

    _C.E. Morrison_, derelict merchant ship, 10.

    _Chambers's Edinburgh Journal_, quoted, 2-14, 250-262.

    _Chameleon_, blockade runner, xii.

    _Cherokee_, U.S.S. blockader, 133.

    _Chickamauga_, Confederate warship, 38.

    _City of Boston_, lost liner, 22, 24.

    _City of Glasgow_, lost liner, 24.

    _City of Paris_, steamship, damage to, 32, 33.

    Clark, Chief Justice Walter, mentioned, ix;
      quoted, xi, xii.

    Clitz, Commander J.M.B., U.S.S. gunboat _Penobscot_, official report
    by, 171.

    Clover, Admiral Richardson, U.S. hydrographer, 4.

    _Coamo_, steamer, aid in rescue of steamer _Korona_ by, 43.

    Coast Guard, U.S., coast service of in derelict destruction, 20;
      intended international service of in derelict destruction, 19;
      rescue service of, 41-49.

    _Condor_, British gunboat, lost, 24.

    _Condor_, derelict blockade runner, 127, 131, 152.

    Confederacy, lack of navy by, x, xi;
      several times on eve of success, xi.

    Confederate flag, experiences of Captain Whiting with, 216, 217;
      meeting of the _Lilian_ at sea with, 278.

    Confederate Government, need of powder by, 241;
      purchase of _Virginia_ by, 112;
      purchase of _Cornubia_ by, 192;
      purchase of _Douro_ by, 79;
      purchase of _Giraffe_ by, 191;
      seizure of _North Heath_ by, 114.

    Confederate money, depreciation of, 174, 175, 228.

    Confederate Navy Department, orders to Capt. John N. Maffitt by, 110,
    111, 212.

    Confederate States, commissariat of sustained by blockade runners, 53.

    Confederate States Signal Corps, work of, 189-198.

    Confederate steamers, attempts of fanatics to destroy, 277.

    _Connecticut_, U.S.S., blockader, 103.

    Contrabands, intelligent, information secured from, 109, 167-175.

    _Cornubia_, derelict blockade runner, 112, 137, 191-195.
      See also _Lady Davis_.

    Coxetter, Captain, blockade runner _Antonica_, 108;
      _Fannie and Jennie_, 54, 55.

    Craig, Rev. James William, Cape Fear pilot, 95, 267, 268, 283.

    Crosby, Capt. Peirce, U.S.S. _Florida_, 54, 56, 76, 77;
      U.S.S. _Keystone State_, 203.

    Cushing, Lieut. W.B., U.S.S. _Shokokon_, 91.

    _Cyclops_, U.S.S. collier, loss of, 25-29.

    _Dare_, derelict blockade runner, 104, 105.

    _David G. Worth_, lost freighter, 21.

    Davis, Hon. George, Attorney-General of the Confederacy, quoted, 53.

    Davis, President Jefferson, commissioners sent to England by, xi;
      issue of thanksgiving proclamation by, 173.

    _Daylight_, U.S.S. blockader, 98, 99, 106.

    _Dee_, derelict blockade runner, 81, 82.

    _Delhi_, steamship, stranding of, 33.

    Derelict blockade runners, accounts of, 51-153.

    Derelict blockade runners, accounts of individual ships:
      _Antonica_, 107-109;
      _Badger_, 109, 110;
      _Banshee_, 83-85;
      _Bendigo_, 105, 106;
      _Cape Fear_, 112;
      _Cornubia_, 191-195;
      _Dare_, 104, 105;
      _Dee_, 81, 82;
      _Don_, 81;
      _Douro_, 79, 80;
      _Elizabeth_, 61, 62;
      _Ella_, 57-59;
      _Ella and Annie_, 136-143;
      _Emily of London_, 55, 56;
      _Fannie and Jennie_, 53-55;
      _Florie_, 109;
      _General Beauregard_, 78, 79;
      _Georgiana McCaw_, 62-66;
      _Hebe_, 90-93;
      _Kate_, 114-118;
      _Kate_, second, 118, 119;
      _Lynx_, escape of, 95-97;
      _Modern Greece_, 59-61;
      _Night Hawk_, 119-130;
      _North Heath_, 112-114;
      _Nutfield_, 82, 83;
      _Phantom_, 103, 104;
      _Pevensey_, 131-136;
      _Ranger_, 97-100, 101-102;
      _Spunkie_, 102, 103;
      _Venus_, 85-88;
      _Vesta_, 97, 100, 101;
      _Wild Dayrell_, 72-78.

    Derelict destroyers, 7.

    Derelict merchant ships, accounts of individual ships:
      _Ada Iredale_ (_Annie Johnson_), 6;
      _Alma Cumming_, 8;
      _Birgitte_, 7;
      _Celestina_, 10, 11;
      _C.E. Morrison_, 10;
      _Drisko_, 14;
      _Duncow_, 6;
      _Falls of Afton_, 6;
      _Fannie E. Wolston_, 16, 17;
      _Glenalvon_, 9;
      _Korea_, 9;
      _L.E. Cann_, 9, 10;
      _Louise_, 8;
      _Marie Celeste_, 11;
      _Resolute_, H.M.S., 13, 14;
      _Savannah_, 41;
      _Siddartha_, 7;
      _Vila_, 10;
      _W.L. White_, 5.

    Derelicts, accounts of, 1-17;
     drift of, 5, 7, 8, 13, 16, 17;
     failure to destroy, 1, 2;
     fictitious accounts of, 11-13;
     life of, 4, 5, 6, 8;
     number of, 3, 4;
     United States destruction of asked by international agreement, 18, 19.

    DeRosset, Doctor, 62.

    DeRosset, Mrs. A.J., work for convalescent soldiers by, 229.

    Deserters, condition of, 175;
      treatment of, 230, 231.

    Devens, Lieut. Edward F., U.S.S. _Aries_, official report by, 100, 101.

    Diamond Shoals, buoy at, 43.

    _Dispatch_, blockade runner, 66.

    Doggett, Lieutenant, Confederate States Signal Corps, 192.

    _Don_, derelict blockade runner, 81, 164, 177.

    _Douro_, derelict blockade runner, 62, 79, 80, 87, 90.

    _Doyle_, Capt. Austin, British steamer _Korona_, 47.

    _Drisko_, derelict merchant ship, 14.

    _Duncow_, derelict merchant ship, 6.

    _Ella_, derelict blockade runner, 57-59.

    _Ella and Annie_, blockade runner, capture of, 136, 137, 143;
      named changed, 137.

    _Elizabeth_, derelict blockade runner, 61, 62, 106.

    _Emily of London_, derelict blockade runner, 55, 56.

    _Emily St. Pierre_, British ship, account of, 250-262.

    _Etruria_, steamship, swept by tidal wave, 36.

    _Eugénie_, blockade runner, ix, 240, 241.

    Everson, Acting Master, U.S.S. _Victoria_, official report by, 64-66.

    _Fahkee_, U.S.S. blockader, 106.

    _Falcon_, blockade runner, 131.

    _Falls of Afton_, derelict merchant ship, 6.

    _Fannie and Jessie_, derelict blockade runner, 53-55, 56.

    _Fannie E. Wolston_, derelict merchant ship, 16, 17.

    Fayetteville, N.C., making of arms and ammunition at, 169.

    Fisher, Fort, 54, 57, 60, 61, 68, 74, 78, 80, 83, 91, 92, 93, 95,
    97, 112, 114, 120, 141, 157, 161, 162, 173, 174, 175, 192, 209, 224,
    231, 263, 266.

    _Flamingo_, blockade runner, 131.

    _Flora_, blockade runner, 196.

    _Florida_, U.S.S., blockader, 54, 55, 56, 76, 252.

    _Florida_, Confederate ship, captured by U.S.S. _Wachusetts_, 278;
      cruise of, 202, 277;
      failure of Commander Preble to capture, 205-208;
      formerly _Oreto_, 215;
      meets _Lilian_ on high seas, 277, 278;
      remarkable escape into Mobile Bay, 205-207.

    _Florie_, derelict blockade runner, 109.

    _Fort Jackson_, U.S.S., blockader, 103, 106.

    Forts, see Camp Brown, Caswell, Fisher, Mount Tirza, St. Philip.

    Foster, Capt. James, U.S.S. _James Adger_, 195.

    Fraser, Trenholm & Company, owners of _Emily St. Pierre_, 251.

    Fry, Capt. Joseph, in command of _Agnes E. Fry_, 241;
      _Eugénie_, 240;
      Confederate gunboat _Morgan_, 241;
      _Virginius_, 241;
      sketch of life and death of, 239-244.

    Frying Pan Shoals, buoy at, 46;
      wrecks near, 107, 108.

    Gale, Captain, blockade runner _Lady Davis_, 194, 195.

    _General Beauregard_, derelict blockade runner, 78, 79.

    _Georgiana McCaw_, derelict blockade runner, 62-66.

    _Gettysburg_, U.S.S., blockader, 203.

    Gift, Lieut. George W., blockade runner _Ranger_, 97;
      official report by, 101, 102.

    _Giraffe_, blockade runner, name changed, 226;
      purchased by Confederate Government, 191.

    _Glenalvon_, derelict merchant ship, 9.

    _Governor Buckingham_, U.S.S., blockader, 98, 99, 107.

    Greenhow, Mrs. Rose O'Neal, aid given Confederacy by, 148-153;
      death of, 131, 153, 161;
      imprisoned in Old Capitol Prison, 151.

    Gregory, Frederick W., Confederate States Signal Corps, character
    of, 190;
      mentioned, 187, 267, 269, 284;
      quoted, 191-193, 194-200.

    Grosvenor, Gilbert H., editor _National Geographic Magazine_,
    quoted, 14-17.

    Gulf Stream, effect on blockade running, 225, 226.

    Guthrie, Captain, 112.

    Halifax, Nova Scotia, rendezvous of blockade runners escaping from
    Federal prisons, 38.

    Hamilton, Prof. J.G. deRoulhac, v, 53.

    Harris, Lieut. T.A., U.S.S. _New Berne_, official report by, 132-135.

    _Hebe_, derelict blockade runner, 80, 87, 90-93.

    Herring, Robert, Confederate States Signal Corps, 191.

    Hewett, Admiral, British Navy, runs the blockade, 127, 131, 160, 163,

    Hobart, Captain, blockade runner _Don_, 81, 160, 163, 164, 177, 178.

    Hobart Pasha. See Hobart, Captain.

    Holcombe, Professor, rescued from drowning, 161.

    Hone, Major, 187.

    Horner, Captain, blockade runner _Flora_, 196.

    Horner, Joseph, quoted, 21-25, 30-37.

    _Howquah_, U.S.S., blockader, 79.

    _Huronian_, lost liner, 24.

    Hydrographic Office, U.S., work regarding derelicts, 4, 7, 16, 17.

    _Index_, blockade runner, account of, 196, 197.

    _Integrity_, finding of valuable derelict by, 9.

    Intelligent contrabands. See Contrabands, intelligent.

    _Iron Age_, U.S.S., blockader, 87, 106.

    _Ionian_, steamer, damaged by collision with derelict, 9.

    _James Adger_, U.S.S., blockader, capture of _Emily St. Pierre_ by,
     251, 252;
      capture of _Lady Davis_ by, 195.

    _James T. Petteway_, Confederate transport, 118.

    Jordan, Adj.-Gen. Thomas, Confederate Army, 149.

   _Kate_, derelict blockade runner, 114-118, 120, 170, 173, 213, 214, 219.

    _Kate_, second, derelict blockade runner, 118, 119.

    _Keystone State_, U.S.S., blockader, 99, 134, 198, 203.

    _Korea_, derelict merchant ship, 9.

    _Korona_, British steamer, account of rescue by U.S.S. _Seminole_,
      aid of steamer _Coamo_ in rescue of, 43;
      letter of Alexander Sprunt & Son relative to rescue of, 47, 48;
      letter of Franklin D. Roosevelt relative to rescue of, 48, 49.

    _Lady Davis_, blockade runner, capture of, 194-196;
      former name of, 112, 137.

    Lamar, Col. C.A.L., part owner of blockade runner _Florie_, 109.

    Lamb, Col. William, commander of Fort Fisher, 67, 69, 85, 93, 97, 157,
    173, 193, 197, 231;
      quoted, 157-163.

    Lamb, Mrs. William, story of devotion of, 157-163.

    Lamson, Lieutenant, U.S.S. _Nansemond_, official report by, 85-87.

    _Lancaster_, finding of derelict by, 9.

    Lawley, Francis C., correspondent of _London Times_, 160.

    _L.E. Cann_, derelict merchant ship, 9, 10.

    Lee, Gen. R.E., loss of gift sword for, 55.

    Lee, Admiral S.P., U.S. Navy, commanding North Atlantic Blockading
    Squadron, 74, 78, 106, 135, 143;
      official reports by, 98-100, 135, 136, 137-139.

    Lights. See Range Lights.

    _Lilian_, blockade runner, account of last successful run of, 263-285;
      capture of, 38, 203;
      chase of, 94, 95, 264, 265, 279-284;
      mentioned, ix, 39, 177, 202;
      quarantine experiences of, 181-188.

    _Loch Torridon_, steamship, swept by tidal wave, 36.

    Lockwood, Capt. Thomas J., blockade runner _Elizabeth_, 61;
      _Kate_, 115, 116, 117, 213.

    Lockwood's Folly, wrecks near, 52, 61, 106.

    _London_, sinking of, 22.

    Long, Joseph Brown, 131, 134.

    Lorraine, Sir Lambton, captain British man-of-war, _Niobe_, rescue of
    part of crew of steamer _Virginius_ by, 244, 245.

    Lost Liners, accounts of, 21-40;
      financial losses by, 23;
      number of, 22;
      number of lives lost on, 23.

    Lost liners, accounts of individual ships:
      _City of Boston_, 22, 24;
      _City of Glasgow_, 24;
      _Cyclops_, 25-29;
      _David G. Worth_, 21;
      _Huronian_, 24;
      _Naronic_, 24, 25;
      _Pacific_, 22, 24, 35;
      _Pericles_, 35;
      _President_, 22, 23, 24;
      _Tempest_, 24;
      _Thanemore_, 22.

    _Louise_, derelict merchant ship, 8.

    Lumina, N.C., wreck near, 55.

    _Lynx_, derelict blockade runner, 95-97, 102, 110.

    McCaleb, Flora, 112.

    McCrae, Lieut.-Col. John, quoted, vii.

    McDonald, Captain, ship _Storm King_, 184, 185, 186, 188.

    McDougal, George C., character of, 61;
      mentioned, 115, 116, 118;
      quoted, 213-219.

    Macon, Fort, 134.

    Maffitt, Eugene, 188.

    Maffitt, Capt. John Newland, account of activities in Confederate Navy,
      attempts to enter forts taken by Federals, 209, 210;
      character and ability of, 203, 204;
      daring run of, 143-148; dispute with American consul at Nassau, 216;
      finding of last port closed, 199, 201, 202;
      in command of _Lilian_, 39, 266;
      of _Owl_, xii, 110;
      last voyage in command of _Owl_, 208-212;
      mentioned, 109, 111;
      orders to, 110, 212, 266;
      paper on building of ram _Albemarle_, 202;
      regard of Federal officers for, 203, 204;
      remarkable run into Mobile Bay on _Florida_ by, 205-207;
      rescue of Spanish barque by, 145, 146;
    charge of ram _Albemarle_, 266;
      of _Oreto_ (_Florida_), 215, 278.

    Malingerers, stories about, 177-179.

    Mallory, Hon. S.R., Secretary of Confederate Navy, mentioned, 276;
      order by, 110, 111.

    _Malvern_, U.S.S., blockader, 137.

    _Maratanza_, U.S.S., blockader, 170, 171.

    _Margaret and Jessie_, blockade runner, normal experience of, 235-237.

    _Margaret and Jessie_, U.S.S., former blockade runner, 137, 198.

    _Marie Celeste_, derelict merchant ship, 11.

    _Mariner_, tug, runs the blockade, 173, 174.

    Marshall, Captain, blockade runner _Index_, 196, 197, 198.

    Martin, Captain, blockade runner _Susan Beirne_, 199.

    Martin, Alfred, 62.

    Martin, E.S., 62, 63, 64, 210.

    _Mary Celeste_, blockade runner, 219.

    Masonboro Inlet, wrecks near, 56, 80, 81, 87, 90.

    Masonboro Sound, wrecks near, 90.

    Maury, Gen. Dabney H., 241.

    _Merrimac_, Confederate ironclad, x.

    Meteorological Office, British, work regarding derelicts, 4.

    _Minnesota_, U.S.S., blockader, 91, 92, 102.

    _Modern Greece_, derelict blockade runner, 59-61, 173.

    _Montgomery_, U.S.S., blockader, 104, 106.

    _Morgan_, Confederate gunboat, 241.

    Morrelle, Doctor, 63.

    Morris, Capt. Charles M., Confederate ship _Florida_, 278.

    "Mound," Colonel Lamb erects, 231;
      range lights on, 231-233.

    Mount Tirza, Fort, location of, 169.

    Munn, Captain, 91, 92.

    Murray-Aynsley, Admiral, British Navy, 160, 164, 165, 166.

    _Nansemond_, U.S.S., blockader, 62, 80, 86, 87.

    _Naronic_, lost liner, 24, 25.

    _Narrative of a Blockade Runner_, extracts from, 221-231.

    Nassau, British port of blockade runners, 71, 79, 170, 237;
      Federal spies in, 276;
      incidents in, 213-219.

    _Naval History of the Civil War_, extracts from, 203-207.

    Navy, Federal, contribution to success of North in Civil War, x, xii.

    Near derelict, account of, 143-148.

    New Berne, N.C., 93.

    _New Berne_, U.S.S., blockader, 133, 139, 142.

    New Inlet, mentioned, 57, 60, 63, 80, 83, 90, 103, 119, 122, 138, 196;
      wrecks near, 59, 152, 170.

    _Night Hawk_, derelict blockade runner, 119-130, 152, 160.

    _Niobe_, British man-of-war, rescue of part of crew of steamer
    _Virginius_ by, 244-245.

    _Niphon_, U.S.S., blockader, 84, 86, 90, 91, 137, 138, 139, 140, 142,

    _Normania_, steamship, swept by tidal wave, 36.

    North American Blockading Squadron, 90.

    _North Carolina_, Confederate gunboat, building of, 168.

    North Carolina coast, advantages for blockade running, 57, 223.

    _Northfleet_, sinking of, 22.

    _North Heath_, derelict blockade runner, ix, 112-114.

    _Nutfield_, derelict blockade runner, 82, 83.

    Nutt, Henry, 63.

    Old Capitol Prison, Mrs. Greenhow imprisoned in, 151.

    Old Inlet, mentioned, 57.

    _Oreto._ See _Florida_, Confederate ship.

    _Owl_, blockade runner, 102, 199, 208-212.

    _Pacific_, lost liner, 22, 24, 35.

    _Penobscot_, U.S.S., blockader, 119, 171.

    _Pericles_, steamship, destruction of, 35.

    Peters, W.H.C., Confederate Government agent in Wilmington, 111.

    _Pevensey_, derelict blockade runner, 131-136.

    _Phantom_, derelict blockade runner, 90, 102, 103, 104.

    Porcher, Doctor, 275.

    Porter, Admiral David D., U.S. Navy, commander attacks on Fort Fisher,
    162, 209;
      quoted, 204-207.

    Preble, Commander, U.S. Navy, failure to capture Confederate ship
   _Florida_, 205-208.

    _President_, lost liner, 22, 23, 24.

    Prioleau, Charles K., 262.

    _Ptarmigan_, blockade runner, 131.

    _Quaker City_, U.S.S., blockader, 99, 102, 133.

    Quarantine experiences of blockade runner _Lilian_, 181-188.

    Range lights, along Southern coast, 231;
      on the "Mound," 231-233.

    _Ranger_, derelict blockade runner, 97-100, 101, 102.

    Reed, Captain, blockade runner _Lynx_, 95-97.

    _R.E. Lee_, blockade runner, successful deception by, 226, 227.

    _Resolute_ (British), derelict merchant ship, 13, 14.

    Ridgely, Captain, U.S.S. _Shenandoah_, 78.

    Roberts, Captain. See Hobart.

    Roberts, Lieutenant, captain of the _President_ and the _Sirius_, 23.

    Roe, Lieut.-Commander F.A., U.S.S. _Sassacus_, official report by,

    Roosevelt, Hon. Franklin D., letter relative to rescue of steamer
   _Korona_ from, 48, 49;
      order declaring _Cyclops_ lost signed by, 29.

    _Rosario_, steamship, swept by tidal wave, 36.

    _Rouen_, blockade runner, capture of, 198.

    _Royal Charter_, sinking of, 22.

    Russellboro, N.C. (colonial), 284.

    St. Philip, Fort, location of, 169.

    _San Francisco_, destruction of a derelict by, 14.

    _Sassacus_, U.S.S., blockader, 74-77, 82, 83.

    _Savannah_, derelict merchant ship, 41.

    Scharf, Colonel, mentioned, 202;
      quoted, 231.

    Scipio, family servant, story of, 271-275, 285.

    Scotch brig, story of capture in 1813, 247-249.

    Seddon, Hon. James A., Confederate Secretary of War, 91, 93.

    _Seminole_, U.S.S., rescue work of, 41-49.

    Semmes, Captain, mentioned, 203, 204.

    _Shenandoah_, U.S.S., blockader, abstract log of, 264, 265;
      chases _Lilian_, 78, 94, 95;
      mentioned, 141.

    Ships, causes of destruction of, 30-40;
      damage by tidal waves to, 36, 37;
      malicious destruction of, 9, 10, 37-40.

    _Shokokon_, U.S.S., blockader, 91.

    _Siddartha_, derelict barque, 7.

    _Sirius_, first English-owned steamer to cross Atlantic, 23.

    Smith, Capt. C.G., quoted, 235-237.

    Smith's Island, 223.

    Smithville, N.C. See Southport, N.C.

    _Southern Historical Papers_, extracts from, 157-163.

    Southport, N.C., mentioned, 223, 230;
      wrecks near, 115.

    Spanish barque, rescue by Captain Maffitt of, 145, 146.

    Spanish Government, recognition of American rights to steamer
   _Virginius_ by, 246.

    Spies, Federal, in Bermuda and Nassau, 276.

    Sprunt, Alexander, 63.

    Sprunt, Alexander & Son, letter relative to rescue of steamer
   _Korona_ from, 47, 48.

    _Spunkie_, derelict blockade runner, 102, 103.

    _Stars and Stripes_, U.S.S., blockader, 60.

    Steele, Captain, blockade runner _Banshee_, 84;
      mentioned, 74, 163.

    _Storm King_, 184, 185.

    Stubbs, Captain, blockade runner _Kate_, second, 118.

    _Susan Beirne_, blockade runner, ix, 199.

    _Tallahassee_, Confederate warship, 38.

    Taylor, Thomas E., escapes from Federal captors, 160, 161;
      mentioned, 153;
      quoted, 67-74, 83-85, 120-130, 163-166.

    _Tempest_, lost liner, 24.

    Terry, General, commands land attack on Fort Fisher, 209.

    _Thanemore_, lost liner, 22.

    Three-funnel boats, account of, 130, 131.

    Tidal waves, ships damaged by, 36, 37.

    _Titanic_, iceberg causes sinking of, 15.

    Topsail Inlet, wrecks near, 52, 75.

    _Tornado_, Spanish man-of-war, capture of steamer _Virginius_ by, 243.

    _Tuscarora_, U.S.S., blockader, 79, 99.

    _Umbria_, steamship, swept by tidal wave, 36.

    Usina, Capt. Michael, quoted, 108, 109.

    _Venus_, derelict blockade runner, 85-88, 90, 166.

    _Vesta_, derelict blockade runner, 97, 100, 101.

    _Vila_, derelict merchant ship, 10.

    _Virgin_, steamer. See _Virginius_.

    _Virginia_, blockade runner, name changed, 112.

    _Virginius_, steamer, barbarous treatment of officers and crew by
     Spaniards, 243, 244;
      capture of, 243;
      recognition by Spanish Government of American rights to, 246;
      rescue of part of crew of, 244, 245;
      sale of, 242;
      sinking of, 246.

    Vizetelly, Frank, correspondent of _London Illustrated News_, 160, 163.

    Vogel, Capt. Leo, 187.

    _Vulture_, blockade runner, 131.

    _Wachusett_, U.S.S., capture of C.S. _Florida_ by, 278.

    Walker, Maj. Norman S., Confederate agent, 131, 134.

    _Wartah_, steamship, capsizing of, 33, 34.

    Welles, Hon. Gideon, Secretary U.S. Navy, 100, 136, 142, 225.

    Western Bar of Cape Fear River, 223, 236.

    Whiting, American consul at Nassau, dispute with Captain Maffitt, 216;
      experience with Confederate flag, 216, 217.

    Whiting, Gen. W.H.C., commander Confederate forces in Wilmington, 91;
      mentioned, 67, 162, 191, 192;
      official report by, 91-93.

    Whitworth guns, 54, 58, 83, 91, 92, 93, 134, 170, 193, 197.

    _Wild Dayrell_, derelict blockade runner, 66, 72-78.

    Wilkes, Commodore, 108, 109.

    Wilkinson, Capt. John, account of activities in Confederate Navy,
      commander blockade runner _Chameleon_, xii;
      C.S. steamer, _R.E. Lee_, 221;
      quoted, 221-231, 231-233.

    _Will-o'-the-Wisp_, blockade runner, 121.

    Williams, Robert, 198.

    Williams, Capt. Thomas, 21.

    Wilmington, N.C., advantages as port for blockade runners, 57, 94,
    223, 266;
      approaches to, 266;
      Confederate troops stationed in and around, 92, 174;
      construction of Confederate ships at, 172, 174;
      effect of the war on, 227-229.

    Wilmington Historical and Literary Society, investigations by, 62-64.

    Wilson, Captain, blockade runner _Margaret and Jessie_, 235, 236.

    Wilson, Rev. Doctor, father of the President, 62.

    Wilson, Capt. William, account of exploits with ship _Emily St.
    Pierre_, 250-262.

    Wise, Captain, blockade runner _Cape Fear_, 112.

    _W.L. White_, derelict merchant ship, 5.

    Wood, Doctor, 63.

    Wrightsville Beach, wrecks near, 51, 56.

    _Yamacraw_, Coast Guard cutter, 45.


[Footnote 7: Stranded blockade runners are indexed in this book as
derelict blockade runners.]

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Derelicts - An Account of Ships Lost at Sea in General Commercial Traffic and a Brief History of Blockade Runners Stranded Along the North Carolina Coast 1861-1865" ***

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