Fort Fisher

Fort Fisher
Fort Fisher, NE Bastion. Frank Vizetelly (National Geographic)

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Capture of the Revere-- Part 5: Too Many Coincidences To Believe Otherwise.

So, let's see, we have an English schooner in both instances.  And, it was based in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

Could this be the same ship captured twice?   And both times in the process of making a run through the blockade and both times off the coast of North Carolina.

Did it get captured in 1861 and sold in prize court and then became a blockade runner again?

I'd say so.

Highly Probable.

But As They Say in the Infomercials, "But Wait, There's More."  --Old B-Runner

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Capture of Blockade Runner Revere October 11, 1862-- Part 4

Report of Lt.-Cmdr. Braine, of the USS Monticello, on the capture of the English schooner Revere on Oct. 11, 1862.

Spotted a sail at 8 a.m. and gave chase for one and a half hours.  Captured the English schooner Revere, of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, 25 days out of Nassau.

The captain and two mates claimed they had just come on board the ship the day she sailed and had no idea what the cargo was.

The cargo was suspicious:  800 sacks if salt, a 100 barrels of pork and other items needed in the Confederacy.

He found the name of the Revere on a list given of vessels intending to run the blockade.

Obviously Going to Run the Blockade.  --Old B-Runner

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Blockade Runner Revere-- Part 3: Report of the 1861 Capture

  Report of the September 10, 1861 capture.

Report of Cmdr. Parker, U.S. Navy, commanding the USS Cambridge.

"I have the honor to report that I have this day captured the English schooner Revere, of Yarmouth, from Beaufort bound to Key West laden with salt and herring and that I have ordered her to Boston, with an officer and prize crew in charge."

--Old B-Runner

Monday, October 16, 2017

Blockade Runner Revere-- Part 2: Had Arrived in Halifax After Running Blockade

On August 3, 1861, it was reported from Halifax that the Revere had arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia, after running the blockade off Beaufort, N.C..

Tracking the Revere.  --Old B-Runner

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Blockade Runner Revere: Was the 1862 One the Same One Captured in 1861?

Two posts ago,  I mentioned the USS Monticello capturing an English schooner named the Revere running the blockade off Frying Pan Shoals, N.C.

I looked up some more information and found that the USS Cambridge had captured an English schooner named the Revere off Beaufort, North Carolina, on September 10, 1862.

Could This Be the One and the Same?  --Old B-Runner

Thursday, October 12, 2017

World War II Comes to Fort Fisher This Weekend-- Part 2

Military and civilian re-enactors will be at the site and will set up displays of the fort's World War II airstrip.

Three historians will discuss the role of Fort Fisher and Southeast North Carolina during the war.

Fort Fisher Assistant Site Manager John Mosely will discuss Fort Fisher's role and relate stories of training there.

Historian and author Cliff Tyndall will present Camp Davis and its appearance in a 1943 movie.  Camp Davis was a huge military training installation located a short distance north of Wilmington, B.C..

Krystal Lee, a historian and educator will present the Women's Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) program.

The event runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is free to the public with the support of New Hanover County, Town of Carolina Beach, Town of Kure Beach and the Friends of Fort Fisher (to which I belong).

I'd Sure Love to Be There, But Will Be Out on Route 66.  --Old B-Runner

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

World War II Comes to Fort Fisher This Weekend-- Part 1

From the Friends of Fort Fisher Powder Magazine Fall 2017, newsletter  "Fort Fisher to host WW II program Oct. 14 to honor site's anti-aircraft training role."

Eighty years after the two attacks on the fort during the Civil War, the United States Army returned to Fort Fisher.  The fort was expanded to meet World War II training needs for anti-aircraft guns.  Thousands of soldiers trained there and many women (WASPs) flew planes pulling targets.

When the fort was closed at the end of 1944, the anti-aircraft base there covered 1,200 acres and the site had been changed forever.

Bunkers had been constructed (and the famous Fort Fisher Hermit lived in one by where the Fort Fisher Aquarium is located today) and several of the fort's traverses had been leveled for the airfield.

Those days will come alive this weekend.

--Old B-R'er

October 11, 1862: USS Monticello Captures Blockade Runner Revere

OCTOBER 11TH, 1862:  The USS Monticello, Lt. Cmdr. Braine, captured blockade running British schooner Revere off Frying Pan Shoals, North Carolina.

Frying Pan Shoals is off the mouth of the Cape Fear River that goes to Wilmington, N.C..

--Old B-Runner

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Connection Between Elmira Prison and Fort Fisher

From the September 17, 2017, Elmira (NY) Star Gazette "Your Opinion:  Connection between Elmira and Kure Beach, N.C." by Tom Fagart.

What do Elmira, N.Y., and Kure Beach, N.C., have in common?  That would be Elmira Prison Camp and Fort Fisher. Plus, the two have two organizations: The Friends of Elmira Civil War Prison Camp and the Friends of Fort Fisher (to which I belong).

After Fort Fisher was captured January 15, 1865, 1,121 Confederate artillerymen were sent to Elmira Prison Camp, arriving January 30 and February 1, 1865.  The prison was knee deep in snow at the time.  The Confederates had neither coats or blankets.

Within five months, 518 of them had died and are buried in C Section of the Woodland National Cemetery.

The Friends of Elmira Civil War Prison are in the process of rebuilding the barracks, improving the grounds and even more importantly, preserving the history of it.

--Old B-Runner

Monday, October 9, 2017

Depot Key-- Part 7: A Storm and a Refuge

Not only did the rise of Tampa as a transportation hub hurt the Cedar Keys (and Depot Key, now named Atsena-Otie Key), but weather activity as well.

On September 29, 1896, a storm with 125 mph winds sent a 10-foot-high surge over the Cedar Keys, killing more than 100.  That essentially ended the town on Atsena Otie.

In 1929, President Herbert Hoover established the Cedar Key National Wildlife Refuge.

--Old B-Runner

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Depot Key-- Part 6: After the Civil War

In 1865, Eberhard Faber built a saw mill on Atsena Otie Key for his pencils.  Then, the Eagle Pencil Company did likewise on Way Key.

The Town of Cedar Keys was incorporated in 1869.

Early in his career, naturalist John Muir walked 1,000 miles from Louisville, Kentucky to Cedar Key in just two months.  He caught malaria while working at a saw mill in Cedar Key, but recovered and went to Cuba in 1868.  He wrote about Cedar Key in his memoir, "A Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf."

Starting in 1886, Tampa, with its better rail connections took shipping away from Cedar Key which started an economic decline.

--Old Cedar-Runner

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Depot Key-- Part 5: In the Civil War

During the Civil War, Confederate agents extinguished the light at Seahorse Key and removed the sperm oil supply.

The USS Hatteras raided Cedar Keys in June 1862 and burned several ships laden with cotton and turpentine and then destroyed the railroad's rolling stock and buildings in Way Key,  Most of the Confederate troops who had been guarding the area had left for Fernandina because of an anticipated Federal attack on that place.

Cedar Key became an important source of salt for the Confederacy.  In October 1862, (see previous post) Union ships raided and destroyed 60 kettles on Salt Key capable of producing 150 bushels of salt a day.

Union forces occupied Cedar Key in 1864 and remained until the end of the war.

--Old B-Runner

Depot Key-- Part 4: Development and "Pencil" Mills

Several people received permits to settle Depot Key, Way Key and Scale Key.  Augustus Steele received a permit for Depot Key and renamed it Atsena Otie Key.  The City of Atsena Otie was chartered in 1859.  It became an important port for lumber and naval stores.

By 1850, there were two mills producing cedar "slats" for Northern pencil factories and Congress appropriated funds to build a lighthouse on Seahorse Key which was completed in 1854.

In 1860, Cedar Key became the western terminal of the Florida Rail Road connecting Fernandina on the east coast of the state.  David Levy Yulee, U.S. Senator and president of the Florida Rail Road acquired most of Way Key to house the railroad terminal facilities.

A town was platted for Way Key and the Parsons and Hale's General Store, still standing and now the Island Hotel, was built in the same year.

--Old B-R'er

Depot Key-- Part 3: End of the Second Seminole War and Open for Settlement

On October 4, 1842, a huge hurricane hit the Cedar Keys with a 27-foot surge that completely destroyed Cantonment Morgan and did much damage to Depot Key.

Colonel William J. Worth declared the Second Seminole War over in August 1842 and Depot Ket was abandoned.

In 1842, Congress enacted the Armed Occupation Act to increase white settlement in Florida as a way to force the Seminoles out.  With the military's abandonment of Depot Key, the Cedar Keys became available for settlement.

--Old B-Runner

Friday, October 6, 2017

Depot Key-- Part 2: The Second Seminole War

In 1840, General Walker Keith Armistead, who had succeeded Zachary Taylor in command of U.S. troops in the Second Seminole War, ordered the construction of a hospital on what became known as Depot Key (the place's name may reflect the establishment of a depot there by the Florida militia General Leigh Read.)

The primary U.S. Army depot in the Second Seminole War was at Palatka, Florida.  Depot Key was the headquarters of the U.S. Army in Florida, although the headquarters was wherever the commander was.

Cantonment Morgan was established on nearby Seahorse Key by 1841 and used a s a troop deployment station and holding station for Seminoles who had been captured, or who had surrendered, before they were sent west.

--Old B-Runner