Fort Fisher

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

Monday, February 24, 2014

Bulloch Suggests C.S. Navy Take Control of Blockade Running

FEBRUARY 18TH, 1864: Commander James D. Bulloch, CSN, wrote Secretary Mallory from Liverpool of his disappointment over the Confederacy's inability to get ironclads from Europe and further suggested that the Confederate Navy take over the blockade-running business and added: "The beams and decks of these steamers could be made of sufficient strength to bear heavy deck loads without exciting suspicion, and then if registered in the name of private individuals and sailed purely as commercial ships they could trade without interruption or violation of neutrality between our coasts and the Bermudas, Bahamas, and West Indies. //// When three or more of these vessels happened to be in harbor at the same time a few hours would suffice to mount a couple heavy guns on each, and at early dawn a successful raid might be made upon the unsuspecting blockaders....After a raid or cruise the vessels could be divested of every appliance of war, and resuming their private ownership and commercial names, could bring off cargoes of cotton to pay the costs of the cruise." Hard times called for desperate measures. I doubt that these ships would have fooled Union blockaders by the Southern harbors on their rin in. However, Confederate control of the blockade-runners were ensure cargoes of more use to the military effort. European countries did use raiders disguised as merchant ships during the world wars. //// --Old B-R'er

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