Fort Fisher

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

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Confedereate Raiders Georgia and Rappahannock in Europe

MAY 4TH, 1864:  Flag Officer Barron in Paris, wrote secretary Mallory:  "I have the honor to inform you that the Georgia, after having received in the port of Bordeaux all necessary aid and courtesy, has arrived in Liverpool, where I have turned her over to Commander J.D. Bulloch, agent for the Navy Department in Europe, to be disposed of  for the benefit of the Government....  the plans which I had formed for equipping the Rappahannock for service as a man-of-war have been a second time frustrated by the unexplained and unjustifiable action of the French authorities in detaining the Rappahannock in the port of Calais.

Had she been permitted to sail on the day appointed by her commander her concerted meeting with the Georgia would have taken place in a fine, out-of-the-way harbor on the coast of Morocco, in and about which place the Georgia had six days of uninterrupted good weather and secure from the notice of all Europeans."

The Georgia was to transfer its cannons to the Rappahannock at that Moroccan port.

As the tide of war increasingly turned against the Confederacy, foreign governments became more reluctant to involve themselves by allowing raiders to outfit in their harbors and, at the same time, Union diplomatic moves to choke off this source of Southern sea power intensified.

As good as the Southern diplomats were, the Union ones were up to the game just as much.

--Old B-R'er


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