Fort Fisher

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

Saturday, July 5, 2014

The Importance of the CSS Albemarle

JULY 6TH, 1864:  Illustrating the great paucity of Confederate naval power and the strategic importance of the CSS Albemarle to the defense of North Carolina, Brigadier general  Lawrence S. baker, CSA, wrote to Commander Maffitt, captain of the ironclad, cautioning him against risking the vessel: "I beg leave to remind you of the importance to the Confederacy of the country opened to us by the taking of Plymouth, to suggest that its recapture  now engages the serious attention of the U.S. Government, and that the loss of the gunboat which you command would be irreparable and productive of ruin to the interests of the government, particularly in this State and district, and indeed would be a heavy blow to the whole country....

"I have no doubt that in event of an attack by you the most desperate efforts will be made to destroy your boat, and thus open the approach to Plymouth and Washing [NC]."

While criticism was level at the Confedertae Navy department for not bringing the Albemarle to action, her presence at Plymouth constituted a serious threat to Union  control of the North Carolina sounds, demanded a vigilant patrol by many Union ships, and prevent a recapture of the area by Union troops.

--Old B-Runner

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