Fort Fisher

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

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Black Market Cotton?

NOVEMBER 7, 1864:  Upon learning that Confederate officers were quartered in a house on the Arkansas side of the Mississippi River near Island 69, Acting Lt. Frederic S. Hill led an expedition from the USS Tyler to capture them.  However, they had departed.

The mother of one of them boldly showed Hill her permit to transport cotton up the Mississippi and a request, officially endorsed by Major General Cadwallader C. Washburn, USA, for gunboat protection.

Hill reluctantly complied with the request, remarking to Rear Admiral Lee: "...in the face of all these documents, as I was upon the spot and a steamer then at hand ready to take the cotton, I considered it proper to give her the required protection, although with a very bad grace.

"Permit me, admiral, respectfully to call your attention to the anomaly of using every exertion to capture rebel officers at 2 a,m,, whose cotton I am called upon to protect in its shipment to a market at 10 a.m. of the same day, this affording themselves with every comfort money can procure ere they return to their brother rebels in arms with Hood."

Wondering What Washburn's Cut Was?  --Old B-Runner

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