Fort Fisher

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

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Confederate Attempt to Seize the SS Salvador Thwarted

NOVEMBER 11TH, 1864:  Commander Henry K. Davenport, USS Lancaster, captured Confederates on board steamer Salvador, bound from Panama to California, after learning that they planned to seize the ship and turn her into a commerce raider.  The Salvador's captain had warned naval authorities at Panama Bay that the attempt was to be made, and Davenport and his men arranged to search the baggage of the passengers after the vessel passed the territorial limits of Panama (actually a part of Colombia at the time).  This was done to avoid international law problems.

The search revealed guns and ammunition, along with a commission from Confederate Secretary Mallory for the capture; the Confederates were promptly taken into custody.

This daring party, led by Acting master Thomas E. Hogg, CSN, was one of many attempting to seize Union steamers and convert them into commerce raiders, especially with the view toward capturing the gold shipments from California.  Union ships usually convoyed the California ships to avoid capture.

It Costs Money to Fight a War.  --Old B-Runner

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