Fort Fisher

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

Thursday, January 8, 2015

New Confederate Warships Ajax and Hercules

JANUARY 8TH, 1865:  Commander James D. Bulloch, Confederate naval agent in England, ordered Lt. John Low, who had previously served aboard the CSS Alabama and as captain of the CSS Tuscaloosa, to assume command of the twin screw steamer Ajax, upon her arrival in Nassau.

Scheduled to sail from Glasgow on Jan. 12th, Ajax had been built in Scotland under a contract of 14 September 1864 and had been designated a tugboat "to deceive Federal spies".

Minor alterations were planned to make her--and her sister ship Hercules-- useful in the defense of Wilmington.  However, the Ajax never reached the Confederacy, and the Hercules was never completed.

On 1 March, Secretary Mallory wrote Bulloch: "A notice of the arrival of the Ajax at a port in Ireland has reached me through the United States papers, but no further advices as to her or the Hercules or other vessels have come to hand.

--Old B-R'er

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