Fort Fisher

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

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Five Blockade-Runners Plan Attempt to Run Into Charleston

FEBRUARY 12TH, 1865:  The blockade runners Carolina, Dream, Chicora, Chameleon and Owl, heavily laden with supplies desperately needed by Lee's army, lay at anchor in Nassau Harbor.  During the day, the five captains, including Lt. John Wilkinson and Commander John Maffitt, held a conference and formulated plans for running the blockade into Charleston.

After putting to sea that night, the five ships separated and stood on different courses for the South Carolina port.  Only the Chicora got through and became the last blockade runner to enter or leave  Charleston prior to its evacuation during the night of February 17-18.

Two and a half months later the Owl, Commander Maffitt, slipped past 16 Federal cruisers and entered the harbor at Galveston.  After off-loading his cargo, Maffitt again evaded the blockaders and safely eached Havana on May 9th, where after coaling his ship he continued to give Union warships the slip on his return voyage to Nassau and ultimately to Liverpool, where he arrived 14 July.

--Old B-Runner

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