Fort Fisher

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

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Former Blockade-Runners Used for Dispatch Ships: USS Bat

MARCH 2ND, 1865:  Because of difficulties in communications, small, fast warships (often captured blockade-runners) were in great demand for courier service.  This date, Assistant Secretary of the Navy Fox wrote President Lincoln from Norfolk: "General Grant would like to see you and I shall be in Washington to-morrow morning with this vessel, the Bat, in which you can leave this afternoon.

"She is a regular armed man-of-war, and the fastest vessel on the ruver.  I think it would be best for you to use her."

The Bat was a long, low sidewheeler which Commander Bulloch, CSN, had built in England.  She fell victim in October 1864 to the concentrated blockaders off Wilmington as she made her first run with supplies for the Confederate Government.

Bought by the Navy from the Boston prize Court for $150,000, she was commissioned in mid-December 1864 and was in great demand because of her high speed.

Former blockade-runners were also very useful in chasing down current blockade-runners/

--Old B-Runner

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