Fort Fisher

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

Monday, July 13, 2015

Blockade Runner Owl and John Maffitt Arrive in Liverpool-- Part 1: "This Is the Last Time We Meet As Sailors of the Confederate States Navy"

Due to an impending trip, I'll be going ahead with the Civil War Naval Chronology (which is where I am getting these day-to-day events) to the end of the month.  The book is way too big to bring along and plus I am never sure if I'll have internet access.

JULY 14TH, 1865:  Blockade runner Owl, Commander John Newland Maffitt, steamed up the Mersey River and came to anchor in Liverpool harbor.  He had brought the  ship from Nassau through a Union Navy that had been alerted by Secretary Welles to exert all efforts to capture him.

The following day, Maffitt had his boatswain pipe all hands aft where he appeared in immaculate uniform and addressed the crew: "This is the last time we meet as sailors  of the Confederate States Navy....  The Confederacy is dead.  Our country is in the hands of the enemy, and we must accept the verdict....  I am grateful to you for your loyalty to me and to the South."

He then paid off the crew, spliced one last mainbrace for the Confederacy and then personally struck the colors to there resounding cheers from the crew.  Maffitt turned the Owl over to Fraser, Trenholm and Company and established residence in Liverpool.  After qualifying for a Master's License, he was employed by a shipping company and commanded the merchant steamer Widgeon trading between Liverpool and South American ports.

--Old B-Runner

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