John Maffitt finally returned to the United States in 1868 and made an unsuccessful attempt to secure restitution of confiscated property valued at $75,000. With the money he earned while serving in the British merchant marine, he purchased a 212 acre farm outside of Wilmington, North Carolina where he lived his remaining years.
During these sunset years, Maffitt engaged in some very perceptive reflecting. On one occasion he summarized the important role played by sea power in the war. "The Northern navy," he wrote, "contributed materially to the successful issue of the war.
"The grand mistake of the South was neglecting her navy. All of our Army movements out West were baffled by armed federal steamers which swarmed on western waters, and which our government provided nothing to meet."
Quite the Naval Man. --Old B-Runner