that multiplied a thousand times the difficulties of maintaining a strict blockade.
From Cape Henry
, every bay, sound, harbor, and inlet offered tempting shelter to any craft inward bound and laden with the contraband of war, and from these hidden nooks vessels loaded with cotton for the idle factories of Europe
essayed the hazardous voyage that brought the reward of French and British gold.
Remarkable as it may seem, it was the Confederacy
that made the first move in the game of blockade.
The State of Virginia
attempted to close the Potomac
and to prevent egress and ingress to the national capital.
A total lack of naval force prevented such accomplishment.
But the Federal
navy's blockade of the Southern
ports became ultimately the determining factor in the downfall of the Confederacy
and Port Hudson
surrendered as much to Farragut
and to Porter
as to Grant
's march to the sea would never have been undertaken had not the Federal
fleets already held possession of Port Royal
and so strongly invested the harbors of Savannah
, and Wilmington
In his campaign against Richmond
sought shelter under the guns of the navy, and Grant
was enabled, through the navy's control of the coast, to maintain his base at City Point
Had Jefferson Davis
a navy at his command, the result of the internecine struggle might have been far different.
It was the blockade as much as the battles that brought to every Southern home the horrible reality of want that follows in the track of war. The people of the North
knew no deprivations, but the women and children of the South
, before the conflict ended, were suffering from the lack of the very things that ships, and ships only, could bring them.
The watching cordons spread along the coast ultimately precluded the import of articles, not only of trade but of necessity.
It was natural that the ports of Virginia
and North Carolina
received the first attention of the Federal
Agreeable to the requirements of international law, notice