previous next

[264] noise was allowed on board, the only exception to the rule being a splendid Arabian steed brought in for President Davis. No precaution was omitted to prevent discovery. During my stay on Confederate Point at least one hundred different steamers were engaged in running the blockade in the Cape Fear river, and very few were captured before making one round trip. The squadron off Wilmington reported sixty-five steam blockade runners captured or destroyed during the war. The most skillful sailors were secured as commanders, and Confederate and British naval officers were engaged when practicable, the latter being on leave under assumed names. One thousand pounds sterling was paid to a captain for a successful trip. The pilots, who were most essential to success, received as high as lb 750 for the round trip. It was usual to pay half the sum in advance. The most fortunate of the commanders of my acquaintance was Captain John N. Wilkinson, of the Confederate States Navy, who in ten months made twenty-one trips in the British side-wheel steamer Giraffe, which was purchased by the Confederate Government and named the R. E. Lee. Captain Roberts, whose real name was Hon. Augustus C. Hobart Hampden, and who afterwards as Hobart Pasha commanded the Turkish Navy until his death, was also most successful, running the ‘Don’ between Nassau and Wilmington, with the regularity of a packet boat. Captain Murray, who was C. Murray Aynsley, now a retired admiral in the British Navy, and who received rapid promotion for distinguished and gallant service from the government, after our war, was not only successful, but forced to show more skill and pluck than the others, having to run the gauntlet of the blockade squadron by daylight on two occasions, receiving shot in his vessel each time.

As blockade-running was of such vital interest to the Southern cause, I did everything to foster it, and New Inlet, protected by Fort Fisher, became the most popular entrance to the South. Wilmington was the last gateway closed, and during the last year that I commanded the fort, there was scarcely a dark night that I was not called upon the ramparts to admit a friendly vessel. Had I time I would dwell on some of the many interesting events in blockade running at Fort Fisher, but it is quite impossible in the limit necessarily put upon this narrative. The running through the squadron and safely over the bar in daylight of the powder-laden ‘Cornubia,’ in 1862, and the ‘A. D. Vance,’ with a party of ladies and Dr. Hoge, of

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1862 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: