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[229]

This was marvelous, considering that the steamer ran so close that she could hear the orders given on the monitor.

Charleston was being bombarded, many of the business houses closed, and all could see that the end was drawing near. The Hattie was in as much danger lying at the wharf, as she would be outside, and a cargo was made up for her as quickly as possible, and she was made ready for her last trip.

Just before dark the sentinels on Fort Sumter counted twenty-six Federal blockaders off Charleston harbor, and yet the Hattie coolly made her preparations to run out. Just before midnight, with a starlight night and smooth sea, the lucky little craft picked her way through all that fleet without being hailed or a gun fired, and she was lying at Nassau when the news of Lee's surrender was received.

The following gives an idea of the magnitude of the business and a glimpse at the wasteful and reckless manner of living in those times.

“I never expect to see such flush times again in my life,” said the captain of a successful blockade-runner in speaking of Nassau.

Money was almost as plenty as dirt. I have seen a man toss up twenty-dollar gold pieces on “head or tail,” and it would be followed by a score of the ‘yellow boys’ in five seconds.

There were times when the bank vaults would not hold all the gold, and the coins were dumped down by the bushel and guarded by the soldiers.

Men wagered, gambled, drank, and seemed crazy to get rid of their money. I once saw two captains put up $500 each on the length of a porch. Again I saw a wager of $800 a side as to how many would be at the dinner table of a hotel.

The Confederates were paying the English importers and jobbers at Nassau large prices for goods, but these figures of cost were multiplied enormously in the Confederacy. The price of cotton was not increased in the same ratio, and this large difference in values between imports and exports gave the enormous profits which induced these ventures.

Ten dollars invested in quinine in Nassau would bring from $400 to $600 in Charleston.—New York Sun.


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