As the introductory volume of a series, it is the purpose of this book to deal not only with the specific subjects mentioned in the title, but also with the general condition of the Navy at the outbreak of the War, the peculiar difficulties before it, and the way in which the difficulties were met. In this connection it has been necessary to touch incidentally upon matters that are the subject of animated controversy in the Navy at the present moment. Such a reference to actual questions cannot be avoided, if the lessons of the War are to be fairly and fearlessly regarded.

For statements of fact, reliance has been chiefly placed upon the written accounts, official or unofficial, of those who took part in the events recorded. In describing the operations of the blockade-runners, the narratives of Maffitt, Roberts, and Wilkinson have been largely used. Finally, the writer must acknowledge his obligations to many kind friends, both in and out of the service, who have aided him with valuable advice and suggestions.

In marking the channels in all the maps in this volume the twelvefoot curve has been followed. The dotted surface therefore represents a depth of twelve feet or less.

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