Archive for the ‘Blockade’ Category

The London correspondent of the New York Herald, writing under date of July 2d, is very anxious that something should be done to stop blockade running, by capturing Wilmington. He says:

“I have often spoke of the gigantic fortunes that are being constantly made in running the blockade. An eminent shipbuilder told me yesterday that he had one fast steamer running the blockade, and that he was building four more for the same purpose. Alexander Bollie & Co., are reported to have made a million sterling in blockade running. Why cannot the government spare twenty thousand men to go to North Carolina and capture Wilmington? In the panic of its fall Charleston will also be taken. These two places are the two principal mouths that feel the rebels. Wilmington alone would be worth more to you than Richmond.


Source: Greensborough Patriot, August 11, 1864 as found on www.ncecho.org

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Bowie Knife from Blockade Runner Modern Greece.  Collections of North Carolina State Historic Sites, Accession number 1978.71.xx.

Bowie Knife from Blockade Runner Modern Greece. Collections of North Carolina State Historic Sites, Accession number 1978.71.xx.

Long, drop point blade with brass “S” shaped guard, antler grip, and brass ferrule and buttcap.  Recovered from the wreck of the blockade runner Modern Greece, which sank after running aground off Fort Fisher on June 27, 1862 during an attempt to run the blockade with its valuable cargo.

Source: Collections of North Carolina State Historic Sites, Accession number 1978.71.xx.

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Narrow Escape

This morning about one o’clock, or a little after, the blockaders made an effort to capture the blockade runner steamer Banshee- one in her wake – one abreast, and the 3d in the Banshee’s front. Several shot were fired at the B., but no attention being paid to them, she made her way, as rapidly as possible, for Fort Fisher, and arrived up to town this morning about 9 oc’lcok, with a shot hole in her side, about 18 inches above water, some distance aft of her wheel house. The ball lodged in her hold, where it yet remains, the cargo not having been removed so as to get it out. Her foremast was also cut with grape, and her rigging considerably damaged. At one time, we learn, one of the blockaders was within about 30 yards of the Banshee, and hailed her to stop, but the indomitable courage and perseverance of the B’s commander was such that he bid defiance to his would-be-captors. The result was the saving of his vessel and cargo, and bringing all safely into port.

Wilmington Journal

Source: Greensborough Patriot, November 13, 1863 as found in www.ncecho.org 

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The Schooner Alice Webb of 111 tons burthen, Vanbrunt master, from New York to Beaufort NC, with provisions and furniture for John Watson, a Connecticut man, who either had set up, or intended to set up, a Store in Beaufort, in attempting to get into Swansboro’ on Friday last, got aground on the bar about half a mile from the beach. It would seem that the Captain mistook Swansboro’ for Beaufort.

The crew and passengers came up to Swansboro’ and surrendered themselves to our pickets. The Captain says that the Confederate force there consisted of 90 men of the 63d Regiment under Captain Harriss, and a detachment of the 5th Cavalry. He is certain about the 90 men of the 63rd under Captain Harriss.

Wilmington Journal

 Source: Fayetteville Observer, November 9, 1863 as found on www.ncecho.org

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Museum Monday – artifacts from the wreck of the Modern Greece, a blockade runner that was sunk in 1862 off Fort Fisher.

Knife recovered from wreck of Modern Greece.  Made in Germany.

Knife recovered from wreck of Modern Greece. Made in Germany.

knife from Modern Greece 1972.97.53 detail

Detail of the pommel from the knife found on the Modern Greece. Collections of the North Carolina Museum of History. Accession number 1972.97.53

Many artifacts from the ship have been preserved and are on exhibit at museums and historic sites throughout eastern North Carolina.

More information on the ship: She was built in England in 1859 and ran ashore during her first blockade run on June 27, 1862.  Both sides tried to prevent salvage activities by the other after she ran aground although the Confederates were able to offload a small portion of her cargo before large sections of the hull were damaged by Union bombardment. Read more here: Modern Greece entry in Cape Fear Civil War Shipwreck Register

The Underwater Archaeology unit of the Department of Cultural Resources has worked for 50 years to conserve the remains of the Modern Greece.  As the anniversary of her sinking approached, the agency renewed its efforts: http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/03/08/1913723/reburied-treasure.html

A brief YouTube video on saving the wreck’s artifacts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mdT8SKWWNA

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Union leadership in the form of General Winfield Scott devised a blockade plan to choke the flow of supplies into southern ports and divide the Confederacy via the Mississippi.  This cartoon representation of the proposed blockade notes that there’s “Poor Eating” in NC even as it points out one of the state’s greatest strengths in our tar, pitch, and turpentine industry.  This well-known piece of wartime propaganda was released in May, 1861.

 Sources: “Anaconda Plan” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anaconda_Plan and “Civil War Maps” on the Library of Congress’ American Memory site: http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/gmd:@filreq(@field(NUMBER+@band(g3701s+cw0011000))+@field(COLLID+cwmap))


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