Blockade Runners. A blockade runner is usually a lighter-weight ship used for evading a naval port. Often blockade running is done in order to transport cargo, for example to bring food or arms to blockade a city. Other times blockade runners would carry mail in an attempt to communicate with the outside world. The blockade runners during the American civil war were seagoing steam ships that were used to make it through the union blockade that extended some 3,500 miles along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastlines and the lower Mississippi River.
These ships had to go undetected they sually traveled at night. If any of the runners were detected by union ships they would simply try to outmaneuver or outrun the union ships. The typical blockade runners were privately owned vessels often operating with a letter of marque issued by the Confederate States. Inbound ships usually brought things that were badly needed supplies and mail, they often carried things like cotton, tobacco and other goods for trade. If a blockade was detected they would either be captured or destroyed.
There were an estimated 2500-2900 attempts to run the blockade with at east 80% success. Some of the famous blockade runners were; The Bat, The Britannia, The chameleon, The Condor, The Falcon, The Hansa, The Lizzie, The Stag, and The ptarmigan. The Steamer Denbigh. – We are glad to learn that this steamer, reported to be ashore and a wreck in her late attempt to run out of this port in a fog, is not damaged to the extent supposed. She has been relieved of her cargo and is now afloat, and is expected up to-day. The enemy’s fleet discovering her unfortunate position tried to vent their spite upon her.
They succeeded in hitting her but once in her wheelhouse, doing her no damage. She was defended by the guns of Fort Morgan, which succeeded in putting three shots in one of the blockaders and driving the rest off. The enemy’s ship that was struck was sent off in the direction of Pensacola, supposed to be disabled. The energy of Gen. Higgins and his command in defending the unfortunate ship is highly commended. Word count: 363 Bibliography: Wikipedia, famous blockade runners, newspaper article Mobile Register February 4, 1864. Denbigh runs around near Fort Morgan.
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