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"Secrets of a Confederate Blockade Runner" Topic


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126 hits since 7 Nov 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2018 8:43 p.m. PST

"On the 6th September 1864, the iron built side wheel steamship, the Mary Celestia, slammed into the reef off the Gibbs lighthouse on Bermudas southern shore. It sank in just 8 minutes. The skeleton of the wreck still lies there today, 57 feet below, and is now one of the "top ten" diving attractions for all the holidaymakers that swarm around the crystal clear, warm coral waters off Bermudas coastline. However, it also remains a vitally significant historical and archaeological site due to its connection with one of the most hazardous aspects of American Civil War Naval history – blockade running. The site has been investigated on numerous occasions and the only remnants discovered were a handful of empty bottles which have been placed in the Bermuda National Trust Museum for the occasional visitor.

The Mary Celestia was a Confederate blockade runner. It was built, as many Confederate ships were, in Liverpool, England. It was designed by William C Miller and Sons and launched in February 1864. It registered 207 tons which is correspondent with the amount of cargo it was allowed to transport. It departed the Liverpool docks in April 1864 following installation of its boilers and engines and arrived in Bermuda in May 1864. On arrival, it immediately began its life as a Confederate blockade runner and commenced the first of 4 known trips to Wilmington, North Carolina. It is estimated that it may have made as many as 8 clandestine trips but no definitive records exist. The ship was commissioned by William and James Crenshaw of Richmond, Virginia to serve their business interests in the UK and Bermuda….."
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