Blockade running to Florida

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Carronade

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@sawpatin's post about the smallest vessels to run the blockade got me thinking, the smallest craft would mostly make the shortest passages, which made me think of the Bahamas. I could envision little sloops or schooners making the run across to Florida - but then you'd be in southern Florida, a long way from markets or armies. Was this a significant route for bringing goods through the blockade?
 

sawpatin

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FedericoFCavada

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After the fall of Vicksburg, so I have read, a lot of the cattle in the southeast emanated from drives out of Florida, since Texas and Louisiana were somewhat cut-off (although there was smuggling too).
 
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DaveBrt

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@sawpatin's post about the smallest vessels to run the blockade got me thinking, the smallest craft would mostly make the shortest passages, which made me think of the Bahamas. I could envision little sloops or schooners making the run across to Florida - but then you'd be in southern Florida, a long way from markets or armies. Was this a significant route for bringing goods through the blockade?
Unfortunately, the Union captured Jacksonville rather early, cutting off the eastern route up the peninsula. What little did come in south of Jacksonville was taken by local forces for their use and the QMG and Ordnance General both had to fight to get the supplies forwarded.

More common was running from Cuba into the Tampa area. I posted a thread or two about that about a year ago.

There was some running by schooners into the NE corner of Louisiana (perhaps from NO across the lake) to the southern end of the New Orleans, Jackson & Great Northern RR.

And there was running from the Texas coast (several places) through the end of the war, with most going to Mexico and a few to Cuba.
 

captaindrew

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After the fall of Vicksburg, so I have read, a lot of the cattle in the southeast emanated from drives out of Florida, since Texas and Louisiana were somewhat cut-off (although there was smuggling too).
That is correct and Florida is still a huge cattle state. They were also a big salt producer. The campaign that culminated in the Battle of Olustee in February of 64 was a failed attempt to cut Florida and these supplies off from the rest of the Confederacy.
 
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Lubliner

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Looking to the west coast of Florida, a good pull in area was Ft Myers and Sanibel Island, just south of Tampa Bay. Also up close to the inside curve toward the western handle, where Mexican Beach guards the coast and the transportation systems there moving inland to Gainesville and Lake City. These would be the shortest land route to a transport hub.
Lubliner.
 

USS Cumberland

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Though far from the fighting, the day-to-day lives of Sarasota (Florida) Bay-area residents were affected by the Civil War.


and


Sarasota produced salt and cattle for the Confederacy, and one particularly troublesome Yankee blockader was the Bark Ethan Allen. From wikipedia:

"Ethan Allen was built in 1859 at Boston, Massachusetts; purchased by the Navy 23 August 1861; and commissioned 3 October 1861, Acting Volunteer Lieutenant W. B. Eaton in command.

During her first wartime cruise, 27 October 1861 to 30 March 1863, Ethan Allen patrolled in the Gulf of Mexico, capturing eight prizes, and destroying extensive salt works along the Florida coast, thus hampering the Confederate war effort and civilian economy.

Ethan Allen returned to Boston for repairs, and between 22 June and 28 October 1863, cruised along the New England coast to protect merchantmen and fishing craft from Southern cruisers.

On 9 November, she sailed from Boston to join the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron off Port Royal, South Carolina, 26 November. During the following year and a half, she patrolled the Carolina coast, and for several months served as practice ship for junior officers of her squadron.

She arrived at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 5 June 1865, and was decommissioned there 26 June 1865, and sold 20 July 1865."

Ethan Allen carried six 32-pounders (four heavy and two light), one 20-pounder rifle and one 12-pounder brass howitzer.On at least one occasion, she fired on a blockade runner.

48810444722_551766d75e_h.jpg
0 by Stephen Duffy, on Flickr
 
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