Drone Footage of Blockade Runner Shipwreck off Cape Fear Coast - "Bendigo" - High Quality

Oct 25, 2017
I searched but did not find this … I apologize if this was posted before and I missed it:
The Bendigo, a 178 ton, iron-hulled paddle wheeler (thought to be originally named Milly), was 162 feet long, 20.1 feet wide, and 10.9 feet high.

Published on May 4, 2018

The remains of Blockaders and Blockade Runners litter the Cape Fear Coast. These wrecks attest to the ferocity of our nation's only internal conflict. There have been several highly publicized incidents lately involving local boaters striking the unmarked remains of a Civil War wreck in Lockwood Folly Inlet. These incidents have damaged several vessels and caused the indirect loss of one life, thus bringing this topic to the forefront.

It is the USS Iron Age, a Union Blockader, that according to locals is the wreck that is causing most of the problems. In order to understand the wreck of the Iron Age, we have to look at the entire story. It is the story of the Elizabeth, the Bendigo and the Iron Age. Together they are forever wrapped in the sands of Lockwood Folly Inlet.

The Blockade Runner Elizabeth on her 8th run through the blockade was the first to meet her fate in Lockwood Folly. The 216 foot, 623 ton sidewheel steamer left Nassau on September 19, 1863, bound for the port of Wilmington carrying general cargo consisting of mostly steel and saltpeter. On September 26, twelve miles from Fort Caswell and aground and in trouble, she was set afire by her Captain to avoid capture.

The Blockade Runner Bendigo cleared the port of Wilmington around December 11, 1863, bound for Nassau. They were no doubt feeling confident in their abilities to evade the Union forces after completing her second successful trip through the Federal lines surrounding the Cape Fear Coast. The Bendigo, a 178 ton, iron-hulled paddle wheeler (thought to be originally named Milly), was 162 feet long, 20.1 feet wide, and 10.9 feet high.

A representative from the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) later identified the steamer in the footage as BENDIGO, "a side-wheel, iron hulled blockade runner lost in Lockwood's Folly Inlet.
She said that two other vessels -- the runner ELIZABETH and the Union warship IRON AGE -- are also lost in the inlet. All three wrecks have been "well-known since the 1960s" and are "occasionally uncover[ed] due to active depositional sediment transport in the inlet," she added.

Separately, in 2016, researchers with the North Carolina DNCR found a submerged Civil War-era steamer which is “believed to possibly be the remains of one of three blockade runners used to penetrate the wall of Union naval vessels blocking the port of Wilmington during the Civil War,” the organization said at the time.

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Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Retired Moderator
Aug 17, 2011
Birmingham, Alabama
USS Iron Age (1862)
In late 1863, the Confederate blockade runner Elizabeth ran aground just off of Holden Beach in the Lockwood's Folly Inlet. In January 1864, the Confederate blockade runner Bendigo, returning from the port of Nassau with critical supplies for the Confederacy, saw the wreck of Elizabeth and thought it to be a Union warship. Following the tactics of the day, Bendigo attempted to pass at full speed between enemy and the shore. This resulted in Bendigo running hard aground. The captain of Bendigo recruited the help of the locals on Holden Beach and was able to salvage the supplies of the vessel. Following this, the captain set fire to Bendigo and abandoned ship. Within a few days, Iron Age and USS Daylightwere ordered to the Inlet to attempt to float Bendigo, but Iron Age ran hard aground at 0900 on 9 January during the attempt. After untiring efforts to lighten her failed, she was put to the torch at 0400 11 January 1864 and was destroyed 1 hour and 40 minutes later when her magazine exploded. Several days later locals from Holden Beach and the surrounding area would row out to the wreck in an attempt to salvage anything of value. Neil Holden, a Confederate soldier and descendant of the Holden Beach's namesake, claims to have found a razor blade in the captain's cabin of USS Iron Ageand has passed it down for several generations. The razor has stayed in the Holden family since the Civil War.​

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