Arguably the Confederacy’s maritime efforts rank among its greatest wartime successes. Starting literally from scratch, the Confederacy immediately mustered a small but effective privateer fleet that not only met with some success, but forced the early resolution of the Confederacy’s status as a legitimate belligerent. Following its privateer successes, the Confederacy’s small but formidable commerce raider fleet dealt a crushing blow to the Union merchant marine. Not only did the Confederacy successfully take or destroy hundreds of Union vessels, but it forced the Union to transfer almost 800,000 tons of shipping to foreign carriers to avoid the attacks of the Confederate surface fleet. As the war progressed, the Confederate success on the high seas drove up the cost of maritime insurance premiums making the carriage of goods for Union merchant ships even more costly.<http://www.essentialcivilwarcurriculum.com/confederate-commerce-raiders-and-privateers.html>
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