Review of Civil War Blockade Running on the Texas Coast


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AndyHall

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Thanks, I had not seen that. Thanks for posting it.

Mark, you're correct -- the publisher generally doesn't include a separate bibliography in these short-format volumes which, by the History Press business model, are highly standardized. I was unhappy about not having a bibliography with the steamboat book, but then realized that I usually am looking in the back for a source for a particular claim or statement, and I can get that through the notes.
 

Bil R

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Hello Andy,

Excellent book, thank you for the contribution. I have a question about the 'Central Wharf, Galveston' photograph found on page 103. That image was apparently taken by J.D.Edwards in 1861. If we knew precisely when Edwards was in Galveston that could be compared with port entries/exits to narrow down the identity of those steamships. I believe the SSS Co. used the Central dock and the vessel on the left could be the Galveston (later General Quitman). Her length is consistent with estimated lengths of the dock and she was built with a 'light deck over main deck which is enclosed at the sides' per the 'Franklin Journal' description. That looks much like the upper superstructure seen aft the wheels in this photograph. Has anyone been able to identify these steamships?

All the best,
Bil
 

AndyHall

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Bil, yes, your suggestion that the vessel is likely one of Morgan's ships is spot-on; I'd bet my lunch money on it. However the vessel remains unidentified, as far as I know. I have a glossy print of that from an earlier publication I did, and have tinkered with it endlessly in Photoshop, trying to tease out the lettering on the wheelbox -- if there actually is any. It is a tease in every sense.
 
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Drew

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I just ordered a copy. Reading about the Red River Campaign last winter really opened my eyes to goings on in Texas.

Look forward to the book.
 

Drew

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I did enjoy it - a rascal's story is always fun! I realize that archeology is a very tedious business - hat tip to you all for doing it underwater, in near-zero visibility to boot.
 

AndyHall

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Thanks, Drew. Since the book came out I've been doing more digging into Captain Dave McCluskey, some of whose descendants I've had the chance to meet. Very interesting guy, entirely apart from the blockade-running stuff.
 

Mark F. Jenkins

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The description of "Captain Dave's" vessel in Watson's memoirs sounds considerably stranger and less seaworthy than noted elsewhere... do you think Watson was improving the story a bit?
 

AndyHall

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The description of "Captain Dave's" vessel in Watson's memoirs sounds considerably stranger and less seaworthy than noted elsewhere... do you think Watson was improving the story a bit?
That's very hard to say. That's one reason I went strictly with the ORN version of that incident, as reported at the time by the Union ship involved.

There's a lot of detail in Watson's book that can be independently corroborated, so I believe he's generally pretty reliable, and I strongly recommend his two memoirs, both of blockade running and his year-long stint in the Confederate army.

That said, Watson's account is subject to all the caveats that go with a first-person memoir. He's probably smarter, braver and wittier in the book than he was in real life. Watson was writing almost 30 years after the events he describes, and I do wonder whether it was all from memory (seems unlikely), or exactly what kind of records/documentation he was working from.
 

rebelatsea

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Andy. I read your book in on go , cover to cover. Great volume , very informative without being over wordy. Good work, I'd recommend it.
 

USS ALASKA

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February 10, 2015 History Lecture: Civil War Blockade Runnering Along the Texas Coast

Houston Maritime Museum

Published on Feb 11, 2015
In the last months of the American Civil War, the upper Texas coast became a hive of blockade running. Though Texas was often considered an isolated backwater in the conflict, the Union’s pervasive and systematic seizure of southern ports left Galveston as one of the only strongholds of foreign imports in the anemic supply chain to embattled Confederate forces. Long, fast steamships ran in and out of the city’s port almost every week, bound to and from Cuba. Join author Andrew W. Hall as he explores the story of Texas’s Civil War blockade runners--a story of daring, desperation and, in many cases, patriotism turning coat to profiteering.


Cheers!
USS ALASKA
 

georgew

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The description of "Captain Dave's" vessel in Watson's memoirs sounds considerably stranger and less seaworthy than noted elsewhere... do you think Watson was improving the story a bit?
His vessel sounds suspiciously like a "scow schooner". These were used up and down the Texas coast pre-war, particularly for delivery of timber. They apparently sailed much better than you'd think and had a high capacity. McClusky's vessel was probably decked as she was being used off-shore. I believe that this class of vessel used a centerboard, very useful in crossing a bar of working in shallow waters with reduced sail.
 


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