Thursday, December 3, 2009

How to Run a Blockade

The December 3rd Civil War Interactive Blog ran an entry about Union Admiral John Dahlgren describing how he ran a successful blockade off Charleston, SC, despite its maze of waterways, islands, canals and marshes.

Writing on December 3rd, 1863, he had at his disposal, four Monitor-class vessels assigned to his duty station.

On any night, two were operational. One operated far up the channel of the harbor and kept an eye on forts Sumter and Moultrie. The ship also kept an eye on shipping coming in or going out. They were charged to defend against Confederate torpedo boats, picket boats and floating mines.

The second monitor was posted farther out to keep an eye on the first ship and provide aid if necessary.

He added that one other important thing they had to do was "taking care at the same time not to get aground, and also to change the position when the weather appears to be unsafe."

Now You Know How They Did It. --Old B-R