Saturday, August 20, 2011

River Runaways in the Wilmington Area-- Part 2

William B. Gould's connection with the Civil War did not end there.

He enlisted in the Navy and served aboard the USS Cambridge and later on the Niagara and participated in chasing after blockade-runners.

Gould and his group were not the only slaves to escape their masters. When a yellow fever epidemic broke out in Wilmington, many owners left the city. Trusted slaves were left in charge of their homes and many took advantage to make their way to freedom.

Gould, aboard the Cambridge took aboard a boat with about a dozen contrabands aboard in October.

Hundreds of slaves were used to turn Fort Fisher into the imposing fortress that it became. With Union ships patrolling offshore, any slave would could swim or paddle out far enough to be picked up by picket boats could escape. On several occasions, Union sailors even came ashore and picked them up.

A Blow to the Fort Up Next. --Old B-R'er

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