Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Burning of the General Lyon-- Part 3: Former Blockade-Runner?

Continuing with the New York Times article from April 3, 1865.

"It appears from the statements of these men that the Gen. Lyon, a screw steamer which had formerly been a blockade runner, sailed from Wilmington to Fortress Monroe on Wednesday."  I found no mention of it being a former blockade-runner, although many were used by the Union Navy after capture.  Wikipedia has the ship being built in Haddan, Connecticut in the spring of 1864 and being chartered by the Federal government in March 1864.

It had nearly 600 aboard including discharged and paroled soldiers, escaped prisoners and refugees (of whom 30 were women and children) as well as two negroes and the crew.

The weather was fair when leaving Wilmington and the Gen. Lyon spent the first night at Smithville (by the mouth of the Cape Fear River and then continued the next day.  After that, the wind picked up and eventually reached violent and stormy, greatly slowing the ship's progress.

--Old Secesh


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