Monday, November 12, 2012

"Fingal" brings in a big haul for the cause...

On 2nd September 1861, along with another Confederate agent in Liverpool, Edward G. Anderson of the Confederate States Army, it was decided to buy a vessel to transport arms, munitions and supplies to the Confederacy. By 11th September CSN Agent James Bulloch had secured the 800-ton steamer Fingal, an ironhulled screw steamer, to run the blockade.

The cargo on board had a value of $250,000, and clandestine measures were taken to obscure the Fingal's true ownership, mission and cargo. Loaded with more than 11,000 rifles, as well as pistols swords, sabres, ammunition, four cannon, seven tons of shell, leather, medicines and clothing, blankets and more. 

Civilian second officer on the Fingal was Bulloch`s trusted friend and assistant John Low. Bulloch sailed with the Fingal.

The Fingal reached the Bermuda on November 2nd, and took on the Savannah pilot, Mr. Macon, fresh from the CSS Nashville. It was not until the ship left Bermuda on November 7 that her crew were informed of their destination, gamely they agreed to defend the ship, if necessary against blockaders.

Favoured by a thick fog that helped to hide her, she crept towards her destination. As the fog lifted, with Confederate flag flying high, she made a dash for Savannah, only to wind up on an oyster bank. With help from some Georgia vessels, she was soon clear, and in Savannah harbour on November 12 1861.

The ship's arrival gave the Fingal the distinction of having brought into the Confederacy the largest, single- trip delivery composed entirely of naval and military material.

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