James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927). History of the Civil War, 1861–1865. 1917.
|arms, munitions of war and merchandise cleared from Great Britain for some port in the West Indies, but their true destination was the Southern Confederacy and when their voyage was successful they brought back cargoes of the Southern staples. As adventurous business men in England and in the Confederacy became accustomed to the state of war and had constantly before their eyes the high price and scarcity of cotton in England and the low price and plenty in the Confederacy, with certain necessaries of war and articles of comfort in the reverse order, they discerned in these conditions a rare opportunity for profitable trade. Meanwhile the blockade was becoming steadily more stringent and the business of evading it grew from the haphazard methods of its earlier days into a regular system. Arms, munitions of war, blankets, army cloth, shoes, tea, soap, letter-paper and envelopes, fine fabrics of cotton, linen, wool and silk, cases and barrels of medicines, liquors, wines and other merchandise were shipped from England to Bermuda, Nassau or Havana, and there transferred to blockade-runners, which made their way to Wilmington, Charleston, Savannah, Mobile or Galveston. If these ports were soon reached, a quick and lucrative market was found for the cargo; and a return load of cotton or occasionally tobacco or turpentine, was brought to Nassau, Bermuda or Havana and there transshipped to the vessel which carried them to England. The blockade-runners were now specially constructed for their trade and a typical one of 1863–1864 was a low, long, narrow, swift, side-wheel steamer with light draught and a capacity of four to six hundred tons. The hull was painted a dull gray or lead color, which rendered the vessel invisible, unless at short range, even in daylight. In order to avoid smoke, Pennsylvania anthracite was used when it could be had, otherwise |