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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Charleston in Charleston County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Blockade Runners

 
 
Blockade Runners Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 3, 2010
1. Blockade Runners Marker
Inscription. The Union Navy blockaded Charleston Harbor from 1861-65, but blockade runners continued to slip in and out, carrying cargo crucial to the economic and military survival of the South. Using neutral ports like Bermuda and Nassau, blockade runners brought food, medicine, weapons, ammunition, and manufactured goods from Europe. They left primarily with cotton, but also carried diplomats, dispatches, and various products and valuables.

The risk of capture or sinking by Union warships was great, but so were the rewards. One voyage could bring a profit of $100,000. Despite the blockade, seventy-five percent of the runs were successful.
 
Erected by Fort Sumter National Monument, South Carolina - National Park Service - U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Location. 32° 45.131′ N, 79° 52.445′ W. Marker is near Charleston, South Carolina, in Charleston County. Touch for map. Marker is located at Fort Sumter National Monument and only reached by boat. See links below for more information about access to the site. Marker is in this post office area: Charleston SC 29412, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Ironclads Attack (a few steps from this marker); Controlling the Harbor
Blockade Runners Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 4, 2013
2. Blockade Runners Marker
(a few steps from this marker); H.L. Hunley (a few steps from this marker); Star of the West (within shouting distance of this marker); 6.4-Inch (100-Pounder) Parrott (within shouting distance of this marker); The Columbiad (within shouting distance of this marker); 8-inch (200 Pounder) Parrott (within shouting distance of this marker); Night Attack (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Charleston.
 
More about this marker. At the bottom of the marker is a line drawing of a blockade runner. Mary Bowers (1864), a typical blockade runner, was powered by steam and sail. With a long, low profile and shallow draft, she could swiftly and quietly evade Union ships. Blockade runners were often painted gray to blend with the sea and fog. Rainy weather and dark, moonless nights were idea for a run into port.

On the upper right is a contemporary drawing showing a scene from the blockade. Union monitors approach a blockade runner trapped in shallow water near Charleston, 1865. Many ship were captured or sunk.
Blockade Runners Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 3, 2010
3. Blockade Runners Marker
The remains fo the blockade runner Minho, sunk in 1862, lie near the red channel buoy visible ahead.

 
Also see . . .  Directions to Fort Sumter. The only way to reach the fort is by boat. Most visitors use the Spirit Line Cruises, although private boats are allowed. (Submitted on May 14, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US CivilWaterways & Vessels
 
Main Channel Entrance to Charleston Harbor image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 3, 2010
4. Main Channel Entrance to Charleston Harbor
The Minho, mentioned on the marker, sank just off Sullivan's Island. The island's lighthouse appears in the distance just left of center.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 14, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 902 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on May 14, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   2. submitted on September 23, 2013, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   3, 4. submitted on May 14, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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