Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

Talkin’ Blockade Runners

Posted in Education by Andy Hall on October 21, 2011

I gave a talk Thursday evening at the Brazoria County Historical Museum in Angleton. I hadn’t presented on that subject in a long time, but it seemed to go reasonably well. The audience was small but engaged, with a good many questions during and after the presentation. I always think of that as a good sign. I focused primarily on the vessels I know best, Denbigh and Will o’ the Wisp. The third large steam runner wrecked near here, Acadia, is the subject of an exhibit at the museum, which houses many of the artifacts recovered from the site in the late 1960s/early 1970s.

A last-minute addition to the program was Flem Rogers, a specialist in Civil War era weapons, who brought with him several arms loaned for the evening by private collectors. All were produced in the UK and imported through the blockade. It was a great way to close the evening, with some hands-on lessons that really brought home the practical issues involved in arming Confederate forces.

I’d like to extend my thanks to Michael Bailey and Herb Boykin, of the museum, who did so much to make my visit there a pleasant and successful one. The museum has a fantastic collection — and, I will point out, a very well-organized collection storage facility, often a problematic-but-hidden aspect of local history museums — and I hope to get back down there to do some follow-up research soon.

Image: ‘PS Banshee‘ by Samuel Walters, Accession number 1968.5.2, National Museums, Liverpool. This ship, the second of two Banshees that ran the blockade, made a famous daylight dash through the Federal blockade into Galveston on the morning of February 24, 1865.


3 Responses

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  1. Martin Husk said, on November 15, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    I visited the National Civil War Naval Museum in Columbus, GA over the weekend. If you are ever in the neighborhood, it’s well worth the time. They have two vessels recovered from the Chattahoochee River, very informative displays, and lots of amazing artifacts.

    • Andy Hall said, on November 15, 2011 at 3:35 pm

      Thanks. I have not been there, but it’s on my short list of must-sees (must-seas).

  2. Phil said, on February 26, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    Alas the picture in question is not the Banshee I , she is the PS Hope , I have scaled the length of this image from the figures on deck and it is far to long to be the Banshee I .

    Despite the fact that the vessel pictured is identical in every respect to the builders model of the PS Hope on show in the same maritime museum in Liverpool as the original oil picture, the “curator” of this museum will not accept that a mistake has been made in labeling this exhibit and continues to call it the “Banshee”. It is further ironical that a model of the Banshee is also on show in the museum which looks nothing like the picture but to my mind is actually an authentic representation of Banshee I. If you want to know what the Banshee I looks like then look no further than the picture by R.G. Skerrett which is identical to the model of Banshee I in the Liverpool Museum.

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