Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

On the Road

Posted in Education by Andy Hall on May 19, 2011

There are lots of good things about living where I do, but one you won’t find in the Chamber of Commerce brochures is that there are four wrecks of Civil War steam blockade runners right along this stretch of the Upper Texas Coast. Two of them, Acadia and Denbigh, have been positively identified; a third, Will o’ the Wisp (above), has been tentatively identified, and a fourth, Caroline (or Carolina) may have been located. Good, good stuff.

I’ve had the opportunity to dive on a couple of these sites, and from 1997-2003 was one of the lead investigators on Denbigh, the only one of the four to be formally excavated as an archaeology project. Denbigh was a remarkable ship, built in the same Birkenhead yard as the Confederate raider Alabama — which has its own connection to Galveston, thankyouverymuch — the second-most-successful runner of the war, having completed a total of eleven round voyages between Havana and Mobile, and Havana and Galveston, before being lost on the inbound passage of her twelfth trip into the Confederacy in May 1865.

But I digress. I’ve accepted an invitation to speak on Civil War blockade runners on the Texas coast on Thursday, October 20 at the Brazoria County Historical Museum in Angleton as part of Texas Archaeology Month. It’s been a long time since I talked about blockade runners, so it will be nice to return to that subject. More details closer to the date.

More blockade runner aye candy here.