Confederate Blockade Running Through Bermuda, 1861-1865:
Letters and Cargo Manifests. Edited by Frank E. Vandiver.
Austin (The University of Texas Press), 1947. Pp. xliv+ 155.
Although much has been written there is much yet to be told
about the economic life of the South during the Civil War. This
volume is an important contribution to the subject, for it is a
storehouse of information concerning the external trade of the
Confederacy. It is the story of an attempt to overcome tremendous
war-time difficulties. In an introduction of some thirty pages
editor Vandiver gives a clear picture of Confederate blockade
running. He makes use of the standard authorities on the foreign
policy and the trade of the Confederacy, and he has delved into
such source material as the Oficial Records and the Confederate
Records in the National Archives. In addition he has examined
pertinent sources in the files of the colonial office in the Bahama
Islands. The account is ably documented.
Early in the war steamers made the trip from England to
southern ports. When the Federal navy became more vigilant
the large ships went to the Bahamas and the Bermudas, and
smaller boats ran the blockade to Confederate shores. Bermuda
became more important as the war continued. Its location with
respect to such ports as Savannah, Charleston, and Wilmington
was ideal. And yellow fever in the more southern islands had
the effect of shifting operations to the Bermudas.
More than sixty pages of the volume under review contain the
text of letters written between August, 1861, and April, 1865,
by John Tory Bourne, Confederate Commercial Agent for Ber-
muda. Letters of Major Smith Stansbury, Commanding Officer
of the Bermuda Confederate Ordnance Depot after June, 1863,
are the subject matter of more than thirty pages. Part II of the
volume contains the text of the cargo manifests of the blockade
runners operating between Bermuda and southern ports. These
manifests and the letters of Bourne and Stansbury reveal much
concerning the nature and the amount of trade involved in Con-
federate blockade running. The reader gets a vivid picture of
the heroic efforts of Confederate officials to supply the southern
army and people with necessities.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101121/. Accessed December 20, 2013.