Blockade-runners used the Gulf of Mexico to travel between Cuba and the Bahamas to Confederate ports at New Orleans and Mobile as well as to small Texas, Louisiana, and Florida ports and harbors.
C. Vanderbilt (Black Hawk) (Black Joker). British. Side-wheel steamer, 346 bulk tons. Length 170 feet 7 inches, beam 23 feet 4 inches, draft 9 feet. Cargo of coffee, zinc, sheet copper, oil, and pepper. Built in 1837 at New York City. En route to New Orleans from Havana, Cuba. Foundered in the Gulf of Mexico on March 15, 1862. Officially, it was traveling to Matamoras, Mexico. One lifeboat from the vessel was found beached near Pensacola, Fla., by the USS Maria A. Wood. The lifeboat contained seventeen people, mostly crew members except for one fifteen-year-old girl and two adult male passengers. (ORN, 17:125; 18:86-87, 91, 101, 121; LLC, 291.)
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Enterprise (America). Confederate. Side-wheel steamer, 372 bulk tons. Length 172 feet 2 inches, beam 26 feet 6 inches, draft 8 feet 6 inches. Built in 1852 at Brownsville, Pa. Was lost in a storm in the Gulf of Mexico about March 15, 1862. (MSV, 9; LLC, 298.)
Pizzaro. Confederate. Steamer, 419 bulk tons. Length 190 feet, beam 25 feet 4 inches, draft 9 feet. Cleared the New Orleans Custom House on December 11, 1861, and vanished. Was probably lost in a storm in the Gulf of Mexico. (MSV, 174; LLC, 316.)
Soler (Worchester). Spanish. Side-wheel steamer, 605 bulk tons. Built in 1841 at New York City as the Worchester. En route to Mobile. Was lost in the Gulf of Mexico in mid-June 1863. (MSV, 234; LLC, 321.)
Swan. Union. Side-wheel steamer, 487 bulk tons. Length 188 feet, beam 36 feet 6 inches, draft 7 feet 7 inches. Foun-
dered on February 19, 1863, between Key West and New Orleans. Formerly a Confederate steamer captured by the USS Amanda and USS Bainbridge on May 24, 1862. (MSV, 300; LLC, 322.)
William V. Gillum. Union. Stern-wheel steamer, 70 tons. Cargo of lumber. Built in 1855 at New Albany, Ind. En route from New Orleans to Matamoras, Mexico. Wrecked in the Gulf of Mexico on September 1, 1864. Its officers and crew were picked up a few days later by the Mexican schooner Cory. (WPD, 490.)
Yorktown. Confederate. Side-wheel steamer, 298 bulk tons. Length 173 feet, beam 28 feet 3 inches, depth 6 feet 6 inches. Sprang a leak after clearing Mobile. Foundered on August 26, 1862. Twenty-six men, aboard two boats, were rescued by the schooner Annie Clapp, 72 miles southeast of Ship Island, and were released 10 miles off Mobile Point so they could make their way back to their home port. (ORN, 19:238-40; LLC, 327.)
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