23 March 1865: “You will dispose your vessels about the sounds to capture all contraband of war going into the enemy’s lines”

Item Description: Order from Rear Admiral David D. Porter, of the U.S. Navy, to Commander W.H. Macomb regarding the seizure of contraband goods from captured Confederate ships.



Item Citation: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. Series 1, Volume 12.  Washington : Government Printing Office, 1901. C970.75 U58no Ser. I, vol. 12. p.78-79North Carolina Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Order of Rear-Admiral Porter, U.S. Navy to Commander Macomb, U.S. Navy, regarding the restriction of trade in the sounds of North Carolina.

North Atlantic Squadron,

U.S. Flagship Malvern, Aiken’s Landing, James River, March 23, 1865.

SIR: It seems to be the policy now to break up all trade, especially that which may benefit the rebels, and you will dispose your vessels about the sounds to capture all contraband of war going into the enemy’s lines.  You will stop all supplies of clothing that can by any possibility benefit a soldier; seize all vessels afloat that carry provisions to any place not held by our troops and send them into court for adjudication.  Recognize no permits where there is a prospect of stores of any kind going into rebel hands.  I enclose you General Grant’s order on the subject.  For any capture, send in prize lists and make full reports.  You will see by the law (examine it carefully) that an officer is authorized to send all property “not abandoned” into court, especially property afloat.  I hope you succeeded in getting the Philadelphia again into your possession.  Send her to Washington if you do.

Respectfully, yours,

David D. Porter,

Rear-Admiral, Commanding North Atlantic Squadron.

Commander W.H. Macomb,

Commanding District of the Sounds, North Carolina.


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