O’Neale Greenhow’s European Diary
and Annotated by Bev Crowe and John W. O’Neal, II
At twelve o’clock in the morning
of 5th August I left Wilmington to
go on board the Phantom, one of the vessels of the Confederate States successfully engaged in running the
blockade between this Port and the island of Bermuda.Capt. Porter (1) of the Phantom(2)
and Mr. Seixas (3)
polite and Gentlemanly agent at Wilmington escorted us aboard. Soon after we dropped down
the river to be in readiness for the tide and the friendly screen of
get over the bar and through the blockading squadron out at sea, when
consider ourselves fairly launched upon our voyage.
the day all was
preparation in the little vessel. She had been but recently transferred
confederate service having been built and owned by one of our Merchant
of Charleston. Capt. Porter being in command for the first time. I was his only passenger including my little
The Capt. took me to my stateroom
where everything good taste could suggest was provided for my comfort.I
busied myself in arranging the
necessary toilet articles for the voyage with a distinct foreshadowing
inutility of such ...
1 Captain Stephan G. Porter was
Naval Officer assigned to the Confederate Ordinance Bereau.
than three hundred steamers made over
1,300 attempts to run the blockade during the Civil War. Many of these
normal merchant vessels, but an ever-increasing number were
low silhouettes, light draft, and high speed. Blockade Runners were
for hauling freight, not passengers.
Phantom: length 190', beam 22', draft 8' 6", crew
speed 18 knots. Phantom is said to
have been one of the original line of Confederate Government steamers operated
between Wilmington NC
and Bermuda by the CSA
Ordnance Bureau. She
was a "very handsome," steel-plated, screw steamer of 170
at Liverpool late in 1862 as
167" by a "G. Hillman"; drawings of her lines, captioned in
German, do not specify the builder's yard. She seems to have left Liverpool early in April 1863. Chased ashore by
USS Connecticut, she was lost on her third
run into the Cape Fear, 23 September 1863, near Rich or New
Inlet above Fort
Fisher and fired
by her crew, who made
good their escape in the lifeboats. Boats from Connecticut
could not get near her to put out the fires or get her off. One
landsman in a
boat making the attempt was killed by Confederate sharpshooters.
From the Famous Blockade Runner Website.
3 J. M. Seixas was a Special War
Agent in Wilmington,
N.C. (Coincidentally, he
was also a pall
bearer at Rose’s funeral)
George Trenholm of Fraser,
Trenholm & Company,
which was the
largest blockade running firm in the Confederacy.