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The Galveston Weekly News, February 15, 1865

On the night of February 5, 1865, the new bockade runner Acadia ran aground and was wrecked several miles west of San Luis Pass.  The next day, the new Laird-built runner Wren ran aground off Fort Point, on the eastern end of Galveston Island.  Wren was refloated and made port safely, but three days later the famous blockade runner Will of the Wisp was wrecked on the beach west of Galveston.  Not surprisingly, these three incidents prompted the News to speculate that perhaps something more sinister than poor navigation was responsible:


news03.jpg (91819 bytes) The loss of three Confederate steamers and on our coast, within the last two or three days will, probably remind our readers of the following article, which we published on the 25th ult.:

IMPORTANT FROM NASSAU - The Charleston Mercury, of Dec. 13th says: "The following extract of a private letter from Nassau conveys a very important hint. 'I am of the opinion that during this winter, blockade runners will have more to fear from enemies in their own crews than they will have from the blockading fleet. Hundreds of Yanks are now here, and I suspect that it is a settled plan to capture vessels by a stratagem at sea. Spies are all around, and it may be that you will hear of several Roanoke affairs this next moon. An attempt was thus made to capture the Owl, which failed, and eight of the crew are now in irons, one of them holding a Yankee commission as Master's Mate. This looks serious, but proper precautions, on the part of the officers, will render these develish plans abortive. Owing to the dubious character of English neutrality, these mercenary minions of the tyrannical Yankee Government will escape punislunent.''

There is hardly any room to doubt that the three steamers were wrecked on our coast by Yankees in disguise. We learn that they are in the streets of Havana, disguised as British sailors, seeking an opportunity to ship on blockade runners. We fear the commanders of these unfortunate steamers have been caught in the trap set for them. We should never forget that treachery, falsehood and deception are the peculiar characteristics of Yankees, and we believe we have more to fear from these traits than from all their power in open and honorable war. It should be remembered that the coast of Texas is the safest of any on the whole seaboard of this continent. The water shoals so gradually and so uniformly that, with the lead and line in the hands of any but a Yankee, no blockade runner could be beached in the thickest fog, unless intentionally. We have no doubt that the loss of the Wisp, the Wren and the Arcadia [sic., Acadia] is due to Yankee treachery. The lesson has been dearly bought, but we hope we shall profit by it.


Thanks to Valerie Buford of Galveston, Texas.

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