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    [Journal]. Appraisement of Prize Steamer Antona and Contents. February 1863. On January 6, 1863, while on blockade duty in the Gulf of Mexico, the Union screw steamer Pocahontas spotted a ship heading for Mobile Bay, Alabama. The Union vessel moved in to intercept and the ship fled. The Pocahontas gave chase, firing a shot as she neared the fleeing ship. The unidentified boat raised the colors of the British Empire, but continued her flight. The Pocahontas caught up with the British ship and fired two more rounds, finally bringing her to a halt off the coast of Florida, near Cape San Blas. The mystery ship turned out to be the British screw steamer Antona, recently from Havana, Cuba, laden with goods destined for the Confederate States. Manned by a prize crew, the ship began her journey north to Philadelphia when she sprung a leak and was forced to turn around and head to New Orleans for repairs. While docked, a complete inventory of her cargo was produced by a four man commission, including two U. S. appraisers, resulting in this fantastic, 12.5" x 8" journal.

    Comprising twenty-one pages, recto, all cases and casks are listed with relevant information such as items contained within, total number of items in each, monetary value of each piece, total value, etc. Items confiscated include 1,156 kegs of gunpowder of 100 lbs each, one case of twenty British Enfield rifles, wine and brandy, tea, articles of clothing, tools, chemicals, etc. The total value of all goods seized held an estimated value of $110,819.54. In addition, there is a complete rundown of the contents of the ship itself, from the hull, engines, and rigging to the navigation equipment and sailing charts, bringing the grand total to $188,162.63. On the verso of several pages are requisitions for goods from the quartermaster and several per Admiral David Farragut.

    The Antona was tried in the New York City prize court and found guilty of blockade running and, one year later, was purchased by the Federal Navy. She stayed on blockade duty in the Gulf for the remainder of the war. She was sold at auction in New York after the war and served as a merchant ship, renamed Carlotta, until she was destroyed by fire in 1874.


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    June, 2013
    8th Saturday
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