San Francisco Civil War Round Table Meeting
Thursday 21st November 2013
at the United Irish Cultural Center
2700 45th Avenue, San Francisco
The meeting started at 6:45pm with the Pledge of Allegiance led by Steve Harrington.
Zoya Smithton introduced her guest, Leslie, visiting from San Diego.
Bob Bowen conducted the Book Raffle, to which members contributed most generously.
Guest speaker David Savadge presented his talk on
"Blockade Running via Charleston and Wilmington."
Given Dave's deep interest in and knowledge of Philately, it was
no surprise that he built a detailed picture of Civil War blockade runniing
using images of letters that had been sent through the blockade, in both
The aim of the blockade was to keep cotton from being shipped out of the Confederacy and to
keep arms, munitions, and all forms of manufactured items from being shipped in. Charleston and
Wilmington accounted for more than 80% of the blockade running traffic.
Mail was also carried by blockade runners and Dave showed many examples of letters that had
been sent by circuitous routes, often from England to the Bahamas and on to either Charleston or
In the end, the blockade runners were not as successful as the Confederacy had hoped, but
the Union did not capture or intercept as many blockade runners as it had hoped. However, the
blockade did cut export of cotton by over 90% based on pre-war shipments.
After some questions and answers, the meeting ended at 9:15pm with the President wishing
everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.