View from Union blockade: ‘Adventure! Bah!’

“One sailor stationed off Wilmington, North Carolina, explained in his diary how adventurous blockade duty really was:

” ‘I told her [his mother] she could get a fair idea of our ‘adventures’ if she would go on the roof of the house, on a hot summer day, and talk to half a dozen hotel hallboys, who are generally far more intelligent and agreeable than the average “acting officer.” Then descend to the attic and drink some tepid water, full of iron rust. Then go on the roof  again and repeat the “adventurous process” at intervals, until she is tired out and go bed, with every thing shut down tight, so as not to show a light.

” ‘Adventure! Bah! The blockade is the wrong place for it.’ ”

— From “Fateful Lightning: A New History of the the Civil War and Reconstruction” by Allen C. Guelzo (2012)


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