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This week in the civil war

Union Navy raid obstructs South’s shipbuilding capacity

The Union Navy, intent on further tightening the blockade on the South and seizing Confederate outposts all along its coast, dispatches the USS Hatteras to Cedar Key, Fla., in this week 150 years ago in the CivilWar.

The warship destroys seven small ships suspected of blockade running that are loaded with cotton and other goods at this key supply point along Florida’s Gulf coast.

Dispatches of the era report heavy firing is heard for miles all around as the raid opens. Troops go ashore and destroy the railroad depot, which is at the western terminus of the Florida Railroad. They also damage the telegraph office and other buildings.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports afterward that Union forces rejoiced in the latest U.S. Navy victory. “It is gratifying to learn through a rebel source that we have captured Cedar Keys,” the newspaper says in an extensive report.

The newspaper account notes the Gulf Coast produces excellent hardwoods for shipbuilding and that the raid effectively shut off a key supply source for Confederate shipbuilders.

– Associated Press