Tuesday, December 3, 2013

December 3, 1863 – A Blockade Runner “Double Play” By USS Cambridge

This day 150 years ago in Rebel Raiders’ History

-Dedicated to Civil War episodes, battles, people and ships that also appear in my game, GMT’s Rebel Raiders on the High Seas.

December 3, 1863 – A Blockade Runner “Double Play” By USS Cambridge

Historical Event:  December 3, 1863 was a banner day for the Federal gunboat USS Cambridge.  One of many civilian steamships purchased and converted by the Navy into warships to man the blockade, the USS Cambridge was on station with the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron off Cape Fear when the schooner J.C. Roker tried to make her run.  The Rebel was brought to heel, and her valuable cargo of salt confiscated.  Later that same day, the gunboat, under the command of W. A. Parker, captured another blockade runner – the schooner Emma Turtle.  All told, during the course of her four years on station the USS Cambridge captured 11 Rebel blockade runners – one shy of a dozen.

Game Connection:    The USS Cambridge is one of the many warships represented in Rebel Raiders on the High Seas by the generic Gunboat counters, just as the generic Blockade Runner counters represent ships like those plucky Rebel schooners she ran down (some of which were later outfitted and commissioned to join the USS Cambridge and her sisters on station).

Although of under 900 tons and armed with only a pair of 8-inch rifles, in Rebel Raiders on the High Seas, as in the real war, the Gunboats like USS Cambridge play a vital role in frustrating Southern attempts to bring war material and other vital supplies back home. In the game, the cargo they carry if unloaded can be used to build warships and batteries, to buy cards which convey strategic and tactical bonuses and to fund those counterattacks which may regain key forts and cities that fall to the advancing Union armies.

The USS Cambridge, courtesy Department of the Navy:

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