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CSS Run'her (steamship)
Career (Confederate States) Naval ensign of the Confederate States of America (1863–1865).svg
Builder: John & William Dugeon
Completed: 1863
Fate: Wrecked on 5 November 1864
General characteristics
Type: Steamship
Length: 70 m

The Run'her was a Confederate steamship that shipwrecked in the Bay of Angra, on the island of Terceira in the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores in 1863. It is part of the subaquatic archaeological park of the municipality of Angra do Heroísmo.


The Run'her was constructed in England in 1863, in the shipyard of J & W Dudgeon, on the Isle of Dogs, London for the Confederate States.[1] It was 230 feet (70 m) in length, 27 feet (8.2 m) wide, with a depth of 14 feet (4.3 m) and 10 feet (3.0 m) draft.[1] In the context of the American Civil War (1861-1865), the Run'her was part of a fleet of blockade-runners, that carried equipment and laid naval mines.[1]

The ship was one in a series of ships built for William G. Crenshaw Co., a joint British-Confederate business, constructed to meet a Confederate contract to carry military, medical and other equipment, in addition to goods for the Confederacy.[1] This because the Confederacy had a chronic lack of foreign credit, and the Confederate government was obliged to establish contracts to acquire the ships with six British naval shipyards using the latest technology, in trade for the shipment of cotton.[2] It was only after payment amortization that the debit for the construction would be paid, and the ships become the property of the southern States.[2]


The ship departed London, with a crew of 50, and arrived on the island of Terceira in four days (around noon on the 5 November 1864), with the hope of porting at its destination in Bermuda.[1][2] Instead of taking on a pilot (as was the custom), Captain Edwin Courtenay proceeded, full-speed ahead straight into the harbour at Angra do Heroísmo and ran the ship aground in the bay's sandy bottom, along the shoreline near the customs wharf.[1][2] This followed a period of excessive care taken by the captain when rounding the pier.[2] The captain's attempts to free the ship were in vain.[1][2]


On 18 November 1864, 12 days after the shipwreck Courtney and majority of the crew (35 men) returned to Lisbon, by way of São Miguel, aboard the Portuguese steamship Maria Pia.[1]

It is likely that the ship was declared a loss, and was eventually sold at auction on 8 December 1864 for 800$00 reis.[1][2] A secondary auction was also held to account for the engine and a box of platinum in the hold of the ship, and on 19 December a final auction to account for the remaining goods.[1] A southeastern storm battered the remains of the ship that night, and much of the ships remains were dispersed offshore after being battered against the rocky shore.[1] It is assumed that the arrival of the Confederate blockade runners Whisper and Rattlesnake, which arrived several days after the storm, were there to recover the military cargo (but found little salvageable after the storm).[1] What was salvaged included several boxes of salted meat from the Run'her's cargo, and that were sold on 9 April 1865 to an English ship returning from Mexico.[1][2]


The ships remains were re-discovered in sand, during an archaeological impact assessment done in the northwest part of the Bay of Angra in 1996, for the eventual construction of a new marina. In the course of the examination, divers identified two boilers found on the remains of the ship, in the area known as Angra D.[1] Iron plates and odd-dimensioned artefacts were also discovered around the shipwreck, which were being transported to the Confederate states for production of munitions.[1]

There was evidence that the flattened wreck and its components were strewn over a debris field, that covered up by 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) sand and fine silt, to an average depth of 6 metres (20 ft).[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 Monteiro, Paulo. "The Confederate blockade runner Run'Her (1864)". Texas A&M University - Centre for Maritime Archaeology and Conservation. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 "Run'Her" (in Portuguese). Angra do Heroísmo (Azores), Portugal: Direção Regional da Cultura. 2011. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  • Barton, Peter (1995). "The Mariner’s Mirror". Glasgow, England. 
  • Crisman, Kevin (1998). "INA Quarterly". Texas, United States of America: Texas A&M University. 
  • Monteiro, Paulo; Garcia, Ana Catarina (15 March 1997). "União" (in Portuguese). 
  • Monteiro, Paulo; Garcia, Ana Catarina (1997). "Intervenção arqueológica subaquática na baía de Angra. Relatório final" (in Portuguese). Angra do Heroísmo (Azores), Portugal: Museu de Angra do Heroísmo. 

External linksEdit

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