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Bluejackets and ContrabandsAfrican Americans and the Union Navy$
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Barbara Brooks Tomblin

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780813125541

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813125541.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

Going to Freedom

Going to Freedom

(p.30) (p.31) Chapter 2 Going to Freedom
Bluejackets and Contrabands

Barbara Brooks Tomblin

University Press of Kentucky

Enforcing the blockade and keeping the Potomac open for traffic to and from Washington kept the Potomac Flotilla busy, stopping or intercepting suspicious vessels and carefully watching for any signs of enemy activity on the shore. Their presence also began to attract runaways: slaves, free blacks, and white deserters. The reaction of Union Navy commanders to these runaways varied, in some cases depending on whether the runaways were white or black. Whether by swimming, sailing, or rowing in small boats, refugees both white and black continued to make their way out to Union gunboats throughout the first summer of the war. When three slaves—James Minor, George Washington, and Samuel Bunn—made it from the Virginia shore to the USS Union in a small boat on September 9, 1861, Acting Lieutenant P. G. Watmough sent them to the Release.

Keywords:   Potomac Flotilla, slaves, free blacks, Union Navy, James Minor, George Washington, Samuel Bunn, USS Union, P. G. Watmough, Release

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