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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND
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Hope

 

(StwStr: t. 193; l. 128'; b. 34'; dr. 5')

 

Hope, built in Louisville, Ky., in 1855, was operated in the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers during 1862-63, successfully eluding capture by Admiral Porter's squadron until August 1863.

 

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Hope

 

(SwStr: t. 1,800 [1,200; 1,000; l,697bom]; l. 281.5 bp; b. 35'; dr. 11'; cpl. 66)

 

Hope was a "very large" and "very strong" Wilmington, N. C., iron and steel paddlewheeler, called the "finest and fastest steamer in the trade" by one observer in Britain. She was procured there for the Confederate Government shortly before or after she left the Liverpool yard of Jones, Quiggin & Co. She was Hull No. 159, sister to the noted Colonel Lamb (q.v.), which she resembled except for the presence of the usual turtleback forward.

 

The name Hope was already well known from a recent blockade-runner. She could carry over 1,800 cotton bales on a draft of only 11 feet and possessed the safety factor of five watertight compartments—highly unusual in her day. She first appeared in U.S. consular dispatches 10 July as consigned to Fraser, Trenholm & Co., the Confederate Government "front" in Liverpool. USS Sacramento hurried over from Cork to Falmouth to try to capture Hope at sea but she reached Nassau unscatched early in August, having avoided Bermuda because of yellow fever raging there that summer.

 

Two fore-and-aft engines of 350 nominal horsepower, supplied by 4 boilers, gave Hope power to outrun most of her contemporaries. Yet she was cornered on 22 October 1864 by USS Eolus, trying to enter Cape Fear River; the loss of her cargo and particularly her mail bags was a blow to the Confederacy. A week later she was sighted near New York bound to Boston for adjudication, under a prize master.

 

An excellent model of Hope is on permanent display at Mariners Museum, Newport News, Va.