[Report of Commodore D.B. Ridgely, commanding officer of side wheel steamer USS Santiago de Cuba, concerning the capture of Confederate blockade runner Columbia on 3 August 1862]
Key West, August 6, 1862
Sir: I have
the honor to report the capture of the Steamer Columbia,
on the 3d of August, by the Santiago de Cuba, cruising off the N.E.
Providence Channel. The Columbia was captured after a chase of six
hours, in latitude 28[degrees] N., longitude 76 [degrees] 35" W., the N.E. end of
Abaco bearing south, distant 75 miles. She had left Nassau the day
previous, ostensibly bound for St. Johns; was under British colors,
but had no register whatever.
She was loaded with contraband and munitions of war, cannon
rifles, powder, shell, cartridges, army blankets, and iron plates. She
is a new, fast propeller, of iron, provided with ports, and probably
intended for a Confederate gunboat. This is her first attempt at run-
ning the blockade, and she had on board Charleston, Savannah, and
Bahama pilots. Her captain, officers, and passengers claim generally
to be British subjects.
Thinking these facts justified a seizure, I took possession of and
sent her into this port for adjudication, under charge of a prize master
I send herewith a list of officers and men belonging to the Santiago
de Cuba at the time of the capture, no other vessel of war being in
Commander, U.S. Navy
Hon. Gideon Welles,
Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D.C.
Source: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. Series 1, vol. 17 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1903): 296.