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A. D. Vance

 

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A. D. Vance, often written Advance, was the former Clyde packet Lord Clyde, built by Caird & Co., Greenock. She was owned in large part by the State of North Carolina and named in honor of a leading North Carolinian; some portion of her ownership rested in Power, Lord & Co.—a Fayetteville newspaper once stated two-thirds— but she was locally considered a public vessel.

 

A. D. Vance was one of the most successful blockade runners and her loss, after more than 20 voyages and 40-odd hairbreadth escapes, was a blow keenly felt by the State. Gov. Zebulon B. Vance attributed her capture, 10 September 1864, to use of low grade North Carolina bituminous coal and denounced Secretary Mallory for giving the stockpile of smokeless anthracite to Tallahassee so that none was left for Advance to run out of Wilmington safely: Writing 3 January 1865, Vance complained, "Why a State struggling for the common good, to clothe and provide for its troops in the public service, should meet with no more favor than a blockade gambler passes my comprehension."

 

She was commanded by Capt. Tom Crossan when taken by USS Santiago de Cuba, becoming USS Advance and eventually Frolic. Lt. John J. Guthrie, CSN, commander of Chattahoochee at the time of her disaster, was her earlier captain.