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Boston

 

(ScTug: dr. 6'-9' est.)

 

Boston was a U.S. naval towboat captured by Acting Master James Duke, CSN, in a famous exploit, 8 June 1863 in Pass a l'Outre, La. Duke and his men left Mobile in a launch, 28 May, and returned there in triumph in Boston, 11 June, with 19 prisoners—crewmen from three captured ships; the other two, barks Lenox and Texana, were burned and sunk. From the latter part of August 1863 until the next February the Federal blockading squadron was keeping close watch outside Mobile to intercept Boston, believed to be armed as a privateer [see Annex I] with 2 to 5 boat howitzers, hull "painted lead color" and ready to escape with "a double crew of 56 men" through Grant's Pass. She had been lengthened about 25 feet, but delayed by fire damage on the ways a mile above Mobile; when this was done is not altogether clear, nor is there agreement on Boston's speed and draft among Union sources, on which we now depend largely for data on her. Capt. Thornton A. Jenkins, USN, commanding off Mobile in mid-January 1863 thought she "appeared to be fast (when seen in the bay)". It is not fully established whether this was the Boston that fell prize 8 July 1864, between Bermuda and Wilmington, to USS Fort Jackson.[cf. Cutter Teaser infra]