Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Ptarmigan (side-wheel steamer)

(SwStr: t. 284; l. 270'; b. 24'; dr. 7'; sp. 15-18 k.; cpl. 50; cl. Condor)

Ptarmigan, later Evelyn, was probably the last of the Condor class of fast, triple-funneled, sloop-rigged paddle Steamers delivered to the Confederate Navy through Comdr. James D. Bulloch, CSN, in the United Kingdom. She was ready about October 1864 and is conjectured to have reached the Confederacy via Halifax and Bermuda before December, with invaluable munitions and "a large quantity of medicines." She is known to have made at least four runs into the Gulf in 1865, apparently from Havana or Nassau to Galveston.

Her name change some time during this period has made her record the more elusive and was undoubtedly a part of a blockade runner's repertoire of disguises. In Halifax 27 October she was still Ptarmigan; in Bermuda, 16 November, she was Evelyn and acquired a coat of white paint the better to conceal her movements. Her crew had a siege with yellow fever at Bermuda, along with the men of Flamingo, her sister, during that autumn, but the ship seems to have gotten underway again and is believed to have survived the war.