Jeff Davis Privateer and William Tilghman

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Here the Jeff Davis Privateer...


Jefferson Davis (Confederate Privateer Brig, 1861).
Also known as Jeff Davis

Jefferson Davis , a 187-ton brig, was built in Baltimore, Maryland, in about 1845 as the merchant vessel Putnam . As the slaver Echo , she was captured off Cuba on 21 August 1858 by USS Dolphin . Sold by the U.S. Government in January 1859 to a Charleston, South Carolina, owner, she regained the name Putnam . In May 1861, after the outbreak of the Civil War, Putnam was renamed Jefferson Davis (or Jeff Davis ) and was commissioned as a Confederate privateer in mid-June. She left Charleston later in that month to begin an effective commerce-raiding cruise off the U.S. east coast, capturing nine merchant sailing vessels. Three of these were recaptured, three were released, one was burned and two, able to reach port in the Confederacy, were auctioned for the benefit of the privateer's owners and crew. While attempting to enter harbor at Saint Augustine, Florida, in mid-August 1861, Jefferson Davis went aground and was lost.


One of those ship was recapture by a black crew member...

Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 1861, depicting the recapture of the schooner S.J. Waring on 16 July 1861.
S.J. Waring had been captured by the Confederate privateer Jefferson Davis in the Atlantic on 6 July 1861. Ten days later, her African-American cook, William Tilghman, overwhelmed and killed her Confederate prize crew with an ax. He brought her into New York on 22 July 1861.

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Here is a more detail story of Tilghman retaking of the S.J. Waring...


The confederates put a five man prize crew on Tillman’s ship and turned her south, toward Charleston. Now, each day at sea beat down on Tillman like a hammer. An overwhelming sense of dread, however, was gradually replaced by iron-willed resolve. Tillman, in concert, with a handful of passengers hatched a bold plan.
 

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Here more on Tilghman after he arrived in New York...


Booker T. Washington called him “brave as a lion,” and Horace Greeley wrote in the New York Daily Tribune that the “nation was indebted to this black steward for the first vindication of its [the Union] honor on the sea.” Many were saying that William Tillman was “responsible for producing the Union’s first naval victory of the war.”
 

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Tilghman disappears form History...


Tillman wed housekeeper Julia Prophet on January 15, 1863.[1] The couple had one son, Frederick (c. 1869 – ?).[17] He registered for conscription in June of the same year but it is not known if he actually performed military service during the Civil War.[18] The date and place of his death are unknown; historian Gerald Henig asserts that "no verifiable evidence" exists to account for Tillman's final years.
 
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