NORTH CAROLINA: Wreckage of Civil War Ship to become North Carolina’s First Heritage Dive Site
FORT FISHER — On Oct. 1, 1864, the blockade runner Condor, a falcon class ship built in Glasgow, Scotland, sank 700 yards shy of Fort Fisher in 25 feet of water. It carried dispatches for the Confederate government, 1,500 British gold sovereigns and the Confederate spy Rose Greenhow.
The ship lay under the protection of Fort Fisher’s guns, safe from the federal ships. The captain chose to wait until morning to launch the lifeboats and head safely to shore. Rose Greenhow was frantic to escape the ship, fearing execution as a spy.
Volunteers from the ship’s crew rowed Greenhow toward shore. A wave crashed over the lifeboat capsizing it, and Rose, along with the dispatches and the gold, drowned. She was the only life lost on that ship that night. She is buried among other war dead in Oakdale Cemetery.
Although Rose Greenhow’s dash for the beach ended with her death, and the Condor settled on the sand, that was not the end of the ship’s role in North Carolina’s history. Marine life took over the ship, giving it a ...
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