Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Cross Dressing Confederate Officer

This entry from the Richmond Dispatch, describes an event that took place on June 28, 1861, the capture of the commercial ship the Saint Nicholas by Richard Thomas (Zarvona).

Richmond Dispatch, July 4, 1861
From Fredericksburg.
[special correspondence of the Dispatch.]
Fredericksburg, July 3, 1861.
Several very amusing incidents occurred on board the St. Nicholas before and after her seizure by Col. Thomas and his gallant followers. Among them, I will mention one which occurred after Capt. Hollins was taken on board at Point Lookout: The Captain (Hollins) was, as a matter of personal safety, disguised, and although well known to Captain Kirwan, was not recognized by him until after the freak of nature (!) which transformed the old French woman into the terror imparting Zouave, Col. Thomas. But before the disguises were thrown off, Capt. Kirwan observed "sly" winks passing between the French woman and the disguised naval officer, and very naturally thought he had discovered an intrigue, and called the attention of some of his friends, predicting "some fun." One can readily imagine his astonishment when the true state of affairs burst upon him, and he became familiar with the much-abused profession, privateering.

But the story doesn't end there.  A good account of the entire incident can be found at:  The Washington Times website

The French Lady taking off with the ship, From Harpers Weekly, July 27 1861

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