Friday, November 14, 2008
A Civil War Riverboat Pilot
This is an old image of Captain John Jenkins of Apalachicola, Florida.
Jenkins was a prominent riverboat captain on the Apalachicola, Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers at the beginning of the War Between the States. He had only recently acquired a new shallow draft boat, the Jackson for use in navigating the Chipola River during high water and the Apalachicola and Chattahoochee during times of low water.
Jenkins became a valuable asset to Confederate war efforts in the region. He commanded civilian steamboats that had been converted for use as supply vessels and transports on the Apalachicola and Chattahoochee Rivers throughout the war. He was involved in ferrying troops and supplies up and down the rivers and his knowledge of the river and expertise with steamboats proved quite beneficial to Confederate army and navy officers assigned to defend the river.
After the war, he returned to civilian life as a riverboat captain.