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Southern States Confiscate Federal Property and Facilities

When it became clear that secession was at hand, individual Southern states began occupying Federal forts and taking control of arsenals and other important property.  Three US Mints were taken, post offices, seacoast forts, six US Revenue Cutters and lighthouses and  lighthouse tenders.

Only four coastal defense forts were never siezed.  They were Fortress Monroe at the tip if the Virginia Peninsula, and Ft. Wool ( previously called Ft. Calhoun) in the center of the entrance to Hampton Roads, Ft. Taylor at Key West, Ft. Pickens at Pensacola.  These posts helped immensely in imposing the Union Blockade.

The Revenue Cutters and Lighthouse  tenders served as blockade runners and various other duties including siezing federal commercial shipping early in the war.  Seizing the lighthouses themselves undermined blockading efforts and often the lights were moved in the effort to force Union ships on the rocks.

Seizing post offices and the postage therin generatred some revenue during the early months until The US Postmaster General declared all current postage invalid and reissued new stamps. 

The mints taken were in Charlotte, NC, New Orleans, LA and Dahlonaga, Georgia.  These facilities netted the Southern States gold and silver stocks as well as already minted coinage.

Arsenals seized netted small arms, and field artillery ans well as supplies and tooling.  The Harpers Ferry Arsenal was one of the two most technologically advanced production facilities in America.  The tooling was rtemoved to Richmond for the most part after Virginia seceded.

The cost to the Union ran into the millions of dollars.   


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