In 1862 I ran the blockade at Charleston and proceeded to Europe, where I was detailed to the Confederate commerce destroyer (by some called pirate) Georgia. I was 16 years of age and a midshipman. I had been in many battles and considered myself a veteran—if experience in actual war makes a veteran I surely was one. I was away from the Confederacy for two years, and then, returning to my native land, ran through the blockade again, this time at Wilmington. When I received my new orders I hoped that I would at least find instructions to report aboard a small gunboat as a watch officer, for naval officers were scarce in the South. One can imagine my consternation and disappointment when I discovered that I was to be sent to school! I wondered if the Secretary of the Navy knew that I was all of 18 years of age, and that I was engaged to be married. I fretted and fumed, but now know that if there was one thing I needed more than another, it was a little schooling.
A Realistic War College
By J.M. Morgan