Jenkins: Confederate Blockade Runner
This novel opens by following a trio of characters -– C. T. Jenkins, Lucy Davey, and John Peabody Colburn – in much biographical detail through their lives in pre-Civil War Florida. After the war begins, emphasis shifts to the troubles brought about by Union’s implementation of the Anaconda Plan (a blockade devised by Lincoln’s general of the Armies and initiated in May 1862 to defeat the South by squeezing their commercial activities). C. T.’s personal involvement in running the blockade, his last voyage, and his capture are described briefly. The remainder of the book is devoted to the hardships endured by C. T., his wife, the former Eliza Colburn, her mother and assorted others followed by his release and the group’s ultimate return to relative normalcy.
The author has provided an interesting story that does not present much in the way of ‘adventure’ in the more active ‘derring-do’ form. However, it is an interesting picture of the seldom described pre- and Civil War period in Florida and includes quite complete descriptions of many of the feminine fashions and preferred activities for women of the time that should be most appealing to the reader whose interests lie in this area.