Photograph of John Newland Maffitt.
John Newland Maffitt (1819-1886) was born at sea when his parents were immigrating to the United States from Ireland. Maffitt was brought to North Carolina by an uncle who adopted him in the late 1820s. He held various positions in the U.S. Navy and also worked for the United States Coast Survey, spending nearly fourteen years mapping and charting coastal areas. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Maffitt resigned from the Navy and assumed command of the first Confederate blockade-runner Cecile, and then of the gunboat CSS Florida. As commander of the Florida, Maffitt lead the ship through many dangerous endeavors and ultimately captured twenty four ships. He was also commander of the CSS Albermarle and of the blockade runner Owl. At the end of the war, Maffitt refused to surrender the ship to federal authorities and sailed it to Britain to relinquish command. When he returned to North Carolina, he settled on a farm that he named the Moorings, located on the sound at Wrightsville Beach. Maffitt is buried in Oakdale Cemetery.
Blockade; Soldiers--Confederate States of America; Farmer
Alice B. Moore Sisson Collection, Sp. Coll. #1266
New Hanover County Public Library
Donated to the New Hanover County Public Library by Mr. and Mrs. William E. Sisson in June 2005
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