June 10, 1865

A ship carrying soldiers who had fought for the North in the Civil War under General William Tecumsah Sherman went aground on Smith’s Point in 1865. The ship, SS Satacona, grounded in a thick fog near the head of Hither Creek. For some of the ship’s passengers, this would be their second wreck in two days. The soldiers had been on the troopship Admiral Dupont when it collided with the Satacona and sank off Cape May, NJ on June 8.

The first word Nantucket citizens had of the mishap was when the soldiers marched through town and onto a steamship that was preparing to sail for the mainland. Citizens scrambled to provide food for the soldiers before the boat departed. When the two vessels collided, a steam tug from New York was sent to assist the stranded Satacona and she continued on her journey with the Union soldiers aboard.

The Admiral Dupont was a former a blockade-runner that had been repurposed as a government transport ship. Originally named Anglia, she was renamed Admiral DuPont in 1863. The ship was an iron side-wheel steamship that served the North successfully until she was captured by rebels in South Carolina in 1862. After adjudication by the U.S. Prize Court, the Admiral DuPont was sold to new owners in 1863.

Excerpted from On This Day In Nantucket History
By Amy Jenness
The History Press
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The Nantucket Historical Association preserves and interprets the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.

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