The Denbigh's Civilian Imports: Customs Records of a Civil War Blockade Runner between Mobile and Havana, J. Barto Arnold III, Institute of Nautical Archaeology, 512 pages, paperback, 2011, $40.00
The Denbigh Shipwreck Project Publication Number 5 offers customs forms and invoices revealed details of everyday life during the Civil War, January and June 1864. Hundreds of small orders for individually identified families as well as orders for merchants. The invoices presented might just as well be answers for survey questions to the lady of the house such as, “What six items would you like us to bring you from the general store in Havana ?”
A typical invoice might contain 20 yds. of fabric for new clothes, 6 pairs of children’s shoes, 10 lbs. of fancy tea, and 200 cigars. The book offers an amazing look into the import business during wartime and fascinating details on those Southerners who could afford them.
Bottom Image Source: Robert Oreg