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John Wilkinson

(1821—1891)


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(1821–1891) U.S. and Confederate naval officer. Born in Norfolk, Virginia, John Wilkinson entered the U.S. navy as a midshipman in 1837. He rose to the rank of lieutenant before resigning his commission in April 1861, and he then accepted the same rank in the Confederate service. He was captured in the fall of New Orleans but was exchanged in August 1862. He then went to England to buy and equip the blockade-runner Robert E. Lee, one of the most successful of the war. Many of his deceptive tactics were adopted by other blockade runners and became standard practice. He later commanded the raiders Chickamauga and Chameleon. He lived in Nova Scotia for a while after the war before returning to Virginia.

From The Oxford Essential Dictionary of the U.S. Military in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Warfare and Defence.


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