[From the Times-Dispatch, April 24, 1904.]
THE GOLD OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES TREASURY.
Guarded to Atlanta, Georgia, by the Naval Cadets.
[See Southern Historical Society Papers, Vol. IX, p. 542, et seq., and Vol. XXVI, p. 94, et seq.]
The following we take from the columns of the Confederate Veteran for April 1904. It is doubly interesting, because it gives some history of the formation of the Confederate Naval Cadet Battalion, and it deals with the transportation of the government gold from the time when it was taken from Richmond on the day of the evacuation until it was put into the bank vaults at Augusta, Ga. The author was Dr. John W. Harris, of Augusta, who died in 1890:
CONFEDERATE NAVAL CADETS.
It may not be known generally that the Confederate government had established and conducted through the last three years of its existence a regularly organized and well perfected naval school for the education of naval officers. Early in 1862 a prospectus appeared in one of the Richmond papers announcing the formation of an academy for the instruction of midshipmen; and soon after, by regular congressional appointments, the various districts of the Confederacy were enlisted.
The school was under the command of Captain William H. Parker, a lieutenant of the old service. Assistant instructors in the various departments were detailed, some of them ex-students of Annapolis, and others men of high scholarship selection from the army. The steamer Yorktown, which, a few months before had participated in the conflict of the Merrimac and the Monitor as a tender to the former ship, was fitted up, given the name of Patrick Henry, and anchored off the shore batteries at Drewry's Bluff, where the school was quartered in cottages built for the purpose. Here she remained for a short time, and was then towed up the river to within two miles of Richmond, where she lay for nearly a year, with the entire academy on board, and finally, about eight