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William Tilghman
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Ships Cook Saves American Schooner from Confederate Raiders

William Tilghman, a black man, was serving as ship's cook aboard the American schooner SJ Waring on July 6, 1861, when she was captured  by the Confederate Privateer Jefferson Davis off the east coast of  the United States.  The Confederates who had placed a prize crew  aboard, also kept the ship's cook William Tilghman aboard and set sail for a Southern port.  Tilghman knew that he faced a future of enslavement or perhaps worse. On 16 July, at night when most of the small prize crew was asleep, he took an ax and killed the Mate, one by one he finished off the rest of the prize crew.  He then sailed the ship North and arrived at New York on July 22, 1861.  It is reported that he received a hero's welcome and a six thousand dollar award for his action 


Byron W. Childress  

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