|Name:||Montana (aka Nola, Gloria, and Paramount)|
|Fate:||Sank, 30 December 1863|
|Type:||Side-wheel paddle steamer|
|Displacement:||750 long tons (762 t)|
|Length:||236 ft (72 m)|
|Beam:||25 ft (7.6 m)|
|Propulsion:||2 × 260 nhp oscillating cylinder steam engines|
|Speed:||15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)|
The vessel was intended for operation as a blockade runner supplying Confederate Forces in the American Civil War. It was on its maiden voyage from London, headed ultimately for Wilmington in North Carolina. She was carrying cargo from Britain to help the Confederates. Britain could not be seen to be directly aiding the Confederates, hence various levels of secrecy were used for this and similar vessels. For example, at the time she was using an assumed name of Nola, a ruse to help avoid the attention of Union forces. She had used at least two other names at various times, namely the Gloria, and Paramount.
Captain Pittman was in command of the vessel, and saw her safely across a rough Atlantic Ocean as far as Bermuda, where Pittman planned to stop to take on coal before departing for Wilmington. The ship hit the reef of Bermuda's north shore, in an area known as the Western Blue Cut on 30 December 1863.
Once the vessel was known to be in distress, a boat from St Georges was sent to the scene, and whilst much of the cargo and the entire crew was saved, the Montana was lost, mostly due to a large gash in her side of over ten feet.
The wreck is quite compact within the Bermudian reef system to the north west of the island, and it lies in relatively shallow water, at a maximum depth of about thirty feet. The wreck has various parts still intact, however it is easy to confuse with another wreck, that of the Constellation, which sank in the same location in 1942.
It is a popular dive spot for many of the local dive operators, as it lies within a 45 minute boat journey of Hamilton, and in such shallow waters it can be appreciated by both snorkelling, and scuba diving.
Montana is located at 32°21.817′N, 64°54.812′W.
- Bermuda Dive Sites (no ISBN) produced by The Bermuda Zoological Society and The Department of Conservations Services.
- Bermuda Shipwrecks Daniel and Denise Berg, published by Aqua-Explorers Inc ISBN 0-9616167-4-1, 199 1 (LCCC 90-084836)