In April of 1861, the U.S. Navy formed a blockade of Confederate ports, which lasted the duration of the war. This blockade effectively strangled the Confederacy, and was largely responsible for the Union's victory over the seceded states. Blockade running became an enormous naval industry. The principal transfer points were Nassau and Bermuda in the West Indies. The captain's fee was a minimal two cents, a pittance considering the risk involved. His profit, of course, was derived not from the mails, but from the high-priced goods he smuggled from abroad.