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Page) you all over the world; this fact alone should teach you the
importance the enemy attach to your capture. You are well thought of by our own
Government and throughout Europe. Almost every newspaper I see contains some
flattering notice of the Sumter; and the time will come when it will be thought
no little credit to have served on her. Now, any of you who wish to leave can do
so. I will not send officers in the boats to watch you. I do not wish to command
a prison ship. I would much rather a man would desert our flag now, in port,
than desert his gun in time of action. I will not have such men: I can dispense
with all such dross." Then, after calling upon several of the men, upon whom he
conferred rates for their good conduct, he ordered all hands to be piped down.
The captain's address was delivered with deep emotion, and evidently had the
effect of buoying up the spirits of those who were dispirited, if any there
were. The United States Consul offers tempting inducements to all who will
desert the Sumter. He has runners who besiege every boat we send ashore, and who
employ every means (except force) to persuade the men to leave.
January 17.—Owing to our
inability to procure what we required in Cadiz we sailed thence to Gibraltar,
only eighty miles distant, which we will reach to-morrow. The conduct of the
Spaniards toward us has been so vacillating as to be the source of much
annoyance. The day after the arrival of the Sumter objection was made to her
remaining longer than twenty-four hours. To the order to leave our commander
answered that the Queen's proclamation did not apply to vessels in distress;
that he would not endanger the lives of his command by going to sea in the
condition his vessel was then in. In order to force him to respect this mandate
a mammoth frigate was menacingly stationed near the Sumter. When the hour for
our departure came the Spaniards magnanimously granted us permission to remain.
Next she was hauled into one of the Government docks, the officials as polite as
Parisians, and seemingly fearful of their inability to pay sufficient deference
to our commander. After undergoing slight repairs the Sumter was towed down to
the city. Here she procured a supply of water, but not a bucket of coal, the
sale of it being positively forbidden. The commander was again ordered to leave
within two hours. Six hours thereafter the authorities notified him verbally
that he could remain and get every thing he required. He replied that he desired
nothing from the Spaniards, and would have no further intercourse with them. The
written permission of the authorities was promised and declined. Soon after the
messenger had left the ship we got under way. When abreast of the outer port the
Sumter was hailed by a row-boat, the oarsmen bending to their work as though
their lives depended on the delivery of the huge papers held aloft by an
official in the bow of the boat. Great must have been his astonishment on
learning that this document was not worth stopping for!
January 18.—We are under the guns
of Gibraltar the impregnable. We did not make the harbor until after nightfall,
having been detained overhauling a couple of Yankees—the barks Neapolitan and
Investigator. The crew of the former were transferred to the latter, when, after
taking from her her papers and colors, she proceeded on her voyage. The
Investigator's cargo was consigned to English merchants—hence her release. While
we were taking from the Neapolitan what was necessary for the ship's use we
drifted within three miles of the coast of Morocco, where she was burned. Soon
after we anchored the senior naval officer of this station sent off a boat
tendering his respects, and inquiring if he could be of any service to the
commander of the Sumter.
January 19.—We have received
numerous visitors from the British steam-frigate Scylla. They expressed surprise
that so small a craft should create such a noise in the world. The old saying,
that birds of a feather will flock together, is well exemplified in the visits
of men-of-war's men to each other.
January 21.—The bark
Investigator, after she was released by the Sumter, on the 18th, put into this
port and landed the crew of the Neapolitan. She sailed to-day for Liverpool. As
soon as the Sumter arrived the commander was notified that he would not be
permitted to land any prisoners of war. As passengers, however, there was no
objection to landing them from the bark!
February 12.—The United States
gun-boat Tuscarora, which for several weeks has been watching the Confederate
States steamer Nashville at Southampton, made her appearance here about noon.
She is sent hither to watch the Sumter, and is now at anchor about half a mile
astern of us. She is a new vessel, nearly three times the size of the Sumter,
and carries nine guns, two of them of the heaviest calibre known to the Northern
navy. However, she is not too big to be eluded.
February 13.—The Tuscarora has
steamed over to the Spanish side. This Captain Craven no doubt considers a
shrewd move, for, being in Spanish waters, he will have the right to leave at
the same hour that the Sumter does.
February 21.—The paymaster of the
Sumter left here in a French steamer, on the 18th, for Cadiz. He was accompanied
by a Southerner, who was formerly United States Vice-Consul at Cadiz, but
resigned on the inauguration of the rail-splitting President of the Northern
Confederacy. The steamer stopped at Tangiers, in Morocco, and these two
gentlemen went ashore, when they were arrested by a posse of soldier-policemen,
and dragged to the residence of the United States Consul, where they were
incarcerated in irons, as though they were guilty of a heinous crime. With
Morocco, as with most Mahommedan countries, Christian powers have stipulated
that their citizens and subjects shall not be amenable to the laws of the
Moslem, but remain under the jurisdiction of the representatives of their
respective Governments. These gentlemen had, of course, no suspicion that such
an act could be perpetrated in the territory of a neutral power, notwithstanding
the existence of this
custom, or they never would have
exposed themselves to the treatment they have experienced.
February 22.—A letter has been
received from the paymaster, announcing that he had made his escape, but was
afterward recaptured. He states that his treatment is of the harshest kind, and
is rendered still more unendurable by many indignities.
February 23.—We raised steam
to-day to go alongside of a coal-ship. While the vessel was being unmoored an
accident occurred to one of the boilers, of so serious a nature as to compel us
to postpone taking in our supply of coals for a few days. The boilers are
well-nigh worn out.
February 24.—By the last steamer
from England we are in receipt of the London Times of a recent date, containing
statements made by Captains Smith, Minott, and Hoxie, whose vessels—the Arcade,
Vigilant, and Eben Dodge—were captured and destroyed at sea on the Sunter's
passage across the Atlantic. They complain of the filthy condition of the
vessel, and of their being messed with the petty officers. Now the truth is that
they messed with the warrant officers, whose mess-room, although situated
forward, on the orlop deck, was as comfortable and commodious as the size of the
ship would allow. For obvious reasons they were not quartered in the cabin or
ward-room. When the Eben Dodge, Captain Hoxie's ship, was captured, she was in a
sinking condition. Her men were so worn at the pump that half of them were
helpless, and their health was as carefully attended to by our surgeon and his
assistant as that of our own men. Captain Hoxie also complained that his crew
were robbed of all their clothing except one suit. The Eben Dodge had an outfit
of clothing for three years. This clothing was the property of the owners of the
ship, put aboard to be served out to the crew as they might require it, and to
be charged to their respective accounts. The Dodge, when captured, became the
property of the Confederate States, with all her tackle and stores;
nevertheless, the crew were permitted to retain two suits besides those they
wore at the time of capture.
February 28.—Several days ago a
large sailing war-vessel made her appearance off this harbor. She bears the
Stars and Stripes, and appears to be heavily armed. She sailed to-day.
March 1.—The unknown war-vessel
spoken of above is the United States sloop-of-war Ino, 23 guns. When she left
yesterday she sailed across the strait to Tangiers, and took aboard the
pay-master of the Sumter. She afterward returned and anchored in Spanish waters,
off Algeciras, whence she sailed to-day for the States, leaving to the Tuscarora
the pleasant duty of looking after the Sumter. The Ino is said to be a
merchantman transformed into a war-vessel. The intention of the shrewd Secretary
of the Northern Navy was to send her into the Mediterranean, where she would be
likely to encounter the Sumter. The Sumter, of course, would drop alongside of
her, thinking her an ordinary merchant ship, when the batteries of the Ino would
open on her, and, with a single broadside, blow the Sumter into a million of
March 10.—There has been
considerable movement among the Northern war-vessels in these and adjacent
waters during the past few days. The Kearsarge, Commander Pickering, seven guns,
which arrived at Algeciras on the 7th, steamed over and anchored astern of us on
the following day. Being ordered to leave yesterday, she returned to the Spanish
side. Her guns were all run in, and the ports closed, but at every air and light
port a dozen heads could be seen, every eye strained to catch a glimpse of the
little blockade-runner. The Kearsarge may be a stronger ship, and better armed
and more numerously manned than the Sumter, but we can beat the Yankees singing.
Our old friend the Tuscarora now lies just outside the neutral ground in Spanish
waters, having been ordered away from this side. The Flambeau is at Tangiers,
and another Northern war-vessel, name unknown, is reported cruising about the
mouth of the Mediterranean.
March 14.—After nightfall
yesterday an armed sailing-vessel, flying the Stars and Stripes, in attempting
to enter the harbor of Algeciras, was fired at twice. She then wore ship, and
stood over to this side of the bay and anchored near the neutral ground. This
morning she sailed over to Algeciras. The supposed cause of her being fired on
is her violation of the port regulation forbidding the entry of vessels after
April 3.—By late advices from the
United States we learn that a general naval court-martial had been convened in
the Federal capital, and among the cases tried were those of the commanders of
the Brooklyn and Keystone State, the offense of the first being his permitting
the Sumter to leave the Mississippi River and go to sea while his vessel was
stationed there to blockade one of the mouths of that river. It was proved in
evidence that the Brooklyn was in an unseaworthy condition; that her boilers
were unsafe under a full head of steam; and that she was in chase of another
vessel at the time the Sumter made her escape. If the Brooklyn was not
sea-worthy, why was she retained as one of the blockading fleet? It is a
well-known fact that the Brooklyn was one of the strongest and fleetest vessels
belonging to the Northern navy, and was, on the 30th of last June, in complete
order in every respect. The commander of the Keystone State was not so
fortunate. It was proved that he was in possession of authentic information
respecting the whereabouts of the Sumter; that she was at the time lying at
anchor in the Surinam River, near Paramaribo, Dutch Guiana; that she was poorly
armed, and not fully manned; and that there was no excuse whatever for his not
meeting her and giving her battle. The commander of the Keystone State was
sentenced to be cashiered accordingly.
April 8.—Owing to the Sumter's
boilers being completely worn out—they having been patched so often that no
reliance can be placed in them—our commander has determined to disband and pay
off his crew, and lay up the old ship until the
expiration of the war. This news
is received on all hands with great joy. We are heartily sick of the life of
inactivity we have been leading for the past three months, though much regret
will be felt at leaving the old ship which has carried us over so many miles of
ocean and through so many perils.
April 9.—Paying off and
disbanding the crew was commenced to-day. A portion of the crew was sent ashore
this afternoon, and the balance will follow them to-morrow. In leaving the
Sumter many pleasant associations are broken up—many cherished friends are
separated. There is not a single man on her but who entertains for our old
commander a sincere respect, and would be willing to follow him any where.
April 10.—Yesterday the paymaster
finished paying off the crew, with the exception of eleven men who remain on
board to take care of the ship.
THIS DAY PUBLISHED.
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