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Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 45: the cruise of the Sumter and the havoc she committed. (search)
onfederates. All Semmes cared for was to obtain a stock of coal and provisions, and these not being considered contraband of war were freely furnished. Semmes met with some opposition from the authorities, but he bore his trials with meekness, for he knew that the heavy guns commanding the harbor could soon be manned, and were too formidable to trifle with. Nor could he tell how soon a British man-of-war might come into port with orders for the Governor to detain the Sumter. On the 25th of August the Sumter sailed from Trinidad bound for Maranham. So far, nothing had been heard of a United States vessel-of-war. The slow old frigate Powhatan was following on the track of the marauder, never missing a port at which the Sumter had stopped. But for defective boilers the Powhatan would have overtaken the Sumter at Maranham. It must have given the inhabitants of the places Semmes visited a poor idea of the power of the Federal Government, to see the Sumter roving at will, with no o