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Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., chapter 48 (search)
better opportunities for obtaining plunder. Semmes knew how to manage his men, and that it was necessary to amuse them. Sailors are like children all the world over; and, although they must be governed with a firm hand, it is sometimes advisable to let them think that their wishes are consulted. Semmes never forgot the lessons taught by mutineers in times past, and he attempted to keep his sailors in a contented frame of mind by occasional concessions. Early on the morning of October 3d two sails were simultaneously reported from the Alabama's mast-head; but, as both ships were standing in the direction of the cruiser, there was no need to chase. They were running right into the spoiler's net, and suspected no danger until they were within gunshot, when the Alabama fired a gun and hoisted the flag that had carried such terror to the whale-ships of the Azores. These vessels were the Brilliant and Emily Farnum, both of New York, and both loaded with grain. The latter being what