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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)
he opportunity of replenishing my military chest from the enemy. How readily he adopted that word enemy, when scarcely three months from the service of the Government that had fostered him for thirty-six years! We may be too sentimental on this point, but, no doubt, our feelings will be shared by many of our readers. There was no end to Semmes' trials and disappointments in his task of fitting out the Sumter, and the patience and energy he exhibited were worthy of a better cause. On June 3d, 1861, the ship was put in commission, and her commander gazed proudly on the Stars and Bars floating from her peak. Having received his sailing orders, Semmes dropped down to the forts preparatory to getting to sea past the blockading vessels at the mouths of the Mississippi — the Powhatan. Lieutenant D. D. Porter, at Southwest Pass, and the Brooklyn, Commander Charles H. Poor, at Pass à l'outre. Semmes' sailing orders were brief and to the purpose. He was to burn, sink and destroy. withi