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ntments 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.
within the limits prescribed by the laws of nations, and with due attention to the laws of humanity.
After long watching and waiting, Semmes made his escape to sea by the Pass à l'outre, while the Brooklyn was absent from that mouth of the river in chase of a vessel some eight miles to westward.
As soon as the black smoke of the Sumter was seen coming down the river, the