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reader has seen that we have been steering to the S. E., diminishing both latitude, and longitude, and if he will look upon the chart of the Caribbean Sea, he will perceive, that we are approaching Cape San Antonio, the south end of the island of Cuba; but he can scarcely conjecture what sort of a cruise I had marked out for myself. The Secretary of the Navy, in those curt sailing orders which we have already seen, had considerately left me carte blanche as to cruising-ground, but as I was to ughfares of his trade. I accordingly set my eye on Cape St. Roque, in Brazil, which may be said to be the great turning-point of the commerce of the world. My intention was to make a dash, of a few days, at the enemy's ships on the south side of Cuba, coal at some convenient point, stretch over to Barbadoes, coal again, and then strike for the Brazilian coast. It is with this view, that the Sumter is now running for the narrow outlet, that issues from the Gulf of Mexico, between Cape Antonio,
were steaming, as before, up the south side of Cuba, with the land plainly in sight, and soon came ared that one of the brigantines was called the Cuba, and the other the Machias; that they were bothvily laden vessels, we cast off one of them—the Cuba—during the night and directed the prizemaster to make sail, and follow us into port. The Cuba did not rejoin us, and we afterward learned through the conduct of Spain, whose important island of Cuba lay, as it were, athwart our main gateway to thrizes of war. These vessels are the brigantines Cuba, The Cuba was hourly expected to arrive, butCuba was hourly expected to arrive, but, as the reader has seen, was recaptured, and did not make her appearance. Machias, Ben. Dunning, Alcommand, to represent. I have sought a port of Cuba, with these prizes, with the expectation that S was, that I had violated the neutral waters of Cuba, and captured my three last prizes within the muse of thy coast of the Ever Faithful Island of Cuba, chasing vessels on shore, and burning them, in[2 more...]<
ehalf of the Confederate States of America, of the following prizes, to wit: The Cuba, Machias, Ben. Dunning, Albert Adams, Naiad, West Wind, and Louisa Kilham, and t anxiously, for the last few hours, for the arrival of our prize brigantine, the Cuba, but she failed to make her appearance, and I was forced to abandon the hope of agent, the following letter of instructions for the midshipman in command of the Cuba. Confederate States steamer Sumter, Cienfuegos, July 7, 1861. Sir:—Upon your arrival at this place, you will put the master, mate, and crew of the Cuba on parole, not to serve against the Confederate States, during the present war, unmiles from the land, and with the Northern claimants, and the Captain-General of Cuba, that they were less than three miles from it, about his baggage, I have never l the reader, in one of the opening chapters, it was my intention to proceed from Cuba, to Barbadoes, there recoal, and thence make the best of my way to Cape St. Roqu
told the pilot, and several gentlemen from the shore, in great confidence, that I am going back to cruise on the coast of Cuba. The packet will of course take that intelligence to St. Thomas. July 23d.—Still coaling, refitting and painting. Weath of June, that ship giving us chase. On the morning of the 3d of July, I doubled Cape Antonio, the western extremity of Cuba, and, on the same day, captured, off the Isle of Pines, the American ship, Golden Rocket, belonging to parties in Bangor, s, and worth between thirty and forty thousand dollars. I burned her. On the next day, the 4th, I captured the brigantines Cuba and Machias, both of Maine, also. They were laden with sugars. I sent them to Cienfuegos, Cuba. On the 5th of July, I cwill take charge of the prize bark, Joseph Maxwell, and proceed, with her, to some port on the south side of the island of Cuba, say St. Jago, Trinidad, or Cienfuegos. I think it would be safest for you to go into Cienfuegos, as the enemy, from the
s of grand cathedrals, and in the quiet retreat of the country house, where the good wife herself had improvised the altar. A detachment of the Government troops was present. Some Dutch naval lieutenants visited the ship to-day. We learn, by late papers from Barbadoes, politely brought us by these gentlemen, that the enemy's steamer, Keystone State, was in that island, in search of us, on the 21st of July. She probably heard, there, of my intention to go back to cruise off the island of Cuba, which, as the reader has seen, I confidentially communicated to my friends at Curacoa, and has turned back herself. If she were on the right track she should be here before this. There was great commotion, too, as we learn by these papers, at Key West, on the 8th of July, when the news reached there of our being at Cienfuegos. Consul Shufeldt, at Havana, had been prompt, as I had foreseen. We entered Cienfuegos on the 6th, and on the 8th, he had two heavy and fast steamers, the Niagara a
e knocked her into pie, as the printers say, before the majestic old thing could turn round. It was in the morning watch, when holystones and sand, and scrubbing-brushes and soap were the order of the hour, and we surprised the stranger, consequently, in her morning dishabille, for her rigging was filled with scrubbed hammocks, and a number of well-filled clothes-lines were stretched between her main and mizzen shrouds. She proved to be Spanish; and was steering apparently for the island of Cuba. We observed to-day in latitude 20° 7′; the longitude, as told by our faithful chronometer, being 57° 12′. By the way, one of my amusements, now, was to wind and compare a number of chronometers, daily. The nautical instruments were almost the only things, except provisions, and clothing for the crew, that we could remove from our prizes. I never permitted any other species of property to be brought on board. We had no room for it, and could not have disposed of it, except by violating<
ult circumstances by which I was surrounded and embarrassed. Enclosed is a copy of my order to Midshipman Armstrong, and a list of the officers and men left on board the ship. A brief summary of the services of the Sumter, and of what became of her, may not be uninteresting to the reader, who has followed her thus far, in her wanderings. She cruised six months, leaving out the time during which she was blockaded in Gibraltar. She captured seventeen ships, as follows: the Golden Rocket, Cuba, Machias, Ben. Dunning, Albert Adams, Naiad, Louisa Kilham, West Wind, Abby Bradford, Joseph Maxwell, Joseph Parke, D. Trowbridge, Montmorency, Arcade, Vigilant, Eben Dodge, Neapolitan, and Investigator. It is impossible to estimate the damage done to the enemy's commerce. The property actually destroyed formed a very small proportion of it. The fact alone of the Sumter being upon the seas, during these six months, gave such an alarm to neutral and belligerent shippers, that the enemy's carr
mself with untiring zeal to the welfare of his stricken crew, without intermission, by night or by day. On the fifth day after leaving Green Key, the Florida found herself off the little island of Anguila. By this time the epidemic had reduced her working crew to one fireman, and four deck hands. It was now no longer possible to keep the sea, and Maffitt evading the blockade of the enemy—a happy chance having drawn them off in chase—ran his ship into the port of Cardenas, in the island of Cuba. Here he was received kindly by the authorities and citizens, but as the yellow fever was epidemic on shore, no medical aid could be obtained. Stribling was now dispatched to Havana for a surgeon, and to ship a few men, if possible. Helpless and sad, the suffering little crew awaited his return. One by one, the officers were attacked by the disease, until Maffitt was left almost alone, to nurse, and administer remedies to the patients. But things were not yet at their worst. On the 13th
Confederate ports thus hermetically sealed to me, but the ports of neutrals had also been closed against me, as the reader has seen, by unfriendly proclamations and orders in council. In short, during my whole career upon the sea, I had not so much as a single port open to me, into which I could send a prize. What was expected of me under these circumstances? I had shown every disposition, as the reader has seen, to avoid the necessity of burning my prizes. I had sent prizes, both into Cuba and Venezuela, with the hope that at least some of the nations of the earth would relent, and let me in; but the prizes were either handed over to the enemy, on some fraudulent pretext, or expelled. Unlike Jones, I had no alternative. There was nothing left for me but to destroy my prizes, and this course had been forced upon me, by the nations of the earth. How senseless and unjust, then, was the clamor raised against me on this subject; especially in the light of the precedents which the
Wells, as he states—by which he means, probably, that we deprived him of his chronometer and nautical instruments; for the mere personal effects of a prisoner, as the reader has already been informed, were never disturbed. We burned the ship. On the next day, the weather being thick and rainy, and the Alabama being about two hundred miles from New York, we chased and captured the brig Baron de Castine, from Bangor, in Maine, and bound, with a load of lumber, to Cardenas, in the island of Cuba. This vessel being old, and of little value, I released her on ransom-bond, and sent her into New York, with my prisoners, of whom I had now a large number on board. I charged the master of this ship, to give my special thanks to Mr. Low, of the New York Chamber of Commerce, for the complimentary resolutions he had had passed, in regard to the Alabama. The more the enemy abused me, the more I felt complimented, for it is the galled jade only that winces. There must have been a merry mess
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