States steamer Sumter, at sea, July 27, 1861. midshipman and prize-master Wm. A. Hicks:—
You will 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 very fact of our having been there, recently, will scarcely be on the look for us a second time.
The steamers which were probably sent thither from Havana in pursuit of the Sumter must, long since, have departed, to hunt her in some other quarter.
Upon your arrival, you will inform the Governor, or Commandant of the Port, of the fact, state to him that your vessel is the prize of a ship of war, and not of a privateer, and ask leave for her to remain in port, in charge of a prize agent, until she can be adjudicated by a prize court of the Confederate States.
Should he grant you this request, you will, if you go into Cienfuegos, put the vess
s 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 and the Crusader, in pursuit of us. They, too, seem to have lost the trail.
August 28th.—Bright, elastic morning, with a gentle breeze from the south-east.
There was a grand fandango, on shore, last night, at which some of my officers were present.
The fun grew fast and furious, as the night waned, and what with the popping of champagne-corks, and the