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Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: Volume 2., Captain Wilkes's seizure of Mason and Slidell. (search)
the Confederate cruiser Sumter (Captain Raphael Semmes). The Sumter, one of the first, if not the very first, of the regularly commissioned vessels of the Confederate navy, left New Orleans on the 18th of June, 1861 (see cut, p. 14), and, running the blockade, almost immediately began privateering operations. She was a screw steamer of 500 tons, and was armed with 5 guns — an 8-inch pivot, and 24-pound howitzers. She cruised for two months in the Caribbean Sea and along the coast of South America, receiving friendly treatment and coaling without hindrance in the neutral ports. During the succeeding two months she cruised in the Atlantic. On the night of the 23d of November, she ran out of the port of St. Pierre, Island of Martinique, eluding the Iroquois (Captain Palmer), which had been sent to search for her. At Gibraltar, having been effectually blockaded by the Tuscarora, she was sold, afterward becoming a blockade runner. Among the vessels sent in search of her were the Ni