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Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 36: operations of the South Atlantic Squadron under Rear-Admiral Dahlgren, 1863.--operations in Charleston harbor, etc. (search)
ing but agreeable to the American people, yet that Government would have entered upon the fulfillment of their threats with misgivings — the growth of former disappointments in the War of 1812. Aside from his recently acquired renown, there was no officer in the United States Navy better known abroad than Rear-Admiral DuPont. Many years of his life had been passed in the Mediterranean Squadron, where he traveled and made many European friends. He had commanded one of our best squadrons in China and Japan, and his bland manners, high standing as an officer, general knowledge on all subjects, in and out of his profession, made him an authority to whom foreign officers deferred. He was as well posted in all naval matters as any officer at home or abroad, and his opinions, which did not in 1863 run in accord with those of the Navy Department, were adopted by his friends and acquaintances in every quarter. DuPont had said that the forts in Charleston harbor could not be taken by the f
Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 45: the cruise of the Sumter and the havoc she committed. (search)
, but he had few vessels in search of him, and only one of these was fast enough to overtake him if he was sighted. From an English vessel that Semmes encountered he obtained newspapers that gave him interesting information. Among other things he learned that another Confederate cruiser called the Nashville, under the command of Lieutenant Pegram, had put to sea and had burned a large American merchant ship, the Harvey Birch, in the British Channel. She was loaded with tea and just from China. This news stimulated Semmes to fresh exertions, that he might replenish his coal and continue his pleasant employment of burning and sinking. Having been well received at Cienfuegos, he calculated on meeting similar treatment in other Spanish ports, and he now entered tie beautiful harbor of Cadiz with the most pleasing anticipations, so that for a moment he forgot the ravages he had committed on unoffending people who had taken no part in tile war against the South, and many of whom, for
Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., chapter 48 (search)
r coffers. So he applied the torch without compunction, and the career of the Golden Eagle was speedily terminated. The Alabama now crossed the equator and stationed herself in the great tollgate of commerce, through which traders from India, China, the Pacific Ocean and South America were continually passing, rejoicing as they reached these latitudes that the long, weary road was behind them, and that but a short and easy passage lay between them and their homes. It had never occurred trew and such of the cargo as he wanted, Semmes applied the torch, and she went off before the wind in flames with all sail set. The Talisman had a number of 12-pounder field-pieces on board, and boilers and machinery for a gun-boat to be built in China to take part in the Chinese war. Semmes took two of the guns on board his vessel for the purpose of fitting out a consort when the proper vessel should fall into his hands. Semmes continued his course along the Brazilian coast, and now began t