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Chapter 1: Voyage, and arrival in the States On the 29th day of April 1862, I embarked at Queenstown on board the fine new steamer Hero, a vessel which had been built for running the blockade into the ports of the Confederate States of America, and was soon upon the bright waters of the Channel, bound for the theatre of war in the New World. Several most agreeable companions shared with me the accommodations of the steamer, and with smooth seas and pleasant skies we made a delightful voyage of twenty days to Nassau, unattended by any other than the ordinary incidents of the ocean transit. Off the Spanish coast we skirted a heavy gale; but as we proceeded from high to low latitudes the weather became every day more and more charming, until we ran upon an even keel into the blue phosphorescent seas that lave the coral reefs of the Bahamas. Here we met with an interruption which seemed likely for a time to terminate my American adventures, if I may be allowed the Hibern