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Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 45: the cruise of the Sumter and the havoc she committed. (search)
Mr. Welles' slips, were capturing little coasting schooners laden with fire-wood, plundering the houses and hen-roosts of noncombatants along the Southern coast, destroying salt-works and intercepting medicines going to Confederate hospitals. Is it strange that men who would tell such falsehoods as the above would burn the ships of non-combatants? The Neapolitan was no sooner on fire than the Sumter started in pursuit of the other vessel, which proved to be the bark Investigator, of Searsport, Maine. The cargo being clearly the property of neutrals, the vessel, after giving a ransom-bond, was allowed to proceed on her course. Commander Semmes had now to be somewhat careful of seizing neutral property, as he was in civilized Europe and not among a set of half-breeds before whose council windows he could flash his shells, or hector a pack of feeble officials. That night the Sumter lay in the man-of-war anchorage in Gibraltar Bay. It was not necessary to tell the inhabitants o