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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)
oon found himself in the hands of an enemy from whom there was no escape. The master of the vessel stated before the Admiralty Court sitting on board the Sumter that his ship belonged to the English house of Baring Brothers and was consigned to an agent in Boston; but, notwithstanding his expostulations, he was informed that his ship would be destroyed. The other vessel was approaching and Semmes had no time to parley. So the torch was applied to the beautiful bark Neapolitan, of Kingston, Massachusetts, and she with her valuable cargo was totally consumed. Commander Semmes' justification, to use his own expressions, was that Gallant naval officers wearing Mr. Welles' shoulder-straps, and commanding 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