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Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., chapter 48 (search)
ea of levying upon the mail-steamers gave him much pleasure, as a million or so of dollars deposited in Europe would naturally aid him in his operations upon the sea. On November 26th Semmes stood for the Mona Passage between St. Domingo and Porto Rico. This was the general route of the mail-steamers on their way to the North from Aspinwall, and he naturally approached it with great caution, expecting to find a Federal ship-of-war stationed there, but there was none, and the Confederate captutral commerce and watching the English mail-steamers that were pursuing their legitimate business. The Alabama had hardly got through the passage before she fell in with and captured the schooner Palmetto, from New York, bound to St. John's. Porto Rico. This vessel carried neutral goods, but they were not under consular seals, and Captain Semmes decided that they came under the rule, that when partners reside, some in a belligerent and some in a neutral country, the property of all of them
Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 56: commerce-destroyers.-their inception, remarkable career, and ending. (search)
port-watch to which I belonged, was a Scotchman named Gill. He was about forty, very powerful, and could hold an ordinary man at arm's length clear off the deck. He was saturated with Calvinism, and could quote Scripture and sermons by the hour, but was, all the same, a daring, dangerous ruffian. According to his own account, he had been in numerous mutinies, in one case taking a Spanish brig, killing the officers, beaching her on the Des eada Key, in the Leeward Islands, and getting to Porto Rico in the launch with the plunder. This man's influence was bad, and he was the cause of much of the insubordination that took place on board. * * * * * * * * * We were now taking prizes rapidly, being not over four hundred miles from New York, in the rolling forties, directly in the track of American commerce. The treatment of the prisoners was fairly good, and they were not ill-used on board, but the conduct of the boarding-crews was shameful; the officer in charge of the boat had no c