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Raphael Semmes, Memoirs of Service Afloat During the War Between the States 39 1 Browse Search
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Massachusetts in the Army and Navy during the war of 1861-1865, vol. 1, Mass. officers and men who died. 6 0 Browse Search
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Browsing named entities in Raphael Semmes, Memoirs of Service Afloat During the War Between the States. You can also browse the collection for Robert T. Chapman or search for Robert T. Chapman in all documents.

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of their liberties. The next day, the chief clerk of the Navy Department handed me the following order: Confederate States of America, Navy Department, Montgomery, April 18, 1861. Sir:—You are hereby detached from duty as Chief of the Light-House Bureau, and will proceed to New Orleans, and take command of the steamer Sumter (named in honor of our recent victory over Fort Sumter). The following officers have been ordered to report to you, for duty: Lieutenants John M. Kell, R. T. Chapman, John M. Stribling, and Wm. E. Evans; Paymaster Henry. Myers; Surgeon Francis L. Galt; Midshipmen, Wm. A. Hicks, Richard F. Armstrong, Albert G. Hudgins, John F. Holden, and Jos. D. Wilson. I am respectfully your obedient servant, S. R. Mallory, Secretary of the Navy. Commander Raphael Semmes. The reader will observe that I am addressed as a commander, the rank which I held in the old service. The Navy Department, in consultation with the President, had adopted the rule of accept
to communicate. Before leaving New Orleans, I had, in obedience to a general order of the service, transmitted to the Navy Department, a Muster Roll of the officers, and men, serving on board the Sumter. Her crew, as reported by this roll, consisted of ninety-two persons, exclusive of officers. Twenty of these ninety-two persons were marines—a larger guard than was usual for so small a ship. The officers were as follows: Commander.—Raphael Semmes. Lieutenants.—John M. Kell; Robert T. Chapman; John M. Stribling; William E. Evans. Paymaster.—Henry Myers. Surgeon.—Francis L. Galt. 1st Lieutenant of Marines.—B. Howell. Midshipmen.—William A. Hicks; Albert G. Hudgins; Richard F. Armstrong; Joseph D. Wilson. Engineers.—Miles J. Freeman; William P. Brooks; Matthew O'Brien; Simeon W. Cummings. Boatswain.—Benjamin P. Mecasky. Gunner.—Thomas C. Cuddy. Sailmaker.—W. P. Beaufort. Carpenter.—William Robinson. Captain's Clerk.—W. Breedlove Smi
e Sumter, I at once thought of Kell, and, at my request, he was ordered to the ship—Commodore Tattnall, with whom he had been serving on the Georgia coast, giving him up very reluctantly. Seated next to myself, on my right hand, is Lieutenant Robert T. Chapman. This gentleman is from Alabama; he is several years younger than Kell, not so tall, but stouter, in proportion. His complexion, as you see, is dark, and he has jet-black hair, and eyes—the latter remarkable for their brilliancy, and for a twinkle of fun, and good humor. Chapman is the life of the mess-table; always in a pleasant mood, and running over with wit and anecdote. Though he has a fashion, as you see, of wearing his hair closely cropped, he is the very reverse of a round-head, being a preux chevalier, as ready for the fight as the dance, and having a decided preference for the music of the band, over that of Old Hundred. He is the second lieutenant, and has, consequently, the easiest berth among the sea lieute
, as I could not decoy within reach of my guns. I was glad to learn from the pilot, that there was plenty of coal to be had in Cienfuegos, and I dispatched Lieutenant Chapman to town, in one of the ship's cutters, for the double purpose of arranging for a supply, and communicating with the Governor, on the subject of my prizes, avana, and that the latter would hold the subject in abeyance, until he could hear from the Home Government. Nor was I disappointed in this expectation, for Lieutenant Chapman returned from Cienfuegos, the next morning, and brought me intelligence to this effect. To dispose of the questions raised, without the necessity of agaimissionary. Great excitement was produced, as may be supposed, by the arrival of the Sumter, with her six prizes, at the quiet little town of Cienfuegos. Lieutenant Chapman was met by a host of sympathizers, and carried to their club, and afterward to the house of one of the principal citizens, who would not hear of his spendin
stance from Cura-çoa, to any other place, where coal was to be had. I immediately sent for Lieutenant Chapman, and directed him to prepare himself for a visit to the shore; and calling my clerk, causepectfully suggest that there must be some mistake here; and I have sent to you the bearer, Lieutenant Chapman, of the Confederate States Navy, for the purpose of an explanation. Your Excellency must Excellency to be kind enough to say as much to me in writing. When this epistle was ready, Chapman shoved off for the shore, and a long conference ensued. The Governor called around him, as I anickerbocker, at which Woutter Van Twiller, the doubter, was present. Judging by the time that Chapman was waiting for his answer, during which he had nothing to do but sip the most delightful mint . By the time we had fired three or four shells, all of which bursted with beautiful precision, Chapman's boat was seen returning, and thinking that our men had had exercise enough, we ran out and se
pinion between the Governor and myself; as to our respective rights and duties, our business-matters were soon arranged, and an agreeable chat of half an hour ensued, on general topics, when I withdrew, much pleased with my visit. Returning on board the Sumter, I dispatched the paymaster to St. Pierre—there was a small passenger-steamer plying between the two ports—to contract for coal and some articles of clothing for the crew. Of provisions we had plenty, as the reader has seen. Lieutenant Chapman accompanied him, and I sent up, also, the masters of the two captured ships, that were on board, that they might see their Consul and arrange for their release. The next day was Sunday, and I went on shore, with Mr. Guerin, a French gentleman, who had been educated in the United States, and who had called on board to see me, to the Governor's mass. In this burning climate the church-hours are early, and we found ourselves comfortably seated in our pews as early as eight o'clock. Th
d we afterward played different roles in the war. The reader has not forgotten Chapman, the second officer of the Sumter, who made such a sensation in Cienfuegos, ameets at the house of his friend, that he dreamed of them for weeks afterward. Chapman finished the cruise in the Sumter, serving everybody else pretty much as he sevillage of San Roque, only a pleasant canter over into Spain, from Gibraltar. Chapman was, unfortunately, going from London to Nassau, in a blockade runner, while Igretted by the whole service. Evans, the fourth of the Sumter, missed me as Chapman had done, and like Chapman, he took service on board the Georgia, and afterwarChapman, he took service on board the Georgia, and afterward returned to the Confederate States. He served in the naval batteries on the James River, until the evacuation of Richmond. I took with me to the Alabama, as th reader will recollect, I had left at Gibraltar, in charge of the Sumter, took Chapman's place, and became second lieutenant. Armstrong was a young gentleman of int
not only not enlisted one of my late prisoners, after setting him on shore, but that, my crew being full, I had refused to enlist a good many of my late prisoners, who had applied to me before being set on shore, which was the literal fact. I mention these occurrences to show what a troublesome little insect I found the gad-fly in Brazil. We had a few days of very pleasant intercourse with the Georgia. Maury had been my shipmate in the old service, and two of my old Sumter lieutenants, Chapman and Evans, were serving on board of her. In company with her officers, we made a railroad excursion into the interior, upon the invitation of the English company which owned the road. A splendid collation was prepared in one of the cars, decorated and furnished for the occasion, and a variety of choice wines broke down the barrier between strangers, and drew men of the same blood closer together. At length, when I was entirely ready for sea, I delighted the President one evening, by sen