minutes to twelve o'clock the lookout aloft sang out “Sail ho!”
Lieutenant K. Randolph Breese
, who had the deck, hailed the lookout, and asked for her direction.
“Off the port bow, sir,” came back the reply.
The “San Jacinto
” was then heading north, and presently the black smoke of a steamer was descried from our decks.
When the crew was piped to dinner, the mess-cloths were deserted, and nearly everybody remained on deck, watching the smoke, until out of the base of the ascending blackness came the spars, presently the hull and full shape, of the steamship Trent
Until that moment, probably, no one on board of the ship knew what the object of our waiting was; but as soon as the Trent
hove in sight, and her identity was decided, there was no doubt of our mission.
Then Captain Wilkes
called Lieutenant Fairfax
into the cabin, and gave him his instructions, of which the following is a copy: