themselves for many months.
The Ironsides went into dry-dock for repairs.
The attack also suggested to officers of the United States Navy that this was a game which both sides could play at, and Lieutenant Cushing
bravely availed himself of it. I congratulate him for the eclat
and promotion he obtained thereby.
I do not remember the date of my exchange again as a prisoner of war, but it was only in time to witness the painful agonies and downfall of an exhausted people, and the surrender of a hopeless cause.
I was authorized to equip and command any number of torpedo boats, but it was now too late.
I made efforts to do what I could at Charleston
, till it became necessary to abandon that city.
I then commanded the iron-clad “Fredericksburg
” on James river
, until ordered by Admiral Semmes
to burn and blow her up when Richmond
with the admiral, we now organized the First Naval Artillery Brigade, and I was in command of a regiment of sailors when informed that our noble old General, R. E. Lee
, had capitulated.
Our struggle was ended.
All that is now passed, and our duty remains to meet the necessities of the future.
After the close of the war I was offered a command and high rank under a foreign flag.
I declined the compliment and recommended my gallant old commander, Commodore J. R. Tucker
, as one more worthy and competent than myself to fill a high position.
In conclusion let me say: I have never regretted that I acted in accordance with what appeared to be my duty.
I was actuated by no motive of self-interest, and never entertained a feeling of hatred or personal enmity against those who were my honorable opponents.
I have asked for no pardon, which might imply an acknowledgment that I had been either traitor or rebel.
No amnesty has been extended to me.
Bear in mind, loyal reader, these facts: I had been absent nearly two years. No one could have lamented the beginning of the war more than I did. It had been in progress nearly six months when I came home from sea. I had taken no part in it, when on my arrival in Philadelphia
, only because I could not truthfully swear that I felt no human sympathy for my own family and for the friends of my childhood, and that I was willing to shed their blood and desolate their homes; and because I would not take an