previous next

[129] from the Observatory all her movements could distinctly be seen.

Mr. Jewett, Collector of the Port, was informed of the circumstances a little after eight o'clock, and before nine o'clock he had three steamers employed in searching for the vessel, and discovering her position. Without any delay, he chartered the steamers Forest City, of the Portland and Boston line, the steamer Casco, the steamtug Tiger, and the steamer Chesapeake, of the Portland and New-York line. Two rifled twelve-pounders were placed on board the Forest City, obtained from Fort Preble, and two six-pounders from the Arsenal, by Mayor McLellan, on board the Chesapeake. A detachment of soldiers from the Seventh Maine,. under command of Adjutant Nickerson, was placed on board the tug. A detachment of the Seventeenth United States regulars from Fort Preble was placed on board the Forest City, and a detachment of the Seventh Maine on board the Chesapeake, the latter being accompanied by Colonel Mason and Captain Henry Warren. Hundreds of our citizens volunteered to go in the steamers, who were furnished with arms by the Mayor; among them the Rev. Mr. Lovering, of Park street church.

The Forest City left Fort Preble about a quarter before eleven o'clock. She was watched from the Observatory, which was crowded with citizens, by Mr. Moodey, who watched all her movements, as well as those of the cutter, the latter being seen hauling off south by west. At a quarter before twelve o'clock the first flash was seen to come from the thirty-two-pounder of the cutter, and in fifty seconds the report was distinctly heard. The cutter and the Forest City were off Bangs's Island, about ten miles distant. Several more guns were fired by the cutter, but they seemed to have no effect upon the steamer, as she kept steadily on, approaching the cutter.

In the mean time the Chesapeake had got under way, and was fast steaming down to the scene of the conflict. As she approached it, the Forest City let off steam, and waited for her to come up, when arrangements were made between the steamers to board the cutter. The cutter kept up her firing for a short time, when, finding that she would be carried by boarding, she was deserted, after being set on fire. She burned some time before the flames reached the magazine, and about a quarter before two o'clock blew up with a loud explosion, which shook buildings in the city. The Chesapeake, as she bore down upon the cutter, fired her two guns at her without effect.

Captain Liscomb, of the Forest City, reports that his steamer came within gunshot of the cutter about half an hour before the Chesapeake got along. The cutter fired at her six times without showing any flag. The Forest City then laid to, waiting, for the Chesapeake to come up. When the latter arrived, after consultation, it was agreed t) board the cutter, the Chesapeake being a propeller, and being protected by cotton bales on deck, to lead the way. On proceeding to carry this plan into execution, the rebels discovered the purposes of the steamers, became frightened, and abandoned the cutter, after setting fire to her. They went in two boats, sending the cutter's crew, who were in irons, off in a separate boat. The two boat-loads of rebels steered for Harpswell, but were pursued and picked up by the Forest City. There were twenty-three persons in the two boats. The Forest City also picked up a small boat containing Mr. Bibber, who had been set adrift from the cutter-he having been captured with his partner from a small fishing-boat Friday off Damascove Island. Mr. Bibber informed Captain Liscomb that he was captured by the schooner Archer, of Southport, which vessel was in possession of a rebel crew from the pirate Tacony. That the schooner came in Friday, and anchored below Munjoy, intending to burn the two new gunhoats, and to cut out the revenue cutter and the steamer Forest City. This they found themselves unable to do, but at two o'clock Saturday morning they boarded the cutter quietly, seized the small portion of her crew aboard, put them in irons, and made their way out of the harbor through Hussey's Sound, thus avoiding the fire of the forts.

Learning this, Captain Liscomb immediately pursued the Archer, which was making her way to the eastward as rapidly as the light breeze would permit, and captured her, finding three rebels and Mr. Bibber's partner on board. She was towed up to the city by the Forest City.

Captain Bibber reports that, in his opinion, there are three or more schooners upon the coast with rebel crews, destroying our fishermen. The Archer had only a howitzer on board, and the schooners are probably lightly armed. He also reports a rebel steamer on the coast. The Forest City passed a suspicious black steamer off Cape Porpoise at two o'clock Saturday morning, when coming from Boston, which first made for the Forest City, but afterward kept away to the south-west.

The Forest City arrived up about half-past 4 o'clock Saturday afternoon. She, as well as the Chesapeake, was received with great enthusiasm by the citizens. She was armed with two rifled twelve-pounders, with thirty soldiers from Fort Preble, and one hundred volunteer armed citizens. She did not get near enough to hit the cutter, and the cutter's shots, though coming very close, fell a little short.

The steamers would undoubtedly have carried the cutter by boarding, had the rebels not deserted and blown her up, as all on board the steamers-sailors, soldiers, and citizens — were anxious for the hand-to-hand fight, having, nothing to match the big guns on board the cutter.

The rebel prisoners, twenty-three in number, were landed at Fort Preble. The crew of the cutter were brought up in the Chesapeake, and are held until the matter can be investigated.

The search on board the Archer revealed the fact that the rebel crew was none other than that of the Tacony. The Archer was captured by her on the twenty-fifth, and the Tacony was


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Albert P. Bibber (4)
Liscomb (3)
Henry Warren (1)
Nickerson (1)
Moodey (1)
McLellan (1)
James M. Mason (1)
Lovering (1)
Collector Jewett (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
25th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: