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[131] and placing them in jail, but the Commandant of the Fort refused to give them up, and stated that they were confined there by United States authority.

On board the Chesapeake, William F. Laighton, Naval Inspector, took command of the vessel. The guns were under the direction of George J. Barry, United States Naval Engineer, and the soldiers and armed citizens under command of Colonel Mason. Captain Willett, who commands the steamer, was as active and earnest as any one on board. It was all excitement from the time the first gun was fired at the Forest City by the cutter. Two guns were fired from the Chesapeake at the cutter.

When the Chesapeake picked up the regular crew of the cutter, it was with difficulty the armed men on board the steamer were restrained from firing into them, so strongly did they believe that the cutter had been carried off by them. A few moments' conversation with the crew satisfied them they were guiltless.

Among the volunteers on board the Chesapeake was an old tar who had been a gunner on board Farragut's fleet. After the Chesapeake fired at the cutter, making a very good shot for a small piece, this old tar rushed up, embraced the gun and affectionately patted her as though she was a pet child, with a hearty expression of approval for her good shot.

When it was concluded between the two steamers that the Chesapeake should lead off in boarding the cutter, Mr. Laighton stated that the question was, whether they should sink the cutter or the cutter should sink them, and then called for a vote upon the question. It was unanimously voted, with rousing cheers, to run the cutter down. A full head of steam was put on, and she bore down upon the cutter at the rate of fifteen knots. She had proceeded but a short distance, however, before it was discovered that the cutter was on fire and abandoned by the rebel crew.

Both boats having a considerable amount of freight on board deemed the risk too great to attempt to extinguish the flames.

The Archer was stripped Saturday night, and her stores, armament, etc., were placed in the Custom-House.

The boat of the cutter was secured, after the painter had burned off, by Captain Warren, of the Seventh Maine, Mr. Haile, of the Argus, and Mr. Edward Pickett. They named her the Trio, and brought her up to the city and placed her in the boat-house of the North Star Boat Club.

There was no communication with the shore by any of the officers or crew of the rebels after they arrived in the harbor Friday evening. So Lieutenant Read states, and he is corroborated by the crew.

Mr. Berry, Agent of the Associated Press, visited Fort Preble yesterday afternoon, saw the prisoners and got an account of the cruise from Lieutenant Read, who courteously answered all questions. He collated his report with all important memorandums from his private note-book furnished the Commandant, namely:

Lieutenant Read reported on board the Florida in Mobile at the close of 1862. He describes her as a small sloop-of-war, eight rifled guns, and one hundred and twenty men. January sixteenth, left Mobile Bay with steam and every sail set to topmast studding sail, making fourteen and a half knots. On the seventeenth, at daylight, saw a big sloop — of war, supposed to be the Brooklyn, which passed within half a mile, showed three lights, and passed to the northward. Nineteenth, burned brig Estella. Early on the morning of the twenty-second, left Havana and steamed to the eastward; burned the brig Windward, letting the crew go in a small boat. Off Cardenas light burned the Corris Ann, and she drifted into Cardenas harbor. Thirty-first, was chased by a Federal gunboat, but had the heels of her. February twelfth, captured the clipper ship Jacob Bell; showed the Yankee flag in hailing her, and burned her on the thirteenth. March sixth, captured the ship Star of Peace, and burned her at four P. M. Thirteenth, captured the schooner Aldebaran. Twenty-eighth, captured the bark Lapwing; christened her the C. S. corvette Oreto, and she captured the ship Commonwealth seventeenth of April, bonding her. The Lapwing was afterward burned. March twenty-ninth, captured bark M. J. Colcord, and burned her the fifteenth of April. April twenty-third, burned bark Henrietta. Twenty-fourth, burned ship Oneida. May sixth, latitude 5.34 south, longitude 34.23 west, captured brig Clarence, and christened her C. S. corvette Florida No. 2.

Lieutenant Read states that the Florida captured fourteen in all up to this time. The Kate Dyer was one, the others I could not learn. Lieutenant Read was transferred to brig Clarence, with the crew as before reported. She was then off Cape St. Roque and ran up north till June sixth, when off Cape Hatteras she burned the bark Whistling Wind, with coal for the United States Navy. Seventh, captured schooner Alfred H. Partridge and bonded her. Ninth, burned brig Mary Alvina, loaded with commissary stores. Twelfth, latitude 37 north, longitude 75.30 west, captured bark Tacony, but finding her faster than the Clarence, transferred every thing and burned the Clarence. They christened the Tacony Bark Florida, which accounts for the steamer Florida being reported off our coast. Same day captured schooners M. A. Shindler and Kate Stuart; bonded the Kate Stuart in seven thousand dollars and sent all prisoners aboard and burned the M. A. Shindler. Same day captured and bonded brig Arabella with neutral cargo, and passed a gunboat without being noticed. Fifteenth, latitude 37.42, longitude 70.30, burned brig Umpire. Twentieth, latitude 40.50, longitude 69.04, bonded ship Isaac Webb with seven hundred and fifty passengers, wild Irishmen. Three P. M., burned fishing sloop, name unknown. Twenty-first, latitude 41, longitude 69.10, burned ship Byzantium and enlisted three men from her belonging to New-Orleans; same day burned bark Goodspeed. Twenty-second, burned fishing schooner Marengo and captured schooner

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