XXXVI. on the seaboard and Ocean.
- The privateer Savannah -- the Petrel-Fort Hatteras -- Pensacola and Pickens -- the Sumter -- Hollins's Ram exploit -- Dupont and Sherman's expedition -- capture of Port Royal -- the Trent case -- surrender of Mason and Slidell.
on Sunday, June 2d, 1861, while the Minnesota, then blockading the harbor of Charleston, was looking after a suspicious vessel that was observed to the southward, a little schooner of some fifty tuns, carrying an ugly-looking 18-pounder mounted on a swivel amidships, and manned by twenty-two men, of whom not more than half could find room at once under the shelter of her deck, slipped out from under the lee of Fort Sumter, by the north channel, taking first a northward course, so as to allay suspicion on board the blockader, but intending to stretch boldly across the Gulf Stream to Great Abaco, and lie in wait near the Hole-in-the-Wall for unarmed Yankee merchantmen trafficking between Northern ports and Cuba. She was lucky at the outset, almost beyond her hopes; falling in, when scarcely a day at sea, with the brig Joseph, of Rockland, Me., laden with sugar from Cardenas, Cuba, for Philadelphia. Setting an American flag in her main rigging, to indicate her wish to speak the stranger, the privateer easily decoyed the Joseph within speaking distance, when he ordered her captain to lower his boat and come on board. This command having been readily obeyed, the merchantman was astounded by the information, fully authenticated by the 18-pounder aforesaid, that he was a prize to the nameless wasp on whose deck he stood, which had unquestionable authority from Mr. Jefferson Davis to capture all vessels belonging to loyal citizens of the United States. There was plainly nothing to be said; so the Yankee skipper said nothing; but was held a prisoner on board his captor, while a prize-crew of eight well-armed men was sent on board the Joseph, directed to take her with her men into Georgetown, S. C. At 5 P. M., of that day, a brig hove in sight; and the Confederate schooner at once made all sail directly toward her, expecting, by the easy capture of a second richly laden merchantman, to complete a good day's work, even for June. On nearing her, however, he was astonished in turn by a show of teeth — quite too many of them for his one heavy grinder. Putting his craft instantly about, he attempted, by sharp sailing, to escape; but it was too late. He was under the guns of the U. S. brig Perry, Lieut. E. G. Parrott commanding, which at once set all sail for a chase, firing at intervals, as signals that her new acquaintance was expected to stop. The Savannah —— for that word, displayed in raised letters on the front part of her trunk cabin, seemed to be, or at least to have been, her name — did not appear to comprehend; for she sent four shots at the Perry, one of which passed through her rigging. So the chase continued till 8 o'clock P. M., when the Perry had hauled so close to the puzzling little craft as to order her by trumpet to heave to, when the schooner lowered all her sails, and her officers