out in the harbor of Pensacola
as a privateer, with intent to slip out some dark night, prepared to cruise against our commerce, planned an expedition to destroy her. During the night of Sept. 13th, four boats, carrying 100 men, commanded by Lieut. Russell
, put off from Com. Mervine
's flag-ship Colorado
, approaching the schooner at 3 1/2 A. M., of the 14th.
The privateer's crew, duly warned, opened a fire of musketry as the boats neared her; but were speedily driven from her deck by our boarders, and she set on fire and burned to the water's edge, when she sunk.
Her gun, a 10-inch columbiad, was spiked, and sunk with her. All was the work of a quarter of an hour, during which our side had 3 killed and 12 wounded. As the Judah
lay directly off the Navy Yard
, where a thousand Rebels were quartered, this was one of the most daring and well-executed achievements of the year.
Finally, during the intensely dark night of Oct. 9th, a Confederate force crossed silently from Pensacola
to Santa Rosa Island
, with intent to surprise and destroy the camp of the 6th New York (Wilson
's Zouaves), some two miles distant from Fort Pickens
The attack was well planned and well made.
The surprise seems to have been complete.
The Zouaves were instantly driven from their camp, which was thoroughly destroyed; but the darkness, which had favored the surprise, invested every step beyond the camp with unknown perils; and, when day broke, the Rebels
had no choice but to retreat as swiftly as possible to their boats, eight miles distant. Of course, they were followed, and harassed, and fired upon after they had reembarked; and it was claimed, on our side, that their loss exceeded 300; but, as they left but 21 dead on the island, and 30 prisoners, the claim is simply absurd.
Our loss was 60, and theirs probably a little more.
But several thousand Rebels were kept at Pensacola
throughout the campaign by less than 1,000 on our side; and, when they finally decamped, they had no choice but to surrender the Naval Floating Dock
and Railway, with much other public property, to the flames, to prevent their easy recovery to the Union
The blockade of the mouths of the Mississippi
, naturally difficult, because of their number and distances, was successfully evaded on the 1st of July by the steam privateer Sumter
, Capt. Raphael Semmes
, who, darting swiftly from point to point throughout those portions of the West India
waters known to be most thickly studded with our merchantmen, made some twelve or fifteen captures in hardly so many days, and then ran into the friendly British port of Nassau
, where he was promptly supplied with everything necessary to a vigorous prosecution of his devastating career.
Having continued it some time longer with great success, he finally ran into the British
harbor of Gibraltar
, where the Federal
soon found him and his vessel, and, anchoring in the Spanish
port of Algesiras, just opposite, where no law would compel her to remain twenty-four hours after the Sumter
had departed, she held the privateer fast until relieved by the Kearsarge
, by which the blockade was persistently maintained until the Confederate
officers abandoned their vessel — professing