Doc. 26.-the Sumter at sea: the Captains she captured.
Liverpool, Eng., February 4, 1862.On Sunday night last, the Spanish steamer Duero arrived in Liverpool from Cadiz, having as passengers on board three gentlemen, late in command of different American ships, all of which had been captured by the Confederate steamer Sumter, and burned at sea. The captains are Minott, late of the Vigilant, Smith, of the Arcade, and Hoxie, of the Eben Dodge. They were the prisoners of Capt. Semmes, who, when the Sumter visited Cadiz recently, put them on shore there, whence they have been forwarded to this port by the American Consul there, and hence they propose returning to America by the Canadian steamer Bohemian. They describe the Sumter as a very indifferent screw propeller of about five hundred tons. She is armed with four short thirty — two--pounder guns and one sixty — eight-pounder pivot-gun. She is amply provided with small arms, has abundance of ammunition, and abundance of provisions of kinds, as may be expected from her helping herself so plentifully from various sources. Her crew, when she entered Cadiz harbor, was ninety-nine, all told, mostly Irish, but with a slight intermixutre of English. The captains say, that the crew are very discontented, and that eleven deserted on entering a Spanish port. The marines on board are all Irish, and  they add, that of forty-three prisoners on board on arrival at Cadiz, all the negroes, who formed a large proportion of them, were retained as a part of the crew of the Confederate steamer. As each of the captains relates circumstances somewhat different from the other, we shall take each in turn, and first of Capt. Hoxie. His vessel, the Eben Dodge, was one thousand two hundred and twenty-two tons, and belonged to New-Bedford, United States, whence she sailed on the twenty-sixth of November last, on a whaling voyage to the South-Pacific. She was provisioned and provided, in all respects, for a three years voyage, and had a large store of water. Her crew had three years clothing, and the findings of the ship and crew were all of the best. On December eighth, in latitude sixty-one degrees north, longitude fifty degrees west, about ten o'clock A. M., weather thick, a steamer hove in sight, showing American colors, and immediately fired a shot across the bows of the Eben Dodge, and then running up the Confederate flag, soon ranged alongside, coming up under her stern. Captain Semmes ordered Capt. Hoxie to take his boat and come on board, bringing his papers, stating that the steamer was the Confederate vessel Sumter, a statement, however, which Capt. Hoxie had anticipated. Capt. Hoxie, on going on board, was received by the first lieutenant, who conducted him to the cabin, where he found Capt. Semmes. Having examined the papers, the Sumter's commander said: “Oh! yes, it's all right; she is the lawful prize of the Confederate States, and I shall burn the ship.” He next observed, “I am short of water, and you have plenty, I must have some of that;” and he forthwith ordered Capt. Hoxie to go back, sending an armed boat's crew with him, and to fetch off all the water. They did take away about one thousand gallons, and also took off a quantity of soap, tobacco, and a great cask of packed clothing. The whole of the charts on board the prize were also taken, the captain's sextant and chronometer, and being again brought on board the Sumter, Capt. Hoxie was ordered by her commander to bring one bed on board, with one trunk of clothing, and no more. His mates and crew were restricted to one bag of clothing each, and he was advised to “look smart” about it, as he (Capt. Semmes) must fire the ship. The conditions were complied with as speedily as possible, and the whole of the carpenter's plant having been taken on board the Sumter, the Eben Dodge was set on fire, and the Sumter bore away about sundown, leaving the prize blazing from stem to stern. Soon after this, Capt. Semmes called Capt. Hoxie aft, and said, “Have you any money?” adding: “It will be as well to be candid, for if I have any reason to doubt what you say, I shall have you searched.” Capt. Hoxie replied, that he had one hundred and fifty dollars, which he was ordered to hand to the purser of the Sumter, who, Capt. Semmes said, would take care of it. Next morning, Capt. Semmes said the men belonging to the Eben Dodge had brought too many clothes on board, and ordered nearly all, save what they stood in, to be taken from them. Capt. Hoxie describes the condition of the Sumter as filthy, and complains that he was detailed to a berth among the petty officers of the ship; but apart from these inconveniences he had no other cause of complaint, save forcible detention, denudation of cash and property, and destruction of his ship. In this respect his companions give concurrent testimony. We should add that one of the boats of the Eben Dodge was also taken, by the Sumter. Capt. Smith, of the schooner Arcade, one hundred and twenty-two tons, belonging to Portland, Me., sailed thence on the tenth of November, with a cargo of molasses, for Guadaloupe. On the twentieth of that month, at two o'clock in the afternoon, being in latitude twenty degrees thirty-five minutes north, longitude fifty-seven degrees twelve minutes west, the steamer Sumter, bearing the American ensign, bore up, and sent an armed boat's crew on board the Arcade. The crew took Capt. Smith on board the Sumter, along with the ship's papers, charts, chronometer, etc., announced her a lawful prize in due form, and that she must be burned. All the valuables, however, were first taken off. Capt. Smith was informed that he must confine his equipment, on removal, to a bed and trunk of clothes, and his men to a bag each; and this having been arranged, and the men brought on board the Confederate steamer, the Arcade was fired. Capt. Smith having only five dollars on him when questioned, was allowed to retain it. Capt. Minott, of the Vigilant, six hundred and fifty-two tons, belonged to Bath, Me., sailed from New-York, on the twenty-first November, for Falmouth, for orders. On December third, about nine A. M., in latitude twenty-nine degrees twelve minutes north, longitude fifty — seven degrees twenty minutes west, a steamer, having the French ensign hoisted, hove in sight, came rapidly up, and proved to be, as Capt. Minott conjectured, the Sumter. The Vigilant was ordered to heave to, and two armed boat's crews were sent on board. They took away the ship's papers, and Capt. Minott on board the steamer; and after examining the papers, Capt. Semmes declared the Vigilant lawful prize to the Confederate States, adding that he should burn her. He then gave permission to Capt. Minott to fetch the customary trunk of clothes and bed, and the usual equipments for the others of the crew. A boat's crew sent on board took away all books, charts and other things of value from the Vigilant, together with whatever valuables belonging to Capt. Minott were on board, including sextant and chronometer, and at about two P. M. the prize was set on fire and left burning. Most of the crew of the Vigilant were negroes, and these were immediately incorporated with the crew of the Sumter, and set to work. In a conversation with Capt. Minott, Capt. Semmes said it was all fair; adding, “You would have taken me, if you could ;” to which the former replied: “Yes, and would do so now, if you gave me the chance.” Capt. Minott was also questioned as to whether he had any money; but having only fourteen  dollars, that was left with him. He was, of course, taken to Cadiz. On the fourth of January, this year, the Sumter reached Cadiz, and the captains were released on the seventh. Before putting them on shore, Capt. Semmes assembled them and several of their officers and their respective crews, and telling them he was going to send them on shore, said: “The American Consul would take care of them.” Capt. Hoxie then requested that the one hundred and fifty dollars he had intrusted to the purser of the Sumter might be given up to him; but Capt. Semmes said: “Oh! That is contraband of war, and is confiscated.” They were then landed, and several of Capt. Hoxie's crew had to be supplied with clothes by the American Consul. The steward of the Eben Dodge, who was ill at the time of the capture, died on board the Sumter.
--Liverpool Post, February 4.