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19. the cruise of the Santiago De Cuba.

'Tis of the Santiago
     That I am going to tell,
Whose fame has rung throughout our land
     And Britain, too, as well;
She's the pride of her commander,
     And of the crew their boast,
And a terror to the enemy
     Along our southern coast.

'Twas in the month November,
     In eighteen-sixty-one,
She started from the Battery
     With the rising of the sun,
And steaming through the Narrows,
     Far out upon the deep,
Her head was turned to south'ard,
     A harvest rich to reap.

We were over four months cruising,
     Without a single prize,
When on the twenty-first of March
     “Sail oh!” the lookout cries,
Up from below now quickly poured,
     The Santiago's crew,
While o'er the waves, with dashing speed,
     Our gallant steamer flew.

“A steamer, sir,” the lookout cried,
     “I plainly see the smoke” --
If they but dared the crew would with
     A shout the echoes woke:
But here let it be kept in mind,
     That on a man-of-war
There's discipline to govern us
     Unknown to folks on shore.

A load of cotton soon was seen
     Upon the steamer's deck;
But ere the night had well set in
     The Delta was a wreck;
Not heaving-to, we fired at her,
     They ran her hard aground,
We fired a shell, set her on fire,
     And our first prize was found.

Next — month of April, twenty-third--
     When the saucy Santiago
Was on the British waters, off
     The island of Abaco,
A little schooner hove in sight--
     The one we wished to see--
So we ere long had made a prize
     Of rebel Charleston Bee.

There was a little steamer bold,
     That ofttimes with success
Had carried goods of various kinds
     To aid the South's distress,
Oft arms and ammunition,
     To carry on the war,
Would by this craft in Charleston Bay
     Be safely placed on shore.

'Twas on such sly excursion
     Their pride received a fall,
The Santiago captured her
     Before “Hole in the Wall;”
No doubt in every Southern port
     It sounded like a knell,
When they heard the news that they had lost
     The steamer Isabel.

Where was the schooner Mersey, with
     The balance of the cargo?
For she must also fall a prey
     To the bold Santiago.
Two days went by; “Sail oh!” was heard,
     We instantly gave chase,
Came up with her, and here we had
     The Mersey for the race.

Another schooner hove in sight
     Upon the thirty-first,
And 'twas not long ere those on board
     The Santiago cursed.
But what cared we for rebels' curse,
     Our cause we knew was just;
We're battling in our country's cause,
     In Providence our trust.

While coming slowly down the coast
     On twenty-seventh of May,
When the Lucy Holmes, of Charleston,
     Was standing in our way,
We sent a prize-crew with her to
     The city of New-York,
Where they no doubt her cargo wished
     For making cotton-work.

Though England still may boast her speed
     In vessels worked by steam,
If they think to beat the Yankees,
     They'll find that they but dream;
They built an iron steamer
     For the rebellious States--
They thought the way was open then,
     But we had closed the gates.

'Twas August third, and Sunday noon,
     This steamer came in sight;
We put our engine to the test
     To catch her in daylight.
“But what have we to fear?” said they,
     “That Yankee cannot catch us;
We easy run of thirteen knots,
     And less than that can't match us!”

Their boast was vain, and there was one
     On board who knew our speed,
Cried: “That's the Santiago--
     Our cruise is up, indeed!” [17]
We thundered several shots at her,
     Which soon made her heave to,
Come up with her, we soon on board
     Had sent a full prize-crew.

They called her the Columbia,
     The worst thing they could do,
For as the name belonged to us,
     We claimed the steamer, too;
She'd Armstrong guns, intended for
     A battery on shore,
But as secesh did not get them,
     We'll let them hear their roar!

I've yet one more to mention,
     Lavinia she by name,
She had run out past the blockade,
     But we soon blocked her game;
She was on her way to Nassau,
     And our captain thought it best
To save her from all further harm,
     And send her to Key West.

Soon after this a steamer came,
     It was the Magnolia,
With orders for us to proceed
     After the Oreto;
But they let her in at Mobile,
     Or her we should have caught,
And, though inferior in strength,
     Our captain would have fought.

To our engineer's exertions
     Great praise we know is due,
And he has thanks, the heartiest, from
     This steamer's grateful crew;
'Twas by his quiet knowledge
     And energetic will
We caught our wealthiest prizes--
     And hope to catch more still.

Our captain is as good a man
     As ever trod a plank;
He's never wilfully abused
     A man beneath his rank;
He's honored by his enemies;
     Though they are very few;
Far better still, he's loved by all
     The Santiago's crew.

I hope that I've offended-none
     On land or on the main;
If not, perhaps some future time
     I'll try my hand again.
But while there's fighting to be done
     For our Red, White, and Blue,
You always can depend upon
     The Santiago's crew.

J. L. K.
--Sunday Mercury.

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