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[213] of the Alabama were lowered with such promptitude and handled with such care that, though the Hatteras was sunk at night, none of her crew were drowned. When her captain came on board, Captain Semmes learned that he had been engaged with the United States steamer Hatteras, ‘a larger ship than the Alabama by one hundred tons,’ with an equal number of guns, and a crew numbering two less than that of the Alabama. There was a ‘considerable disparity between the two ships in the weight of their pivot-guns, and the Alabama ought to have won the fight, which she did in thirteen minutes.’ The Alabama had received no appreciable injury, and, continuing her cruise to the Island of Jamaica, entered the harbor of Port Royal, where, by the permission of the authorities, Captain Semmes landed his prisoners, putting them on parole.

As an answer to the stereotyped charges against Captain Semmes as a ‘pirate’ and robber, I will select from the many unarmed ships captured by him one case. He had gone to the track of the California steamers between Aspinwall and New York, in the hope of capturing a vessel homeward bound with government treasure. On the morning before such a vessel was expected, a large steamer, the Ariel, was seen, but unfortunately not going in the right direction. An exciting chase occurred, when she was finally brought to, but, instead of the million of dollars in her safe, she was outward bound, with a large number of women and children on board. A boarding officer was sent on her, and returned, giving an account of great alarm, especially among the ladies. Captain Semmes sent a lieutenant on board to assure them that they had ‘fallen into the hands of Southern gentlemen, under whose protection they were entirely safe.’ Among the passengers were a battalion of marines and some army and navy officers. These were all paroled, rank and file numbering one hundred forty, and the vessel was released on ransom bond. Captain Semmes states that there were five hundred passengers on board. It is fair to presume that each passenger had with him a purse of from three to five hundred dollars. Under the laws of war all this money would have been good prize, but not one dollar of it was touched, or indeed so much as a passenger's baggage examined.

The Alabama now proceeded to run down the Spanish Main, thence bore eastward into the Indian Ocean, and, after a cruise into every sea where a blow at American commerce could be struck, came around the Cape of Good Hope, and, sailing north, ran up to the thirtieth parallel, where so many captures had been made at a former time. Of the ship at this date Captain Semmes wrote: ‘The poor old Alabama was not now ’

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