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[216] he sent the wounded, and such of the boys of the ship as could not swim, in his quarter-boats, off to the enemy's ship, and, as there was no appearance of any boat coming from the enemy, the crew, as previously instructed, jumped overboard, each to save himself if he could. All the wounded—twenty-one—were saved. Ten of the crew were ascertained to have been drowned. Captain Semmes stood on the quarter-deck until his ship was settling to go down, then threw his sword into the sea, there to lie buried with the ship he loved so well, and leaped from the deck just in time to avoid being drawn down into the vortex created by her sinking. He and many of his crew were picked up by a humane English gentleman in the boats of his yacht, the Deerhound. Others were saved by two French pilot boats which were near the scene. The remainder, it is hoped, were picked up by the enemy. Captain Semmes states in his official report, two days after the battle, that about the time of his rescue by the Deerhound the ‘Kearsarge sent one and then tardily another boat.’ The reader is invited to compare this with the conduct of Captain Semmes when he sank the Hatteras, and when, though it was in the night, by ranging up close to her, and promptly using all his boats, he saved her entire crew.

Mention has been made of the defective ammunition of the Alabama, and in that connection I quote the following passage from Captain Semmes's book,1 on which I have so frequently and largely drawn for facts in regard to the Sumter and the Alabama:

I lodged a rifle percussion shell near to her [the Kearsarge's] sternpost— where there were no chains—which failed to explode because of the defect of the cap. If the cap had performed its duty, and exploded the shell, I should have been called upon to save Captain Winslow's crew from drowning, instead of his being called upon to save mine.

As it appears by the same authority that the Kearsarge had greater speed than the Alabama, it followed that, though the captain of the Kearsarge might have closed with and boarded the Alabama, the captain of the Alabama could not board the Kearsarge unless by consent.

The Alabama, built like a merchant ship, sailed in peaceful garb from British waters, on a far-distant sea received her crew and armament, fitted for operations against the enemy's commerce. On ‘bluewater’ she was christened, and in the same she was buried. She lived the pride of her friends and the terror of her enemies. She went out to fight a wooden vessel and was sunk by one clad in secret armor. Those rescued by the Deerhound from the water were landed at Southampton, England.

1 Pages 761, 762.

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