was unconscious—breathed his last; black vomit having assailed him, in twenty-four hours after he had been taken down with the fever; so virulent had the disease now become.
He was a fine, brave, promising lad, greatly beloved, and deeply regretted by all. On the 23d, the Third Assistant Engineer
The sick were now sent to the hospital on shore, and nearly all of them died.
, surgeon of a Spanish gunboat in the harbor, now visited the Captain
, and was exceedingly kind to him. On the 24th, a consultation of physicians was held, and it was decided that Maffitt
's case was hopeless.
But it so happened that the disease just then had reached its crisis, and a favorable change had taken place.
The patient had not spoken for three days, and greatly to the surprise of all present, after one of the physicians had given his opinion, he opened his eyes, now beaming with intelligence, and said in a languid voice: ‘You are all mistaken—I have got too much to do, and have no time to die.’
He convalesced from that moment.
On the 28th, Major Helm
, our agent in Havana
, telegraphed that, for certain reasons, the Captain-General
desired that the Florida
would come round to Havana
, and remain until the health of her crew should be restored.
probably feared that in an undefended port like Cardenas
, some violence might be committed upon the Florida
by the Federal
cruisers, in violation of Spanish neutrality.
Accordingly, on the 30th the Florida
got under way, and proceeded for Havana
, where she arrived the next day. The reader naturally wonders, no doubt, where the Federal
cruisers were, all this time.
remained here only a day, finding it impossible, owing to the stringent orders of neutrality that were being enforced, to do anything in the way of increasing his crew, or refitting his ship.
Getting his ship under way, again on the 1st of September, he now resolved to run into Mobile
At two P. M. on the 4th of that month Fort Morgan
was made, when it was found that three of the enemy's cruisers lay between the Florida
and the bar. Maffitt
was assisted on deck, being too weak yet to move without assistance.
Having determined that his ship should not fall into the hands of the enemy, he had made suitable preparations for blowing her up, if it should become necessary.