attached an apparatus for condensing, from the vapor of seawater, all the fresh water that her crew might require.
She was a perfect steamer and a perfect sailing-ship, at the same time, neither of her two modes of locomotion being at all dependent upon the other.
The reader has seen that the Sumter
, when her fuel was exhausted, was little better than a log on the water, because of her inability to hoist her propeller, which she was, in consequence, compelled to drag after her. The Alabama
was so constructed, that in fifteen minutes, her propeller could be detached from the shaft, and lifted in a well contrived for the purpose, sufficiently high out of the water, not to be an impediment to her speed.
When this was done, and her sails spread, she was, to all intents and purposes, a sailing-ship.
On the other hand, when I desired to use her as a steamer, I had only to start the fires, lower the propeller, and if the wind was adverse, brace her yards to the wind, and the conversion was complete.
The speed of the Alabama
was always greatly over-rated by the enemy.
She was ordinarily about a ten-knot ship.
She was said to have made eleven knots and a half, on her trial trip, but we never afterward got it out of her. Under steam and sail both, we logged on one occasion, thirteen knots and a quarter, which was her utmost speed.
Her armament consisted of eight guns; six 32-pounders, in broadside, and two pivot-guns amidships; one on the forecastle, and the other abaft the main-mast—the former a 100-pounder rifled Blakeley
, and the latter, a smooth-bore eightinch.
gun was so deficient in metal, compared with the weight of shot it threw, that, after the first few discharges, when it became a little heated, it was of comparatively small use to us, to such an extent were we obliged to reduce the charge of powder, on account of the recoil.
The average crew of the Alabama
, before the mast, was about 120 men; and she carried twenty-four officers, as follows: A Captain, four lieutenants, surgeon
, paymaster, master
, marine officer, four engineers, two midshipmen, and four master's mates, a Captain
's clerk, boatswain
, gunner, sailmaker
, and carpenter.
The cost of the ship, with everything complete, was two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.
On the morning of our departure from Liverpool
, the Ba