previous next

[331] that the Nashville had been sold to private parties in Charleston. The order to remove all Confederate States property, including armament, charts and instruments from the vessel, were promptly executed, and the ship was left under the command of Lieutenant William C. Whittle, with two midshipmen, Messrs. Sinclair and Hamilton, Boatswain Sawyer, Chief Engineer Hood, three sailors, four firemen, cook and steward, to be kept in order until taken possession of by the agent of the purchasers.

General Burnside's movement upon Newbern, N. C. was then being executed, and Captain Pegram, with the officers and crew of the Nashville, went through on one of the last trains that could escape, after which all communication inland was completely cut off. Burnside's expedition was moving upon Morehead City and the capture of the Nashville seemed inevitable. The blockading fleet had been increased to two steamers and one sailing vessel, and the Federal troops were on the march to seize the vessel as she lay tied up at the wharf.

To most minds escape would have appeared an absolute impossibility. Without a crew or means of defense, without even a chart or chronometer, short of coal and provisions, the idea of saving the ship was simply vain. But to Lieutenant Whittle there seemed a single chance, and he gallantly determined ‘to take that chance.’ The fall of Fort Macon he thought only a question of time, and a very short time at that; the blockade must therefore be broken and Whittle prepared to do it. Quietly and secretly he set to work, and being assured by his Chief Engineer (Hood) that with his small force and the assistance of the deck hands he could keep the vessel under steam, he made ready to run through the blockading fleet. He was fortunate in securing the services of Captain Gooding, an excellent coast pilot, who was then in command of a sailing ship blockaded in the harbor. He brought with him a chart, chronometer and sextant, and such instruments as were deemed absolutely necessary for navigation, with the promise from Lieutenant Whittle that if his efforts were successful the ultimate command of the ship would be given him by the purchasers.

From this point the writer prefers to give the story in Lieutenant Whittle's own words:

Having made all my preparations to destroy the ship, if necessary, to prevent her capture in passing out, I dropped down under the guns of Fort Macon. Colonel White, in command of the fort, came on board and told me of the efforts that were being made for my capture. He suggested that, as I had no

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Fort Macon (North Carolina, United States) (2)
United States (United States) (1)
New Bern (North Carolina, United States) (1)
Morehead City (North Carolina, United States) (1)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
William C. Whittle (5)
James Hood (2)
Burnside (2)
Jack White (1)
William H. Sinclair (1)
Sawyer (1)
J. W. Pegram (1)
W. P. Hamilton (1)
Gooding (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: