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[173] the greatest destruction ever served upon an enemy in a single day by one ship. The morning came heavy and thick with fog. Suddenly across our bows swept something; in the fog we thought we could outline a ship. A gun brought to a bark. Soon her flaming form broke upon the fog and told her fate. She had nearly run us down in the thickness of the weather. The fog now rising disclosed a wide bay or roadstead in which were anchored with their sails half furled a large fleet of whaling vessels of every rig. They were mostly from New Bedford. Before entering upon our work we counted them; there were eleven. Soon the work of demand, surrender, debarkation, and conflagration began. Two were saved and bonded to take home the other crews. Then followed the torch and auger. Never before had these far latitudes beheld such a dread scene of devastation as this, as ship after ship went up in flame. We had been ordered to wipe out the whaling marine of the enemy; and now, after the government that had so ordered had been itself destroyed, we, unwittingly, were dealing the enemy our hardest blows—not our enemy, if we knew the facts, and we were making of ourselves the enemy of mankind.

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