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A close call.

Landing one day for water and to dig clams they saw a Federal gunboat coming up the coast. Wood mentioned as an evidence of the close watch the United States vessels were keeping, that as soon as the gunboat got abreast of them she stopped and lowered a boat. Thinking it best to put a bold face on the matter, Wood took a couple of men and rowed out to meet the man-of-war's boat. The officer asked who they were. They replied: ‘Paroled soldiers from Lee's army, making their way home.’ The officer demanded their paroles, and was told the men on shore had them. It was a long distance to pull, and the officer decided to return to his ship for orders. As he pulled away Wood cried to him: ‘Do you want to buy any clams?’

Upon the return of the boat she was hoisted up, the gunboat proceeded on her way, and our friends ‘saw her no more.’ Proceeding on her way to the southward, the party next fell in with a sail-boat, in which were three sailors, deserters from United States vessels at Key West, trying to make their way to Savannah. Wood and party took their boat, as she was a seaworthy craft, put the sailors in the row-boat, and gave them sailing directions for Savannah.

Wood then took the helm and steered for Cuba. In a squall that night he was knocked overboard. There was but one man in the boat who knew anything at all about managing her, and it looked black for him. Fortunately he caught the main sheet, which was trailing overboard, and was hauled in. It was providential, for upon Wood depended the safety of the entire party.

After suffering much from hunger and thirst they arrived at Matanzas (I think) and were kindly cared for by the Spanish authorities. from whom they received most respectful attention as soon as they made themselves known.


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