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Still pursued her career.

Still the Tacony pursued her career unharmed. With almost every new capture Read learned through the newspapers on board of the great number of vessels that were after him, but this did not seem to annoy him, for he appears to have fairly revelled in his career of destruction. On the 23d of June he destroyed two fishing schooners. On the 24th the ship Shatemuc, from Liverpool to Boston, with a large number of emigrants, was captured and bonded for $150,000. The same night the schooner Archer was captured. As by this time he knew that the enemy had a full description of the Tacony, Read now thought it was about time to change the rig and appearance of his vessel, in order to avoid suspicion and detection, so he destroyed the bark Tacony on the 25th of June, and with the schooner Archer proceeded along up the coast, with the view of burning the shipping in some exposed harbor, or of cutting out a steamer. The morning of the 26th of June found him off Portland, Me., where he picked up two fishermen, who, taking them for a pleasure party, willingly consented to pilot them into Portland. From the fishermen he learned that the revenue-cutter Caleb Cushing was in the harbor, and the passenger steamer to New York, a staunch, swift propeller, would remain in Portland during the night. He at once determined to seize the cutter and steamer that night, and at sunset entered the harbor and anchored in full view of the shipping, in the innocent guise of a fisherman. Little did the fair city of Portland dream of the excitement and commotion in store for it the next day. He explained to his men what he expected to do after dark, but his engineer expressed his doubts as to his ability to start the engines of the steamer proposed to be captured, without the assistance of another engineer, and as the nights were very short, it was evident that if they failed to get the steamer under way, after waiting to get up steam, they could not get clear of the forts at the entrance of the harbor without being discovered. Under these circumstances he decided to capture the revenue-cutter, and after getting from under the forts to return and burn the shipping.

At 1:30 A. M., June 27th, having dispatched the schooner Archer to sea, with three men on board, he (Read) boarded the cutter Caleb Cushing, commanded by Lieutenant Dudley Davenport, of [280] the United States Revenue Marine Service, with two boats containing nineteen men, who, instantly presenting revolvers to the heads of the watch on deck, captured her without noise or resistance. The cable could not be slipped, so it was 2 o'clock before he could get under way. By this time the wind was very light, and the tide was running in. In this emergency, having put the cutter's officers and crew in irons; he put two boats out ahead with his own men to tow her, and succeeded in getting just beyond the range of the guns of the fort as day dawned. Of course, it was now too late to return and burn the shipping, so he decided to put to sea, and abide his time.


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