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[648] appurtenances of war. But, not far from the entrance of the river, a small steamer came alongside, which brought her a full complement of sailors, taking back to Liverpool all the amateurs who had served to disguise her flight. The 290 gained the open sea while the English government was tendering to Mr. Adams the assurances of vain regrets.

A few days later, Semmes, who had found at Nassau an order directing him to take command of this vessel, arrived at Liverpool, and immediately took a special boat for the island of Terceira (one of the Azores). Here was performed the last act in the metamorphosis of the Chinese steamer into a privateer, or rather, as we shall see presently, into a Confederate pirate. An English brig, loaded with cannon, ammunition and arms of every description, was waiting for her there; the Portuguese authorities, either through carelessness or from fear of involving themselves in a quarrel with England, said nothing to Semmes, but allowed him to assemble his three vessels in the bay of Angra. He passed several days there without being molested, and effected the transfer of the materiel at his ease; the guns were mounted and the ammunition shipped. The British consul himself came on board the 290, and found no fault with these military preparations, which were only hastened by the fear of seeing one of the enemy's cruisers make her appearance. Finally, after having thus armed his vessel in the neutral waters of Portugal, Semmes moved off to the distance of a marine league, which marks the limit of territorial sovereignty—a silly precaution, after this sovereignty had been flagrantly violated. Nothing remained to be done, in fact, but to perform a useless ceremony; the crew was assembled on deck, and Semmes, appearing in uniform, read aloud the commission appointing him to the command of the Alabama; such was now the name of this vessel. He was greeted with three hurrahs, in the midst of which the Confederate flag was run up in place of the English colors. The sailors, who had been engaged at Liverpool, belonged to various nationalities, but most of them were English subjects, and among them could even be counted sailors of the royal reserve who had been taught gunnery on board the practice-ship; the latter were valuable auxiliaries in

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