The Alabama and Kearsarge.
have not done writing about the tremendous exploit of the Kearsarge
in sinking the Alabama
correspondent of the New York Times
writes an extremely Yankee letter to that paper, dated july 5th. We copy a portion of it:
a paper which receives the inspirations of Mr. Slidell
, says that on account of his shattered health Capt Semmes
is soon going to the springs of Germany
, and that his 1st Lieutenant
has been recommended by the Captain
to the Confederate Government to take his place on the new Confederate vessel which is soon coming out. The commission of the new commander cannot, however, arrive before the end of this month.
does not state, of course, where the new vessel is to come from, but it is almost certain now that the two frigates which were built by M Arman
have gone definitively into the hands of Prussia
; so that if the successor of Capt Semmes
does get a new vessel, it can only be in England
But there is great doubt as to the truth of the assertion of La France
Notwithstanding the universal and active sympathy for Semmes
, and notwithstanding the desire to help him or his successor to a new ship, the English
people are growing more careful about violations of the neutrality laws, and it may well be doubted whether another vessel of any importance can be got out. Moreover, Capt. Winslow
claims every officer and man of the late Alabama
as his prisoners, and he believes the officers will admit the point, so far at least as not again to appear in the service.
As for the men, they received too good a lesson in the late combat to care about venturing into the service again.
We are inclined to believe, therefore, that the assertions of La France
are only "talk."
Whether it be the inventions of the Secessionists or of the advertising agents of the sea- bathing places, a constant excitement is being maintained about another see fight which is soon to come off on the French
Such an occurrence, however, is not at all probable; nevertheless our Ministers at Paris
, on the strength of certain intelligence, more or less reliable, to the effect that the Florida
, on hearing at Nassau
that the Alabama
had arrived at Cherbourg
, was coming to join her, have ordered both the Kearsarge
and the Niagara
to sea to watch for her. The Niagara
had just commenced taking in coal at Antwerp
, and Capt Craven
and some of his officers were at Brussels
, preparing for a grand jollification at Mr. Sandfordes
, on the Fourth, when the order came to go to sea. The coating operation was suspended, Mr. Sandford
's dinner was deprived of a prominent part of its attraction, and the ship is now at sea. Capt Winslow
and his officers also left Paris
yesterday morning to join their ship, and to prepare at once to go to sea.
The festivities offered to Capt Winslow
and officers by the American
residents at Paris
came to a close on Sunday by a handsome dinner given by Mr. Monroe
, the banker, at the Hotel des Reteraoirs
Besides the officers of the Kearsarge
and the members of the American Legation
, a few other invited guests partook of Mr. Monroe
's liberal hospitality.
It was the annual fete
day of Versailles
; and after dinner the party repaired to the Park
to see the fire works and the illumination, in variegated colors and by electric lights, of the hundred of jets d eau
of the magnificent fountain of Neptune
On this occasion I learned that the Commission which had been appointed by the Emperor
to visit the Kearsarge
and inspect and report upon her armament, had performed that duty on Friday last.
On that day Lieut Thornton
, First Lieutenant
of the Kearsarge
, reported to Capt Winslow
that a company of officers, who had descended from a steamer which came down from the direction of Havre
, presented themselves alongside the Kearsarge
in a small boat and demanded if they might come on board.
As orders had been left by the captain to permit visitors on board, and as in fact the ship had been visited daily by a large number of officers and others interested in artillery or in ship building, they were, of course, given full permission to visit the vessel, and take drawing and a measurement of the big guns, their carriages and ramrods.
All the party were in uniform but one, and this one we have been told was the Emperor incognito
. The names of the officers forming the commission were: Capt Lefeure
of Artillery, Count Lancia
; Marine Engineer, Senneville, and Rear-Admiral Baron Dideiot
laid down to these gentlemen the doctrine that rifled guns on board ship were not to be compared to the columbiads for usefulness; that however perfect might be the rifled gun, they always, or nearly always, missed their object at a mile; that the only gun to be relied on was a short range gun, and that the larger the calibre the better.
Thus the Alabama
went into action with her rifled guns ganged at 2,000 yards, while the Kearsarge
went into action with the range of her guns fixed at 500 yards. The result was that the Alabama
wasted a great many balls at long range which never touched the Kearsarge
, while the latter was enabled to save her ammunition until she arrived in close quarters, and her work of destruction was easily and rapidly executed.
Thus, when Lieutenant Thornton
had exposed to the commission that the great desideratum was an enormous shell thrown in at close quarters, with just velocity enough to arrive inside the enemy's ship, and not pass through it, one of the gentlemen turned to his party and exclaimed: "We haven't a gun in the French
navy worth a rush!" When it was declared to them also that the big guns did not kick enough to make it a practical objection to their size; that, in fact, their recall was not as as great as that of the rifled guns; that the American
navy possessed a large number of models-of gun carriages as good as those of the Kearsarge
; and that the question of recall was one which had been settled in the American
navy; they were astonished, and did not pretend to conceal it — When, also, told that the vessel was constructed in forty-seven working days, when they saw how strong she was, and how little damage she had received from the powerful rifled guns of the Alabama
, their astonishment bordered on incredulity.
Thus this combat, like that between the Monitor
, is going to create in Europe
a second revolution in naval warfare.
The excitement in regard to it continues as great as ever; the shop windows are full of pictured of the fight of the two vessels, and of the officers.
A photographer at Cherbourg
took a view of the fight from the shore just as the Alabama
M Durand Brager, one of the first marine painters of France
, has already painted and sent to New York a large picture of the fight.