resigned from the United States
service, among them the gallant Lieutenant Hartstine
, of Arctic exploration fame.
There were a great many strangers, from the different sections of the country, at that time in the capital of the Confederacy
I formed the acquaintance of quite a number of them, and received my first information of how the people of the South
regarded the events of the day. From what I could learn, the people of the South
were almost unanimously in favor of the secession of the States, for the reason that they could see no other way of protecting their rights; but they hoped for peace and the friendship of the people of the North
, and a great many hoped for a reunion, in which there would be no contentions, and in which the people of the South
would be guaranteed equal rights with all the States.
I had been in Mississippi
but a few days, when the country was aware that war had commenced, and that the stronghold of Fort Sumter
, in Charleston harbor
, had been compelled to surrender to the Southern
Soon news came that Lincoln
had called for 75,000 men to march upon the States which had swung loose from the Federal Union.
The youth of the South
sprung to arms in obedience to the call of their President
, and everywhere the fife and drum were heard.
It was, indeed, hard for me to keep from volunteering for the army, but I remembered that the South
had but few sailors and would need them all on the water.
On the 1st day of May, 1861, I reported, in obedience to an order from the Secretary of the Navy
, to Captain Rosseau
, of the Confederate States
navy, at New Orleans for duty on the Confederate steamer McRae
I was directed by Captain Rosseau
to go over to Algiers
and report to Lieutenant T. B. Huger
, the commander of the steamer.
I found Lieutenant Huger
an agreeable gentleman, and felt that he was just the man I would like to serve under.
He directed me to take charge of the sailing master's department, and to push ahead as rapidly as possible, as he was desirous of getting the ship ready for sea before the blockade could be established.
was a propeller of about 600 tons, barque rigged, and mounted six thirty-two pounders, one nine-inch Dahlgreen
gun on pivot, and one twenty-four pounder brass rifle, also on pivot, making in all eight guns.
The line officers above me were Lieutenants Warley
, all of the old navy.
The midshipmen were Stone
, John Comstock
Our surgeon was Dr. Linah
, of South Carolina
, and the purser was the best old gentleman in the world, Mr. Sample