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[245] and every other port not in our cruise. Let those who hear the sequel judge of the wisdom of the decision.

The battery consisted of four eight inch smooth bore guns of 55 cwt., two rifled Whitworth 32-pounder guns and the two 12-pounder signal guns belonging to her as a merchant ship. The two vessels parted company at 6 P. M., October 20, 1864, and left the Desertas, we on our southerly course and the Laurel for Teneriffe, to report progress. Every officer and man ‘pulled off his jacket and rolled up his sleeves,’ and with the motto ‘do or die’ went to work at anything and everything. The captain took the wheel frequently in steering to give one more pair of hands for the work to be done. We worked systematically and intelligently, doing what was most imperatively necessary first.

In twenty-four hours we had mounted and secured for sea, two eight inch guns and two Whitworths, and the next day the other half of the battery was similarly mounted and secured. We cleared the holds and stored and secured everything below, and in eight days, after leaving the Desertas, had all portholes cut and guns secured therein. Under our instructions we had to allow sufficient time for Captain Corbett to communicate with England and have the custom house papers cancelled and all necessary legal steps connected with the bona fide sale taken before any overt act.

On October 30, 1864, we captured the first prize, the bark Alina, Captain Staples, of Searsport, Maine, from Newport, Wales, for Buenos Ayres, with railroad iron. There was no notarial seal (required under law to establish ownership) to the signature of the owner of the cargo, and so she was, as an American vessel, with her cargo a legal prize. An order was given that nothing on any prize should be appropriated by any officer or man without permission from the commander through me. We determined to scuttle the prize, and after transferring her crew and effects and saving such furniture as was on board, sorely needed for comfort, such as basins, pitchers, etc., we sunk her. Seven men of her crew of twelve shipped on the Shenandoah.

On November 5 we made our second capture, the United States Schooner Charter Oak, from Boston for San Francisco, Captain Gilman, who had his wife and wife's sister, Mrs. Gage, and her little son Frank on board. Captain Gilman surrendered

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