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[254]

On reaching the 129th meridian of west longitude we ran down parallel with the coast. On August 2, when in latitude 16 degrees 20 minutes north, longitude 121 degrees 11 minutes west, we made out a vessel, a sailing bark, which we chased under steam and sail and overhauled and boarded at 4 P. M. It proved to be the English bark Barracouta, from San Francisco for Liverpool, thirteen days out from the former port. The sailing master, I. S. Bulloch, was the boarding officer, and after he had examined her papers, to establish her nationality, he asked the captain for the news about the war. The English captain said ‘What war?’ ‘The war between the United States and Confederate States,’ Bulloch replied. When the Englishman replied, ‘Why the war has been over since April. What ship is that?’ ‘The Confederate steamer Shenandoah,’ Bulloch replied.

He then told of the surrender of all the Confederate forces, the capture of President Davis and the entire collapse of the Confederate cause, and when Bulloch returned he not only told all this, but, too, that Federal cruisers were looking for us everywhere and would deal summarily with us if caught. Files of recent papers confirmed everything. The information given by the captain of the Barracouta was appalling to the last degree. Coming as it did from an Englishman, we could not doubt its accuracy. We were bereft of country, bereft of government, bereft of ground for hope or aspiration, bereft of a cause for which to struggle and suffer.

The pouring of hirelings from the outside world had at last overpowered the remaining gallant Confederates. That independence for which our brave people had so nobly fought, suffered and died, was, under God's ruling, denied us. Our anguish of disappointed hopes cannot be described. Naturally our minds and hearts turned to our dear ones at home. We knew the utter impoverishment of those who survived, for surrender proved that, but what of the fate of each and all who were dear to us. These were the harrowing thoughts which entered into our very souls, the measure and intensity of which can never be portrayed. Then, too, by comparing dates, we found that most of our destruction was done, unwittingly, after hostilities had ceased at home. We knew the intensity of feeling engendered

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