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Raphael Semmes, Memoirs of Service Afloat During the War Between the States 15 1 Browse Search
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nt a boat on board of him, and captured him. He proved to be the Joseph Parke, of Boston, last from Pernambuco, and six days out, in ballast. The Parke had been unable to procure a return cargo; the merchants of Pernambuco having heard of the arrival of the Sumter, at Maranham, in rs his commission:— Sir:—You will take charge of the prize-brig Joseph Parke, and cruise in company with this vessel, until further ordersthe Confederate States. In obedience to these instructions, the Parke drew off to her station, and letting our fires go down on board thek-out, but nothing more appeared; and on the 29th of September, the Parke having been called alongside, by signal, her prize crew was taken by an intercepted letter which I captured in the letter-bag of the Parke, which was written by the master of the ship, Asteroid, to his owneI shall sail this evening [September 16th, three days before the Joseph Parke] and take a new route, for Hampton Roads. The Asteroid escap
trong, and a list of the officers and men left on board the ship. A brief summary of the services of the Sumter, and of what became of her, may not be uninteresting to the reader, who has followed her thus far, in her wanderings. She cruised six months, leaving out the time during which she was blockaded in Gibraltar. She captured seventeen ships, as follows: the Golden Rocket, Cuba, Machias, Ben. Dunning, Albert Adams, Naiad, Louisa Kilham, West Wind, Abby Bradford, Joseph Maxwell, Joseph Parke, D. Trowbridge, Montmorency, Arcade, Vigilant, Eben Dodge, Neapolitan, and Investigator. It is impossible to estimate the damage done to the enemy's commerce. The property actually destroyed formed a very small proportion of it. The fact alone of the Sumter being upon the seas, during these six months, gave such an alarm to neutral and belligerent shippers, that the enemy's carrying-trade began to be paralyzed, and already his ships were being laid up, or sold under neutral flags—some of