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og of the pumps, through half the night, I have had but little rest. December 8th.—This is an anniversary with me. On this day, fifteen years ago, the United States brig-of-war Somers, of which I was the commander, was capsized and sunk, off Vera Cruz, having half her crew, of 120 officers and men, drowned. It occurred during the Mexican war. I was left alone to blockade the port of Vera Cruz—Commodore Connor, the commander of the squadron, having gone with his other ships on an expedition Vera Cruz—Commodore Connor, the commander of the squadron, having gone with his other ships on an expedition to Tampico. There being every appearance of a norther on that eventful morning, I was still at my anchors, under Isla Verde, or Green Island, where I had sought refuge the preceding night. Suddenly a sail was reported, running down the northern coast, as though she would force the blockade. It would never do to permit this; and so the little Somers—these ten-gun brigs were called coffins in that day— was gotten under way, and under her topsails and courses, commenced beating up the coast,
bright day, with the wind light from the south-west. At daylight, Sail ho! came ringing from the mast-head. The sail crossing our bows, we took in our studding-sails, hauled up south-east, to intercept her, and got up steam. Our latitude being 35° 17′, and longitude 20° 53′, we were within striking distance of Cadiz or Gibraltar, and could afford now to use a little steam. The chase did not reward us, however, as she proved to be English—being the ship Richibucto, from Liverpool, for Vera Cruz, laden with salt. We received from her some English newspapers, which gave us several items of interesting intelligence. All England was in mourning for the death of Prince Albert. The Trent affair was causing great excitement, and the Confederate States steamer Nashville, Captain Pegram, had arrived at Southampton, having burned a large Yankee ship, the Harvey Birch. This ship having been burned in the English Channel, much attention was attracted to the act; especially as the ship wa
and some of these came on board the mail-steamer in which we had taken passage, to take leave of us; among others, Captain Lambert, R. N., in command of her Majesty's steam frigate, the Scylla, to whom I am much indebted, for warm sympathy, and many acts of kindness. The captain was the son of Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Lambert, whose hospitality I had enjoyed, for a single night, many years before, under peculiar circumstances. When the United States brig Somers was capsized and sunk, off Vera Cruz, and half her crew drowned, as briefly described some pages back, Sir Charles Lambert, then a captain, was in command of the sailing frigate Endymion, and it was on board that ship that I was carried, more dead than alive, on the evening of the fatal disaster. I recollect distinctly the plight in which I ascended the side of this English frigate. Like a waif which had been picked up from the sea, I had nothing on me but shirt and trousers, and these, as well as my hair, were dripping wat