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Browsing named entities in James Russell Soley, Professor U. S. Navy, Confederate Military History, a library of Confederate States Military History: Volume 7.1, The blockade and the cruisers (ed. Clement Anselm Evans).

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arch of the Sumter was the screw-sloop San Jacinto, commanded by Captain Charles Wilkes. Early in November, 1861, the San Jacinto was at Havana. The Confederate commissioners, Mason and Slidell, had shortly before arrived at that place, having been brought to Cardenas by the famous blockade-runner Theodora. They were to take passage for St. Thomas in the British mail-steamer Trent, a vessel belonging to a regular line of steamers between Vera Cruz and St. Thomas. Wilkes left Havana on the 2d, having formed the intention of intercepting the steamer and seizing the commissioners. The Trent sailed on the 7th, and on the next day she was brought to in the Bahama Channel by the San Jacinto. A shot was fired across her bow, and as she continued on her course it was followed by a shell. When the Trent stopped, Lieutenant Fairfax was sent on board, with orders to bring off the commissioners and their secretaries. As they refused to come except under constraint, another boat was sent
he necessary equipments. Her captain, Maffitt, found it necessary to make a port where he could obtain a crew, and the equipments that he needed; and he decided to attempt Mobile. Knowing that his ship was an exact duplicate of the English gun-vessels that were constantly cruising on the coast and going in and out of the blockaded ports, he adopted the bold course of personating an Englishman, and attempting to run the blockade of Mobile in broad daylight. At 3.35 on the afternoon of the 4th, the squadron off the port, composed of the Oneida and the Winona, had sighted a sail to the southward and westward, and the Winona was ordered in chase. The sail was found to be the United States man-of-war schooner Rachel Seaman; and the two vessels were returning towards the Oneida, when at five o'clock another sail was reported in the southeast. She was presently discovered to be a steamer with a barkantine rig, burning bituminous coal, and heading directly for the senior officer's vess
mail-steamer Trent, a vessel belonging to a regular line of steamers between Vera Cruz and St. Thomas. Wilkes left Havana on the 2d, having formed the intention of intercepting the steamer and seizing the commissioners. The Trent sailed on the 7th, and on the next day she was brought to in the Bahama Channel by the San Jacinto. A shot was fired across her bow, and as she continued on her course it was followed by a shell. When the Trent stopped, Lieutenant Fairfax was sent on board, with near the Florida. The Florida had received permission to remain in port for forty-eight hours, and Collins made up his mind to destroy or capture her before the time arrived for her departure. Accordingly, before daybreak on the morning of the 7th, he got under way, and crossed the how of the Brazilian. It was his intention to run the Florida down, and sink her at her anchor; but the plan was imperfectly carried out, and the Wachusett's bow, striking the enemy on the starboard quarter, cu
essels could bring against her. Moreover, her sister ships, the Roanoke and Minnesota, lay below near the fort. A careful lookout was kept up, however; the ships were anchored with springs on their cables, and half the watch slept at quarters. On the 6th of March, the frigate St. Lawrence came in, a vessel in all respects similar to the Congress. But so far from increasing the force to be opposed to the Merrimac, she only added another to the list of probable victims. On Saturday, the 8th, a little before one o'clock in the afternoon, while the Monitor was still outside the Capes, the Merrimac finally came out from Norfolk. She was under the command of Franklin Buchanan, whose ability and energy had won him a high place in the esteem of his brother-officers in the navy before the war. She was accompanied by two gunboats, the Beaufort and Raleigh, of one gun each. Turning directly into the channel by which she could reach Newport News, the Merrimac approached the two vessels
t the two coal-barks, crossed the bar; and in view of the fact that the remains of the squadron were not deemed equal to an engagement with the Harriet Lane, they steamed off at once to Southwest Pass, and the blockade of Galveston was raised. The blockade did not long remain broken. Immediately after the arrival of the Clifton, Admiral Farragut sent Commodore Bell to Galveston with the Brooklyn, the Hatteras, and several gunboats, to resume the blockade. They arrived off the town on the 8th, so that the interruption lasted only seven days. Had they been a day or two later, they would probably have found the Alabama lying snugly in the port. As it was, she was sighted outside, and the Hatteras was sent to overhaul her. The chase resulted in an encounter twenty-five miles from Galveston, which lasted thirteen minutes, and which ended in the sinking of the Hatteras. The squadron cruised all night in search of the Hatteras, and finding the wreck in the morning returned to Galvesto
particularly as the Minnesota and Vanderbilt, which were anchored below Fortress Monroe, got under way and stood up to that point, apparently with the intention of joining their squadron in the roads. Before, however, we got within gunshot, the enemy ceased firing and retired with all speed under the protection of the guns of the Fortress, followed by the Virginia, until the shells from the Rip Raps passed over her. The Virginia was then placed at her moorings near Sewall's Point. On the 10th, Tattnall learned that the fort at Sewall's Point had been abandoned, and that the United States troops, having landed at Ocean View, were rapidly advancing on Norfolk. By the evening Norfolk had surrendered, and he resolved to withdraw to the James River. The pilots informed him that they could take the ship up with a draft of eighteen feet. The Merrimac drew twenty-two feet, and preparations were made to lighten her. After working half the night, and stripping the ship so that she was unf
dditions to his force were expected to arrive shortly, and the situation was considered too critical to leave anything to chance. No action therefore took place, the vessels of the squadron having steam up, but remaining in their position near the fort. A large number of transports, store-ships, and chartered vessels were lying at this time in or about the Roads. Goldsborough had cautioned them about the danger of lying near Hampton, and most of them had withdrawn below the fort. On the 11th, however, two brigs and a schooner, employed by the Quartermaster's Department, were still lying between Newport News and Hampton Bar. By Tattnall's direction the Jamestown and Raleigh steamed across, captured the vessels, and brought them over to Sewall's Point, in full sight of the fleet. Humiliating as the incident was, it was not of sufficient importance to change Goldsborough's plan, supposing that his plan was right. In the occurrences of this day, the Department commended Goldsboroug
cruising in the Gulf of Honduras and off the coast of Yucatan. At the Arcas, a group of small islands in the Bay of Campechy, she met another coal-bark. She remained here at anchor for two weeks, coaling and refitting. Thence, on the 5th of January, 1863, Semmes proceeded to off the coast of Texas, having formed the bold design of intercepting a part of the transport fleet, which he supposed would at this time be on its way to Galveston. The Alabama arrived off Galveston at noon on the 11th. It will be remembered that only ten days before her arrival the unfortunate affair had taken place at that port, which resulted in the loss of the Harriet Lane and Westfield, and the raising of the blockade by two Texan river-steamers. A squadron under Commodore Henry H. Bell, composed of the Brooklyn, the Hatteras, and three or four gunboats, had been hurriedly collected at New Orleans, to resume the blockade, and several of the vessels had arrived off Galveston shortly before the appeara
the same month, Semmes, on his way home, put in to Singapore, and remained there four days. But by this time the Wyoming was off on a false chase to Manila, twelve hundred miles away to the northeast, and the opportunity of meeting the Alabama was gone forever. The Alabama arrived at Cherbourg from the Cape of Good Hope on the 11th of June. Here Semmes proposed to have her docked and thoroughly repaired; but permission was delayed, and the vessel was still lying in the harbor when, on the 14th, the sloop-of-war Kearsarge, commanded by Captain John A. Winslow, steamed into Cherbourg. The Kearsarge was lying at Flushing when the news reached her of the Alabama's arrival; and she immediately proceeded to Cherbourg, in the hope of an engagement. After sending a boat ashore, she steamed out of the harbor without anchoring; and, taking her station outside, maintained a close watch for the enemy, in case he should attempt to escape. But Semmes had no intention of running away. After
er, the Florida was safely anchored under the guns of Fort Morgan. After remaining four months at Mobile, repairing and completing her equipments, the Florida came out. This time no disguise was possible, and when his ship was ready, Maffitt only waited for a northerly wind and a dark night. On the afternoon of January 15, the prospect seemed favorable, and the Florida ran down to Mobile Point. The violence of the wind delayed her for a few hours, but at two o'clock on the morning of the 16th, she weighed and stood out by the main ship-channel across the bar. The blockading fleet now consisted of seven vessels. Among these was the R. R. Cuyler, a fast steamer that had been sent down especially to stop the Florida. When Maffitt had come down in the afternoon, he could see the blockading vessels aligned off the main entrance, two miles from the bar. He was also sighted from the squadron; and the Cuyler was ordered to change her position, and be prepared to give chase, with the
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