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t the reader may see what they amount to. It is the master of the Virginia who speaks first—a Captain Tilton. He says:— I went on the quarter-deck, with my son, when they ordered me into the lee valence of gales, they were, no doubt, a little disturbed in their slumbers by the water, as Captain Tilton says. But I discharged them all in good physical condition, and this is the best evidence I could give, that they were well cared for. It was certainly a hardship that Captain Tilton should have nothing better to eat than my own crew, and should be obliged, like them, to wash in salt water,assage, which were consumed. We were all put in irons, and received the same treatment that Captain Tilton's officers and crew did, who had been taken the day before. While on board, we understood traids in the South, merely for the love of grand moral ideas. The terrible drenchings, that Captain Tilton got, did not seem to have made the same impression upon Captain Gifford. Few of the maste
William H. Seward (search for this): chapter 34
s of various kinds, shiploads of which were, every day, passing into New York and Boston, in violation of those English neutrality laws, which, as we have seen, Mr. Seward and Mr. Adams had been so persistently contending should be enforced against ourselves. Western New York, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, and Iowof these free-and-easy fellows, who had mistaken the Alabama, when they signed the articles off Terceira, (after that stump speech before referred to,) for what Mr. Seward and Mr. Adams insisted she was, a privateer, that everything was captured in the name of the Confederate States, and that nothing belonged to them personally. ers of bills of exchange, drawn against her cargo, as this was large and valuable. The owners of the ship have since put in a claim, in that little bill, which Mr. Seward has pressed with so little effect hitherto against the British Government, for indemnity for the depredations of the Alabama, for the ship alone, and the freig
Raphael Semmes (search for this): chapter 34
I went on the quarter-deck, with my son, when they ordered me into the lee waist, with my crew, and all of us were put in irons, with the exception of the two boys, and the cook and steward. I asked if I was to be put in irons? The reply of Captain Semmes was, that his purser had been put in irons, and had his head shaved by us, and that he meant to retaliate. We were put in the lee waist, with an old sail over us, and a few planks to lie upon. The steamer was cruising to the west, and the nors were set, when she displayed the Confederate flag. Being near us, we hove to, and a boat, with armed officers and crew, came alongside, and upon coming on board, stated to me that my vessel was a prize to the Confederate steamer Alabama, Captain Semmes. I was then ordered on board the steamer with my papers, and the crew to follow me with a bag of clothing each. On getting on board, the captain claimed me as a prize, and said that my vessel would be burned. Not having any clothes with me
Francis L. Galt (search for this): chapter 34
a man by disease, in either of my ships! When it is recollected that I cruised in all parts of the world, now fencing out the cold, and battling with the storms of the North Atlantic and South Indian Oceans, and now being fried, and baked, and stewed within the tropics, and on the equator, and that, besides my own crews, some two thousand of the enemy's sailors passed through my hands, first and last, as prisoners, this is a remarkable statement to be able to make. My excellent surgeon, Dr. Galt, and, after him, Dr. Llewellyn, ably seconded me by their skill and experience. On week days we mustered the crew at their quarters twice a day—at nine A. M., and at sunset, and when the weather was suitable, one division, or about one fourth of the crew, was exercised, either at the battery, or with small arms. This not only gave them efficiency in the use of their weapons, but kept them employed—the constant employment of my men being a fundamental article of my philosophy. I found t
Chapter 34: The Yankee colony in the island of Flores what the captains of the Virginia and Elisha Dunbar said of the Alabama, when they got back to the land of the Saints the whaling season at the Azores at an end the Alabama changes her cruising ground what she saw and did. The reader has seen how rapidly we had been peopling the little island of Flores. I had thrown ashore there, nearly as many Yankee sailors as there were original inhabitants. I should now have gone bacFlores. I had thrown ashore there, nearly as many Yankee sailors as there were original inhabitants. I should now have gone back with the crews of two more ships, but for the bad weather. Jack, suddenly released from the labors and confinement of his ship, must have run riot in this verdant little paradise, where the law was too weak to restrain him. With his swagger, devil-may-care air, and propensity for fun and frolic, when he has a drop in his eye, the simple inhabitants must have been a good deal puzzled to fix the genus of the bird that had so suddenly dropped down upon them. The history of my colony would, no d
Wave Crest (search for this): chapter 34
he United States. Just before nightfall, on the same afternoon, another sail was cried from aloft, and we made all sail in pursuit, immediately, anxious to draw sufficiently near the chase before dark, to prevent losing sight of her. By this time, the wind, which had been very light all day, had freshened to a stiff breeze, and the chase, soon perceiving our object, spread a cloud of canvas, with studding-sails alow and aloft, in the effort to escape. She had seen the fire of the burning Wave Crest, and knew full well the doom that awaited her, if she were overtaken. As night threw her mantle over the scene, the moon, nearly at the full, rose with unusual splendor and lighted up the sea for the chase; and a beautiful, picturesque chase it was. Although it lasted several hours, our anxiety as to the result was relieved, in a very short time, for we could see, from the first, that we gained upon the fleeing ship, although her master practised every stratagem known to the skilful seama
of my ships! When it is recollected that I cruised in all parts of the world, now fencing out the cold, and battling with the storms of the North Atlantic and South Indian Oceans, and now being fried, and baked, and stewed within the tropics, and on the equator, and that, besides my own crews, some two thousand of the enemy's sailors passed through my hands, first and last, as prisoners, this is a remarkable statement to be able to make. My excellent surgeon, Dr. Galt, and, after him, Dr. Llewellyn, ably seconded me by their skill and experience. On week days we mustered the crew at their quarters twice a day—at nine A. M., and at sunset, and when the weather was suitable, one division, or about one fourth of the crew, was exercised, either at the battery, or with small arms. This not only gave them efficiency in the use of their weapons, but kept them employed—the constant employment of my men being a fundamental article of my philosophy. I found the old adage, that Idleness
rescue in future, and thus many seamen would perish. It can scarcely be necessary for me to say, that I never purposely lay by a burning ship, by night, or by day, longer than to see her well on fire. The substantial answer to the slander is, that I never captured a ship, under the circumstances stated. For the next few days we had fine, clear weather, and chased and overhauled a number of neutral ships, most of them out of New York, and bound for Europe, laden with grain. The English, French, Prussian, Hamburg, Oldenham, and other flags were fast monopolizing the enemy's carrying trade, and enjoying a rich harvest. These were not the sort of junks that we were in quest of, but they compensated us, somewhat, for the time and labor lost in chasing and boarding them, by supplying us with late newspapers of the enemy, and giving us valuable information concerning the progress of the war. On the afternoon of the 7th of October, the weather being fine, and the breeze light, we cha
f the evening, after the more ambitious of the amateurs had delivered themselves of their solos and cantatas, the entertainment generally wound up with Dixie, when the whole ship would be in an uproar of enthusiasm, sometimes as many as a hundred voices joining in the chorus; the unenthusiastic Englishman, the stolid Dutchman, the mercurial Frenchman, the grave Spaniard, and even the serious Malayan, all joining in the inspiring refrain,— We'll live and die in Dixie! and astonishing old Neptune by the fervor and novelty of their music. Eight o'clock was the hour at which the night-watches were set, when, of course, all merriment came to an end. When the officer of the deck reported this hour to the captain, and was told by the latter, to make it so, he put the trumpet to his mouth, and sang out in a loud voice, Strike the bell eight— call the watch! In an instant, the most profound silence fell upon the late uproarious scene. The witches did not disappear more magically, in t
ass musicians and poets, are all not unfrequently found in the same ship's company. These gentlemen play a very unimportant role in seamanship, but they take a high rank among the crew, when fun and frolic, and not seamanship, are the order of the day—or rather night. In the Alabama, we had a capital Falstaff, though Jack's capacious pouch was not often with fat capon lined; and as for sherry-sack, if he now and then got a good glass of red-eye instead, he was quite content. We had several Hals, who had defied their harsh old papas, and given them the slip, to keep Falstaff company; and as for raconteurs, we had them by the score. Some of these latter were equal to the Italian lazzaroni, and could extemporize yarns by the hour; and there is nothing of which a sailor is half so fond as a yarn. It was my custom, on these occasions, to go forward on the bridge—a light structure spanning the deck, near amidships —which, in the twilight hours, was a sort of lounging-place for the off<
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