The Richmond Enquirer
of August 29th, contains the following account of the adventures and fate of the privateer “Jeff Davis
Mr. F. C. Dutneux
, one of the crew of the privateer, has furnished the Enquirer
with a graphic account of the career of that “pirate,” from which we extract the following:
When about eight hundred miles east of Cape Florida
they came in contact with the ship John Crawford
, Captain Edge
, from Philadelphia
, bound to Key West
, with arms and coal for the United States forces.
She was found to draw twenty-two feet of water and could not possibly be brought in. The officers and crew, numbering in all twenty-two persons, were taken on board the privateer, the vessel fired and holes bored in her sides and bottom.
This was about four o'clock in the morning and by good daylight the ship was wrapped in flames, going down shortly afterward.
It was found impossible to secure any of the arms, as they were stowed under the coal.
They then turned their course with a light wind, for St. Augustine, Florida
Upon nearing the coast, the wind increased, until finally it blew a perfect gale.
The vessel had crossed the gulf safely, and on Friday night, the 15th, they hove to, and found themselves in sixteen fathoms water.
At daylight land was discovered and a clear coast.
They were then about ten miles south of Matanzas
Squared away and made for San Augustine
bar. Found the tide too low upon their arrival, and stood off. The captain hoisted the Confederate
flag at the fore topgallant-mast, and fired a gun as a signal for a pilot.
Three attempts were made to get into the harbor, but it was found they could not weather it. The people on shore kept a light burning for them, as was afterward discovered, but which the privateers did not observe or were unable to see. The vessel kept working up to wind-ward through the night, and at daylight they discovered themselves ten miles from the bar. The flag was again hoisted, and a pilot was observed coming toward the brig and giving the usual signals.
In attempting to cross the bar, however, the brig grounded on the North Breakers.
This was about half-past 6 o'clock Sunday morning, the 17th inst. A small boat was sent ashore with Dr. Babcock
and Lieut. Baya
, and the prisoners landed.
The officers and crews of the privateer then went ashore, and were greeted with the most enthusiastic demonstrations by the inhabitants.
About half-past 9, two light boats went off to the brig, along with Capt. Coxetter
and other officers.
The starboard guns were thrown overboard to lighten the vessel, in order to clear her decks of water, and save as much as possible of the supplies on board the brig. Every
effort was made to save every thing then on board, but it was supposed that the guns thrown overboard stove her in and caused her to bilge.
The light boats, however, were filled with a large amount of provisions and baggage, and finally succeeded in saving all the small-arms on board.
About two o'clock all hands had left, and were conveyed to St. Augustine
The ladies threw open their houses and they were received with cheers upon cheers.
Cheers were given for the Jeff.
, for the Southern Confederacy, and the utmost hilarity and rejoicing for the safe arrival of the privateer were manifested.
While there, they were sumptuously provided for, and furnished with every comfort that could possibly be devised.
They learned afterward that there had been considerable excitement in the town on the appearance of the Jeff.
, it having been suspected that she was a Yankee cruiser in disguise, and had hoisted the Confederate
flag to deceive or decoy some of the vessels from the shore.
The prisoners were also treated very kindly and supplied with every thing comfortable.
Before our informant left, Capt. Coxetter
had again returned to the wreck and succeeded in saving an additional amount of provisions and some of the sails.
Every effort was made by Capt. Coxetter
to secure as much as possible for the stockholders.
The brig is a total loss.
But a small piece of her bow was remaining on Thursday morning, when our informant left, and it was then thought that she would go to pieces before daylight.
The crew of the privateer left there for this city on Monday last, but lost the connecting boat at Toccoa
and were delayed at Fernandina
It is thought they will arrive here this evening.
We are glad to learn that there will soon be another Jeff. Davis
afloat, and that the same brave crew are anxious to again go forth to avenge the death of Amiel, and make up for any short-comings of their first adventures.