previous next

Doc. 156. capture of the “Beauregard.”

A correspondent gives the following particulars of the capture of the privateer Beauregard:

The W. G. Anderson, Lieutenant Commanding W. C. Rogers, United States Navy, entered the port of Key West, Fla., from a cruise the morning of the 20th of November. She was accompanied by a prize schooner carrying on her desk an ugly-looking rifled gun. On boarding the Anderson, we learned that the prize was the rebel privateer Beauregard, of and from Charleston, S. C., and commanded by Capt. Gilbert Hay. She was captured on the morning of the 12th, one hundred miles east-northeast of Abaco. No resistance was made by the Beauregard, the superiority of the armament of the Anderson being so great that it would have been madness to measure their strength. While the Anderson was approaching her, the crew were engaged in throwing over shot, shell, muskets, &c., and before the capture, most of the ammunition was lost — only powder, a few pistols, one or two rifles, and the pivot gun on deck, remaining. The crew, twenty-seven in number, were at once placed in irons and transferred to the ship. Prize-Master Davis, with a picked crew, took charge of the schooner, and safely brought her to Key West.

Captain Rogers, on arrival, immediately consulted with the civil authorities as to the disposal of his prisoners, when it was decided that they should be placed in the hands of the United States Marshal. After an examination on board, the officers and crew were taken to the shore and placed in the county jail, where, properly guarded, they will remain until their trial. Captain Gilbert Hay, the master, was born in Scotland, was naturalized in Charleston, where he has lived twenty-eight years. He testified that the Beauregard sailed from Charleston on the 7th of November. She was commissioned by Jefferson Davis on the 14th [372] of October to act as a private armed vessel in the service of the Confederate States on the high seas against the United States of America, their ships, vessels, goods and effects, and those of their citizens, during the prevailing war.

The Beauregard saw no vessel previous to her capture, and did not fire a gun after leaving port, not even for practice. Captain Hay says the vessel is owned by a stock company, and that her bills, when ready for sea, were fifteen thousand dollars. Mordecai Himes was the agent of the company.

Captain Hay served on board the Jeff. Davis as prize-master. He also taught the young midshipmen navigation. When the bark Alvarado was taken, he was placed in charge as prize-master. She was chased ashore by one of our fleet and burned.

John B. Davis, the first lieutenant, was on board the Confederate man-of-war Winslow when she seized a vessel off the North Carolina coast. While the Anderson was overhauling the Beauregard, this officer attempted to fire the twenty-four pounder, but was prevented by the crew.

Archibald Lilley, of Charleston, is the purser of the privateer. He could not have had access to the Treasury Department of the Confederacy very lately, for his fiscal balance showed the amount of cash on hand to be twenty-five cents. Paymaster Lilley is a very seedy-looking individual, and by no means a fair specimen of the chivalrous South Carolinian.

Joseph H. Stuart, second lieutenant, was born in Clifton, England. He is a seaman, and was on board the brig Mary Goodel when she was captured by the Jeff. Davis. He enlisted in the Davis as boatswain, and while on board, the brigantine Santa Clara and bark Alvarado were captured. He was also in the Davis when she was lost on St. Augustine bar. The names and nativity of the crew are as follows:

Oliver Ruse, carpenter, aged twenty-one, born in Charleston; Wm. Dangler, cook, aged twenty-six, born in Redbank, N. J.; Peter Parry, seaman, aged eighteen, born in South Carolina--was on the Jeff. Davis; James McGivern, seaman, aged twenty-two, born in Liverpool; John Burns, seaman, aged forty-five, born in Dublin; John Conway, seaman, aged thirty, born in Philadelphia; joined a French company of Zouaves in New Orleans; went to Warrington, deserted, arrived in Charleston destitute, and enlisted on the Beauregard from necessity; Daniel Culle, seaman, aged sixteen, born in Glasgow; Henry F. Randolph, seaman, aged twenty-five, born in New York — he is deaf; was seduced on board, and not allowed to leave the vessel; Wm. Boyd, seaman, aged twenty-six years, born in Ireland; Charles Butcher, seaman, aged twenty years, born in Prussia, was formerly on the steamer Isabel, running between Havana, Key West, and Charleston; he testifies that the Isabel is being transformed into a gunboat; she is nearly ready for her armament; Captain Rollins, the former captain, will command the Isabel; John Cameron, seaman, aged thirty-two years, a native of Scotland, was on the Jeff. Davis when she captured the barks Alvarado, Enchantress, and schooner Waring; received as his share of prize-money, five dollars; Thomas McBurney, seaman, aged twenty-seven years, born in Ireland; Alanson T. Swan, seaman, aged twenty-five years, born in South Carolina; Michael Kenney, seaman, aged thirty years, born in Ireland; Andrew Jackson, seaman, aged twenty-two, born in Ireland; George Valentine, seaman, aged twenty-five, born in Maryland; deserted from his company at the Charleston Arsenal and enlisted on the Beauregard voluntarily; Henry Maylan, seaman, aged twenty-two, born in Ireland; has been deck hand on the New York and Charleston steamers; Henry Pahlow, seaman, aged forty-two, Prussian ; Richard Robinson, seaman, aged forty-seven, native of England; William Perkins, seaman, aged forty-five, born in Ireland, was ten years in the Third regiment United States Artillery, Col. Yates; Richard C. Busey, seaman, aged forty-one, born in Baltimore ; was decoyed on board while drunk and forced to sign the ship's articles; he was a member of a company stationed on Sullivan's Island at the time of the bombardment of Sumter; he says but one man was killed at Moultrie by the bursting of a shell; John Sommer, aged twenty-seven, native of Germany, was paid twenty dollars advance when he shipped — could get no work at Charleston; Frederick Kleinca, native of Germany.

The above twenty-seven men are the hardest-looking, most desperate and wretched set it has ever been our lot to encounter. We pity the fate of the unfortunates who might have fallen into their power had they not been arrested in their wicked career by the gallant Captain Rogers. That such a vessel, such a crew, and so miserable an armament and outfit should have been permitted to leave the harbor of Charleston, is most wonderful. Their cause must be a desperate one when defended by such ragamuffins as now disgrace the walls of the jail of Key West.

The following is a true copy of the letter of marque and reprisal:

Jefferson Davis, President of Tee Confederate States of America: To all who shall see these presents, greeting :--Know ye, that by virtue of the power vested in me by law, I have commissioned, and do hereby commission, have authorized, and do hereby authorize, the schooner or vessel called the Beauregard, (more particularly described in the schedule hereunto annexed,) whereof Gilbert Hay is commander, to act as a private armed vessel in the service of the Confederate States on the high sea, against the United States of America, their ships, vessels, goods, effects, and those of their citizens, during the pending of the war now existing between the said Confederate States and the said United States. This commission [373] to continue in force until revoked by the President of the Confederacy for the time being.

Given under my hand, and seal of the Confederate States, at Montgomery, 14th October, 1861.

By the President: R. Toombs, Secretary of State.

Schedule of description.--Name, Beauregard; tons, 101 4-95; armament, one gun; number of crew, forty.

The following is a list of the officers of the sloop-of-war W. G. Anderson: Lieutenant Commanding--W. C. Rogers; Executive Officer--Henry C. Pitman; Second Executive Officer--Thomas Hutchinson; Sailing Master--William Bailey; Master's Mates--Warren Hallett, Robert C. Carey, Russell Davis. The Anderson has six thirty-two pounders and one rifled cannon. and a crew of one hundred and ten men. [See Doc. 172 1/2.]

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
October 14th, 1861 AD (1)
November 20th (1)
November 7th (1)
October (1)
12th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: