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Doc. 68. operations of the Gulf fleet.

Report of Com. Alden.

U. S. Steamer South Carolina, S. W. Pass, Oct. 4, 1861.
sir: I have to report that the two schooners brought here by me were captured by us. The first, the Ezilda, was taken on the 30th ultimo, four or five miles from land, with the Timbalier light bearing W. 1/2 S., about thirteen miles. The other, the Joseph H. Toone, we caught, after a hard chase of five or six hours, at the entrance of Barrataria Bay. As soon as she discovered us she stood to the S. W. They both claim to be English vessels. The first, the Ezilda, was cleared for Matamoras, by T. O. Sullivan, of Cork, Ireland, and the log is signed by him, but it appears he left her before she sailed, and when captured by us she was cornmanded by an ex-United States Naval officer, Wm. Anderson Hicks, of Mississippi, who resigned [167] from the Naval Academy at Annapolis, in March last, and was an officer on board the Sumter when she left the Mississippi. He had carried into Cienfuegos several prizes taken by the Sumter, and when we took him he was on his way home via Havana. He had as passenger Mr. Baddendoff, a merchant of New Orleans, whom I have determined to let go on his parole. The crew list of the Ezilda contains not one Englishman, and taken in connection with the fact that he had contrived to get so far off his course — over four hundred miles--against adverse winds, not to mention the cargo so entirely contraband of war — a list of which is herewith sent — I at once pronounced him a prize to the United States Government. One of their bills of lading says: “Shipped sixty-one bags of coffee to any port of the Confederate States north of Brazos.” The Joseph H. Toone's captain is from New Jersey, and her crew, judging from appearances, are mostly foreign to the British crown. An abstract which I send you of her cargo, taken from the bills of lading found on board, being mostly arms and ammunition, together with other articles contraband of war, was so convincing, I immediately made her a prize to the United States Government. Her passengers were: Wm. H. Aymer, merchant, of New Orleans, hails from St. Andrew's, N. B., and is owner of both cargo and vessel; Thomas Lewis, late of U. S. Army, and lately attached to the U. S. Arsenal at Washington, has an English passport, and travels under the name of John Martin. Both of these are to go to New York, prisoners of war, in the Nightingale. Dr. D. L. Lefebre, a Frenchman, says he thought he was going to Tampico. I shall let him go on parole. I have directed Stephen R. Hudson, mate, to proceed in the Nightingale with the cargo and prisoners to testify in both of the cases. I estimate the arms to be from four thousand to five thousand stand.


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