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Doc. 100. destruction of the Pevensey.

naval Station, Beaufort, N. C., June 9, 1864.
Yesterday morning, at a little past six o'clock, this quiet town and harbor was thrown into excitement by the appearance of black smoke in the offing. Now, in gun-boat parlance, black smoke is synonymous with English neutrality--King Cotton, or if you please, a blockade-runner. In a moment's space of time black smoke was discovered to be a large side-wheel steamer, chased by the supply steamer Newbern, and immediately the steamer Cherokee and the steam tug Lilac left the harbor to assist in the chase, and endeavor to keep her from the beach, to which she was making under a full head of steam; but all attempts to capture her were futile, and she was soon piled upon the sand. About fifteen minutes after striking she blew up, the shock of the explosion seriously straining her hull, and causing her to fill in short order. Her name was Pevensey, formerly called the Kangaroo. She was laden with firearms, saltpetre, dry goods, and various other things, and was first seen by the Newbern off New Inlet. The day before she had been chased by the Quaker City for more than sixteen hours, and left near where she was found by Lieutenant Harris. The Pevensey was a very large boat, and would have been to her captors decidedly the finest prize yet taken off this part of “Dixie,” being over six hundred tons, and very handsomely fitted out. For the time being most of the crew escaped; but, strange to say, that the second mate of the steamer remained fast asleep in his bunk after the explosion had taken place. If the weather had proved favorable, it is more than probable she would have been got off; but a strong breeze from the southward and westward soon made her a complete wreck, not, however, before some of her cargo had been secured upon the beach. A little incident relative to the subsequent capture of the officers and crew is not without interest. Acting Assistant Paymaster Woods, while riding down the beach some distance from the prize, saw some men standing near a clump of trees, and approached them. When within speaking distance, the Captain — for they were the refugees — called him with: “Colonel, how far is it from Fort Caswell?” [591] stating that they had just euchred the Yankees out of a fine prize. Mr. Woods seeing their mistake, resolved to profit by it, and told the captain he was happy to hear him say so, notwithstanding he was sorry he did not get her in; and remarked that, as he was riding down the beach some distance on a reconnoissance, would not object to their company, kindly volunteering to take some things for them on his horse. As the party proceeded up the strand they met Mr. James Young, Captain's Clerk of the Arletta, flag-ship of this station, who they supposed was also. a Confederate officer, and again abused those Yankee boogers, both Wood and Young joining in the tirade against the good Father Abraham and also Uncle Gideon's Band until they reached the first line of pickets. Then and there Mr. Wood informed the — gentlemen that they were prisoners of war to two Federal officers, excusing their deception by saying: “When ignorance was bliss to you, Monsieurs, 'twould have been folly in us to make you wise,” upon which one of them coolly remarked--“It was a genuine Yankee trick.”

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Robert C. Woods (2)
Thomas J. Wood (2)
James Young (1)
William Harris (1)
Doc (1)
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June 9th, 1864 AD (1)
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