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RUINS ON MONTGOMERY HILL,
after his visit to the field with General Thomas, the writer went to and sketched several places of interest. Among these was Fort Negley,' and the spacious mansion of Mrs. Ackling, the head-quarters of General Wood,' from whose gallery the young wife of that gallant officer looked out and saw
the dreadful storm of war in which her husband was conspicuous, when the attack was made upon Hood's salient on Montgomery Hill. It was just after sunset when that sketch was made. Then we rode to Montgomery Hill, passing up a lane among many evidences of the existence there of a once beautiful estate, then in utter ruin; and from the remains of Hood's strong intrenchments, north of the Montgomery mansion, the above sketch of its ruins was made, in the edge of the evening. They were partly inclosed in Hood's breastworks, and one of his redoubts, and presented a most melancholy picture of the ravages of war. The high grounds seen in the distance, toward the right of the sketch, are portions of the range of the Harpeth hills, to which Hood was driven when expelled from Montgom
We spent a few days pleasantly and profitably in and around Nashville, the recipients of the kindest courtesies, and then went southward to visit Murfreesboro', and the extended theater of conflict between there and Chattanooga and Atlanta, already mentioned in other pages of this work.
for the SI! FADE
CONFEDERATE NAVY DEPARTMENT.
CAREER OF THE ANGLO-CONFEDERATE PIRATES.-CLOSING OF THE PORT OF MOBILE
ET us now turn a moment, from the consideration of the struggle on the land, to that of some events of the war on the ocean, carried on by pirate ships, and also some important naval events near Mobile.
We have noticed the organization of a so-called “Navy Department” by the Conspirators, at Montgomery, early
in 1861, the measures taken for providing a naval force, and the commissioning of pirates to prey upon the National property on the océan. Also the doings of some of these cruisers in the earlier part of the war,' and the aid given to the Conspirators by British ship-builders, with the tacit consent of their Government, in constructing powerful sea-going pirate ships for the Confederate service. The latter, as we have observed, were fitted out by British hands, and their commanders bore commissions from the Confederate “Government ” so-called.*
These ships were provided with the best armament known to the British marine-Armstrong, Whitworth, Blakely, and other rifled cannon of heaviest
weight—which were also liberally furnished to the Confederates for land service, from British arsenals by the swift blockade-runners. By men of the same nation, every other material for destructive use by the pirate
ships, was supplied, even to the most approved fire-balls for burning merchant vessels. These outrages
1 See pages 872 to 874, inclusive, volume L.
See pages 555 to 558, inclusive, volume I. 3 See pages 567 to 571, inclusive, volume II. * See page 570, volume II. The Confederate “ Navy Department” was organized with S. R. Mallory, for merly a National Senator, at its heal, and he continued in office until the close of the war. His department according to “A Register of the Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the Navy of the Confederate States, to January 1, 1864," printed at Richmond, was composed as follows: S. R. Mallory, Secretary of the Navy, with a chief clerk, three inferior clerks, and messenger; an Office of Orders and Details; Office of Ordnance and Hy drography; Office of Provisions and Clothing, and Office of Medicine and Surgery. The Register contains severa hundred names of officers, including all ranks known in our navy, from admiral down. There was but one admiral (Franklin Buchanan), twelve captains, three provisional captains, and forty-one commanders. A large number of these were formerly in the National service.
So called from its inventor, Sir William Armstrong.
ANGLO-CONFEDERATE PIRATE SHIPS.
against a people with whom the British Government was at peace and entertaining the most amicable commercial relations, were for a long time. as we have observed, practically countenanced by that Government, which failed to act upon the earnest remonstrances of the American minister in London.
The most formidable of these piratical vessels fitted out in Great Britain and afloat in 1864, were the Alabama and Florida, already noticed, commanded respectively by Captains Semmes and Maffit. The former was in command of the Sumter, whose career suddenly ended early in 1862. The latter, as we have observed, went out from Mobile in the Oreto, afterward named Florida, to play the pirate by plundering on the high seas, without authority. Four other vessels were added by British shipmasters in 1864, named, respectively, Georgia, Tallahassee, Olustee, and Chickamauga, whose ravages greatly swelled the sum total of damages already inflicted upon American commerce by Anglo-Confederate marauders." They sailed under British colors until a prize was secured, when they hoisted the Confederate flag. They were everywhere greeted with the greatest enthusiasm in British ports, and their officers were honored with receptions and dinners by British officials and British subjects; and wherever these corsairs appeared, whether in “proper person” on the water, or in discussions in the British Parliament, or among the ruling classes of Great Britain, they were ever the occasion for an exhibition of the practical hollowness of that neutrality proclaimed in good faith by the Queen at the beginning of the Rebellion.
The Florida hovered most of the time off the American coast, while the Alabama was seen in European and more distant waters. The former was closely watched by Government vessels, especially when the pirate was cruising among the West India Islands, but she managed to elude them.
HOT METAL SHELL
1 See page 565, volume II.
* See page 568, volume II.
All of these destructive materials were furnished to the pirate ships in Great Britain. They were seen and sketched by the author, at the Navy Yard in Washington City, with many other relics of the war, in 1866.
5 At the beginning of 1864 the pirates then on the ocean had captured 198 American merchant ships, whereof all but 17 were burnt. The value of their cargoes, in the aggregate, was estimated at $13,445,000. So dangerous became the navigation of the ocean for American vessels, that about 1,000 American ships were sold to foreign merchants, chiefly British. Full two-thirds of the carrying trade between the United States and Europe was driven to British bottoms.
& While cruising in that region in May, 1963, the Florida captured the brig Clarence, and fitted her up as a pirate ship, with a crew under Lieutenant C. W. Read, formerly of the National Navy. She went up the coast of the United States, capturing valuable prizes, and near Cape Henry she seized the bark Tacony. To this vessel Read transferred his men and armament, and spread destruction and consternation among merchant and fishing vessels, from the coast of Virginia to that of Maine. Swift cruisers were sent after the Tacony. When Informed of this, Read transferred his crew and armament to the prize schooner Archer, and destroyed the Tacony. Then he went boldly to the entrance of the harbor of Portland, Maine, June 24, and at midnight sent two armed boats to seize the revenue cutter Cushing, lying there. It was 1863. done, when chase after the pirates was successfully made by two merchant steamers, hastily armed and manned for the purpose. The Oushing and Archer, with the pirates, were soon taken back to Port land, where the marauders were lodged in prison.
CAPTURE OF TIIE FLORIDA.
. Oct. 7,
She would sometimes skim swiftly along the coast of the United States, leaving a track of desolation in her course, and then shoot off to some distant waters. On one of these occasions, while in command of Captain Morris, she went down the Brazilian coast, destroyed the barque Mondamon, off the port of Bahia, and then ran into that harbor. There Morris saw with Alarm the United States Steamer Wachusett, Captain Collins. As a precaution, he anchored the Florida in the midst of the Brazilian feet, and under the guns of the most powerful fort guarding the town. The American Conbul, T. F. Wilson, protested against the hospitality thus given to the pirate by the Brazilian authorities, to which no attention was paid.
Captain Collins determined that the Florida should never put to sea again. He tried to draw her into battle outside of the harbor, but did not succeed ; and then, in disregard of the rights of the Brazilians in their own
waters, he ran down“ upon the Florida with a full head of steam, with the intention of crushing and sinking her. He failed. She
was damaged, but not crippled. There was a little musket firing on both sides, without injury, when Collins demanded the surrender of the Florida. Her commander and half his crew were ashore, and the lieutenant in charge, having no choice, complied. The pirate ship was instantly boarded, and lashed to the Wachusett, when the latter put to sea under a tull head of steam, towing her prize, unmindful of a challenge by the Brazilian fleet, and unharmed by shots from the Bahian fort.
Captor and prize soon appeared in Hampton Roads; and not long afterward the Florida was sunk while lying off Newport-Newce.
The capture of the Florida produced much excitement. It was brought to the notice of the Government of the United States by the Brazilian minister at Washington in the form of a protest, with the assumption that the rebels were lawful belligerents, and that the Florida was one of their vessels
The Government disavowed the act of its agents in the port of Bahia as a violation of neutrality laws and the rights of Brazil, and Consul Wilson, known to have been implicated in the capture, was recalled, and Captain Collins was suspended and ordered before a court-martial. At the same time, the assumption of the Brazilian Government was disallowed, and
Later in the year another daring act of piracy was committed. The merchant steamer Chesapeake, plying between New York and Portland, was seized on the 6th of December, by sixteen of her passengers, wbo proved to be pirates in disguise. They overpowered the officers, killed and threw overboard one of the engineers, and took possession of the vessel. She was soon afterward seized in one of the harbors of Nova Scotia, by a National gun-boat, and the pirates were taken to Halifax and handed over to the civil authorities, from whom they were snatched by a sympathizing mob.
1 Maflit, the commander of the Florida, was represented by all who knew him as a man lacking all resl sense of honor. His conduct in the capture of the Jacob Bell, a merchant ship on her way to New York from China, sufficiently proves the assertion. Among the passengers was Mrs. H. Dwight Williams, wife of the American Commissioner of Customs at Swartow, in China. She had in her trunk many valuable presents for friends at home, besides a large amount of clothing and silver plate. She gave Maffit a list of her personal effects, and begged him to spare them for her. He politely told her he could not, and then went to the Jaca Bell. She obtained permission to return to that ship, where she found Maffit and his fellow-officers ennged in appropriating her property to their own use. They broke open packages; and laces, letters, photographs of friends, which they could not use, they trampled under foot on the deck, in her presence. Mrs. Williams as soon taken back to the Florida, when the Jacob Bell was burned. One of Maffit's school-fellows, a recept writer asserts, remembers the following lines, written by another about twelve years of age, on an exhibition days of the school:
“And here's Johnny Maffit, as straight as a gun
If you face him square up, he'll turn round acd run!
THE ALABAMA IN A FRENCH POP.T.
the hospitality it had afforded to the Florida at Bahia, was denounced as an "act of intervention in derogation of the law of nations, and unfriendly and wrongful, as it was manifestly injurious to the United States.” 1
Long before the Florida was seized, the career of the Georgia was ended, and the Alabama“ had made her last cruise. It had been a long and prosperous one in the South Atlantic and Indian oceans, during which she had captured sixty-seven vessels, of which forty-five were destroyed. She returned to European waters early in the summer of 1864, and took refuge in the French harbor of Cherbourg. At that time the United States steamer Kearsarge, commanded by Captain John A.
JOHN A. WINSLOW. Winslow, was lying in the Dutch port of Flushing. The American consul at Cherbourg immediately informed Winslow, by telegraph, of the presence of the Alabama, when he left Flushing and proceeded, with the Kearsarge, to look after the pirate ship.
The Kearsarge appeared off Cherbourg on the 14th of June,“ and on the following day, Semmes, having made arrangements for all needful assistance, sent a note to Winslow, desiring him not to leave, as he (the pirate) intended to fight him. Winslow was glad to oblige the writer, and remained. Semmes then made ample preparations. He deposited valuable property on the shore with his friends, and at his own chosen time, which was Sunday, the 19th of June, he went out of the harbor with the Alabama, followed by the yacht Deerhound, belonging to one of the English gentry named Lambert. It was a sort of tender, to see that the pirate
1 Exceptions have been taken to the use of the title of pirate applied to the vessels and men like the Flor. ida, Alabama, and others, and their officers and crews. The Secretary of State (W. H. Seward), with all the light that international arrangements and the laws of nations, as well as the letter and spirit of definition on these points, could give, not only considered these vessels and their crews in that light, but said so in his diplomatic correspondence. In his letter to the Brazilian minister, on the occasion we are considering, he said, that the Government maintained that the Florida “like the Alabama, was a pirate, belonging to no nation or lauful belligerent, and, therefore, the harboring and supplying of these piratical ships and their crews, in belligerent ports, were wrongs and injuries for which Brazil justly owes reparation to the United States, as ample as the reparation she now receives from them.” Consult, also, page 570, of volume II., and note 1, page 556, volume I. of this work.
2 The Georgia was an iron ship, built in Glasgow. She went to sea with the name of Japan, in April, 1863. Off the coast of France she received her armament, changed her name to Georgia, and began the career of a pirate. After committing many depredations, and destroying large and valuable merchant ships, she put into French ports, and then went to England where a pretended sale of her was made to a Liverpool merchant, who dispatched her to Lisbon, under the pretense that she had been chartered by the Portuguese Government. When twenty miles from Lisbon, she was captured by the United States steam-frigate Niagara, Captain Craven, who took her to England, and landed her crew at Dover. No one seemed willing to question the correctness of the transaction, and that was the last of the Georgia as a pirate ship.
* See picture of the Alabama, on page 571.
* This name was given to the vessel by the wife of G. V. Fox, then the efficient Assistant Secretary of the Navy, who was the daughter of the late Levi Woodbury, of New Hampshire. It was the Indian name of a mountain in her native State.
5 This consisted chietly of a chest of coin, and 62 chronometers, which he had taken from the vessels he had eaptured. The Confederate agent at Cherbourg, M. Bonfils, took charge of this property, which was valued at about $25,000