The Great Civil War, a History of the Late Rebellion, With Biographical Sketches of Leading Statesmen and Distinguished Naval and Military Commanders, Etc


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THE KEARSARGE AND THE ALABAMA. 425 CHAPTER XXXIX The 'Alabama at Cherbourg.—Mr. Dayton telegraphs for the Kearsarge and St. Louis.—The Alabama ordered to leave Cherbourg.—Captain Semmes challenges the Kearsarge.—Descriptions of the Alabama and Kearsarge.—Biograph- ical Sketches of Captains Winslow and Semmes.—Numerous Spectators. —The Chain Armor of the Kearsarge.— The Fight.—The Surrender.—The Alabama goes to the Bottom.—The English Steam-yacht Deerhound.—Efforts to save the Crew of the Alabama.—Killed and Wounded.—Conduct of Captain Semmes.--Capture of the Georgia by the Niagara.—Cruise of the Florida.—Capture of the Electric Spark.—-Armament of the, Florida.—The Florida and Wachusett at Bahia.—Captain Morris refuses the Challenge of Captain Collins to go outside the Harbor and fight. —Half of the Florida’s crew ashore.—Captain Collins seizes the Florida and tows her out to Sea.—Unsuccessful Pursuit by the Brazilian Admiral.—The Florida sunk in Hampton Roads.—Apology and Reparation made to the Brazilian Government.—The Crew of the Florida set at Liberty.—Escape of the Tallahassee from Wilmington.— Description of the Tallahassee.—Her Armament.—Her short and destructive Career.—She puts into Halifax.— Makes her way back to Wilmington. During the year 1864 the three English-built Confederate cruisers, 1864« the Alabama, Georgia, and Florida, which during two years had almost paralyzed the American carrying trade, roaming the seas, robbing and destroy- ing peaceful merchantmen, but carefully shunning all armed antagonists, too often finding refuge and protection, and even supplies and other assistance, in neutral ports, terminated their predatory career. The most prominent of these, the Alabama, commanded by Captain Raphael Semmes, having had an un- usually prosperous run in the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans, returned early in June, after a remarkably short voyage of one hundred days from the China Seas, to northern waters, and on the 10th of June put into the harbor of Cherbourg, bringing with her the crews of two vessels which she had destroyed on the way. As soon as Mr. Dayton, the American 222 minister at Paris, was informed of her arrival, he telegraphed to Captain Win- slow, commanding the United States corvette Kearsarge, then lying at the Dutch port of Flushing, and for the ! sailing frigate St. Louis, supposed to be at Cadiz, to proceed at once to Cher- bourg and watch the Alabama, and take the first opportunity after her leaving French waters to capture or sink her. He also made a protest to the French Government against the admission of the Alabama, and reminded the foreign secretary of a promise which he had previously given with regard to this vessel. The result of the protest was, that the French maritime prefect noti- fied Captain Semmes that he must leave Cherbourg as soon as he had taken in provisions and coal, and that he would not be allowed to have repairs made on his ship as he had designed. Mr. Dayton having succeeded in procuring this order for the departure of the

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