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Civil War Harper's Weekly, September 28, 1861

We have posted our collection of original Civil War Harper's Weekly newspaper on the WEB to assist you in your studies and research of the war. These newspapers allow you to see the war unfold, and read the reactions of the people who were there at the time. We hope this effort serves as a valuable resource for your studies.

(Scroll Down to see entire page, or Newspaper Thumbnails will take you to the page of interest.)



Wisconsin Volunteers


Military Campaign

Slave Liberation

Lincoln Orders: "Don't Free Slaves"

General Johnston

General Albert S. Johnston

Navy Battle

Fernandina Naval Battle

Supply Train

Supply Train

Fort Snelling Minnesota

Fort Snelling

Fishing North Carolina

North Carolina Fisheries


Gun-Boat "Winona"

James River

The James River

White Plains, Virginia

White Plains

Free Negros Fishing

Free Negros

Lytton's Strange Story

Walt Whitman Poem

Walt Whitman Poem










SEPTEMBER 28, 1861.]




(Previous Page)and his wife prisoners. By the time the boats of the vessel had reached the shore we got near enough to fire, and accordingly fired a round shot at her. By means of our glasses we could not perceive any one on the vessel's decks; but on looking toward land we found that the alarm had been given, and that crowds of people were flocking to the shore, anxiously waiting to see what we would do with the stranded ship. By this time bodies of armed men were seen defiling through an opening in the sand-hills; and shortly afterward horses drawing some pieces of ordnance; and accompanied by artillerymen, were noticed. The confusion on shore now became general men marching in columns, horses with their riders flying hither and thither, and spectators to the number of some 200 or 300 lined the beach. The pieces of cannon were now placed in position on shore, so as to rake the boats if they were sent to take the bark, and every thing denoted the intention on the part of the Floridians of making a determined resistance. Our ship was distant some two miles

from the prize; and as the sea shoals very suddenly here, we were afraid to venture in any nearer land. Our captain then tried to destroy her by shelling her with our batteries, but none of the shot reached the vessel. At this time the shore batteries opened, with the intention of showing us that they could destroy any thing that approached for the purpose of boarding the bark. Finding that the only way of destroying the vessel was by means of boats, the launch, first and fourth cutters were called and manned. The first boat was officered by Lieutenant Flasser (who commanded the expedition) ; Lieutenant Houston, of the Marines ; and Assistant-Surgeon Cleborne. The first cutter was commanded by Lieutenant R. Phythian, accompanied by Mr. Chisolm, Master; and the other boat was in charge of Midshipman Tyson. All being ready the boats shoved off, and as they approached the vessel were received by a sharp' fire from the shore batteries; some heavy shot was fired, which we afterward understood came from a masked battery near the light-house ; and the

field-pieces were fired in rapid succession—the cannon balls came whizzing over our heads and around us rather unpleasantly, I assure you. At last we reached the vessel, just in time to save our boat from a round shot which came whizzing over the vessel, and fell only a few feet behind its. Had we been struck by it, the boat must have instantly sunk. The other boats came on in good order, and fortunately unscathed ; and as the launch touched the ship a dozen boarders clambered up her sides, headed by our second lieutenant, and followed by the other officers of the boat ; but luckily no one had remained on board to contest the day, and we soon made ourselves masters of the contents of the vessel, which proved to be hemp, wool, and oil. While we were trying, without success, to get the vessel off, the surgeon and others were busied in securing the ship's papers, and securing every thing of importance which in the hurry had been left behind. The recall was now hoisted on board the Jamestown, and a gun fired to warn us of an armed steamer which was seen approaching.

It was then decided to burn the vessel ; the stars and stripes were hoisted ; and she was accordingly set fire to in three places so effectually that we had scarcely time to leave the ship's side when the flames burst out on every side. As we pulled for our ship the steamer neared us with the intention of running us down, but those on board the man-of-war had seen the design, and were bearing toward us broadside on, when the Secession steamer concluded not to come within range of our guns, and turned her head toward Fernandina again. The sight of the burning vessel was truly grand, and the scene was made more striking by the occasional firing of the batteries on our retreating boats; none of their shots were effective, though their line firing was excellent.

The bark was the Alvarado, of Boston, commanded by Captain Whiting, and her cargo, I hear, was worth nearly $100,000. This is the true state of the case; so that the Secessionists did not make any thing of the prize but a burned-down hulk.


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