Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 23.djvu/286
280 Southern Historical Society Papers.
the United States Revenue Marine Service, with two boats contain- ing nineteen men, who, instantly presenting revolvers to the heads of the watch on deck, captured her without noise or resistance. The cable could not be slipped, so it was 2 o'clock before he could get under way. By this time the wind was very light, and the tide was running in. In this emergency, having put the cutter's officers and crew in irons; he put two boats out ahead with his own men to tow her, and succeeded in getting just beyond the range of the guns of the fort as day dawned. Of course, it was now too late to return and burn the shipping, so he decided to put to sea, and abide his time.
PREPARATIONS FOR PURSUIT.
By 8 o'clock A. M. the news was spread abroad in the city of Portland that the cutter had been captured. The collector of the port, Jedediah Jewett, immediately made preparations for pursuit. He sent messengers to Major Andrews, Seventeenth United States Regulars, commanding Fort Preble, for guns and men, and to Colo- nel Mason, commanding the Seventh Maine Volunteers, at Camp Lincoln, for men to be ready to embark in steamers at once. With great promptness he chartered the fine, large steamers Forest City and Chesapeake, and a small steam tug. The Chesapeake took on board fifty bales of cotton as barricades, two brass six-pounder guns, the greater portion of Seventh Regiment, Maine Volunteers, and fifty citizens volunteers, who had armed themselves and repaired on board. The Forest City took on board, besides her regular crew, Lieutenants Merryman and Richardson, of the United States Reve- nue Service, and fourteen seamen belonging to the Caleb Cushing, who happened to be ashore that night, three officers, and thirty- eight men, with one six-pounder and one twelve-pounder howitzer, and forty armed volunteer citizens. This formidable array was ready and under way in the incredibly short time of one hour. They stood out to sea in pursuit, the Forest City and tug some distance in ad- vance. About fifteen miles off the coast they discovered the cutter and immediately stood for her.
The Caleb Cushing had one thirty-two-pounder and one twelve- pounder howitzer on board, and when Read saw the three steamers bearing down on him he knew what was up, and clearing his little vessel for action, prepared to give them a warm reception. When the leading steamer, the Forest City, arrived within about two miles of him, he dropped a well-directed thirty-two-pounder shot within a