210 Southern Historical Society Papers.
sary, to prevent her capture in passing out, I dropped down under the guns of Fort Macon. Colonel White, in command of the fort, came on board and told me of the efforts that were being made for my capture. He suggested that, as I had no means of defense, I should, on the approach of the expedition, destroy my vessel and come into the fort as a re-enforcement to him. I then divulged to Captain White my plan of escape, and notified him of my intention to run out that evening, requesting him to see that I was not fired upon by his command. He was delighted with the plan and wished me God-speed. On the evening of March 17, 1862, between sunset and moonrise, the moon being nearly full, I tipped my anchor and ran out. As soon as I was under way a rocket was sent up from the lower side of Bogue Island, below Fort Macon, by an enemy's boat, sent ashore from the blockaders for the purpose of watching me, giving me the assurance that my movement had been detected.
Steaming toward the entrance at the bar, I found the three vessels congregated close together under way and covering the narrow channel. Just before reaching the bar I slipped my anchor, which on hoisting had caught under the forefoot, in order to prevent its knocking a hole in the ship's bottom, as I knew we would strike on going over the- bar. We were going at full speed, say fourteen knots per hour. I was in the pilot house with Gooding, and two others were at the wheel. The blockaders, under way and broadside to me, were across my path. I ran for the one furtherest to the north- ward and eastward, with the determination to go through or sink both ships. As I approached rapidly I was given the right of way and passed through and out under a heavy fire from the three ves- sels. They had commenced firing as soon as I got within range, and continued until I passed out, firing in all, as well as we could deter- mine, about twenty guns. The moon rose clear and full a short time afterward and found us well out to sea, no attempt being made to pursue us that we could discover.
We ran on out to the inner edge of the Gulf stream, where we re- mained until the next day, and in the afternoon of the i8th of March shaped our course for Charleston. Arriving in the midst of the blockading fleet there before dawn of the igth, we discovered their position by the great number of rockets which they were sending up to signal the fact that our presence was known. This, together with the fact that the stone fleet had been sunk in the channel, leaving