Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 30.djvu/268

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260 Southern Historical Society Papers.

DETROIT, September 19, 1864.

Close out all of the stock in the Mount Hope Oil Company before 3 o'clock to-day. Be prompt.

C. H. COLE.

This meant that the attempt to capture the Michigan was to be made that afternoon, and that attacks should be made on Camps Douglas, Chase, and Morton. In company with Beall, Cole boarded the Philo Parsons, which ran between Detroit and Sandusky. She stopped at the various places on the Canada sideof the Detroit river. At Windsor and Maiden the Confederates got aboard. At the latter place there were twenty men who brought with them an old-fashioned trunk tied with ropes. This, however, did not excite suspicion, as at that time there were any number of men fleeing into Canada to escape the draft, and others forced to return for want of money.

Major Cole, who had become well acquainted with the commander of the vessel, Captain Atwood, was in the pilothouse. When all was in readiness Beall gave the signal and Cole covered the captain with a revolver.

A BOLD EXPLOIT.

"You are my prisoner," he said, coolly. " I take possession of this ship in the name of the Confederate States of America."

In the meantime the ropes around the old trunk were cut, the hatchets and revolvers which it contained distributed among the Confederates, and in a trice the crew of the Philo Parsons were prisoners below the hatches. The Stars and Stripes were hauled down, and the Stars and Bars floated from the flagstaff. Shortly after noon Put-in-Bay was reached. At the wharf lay the steamer Island Queen, bound for Cleveland, with 300 passengers, mostly unarmed soldiers, on their way to be mustered out. The Parsons uickly ran alongside, made fast, and captured her. The two ves- sels were then steered to Fighting Island, and the prisoners compelled to land. The steamers then proceeded toward Sandusky, and when within a short distance of the Michigan, Cole was rowed to her in a small boat in order to keep his engagement with the officers. Everything was working like a charm, and no one had the slightest suspicion that anything was wrong. Arrangements had been made to have men come off from the shore in a little fishing boat, and at a given signal from Cole board the Michigan, while the officers were below at dinner, put on the hatches, and capture the man-of-war without the loss of a man. At the same instant a cannon discharged