Cruise of the C. S. Steamer Nashville. 337
instruments as were deemed absolutely necessary for naviga- tion, with the promise that if his efforts were successful the ultimate command of the ship would be given him by the pur- chasers.
Having made all my preparations to destroy the ship, if necessary 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 de- fense, I should, on the approach of the expedition, destroy my vessel and come into the fort as a reenforcement 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 Godspeed. On the evening of March 17, 1862, between sunset and moonrise, the moon being nearly full, I tripped my anchor and ran out. As soon as I was under way a rccket 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 towards 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 block- aders, under way and broadside to me, were across my path. I ran for the one furtherest to the northward 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 vessels. They had commenced firing as soon as I got within range, and con- tinued until I passed out, firing in all, as well as we could de- termine, about twenty guns. The moon rose clear and full a