Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 38.djvu/352
838 Southern Historical Society Papers.
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 remained until the next day, and in the afternoon of the 18th of March shaped our course for Charleston. Arriving in the midst of the blockading fleet there before dawn of the 19th, 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 only the Mafflts Channel open, and not knowing how far even that was obstructed, made me conclude not to attempt to run in. With an exhausted crew and short of coal, I put back and ran clear of the blockaders. At daylight on the 19th I made Captain Roman, steaming close in to land, and tracked up the beach, intending to try to enter Georgetown, S. C, but seeing the smoke of two steamers to the northward, I stopped the engines and made ready to destroy the vessels on their approach, as we were in a condition too ex- hausted to run successfully.
Fortunately the smoke of the blockaders disappeared on the horizon, and we steamed up to the entrance of Georgetown, but on going in we got around on the bar. Sending out a boat to take soundings, I observed a boat pulling around a point of land inside filled with armed men. At the same moment a body of horsemen came down to the beach. Not knowing but that this port also had fallen into the hands of the enemy, called my boat alongside, and made such preparations for defense as I could devise. When close enough, the boat hailed up to know what ship it was. I answered by asking whether they were Federals or Confederates. Their reply was, "We are South Carolinians," and I answered :
"This is the Confederate States steamer Nashville," which at first they seemed to discredit. Finally they approached, and I was told by the officer in command that Colonel Manigault, who was commanding ashore, had directed that if it was a Con- federate vessel I should hoist another flag under the one already