38 Southern Historical Society Papers.
periods on board of the two ships, and yet he never lost a single man by disease.
After the war Admiral Semmes returned to Mobile, Ala., which place he ever afterwards made his home, and entered upon the practice of law, but early in December, 1865, at the instiga- tion of the Secretary of the Navy, the Hon. Gideon H. Wells, the Admiral was arrested by a sergeant and file of marines and taken, a prisoner, to Washington, where he was incarcerated four months, although at the time he had a regular parole from General Sherman, as one of the prisoners of war surrendered by General Joseph E. Johnston. During Admiral Semmes' cap- tivity, every effort was made to obtain sufficient incriminating evidence against him of cruelty to warrant bringing him to trial before a military commission. But in every instance in which letters had been written to shipowners and ship captains, in the endeavor to obtain this evidence, the reply, substantially, was that, "whilst Admiral Semmes had destroyed their property, yet never had he committed a single act of cruelty or exceeded the strict rules of war in any of his captures."
After being released, Admiral Semmes returned to Mobile, where he was unanimously elected to the office of judge of the Probate Court — the most lucrative position in the State, which he was prevented from filling by United States Military rule, as an unamnestied "Rebel." He was then invited to become the editor of the Bulletin, a daily paper published in Memphis, Tenn. After he had filled this position a few months, Andrew Johnson, then President, caused a controlling interest in the paper to be purchased by partisans, who ousted the Admiral from position of editor.
After this venture, the Admiral again returned to Mobile and renewed the practice of law in connection with his second son — John Oliver Semmes — which he pursued until his death.
Whilst entertaining the strongest convictions of the righteous- ness of the cause of the South and having done his whole duty in behalf of that cause, when the catastrophe came he accepted the result with the utmost philosophy and went to work to do everything in his power to bring about good feeling and har- mony, and this notwithstanding the animosity with which he