Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 29.djvu/227

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Cruise of the ('. X. X/,v/, //,-/ A V/.v /,////,. 211

only the Maffits 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 igth I made Captain Roman, steam- ing 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 vessel on their approach, as we were in a condition too exhausted 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 aground 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, I 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 Confederate vessel I should hoist another flag under the one already up. I told him I had no other except the United States flag, and that might mislead him. I then told him that I needed a pilot. He readily and very quickly pulled ashore and returned with one, bringing me a message from Colonel Manigault that I could place implicit confidence in him, to let him take the ship up to Georgetown, and requested me to come ashore and confer with him. In the meantime, the Nashville, having been gotten afloat by me, was placed in charge of this pilot and steamed up to Georgetown.

I went ashore and was received by Colonel Manigault, of the South Carolina forces, with a hearty welcome and with cheers from his troops. Colonel Manigault inquired whether I had seen the blockaders off Georgetown. I replied that I had seen their smoke going off up the coast; whereupon he informed me that this was the first day for many weeks that they had absented themselves from