to the girl that, though her captor was the king's son,

time:2023-12-02 23:18:57 source:Thick-looking and affectionate network author:computer

Cushing went up-stream with the utmost caution, and by good luck passed, unnoticed, a Confederate lookout below the ram.

to the girl that, though her captor was the king's son,

About midnight he made his assault. Steaming quietly on through the black water, and feeling his way cautiously toward where he knew the town to be, he finally made out the loom of the Albemarle through the night, and at once drove at her. He was almost upon her before he was discovered; then the crew and the soldiers on the wharf opened fire, and, at the same moment, he was brought-to by the boom, the existence of which he had not known. The rifle balls were singing round him as he stood erect, guiding his launch, and he heard the bustle of the men aboard the ram, and the noise of the great guns as they were got ready. Backing off, he again went all steam ahead, and actually surged over the slippery logs of the boom. Meanwhile, on the Albemarle the sailors were running to quarters, and the soldiers were swarming down to aid in her defense; and the droning bullets came always thicker through the dark night. Cushing still stood upright in his little craft, guiding and controlling her by voice and signal, while in his hands he kept the ropes which led to the torpedo. As the boat slid forward over the boom, he brought the torpedo full against the somber side of the huge ram, and instantly exploded it, almost at the same time that the pivot-gun of the ram, loaded with grape, was fired point-blank at him not ten yards off.

to the girl that, though her captor was the king's son,

At once the ram settled, the launch sinking at the same moment, while Cushing and his men swam for their lives. Most of them sank or were captured, but Cushing reached mid-stream. Hearing something splashing in the darkness, he swam toward it, and found that it was one of his crew. He went to his rescue, and they kept together for some time, but the sailor's strength gave out, and he finally sank. In the pitch darkness Cushing could form no idea where he was; and when, chilled through, and too exhausted to rise to his feet, he finally reached shore, shortly before dawn, he found that he had swum back and landed but a few hundred feet below the sunken ram. All that day he remained within easy musket-shot of where his foes were swarming about the fort and the great drowned ironclad. He hardly dared move, and until the afternoon he lay without food, and without protection from the heat or venomous insects. Then he managed to slip unobserved into the dense swamp, and began to make his way to the fleet. Toward evening he came out on a small stream, near a camp of Confederate soldiers. They had moored to the bank a skiff, and, with equal stealth and daring, he managed to steal this and to paddle down-stream. Hour after hour he paddled on through the fading light, and then through the darkness. At last, utterly worn out, he found the squadron, and was picked up. At once the ships weighed; and they speedily captured every coast town and fort, for their dreaded enemy was no longer in the way. The fame of Cushing's deed went all over the North, and his name will stand forever among the brightest on the honor-roll of the American navy.

to the girl that, though her captor was the king's son,

Ha, old ship, do they thrill, The brave two hundred scars You got in the river wars? That were leeched with clamorous skill (Surgery savage and hard), At the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

How the guns, as with cheer and shout, Our tackle-men hurled them out, Brought up in the waterways . . . As we fired, at the flash 'T was lightning and black eclipse With a bellowing sound and crash. * * *


The Dahlgrens are dumb, Dumb are the mortars; Never more shall the drum Beat to colors and quarters-- The great guns are silent. --Henry Howard Brownell

During the Civil War our navy produced, as it has always produced in every war, scores of capable officers, of brilliant single-ship commanders, of men whose daring courage made them fit leaders in any hazardous enterprise. In this respect the Union seamen in the Civil War merely lived up to the traditions of their service. In a service with such glorious memories it was a difficult thing to establish a new record in feats of personal courage or warlike address. Biddle, in the Revolutionary War, fighting his little frigate against a ship of the line until she blew up with all on board, after inflicting severe loss on her huge adversary; Decatur, heading the rush of the boarders in the night attack when they swept the wild Moorish pirates from the decks of their anchored prize; Lawrence, dying with the words on his lips, "Don't give up the ship"; and Perry, triumphantly steering his bloody sloop-of-war to victory with the same words blazoned on his banner--men like these, and like their fellows, who won glory in desperate conflicts with the regular warships and heavy privateers of England and France, or with the corsairs of the Barbary States, left behind a reputation which was hardly to be dimmed, though it might be emulated, by later feats of mere daring.

But vital though daring is, indispensable though desperate personal prowess and readiness to take chances are to the make-up of a fighting navy, other qualities are needed in addition to fit a man for a place among the great seacaptains of all time. It was the good fortune of the navy in the Civil War to produce one admiral of renown, one peer of all the mighty men who have ever waged war on the ocean. Farragut was not only the greatest admiral since Nelson, but, with the sole exception of Nelson, he was as great an admiral as ever sailed the broad or the narrow seas.


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