Friday, October 7, 2011

Don't Try to Lie Your Way Out with Captain Alden

From the October 4 Civil War Daily Gazette.

October 4, 1861, Friday.

The USS South Carolina (5 guns) under Capt. James Alden, intercepted the steamer Joseph H. Toone in the Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River. It was five days out of Havana and had changed her course when spotted.

The Toone's Captain Pennigton tried to claim he was from Havana and heading for Tampico, Mexico, some 450 miles away. Alden didn't believe it at all. How could a captain get that lost.

Examination of the ship's cargo of between 4,000 and 5,000 stand of arms proved the vessel to be a blockade-runner.

Five days earlier, the South Carolina had captured the Ezilda, commanded by former US Navy officer Captain William Anderson Hicks, late of the US Naval Academy at Annapolis.

He also tried to lie his way out, saying it was a British vessel some 400 miles off course.

It became a prize of the South Carolina as well.

Not Bad for a Week's Work. --Old B-R'er

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