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Hillsborough (NC) Recorder

Hillsborough (NC) Recorder

July 10, 1861

Page 3


                                                AN IMPORTANT CAPTURE

                                                Richmond, July 1, 1861

            Our city was thrown into a state of the most joyous excitement this forenoon, by the arrival of the Fredericksburg train, bringing several passengers and thirty-nine prisoners of war.  These prisoners were captured by a band of courageous Baltimoreans, under circumstances which show what a few brave, determined men can do.  It seems that 12 young men, by a preconcerted arrangement, arrived at the wharf of the steamer St. Nicholas, in Baltimore, last Saturday, and took passage for Philadelphia, the destination of the steamer.  To avoid suspicion a majority of the young men were disguised in female apparel, and were driven down in carriages.  They were all well provided with small arms, the amplitudinous skirts of the gentlemen enabling them to conceal as many weapons as they desired.  The whole party was commanded by Capt. Thomas, a son of ex-Governor Thomas, and the balance made up of excellent men in all respects, one of them being an experienced pilot.

            In due season, the St. Nicholas started down the Patapsco for Philadelphia.  When clearly beyond the city, at a given signal, petticoats dropped as if by magic, and what had seemed to be very sensitive, delicate ladies, suddenly appeared as strong-armed, stalwart men, heavily armed with pistols and bowie knives.  The Captain and crew of the St. Nicholas were ordered to surrender, which they did, and were sent down below.

            The steamer was now taken charge of by her new commander and crew, the Baltimore pilot put at the wheel, and the mouth of the Rappahannock steered for.  While en route for that point, three vessels were overhauled—one a schooner loaded with ice, another a fine barque, containing 3,500 bags of coffee, and a third a schooner laden with anthracite coal.  There were all secured as prizes, and with their crews taken into the Rappahannock, the fleet reaching Fredericksburg safely during Sunday night.

            The vessels and their cargoes, at this particular juncture, are all very valuable, and the gallant Baltimoreans who effected the capture, deserve the thanks of the entire Southern Confederacy.  Many of the crews of the respective vessels are negroes, and as Butler has stolen several slaves around Hampton, these negroes will do well to fill their places.  The ice and the coffee are also valuable and much needed.  Maryland will yet be right.  Such a people cannot be conquered.

            I understand that the object of the Baltimoreans and others who took passage on the St. Nicholas, was at first, to have reached some point on the Rappahannock where a portion of one of our regiments is located.  These were to be taken on board and an effort made to capture the villainous Pawnee, but meeting with three such inviting prizes, it was deemed best to secure them, and let the Pawnee slide for the present.

            --Correspondent Petersburg Express--


[Transcibed by Sharon Strout]


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