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fathoms of the sea; and at anchor our ship rode during the night, às she rose and fell, in her freedom and grace, on the yielding bosom of the sea; and our own hearts, in their free and grateful breathings, rested undisturbed as the dark night succeeding, with its thunder-storm and winds, passed over us. We were again safe in deep waters.
The next morning the Mississippi took us in tow, still further from the reef; and gave us an anchorage far enough in its distance from the lee-shore and coral shoals. The steamer then went down for the Potomac, which ship, having followed our motions, came near to a berth on the reef, as unenviable as our own had been. A signal had been made to her but a few moments before we struck, to take her place directly in our wake, as we were about passing through the narrow channel between the two reefs on our starboard and larboard bows. But seeing our difficulty in time, the Potomac wore ship and saved her copper if not her hull, from the destiny that, for hours, seemed inevitably to await the Cumberland. It was a kind Providence that had stilled the winds during our grounding on the reef. Had a norther come down upon üs, and a heavy swell rolled in from the open sea, which had a full sweep upon us, our ship must have gone to pieces. Instead of this, however, the gentle heaving of the sea during the day served only to assist the steamer as she pulled the frigate, inch by inch, from the coral rocks. Had not the steamer been available for our relief, we had been be. yond the power of removing the ship from the reef, as it is now believed, however long the effort had been made.
A few days only sufficed to regain the frigate's guns, spars, shot, provisions, and tever had been cast over. board or conveyed to the different vessels of the squadron. The guns were replaced, as if they had been toys, upon
their carriages, though each one weighed from twenty-three to twenty-seven hundred pounds. They were soon in gear,
scraped, and re-painted. The spars of the ship again occupied their places, at the sides, midships, and in the tops. The rigging was re-rove—some sails re-bent--and all things repaired—and now, the fine frigate Cumberland looks as clean about her decks, as neat in her hamper aloft, as perfect in her armament, and as complete in her equipment, as any show ship could desire which felt boastful of her faultless order, or proud in her conscious power to meet the ene. my and to conquer him.
At the end of the few days spent in refitting and repairing ship, the steamer Princeton, that gem of our service, arrived from Pensacola, the bearer of many letters,-having accomplished her passage hither and back, and supplied herself with coal and water, in a very short space of time. She can make the passage from this to Pensacola in four days and a half. With the Princeton added to our number, we again started, on Friday morning the 7th of August, for the mouth of the Alvarado, The Flag Ship, the Potomac, the Mississippi, the Princeton, the Falmouth, the Somers, the Reef. er, the Bonito, and the Petrel, constituted our fleet of nine sail. The wind being light, ihe Princeton took the Cumberland in tow; the Mississippi towing the Potomac. The other vessels had made an earlier start; and all, in good time, arrived off the Alvarado, ready for immediate action. The ships took up their position at different points, commanding the fort and the hill-sides along the shore and back of the fort. The water was deep enough to enable the frigates to go very much nearer than they did. The three schooners were within musket shot of the shore, and in range of the fort, at à distance across a point of land, within the reach of their large guns. Indeed, all things, save the rapid tide running at the rate of three or four knots out of the river, was favorable for the success of the expedition. There were quite a number of people, many and the most of them probably
spectators, on the hill-side, quite within reach of the shells of almost every ship of the squadron, which now lay in a crescent, before the mouth of the river--the three schooners and the Falmouth, in shore north of the fort and in full view of all the people, who spread themselves on the hills and along the road nearer the base of the hill. Half a dozen shells would have dispersed every soul of them, as it seemed to me, as I contemplated the position and the formation of the land. The fort was within the bar, quarter of a mile from it up the left bank of the stream. The ships could have approached quite up to the bar, as there were six fathoms within half a mile of the small fort.
The Commodore ordered a signal to be made for the Mississippi and the Princeton to fire, but did not designate the direction—whether against the fort, or into the collection of soldiers and spectators on the right of it, as contemplated from our ship, and where it would have been natural for a shot to have been directed. It seemed a matter of indifference, however, to the Commodore, which way the missile should be thrown, and the Mississippi and the Princeton each sent a shot towards the fort. The shot were seen to fall short; and another signal directed them to cease firing; and a succeeding signal ordered the schooners to open. They did so, on the fort, over which the shot passed by ricochet, or without first touching the sand bank. The shot and succeeding shells were handsomely thrown, even at the fort in the distance, while, at the same moment, they might have scattered to the four winds of the heavens the collection of people and a hundred or two of soldiers almost within a stone's throw of the muzzles of their guns. Yet, following the example of the steamers, they only fired at the fort; and it was now becoming dark, and a signal was made to cease firing. But, in the mean time, a Mexican on a black horse, pranced the animal down to the edge of the water, bearing a red flag,
while he waved it high and low, and with right cut and left cut of the horse's neck, either bidding defiance, or inviting the heroes of the ships to a bloody meeting on shore. near was this mad-cap or drunken cavalier, that it was believed a musket from the schooners might have picked him off. The Captain of the Bonito hailed him ; and the horseman returned the hail, but he was not understood, when asked what he wished. After a while, a volley of musketry fired into the schooners; and as the schooners had read a signal made from our ship to move off sufficiently far from shore, to avoid the musket- shot that might be levelled at them, the schooners only returned a single discharge of grape and canister from an eighteen pounder, which silenced the fire of the shore squad; and, in truth, ended the bloody but bloodless battle! I say "bloody battle ;" for, I would not wish to indulge in terms nearer approaching the profane denunciation, in which the deep chagrin and disappointment on the part of many
of the officers and men, caused some of them to indulge; when, the next morning, signals were made from the Flag Ship for the fleet to get under way and follow the motion of the Cumberland, as we stood back again for this anchorage, where we now lie, off the point of Anton LIZARDO.
Although a non-combatant myself, and a preacher of peace, yet I felt mortified at the termination of this expedition, which, it is believed, might and ought to have been so conducted as to give additional consideration to the Gulf Squadron, and do especial honor to the officers of the fleet, while it should place the name of the Navy, in its mention, along side the Army, which has so covered itself all over with glory, in this Mexican war.
SANTA ANNA.PRONUNCIAMENTOS IN HIS FAVOR.-HIS
RETURN TO MEXICO.
DURING all the revolutions which have involved Mexico in a state of political disquiet, ever since her declaration of independence and severance from Spain, no General seems to have occupied a more conspicuous position and consideration in the republic, than GENERAL SANTA ANNA. He, like other public men, has had his reverses of good and ill fortune, in the esteem and in the denunciations of his coun. trymen. At one time he draws his sword for the support of the Constitution; at another, overthrows it, and tramples its provisions beneath his feet. At one moment he is the Presi. dent of the republic, again, its Dictator; again, a prisoner, an outlaw, banished, and in exile. The frequent equivocation which has marked his course, and many of his public acts, and some of his private transactions, have justly called in question his patriotism, his honor, and his virtue. He is reputed to have accumulated a large estate, during his puh. lic career, and amid the great misfortunes of the republic; and, in common with other Mexican generals who have been borne on the top of the political billows, which have so perpetually agitated the Mexican people, he is accused of hav. ing made too free, for private emolument, with the public purse.