War of the Rebellion: Serial 116 Page 0021 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION.

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would be so certain that they would not venture to embark on such a course. We learn from the synopsis of President Davis' message* that he has taken steps to bring the case of the prisoners to the notice of the United States Government. This morning the newspapers are filed with exulant accounts of the defeat of General Beauregard at Bull Run yesterday. We are yet in doubt about the correctness of the version. The truth is our newspapers do not give us reliable news when it is unfavorable to their side.

Yours, truly,


P. S. -The news has just come that the U. S. troops were repulsed and are in retreat on Washington. Excitement immense here.


The privateer Sumter-Arrest of five of her crew.

This morning two of the crew of the privateer Sumter arrived at this port by the Costa Rica, Captain Peel, from Aspinwail. Their names are Henry Spencer and John Davison. The former is an Englisham ages thirty-eighth years, and the latter a Scotchman aged twenty-five. They state they embarked on board the Sumter to avoid starvation in New Orleans and that they intended to run away whenever an opportunity presented. The Sumter left New Orleans on June 30. The U. S. S. Brooklyn was heading in and gave the Sumter chase, but the latter being a very fast sailer escaped her.

The captain of the Sumter is named Semms [Semmes]; the first lieutenant Carl [Kell]. They had a crew of 120 men, a portion of whom, some fifteen the chance offered. The crew was composed of all nationalities but the men were not enthusiastic in the Southern cause. The officers are desperate characters. The Sumter carried five guns, one 68-pounder and four 32-pounders, medium. She also had a large number of shells. On the 3rd of July last she took her first prize, the Golden Rocket, of Bangor, which was subsequently burned. On the 4th of July she captured the brigs Machias and Cuba off Cienfuegos. A prize crew consisting of two marines and Spencer and Davison, the prisoners, were put on board, Lieutenant Hudgins acting as prize master. They had orders to lay off and on Cienfuegoes while the Sumter towed the Machines. The midshipman did not seem to understand his position and the men having little heart for the work they were engaged in allowed the captain of the Cuba to recapture his vessel. While Spencer and Davidson were asleep their arms were taken from them and they were placed in irons. Shortly afterwards the Cuba fell in with the Costa Rica and the captain of the former vessel not deeming it prudent to have so many of the privateersman on board transferred Spencer and Davison to the Costa Rica and they were brought here as above stated. The midshipman and the two marines were kept on board the Cuba which was laden with a cargo of sugar and originally bound for London, but is now shaping her course for this port and is hourly expected to arrive. Spencer and Davison were brought to the U. S. marshal's office this morning where they made statements substantially as above narrated. The necessary affidavit was made and upon application to one of the U. S. commissioners the prisoners were committed to await an examination.


* See extract from message, p. 692.