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discharge of duty when the Pacific mail steamship which he commanded was wrecked; the Hon. C. R. Breckenridge, at present a member of the U. S. House of Representatives; Colonel J. T. Scharf. the author of this work, land commissioner of Maryland, commissioner of the National Exposition
South, shared in the excitement just preceding the outbreak of the war between the States. He Whs well versed in tbe political history of the time, and his convictions as well as bis sympathies induced him to espouse the cause of tbe Southern States. Though but sixteen years of age he entered a military organization in New Orleans, and after faith fully servingin the army, on February 24th. 1863, he received an appointment as midshipman in the navy of the Confederate States, and was ordered on board tbe schoolship Patrick Henry, th«-n lying at Prewry's Bluff, James River, to stand an examination. Letters of recommendation being required from his previous commanders, they were obtained. All of these spokejn the highest terms of praise of his gallant and meritorious conduct in the military service, his uniform good behavior and the promptness and faithfulness with which he discharged all tbe duties required of him in camp and elsewhere. After passing bis examination. Midshipman Howell was ordered to Charleston, S. C, where he performed bard service during the winter of 1863-C4, in picket-boat duty, between Fort Sumter and Morris Island. While engaged in this arduous and exposed service, he captured an armed picket-boat of tbe enemy engaged in tbe same duties; assisted in laying a number of torpedoes in Charleston harbor, and aided in placing a raft of logs around Fort Sumter to prevent another a-wault. After the evacuation of Charleston in 1865, Midshipman Howell was assigned to the artillery with the rank of lieutenant in the naval brigade of Adm. Semmes, formerly tbe commander of the C, H. steamer AlalKima. He was captured, parroled, and joined his sister, Mrs. Jefferson Davis, at Washington, Ga., and was with her at the time of the capture of President Davis. He was imprisoned at FortMcHenry for several mouths, and upon being released went to Savannah, Ga., where he was again imprisoned. From thence he joined his brother in Canada, and accompanied him to England. Returning to the United States by way of Portland, Me., he was again arrested and sent to Fort Warren, where he was detained for a few weeks and then finally released. He returned to Canada, and from thence went to New York to find himself without means or employment. Scorning to live on his friends, he went to Be* before the mast, and made seve al voyages to Bordeaux, the Cape de Verde Islands, and elsewhere in the Atlantic. Hie devotion to duty and his thorough competency were soon recognized, and ho. speedily rose to the rank of mate. While serving in this capacity, in some evolution of the ship he was so injured as to compel bim to remain ashore for several months. He then accepted a position upon the staff of the New York Newt, Tiring of au inactive life ashore, he obtained a berth on board the Pacific mail steamer Ariel as quartermaster, and sailed from New York in the fall of 1869, for China; thence he returned to Sau Francisco. During his brief residence in that city, be (served as first officer on the steamers John L. Stephens, Ajar and Oriflamms. Speedily rising in rank, bis first command was the Idaho, and thereafter was given charge success Ively of the steamers Motes Taylor, Pelican* Cali
fornia, Xcvada, Los Angelas, and lastly the illfated Pacific.
On February 23d, 1874. Capt. Howell wa? a passenger on board of the Los Angelas; on her voyage from San Francisco to Victoria tbe steamer broke her propeller shaft, the helm refused to do its duty, and no human agency could be brought to dispel the discouraging forebodings which pressed upou the 150 passengers, and officers and crew who were on board. Tossed about by the waves without a sign of release from their agonizing situation, and drift' ing towards the dreaded breakers, all hand* were in despair. At this critical moment Capt Howell volunteered to take hia chances of life or death in his effort to make the land and reach Astoria, where it was known aid would be rendered immediately. With a boat's crew he bravely pushed through the raging sea and landed on the beach above Tillamook, walked to Astoria, obtained a tug which came to tbe rescue of the disabled vessel and towed her into port. The passengers on the Lot Angelas, mindful of the great service they owed to Capt. Howell, for the heroism he displayed in saving their lives, tendered him the following complimentary resolutions:
** Whereas, Capt. Jefferson D. Howell, by noble deeds of daring succeeded in reaching Astoria, after we had supposed he had lost his own lif e in the vain endeavor to save us from a terrible death, therefore:
Resolved—That we return our thanks to the Giver of all good for snaring the life of our noble benefactor, thus enabling Uim to reach a haven wherein succor to ourselves was speedily rendered.
Resolved— That the action, of Capt. Howell in this matter entitles him to our most sincere gratitude, and that we hereby pledge and express t" him that thankfulness of human hearts which i* more precious than gold, more enduring than diamonds, in the tender regard which we bear for him, and shall ever hold towards him K> long as memory shall dwell within its sacred tabernacle."
Talented, brave and true, and whether serving before the mast or in command of a crowded steamship, always tbe same courteous and chivalric gentleman, Capt. Howell was beloved bv all who came in contact with bim. No manias ever more ready to take up the cause of the defenceless than he, and bis friends can recall many instances of the liberality with which he disposed of his hard-earned salary in acta ot generosity. In the course of conversation on bis last voyage from Victoria, he gave an account of how be became a communicant of the Episcopal Church. It seems, as he parted from his mother for along voyage, be promised to be confirmed the first opportunity. Ere the opportunity occurred she was in her grave, but he was not the man to forget his vow. He was confirmed by Bishop Potter, in New York. While relating the circumstance, he said, with honest pride: "8ince my confirmation 1 have never done anything that conflicted with those solemn vows ;*'' and all who know him will hear testimony that such was the life of this Christian gentleman. His was an Anglo-Saxon face
st New Orleans; William P. Hamilton,1 of South Carolina, •and R. H. Fleming, a Presbyterian clergyman of prominence in Virginia. F. C. Morehead, late commissioner general of the New Orleans Exposition and president of the National Cotton and Planters' Association, was another of the young middies of the Patrick Henry, as well as Clarence Cary, a lawyer of high standing in New York and a gentleman of fine literary attainments; the Rev. J. G. Minnegerode, J. De B. Northrop, Preston B. Moore, William A. Lee, nephew of General R. E. Lee; John H. Inglis, a son of the late Judge Inglis, president of the South Carolina Secession Convention of 1860, and many others of equal distinction.
of the highest type, with high brow, fair hair, ami laughing blue eyes. He combined the tenderness of a woman with the courage of a man. His little room was hung about with the portraits of his friends, and in the centre was an ivory miniature of his dead mother, whom he adored.
The last act of Capt. Howell was worthy of his life. The steamer Pacific was foundered in a gale off Cape Flattery, near Victoria. The survivors of the wreck report that Capt. Howell was drowned from a raft on which some of the unfortunate passengers and crew had taken refuge, and that he was the last man to leave the ship. A writer giving an account of the disaster, says: "When one of the occupants of the raft, a woman, was s wept away, what did Howell M I the sea was running mountains high, and experienced sailor as he was, he knew that once from his support he was lost forever? He acted as every one was sure he would act, and at the cry of a perishing woman, plunged in to her assistance, sacrificing his own life in the same locality where, seven short months before, by another act of heroism he saved the lives of 150 persons aboard the steamer Los Angelot, which would have gone ashore among the breakers, had he not volunteered his successful assistance."
> Capt. Wm. P. Hamilton, son of Col. Paul Hamilton, and Catherine A. Campbell, was born in Beaufort, 8. C, Oct. 11th, 1845. and died May 8, 1875. He was a great-grandson of Hon. Paid Hamilton, who was secretary of the navy under President Madison, and great-nephew of Archibald Hamilton, U. 8. N., who served under Decatur. In Aug. 1861, William P. Hamilton received an appointment as midshipman in the C. 8. navy, and served on the Lady Davis, under Lieut. Com John Rutledge, at Port Royal. He was subsequently stationed on the steamer A'athvilie, until the summer of 1862,
when he was ordered to Richmond to stand his examination on the Patrick Henry. He graduated as passed midshipman, and was ordered to the Palmetto State, at Charleston. He participated in the attack on the U. 8. steamer Mercedita, and the Federal blockading fleet, and served in the navy with distinguished gallantry in the defence of Charleston. In April. 1864, he was ordered to the ram Albemarle,&t Plymouth, N. C, and took a conspicuous part in the fight with the Federal gunboats at that place. He returned to Charleston, and served there until the close of the war. After the war he worked his passage to England, on the bark jXutfield. During the voyage the crew were stricken down with the yellow fever, and his cousin, ex-midshipman P.Hamilton Gibbs, died. There were not sufficient hands on board to man the vessel, and the helm was lashed and the bark allowed to run before the wind, until some of the sick were convalescent She finally arrived at Liverpool, when W. P. Hamilton shipped as a seanutn on the West Indian. in the South American trade. Upon his return he passed an examination, and received a certificate as second mate in the British merchant service. He first served on the John Prater d> Co., and subsequently was appointed mate 'of the Royal George. After each trip from Liverpool to the East Indies, he was promoted, until he became master of the ship. In 1872 he returned to Charleston, where he married. Finding that his wife could not endure the long voyages to Bombay and Calcutta, he left the Indian service after a year, and went to the Mediterranean. The following year he commanded the Clyde steamer Atlas, running between New York and the West Indies, but the rapid changes of climate impaired his health, and Jan. 1875 he came home to die. Capt. Hamilton was a gallant, amiable, courteous and no officer, and his career proved him to be a model man.
THE CONFEDERATE STATES CRUISERS.
IN many respects the most interesting chapter of the history of the Confederate navy is that of the building and operation of the ships-of-war which drove the merchant flag of
the United States from the oceans and almost extirpated their carrying trade. But the limitations of space of this volume forbid more than a brief review of the subject. The function of commerce-destroyers is now so well admitted as an attribute of war between recognized belligerents by all the nations of the world, that no apology is necessary for the manner in which the South conducted hostilities upon the high seas against her enemy, and while the Federal officials and organs styled the cruisers "pirates" and their commanders " buccaneers,"such stigrnatization has long since been swept away along with other rubbish of the war between the States, and their legal status fully and honorably established. We have not the space for quotations from Prof. Soley, Prof. Bolles and other writers upon this point, but what they have said may be summed up in the statement that the government and agents of the Confederacy transgressed no principle of right in this matter, and that if the United States were at war to-day they would strike at the commerce of an enemy in as nearly the same manner as circumstances would permit. The justification of the Confederate authorities is not in the slightest degree affected by the fact that the Geneva Tribunal directed Great Britain to pay to the Federal government $15,500,000 in satisfaction for ships destroyed by cruisers constructed in British ports.
Eleven Confederate cruisers figured in the "Alabama Claims" settlement between the United States and Great Britain. They were the Alabama, Shenandoah, Florida, Tallahassee. Georgia, Chickamauga. Nashville, Retribution, Sumter, Sallie and Boston. The actual losses inflicted by the Alabama (86.547.609) were only about $60,000 greater than those charged to the Shenandoah. The sum total of the claims filed against the eleven cruisers for ships and cargoes was $17,900,633.