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Romors and the Admiral. Pace 202.
BRAVE OLD SALT;
LIFE ON THE QUARTER DECK
g^ $Ux§ tit tit %xni Jgtttllim.
AUTHOR OF " THE SOLDIER BOY," " THE SAILOR BOY," " THE YOUNG LIEUTENANT,'
"THE YANKEE MIDDY," "FIGHTING JOE," "THE "WOODVILLE STORIES,"
"THE RIVERDALE STORY BOOKS," ETC., ETC.
LEE AND SHEPARD,
SUCCESSORS TO PHILLIPS, SAMPSON & CO.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1866, by
WILLIAM T. ADAMS,
tn the Clerks Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts,
ELECT ROTYPED AT THI
Boston Stereotype Foundry ,
No. 4 Spring Lane.
SAMUEL C. PERKINS, ESQ.,
IS KESPECTFULLY DEDICATED,
BY HIS FRIEND
WILLIAM T. ADAMS
THE ARMY AND NAVY STORIES.
IN SIX VOLUMES.
BY OLIVER OPTIC.
THE SOLDIER BOY?
Or, Tom Somers in. tlie Army.
THE 8AILOK BOY;
Or, Jack: Somers in tlie 3NTavy.
THE YOUNG LIEUTENANT ;
Or, Tlie Adventures of* an Army Officer.
A SEQUEL. TO "THE SOLDIER BOY."
THE YANKEE 2HII>r>Y ;
Or, Tlie Adventures of a Naval Officer.
A SEQUEL TO "THE SAILOR BOY."
FIGHTING JOE ;
Or, Tlie Fortunes of a Staff - Officer.
A SEQUEL TO "THE YOUNG LIEUTENANT."
I5T1.A.YE OLD SALT ;
Or, Life on tlie Quarter-Deok.
A SEQUEL TO "THE YANKEE MIDDY."
This volume, the sixth and last of "The Army and Navy
Stories," is a record Of " Life on the Quarter Deck," mostly in
the squadron of Vice Admiral Farragut, one of whose familiar
appellations, used in the ward-room and on the berth deck, has
furnished the leading title of the book. The terrible war which
devastated our country for four years has given to history two
generals, Grant and Sherman, and one admiral, Farragut, whose
achievements are unsurpassed, if they are equalled, in the annals
of military and naval warfare ; but while the author, in this
work, has gratefully rendered his tribute of admiration to the
distinguished naval commander, he has not attempted to present
a complete biography of him.
Those who have read the preceding volumes of this series need
hardly be told that this is a book of adventure — of personal
experience in the great struggle of the nineteenth century. Jack
Somers, "The Sailor Boy," Mr. Somers, " The Yankee Middy,"
and Captain Somers, Lieutenant Commanding, are the same
person ; though often as he changes his official position, he is still
t^e same honest, true, and Christian young man.
in our completed sixth volume we take leave of the Somers
family with many regrets. If our young friends in the army and
navy had been less true, noble, and Christian, we could have
parted with less sorrow. Yet the army and navy, as they
crushed the Rebellion, have given us many young men just as
true, just as noble and Christian. Let us gratefully cherish these
living heroes, and they will not pass away from us " like a tale
that is told."
To the readers, young and old, who have perseveringly fol-
lowed my heroes through the two thousand pages of this series,
I am even more than grateful ; for I feel that they have sym-
pathized with me in my desire to present a lofty ideal to the
young man of to-day — one who will be true to God, true to
himself, and true to his country, in whatever sphere his lot may
be cast, whether on the forecastle or the quarter deck ; as a
private or an officer, in the great army which must ever battle
with life's trials and temptations till the crown immortal be won.
WILLI AIM T. ADAMS.
Harrison Square, Mass., March 13, 1866.
I. LlEUTENxVNT PlLLGRIM 11
II. Waiting for the Ship 23
III. The Wounded Sailor 33
IV. The Front Chamber 44
V. SOMERS C03IES TO HIS SENSES 55
VI. Lieutenant Wynkoop, R. N 66
VII. Langdon's Letters 77
VIII. The United States Steamer Chatauqua. ... 87
IX. In the State-Room 97
X. The Chief Conspirator 108
XI. After General Quarters 119
XII. The Ben Nevis 130
XIII. A Conflict of Authority 140
XIV. The Prize Steamer 150
XV. The Prisoner in the Cabin 160
XVI. Captain Walmsley 170
XVII. Off Mobile Bay 180
XVIII. Brave Old Salt 190
XIX. The Boat Expedition 200
XX. The Picket Boat 211
XXI. The Ben Lomond 222
XXII. Running the Blockade. ■ 233
XXIII. A Yankee Trick 244
XXIV. PlLLGRIM AND LANGDON 254
XXV. The Battle of Mobile Bay 204
XXVI. In the Hospital 274
XXVII. Miss Portington not at Home 2S4
XXVIII. The Ben Ledi 204
XXIX. A Long Chase 30.3
XXX. The End of the Rebellion 318
RAVE OLD SALT.
BRAVE OLD SALT;
LIFE ON THE QUARTER DECK,
Q^(^</^/ELL, Prodigy, I congratulate you on your
promotion. I even agree with your enthu_
siastic admirers, who say that no young
man better deserves his advancement than you," said
Miss Kate Portington, standing in the entry of her
father's house at Newport, holding Mr. Ensign John
Somers by the hand.
" Thank you, Miss Portington," replied the young offi-
cer, with a blush caused as much by the excitement of
that happy moment, as by the handsome compliment paid
by the fair girl, who, we are compelled to acknowledge,
had formed no inconsiderable portion of the young man's
thoughts, hopes, and aspirations during the preceding
t 12 BE AVE OLD SALT, OR
John Somers had been examined by the board of
naval officers appointed for the purpose, had been tri-
umphantly passed, and promoted to th£ rank he now
held. A short furlough had been granted to him, and
he had just come from Pinchbrook, where he had spent a
week. A visit to Newport was now almost as indispen-
sable as one to the home of his childhood, and on his
way to join the ship to which he had been -ordered, he
paused to discharge this pleasing duty.
Ensign Somers was dressed in a new uniform, and a
certain boyish look, for which he was partly indebted to
the short jacket he had worn as a midshipman, had van-
ished. Perhaps Miss Portington felt that the pertness,
not to say impudence, with which she had formerly
treated him, though allowable, under a liberal toleration,
towards a boy, would hardly be justifiable in her inter-
course with a young man. Though, from the force of
habit, she called him " Prodigy," there was a certain
maidenly reserve in her manner, which rather puzzled
Somers, and he could not help asking himself what lie
had done to cause this slight chill in her tones and
Undoubtedly it was the frock coat which produced this
refrigerating effect ; but it was a very elegant and well-
fashioned garment, having the shoulder straps on which
glistened the " foul anchor," indicating his new rank,
and each sleeve being adorned with a single gold band on
LIFE ON TIIE QUARTER DECK. 7.3
the cuff, also indicative of his new position. The cap,
which he now held in his hand, was decorated with a
band of gold lace, and bore on its front the appropriate
naval emblem. In strict accordance with the traditions
of the navy, he wore kid gloves, without which a naval
officer, on a ceremonial occasion, would be as incomplete
as a ship without a rudder.
We have no means of knowing what Mr. Ensign
Somers thought of himself in his " new rig,"- which cer-w
tainly fitted with admirable nicety, and gave him an ap-
pearance of maturity which he did not possess when we
last saw him on the quarter deck of the Rosalie. We
will venture to assert, however, that he felt like a man,
and fully believed that he was one — a commendable
sentiment in a person of his years, inasmuch as, if he
feels like a man, he is the more likely to act like one.
As we can hardly suppose he soared above all the vani-
ties of his impressible period of life, it is more than
probable that he regarded himself as a very good looking
young fellow ; which brilliant suggestion was, no doubt,
wholly or in part due to the new uniform he wore.
If not wholly above the weakness of a young man of
twenty, possibly he had a great deal of confidence in his
own knowledge and ability, regarded some of the vet-
erans of the navy as ." old fogies," and looked upon his
own father as " a slow coach." But we must do Mr.
Somers the justice to say that he tried to be humble in
14 BRAVE OLD SALT, OR
his estimate of himself, and to bear the honors he had
won with meekness ; that he endeavored to crush down
and mortify that overweening self-sufficiency which dis-
torts and disfigures the character of many estimable
young men. His native bashfulness had, in some meas-
ure, been overcome by his intercourse with the world,
and the humility of his nature, though occasionally as-
saulted by the accident of a new coat and an extra sup-
ply of gold lace, or by the hearty commendations of his
superiors, was genuine, and, in the main, saved him from
the besetting sin of his years.
Standing in the presence of Miss Kate Portington,
after an absence of several months, wearing a new coat
glittering with the laurels lie had won on the blood-
stained decks of the nation's ships, he would have been
more than human if he had not felt proud of what he
was, and what he had done — proud, not vain. He was
happy, holding the hand of her who had occupied so
large a place in his thoughts, and whose image had
fringed with roseate hues his brightest hopes and strong-
Kate was not so free with him as she had been, and
her reserve annoyed and perplexed him. He had antici-
pated a much warmer welcome than that which greeted
him on his arrival. lie was slightly disappointed,
though there was nothing in her manner for which he
could have reproached her, even if their relations had
LIFE 02J THE QUARTER DECK. 15
been more intimate than they were. She was less
stormy, but still gentle and kind ; a little more distant
in manner, though her looks and words assured him
she regarded him with undiminished interest. Had he
known that the elegant frock coat he wore produced the
chill in the lady which so vexed and disconcerted him,
lie would willingly have exchanged it for the short jacket
in which he had won his promotion.
They were standing in the entry. When the servant
admitted Mr. Somers, Kate had heard his voice, and
perhaps from prudential motives — for there was a visitor
in the parlor — she had preferred to nieet him in the hall.
" You have been very fortunate, Mr. Somers," added
she, gently releasing her hand from that of the ensign.
Mr. Somers, instead of " Prodigy" !
" I have. I don't deserve my promotion, I know ;
but I could not help taking it when it was within my
reach," replied Somers ; and her words, though so
slightly chilled that the frigid tone could not have been
noticed by any one who did not expect an unreasonable
warmth, took half the conceit out of him, and let him
down a lono; reach from the liiirli hopes and brilliant
expectations with which he had looked forward to this
u On the contrary, Mr. Somers, I think you deserve
even more than you have received."
u Thauk you, Miss Portington ; you were always more
lavish of kind words than I deserved."
16 BRAVE OLD S^-LLT, OR
"Why, Prodigy — "
She suddenly checked herself. It was evident to
Somers that she intended to say something pert or saucy.
Perhaps she choked down the impertinent words from
the fear that the honorable secretary of the navy,
if such wild and wayward young ladies as herself were
permitted to contaminate the plushy air of Newport so-
ciety, would remove the Naval Academy back to Annap-
olis, where it is better to be " proper " than to be loyal.
" You were about to say something, Miss Portington,"
" I was, but it was saucy."
" I am sorry you did not say it."
" I am glad I did not, for you must know, Mr. Somers,
that mother has scolded me so much for being saucy,
that I have solemnly resolved to be proper in all rhings
henceforth and forevermore."
" I am sorry for it," answered Somers, with unaffected
"Sorry, you wretch?"
" There's another slip. I have done my best to re-
form my life. I am afraid I shall never succeed. Now,
Prodigy — "
Somers laughed a<2;am.
" Again ! " exclaimed Kate.
" I wish to ask one favor of you, Miss Portington."
LIFE CLV THE Q UAH TEE DECK. 17
" It would afford me more pleasure to grant it, than it
does you to ask it. Name it."
" That you will never call me Prodigy again."
" I had firmly resolved before you came never to do
it," laughed she.
" Well, I only asked it in order to help along your
" Then you are making fun of me?"
" Like yourself, I am very serious."
" But I am in earnest, Mr. Somers ; I mean to re-
form. Now, father and mother will be very glad to see
you, Mr. Somers."
" He was temporarily relieved to attend a court mar-
tial. He is going away again to-morrow."
" You have other visitors ? "
" Only Lieutenant Pillgrim."
" I have not the pleasure of his acquaintance."
" He is a Virginian, I believe ; at any rate he is from
the South, and has just been restored to his rank in the
Kate led the way into the parlor, where he was first
welcomed by her mother.
" Mr. Somers, I am glad to see you, and to congratu-
late you on your promotion," said the commodore, as he
grasped the hand of the young officer.
" Thank you, sir," replied Somers. " The only ungrat-
18 BRAVE OLD SALT, OB
ified wish I Lad was that I might be appointed to your
" I should have been glad to serve under so able and
distinguished a commander."
" I wouldn't have you in my ship," promptly returned
the commodore, shaking his head energetically.
Somers looked abashed, and Kate wore a troubled
" I should endeavor to do my duty," he added.
" I have no doubt of it, but I wouldn't have you in
'• Your remark is not very complimentary," said Som-
ers, his face beginning to flush with indignation at what
seemed to be an assault upon his professional character.
" It is the most complimentary thing I could say to
you. And I mean what I say : I wouldn't have you in
" Why not, father? " demanded Kate.
" Because I like the young dog, and because I believe
in discipline. I never indulge in partiality on board my
ship, and it is better to keep out of temptation. I am
under obligations to you, Mr. Somers ; I am happy to
acknowledge them, but they must not come between me
and duty. Mr. Somers, Lieutenant Pillgrim," continued
Commodore Fortiugton, turning to the visitor.
Somers looked at the officer thus indicated, and as his
LIFE ON THE QUARTER DECK. 19
eyes rested upon him, he started back with a momentary
astonishment, for the face had a strange look of familiar-
ity to him.
" Mr. Somers, I am happy to meet and to know you.
Your name and reputation are already familiar to me."
" I am glad to know you, sir," replied Somers, with
some confusion. " Your face looks so familiar to me,
that I think we must have met before."
" Never, to my knowledge," answered the lieutenant,
with easy self-possession.
" I was quite sure I had seen you before."
" Possibly ; I do not remember it, however."
" If I had met you without the favor of an introduc-
tion, I should certainly have claimed the honor of your
" I should have been proud to be so claimed, but I
must confess you would have had the advantage of me."
" Of course, I must be mistaken, as you suggest."
" It is not unlikely that we have met in some ante-
room where we were dancing attendance on the powers
that be, in search of employment ; but I am quite sure,
Mr. Somers, that I should have been proud and happy
to number you among my friends."
"It is not too late now," said the commodore.
" Certainly not. I should be but too happy to have
as my friend one who has served his country so faith-
'fully," added Mr. Pillgrim, as he bowed gracefully to
20 BRAVE OLD SALT, OR
Somers, " especially as I understand we are appointed
to the same ship."
" Indeed ! "
" I am ordered to the Ckatauqua."
" So am I."
" Then, Mr. Pillgrim, you will take care of our Prod-
igy ; you will be excellent friends, I trust," said Kate,
beginning very impulsively in her old way, and suddenly
checking herself when her resolution to be "proper"
"What is the matter, Kate? Have you and Mr.
Somers had a falling out ? " demanded the commodore.
" 0, no, father."
" You talk as though you had had a quarrel, and for
a moment had forgotten to be savage."
" "We have had no -quarrel, pa," replied Kate, blush-
ing. " I was going to be saucy, but ma says I must not
be saucy, and I shall not be saucy any more. I only
hoped the two gentlemen who are going to live together
in the same ship would be good friends."
" Of course they will. Officers never quarrel."
" Perhaps they don't ; but they are not always as good
friends as I hope these gentlemen will be," laughed Kate.
" Perhaps he will be my friend for your sake, if he is
not for mine," added Pillgrim.
" I do not wish that. I don't like to have anybody
do anything for my sake, unless it be to take paregoric
when I am sick."
LIFE ON TEE QUARTER DECK. 21
" I trust I shall not be paregoric to him," said Pill-
" Then he will not take you for my sake."
<s As Lieutenant Pillgrim is my superior officer, I
should be likely to court his good will, and prize his
friendship very highly. If we are not friends, I am
sure it will not be my fault."
At this moment the dinner bell rang; ; and although
Somers did not feel intimate enough with the family to
invite himself to dine, he was easily prevailed upon to
remain, and gallantly gave his arm to Mrs. Portington,
as Kate, for some wayward reason of her own, had
already seized upon that of Lieutenant Pillgrim.
At the table Somers sat' opposite the lieutenant, and
he found it impossible to avoid looking upon him with a
strange and undefinable interest. Since his first glance
at the commodore's visitor, who seemed to be on the best
of terms with the family, he had been perplexed by some
strange misgivings. lie could not banish from his mind
an assurance that he had seen him before ; that he had
talked with him, and even been, to some extent, intimate
The thought that Kate was somewhat changed in her
demeanor towards him did not contribute to increase his
satisfaction. She had contrived to take the lieutenant's
arm instead of his own, and perhaps he had come as the
successor of Phil Kennedy, who had been reputed to
22 BRAVE OLD SALT, OR
be high in her good graces. Bat Mr. Pillgrim was a
gentleman of thirty-five, at least, and this was not proba-
ble, in his view of the matter. Somers, being disinter-
ested, was more worried to know when, where, and
under what circumstances he had met the lieutenant.
LIFE OX THE QUARTER DECK. 23
WAITING FOR THE SHIP.
OMERS was utter!}'' unable to satisfy himself in
regard to Lieutenant Pillgrim. The face was
certainly familiar to him, not as a combination
of remembered features, but rather as an expression. To
him the eye seemed to be the whole of the man, and its
gaze would haunt him, though his memory refused to
identify it with any time, place, or circumstances.
Though his reason compelled him to believe that he was
mistaken, and that Mr. Pillgrim was actually a stranger,
his consciousness of having seen, and even of having been
intimate with, the gentleman, most obstinately refused to
" Of course, gentlemen, you have no idea to what point
the Chatauqua has been ordered ? " said the commodore.
" I have not," replied Mr. Pillgrim.
" I have heard it said that she was groins to the Gulf,"
" Very likely ; there are two points where extensive