Parker's(??) statement onboard the Congress


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Posted by Mabry Tyson on January 14, 2004 at 02:00:27:

In Reply to: C.S.S. Virginia: Mistress of Hampton Roads - John V. Quarstein posted by Mabry Tyson on February 28, 2003 at 22:08:17:

p 88 indicates that Capt. W H Parker of the Beaufort "was overheard by a prisoner to say, 'My God, this is terrible. I wish this war was over.'" with a reference to Alger.

As I read the Alger's text, the statement was overheard by "I" which would be Frederick Curtis, a gunner on the Congress. He was not taken prisoner.

It is unclear whether it was Parker that spoke this. Probably so, but ...

Curtis indicates that he heard this when the Captain of the "Teaser" came on board the Congress. Clearly Curtis was mistaken about the vessel, as it seems the Teaser never had any men go on the Congress (as the fire from shore started when they came up to the Beaufort). Parker was the only Captain around, but Parker is specific in his memoirs that he did not go onboard: "I went alongside her in the Beaufort, at the port gangway, and sent an officer to direct her commander to come to me, at the same time sending my men aboard to help to get the wounded men to the Beaufort. I did not think it proper to leave my vessel myself as I had but two young and inexperienced midshipmen with me, and I saw an enemy's gunboat not very far off."

Curtis's description of a brave man, smoking a cigar and appearing very cool, would seem appropriate for an experience Captain such as Parker.


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