68 Southwestern Historical Quarterly
all would have gone to the bottom. The old pump spurted a
stream of water continuously four inches in diameter, requiring
three men at the pump handle.
Another unpleasant incident added to the difficult situation.
The first mate quarreled with the cook and shot and killed him.
With the prospect that any moment we might go to the bottom
we arrived at a harbor in North Carolina. If I recall correctly it
was named Smithville. Here the damage to the ship was repaired
after two days. We saw a little of the destruction caused by the
war during a battle between a Northern fleet and Southern troops.
Many destroyed ships lined the water's edge; on the shore were
long breastworks and behind them the graves of the fallen war-
Our next stop was Key West where we arrived July 18th. Our
food had been bad and insufficient. We spent two days there un-
loading cargo from New York and took on a cargo of coconuts
and bananas. In the tropical heat some of our party took a good
salt sea bath but forgot that we were under a tropical sun, so
their backs were sunburned, something that caused a great deal
of discomfort for the remainder of the trip.
We hoped to get more and better food as the captain had been
ashore to get provisions, but we were greatly deceived as they
became worse daily. Shortly before sundown on July 19th, we
left Key West. All the sailors were drunk and a bloody fight
arose among them. All left their stations and the ship drifted aim-
lessly before the wind and waves. About midnight the crew
sobered up so that our course was set toward Galveston, where
we arrived July 22nd. The last days on board we subsisted on
a few potatoes, a few drops of molasses and some hardtack. The
per capita allotment of drinking water was about one quart daily.
However, we thought if only we get to Galveston all will be well,
but upon arrival there we were placed in quarantine and kept
there three days on account of the yellow fever. Our food re-
mained the same as before. When the quarantine was lifted we
boarded the steamer that would take us up the Buffalo Bayou
2Swenson evidently had in mind Charleston, South Carolina, instead of Smith-
ville, North Carolina. Charleston suffered immense damage in the final Civil War
campaign in 1865.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/. Accessed April 26, 2015.