Friday, February 10, 2012

February 10, 1862

Qr. Master Sergt. Howe:
From a Letter:
     February 10, 1862. Monday. We entered the Gulf Stream at 5 o'clock. Pleasant. Passed Key West and could see the Fort on it. Understand that there are some seven thousand troops stationed there. Made Tortugas Island at sundown. I have lain on deck most of the day, enjoying the sun and the sea breeze, I pity you New Englanders, shivering with the cold. I saw turtles and sharks to-day. Squall and rain at night.

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     February 10-Monday
     7 O Clock in sight of Key West also Fort Taylor in fine looking Fort in the distance. Pilot Boats in quite a number hover around us this morn.
     The sea this morning is heavier than at any time since started from Fortress Monroe. 12 M. storm but very short. it has had the effect of softening the sea and it is much more pleasant than before.
     8 A.M. passed from light house on outer Coral Reef. this house is built on the ruins principle as the one destroyed on Minot ledge some years since.
     2 P.M. [Dry Tortugues - ?] in full sight also Fort Jefferson a very large structure said to contain within its walls 114 Acres of land.
     We have now 10 O Clock P.M. quit a heavy sea and and wind on and our Boat pitches in beautifully.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:

     Monday 10
     Fine day passed Cape Florida about
     3 ock.  passed in sight of Fort
     Taylor.  Coral Reefs in sight all
     Along shore passed a lighthouse
     On our starboard just after
     Breakfast passed the lighthouse
     On key west point.  the coral
     Reefs on florida coast look very
     Pretty.  large turtles seen along side
     The flying fish very plenty.
     Had 3 pilots come off to us this
     Morning but they was not wanted
     As Our pilot knows the coast
     All along here about 11 Ock saw
     A large steamer to starboard of
     Us supposed to be a california
     Packet.  weather looks rather
     Squally and showery.  after dinner
     Had a wash in fresh water
     It was quite a luxury.  passed
     Fort Taylor morn.  just after
     Dinner made fort jefferson dry
     Tortugas light on our starboard
     Bow had quite a hard blow for
     A short time.  we have not made
     So many knots as on other days
     On account of head currents in
     The gulf but expect to be in
     Sight of ship island by tomor-
     row afternoon if nothing happens.

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