Page:Notes of the Mexican war 1846-47-48.djvu/61

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

mast off to lighten her above. To-night the soldiers were obliged to fasten themselves in their bunks with ropes to keep themselves from falling out. The storm was fearful, and some of our men began to get alarmed, fearing the ship "Statesman" would go down to rise no more. I noticed our messmate, Simon Schafifer, was praying. Yet, for all this fearful rage, it was truly laughable to see how some of our men were falling out of their bunks, and trying to creep back into them again; to see the pans and camp kettles rolling and tumbling about on the floor of the ship. We heard the billows swelling, the breakers roaring on the ocean all night.

Thursday, February 11, 1847.—This morning the storm is still raging with unabated fury. One of our main fore-sails was carried away by the storm, which blew it high in the air. At noon it commenced to rain powerfully, accompanied by thunder and lightning which made the sea howl. Everything is kept fastened. To-night I heard the sailors talking about the awful storm we had last night, and how some tumbled out of their bunks and struggled to get in again, laughing over the scene and excitement amongst our men.

Friday, February 12, 1847.—This morning the wind is blowing a regular gale, and kept at it nearly all day. So nothing strange took place. To-night one of our sentinels, stationed on the forecastle, cried "Ship ahead! ship ahead!" We came within several feet of running into one another, which caused great excitement amongst the officers, as well as all the soldiers and sailors on board. Had there been a collision, the ships would have undoubtedly both went down, with all the living and half-dead freight on board. Some of our men say that it was the same ship we met the other night ("St. Louis"), but the captain of the ship said that it was the "Sharon," with Louisiana soldiers on board. It was a lucky escape. The wind is now dying away. It is time.

Saturday, February 13, 1847.—This morning the general talk and conversation among the soldiers was about the narrow escape we met with last night. At noon it began to