Saturday, February 11, 2012

Midshipman William H. Sinclair On Alabama.

William H. Sinclair, was an offspring of the old navy being a grandson of commodor Arthur Sinclair and son of commander George T. Sinclair.  The latter had the superintendence of the building of the Confederate States cruiser Texas, on the Clyde, Scotland which vessel was sold to the Spanisk Goverment, and underthe name of Pampero, captured the blockade runner Virginius during the Cuban rebellion.  It well be remember that captain Jos. Fay commander of the Virginius, and his officers and crew were shot without trial.

Midshipman Sinclair enter the Confederate States Navy, August 18, 1861, making kis first cruise in the Nashville to South hampton and return, running the blockade into Beaufort, S. C.  In june , 1862, he was ordered to the Alabama and againran the blockade from Charleston to Hassau, arriving at Liverpool with other officers on the Bahama.  Midshipman Sinclair was called by Semmes his "Handsome middy."

He was selected as assistant to the Lieutenant who boarded the mail steamer Ariel off the east end of Cuba.  In the absence of Captain Jones, detained on  board the Alabama as a prisoner, Mr. Sinclair assumed the honors of the dinner-table with remarkable success, and entirely won the confidence, if not the hearts, of the lady passengers.  His return to the Alabama minus his coat buttons has been elsewhere here noted, and is the one instance on record where the absence of coat-buttons seems to have been made to testify to an officer's success and good conduct.  When the bark Conrad was made a prize, and fitted out as the Confederate cauiser Tuscaloosa, Sinclair was detached to her as acting Lieutenant.  Her cruise  and subsequent fate have already been chronicled his disappointment was keen at his inability to join us in the fight off Cherbourg. 

He remained in Europe some time, ponding the construction of cruisers at English ports, and on the cessation of hostilities he return to his native State.  Subsequenty he removed to Haifax N. S., where he died.  That he was a young officer of grate promise will be understood from his selection by Semmes as executive officer of the Tuscaloosa.  He had all the instincis and aptitudes  which might be expected from his lineage.  He was an excellent sailor and a brave fighter.

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