But you'd be wrong when thinking this way. These vessels carried all sorts of ships supplies, food and clothing, medical, carpentry, weaponry, ammunition and much more. They would have to supply other ships that did not have time to return to a home port for same. Thus said these vessels were critical to the very existence of the ships of the squadron. Quite literally their life lines.
Any time the Squadron was on the attack... the supply vessel would probably tag along, though obvious in the rear. But never the less they were there. And because of the very nature of their cargo, they would be a very important target for the enemy to destroy Thus, service on board could arguably be said to be as dangerous as the front line vessels.
Quebec Sam and his shipmates were in quite a few hot spots, that I will get to soon, but he'd also enjoy some interesting stops along the way.
In about a 3 month period this vessel and her crew captured a slave trading vessel called the Storm King and another called the Bonito. Both were trading in slaves and each carried over 600 coloured men, women and children.
The San Jacinto crew captured one off the Congo River and the other off East Africa, seized the crews, and took the "black Ivory" to Munrovia were they were all set free. The trader crews were brought back to the US as POW's and thrown into jail. No mention if they were clothed!
A US sailor would later say that on approaching one of the slave traders there were 130 women, 160 men, 68 female girls and over 260 boys. He added in disgust that when the ship was approached all the slaves were naked..."It was a brutal site...it was impossible to look on and not have our feelings touched... as soon as we came on board they were filled with joy, they had lifted all of their hands to us."
In the Fall of 1861 Sam would also play a role in the famous Trent Incident of Civil War days.
Still on the San Jacinto but now in England, it learned of the hostilities leading up to the start of the US Civil War. On being order back to the US to join in fighting at Charleston, It was enroute when it learned that the Southern vessel... the CSS Sumter had seized 3 US merchant ships near Cuban waters. So enroute back to the US the San Jacinto thought it would stop in Cuba to see if there was any news about where the southern vessel was... It of course wanted to attack the ship if found.
Not finding it, the ship still got some interesting news. Two of the former US Senators who joined with the Southern's cause, were outbound from Cuba enroute to England to act as agents for the Confederacy both in England and France.
So the San Jacinto, including Sam, gave chase, caught up with the vessel, east of Havana, fired a few shots across her bow and boarded here. They seized the two men, their secretaries and possibly a few others and then brought them back to the States and put into jail at Boston. They were later released after quite a fuss was created between the US and Britain over the matter.
Sam's next adventure would have him almost jumping out of the pit and into the fire. But that comes next week.