Loss of the U. S. S. Saginaw.
By the schooners Jenny and Waiola from Kauai on Saturday, we learn of the wreck, on Ocean Island, about 1,100 miles northwest of Honolulu, of the U. S. S. Saginaw, Capt. Sicard. She left this port in October last, and after touching at Midway Island,—(that unfortunately unsuccessful attempt to make a coaling depot for the China steamers)—proceeded to Ocean Island, some 70 miles further to the westward. There, by some mistake in the reckoning, she ran on the coral reef, and has become a total loss but few valuables being saved. On the 15th of November, 18 days after the wrecking, Lieut. Talbot,—a young promising officer,—and four seamen, volunteers, started for these islands, in an open boat, of course on short provisions.
They were thirty-one days in the boat, and made the land of Kauai on the evening of December 16th. Laying off for the night, they naturally enough went to sleep from exhaustion, and the boat drifted into the breakers and was upset. The Lieutenant and two seamen were drowned. Two got on shore alive, but only one succeeded in getting to Hanalei, not far from which the catastrophe occurred. The other was found dead on the road. The single survivor of this heroic boat’s crew, whose tale is yet to be told, came up in the Waiola, having had the presence of mind to secure the letters of Captain Sicard, to the Counsul, which were on the person of Lieutenant Talbot, whose body was washed on shore.
The following are the names of the persons who were in the boat, on that toilsome voyage of 1,000 miles: Lieut. J. G. Talbot, executive officer; Peter Francis, quarter master; William Halford, coxwain, (only survivor of the boat’s crew); John Andrews, seaman; James Minor, seaman.
On Sunday morning the Kona Packet, a fast sailing coaster, was dispatched by the American Consul to Ocean Island with supplies. The Hawaiian Government also dispatched the steamer Kilauea for the same destination, on Monday evening, taking full supplies of provisions and water for the relief of the ship-wrecked crew. Captain Thomas Long, an experienced navigator and ship-master, went in charge of the steamer. She had coals for twenty days, and with the present mild weather may be looked for in about three weeks. The prompt action of the Hawaiian Government in aid of the unfortunate American seamen will undoubtedly be fully appreciated by the Government of the United States.
The following is a copy of a portion of a letter received by a gentleman in this city from one of the officers of the Saginaw:
Ocean Island, Nov. 15, 1870.
“Dear Sir:—The Saginaw is now ‘non est,” and as you see, we are on shore duty, waiting orders. We were cast away and wrecked here on the morning of Saturday, October 29. All well now, but ragged and hungry—very, being on quarter rations. Have tents of sails, and are as comfortable as possible.
“Mr. Talbot leaves in the gig to-morrow, if good weather, and I shall give him this to hand to you.* *
“We have enough to live on for about three months—breadstuffs,—and more than that of meats, as there is an abundance of turtle, seal and fish.There are, however, 93 mouths to feed, and they take a great deal to fill them, so the sooner we get relieved the better. We shall build another boat as soon as this one is gone, in case of emergency. * * * * The ship hung together until yesterday, (that is, the after part) when she collapsed. Try and arrange it so that we shall come to Honolulu.”
(PCA, 12/28/1870, p. 2)