DECEMBER 13TH, 1864: Returning to the Confederacy from London, Captain Semmes had landed the month before in Bagdad, Mexico, near Matamoras. This date, en route to his home in Mobile for a brief respite before making his way to Richmond, Semmes crossed the Mississippi River with his son, Major O.J. Semmes.
He later wrote: "We reached the bank of the Mississippi just before dark. There were two of the enemy's gunboats anchored in the river, at a distance of about three miles apart...the enemy had converted every sort of water craft, into a ship of war, and now had them in such number, that he was enabled to police the river in its entire length, without the necessity of his boats being out of sight of of each other's smoke...."