« AnteriorContinuar »
ticipated in the action, and who will no doubt call The Winnebago was commanded by Comattention to the conduct of such individuals as mander T. H. Stevens, who volunteered for that most distinguished themselves.
position. His vessel steers very badly, and neiAs I had an elevated position in the main rig-ther of his turrets will work, which compelled ging near the top, I was able to overlook not him to turn his vessel every time to get a shot, only the deck of the Hartford, but the other so that he could not fire very often, but he did vessels of the fleet. I witnessed the terrible ef- the best under the circumstances. fects of the enemy's shot, and the good conduct The Manhattan appeared to work well, of the men at their guns, and although no doubt though she moved slowly. Commander Nicholtheir hearts sickened, as mine did, when their son delivered his fire deliberately, and, as before shipmates were struck down beside them, yet stated, with one of his fifteen-inch shot broke there was not a moment's hesitation to lay their through the armor of the Tennessee, with its comrades aside, and spring again to their deadly wooden backing, though the shot itself did work.
not enter the vessel. No other shot broke Our little consort, 'the Metacomet, was also through her armor, though many of her plates under my immediate eye during the whole were started, and several of her port shutters action up to the moment I ordered her to cast off jammed by the fire from the different ships. in pursuit of the Selma. The coolness and The Hartford, my flag-ship, was commandpromptness of Lieutenant Commander Jouetted by Captain Percival Drayton, who exhibited throughout merit high praise; his whole conduct throughout that coolness and ability for which was worthy of his reputation.
he has been long known to his brother officers. In this connection I must not omit to call the But I must speak of that officer in a double caattention of the Department to the conduct of pacity. He is the Fleet Captain of my squadron, Acting Ensign Henry C. Nields, of the Meta- and one of more determined energy, untiring decomet, who had charge of the boat sent from votion to duty, and zeal for the service, tempered that vessel, when the Tecumseh sunk. He by great calmness, I do not think adorns any took her in under one of the most galling fires Inavy. I desire to call your attention to this offi. ever saw, and succeeded in rescuing from death cer, though well aware that in thus speaking of ten of her crew, within six hundred yards of the his high qualities, I am only communicating offiFort. I would respectfully recommend his advance- cially to the Department that which it knew full ment. The commanding officers of all the vessels well before. To him, and to my staff, in their who took part in the action deserve my warmest respective positions, I am indebted for the detail commendations, not only for the untiring zeal with of my fleet. which they had prepared their ships for the con- Lieutenant I. Crittenden Watson, my Flagtest, but for their skill and daring in carrying Lieutenant, has been brought to your notice in out my orders during the engagement. With former despatches. During the action he was on the exception of the momentary arrest of the the poop attending to the signals, and performed fleet, when the Hartford passed ahead, and to his duties as might be expected, thoroughly. He which I have already adverted, the order of is a scion worthy the noble stock he sprang from, battle was preserved, and the ships followed each and I commend him to your attention. other in close order past the batteries of Fort My Secretary, Mr. McKinley, and Acting EnMorgan, and in comparative safety too, with sign H. H. Brownell, were also on the poop, the the exception of the Oneida. Her boilers were latter taking notes of the action, a duty which penetrated by a shot from the Fort, which com- he performed with coolness and accuracy. pletely disabled her, but her consort, the Ga- Two other Acting Ensigns of my staff, Mr. lena, firmly fastened to her side, brought her Bogart and Mr. Heginbotham, were on duty in safely through, showing clearly the wisdom of the powder division, and, as the reports will show, the precaution of carrying the vessels in two exhibited zeal and ability. The latter, I regret abreast. Commander Mullany, who had solicited to add, was severely wounded by a raking shot eagerly to take part in the action, was severely from the Tennessee, when we collided with wounded, losing his left arm.
that vessel, and died a few hours after. Mr. In the encounter with the ram, the command | Heginbotham was a young married man, and has ing officers obeyed with alacrity the order to run left a widow and one child, whom I commend to her down, and without hesitation exposed their | the kindness of the Department. ships to destruction to destroy the enemy.
Lieutenant A. R. Yates, of the Augusta, Our iron-clads, from their slow speed and bad acted as an additional aid to me on board the steering, had some dificulty in getting into and Hartford, and was very efficient in the transmaintaining their position in line, as we passed mission of orders. I have given him the comthe Fort, and, in the subsequent encounter with mand temporarily of the captured steamer the Tennessee, from the same causes were not Selma. as effective as could have been desired, but I The last of my staff, and to whom I would cannot give too much praise to Lieutenant Com- call the attention of the Department, is not the mander Perkins, who, though he had orders from least in importance. I mean Pilot Martin Freethe Department to return North, volunteered to man. He has been my great reliance in all diffitake command of the Chickasaw, and did his duty culties in his line of duty. During the action, nobly.
The was in the main-top, piloting the ships into
the bay. He was cool and brave throughout, I inclose herewith my General Orders, Nos. never losing his self-possession. This man was 10 and 12, (marked twenty-two and twenty-three) captured early in the war in a fine fishing-smack issued before the action, and General Orders Nos. which he owned, and though he protested that 12 and 13, (marked twenty-four and twentyhe had no interest in the war, and only asked for five,) issued after the engagement.
rivilege of nishing for the neet, yet his ser- | LETTER FROM REAR-ADMIRAL FARRAGUT TO BRIGA. vices were too valuable to the captors as a pilot
DIER-GENERAL R. L. PAGE. not to be secured. He was appointed a first
FLAG-SHIP HARTFORD, August 5, 1864. class pilot, and has served us with zeal and fidel
Brigadier-General R. L. Page, Commanding Fort ity, and has lost his vessel, which went to pieces
Morgan : on Ship Island. I commend him to the Depart
SIR: Admiral Buchanan is severely wounded, ment.
having lost his leg. There are in addition four or It gives me pleasure to refer to several officers
five others of the crew of the Tennessee who who volunteered to take any situation where
require more comfortable quarters than we can they might be useful, some of whom were on
give them in the fleet. Will the commanding their way North, either by orders of the Depart
officer at Fort Morgan permit a vessel to take ment, or condemned by medical survey. The
them to our hospital at Pensacola, with or withreports of the different commanders will show
out our own wounded? The understanding being how they conducted themselves.
that the flag of truce vessel takes nothing whatI have already mentioned Lieutenant Com
ever but the wounded, and brings nothing back mander Perkins of the Chickasaw, and Lieu
that she did not take out, and my honor is given tenant Yates of the Augusta Acting Volun
for the above time. Very respectfully, teer Lieutenant William Hamilton, late com
D. G. FARRAGUT, manding officer of the Augusta Dinsmore,
Rear-Admiral Commanding W. G. B. Squadron. had been invalided by medical survey, but he
LETTER FROM BRIGADIER-GENERAL R. L PAGE TO eagerly offered his services on board the iron-clad
REAR-ADMIRAL D. G. FARRAGUT. Chickasaw, having had much experience in
HEADOTARTERS THIRD BRIGADE. D. G. our Monitors. Acting Volunteer Lieutenant P.
FORT MORGAN, ALA., August 5, 1864. S Giraud, another experienced officer in iron-clads, Sir: Your communication of this date is reasked to go in on one of these vessels, but as ceived. I am much obliged for the information they were all well supplied with officers, I regarding Admiral Buchanan. permitted him to go in on the Ossipee, under Your request relative to the wounded of the Commander Le Roy. After the action he was Tennessee, and also those of your own comgiven temporary charge of the ram Tennessee. mand, being taken to Pensacola, will be permitted
Before closing this report, there is one other under a flag of truce, and to return on the conofficer of my squadron of whom I feel bound to ditions you propose. speak, Captain T. A. Jenkins, of the Rich. I would be glad if Admiral Buchanan, having mond, who was formerly my Chief of Staff, not lost a leg, be permitted, under parole, to go to because of his having held that position, but Mobile, where he can receive earlier and more because he never forgets to do his duty to the prompt attention. Government, and takes now the same interest in If the latter request is granted, please inform the fleet as when he stood in that relation to me, and I will have a boat from town to take him me. He is also the commanding officer of the up.
Very respectfully, Second division of my squadron, and, as such,
R. L. PAGE, has shown ability and the most untiring zeal.
Brigadier-General Commanding. He carries out the spirit of one of Lord Colling
Rear-Admiral David G. FARRAGUT, wood's best sayings: “Not to be afraid of doing
Commanding W. G. Squadron, Mobile Bay. too much; those who are, seldom do as much as LETTER FROM REAR-ADMIRAL FARRAGUT TO BRIGAthey ought.” When in Pensacola, he spent days
DIER-GENERAL R. L. PAGE. on the bar, placing the buoys in the best po:
FLAG-SHIP HARTFORD, MOBILE BAY, Aug. 5, 1864. sitions, was always looking after the interests of SIR: In reply to your note of this date, I the service, and keeping the vessels from being would say that it is altogether out of the quesdetained one moment longer in port than was
|tion that I should permit Admiral Buchanan to necessary. The gallant Craven told me only the
be sent to Mobile, but I will send him to Pensanight before the action in which he lost his life :
cola, where he will receive the same comforts as “ I regret, Admiral, that I have detained you; but
our own wounded, which I apprehend are as good had it not been for Captain Jenkins, God knows as they could be at Mobile. when I should have been here. When your order. It was simply as an act of humanity that I came I had not received an ounce of coal.” made the proposition I did to-day. I would be
I feel that I should not be doing my duty did glad to bury my dead on shore, but if there is I not call the attention of the Department to an any objection to it, they can have a sailor's grave officer who has performed all his various duties in the deep, honored by the heartfelt sighs of with so much zeal and fidelity.
their shipmates. Very respectfully, Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
D. G. FARRAGUT, D. G. FARRAGUT,
Brigadier-General R. L. Page,
LETTER FROM BRIGADIER-GENERAL R. L. PAGE TO
was cast off and directed to chase the Selma, REAR-ADMIRAL D. G. FARRAGUT.
which, keeping on our bow, had annoyed us Fort MORGAN, August 6, 1864. excessively with her three stern guns, which we Sir: Your note of the fifth received. There could not answer, owing to our rifle gun-carriage is no objection to your burying your dead on having been destroyed by a shell. shore. When they arrive near the wharf here, She was just sheering off as the Metacomet a point will be designated for the burial. was loosed from us, and being followed into shalVery respectfully, your obedient servant low water was overtaken and captured by the
R. L. PAGE latter vessel, after an exciting running fight of an Brigadier-General O. S. A.
hour. To Rear-Admiral D. G. FARRAGUT,
The other two gunboats, the Morgan and Commanding U. S. Naval Forces, Mobile Bay
Gaines, also got into shallow water, and not REPORT OF CAPTAIN PERCIVAL DRAYTON.
being followed by any of our light-draft vessels, Flag-SHIP HARTFORD, MOBILE Bay, Aug. 6, 1864. escaped to Fort Morgan, where one was run SIR: I have the honor to offer the following ashore and afterward burned ; and the other, report of the part which this vessel took in the the Morgan, got into Mobile during the night action of yesterday :
| by keeping close in shore. According to previous arrangement, the Met- The fight appearing to be now over, we anacomet lashed alongside of us at half-past chored and made signal to the fleet to do the same, four A.m., and at half-past five we got under supposing that as the Tennessee had got under way, following the Brooklyn, which led the Fort Morgan, she would remain there, when a line. After some little delay, which was re- quarter of an hour later it was reported that she quired to allow of all the vessels getting into had come out and was steering toward us. I could position, we moved on in the direction of Fort not, however, believe in such temerity at first, but Morgan, which opened on us at about two miles its truth becoming soon evident, by your order, distance at six minutes past seven. The enemy's I commenced heaving up the anchor, and should fire was at once answered by our bow hundred- have slipped had it not been for the jainming of pounder rifle, the only gun that could be brought a shackle-pin; but the ship was soon under way to bear, until about half-past seven, when again, steering for the ram, which we struck with we commenced firing the broadside guns with great force, although not on her beam, as she great rapidity, which was continued as long as turned toward us as we approached. After they could be of use. About thirty-five minutes striking we dropped close alongside, and delivered past seven, I heard the cry that a monitor was our broadside of solid nine-inch shot with thirsinking, and looking on the starboard-bow, saw teen pounds of powder, at a distance of perhaps the turret of the Tecumseh just disappearing not more than eight feet from her side, as I beunder the water, where an instant before I had lieve, however, from subsequent observation, seen this noble vessel pushing on gallantly in a without doing any injury. The ram at the time straight line to attack the enemy's ram Ten- had only two guns in broadside. nessee, which had apparently moved out to give One missed fire several times, as we could disher an opportunity.
tinctly hear; the shell from the other passed As our boats could not be lowered, by your through our berth-deck and exploded just indirection, one was sent wbich was towing astern side, killing and wounding a number of men, of the Metacomet, the vessel lashed to us and the pieces broke through the spar and berth
The rapidity of our fire, together with the decks, even going through the launch and into smoke, so completely disordered the enemy's aim, the hold where were the wounded. that we passed the Fort with no great injury or loss We then stood off, and were making another of life, a shell which came through the side and circuit to run into the ram again, when in mid exploded a little abaft the mainmast, killing and career the Lackawanna struck us a little forwounding a large portion of number seven gun's ward of the mizzenmast, cutting us completely crew, being the only one that caused much de- down to within two feet of the water. This struction. As we, however, were getting by the caused a detention of perhaps five minutes, but shore batteries, we came directly under the finding that we were not sinking, the ship was, fire of the gunboats Selma, Morgan, and by your order, pointed again for the ram, and we Gaines, and the ram Tennessee, and being were going for her at full speed, when it was obonly able to direct our fire on one of them at a served that a white flag was flying. time, the shots from the others were delivered This ended the action, and at ten minutes past with great deliberation and consequent effect, a ten we had again anchored at about four miles single shot having killed ten and wounded five distant from Fort Morgan. I have now only to men at number one and two guns.
speak of the officers and crew. The Tennessee also followed us for some To Lieutenant Commander Kimberly, the exdistance, throwing an occasional shot, but find-ecutive officer, I am indebted, not only for the ing that she did not come up, and we being now fine example of coolness and self-possession which a mile ahead of the remainder of the fleet, she he set to to those around him, but also for the turned and ran down to them, not wishing, I excellent condition to which he had brought suppose, to be entirely cut off from Fort Morgan. every thing belonging to the fighting department
At this time, by your order, the Metacomet l of the ship, in consequence of which there was no confusion anywhere, even when, from the Flag-Lieutenant, who, besides attending most terrible slaughter at some of the guns, it might faithfully to the signals, found time to assist mo have been looked for.
on several occasions when it was important to All did their duty, but I cannot but mention give directions in detail about the firing. Lieutenants Tyson and Adams, and Ensign of the crew, I can scarcely say too much. Whiting, to whose example and exertions it was They were most of them persons who had never in a great measure owing, no doubt, that the been in action, and yet I cannot hear of a case great loss at some of the guns was not followed where any one attempted to leave his quarters by confusion or delay in repairing damages. or showed any thing but the sternest determina Acting Master's Mate Finelli, who took charge tion to fight it out. There might perhaps have of the Third division after Lieutenant Adams been a little excuse had such a disposition been was wounded, is spoken of to me very high- exhibited, when it is considered that a great part ly. Acting Third Assistant-Engineer McEwan is of four guns' crews were at different times swept also strongly noticed in the report of Chief-away almost entirely by as many shells. În Engineer Williamson. He lost his right arm every case, however, the killed and wounded while busily employed on the berth-deck, where were quietly removed; the injuries at the guns he was stationed, in assisting and comforting the made good, and in a few moments, except from wounded. He is spoken of by his superiors as the traces of blood, nothing could lead one to most competent to fill the position of Third As-suppose that any thing out of the ordinary rousistant-Engineer in the regular service, for which tine had happened. I would bec vou to recommend him to the Hon. In conclusion, I request that you will recomSecretary of the Navy.
mend to the Honorable Secretary of the Navy, The last shell fired at us—that from the ram for the medal of honor, the men whose names killed my clerk, Ensign W. H. Heginbotham. accompany this in a separate report. They well
Although this was the first time he had been deserve the distinction. Very respectfully, in action, nothing, I am told, could exceed the
P. DRAYTON. coolness and zeal with which he performed his
Rear-Admiral D. G. FARRAGUT, duties in the powder division, and I feel his loss
Commanding W. G. B. Squadron. most seriously, as his general intelligence and many amiable qualities had made him almost ne- With this report I inclose those of the execucessary to me.
| tive officer, the officers of divisions, and of the · I must also thank Lieutenant A. R. Yates, a gunner, carpenter, and sailmaker, and I beg volunteer from the United States steamship leave to heartily indorse all that is said in them Augusta, who acted as an aid both to you and about the officers and men of their respective myself, and was to me most useful.
commands. The two after-guns were entirely manned by I would also beg leave to say that although marines, who, under the direction of Captain there was very considerable loss of life in the Charles Heywood, performed most efficient ser-powder division, thanks to the good arrangements vice.
and the example of Ensign Dana, who was in Thanks to the unremitting supervision of Chief- charge of it, there was no confusion. Engineer Williamson, all had been so thorough. He was also greatly assisted in the after-part ly prepared in his department, that nothing was of the division by sailmaker T. C. Herbert, whose required of the engines during the day which example tended much to give confidence to those they could not perfectly perform.
around him; he is a most deserving officer. The The devoted attention of Fleet-Surgeon Pal-gunner, J. L. Staples, and carpenter, George E. mer, Surgeon Lansdale, and Assistant-Surgeon Burcham, also deserve notice for their strict at. Commons to our wounded was beyond praise, tention to duty. Very respectfully, and it was owing to their skill and untiring exer
Your obedient servant, tions that the large number of desperately wound
P. DRAYTON. ed were prepared by eight o'clock in the evening
Captain. for removal to the hospital at Pensacola, for which
Rear-Admiral D. G. FARRAGUT, place they left at daylight on the following morn
Commanding W. G. B. Squadron, ing in the Metacomet, under a flag of truce.
U. S. FLAG-SUP HÄKTFORD, MOBILE BAY, Aug. 8, 1864. Boatswain Dixon was nearly knocked over- Sir: Agreeably to your order, I submit the fol. board by a splinter, but absented himself from lowing reports of the passage of this ship by the deck only long enough to have his wounds Forts Morgan and Gaines, and our engagement dressed, when he returned to his duties.
with the ram Tennessee, iron-clad, and with the Acting Master's Mate Henrick, while superin- gunboats Selma, Gaines, and Morgan. tending the passage of powder and shell on the On the morning of the fifth, called all hands berth-deck, was very seriously wounded by a at three A.m., stowed hammocks, and gave the piece of shell which entirely disabled him at the people an early breakfast, hove in to twenty fathtime, and may, I am afraid, prove very serious. oms of chain, and prepared to receive the United Up to this time his conduct and bearing are spok- States steamer Metacomet alongside. At daylight en of by the commanding officer of the division the Metacomet came on our port side and made in the highest praise.
fast, our battery on that side having been run in I must also thank Lieutenant Watson, your' for that purpose.
Hove up our anchor, and at forty minutes past into one, capsized a nine-inch gun, carried away five A.m. stood in to take our position astern of the gig and davits, and starboard M. S. M. backthe Brooklyn, which ship was slowly standing in stays, also cutting us down to within two feet of for the bar, followed by the Hartford. Lashed the water. We cleared, and stood down for the our anchors to the bows, and secured the ram, which had turned and was running away chains with extra stoppers, beat to quarters, without a smoke-stack, followed by our ironand cleared ship for action. A few minutes after clads, the Ossipee and other ships. When we seven o'clock, Fort Morgan opened upon us, and were nearly up to the enemy, she hoisted the continued firing until the fleet had passed. white flag and surrendered — this ship turned
We commenced and continued to fire with our back a short distance and anchored. starboard hundred-pounder Parrott on the top-/ The conduct of the crew was splendid, and gallant forecastle, until our starboard broadside their enthusiasm was unbounded, notwithstandcould bear, which was not, however, until we got ing the raking fire that we suffered. When men nearly abreast of the Fort, when we opened with fell, others filled the gaps, until almost two entire our twelve nine-inch guns, loaded with ten-second crews had been swept away. Nothing could be shell. We now fired rapidly, and as we ap- more noble than the spirit displayed by our woundproached used five-second shell and shrapnel, ed and dying, who cheered and smiled in their with fuses cut at two seconds, which had the ef- agony, seemingly contented at the sacrifice of fect to drive the enemy from their water-batteries their lives for the victory vouchsafed to their and parapet guns whilst we were abreast of the country. Such men are our heroes. Fort." The Brooklyn now having stopped and The officers, one and all, did their whole duty, commenced backing, the Hartford went ahead and and in a measure to their exertions and example led the fleet until we anchored up the bay. I may be attributed the unflinching conduct of
After passing the Brooklyn, the rebel ram and those they so well instructed, drilled, and comgunboats paid their individual attention to this manded. Conspicuous was Ensign Whiting, who ship, taking position ahead and on our starboard worked the forecastle guns under the most trybow, and with their heavy guns raking us, we ing circumstances and under the most scathing not being able to bring any guns to bear on them, fire. Mr. Dixon, our boatswain ; Wm. McEwan, except those mounted on the top-gallant forecastle. Acting Assistant Engineer; Mr. Herrick, Acting We continued, however, to advance, they pre- Master's Mate; Acting Ensigns Bogart and Hegserving their position until we got some distance inbotham, deserve praise for their coolness and from Fort Morgan, when the rebel ram went back assistance in the powder division, which was at to attack our ships astern. The three gunboats, one time a perfect slaughter-house. however, still stuck by us. We had now so altered Lieutenant Yates, of the U. S. Steamer Auour course as to bring them to bear on our star- gusta, and Acting Ensign Marthow, of the U. S. board bow and beam, and opened on them with Steimer Tennessee, who volunteered for the fight, the starboard broadside; we now were on a foot- also deserve praise for their very valuable services. ing with them, and delivered our fire with effect Appended are the reports of the divisional ofon all three, they edging off and increasing their ficers, whose mention of particular acts of men distance, but still keeping up a hot fire, from under their immediate command will enable you which we suffered very much. This part of the to recommend the men mentioned to notice; also action had now lasted some thirty minutes, most the reports of the several officers in charge of of the time their fire raking us, cutting down our the different departments and of the damages men at the guns fearfully, and damaging gun-car- sustained therein. Very respectfully, riages and material, when the Metacomet cast off
L. A. KIMBERLY, and pursued. The enemy by this time having
Lieutenant Commander and Executive Officer, been pretty well handled, hauled off, separated,
Captain P. DRAYTON, the Gaines and Morgan making for the fort, and
Commanding U. S. S. Hartford. the Selma falling a prize to the Metacomet. Our U. S. Flag-Sup HARTFORD, MOBILE BAY, Aug. 6, 1864. ships now having come up, we steamed up the Sir: I respectfully submit the following report bay and anchored with fifteen fathoms of chain of the conduct of the officers and men in the in three and a quarter fathoms of water, when First division, during the engagement of yesterthe ram was seen approaching; hove up our an- day. chor, went to quarters, and stood down for the Acting Ensign W. H. Whiting, in charge of enemy; endeavored to strike her, but our anchor the forecastle guns, deserves special mention for banging from the hawse-pipe, sheered us off from his gallantry in serving and working both onethe ram, so that the ships passed, the port sides hundred pounder rifies under the most trying grazing each other; depressed our port guns and circumstances. fired with thirteen pounds of powder and solid The three captains of guns, Henry Clark, Peter shot. After passing, put our helm hard a star- W. Stanley, and Wm. H. Wright, displayed an board, to come around for another butt, the ship, , amount of courage and coolness which I have however, making a larger circle in getting around; rarely seen equalled. But the two men of whom approached near to our own ships that were I wish particularly to speak are Charles Melville bound down for the rebel ram; one of them, the and Thomas Fitzpatrick. A rifle shell burst beLackawanna, struck us on the starboard side tween the two forward nine-inch guns, killing abaft the main-chains, knocking two of our ports and wounding fifteen men. Charles Melville was