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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, 1964. 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 C. 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 hall-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 jamming 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 å 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 which 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 abast 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 Lientenant 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, 1 '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 me 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 determinaActing 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. In Engineer Williamson. Ile 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. Ile 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 beg you to recommend him to the Hon. In conclusion, I request that you will recomSecretary of the Navy.
mend to the Honorable Secretary of the Nary, 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. DRAYTOX. coolness and real 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- Ile 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 ollicer. 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 atCommons 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,
Commanding W. G, B. Squadron. place they left at daylight on the following morning in the Metacomet, under a flag of truce.
U.S. FLAG-SHP II ARTFORD, MOBILE BAY, Aug. 8, 1964, 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 br 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. Ons 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 un 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 chai 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. 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 Steamer 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 been pretty well handled, hauled off, separated,
Captain P. DRAYTON,
Commanding U.S. S. Hartford, the Gaines and Morgan making for the fort, and the Selma falling a prize to the Metacomet. Our U. S. Flag-SHIP HARTFORD, MOBILE BAY, Aug. 6, 1864. ships now having come up, we steamed up the Sır: 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 hanging 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 rifles 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 abast the main-chains, knocking two of our ports / and wounding fifteen men. Charles Melville was
Lieutenant Commander and Executive Officer. nessee.
among the wounded, and was taken down with for action. We were unable to bring our guns the rest to the Surgeon, but came on deck al- to bear until nearly abreast of the Fort.
We most immediately, and although scarcely able to then fired with ten-inch shell and forty degrees stand, refused to go below, and worked at the of elevation. The fire was kept up with great gun during the remainder of the action. Thomas rapidity, using five-inch shell and decreasing the Fitzpatrick, Captain of No. 1 gun, was struck elevation as we neared the Fort. When abreast several times in the face by splinters, and had of it two rounds of shrapnel cut for two-inch were his gun disabled by a shell. In a few minutes fired by us. As we passed ahead of the Brookhe had his gun in working order again, with new lyn, two shell struck by No. 7 gun, disabling truck, breeching, side-tackle, etc., his wounded the crew; but one man escaped uninjured on the below, the dead clear, and was fighting his gun right side of that gun. Another shell followed as before, setting a splendid example to the re- in a few seconds, wounding the captain of No.7, mainder of his crew. His conduct came particu- three men at No. 8, and myself. Four men larly under my notice, and during the entire were killed and nine wounded in all, and by action was distinguished for coolness and bra- those three shell. The gun-captains behaved very.
splendidly — Forbes, Ingersoll, Pinto. Wm. E. The First division had thirteen killed and ten Stanley, shellman of No. 8 gun, continued to wounded.
pass shell after being wounded, till compelled by Very respectfully, your obedient servant, loss of blood to go below; he deserves especial
HERBERT B. Tyson, mention. Every man did his duty in the most
Lieutenant Commanding First Division. gallant manner. I am proud to have had comU. S. FLAG-SUP HARTFORD, MOBILE BAY, Aug. 6, 1864. mand of so brave a set of men. Acting Master's Sir: I respectfully submit the following report Mate J. J. Tinelli I cannot fail to mention. lle
I of the conduct of the Second division during the behaved with great gallantry, encouraging the engagement of yesterday, the fifth, with Fort men by his example, and served the guns of the Morgan and the rebel gunboats and ram Ten- division with great spirit, against the rebel gun
But a few moments elapsed after the boats and ram, after I was sent below. drum beat to quarters before every man was at I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient his station, the guns cast loose and ready for servant,
La Rue P. ADAMS, action. Every man seemed determined to do his
Lieutenant Commanding Third Division.
Lieutenant Commander L. A. KIMBERLY, duty, which he did faithfully, not a man shrink
Executive Oflicer Flag-Ship Hartford. ing. Where all did their duty so well, it is hard to discriminate, still it gives me pleasure to men
U. S. FLAG-SHIP HARTFORD, MOBILE BAY, Aug. 6, 1964. tion a few who were the most conspicuous.
SIR: I have the honor to submit to you a reActing Master's Mate Wm. H. Childs displayed port of the conduct of the officers and men of great courage in assisting me in the division; the Master's division during the engagement the Captains of the guns, Charles Lake, (Cox- yesterday with Fort Morgan, the rebel gunboats, swain,) Joseph Perry, (Quartermaster,) James and the ram Tennessee. I have great pleasure Smith, (Captain mizzen-top,) the Second Captains, in mentioning Acting Master's Mate G. R. Avery, James Bennett, (seaman,) Owen Holland, (Second who assisted in covering the ship during the Captain mizzen-top,) and Samuel McFall, (Captain entire action, for the great coolness he displayed
in his -After-Guard) showed an example of coolness, en.
- a responsible — position. John McFarergy, and bravery, which stimulated those less land, (Captain Forecastle,) James Wood, (Quarterbrave than themselves, and reflected credit upon master,) Joseph Cassier, (seaman,) and James themselves. The loaders and spongers, Beonth Reddington, (landsman,) deserve especial menDiggings, (ordinary seaman,) Augustus Pauly, tion for their marked composure. They were at (seaman,) Charles Davidson, (Captain Forecastle,) the wheel, and obeyed every order promptly and Henry Wright, (ordinary seaman,) and Robert correctly. Henry Williams (Boatswain's Mate) Emerson, (landsman) did nobly, and I am proud served the twelve-pounder howitzer in the mainto have such men under my command; the top with courage and great judgment. I had not Quarter-Gunner David Morrow was killed.' The the power of witnessing the conduct of the rebattery constituting the Second division is in per- maining men of this division, namely, those of the fect order not a gun injured.
signal corps and carpenter's gang, but from the I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
oflicers commanding those departments I have GEORGE MUNDY,
learned that one and all deserve the greatest praise. Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Commanding Second Division.
Respectfully submitted, Lieutenant Commander L. A. KIMBERLY,
GEORGE B. GLIDDEX, Executive Officer U. S. Flag-Ship Hartford.
Ensign Commanding Master's Division U. S. FLAG-SHIP HARTFORD, MOBILE BAY, Aug. 6, 1861. Lieutenant Commander L. A. KIMBERLY, Sir: I have the honor to submit the following report of the conduct of the officers and men of 0. S. FLAG-Suip HARTFORD, MOBILE BAY, Aug. 6, 1964. the Third division during the engagement of Sir: I submit the following report of the conyesterday with Fort Morgan, the rebel gunboats, duct of the officers and men of the powder divi. and the ram.
sion during the engagement of the filth. When the drum beat to quarters, every man Acting Ensign Bogart exhibited much coolness was at his station instantly, and the guns cleared / and presence of mind.
Executive Officer Hartford.
Acting Master's Mate R. P. Herrick deserves etc., during the action, August fifth, 1864, with especial mention, for until seriously wounded he the rebel Fort Morgan, the water-batteries, rebel performed his duties with great coolness and ram Tennessee, and rebel fleet, namely: spirit. Acting Ensign W. H. Heginbotham also No. 1. Solid shot cut through starboard headdeserves special mention for his coolness and rail, starboard bow-chock, and crushed sidebravery. Ile performed his duties in the most tackle block of port rifle-gun on forecastle. exemplary manner until he received his death- No. 2. Shell came over starboard-bow, struck wound.
axle-tree, fore-transom, and truck of port rifle on The few man I had on deck passing powder forecastle, and started bow-chock, head-rail, and acted with great coolness, and at no time were water-rail. there any signs of shrinking or fear. Nelson, No. 3. Shell cut through starboard lower (Ship's Cook) John Wallington, (landsman,) and boom, hammock-rail and netting, cut main topMellage, (Paymaster's Steward,) deserve special mast-stay half, then struck after-part of foremast mention.
two feet above the partner's scoring, scarring Seven of the forward part of the division were starboard side of mast and piercing galley-funnel, wounded and three of them killed; most of the where it exploded. wounds were mortal.
No. 4. Shell struck the forward part of No. 2 I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient gun-port, cutting away top timber, bulwarks, and servant,
WM. STARR DANA, port-sill, struck starboard sheet cable-bitt, crush
In Charge of Powder Division. ing the iron plating and collar, then exploded, Lieutenant Commander L. A. KIMBERLY, scarring the deck between Nos. 1, 2, and 3 guns. U. S. Flag-Ship Hartford,
No. 5. Shell struck outer planking six inches In addition to the above, I would call attention above the water-line between No. 2 and 3 guns, to the conduct of Sailmaker F. C. Herbert, whose cut through timbers, ceiling, and water-way on conduct and cool courage is spoken of as most
berth-deck, struck foremast, scored in the depth remarkable.
of five inches, eighteen inches below the sparCaptain. deck partners, carrying away aster-part of port
sheet cable-bitts, part of spar-deck beam and U.S. FLAG-SHIP HARTFORD, MOBILE BAY, Aug. 6, 1861. knee on port side, and after diagonal knee and Sır: The conduct of the officers and men be- fastening started. longing to the Engineer's Department was No. 6. Shell struck starboard chain-armor two characterized by coolness and energy during the feet below the gunwale, between Nos. 5 and 6 engagement of yesterday. Their duties were per- guns, cut through outer plank and timber and formed as if nothing extraordinary was going on. lodged in deck-knee.
Acting Third Assistant-Engineer William G. No. 7. Solid shot struck chain-armor, cut McEwan deserves special mention for the prompt through armor, pierced outer plank and timber, and efficient manner in which he attended to and lodged in spar-deck beam. getting the wounded below, near his station at No. 8. Solid shot struck starboard chain-armor the berth-deck hose, and he continued to do so four inches above the water-line, under No. 6 until near the close of the action, when he lost gun, cut through armor, pierced outer planking, his right arm.
and lodged in timber. The following men deserve to be noticed: No. 9. Struck chain-armor on the water-line
Thomas Walkley, (First C. F.,) for his coolness between Nos. 8 and 9 guns, cut through armor, and attention to duties, although frequently and pierced the outer plank. covered with splinters.
No. 10. Two hundred pound rifle-shell struck James R. Garrison (C. H.) had his great toe aft of the armor, two feet above the water-line, shot off, but dressed his wound himself and then under No. 9 gun, pierced outer plank, crushing returned to his station, where he remained until four timbers and two streaks of ceiling, breaking badly wounded in the chest.
down the fore and aft bulkhead of the starboard Thomas O'Connell was sick and hardly able steerage, cutting in two the between-deck stanchto work, but went to his station and remained ion under ward-room hatch-beam, passed into until his right hand was shot away.
the chief-engineer's room on the port side of William Caffrey (Second C. F.) and Joseph ward-room, and dropped on a lounge without Fallen (Second C. F.) were inclined to skulk, exploding. and required to be compelled to assist the No. 11. Solid shot struck gunwale-streak, bewounded.
tween Nos. 8 and 9 guns, pierced through gunThe loss in the Engineer's Department was wale, top timber, and bulwarks, struck capstan, three men killed and three men wounded. crushing the pawls, casting, and gear, splitting I am, respectfully, your obedient servant, engine-room, hatch-combing, and capstan-bed.
Thos. WILLIAMSON, No. 12. Struck the spare spars in the main
Chief Engineer U. S. N. chains, breaking in two the main and mizzen Lieutenant Commander L. A. KIMBERLY,
top-gallant and mizzen royal-yards, crushed Executive Officer U. S. Flag-Ship Hartford.
through the main-rail and hammock-netting, U. 8. FLAG-SmP HARTFORD, MOBILE BAY, Aug. 8, 1864. passed over to the port side, and went through SIR: I respectfully beg leave to report the bulwarks, top timbers, outer planks, and sentrydamage received by this ship in the hull
, spars, I board abaft the port-gangway.