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ALABAMA. KEARS ARGE. Length over ali....

220 feet 2147 feet. Length on water-line

1987 Beain.

33 Depth.


400 h.power. Tonnage.


1,030 Armament of the Alabama-One 7-inch Blakely rifle,

32 66
17 66

The Kearsarge had 162 officers and men; the Alabama about 150.

counter; as he dispatched's to Capt. ners had been trained on board Her Winslow a request that he would not Majesty's ship Excellent in Portsleave, as he (Semmes) purposed to mouth harbor. Several had recently fight him. Winslow was glad to find come on board, as if on purpose to their views so accordant, and was take part in the expected fight. careful to heed Semmes's reasonable, Firing and steaming on, the comcourteous request.

batants described seven circles; the The two vessels were very fairly Kearsarge steadily closing, and having matched: their dimensions and ar- diminished, by fully half, the distance maments being respectively as fol- at which the Alabama opened fire; lows :

when, after a mutual cannonade of an hour, the Kearsarge, at 121 P. M.,

was just in position to fire grape, Horse-power, two engines of 300 each.

and her adversary, having received

several 11-inch shells, one of which one 8-inch smooth-bore 68-pounder, six 32-pounders. disabled a gun and killed or wound

Armament of the Kearsarge-Two 11-inch smoothbore guns, one 30-pounder rifle, four 32-pounders. ed 18 men, as another, entering her NOTE.-The Kearsarge used but 5 guns; the Alabama 7.

coal-bunkers, and exploding, had

completely blocked up the engineHaving made all imaginable pre- room, compelling her to. resort to parations in a friendly port, where sails, while large holes were torn in he was surrounded by British as well her sides, at length attempted to as French sympathizers, Semmes- make for the protection of the neutral having first providently deposited on shore; but she was too far gone to shore his chest of coin, his 62 cap- reach it, being badly crippled and tured chronometers, the relics of so rapidly filling with water. Semmes many burned merchantmen-at his and his crew appear to have had an own chosen time," steamed out of the understanding that she should beat harbor, followed by his British friend the Kearsarge or sink with all on Lancaster in his steam-yacht Deer- board; but, when she began to sink hound, and made for the Kearsarge, in good earnest, he hauled down his which was quietly expecting but not flag, and sent a boat to the Kearsarge hurrying him, seven miles outside. to accelerate their rescue from the When still more than a mile distant, wreck as prisoners. the Alabama gave tongue; firing Semmes, in his letter to envoy J. three broadsides before the Kearsarge M. Mason, adds:opened in reply. Winslow endeav- Although we were now but 400 yards ored to close and board: but his from each other, the enemy fired upon me

five times after my colors had been struck. cautious adversary sheered off and it is charitable to suppose that a ship of war steamed ahead, firing rapidly and of a Christian nation could not have done

this intentionally.” wildly; while the Kearsarge, moving

Capt. Winslow does not “supparallel with her, fired slowly and with deliberate aim. The bådness pose,” but states, as follows of the Alabama's practice was nota- and a few more guns, well directed, brought

“I saw now that she was at our mercy; ble from the fact that her British gun- down her flag. I was unable to ascertain 13 June 15, 1864.

14 Sunday, June 19, 101 A. M.


whether it had been hauled down or shot The Alabama had 9 killed and 21 away ; but, a white flag having been displayed over the stern, our fire was reserved. wounded, including Semmes himself, Two minutes had not more than elapsed be- slightly. Two of the wounded were fore she again opened on us with the two gụns drowned before they could be resont he port side. This drew our tire again; and the Kearsarge was immediately steamed

cued. ahead and laid across her bows for raking. The Kearsarge had three men badly The white flag was still flying, and our fire was again reserved. Shortly after this, her wounded, one of them mortally; boats were seen to be lowering, and an offi- but neither would go below to be cer in one of them came alongside, and in- treated till the victory was won. formed us that the ship had surrendered and was fast sinking. In twenty minutes from

The triumph of the Kearsarge is this time, the Alabama went down: her doubtless in part due to the superior mainmast, which had been shot, breaking effectiveness of her two 11-inch near the head as she sunk, and her bow

guns, rising high out of the water as her stern but in good part also to the cool derapidly settled.”

liberation and excellent aim of her Lancaster-a virtual ally and swift gunners.

gunners. As to her being iron-clad, witness for Semmes--who was close this is Semmes's story: at hand, watching every motion with " At the end of the engagement, it was intense interest, in his log of the discovered, by those of our officers who fight, dispatched to The Times that wounded, that her midship section on both

went alongside the enemy's ship, with the evening, when he arrived in his yacht sides was thoroughly iron-coated ; this havat Cowes, with Semmes and such of ing been done with chain constructed for his crew as he had snatched from the the rail to the water's edge, the whole cov

the purpose, placed perpendicularly from water and their captors-clearly re- ered over by a thin outer planking, which futes Semmes's charge. He

gave no indication of the armor beneath. says:

* This planking had been ripped off in At 12, a slight intermission was observed every direction by our shot and shell, the in the Alabama's firing; the Alabama ma

chain broken and indented in many places, king head-sail, and shaping her course for and forced partly into the ship's side. She the land, distant about nine miles.

was most effectually guarded, however, in " At 12:30, observed the Alabama to be this section, from penetration." disabled and in a sinking state. We imme

Now let us hear Capt. Winslow on diately made toward her, and, in passing the Kearsarge, were requested to assist in this point : saving the Alabama's creio.

" The Alabama had been five days in “At 12:50, when within a distance of preparation. She had taken in 350 tons of 200 yards, the Alabama sunk. We then coal, which brought her down in the water. lowered our two boats, and, with the assist- The Kearsarge had only 120 tons in; but, ance of the Alabama's whale-boat and dingy, as an offset to this, her sheet-chains were succeeded in saving about 40 men, including stored outside, stopped up and down, as an Capt. Semmes and 13 officers. At 1 P. M., additional preventive and protection to her we steered for Southampton.'

more empty bunkers."


15 This hero, William Gowin, of Michigan, the successful effect of their shot, Gowin waved must not fade from his country's memory. Sur- his land over his head and joined in the shout. geon J. M. Browne reports that, being struck When brought at length to the Surgeon, he apquite early in the action, by a fragment of shell, peared with a smile on his face, though sufferwhich badly shattered his leg near the knee- ing acutely from his injury. He said, “It is all joint, Gowin refused assistance, concealed the right, and I am satisfied; for we are whipping extent of his injury, and dragged himself from the Alabama;' adding, “I willingly will lose the after pivot-gun to the fore-hatch, unwilling my leg or life, if it is necessary” In the hosto take any one from his station. During the pital, he was calmly resigned to his fate, repeatprogress of the action, he comforted his suffering ing again and again his willingness to die, since comrades by assuring them that “Victory is his ship had won a glorious victory. His coun- . ours !” Whenever the guns' crews checred at try owes a monument to William Gowin.




The London Daily News says :

Mobile—the double entrance to whose “The Kearsarge is spoken of as being spacious bay was defended by Forts iron-clad ; she was no inore iron-clad than Morgan and Powell on either hand, the Alabama might have been, had they taken the precaution. She simply had a and by Fort Gaines on Dauphine isdouble row of chains hanging over her land, which separates Grant's pass sides to protect her machinery. Two shots from the main channel. Beside the from the Alabama struck these chains, and fell harmlessly into the water."

heavy guns and large garrisons of Of the crew of the Alabama, 65 these forts, there was a considerable were picked up by the Kearsarge as fleet, commanded by Franklin Buprisoners; while Capt. Semmes and chanan, sole Rebel Admiral, and forhis officers and men who were picked merly a captain in our Navy, whose up and carried off by Lancaster, with iron-clad Tennessee, 209 feet long, a few picked up by a French vessel 48 feet beam, with timber sides 8 feet in attendance, were also claimed as thick, doubly plated with 2-inch iron, rightful prisoners of war; but they fitted with tower, beak and overhang, denied the justice of the claim, and and mounting two 7-inch and four were not surrendered.

6-inch rifled guns, throwing projec

tiles respectively of 110 and 95 pounds, The steady increase of our naval propelled by two engines and four force, and our successful combined boilers, was probably as effective a operations in Pamlico and Albemarle craft for harbor defense as fleet ever sounds; before Charleston, Savannah, yet encountered. Her three consorts and among the Sea Islands; up the were ordinary gunboats of no partimouths of the Mississippi ; along the cular force; but when to these forts coasts of Florida; and at the mouth and vessels are added the

terof the Rio Grande, had gradually rors and real dangers of torpedoes, closed up the harbors of the Confed-carefully constructed and planted in cracy, until, by the Spring of 1864, a channel where it is scarcely possible their blockade-runners were substan- for attacking vessels to avoid them, tially restricted to a choice of two it must be felt that the fleet, however ports-Wilmington, N. C., and Mo- strong, which defies and assails them, bile-where the character of the ap- can only hope to succeed by the proaches and the formidable forts rarest exhibitions alike of skill and that still forbade access by our block- courage. Ten years had not elapsed aders to the entrance of their respec- since the immense naval power of tive harbors, still enabled skillfully- Great Britain, wielded by a Napier, piloted steamers, carefully built in recoiled before the defenses of CronBritish yards expressly for this ser- stadt; while no attempt was made vice, to steal in and out on moonless, on the fortifications of Odessa. clouded, or foggy nights; not without risk and occasional loss, but with The fleet which Rear-Admiral reasonable impunity. To close these Farragut led to force its way into the eyes of the Rebellion was now the bay of Mobile was composed of 4 care of the Navy Department; and iron-clads and 14 wooden ships-ofwas resolved to commence with war or gunboats, as follows:


16 Aug. 5, 1864.

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* Iron-clads.


Hartford (flag-ship), Capt. P. Drayton; der the guns of the fort—which, disBrooklyn, Capt. James Alden ; "Metacomet, Lt.-Com'r J. E. Jouett;

regarding the iron-clads, were trained Octorara, Lt.-Com'r C. H. Green; especially on the Hartford and her, Richmond, Capt. T. A. Jenkins;

while their progress was retarded by Lackawanna, Capt. J. B. Marchand ; Monongahela, Com'r J. H. Strong;

the slowness of the monitors-had Ossipee, Com'r W. E. Leroy;

just opened on the fort with grape, Oneida, Coi'r J. R. M. Mullany; Port Royal, Lt.-Com'r B. Gherardi;

driving its gunners from its more exSeminole, Com'r E. Donaldson;

posed batteries, when the Tecumseh, Kennebec, Lt.-Coin'r W. P. McCann;

then 300 yards ahead of her, struck Itasca, Lt.-Com'r George Brown; Galena, Lt.-Com'r C. H. Wells;

a torpedo which, exploding directly * Tecumseh, Com'r T. A. M. Craven; under her turret, tore a chasm in her * Manhattan, Com'r J. W. A. Nicholson; bottom, through which the water * Winnebago, Com'r T. H. Stevens; * Chickasaw, Lt.-Com'r T. II. Perkins. poured in a flood, sinking her almost

instantly, and carrying down Com'r Gen. Canby had sent from New Craven and nearly all his officers and Orleans Gen. Gordon Granger, with crew. Out of 130, but 17 were saved; a cooperating land force, perhaps part in one of her own boats and part 5,000 strong, which had debarked on by a boat sent, by Farragut's order, Dauphine island, but which could be from the Metacomet, under a terrible of no service for the present; and did fire. not attempt to be. Pollard says that Farragut had reluctantly consentour fleet carried 200 guns with 2,800 ed to let the Brooklyn lead the wood

en fleet, because of her four chaseThursday, August 4, had been guns specially adapted to the work fixed on for the perilous undertak- in hand, and because she had a peing; but, though the troops were on culiarly ingenious contrivance for hand, the Tecumseh had not arrived; picking up torpedoes. “Exposure is and-in contempt for the nautical one of the penalties of rank in the superstition touching Friday—the navy,” is his characteristic observaattack was postponed to next morn- tion; in accordance with which, he ing; when, at 54 o'clock, the wood had stationed himself in the Harten ships steamed up, lashed together ford's main-top, as the point whence in couples; the Brooklyn and Octo- every thing that transpired could rara leading, followed by the Hart- best be observed; and the strong preford and Metacomet; the iron-clads sumption that the Rebel fire would having already passed the bar, and be concentrated on the flag-ship rennow advancing in line on the right, dered him specially anxious that she or between the fleet and Fort Mor- should be accorded the post of pregan. The Tecumseh, leading, at 6:47, eminent peril and honor. Overruled opened fire on Fort Morgan, still a at the outset, Farragut, when the mile distant, which responded at Brooklyn very naturally recoiled at 7:06; and forthwith, every gun that the spectacle of the Tecumseh's decould be brought to bear on either struction, directed Drayton to go side awoke the echoes of the startled ahead, followed by the rest, in the bay.

full belief that several must pay the The Brooklyn, when directly un- penalty of heroism just exacted of

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