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teries of Fort Morgan that their guns did us com- through her iron plating and heavy wooden paratively little injury.
hacking, though the missile itself did not enter Just after we passed the Fort, which was about the vessel. ten minutes before eight o'clock, the ram Ten- Immediately after the collision with the flagnessee dashed out at this ship, as had been ex- ship, I directed Captain Drayton to bear down pected, and in anticipation of which I had ordered for the ram again. He was doing so at full the Monitors on our starboard side. I took no speed when, unfortunately, the Lackawanna run further notice of her than to return her fire. into the Hartford just forward of the mizzen
The rebel gunboats, Morgan, Gaines, and Sel-mast, cutting her down to within two feet of the ma, were ahead, and the latter particularly an-water's edge. We soon got clear again, hownoyed us with a raking fire, which our guns ever, and were fast approaching our adversary, could not return. At two minutes after eight when she struck her colors and run up the white o'clock I ordered the Metacomet to cast oil and flag. go in pursuit of the Selma. Captain Jouett was She was at this time sore beset; the Chickaafter her in a moment, and in an hour's time he saw was pounding away at her stern, the Ossihad her as a prize. She was commanded by pee was approaching her at full speed, and the P. N. Murphy, formerly of the United States Monongahela, Lackawanna, and this ship were navy. He was wounded in the wrist, his execu- bearing down upon her, determined upon her tive officer, Lieutenant Comstock, and eight of destruction. Her smoke-stack had been shot the crew, killed, and seven or eight wounded away, her steering chains were gone, compelling Lieutenant Commander Jouett's conduct during a resort to her relieving tackles, and several of the whole affair commands my warmest com- her port shutters were jammed. Indeed, from mendations. The Morgan and Gaines succeeded the time the Hartford struck her until her surin escaping under the protection of the guns of render she never fired a gun. As the Ossipee, Fort Morgan, which would have been prevented Commander Le Roy, was about to strike her, she had the other gunboats been as prompt in their hoisted the white flag, and that vessel immemovements as the Metacomet; the want of diately stopped her engine, thouglı not in time to pilots, however, I believe, was the principal diffi- avoid a glancing blow. culty. The Gaines was so injured by our fire During this contest with the rebel gunboats that she had to be run ashore, where she was and the ram Tennessee, and which terminated subsequently destroyed, but the Morgan escaped by her surrender at ten o'clock, we lost many to Mobile during the night, though she was more men than from the fire of the batteries of chased and fired upon by our cruisers.
Fort Morgan. Ilaving passed the forts and dispersed the Admiral Buchanan was wounded in the leg; enemy's gunboats, I had ordered most of the ves- two or three of his men were killed, and five or sels to anchor, when I perceived the ram Ten- six wounded. Commander Johnston, formerly of nessee standing up for this ship. This was at the United States navy, was in command of the forty-five minutes past eight. I was not long in Tennessee, and came on board the fag-ship, to comprehending his intentions to be the destruc- surrender his sword and that of Admiral Bution of the flag-ship. The Monitors and such of chanan. The surgeon, Doctor Conrad, came the wooden vessels as I thought best adapted for with him, stated the condition of the Admiral, the purpose, were immediately ordered to attack and wished to know what was to be done with the ram, not only with their guns, but bows on him. Fleet Surgeon Palmer, who was on board at full speed, and then began one of the fiercest the Hartford, during the action, commisernaval combats on record.
ating the sufferings of the wounded, suggested The Monongahela, Commander Strong, was the that those of both sides be sent to Pensacola, first vessel that struck her, and in doing so car- where they could be properly cared for. I thereried away his own iron prow, together with the fore addressed a note to Brigadier-General R. L. cutwater, without apparently doing her adversary Page, commanding Fort Morgan, informing him much injury. The Lackawanna, Captain Mar- that Admiral Buchanan and others of the Tenchand, was the next vessel to strike her, which she nessee had been wounded, and desiring to know did at full speed; but though her stem was cut whether he would permit one of our vessels, and crushed to the plank ends for the distance under a flag of truce, to convey them, with or of three feet above the water-edge, to five feet be- without our wounded, to Pensacola, on the unlow, the only perceptible effect on the ram was derstanding that the vessel should take out none to give her a heavy list.
but the wounded, and bring nothing back that The Hartford was the third vessel which struck she did not take out. This was acceded to by her, but, as the Tennessee quickly shifted her General Page, and the Metacomet proceeded on helm, the blow was a glancing one, and, as she this mission of humanity. rasped along our side, we poured our whole port I inclose herewith the correspondence with broadside of nine-inch solid shot within ten feet that oilicer, (marked numbers one, two, three, of her casemate.
and four.) I forward also the reports (marked The Monitors worked slowly, but delivered numbers five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, their fire as opportunity offered. The Chicka- twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, sevensaw succeeded in getting under her stern, and a teen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty, and twenty-one) fifteen-inch shot from the Manhattan broke of the commanding officers of the vessels who par
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 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 I navy. I desire to call your attention to this offiever 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 flect. 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 fieet, 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 difficulty in getting into and Hartford, and was very efficient in the transmaintaining their position in line, as we passed inission 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 dillitake command of the Chickasaw, and did his duty culties in his line of duty. During the action, aobly.
he was in the main-top, piloting the ships into
LETTER FROM REAR-ADMIRAL FARRAGUT TO BRIGA
DIER-GENERAL R. L. PAGE.
REAR-ADMIRAL D. G. FARRAGUT.
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 Xos. 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. the privilege of fishing for the fleet, yet his services were too valuable to the captors as a pilot 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
Sır: 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 reports of the different commanders will show out our own wounded? The understanding being
them to our hospital at Pensacola, with or withhow they conducted themselves.
that the flag of truce vessel takes nothing whatI have already mentioned Lieutenant Commander Perkins of the Chickasaw, and Lieu- that she did not take out, and my honor is given
ever but the wounded, and brings nothing back tenant Yates of the Augusta. Acting Volun- for the above time. Very respectfully, teer Lieutenant William Hamilton, late com
D. G. FARRAGET, 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 Chickasaw, having had much experience in
HEADQUARTERS THIRD BRIGADE, D. G., our Monitors. Acting Volunteer Lieutenant P.
FORT MORGAN, ALA., August 5, 1864. 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 He is also the commanding officer of the
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 they ought.” When in Pensacola, he spent days on the bar, placing the buoys in the best po
FLAG-Sup HartFORD, MOBILE BAY, Aug. 5, 1964.
Sır: In reply to your note of this date, I sitions, was always looking after the interests of the service, and keeping the vessels from being ould 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,
Commanding Fort Morgan.
LETTER FROM REAR-ADMIRAL FARRAGUT TO BRIGA
DIER-GENERAL R. L. PAGE.